Winter vertebrate browsing of birch: effects on the use of leaf litter leachates by stream microorganisms
|Estensen, Jeffrey L.
|Thesis (M.S.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2001
|Winter browsing of birch leads to chemical changes in leaves of the following growing season, potentially generating differences in the quality of leachates derived from leaf litter and in leachate use by stream microorganisms. The effects of moose browsing were tested on leachates from leaves collected from browsed and unbrowsed trees and inoculated with microbial communities. Respiration and bacterial abundance were used to assess qualitative differences in leachates. Microbes cultured in leachates derived from leaves of browsed trees had significantly higher rates of oxygen uptake. There were no significant differences in bacterial abundance between treatments. The basis for the qualitative difference in leachates is likely due to an 89% greater concentration of amino acides in leachates derived from leaves of previously browsed trees. This study provides evidence that winter herbivory of birch can influence the use of leaf leachates by stream microbes, demonstrating coupling between riparian zones and stream ecosystems.
|Winter vertebrate browsing of birch: effects on the use of leaf litter leachates by stream microorganisms
|Department of Biology and Wildlife
Files in this item
This item appears in the following Collection(s)
Includes WIldlife Biology and other Biological Sciences. For Marine Biology see the Marine Sciences collection.