A geomorphic approach for examining the role of periphyton in large watersheds
Geomorphic analysis of watersheds, when combined with biotic studies of specific ecosystem components, place these components in a proper ecosystem perspective. In undisturbed boreal forests of Quebec, Canada, annual periphyton production can be reliably predicted from stream order and extrapolated to the watershed level when combined with some simple geomorphic analyses. At the watershed scale periphyton contribute only 11 to 27% to total ecosystem metabolism, depending on the size of the watershed. The most metabolically active components are fine particulate organic matter (0.5 μm-1 mm) and mosses.
KeywordsSteam Respiration Gravel Macrophyte Detritus
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