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Particulate organic matter dynamics in ephemeral tributaries of a Central Appalachian stream
Fritz, K., G. Pond, AND B. Johnson. Particulate organic matter dynamics in ephemeral tributaries of a Central Appalachian stream. 2017 Society for Freshwater Science Annual Meeting, Raleigh, North Carolina, June 04 - 08, 2017.
The purpose of our study was to measure and examine relationships that describe the extent and timing of coarse particulate organic matter deposition and transport from ephemeral tributaries to a downstream perennial stream.
Headwater ephemeral tributaries are external interfaces between uplands and downstream waters. Terrestrial particulate organic matter (POM) is important in fueling aquatic ecosystems, however the extent to which ephemeral tributaries are functionally connected to downstream waters through fluvial transport of POM has been little studied. Hydrology, deposition of leaves and wood, and surrogate transport (Ginkgo leaves and dowels) were measured over month-long intervals through the winter and spring seasons (6 months) in 10 ephemeral tributaries (1.3 – 5.4 ha) in eastern Kentucky. Leaf deposition and surrogate transport varied over time, reflecting the seasonality of litterfall and runoff. Leaf deposition was higher in December than February and May but did not differ from January, March, and April. Mean percent of leaf transport from the ephemeral tributaries was highest in April (3.6% per day) and lowest in February (2.5%) and May (2%). Wood deposition and transport had similar patterns. No POM measures were related to flow duration. Ephemeral tributaries are functionally connected to downstream waters through POM storage and subsequent release that is timed when POM is often limited in downstream waters. The views expressed in this abstract are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/POSTER)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
SYSTEMS EXPOSURE DIVISION
ECOSYSTEM INTEGRITY BRANCH