Including function in river condition assessment: organic carbon processes in upland catchments

Fiona Dyer, William Maher, Richard Norris

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contribution

    Abstract

    The need to include a whole-catchment perspective in river management and river condition assessment has been recognized for decades. Recently, the focus of river condition assessment has shifted from approaches using only structural components (e.g. water quality, biodiversity, etc.), to approaches that combine structural components with assessment of ecosystem processes. Here we introduce an innovative approach to investigate the relationship between land-­use and the condition of an upland river and its catchment. This holistic approach is based on organic carbon (Corg), the source of energy for biota, and uses a suite of ecosystem processes which reflect the direction of flow of Corg in the catchment. The flow of Corg in the catchment -­from vegetation through soil into the river can be quantified by measuring: 1, decomposition in soil and water as a measure of biological activity and nutrient cycling; 2, Corg­-leaching from soil and Corg-­transport in surface runoff as a measure of the soil's ability to retain resources and the delivery of essential resources from land to river; 3, riparian litter input to the river and periphyton production as a measure of Corg for heterotrophic aquatic biota; and 4, benthic respiration as a measure of Corg readily available for heterotrophic biota in the river. Preliminary data suggests that the differences between impaired and reference sites in Corg -­storage and processing within/between soil and streams may be able to be used to provide information about functional changes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th Australian Stream Management Conference, Managing for Extremes
    EditorsJ.R Grove, I.D Rutherford
    Place of PublicationCanberra
    PublisherThe River Basin Management Society
    Pages1-11
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Print)9780734047625
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    Event6th Australian Stream Management Conference, Managing for Extremes - Canberra, Canberra, Australia
    Duration: 6 Feb 20128 Feb 2012

    Conference

    Conference6th Australian Stream Management Conference, Managing for Extremes
    CountryAustralia
    CityCanberra
    Period6/02/128/02/12

    Fingerprint

    organic carbon
    catchment
    river
    biota
    structural component
    soil
    functional change
    river management
    ecosystem
    holistic approach
    periphyton
    resource
    nutrient cycling
    litter
    respiration
    leaching
    biodiversity
    decomposition
    runoff
    water quality

    Cite this

    Dyer, F., Maher, W., & Norris, R. (2012). Including function in river condition assessment: organic carbon processes in upland catchments. In J. R. Grove, & I. D. Rutherford (Eds.), Proceedings of the 6th Australian Stream Management Conference, Managing for Extremes (pp. 1-11). Canberra: The River Basin Management Society.
    Dyer, Fiona ; Maher, William ; Norris, Richard. / Including function in river condition assessment: organic carbon processes in upland catchments. Proceedings of the 6th Australian Stream Management Conference, Managing for Extremes. editor / J.R Grove ; I.D Rutherford. Canberra : The River Basin Management Society, 2012. pp. 1-11
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    title = "Including function in river condition assessment: organic carbon processes in upland catchments",
    abstract = "The need to include a whole-catchment perspective in river management and river condition assessment has been recognized for decades. Recently, the focus of river condition assessment has shifted from approaches using only structural components (e.g. water quality, biodiversity, etc.), to approaches that combine structural components with assessment of ecosystem processes. Here we introduce an innovative approach to investigate the relationship between land-{\^A}­use and the condition of an upland river and its catchment. This holistic approach is based on organic carbon (Corg), the source of energy for biota, and uses a suite of ecosystem processes which reflect the direction of flow of Corg in the catchment. The flow of Corg in the catchment -{\^A}­from vegetation through soil into the river can be quantified by measuring: 1, decomposition in soil and water as a measure of biological activity and nutrient cycling; 2, Corg{\^A}­-leaching from soil and Corg-{\^A}­transport in surface runoff as a measure of the soil's ability to retain resources and the delivery of essential resources from land to river; 3, riparian litter input to the river and periphyton production as a measure of Corg for heterotrophic aquatic biota; and 4, benthic respiration as a measure of Corg readily available for heterotrophic biota in the river. Preliminary data suggests that the differences between impaired and reference sites in Corg -{\^A}­storage and processing within/between soil and streams may be able to be used to provide information about functional changes.",
    keywords = "Organic carbon, ecosystem processes, catchment condition, upland river.",
    author = "Fiona Dyer and William Maher and Richard Norris",
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    Dyer, F, Maher, W & Norris, R 2012, Including function in river condition assessment: organic carbon processes in upland catchments. in JR Grove & ID Rutherford (eds), Proceedings of the 6th Australian Stream Management Conference, Managing for Extremes. The River Basin Management Society, Canberra, pp. 1-11, 6th Australian Stream Management Conference, Managing for Extremes, Canberra, Australia, 6/02/12.

    Including function in river condition assessment: organic carbon processes in upland catchments. / Dyer, Fiona; Maher, William; Norris, Richard.

    Proceedings of the 6th Australian Stream Management Conference, Managing for Extremes. ed. / J.R Grove; I.D Rutherford. Canberra : The River Basin Management Society, 2012. p. 1-11.

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contribution

    TY - GEN

    T1 - Including function in river condition assessment: organic carbon processes in upland catchments

    AU - Dyer, Fiona

    AU - Maher, William

    AU - Norris, Richard

    PY - 2012

    Y1 - 2012

    N2 - The need to include a whole-catchment perspective in river management and river condition assessment has been recognized for decades. Recently, the focus of river condition assessment has shifted from approaches using only structural components (e.g. water quality, biodiversity, etc.), to approaches that combine structural components with assessment of ecosystem processes. Here we introduce an innovative approach to investigate the relationship between land-­use and the condition of an upland river and its catchment. This holistic approach is based on organic carbon (Corg), the source of energy for biota, and uses a suite of ecosystem processes which reflect the direction of flow of Corg in the catchment. The flow of Corg in the catchment -­from vegetation through soil into the river can be quantified by measuring: 1, decomposition in soil and water as a measure of biological activity and nutrient cycling; 2, Corg­-leaching from soil and Corg-­transport in surface runoff as a measure of the soil's ability to retain resources and the delivery of essential resources from land to river; 3, riparian litter input to the river and periphyton production as a measure of Corg for heterotrophic aquatic biota; and 4, benthic respiration as a measure of Corg readily available for heterotrophic biota in the river. Preliminary data suggests that the differences between impaired and reference sites in Corg -­storage and processing within/between soil and streams may be able to be used to provide information about functional changes.

    AB - The need to include a whole-catchment perspective in river management and river condition assessment has been recognized for decades. Recently, the focus of river condition assessment has shifted from approaches using only structural components (e.g. water quality, biodiversity, etc.), to approaches that combine structural components with assessment of ecosystem processes. Here we introduce an innovative approach to investigate the relationship between land-­use and the condition of an upland river and its catchment. This holistic approach is based on organic carbon (Corg), the source of energy for biota, and uses a suite of ecosystem processes which reflect the direction of flow of Corg in the catchment. The flow of Corg in the catchment -­from vegetation through soil into the river can be quantified by measuring: 1, decomposition in soil and water as a measure of biological activity and nutrient cycling; 2, Corg­-leaching from soil and Corg-­transport in surface runoff as a measure of the soil's ability to retain resources and the delivery of essential resources from land to river; 3, riparian litter input to the river and periphyton production as a measure of Corg for heterotrophic aquatic biota; and 4, benthic respiration as a measure of Corg readily available for heterotrophic biota in the river. Preliminary data suggests that the differences between impaired and reference sites in Corg -­storage and processing within/between soil and streams may be able to be used to provide information about functional changes.

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    KW - ecosystem processes

    KW - catchment condition

    KW - upland river.

    M3 - Conference contribution

    SN - 9780734047625

    SP - 1

    EP - 11

    BT - Proceedings of the 6th Australian Stream Management Conference, Managing for Extremes

    A2 - Grove, J.R

    A2 - Rutherford, I.D

    PB - The River Basin Management Society

    CY - Canberra

    ER -

    Dyer F, Maher W, Norris R. Including function in river condition assessment: organic carbon processes in upland catchments. In Grove JR, Rutherford ID, editors, Proceedings of the 6th Australian Stream Management Conference, Managing for Extremes. Canberra: The River Basin Management Society. 2012. p. 1-11