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Effects on periphyton and macroinvertebrates from removal of submerged wood in three Ontario lakes

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We removed 40%–70% of nearshore wood habitat from three lakes to test the link between habitat and productive capacity, specifically focusing on the provision of substrate for periphyton and invertebrate production by submerged wood. Our objectives were fourfold: (i) to calculate the total amount of invertebrate and periphyton biomass removed with the wood; (ii) to explore wood's value as habitat for invertebrates and periphyton; (iii) to determine the response within residual epixylic periphyton and invertebrate biomass; and (iv) to assess interactions between periphyton and invertebrates and other factors that may influence wood's productivity. Invertebrate biomass was greater on wood than in sediment, but the total available sediment area exceeded that of wood, thus a relatively small proportion of overall productivity was lost. Highly decayed wood supported greater chlorophyll a concentrations and more invertebrate biomass and diversity than fresh wood. The removal had no measurable effect on whole-lake water chemistry, nor did it result in a response in residual epixylic periphyton and invertebrate biomass. We conclude that we permanently reduced a dynamic and concentrated biomass of primary and secondary productivity in lakes by removing submerged wood habitat.

Nous avons retiré 40%–70% de l'habitat de bois près des rives de trois lacs afin de tester le lien entre cet habitat et la capacité de production, plus particulièrement la fourniture par le bois submergé d'un substrat pour la production du périphyton et des invertébrés. Nous avons quatre objectifs: (i) calculer la quantité totale de biomasse d'invertébrés et de périphyton retirée avec le bois; (ii) déterminer la valeur du bois comme habitat pour les invertébrés et le périphyton; (iii) connaître la réaction de la biomasse résiduelle de périphyton et d'invertébrés sur le bois et (iv) mesurer les interactions entre le périphyton et les invertébrés, ainsi que les autres facteurs susceptibles d'influencer la productivité du bois. La biomasse d'invertébrés est plus importante sur le bois que sur les sédiments; cependant, comme la surface totale de sédiments disponible est plus grande que celle du bois, une partie relativement petite de la productivité globale est perdue. Le bois très décomposé supporte une concentration de chlorophylle a, ainsi qu'une biomasse, une diversité et une richesse d'invertébrés plus élevées que le bois frais. Le retrait du bois reste sans effet mesurable sur la chimie de la masse d'eau totale du lac et il ne provoque pas de réaction dans la biomasse résiduelle de périphyton et d'invertébrés. En conclusion, le retrait dhabitat de bois submergé réduit de façon permanente une biomasse dynamique et localisée de productivité primaire et secondaire dans les lacs.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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