A global analysis of terrestrial plant litter dynamics in non-perennial waterways

Datry Thibault, Foulquier Arnaud, Corti Roland, von Schiller Daniel, Tockner K., Mendoza-Lera C., Clément J.C., Gessner M.O., Moleón M., Stubbington R., Gücker B., Albariño R., Allen D.C., Altermatt Florian, Arce María Isabel, Arnon Shai, Banas Damien, Banegas-Medina Andy, Beller Erin, Blanchette Melanie L., Blanco-Libreros Juan F., Blessing Joanna J., Boëchat G., Boersma Kate S., Bogan Michael T., Bonada Núria, Bond Nick R., Brintrup Barría Kate C., Bruder Andreas, Burrows Ryan M., Cancellario Tommaso, Canhoto C., Carlson Stephanie M., Cauvy-Fraunié Sophie, Cid Núria, Danger Michael, de Freitas Terra Bianca, De Girolamo Anna Maria, de La Barra Evans, del Campo Ruben, Diaz-Villanueva V.D., Dyer Fiona, Elosegi Arturo, Faye Emile, et al.. 2018. A global analysis of terrestrial plant litter dynamics in non-perennial waterways. Nature Geoscience, 11 : pp. 497-503.

Journal article ; Article de recherche ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
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Abstract : Perennial rivers and streams make a disproportionate contribution to global carbon (C) cycling. However, the contribution of intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams (IRES), which sometimes cease to flow and can dry completely, is largely ignored although they represent over half the global river network. Substantial amounts of terrestrial plant litter (TPL) accumulate in dry riverbeds and, upon rewetting, this material can undergo rapid microbial processing. We present the results of a global research collaboration that collected and analysed TPL from 212 dry riverbeds across major environmental gradients and climate zones. We assessed litter decomposability by quantifying the litter carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and oxygen (O2) consumption in standardized assays and estimated the potential short-term CO2 emissions during rewetting events. Aridity, cover of riparian vegetation, channel width and dry-phase duration explained most variability in the quantity and decomposability of plant litter in IRES. Our estimates indicate that a single pulse of CO2 emission upon litter rewetting contributes up to 10% of the daily CO2 emission from perennial rivers and stream, particularly in temperate climates. This indicates that the contributions of IRES should be included in global C-cycling assessments.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Cycle du carbone, Litière végétale, Cours d'eau, Végétation ripicole, Changement climatique, Zone climatique

Mots-clés libres : Global change, River ecosystem functioning, CO2 emissions, Temporary rivers, Riparian vegetation, C cycle

Classification Agris : P40 - Meteorology and climatology
P10 - Water resources and management

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 6 (2014-2018) - Sociétés, natures et territoires

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Datry Thibault, IRSTEA (FRA) - auteur correspondant
  • Foulquier Arnaud, Université Grenoble Alpes (FRA)
  • Corti Roland, IRSTEA (FRA)
  • von Schiller Daniel, University of the Basque Country (ESP)
  • Tockner K., Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (DEU)
  • Mendoza-Lera C., IRSTEA (FRA)
  • Clément J.C., Université de Savoie (FRA)
  • Gessner M.O., Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (DEU)
  • Moleón M., University of Granada (ESP)
  • Stubbington R., University of Nottingham (GBR)
  • Gücker B., Federal University of São João Del-Rei (BRA)
  • Albariño R., INIBIOMA (ARG)
  • Allen D.C., University of Oklahoma (USA)
  • Altermatt Florian, University of Zurich (CHE)
  • Arce María Isabel, Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (DEU)
  • Arnon Shai, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (ISR)
  • Banas Damien, Université de Lorraine (FRA)
  • Banegas-Medina Andy, Universidad de Concepción (CHL)
  • Beller Erin, California State University (USA)
  • Blanchette Melanie L., Edith Cowan University (AUS)
  • Blanco-Libreros Juan F., Universidad de Antioquia (COL)
  • Blessing Joanna J., Queensland Government (AUS)
  • Boëchat G., Federal University of São João Del-Rei (BRA)
  • Boersma Kate S., San Diego State University (USA)
  • Bogan Michael T., University of Arizona (USA)
  • Bonada Núria, Universitat de Barcelona (ESP)
  • Bond Nick R., La Trobe University (AUS)
  • Brintrup Barría Kate C., Universidad de Concepción (CHL)
  • Bruder Andreas, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (CHE)
  • Burrows Ryan M., Griffith University (AUS)
  • Cancellario Tommaso, Universidad Pública de Navarra (ESP)
  • Canhoto C., University of Coimbra (PRT)
  • Carlson Stephanie M., California State University (USA)
  • Cauvy-Fraunié Sophie, IRSTEA (FRA)
  • Cid Núria, Universitat de Barcelona (ESP)
  • Danger Michael, Université de Lorraine (FRA)
  • de Freitas Terra Bianca, Universidade Estadual Vale do Acaraú (BRA)
  • De Girolamo Anna Maria, National Research Council (ITA)
  • de La Barra Evans, Universidad Mayor de San Simon (BOL)
  • del Campo Ruben, University of Murcia (ESP)
  • Diaz-Villanueva V.D., INIBIOMA (ARG)
  • Dyer Fiona, University of Canberra (AUS)
  • Elosegi Arturo, University of the Basque Country (ESP)
  • Faye Emile, CIRAD-PERSYST-UPR HortSys (SEN) ORCID: 0000-0001-7764-3256
  • et al.

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