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    Lakes are connected to surrounding terrestrial habitats by reciprocal flows of energy and nutrients. We synthesize data from California’s mountain lake catchments to investigate how these reciprocal subsidies change along an elevational gradient and with the introduction of a top aquatic predator. At lower elevations, well-developed terrestrial vegetation provides relatively large inputs of organic material to lakes, whereas at higher elevations, the paucity of terrestrial vegetation provides minimal organic input but allows for higher inputs of inorganic nitrogen. There are also pronounced elevational patterns in amphibians and aquatic insects, which represent important vectors for resource flows from lakes back to land. The introduction of trout can reduce this lake-to-land resource transfer, as trout consume amphibians and aquatic insects. We propose a conceptual model in which within-lake processes influence terrestrial consumers at higher elevations, while terrestrial inputs govern within-lake processes at lower elevations. This model contributes to a more general understanding of the connections between aquatic and terrestrial habitats in complex landscapes.

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    Piovia-Scott, Jonah; Sadro, Steven; Knapp, Roland A.; Sickman, James; Pope, Karen L.; Chandra, Sudeep. 2016. Variation in reciprocal subsidies between lakes and land: perspectives from the mountains of California. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 73(11): 1691-1701.


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    Sierra Nevada, Klamath Mountains, aquatic-terrestrial linkages, nutrient transport, elevation

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