EPA Science Inventory

Influence of catchment land cover on stoichiometry and stable isotope compositions of basal resources and macroinvertebrate consumers in headwater streams

Citation:

Milanovich, J., A. Berland, AND M. Hopton. Influence of catchment land cover on stoichiometry and stable isotope compositions of basal resources and macroinvertebrate consumers in headwater streams. JOURNAL OF FRESHWATER ECOLOGY. Oikos Publishers Incorporated, La Crosse, WI, 29(4):565-578, (2014).

Description:

Anthropogenic land use affects aquatic landscapes. For example, landscape-level conversion to urban or agricultural land can heavily influence nutrient cycles in headwater streams via increased nutrient loading and altered hydrologic patterns. Recent studies in headwater streams have found that the stoichiometry and stable isotope compositions of basal resources and consumers can vary as a result of landscape-level change. To this end, we examined the stoichiometry and stable isotope compositions (δ13C and δ15N) of headwater stream flora and fauna in 16 streams located within forested, agricultural, urban, and mixed (urban, forested, and agricultural) catchments. Our results suggest basal resource stoichiometry varied across streams, with leaf litter being the most variable basal resource. Macroinvertebrate consumers maintained stoichiometric homeostasis across stream groups, but consumer stoichiometry differed across families. Values of δ13C did not vary across stream groups for basal resources; however, consumer δ13C did. Although δ15N did not differ among basal resources across stream groups, macroinvertebrate consumer δ15N differed because of the interaction between stream group and family. Our results show catchment land cover did not predictably alter the stoichiometry or stable isotope compositions of basal resources or consumers in headwater streams. The quality of basal resources in headwater streams could differ across catchments with varying land cover, but it is evident that differences in stoichiometry of basal resources did not lead to differences in stoichiometry of consumers in our study. Given the variability of stable isotope compositions, additional effort should be made to improve our understanding of the landscape factors that might influence isotopic data.

Purpose/Objective:

We characterized the stable isotope compositions (13C and 15N) of headwater stream flora and fauna in streams located across green spaces with varying land use. In addition, we analyzed the differences of stable isotopes within taxa across streams, and examined what adjacent land use types predicted the natural abundances of stable isotopes.

URLs/Downloads:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02705060.2014.933450   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 07/01/2014
Completion Date: 07/01/2014
Record Last Revised: 09/07/2016
Record Created: 09/01/2016
Record Released: 09/01/2016
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 325970

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY DIVISION

SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENTS BRANCH