Advertisement

Landscape Ecology

, Volume 33, Issue 9, pp 1519–1531 | Cite as

Landscape configuration alters spatial arrangement of terrestrial-aquatic subsidies in headwater streams

  • Chelsea J. Little
  • Florian Altermatt
Research Article

Abstract

Context

Freshwater ecosystems depend on surrounding terrestrial landscape for resources. Most important are terrestrial leaf litter subsidies, which differ depending on land use. We lack a good understanding of the variation of these inputs across spatial scales.

Objectives

We sought to determine: (1) the relative importance of local versus catchment-level forestation for benthic leaf litter biomass in streams, (2) how landscape configuration alters these relationships, and (3) how land use affects the quality and diversity of leaf litter subsidies.

Methods

We measured biomass and identity of benthic leaf litter in 121 reaches in 10 independent catchments seasonally over the course of a year. We assessed direct and indirect effects of forestation, reach position, and seasonality on leaf litter biomass using structural equation models, and assessed how leaf litter diversity varied with land use.

Results

In catchments with forested headwaters, the degree of forestation and reach position in the catchment influenced benthic leaf litter biomass indirectly through local reach-scale forestation. In catchments where forest was only located downstream, or with minimal forest, none of these factors influenced reach-level benthic leaf litter. Leaf litter diversity peaked in fall in all land use types, but was generally lowest in forested reaches.

Conclusions

Not only habitat amount, but its location relative to other habitats is important for ecosystem function in the context of cross-ecosystem material flows. Here, lack of upstream forest altered spatial patterns of leaf litter storage. Studies with high spatiotemporal resolution may further reveal effects of landscape configuration on other ecosystems.

Keywords

Land use Leaf litter Meta-ecosystem Resource subsidies River network Terrestrial-aquatic linkages 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors sincerely thank the Kanton Thurgau Office of the Environment facilitating access to sampling sites, and all landowners whose property we crossed. We are also grateful to Pravin Ganesanandamoorthy, Elvira Mächler, and Simon Flückiger for help with fieldwork and laboratory work, and Katharina Kaelin and Rosi Sieber for assistance with parts of the GIS analysis. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. This project was funded by Swiss National Science Foundation Grants PP00P3_150698 and PP00P3_179089.

Supplementary material

10980_2018_678_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (2.8 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 2868 kb)
10980_2018_678_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (134 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 133 kb)

References

  1. Abbott BW, Gruau G, Zarnetske JP, Moatar F, Barbe L, Thomas Z, Fovet O, Kolbe T, Gu S, Pierson-Wickmann AC, Davy P, Pinay G (2018) Unexpected spatial stability of water chemistry in headwater stream networks. Ecol Lett 21:296–308CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Aguiar FC, Segurado P, Martins MJ, Bejarano MD, Nilsson C, Portela MM, Merritt DM (2018) The abundance and distribution of guilds of riparian woody plants change in response to land use and flow regulation. J Appl Ecol.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13110 Google Scholar
  3. Allan JD (2004) Influence of land use and landscape setting on the ecological status of rivers. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 35:257–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Altermatt F (2013) Diversity in riverine metacommunities: a network perspective. Aquat Ecol 47:365–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Altermatt F, Alther R, Mächler E (2016) Spatial patterns of genetic diversity, community composition and occurrence of native and non-native amphipods in naturally replicated tributary streams. BMC Ecol 16:23CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Argerich A, Haggerty R, Johnson SL, Wondzell SM, Dosch N, Corson-Rikert H, Ashkenas LR, Pennington R, Thomas CK (2016) Comprehensive multiyear carbon budget of a temperate headwater stream. J Geophys Res 121:1306–1315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bossard M, Feranec J, Otahel J (2000) The revised and supplemented Corine land cover nomenclature. European environment agency, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  8. Chapin FS, Woodwell GM, Randerson JT, Rastetter EB, Lovett GM, Baldocchi DD, Clark DA, Harmon ME, Schimel DS, Valentini R, Wirth C, Aber JD, Cole JJ, Goulden ML, Harden JW, Heimann M, Howarth RW, Matson PA, McGuire AD, Melillo JM, Mooney HA, Neff JC, Houghton RA, Pace ML, Ryan MG, Running SW, Sala OE, Schlesinger WH, Schulze ED (2006) Reconciling carbon-cycle concepts, terminology, and methods. Ecosystems 9:1041–1050CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clarke A, MacNally R, Bond N, Lake PS (2008) Macroinvertebrate diversity in headwater streams: a review. Freshw Biol 53:1707–1721CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Collins SM, Kohler TJ, Thomas SA, Fetzer WW, Flecker AS (2016) The importance of terrestrial subsidies in stream food webs varies along a stream size gradient. Oikos 125:674–685CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Downing JA, Cole JJ, Duarte CM, Middelburg JJ, Melack JM, Prairie YT, Kortelainen P, Striegl RG, McDowell WH, Tranvik LJ (2012) Global abundance and size distribution of streams and rivers. Inl Waters 2:229–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Elosegi A, Diez J, Pozo J (2007) Contribution of dead wood to the carbon flux in forested streams. Earth Surf Process Landforms 32:1219–1228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. England LE, Rosemond AD (2004) Small reductions in forest cover weaken terrestrial-aquatic linkages in headwater streams. Freshw Biol 49:721–734CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Faith DP, Minchin PR, Belbin L (1987) Compositional dissimilarity as a robust measure of ecological distance. Vegetatio 69:57–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fisher SG, Likens GE (1973) Energy flow in Bear Brook, New Hampshire: an integrative approach to stream ecosystem metabolism. Ecol Monogr 43:421–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fuß T, Behounek B, Ulseth AJ, Singer GA (2017) Land use controls stream ecosystem metabolism by shifting dissolved organic matter and nutrient regimes. Freshw Biol 62:582–599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gounand I, Little CJ, Harvey E, Altermatt F (2018) Worldwide cross-ecosystem carbon subsidies and their contribution to ecosystem functioning. bioRxiv.  https://doi.org/10.1101/271809 Google Scholar
  18. Hagen EM, McTammany ME, Webster JR, Benfield EF (2010) Shifts in allochthonous input and autochthonous production in streams along an agricultural land-use gradient. Hydrobiologia 655:61–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hagen EM, Webster JR, Benfield EF (2006) Are leaf breakdown rates a useful measure of stream integrity along an agricultural landuse gradient? J North Am Benthol Soc 25:330–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Harvey E, Gounand I, Little CJ, Fronhofer EA, Altermatt F (2017) Upstream trophic structure modulates downstream community dynamics via resource subsidies. Ecol Evol 7:5724–5731CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Heiri AC, Wolf A, Rohrer L, Bugmann H (2009) Forty years of natural dynamics in Swiss beech forests: structure, composition, and the influence of former management. Ecol Appl 19:1920–1934CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Johnson S, Covich A (1997) Scales of observation of riparian forests and distributions of suspended detritus in a prairie river. Freshw Biol 37:163–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kaelin K, Altermatt F (2016) Landscape-level predictions of diversity in river networks reveal opposing patterns for different groups of macroinvertebrates. Aquat Ecol 50:283–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kominoski JS, Pringle CM, Ball BA, Bradford MA, Coleman DC, Hall DB, Hunter MD (2007) Nonadditive effects of leaf litter species diversity on breakdown dynamics in a detritus-based stream. Ecology 88:1167–1176CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Kominoski JS, Rosemond AD (2012) Conservation from the bottom up: forecasting effects of global change on dynamics of organic matter and management needs for river networks. Freshw Sci 31:51–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kuglerová L, Jansson R, Sponseller R, Laudon H, Malm-Renofalt B (2016) Local and regional processes determine plant species richness in a river-network metacommunity. Ecology 2:381–391Google Scholar
  27. Lecerf A, Dobson M, Dang CK, Chauvet E (2005) Riparian plant species loss alters trophic dynamics in detritus-based stream ecosystems. Oecologia 146:432–442CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Lecerf A, Richardson JS (2010) Litter decomposition can detect effects of high and moderate levels of forest disturbance on stream condition. For Ecol Manag 259:2433–2443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Legendre P, Anderson M (1999) Distance-based redundancy analysis: testing multispecies responses in multifactorial ecological experiments. Ecol Monogr 69:1–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. LeRoy CJ, Marks JC (2006) Litter quality, stream characteristics and litter diversity influence decomposition rates and macroinvertebrates. Freshw Biol 51:605–617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Little CJ, Altermatt F (2018a) Species turnover and invasion of dominant freshwater invertebrates alter biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship. Ecol Monogr.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ecm.1299 Google Scholar
  32. Little CJ, Altermatt F (2018b) Do priority effects outweigh environmental filtering in a guild of dominant freshwater macroinvertebrates? Proc R Soc B 285:20180205CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Little CJ, Altermatt F (2018c) Data from: Landscape configuration alters spatial arrangement of terrestrial-aquatic subsidies in headwater streams. Dryad Digit Repository.  https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.j675k0j Google Scholar
  34. Marcarelli AM, Baxter CV, Mineau MM, Hall RO (2011) Quantity and quality: unifying food web and ecosystem perspectives on the role of resource subsidies in freshwaters. Ecology 92:1215–1225CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Meyer JL, Wallace JB, Eggert SL (1998) Leaf litter as a source of dissolved organic carbon in streams. Ecosystems 1:240–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Miltner RJ, White D, Yoder C (2004) The biotic integrity of streams in urban and suburbanizing landscapes. Landsc Urban Plan 69:87–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mitchell MGE, Bennett EM, Gonzalez A (2015) Strong and nonlinear effects of fragmentation on ecosystem service provision at multiple scales. Environ Res Lett 10:94014CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Naiman RJ, Decamps H, Pollock M (1993) The role of riparian corridors in maintaining regional biodiversity. Ecol Appl 3:209–212CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Niyogi DK, Koren M, Arbuckle CJ, Townsend CR (2007) Longitudinal changes in biota along four New Zealand streams: declines and improvements in stream health related to land use. New Zeal J Mar Freshw Res 41:63–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Oksanen J, Blanchet FG, Kindt R, Legendre P, Minchin PR, O’Hara RB, Simpson GL, Solymos P, Stevens MHM, Wagner H (2012) vegan: Community Ecology PackageGoogle Scholar
  41. Orlinskiy P, Münze R, Beketov M, Gunold R, Paschke A, Knillmann S, Liess M (2015) Forested headwaters mitigate pesticide effects on macroinvertebrate communities in streams: mechanisms and quantification. Sci Total Environ 524–525:115–123CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Peterman WE, Crawford JA, Semlitsch RD (2008) Productivity and significance of headwater streams: population structure and biomass of the black-bellied salamander (Desmognathus quadramaculatus). Freshw Biol 53:347–357Google Scholar
  43. Price B, Kienast F, Seidl I, Ginzler C, Verburg PH, Bolliger J (2015) Future landscapes of Switzerland: risk areas for urbanisation and land abandonment. Appl Geogr 57:32–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rios SL, Bailey RC (2006) Relationship between riparian vegetation and stream benthic communities at three spatial scales. Hydrobiologia 553:153–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Rosseel Y (2012) lavaan: an R package for structural equation modeling. J Stat Softw 48:1–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Ryo M, Harvey E, Robinson CT, Altermatt F (2018) Nonlinear higher order abiotic interactions explain riverine biodiversity. J Biogeogr.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13164 Google Scholar
  47. Schmieder K (2004) European lake shores in danger- Concepts for a sustainable development. Limnologica 34:3–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Snyder CD, Young JA, Villella R, Lemarié DP (2003) Influences of upland and riparian land use patterns on stream biotic integrity. Landscape Ecol 18:647–664CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sponseller R, Benfield E, Valett M (2001) Relationships between land use, spatial scale and stream macroinvertebrate communities. Freshw Biol 46:1409–1424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Swan CM, Gluth MA, Horne CL (2009) Leaf litter species evenness influences nonadditive breakdown in a headwater stream. Ecology 90:1650–1658CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Swan CM, Palmer MA (2006) Preferential feeding by an aquatic consumer mediates non-additive decomposition of speciose leaf litter. Oecologia 149:107–114CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Sweeney BW, Newbold JD (2014) Streamside forest buffer width needed to protect stream water quality, habitat, and organisms: a literature review. J Am Water Resour Assoc 50:560–584CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Swisstopo (2003) DHM 25. 5704 000 000, reproduced by permission of swisstopo/JA100119, Bundesamt für Landestopographie (Art.30 Geo IV)Google Scholar
  54. Swisstopo (2007) Vector 25 Gewässernetz. 5704 000 000, reproduced by permission of swisstopo/JA100119, Bundesamt für Landestopographie (Art.30 Geo IV)Google Scholar
  55. Swisstopo (2010) Vector 25. 5704 000 000, reproduced by permission of swisstopo/JA100119, Bundesamt für Landestopographie (Art.30 Geo IV)Google Scholar
  56. Vannote RL, Minshall GW, Cummins KW, Sedell JR, Cushing CE (1980) The river continuum concept. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 37:130–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wallace JB, Eggert SL, Meyer JL, Webster JR (1997) Multiple trophic levels of a forest stream linked to terrestrial litter inputs. Science 277:102–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Webster JR, Covich A, Tank JL, Crockett TV (1994) Retention of coarse organic particles in Streams in the southern Appalachian mountains. J North Am Benthol Soc 13:140–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Webster JR, Golladay SW, Benfield EF, D’Angelo DJ, Peters GT (1990) Effects of forest disturbance on particulate organic matter budgets of small streams. J North Am Benthol Soc 9:120–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Whiting DP, Whiles MR, Stone ML (2011) Patterns of macroinvertebrate production, trophic structure, and energy flow along a tallgrass prairie stream continuum. Limnol Oceanogr 56:887–898CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wipfli MS, Musslewhite J (2004) Density of red alder (Alnus rubra) in headwaters influences invertebrate and detritus subsidies to downstream fish habitats in Alaska. Hydrobiologia 520:153–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Wipfli MS, Richardson JS, Naiman RJ (2007) Ecological linkages between headwaters and downstream ecosystems: transport of organic matter, invertebrates, and wood down headwater channels. J Am Water Resour Assoc 43:72–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Young RG, Huryn AD (1999) Effects of land use on stream metabolism and organic matter turnover. Ecol Appl 9:1359–1376CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aquatic EcologyEawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and TechnologyDübendorfSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental StudiesUniversity of ZürichZürichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations