Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Future increase in temperature more than decrease in litter quality can affect microbial litter decomposition in streams

Abstract : The predicted increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration for this century is expected to lead to increases in temperature and changes in litter quality that can affect small woodland streams, where water tempera- ture is usually low and allochthonous organic matter con- stitutes the basis of the food web. We have assessed the individual and interactive effect of water temperature (5 and 10°C) and alder litter quality produced under ambient CO2 levels (ambient litter) or under CO2 concentrations predicted for 2050 (elevated litter) on litter decomposition and on fungal activity and assemblage structure. Litter decomposition rates and fungal respiration rates were sig- nificantly faster at 10 than at 5°C, but they were not affected by litter quality. Litter quality affected mycelial biomass accrual at 5 but not at 10°C, while increases in temperature stimulated biomass accrual on ambient but not on elevated litter. A similar pattern was observed for conidial production. All variables were stimulated on ele- vated litter at 10°C (future scenario) compared with ambient litter at 5°C (present scenario), but interactions between temperature and litter quality were additive. Temperature was the factor that most strongly affected the structure of aquatic hyphomycete assemblages. Our results indicate that if future increases in atmospheric CO2 lead to only slight modifications in litter quality, the litter decomposition and fungal activities and community struc- ture will be strongly controlled by increased water tem- perature. This may have serious consequences for aquatic systems as faster litter decomposition may lead to food depletion for higher trophic levels.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [63 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : Open Archive Toulouse Archive Ouverte (oatao) <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 12:29:05 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 3:29:32 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, April 10, 2017 - 3:08:39 AM


Files produced by the author(s)




Veronica Ferreira, Eric Chauvet. Future increase in temperature more than decrease in litter quality can affect microbial litter decomposition in streams. Oecologia, Springer Verlag, 2011, vol. 167, pp. 279-291. ⟨10.1007/s00442-011-1976-2⟩. ⟨hal-00965516⟩



Record views


Files downloads