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Resource use by macroinvertebrates within boreal stream food webs
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Stream food webs are supported by carbon produced within the stream (autochthonous) and from terrestrial environments (allochthonous). Allochthonous carbon (C) inputs are assumed to be the dominant C source supporting food webs within small streams, but few direct estimates of resource use in small streams have been made, especially in boreal streams. The objective of this study was to determine the relative dependence on allochthonous and autochthonous C by consumers in relation to C pools within streams with high terrestrial inputs. Furthermore, this study aimed to investigate if the relative resource use of allochthonous and autochthonous C by consumers differed among seasons (summer and fall), between streams of different sizes, and locations within the catchment. To estimate consumer resource use, δ2H signatures for organic C sources were compared to those of six key consumers in five streams of varying catchment sizes in northern Sweden. Macroinvertebrate biomass was quantified to calculate a taxa-specific biomass-weighted allochthony, and compared with the mass of different C pools potentially available for consumers. The biomass-weighted mean allochthony for all samplings ranged between 43.5-61.5%; there was thus high autochthonous support despite low algal density and high terrestrial C pools within the streams. No significant trend in allochthony was observed over season (linear regression, p-value >0.05). Allochthony differed by invertebrate taxa and was not related to stream size or location in catchment. These results suggest that autochthonous C is far more important for consumers in boreal streams than previously recognized. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 20 p.
Keyword [en]
Allochthonous; Autochthonous; Food webs; Boreal; Streams; Deuterium; Carbon
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-105593OAI: diva2:826849
Educational program
Master's Programme in Ecology
2015-06-05, 08:12 (English)
Available from: 2016-07-02 Created: 2015-06-25 Last updated: 2015-07-02Bibliographically approved

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