Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (239 KB)

Title: Effects of seasonality and resource limitation on organic matter turnover by Chironomidae (Diptera) in southern Appalachian headwater streams

Author: Romito, Angela M; Eggert, Susan L; Diez, Jeffrey M; Wallace, J. B;

Date: 2010

Source: Limnology and Oceanography 55(3):1083-1092

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Despite their high abundance, secondary production, and known reliance on detrital material, the role of chironomids (Diptera) in fine particulate organic matter (FPOM) dynamics has not been well quantified. We conducted field trials using fluorescent pigment markers to estimate seasonal rates of consumption, annual secondary production, assimilation efficiency (AE), and FPOM turnover for non-Tanypodinae chironomids in two similar, southern Appalachian, headwater streams. An ecosystem-level experimental manipulation of detrital inputs in one study stream allowed for a unique assessment of turnover in reference, resource-limited, and resource-recovery systems. Seasonality had a significant effect on larval gut-passage time (GPT), with faster GPT at higher temperatures. Mean GPT ranged from 39 min (summer) to 67 min (winter). Mean annual FPOM turnover was reduced in the resource-limited stream (5.5 kg ash-free dry weight per year; 12% of mean annual FPOM export) compared to the reference stream (46 kg yr-1; 74% of mean export). Following 4 yr of resource recovery, FPOM turnover increased to 24 kg ash-free dry wt yr-1 (16% of export) but remained lower than levels measured in the reference stream (53 kg ash-free dry wt yr-1; 20% of export). Chironomid contribution to FPOM turnover was much higher in low vs. high discharge conditions (74% in low discharge vs. 20% in high discharge). Assimilation efficiency was estimated to be low in all systems (1.7–2.5%). Chironomids turned over a large portion of FPOM available to them, suggesting that turnover by the entire collector community in forested headwater systems may be much higher than expected.

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Romito, Angela M.; Eggert, Susan L.; Diez, Jeffrey M.; Wallace, J. Bruce. 2010. Effects of seasonality and resource limitation on organic matter turnover by Chironomidae (Diptera) in southern Appalachian headwater streams. Limnology and Oceanography 55(3):1083-1092.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.