Browsing All Posts filed under »nutrients«

Herbivory is important in freshwater systems

March 27, 2017


Until the 1990s it was believed that, in the main, freshwater and marine plants were connected to aquatic food webs only indirectly, through the breakdown of decaying vegetation by decomposers. However, over the last two decades there’s been a growing realisation that the activities of aquatic herbivores in consuming plants and channeling the derived nutrients […]

Unravelling trends in stream nitrogen

March 27, 2017


Oxides of nitrogen derived from agriculture, industry and emissions from the burning of fossil fuels fall out from the atmosphere and enter terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Over the last century the deposition of reactive nitrogen has increased three to five times, and this is reflected in a general global increase in stream nitrogen concentrations. However, at […]

Low biodiversity in productive lakes

December 13, 2016

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The over-supply of nutrients to lakes (through pollution, for example) stimulates the growth of plant plankton, which blocks light from reaching bottom-dwelling algae and higher plants. Therefore, nutrient excess has the potential to reduce habitat diversity and the associated biodiversity of animal plankton, macroinvertebrates and fish. An international team of biologists looked at the relationship […]

Remote surveillance: assessing water quality

June 1, 2016

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Remote sensing technology gives natural resource managers and landowners the ability to monitor environmental conditions in new and powerful ways. However, the remote assessment of water quality in lakes and ponds is complicated by wide variations in the inorganic and organic composition of suspended particles, which affect the optical environment, and the moderate- and medium-resolution […]

Counter-productive perspectives

March 23, 2016

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A central aim of freshwater research is to understand the processes that regulate biological productivity. However, while lake-based investigations have focussed heavily on controls on primary production, river-based researchers have tended to concentrate more on production limits imposed by physical habitat requirements. If lake and river researchers think about production in different ways, and concentrate […]

Constructed wetlands can boost functional diversity

March 23, 2016

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The success of freshwater restoration projects has typically been assessed by reference to structural ecosystem features, such as water quality and species diversity. To date, indicators of ecosystem function have seldom been used for restoration assessment, but this situation is likely to change with the growing recognition that ecosystem processes are reflected in the biological […]

Are wide aquatic moss distributions helped by flexible nutrient use?

December 18, 2015

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In headwater streams, mosses and liverworts (bryophytes) are often the dominant and most productive plant forms, and they provide shelter and feeding sites for small invertebrates. However, despite their ecological significance, stream bryophytes haven’t received much attention in the research literature. To investigate how ecological variables affect bryophyte distributions and diversity, 20 m stretches of […]