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): Kaitlin J. Farrell; Amy D. Rosemond; John S. Kominoski; Sophia M. Bonjour; Janine Rüegg; Lauren E. Koenig; Christina L. Baker; Matt T. Trentman; Tamara K. Harms; William H. McDowell
    Date: 2018
    Source: Ecosystems
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)

    Description

    Stoichiometric ratios of resources and consumers have been used to predict nutrient limitation across diverse terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In forested headwater streams, coarse and fine benthic organic matter (CBOM, FBOM) are primary basal resources for the food web, and the distribution and quality of these organic matter resources may therefore influence patterns of secondary production and nutrient cycling within stream networks or among biomes. We measured carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) content of CBOM and FBOM and calculated their stoichiometric ratios (C/N, C/P, N/P) from first- to fourth-order streams from tropical montane, temperate deciduous, and boreal forests, and tallgrass prairie, to compare the magnitude and variability of these resource types among biomes. We then used the ratios to predict nutritional limitations for consumers of each resource type. Across biomes, CBOM had consistently higher %C and %N, and higher and more variable C/N and C/P than FBOM, suggesting that microbial processing results in more tightly constrained elemental composition in FBOM than in CBOM. Biome-specific differences were observed in %P and N/P between the two resource pools; CBOM was lower in %P but higher in N/P than FBOM in the tropical montane and temperate deciduous forest biomes, while CBOM was higher in %P but similar in N/P than FBOM in the grassland and boreal forest biomes. Stable 13C isotopes suggest that FBOM likely derives from CBOM in tropical and temperate deciduous forest, but that additional non-detrital components may contribute to FBOM in boreal forests and grasslands. Comparisons of stoichiometric ratios of CBOM and FBOM to estimated needs of aquatic detritivores suggest that shredders feeding on CBOM are more likely to experience nutrient (N and/or P) than C limitation, whereas collector–gatherers consuming FBOM are more likely to experience C than N and/or P limitation. Our results suggest that differences in basal resource elemental content and stoichiometric ratios have the potential to affect consumer production and ecosystem rates of C, N, and P cycling in relatively consistent ways across diverse biomes.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to pubrequest@fs.fed.us 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.

    Citation

    Farrell, Kaitlin J.; Rosemond, Amy D.; Kominoski, John S.; Bonjour, Sophia M.; Rüegg, Janine; Koenig, Lauren E.; Baker, Christina L.; Trentman, Matt T.; Harms, Tamara K.; McDowell, William H. 2018. Variation in Detrital Resource Stoichiometry Signals Differential Carbon to Nutrient Limitation for Stream Consumers Across Biomes. Ecosystems. 21(8): 1676-1691. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10021-018-0247-z.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Keywords

    Nitrogen, phosphorus, benthic organic matter, elemental ratios, macroinvertebrate, lotic aquatic ecosystem, threshold elemental ratio

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/57773