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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME - Vol. 66 No. 1 - Feature article
Top: Autumnal leaves shed in a temperate stream. Bottom (right): Mycelium, conidiophores and conidia of aquatic hyphomycetes (mostly of Tetrachaetum elegans) developed on a leaf blade. Bottom (left): Conidia from the species used: (a) Articulospora tetracladia, (b) Clavariopsis aquatica, (c) Lemonniera terrestris, (d) Tetrachaetum elegans, (e) Tetracladium marchalianum, (f) Tricladium chaetocladium. Photos: E. Chauvet and V. Ferreira

Ferreira V, Chauvet E


Changes in dominance among species in aquatic hyphomycete assemblages do not affect litter decomposition rates


Changes in community dominance are expected as an early outcome of the anthropogenic induced stresses that threaten freshwaters worldwide. These changes in community structure might impair ecosystem processes. The authors used laboratory microcosms to investigate the effect of changes in the identity of the dominant species in aquatic fungal assemblages on a key ecosystem process, i.e. litter decomposition. Manipulation of the identity of the dominant species in assemblages of aquatic hyphomycetes did not affect the rate at which litter was decomposed, indicating that assemblages even composed of a low number of species have the capacity to buffer changes in processes due to changes in species dominance.


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