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

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • T. Datry, UPMC, Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD), Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle (MNHN), Sorbonne Universite, DMPA, UMR BOREA CNRS 7208, MNHN,IRD 207
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  • A. Foulquier, Univ Grenoble Alpes, Communaute Universite Grenoble Alpes, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Universite Grenoble Alpes (UGA), Universite de Savoie, Lab Ecol Alpine LECA, UMR CNRS UGA USMB
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  • R. Corti, IRSTEA, Irstea, UR RiverLy, Ctr Lyon Villeurbanne
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  • D. von Schiller, Univ Basque Country, University of Basque Country, Fac Sci & Technol, Dept Plant Biol & Ecol, UPV EHU
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  • K. Tockner, Free University of Berlin
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  • C. Mendoza-Lera, IRSTEA, Irstea, UR RiverLy, Ctr Lyon Villeurbanne
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  • J. C. Clement, Univ Savoie Mt Blanc, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Universite de Savoie, INRA, CARRTEL
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  • M. O. Gessner, Technical University of Berlin
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  • M. Moleon, University of Granada
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  • R. Stubbington, Nottingham Trent Univ, Nottingham Trent University, Sch Sci & Technol
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  • B. Gucker, Univ Fed Sao Joao del Rei, Universidade Federal de Sao Joao del-Rei, Dept Geosci
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  • R. Albarino, INIBIOMA UNCOMAHUE CONICET, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET), Lab Fotobiol
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  • D. C. Allen, Univ Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma - Norman, University of Oklahoma System, Dept Biol, Program Ecol & Evolutionary Biol
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  • F. Altermatt, University of Zurich
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  • M. Arce, Leibniz Inst Freshwater Ecol & Inland Fisheries, Leibniz Institut fur Gewasserokologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB), Dept Ecosyst Res
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  • S. Arnon, Ben Gurion Univ Negev, Ben Gurion University, Zuckerberg Inst Water Res, Jacob Blaustein Inst Desert Res
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  • D. Banas, Univ Lorraine UR AFPA
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  • A. Banegas-Medina, Univ Concepcion, Universidad de Concepcion, CHRIAM Ctr
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  • E. Beller, University of California at Berkeley
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  • M. L. Blanchette, Edith Cowan University
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  • J. F. Blanco-Libreros, Universidad de Antioquia
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  • J. J. Blessing, Queensland Govt, Dept Environm & Sci
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  • I. G. Boechat, Univ Fed Sao Joao del Rei, Universidade Federal de Sao Joao del-Rei, Dept Geosci
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  • K. S. Boersma, San Diego State Univ, California State University System, San Diego State University, Dept Biol
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  • M. T. Bogan, Univ Arizona, University of Arizona, Sch Nat Resources & Environm
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  • N. Bonada, Univ Barcelona, University of Barcelona, Inst Recerca Biodiversitat IRBio, Dept Biol Evolut Ecol & Ciencies Ambientals, Grp Recerca Freshwater Ecol & Management FEM
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  • N. R. Bond, La Trobe University
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  • K. C. Brintrup Barria, Univ Concepcion, Universidad de Concepcion, CHRIAM Ctr
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  • A. Bruder, Univ Appl Sci & Arts Southern Switzerland, Inst Earth Sci
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  • R. M. Burrows, Griffith Univ, Griffith University, Australian Rivers Inst
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  • T. Cancellario, Univ Navarra, University of Navarra, Sch Sci, Dept Environm Biol
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  • C. Canhoto, Univ Coimbra, Universidade de Coimbra, Dept Life Sci, Ctr Funct Ecol
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  • S. M. Carlson, University of California at Berkeley
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  • S. Cauvy-Fraunie, IRSTEA, Irstea, UR RiverLy, Ctr Lyon Villeurbanne
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  • N. Cid, Univ Barcelona, University of Barcelona, Inst Recerca Biodiversitat IRBio, Dept Biol Evolut Ecol & Ciencies Ambientals, Grp Recerca Freshwater Ecol & Management FEM
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  • M. Danger, Univ Lorraine, Universite de Lorraine, LIEC, UMR CNRS 7960
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  • Bianca de Freitas Terra, Univ Estadual Vale Acarau, Universidade Estadual Vale do Acarau, Ctr Ciencias Agr & Biol
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  • A. M. De Girolamo, CNR, Istituto di Ricerca sulle Acque (IRSA-CNR), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Water Res Inst IRSA CNR
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  • Evans de La Barra, Univ Mayor San Simon, ULRA
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  • R. del Campo, University of Murcia
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  • V. D. Diaz-Villanueva, INIBIOMA UNCOMAHUE CONICET, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET), Lab Fotobiol
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  • F. Dyer, Univ Canberra, University of Canberra, Inst Appl Ecol
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  • A. Elosegi, Univ Basque Country, University of Basque Country, Fac Sci & Technol, Dept Plant Biol & Ecol, UPV EHU
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  • E. Faye, CIRAD, UPR HortSys, 34398 Montpellier, France
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  • C. Febria, Univ Canterbury, University of Canterbury, Sch Biol Sci
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  • B. Four, INRA, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), UAR DEPT EFPA 1275, Ctr Rech Nancy
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  • S. Gafny, Ruppin Acad Ctr, Sch Marine Sci
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  • S. D. Ghate, Mangalore Univ, Mangalore University, Dept Biosci
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  • R. Gomez, University of Murcia
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  • L. Gomez-Gener, Umea Univ, Umea University, CIRC, Dept Ecol & Environm Sci
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  • M. A. S. Graca, Univ Coimbra, Universidade de Coimbra, MARE Marine & Environm Sci Ctr, Dept Life Sci
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  • S. Guareschi, University of Murcia
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  • F. Hoppeler, Senckenberg Biodivers & Climate Res Ctr BiK F, Senckenberg Gesellschaft fur Naturforschung (SGN)
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  • J. L. Hwan, University of California at Berkeley
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  • J. Jones, Queen Mary Univ London, University of London, Queen Mary University London, Sch Biol & Chem Sci
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  • S. Kubheka, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
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  • A. Laini, University of Parma
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  • S. D. Langhans, Leibniz Inst Freshwater Ecol & Inland Fisheries, Leibniz Institut fur Gewasserokologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB), Dept Ecosyst Res
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  • C. Leigh, Griffith Univ, Griffith University, Australian Rivers Inst
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  • C. J. Little, Eawag Swiss Fed Inst Aquat Sci & Technol, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science & Technology (EAWAG), Dept Aquat Ecol
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  • S. Lorenz, Julius Kuehn Inst, Inst Ecol Chem Plant Anal & Stored Prod Protect
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  • J. C. Marshall, Queensland Govt, Dept Environm & Sci
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  • E. Martin, Eawag Swiss Fed Inst Aquat Sci & Technol, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science & Technology (EAWAG), Dept Aquat Ecol
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  • A. R. McIntosh, Univ Canterbury, University of Canterbury, Sch Biol Sci
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  • E. Meyer
  • M. Milisa, University of Zagreb
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  • M. C. Mlambo, Albany Museum, Rhodes University, Dept Freshwater Invertebrates
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  • M. Morais, Univ Evora, University of Evora, Dept Biol
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  • N. Moya, Univ Mayor Real & Pontificia San Francisco Xavier
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  • P. M. Negus, Queensland Govt, Dept Environm & Sci
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  • D. K. Niyogi, Missouri Univ Sci & Technol, Missouri University of Science & Technology, University of Missouri System
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  • A. Papatheodoulou, Terra Cypria
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  • Bruno Pardo, University of Vigo
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  • P. Paril, Masaryk University
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  • S. U. Pauls, Senckenberg Biodivers & Climate Res Ctr BiK F, Senckenberg Gesellschaft fur Naturforschung (SGN)
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  • Pesic, Univ Montenegro, Dept Biol
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  • M. Polasek, Masaryk University
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  • C. T. Robinson, Eawag Swiss Fed Inst Aquat Sci & Technol, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science & Technology (EAWAG), Dept Aquat Ecol
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  • P. Rodriguez-Lozano, University of California at Berkeley
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  • R. J. Rolls, Univ Canberra, University of Canberra, Inst Appl Ecol
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  • M. M. Sanchez-Montoya, University of Murcia
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  • A. Savic, University of Nis
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  • O. Shumilova, Leibniz Inst Freshwater Ecol & Inland Fisheries, Leibniz Institut fur Gewasserokologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB), Dept Ecosyst Res
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  • K. R. Sridhar, Mangalore Univ, Mangalore University, Dept Biosci
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  • A. L. Steward, Queensland Govt, Dept Environm & Sci
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  • R. Storey, Natl Inst Water & Atmospher Res, National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) - New Zealand
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  • A. Taleb, Univ Tlemcen, Universite Abou Bekr Belkaid, Lab Ecol & Gest Ecosyst Nat LECGEN
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  • A. Uzan, Israel Nat & Pk Author
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  • Ross Vander Vorste, Virginia Polytech Inst & State Univ, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Dept Fish & Wildlife Conservat
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  • N. J. Waltham, James Cook Univ, James Cook University, Ctr Trop Water & Aquat Ecosyst Res TropWATER, Freshwater Ecol Res Grp, Coll Sci & Engn
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  • C. Woelfle-Erskine, University of California at Berkeley
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  • D. Zak
  • C. Zarfl, Aarhus University
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  • A. Zoppini, CNR, Istituto di Ricerca sulle Acque (IRSA-CNR), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Water Res Inst IRSA CNR

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 (O-2) 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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Geoscience
Volume11
Issue7
Pages (from-to)497-+
Number of pages9
ISSN1752-0894
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

    Research areas

  • CARBON-DIOXIDE EMISSIONS, CLIMATE-CHANGE, DECOMPOSITION, STREAMS, ECOSYSTEMS, ECOLOGY, MATTER, RIVERS, SEQUESTRATION, PATTERNS

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