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Title: Interactive effects of discharge reduction and fine sediments on stream biofilm metabolism
Author: Pérez-Calpe, Ana Victoria
Larrañaga, Aitor
Schiller Calle, Daniel von
Elosegi, Arturo, 1962-
Keywords: Qualitat de l'aigua
Transport de sediments
Water quality
Sediment transport
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Abstract: Discharge reduction, as caused by water diversion for hydropower, and fine sediments deposition, are prevalent stressors that may affect multiple ecosystem functions in streams. Periphytic biofilms play a key role in stream ecosystem functioning and are potentially affected by these stressors and their interaction. We experimentally assessed the interactive effects of discharge and fine sediments on biofilm metabolism in artificial indoor channels using a factorial split-plot design with two explanatory variables: water discharge (20, 39, 62, 141 and 174 cm3 s-1) and fine sediments (no sediment or 1100 mg L-1 of sediments). We incubated artificial tiles for 25 days in an unpolluted stream to allow biofilm colonization, and then placed them into the indoor channels for acclimation for 18 days. Subsequently, we manipulated water discharge and fine sediments and, after 17 days, we measured biofilm chlorophyll-a concentration and metabolism. Water velocity (range, 0.5 to 3.0 cm s-1) and sediment deposition (range, 6.1 to 16.6 mg cm-2) increased with discharge, the latter showing that the effect of increased inputs prevailed over sloughing. In the no-sediment treatments, discharge did not affect biofilm metabolism, but reduced chlorophyll-a. Sediments, probably as a consequence of nutrients released, promoted metabolism of biofilm and chlorophyll-a, which became independent of water discharge. Our results indicate that pulses of fine sediments can promote biofilm algal biomass and metabolism, but show interactive effects with discharge. Although discharge reduction can affect the abundance of basal resources for food webs, its complex interactions with fine sediments make it difficult to forecast the extent and direction of the changes.
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It is part of: PLoS One, 2021, vol. 16, num. 2, p. e0246719
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ISSN: 1932-6203
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals)

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