Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Composition and dynamics of allochthonous organic matter inputs and benthic stock in a Brazilian stream

Juliana Silva França A , Rener Silva Gregório A , Joana D’Arc de Paula B , José Francisco Gonçalves Júnior A D , Fernando Alves Ferreira C and Marcos Callisto A E
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Departamento de Biologia Geral, Laboratório de Ecologia de Bentos, CP. 486, CEP. 30.970-201, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.

B Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Departamento de Ecologia, Av. André Araújo, 2936, Aleixo, CEP. 69.060-001, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil.

C Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Núcleo de Pesquisas em Limnologia, Ictiologia e Aqüicultura, Laboratório de Limnologia e Macrófitas Aquáticas, Av. Colombo, 5790/Bloco H-90, CEP. 87.020-900, Maringá, PR, Brazil.

D Present address. Laboratório de Limnologia, Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade de Brasília, 70.910-900, Brasília, DF, Brazil. Email: jfjunior@unb.br

E Corresponding author. Email: callistom@ufmg.br

Marine and Freshwater Research 60(10) 990-998 https://doi.org/10.1071/MF08247
Submitted: 28 August 2008  Accepted: 14 April 2009   Published: 20 October 2009

Abstract

Riparian vegetation provides the nutrient and energy input that maintains the metabolism and biodiversity in tropical headwater streams. In the present study, it was hypothesised that ~30% of riparian plant species contribute over 70% of coarse particulate organic matter and, because tropical plants are perennial and semi-deciduous, it was expected that leaf fall would occur year round. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the composition and structure of the plant riparian zone and the input and associated benthic stock of organic matter. The riparian vegetation was composed of 99 taxa. The most abundant plant species were Tapirira obtusa, Sclerolobium rugosum, Croton urucurana, Byrsonima sp. and Inga sp. The input and benthic stock showed a seasonal pattern, with higher values recorded at the end of the dry season and at the beginning of tropical storms. The biomass contributed monthly by the vegetation ranged from 28 ± 6 g m–2 to 38 ± 11 g m–2, and the mean monthly benthic standing stock was 138 ± 57 g m–2. The results illustrate the importance of riparian vegetation as an energy source to tropical streams and how individual plant species contribute to organic matter inputs in these ecosystems.

Additional keywords: biodiversity, Cerrado, productivity, rainforest, riparian zone.


Acknowledgements

We thank our colleagues at the Laboratório de Ecologia de Bentos/UFMG for field and laboratory assistance, and Mr Diego Rodrigues Macedo for preparing the map of the study area. We are especially grateful to Mr Leotacílio da Fonseca, a member of the staff of the Estação Ambiental de Peti/Companhia Energética de Minas Gerais (CEMIG), for providing invaluable assistance, logistical support and permission to collect our plant material. This study was funded by grants from the CEMIG, with additional funding from the Conselho Nacional de Pesquisas e Desenvolvimento, Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior. Comments provided by two anonymous reviewers and the Editor, Andrew Boulton, were very helpful in improving the manuscript.


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