Caister Academic Press

Ecosystem Metabolism in River Networks and Climate Change

Vicenç Acuña, Anna Freixa, Rafael Marcé and Xisca Timoner
from: Climate Change and Microbial Ecology: Current Research and Future Trends (Second Edition) (Edited by: Jürgen Marxsen). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2020) Pages: 451-482.


Primary production and ecosystem respiration are key processes for turnover of organic carbon, inorganic substances, and energy in river networks. Ecosystem respiration is commonly the dominant process because of the fueling by organic carbon from terrestrial origin. In fact, the mineralization of organic carbon within river networks shapes to a large extent the regional and global carbon balances, and will be highly sensitive to change owing to major increases in the extent of the non-flowing periods as well as in flood frequency and magnitude. Existing evidence points out that these alterations in the flow regime might increase organic carbon export rates, whereas temperature alterations will increase mineralization of organic carbon. The specific roles of lotic and lentic water bodies within river networks might also change, as the lakes and reservoirs might increase their roles in the carbon balance and partly counteract the effects of flow extremes on organic carbon export rates read more ...
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