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The effects of shredding invertebrates on the transfer of organic carbon from littoral leaf litter to water-column bacteria
Bohman, I.M.; Tranvik, L.J. (2001). The effects of shredding invertebrates on the transfer of organic carbon from littoral leaf litter to water-column bacteria. Aquat. Ecol. 35(1): 43-50
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Degradation; Dissolved organic carbon; Invertebrates; Invertebrates; Invertebrates; Leaf litter; Bacteria [WoRMS]

Authors  Top 
  • Bohman, I.M.
  • Tranvik, L.J.

    Leaf litter can be of great importance for the productivity of small oligotrophic lakes surrounded by deciduous forests. Feeding invertebrate shredders produce particulate organic leftovers, but their feeding also enhances the release of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). We tested whether invertebrate-mediated DOC release affects the production of heterotrophic water-column bacteria. Submersed leaves were incubated in microcosms with and without shredders; and DOC, absorbance, bacterial abundance and bacterial production in the water column were monitored. We also measured dry weight of the organic particles (FPOC, fine particulate organic carbon, leaf residues and shredders). Total leaf-litter carbon decreased by nearly 80% in the presence of shredders, and on average 56% of the initial leaf carbon ended up as FPOC after 126 days of incubation. Without shredders FPOC production was almost zero, and 72% of the added leaf carbon could be retrieved as leaves when the experiment ended. Both these figures include the rapid release of DOC during the first week of leaf incubation in the lake water (equivalent to 16-19% of total added leaf carbon). Although bacterial production in the water was several times higher in treatments with shredders, bacterial consumption of leaf-derived DOC from shredding was obviously of minor importance in the total carbon budget. This result suggests, although shredders have a strong impact on transformation of leaves to FPOC, they do not greatly enhance the initial rate of mineralization of the leaf-derived detritus.

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