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Title: The role of floods in particulate organic matter dynamics of a southern Appalachian river-floodplain ecosystem

Author: Neatrour, Mattew A.; Webster, Jackson R.; Benfield, Ernest F.;

Date: 2004

Source: J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc., 23(2): 198-213

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: We investigated the etfect of a flood on particulate organic matter (POM) dynamics in the floodplain and active channel of the Little Tennessee River In western North Carolina We measured litterfall, leaf breakdown, and floodplain litter (before and after the flood) at 12 sites Annual litterfall (256-562 g m-2 y-1 ) was typical of a temperate deciduous torest but lower than lowland floodplain forests In the eastern US Leaf breakdown rates of 4 tree species (Acer rubrum, Carpinus caroliniana, Juglans nigra, and Plantaus occidentalis) ranged from 0 001 to 0 010/d We separated the 12 sites into 2 groups (inundated and non-inundated) based on the degree of flooding after a flood on 8 January 1998 and determined POM exchange between the active channel and floodplain. Significant transport of leaves from the floodplain to the river occurred at inundated sites, but transport of herbaceous or woody material did not Occur. The flood Increased leaf breakdown rates of all 4 tree species. Our measurements of littterfall, leaf breakdown, and floodplain litter standing crop suggest that leaves entrained from the floodplain of Little Tennessee River during floods are a source of POM to the actlve channel However, flood Input of leaves to the river were a small source of POM compared to direct leaffall.

Keywords: organic matter dynamics, litterfall, leaf breakdown, particulate organic matter, river, floodplain

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Neatrour, Mattew A.; Webster, Jackson R.; Benfield, Ernest F. 2004. The role of floods in particulate organic matter dynamics of a southern Appalachian river-floodplain ecosystem. J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc., 23(2): 198-213

 


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