Leaf litter recycling in benthic and hyporheic layers in agricultural streams with different types of land use - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Science of the Total Environment Year : 2011

Leaf litter recycling in benthic and hyporheic layers in agricultural streams with different types of land use

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Abstract

Changes in land use and intensification of agriculture pressure have greatly accelerated the alteration of the landscape in most developed countries. These changes may highly disturb the adjacent ecosystems particularly in streams, where pollutions are concentrated. In this study, we used the leaf litter breakdown rate to assess the functional integrity of stream ecosystems and river sediments along either traditional extensive farming or a gradient of vineyard area. At the benthic layer, the total litter breakdown process integrates the temporal variability of the anthropogenic disturbances and is strongly influenced by land use changes in the catchment even though a low concentration of toxics was measured during the study period. This study also confirmed the essential role played by amphipods in the litter breakdown process. In contrast, microbial processes clearly integrated the variations in available nutrients and dissolved oxygen concentrations, but failed to integrate the disturbances induced by wine production during the study period. The response of microbes may not be reliable enough for assessing the global effect of seasonal agricultural practices. Finally, the leaf litter breakdown measured in the hyporheic zone seemed mainly driven by microbial activities and was hence more affected by vertical exchanges with surface water than by land use practices. However, the breakdown rate of leaf litter in the hyporheic zone may constitute a relevant way to evaluate the impact on river functioning of any human activities which induce massive soil erosion and sediment clogging.
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Dates and versions

hal-00637662 , version 1 (02-11-2011)

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C. Piscart, Simon Navel, C. Maazouzi, B. Montuelle, J. Cornut, et al.. Leaf litter recycling in benthic and hyporheic layers in agricultural streams with different types of land use. Science of the Total Environment, 2011, 409 (20), p. 4373 - p. 4380. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.06.060⟩. ⟨hal-00637662⟩
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