Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Vladislav Gulis; Keller Suberkropp
    Date: 2003
    Source: Freshwater Biology. 48: 123-134
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (180 KB)


    1. Decomposition of red maple (Acer rubrum) and rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum) leaves and activity of associated microorganisms were compared in two reaches of a headwater stream in Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, NC, U.S.A. The downstream reach was enriched with ammonium, nitrate, and phosphate whereas the upstream reach was not altered.

    2. Decomposition rate, microbial respiration, fungal and bacterial biomass, and the sporulation rate of aquatic hyphomycetes associated with decomposing leaf material were significantly higher for both leaf types in the nutrient-enriched reach. Species richness and community structure of aquatic hyphomycetes also exhibited considerable changes with an increase in the number of fungal codominants in the nutrient-enriched reach.

    3. Fungal biomass was one to two orders of magnitude greater than bacterial biomass in both reaches. Changes in microbial respiration rate corresponded to those in fungal biomass and sporulation, suggesting a primary role of fungi in leaf decomposition.

    4. Nutrient enrichment increased microbial activity, the proportion of leaf carbon channelled through the microbial compartment and the decomposition rate of leaf litter.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • 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.


    Gulis, Vladislav; Suberkropp, Keller. 2003. Leaf litter decomposition and microbial activity in nutrient-enriched and unaltered reaches of a headwater stream. Freshwater Biology. 48: 123-134


    aquatic hypomycetes, bacteria, conidial production, fungal biomass, respiration

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page