Tracing carbon sources in small urbanising streams: catchment-scale stormwater drainage overwhelms the effects of reach-scale riparian vegetation

Samantha Imberger, Perran Cook, Michael Grace, Ross THOMPSON

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    16 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    1. Organic matter provides energy and nutrients to aquatic systems. Alterations to its sources and processing have repercussions for water quality and food-web stability and structure. Despite worldwide recognition of the impacts of urbanisation, there is limited understanding of the relative importance of catchment-scale urban stormwater drainage connection and reach-scale riparian vegetation on organic matter sources. 2. We investigated the effects of catchment-scale urban stormwater drainage connection and reachscale riparian vegetation cover on organic matter sources in small streams. Using stable isotopes and elemental ratios (i.e. d13C, d15N and C : N), we traced the origin of microbially respired carbon and standing stocks of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), suspended particulate organic matter (POM) and benthic coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM). 3. Catchment-scale urban stormwater drainage connection significantly increased the contribution of labile organic matter to POM and DOC standing stocks. Greater POM lability was a product of increased inputs of autochthonous organic matter in more heavily urbanised streams, although the origin of labile DOC was less clear. 4. While reach-scale riparian vegetation was the most likely source of the terrestrially dominated CPOM observed across most sites, increasing cover had no significant effect on the origin of POM or DOC standing stocks. We conclude that catchment-scale stormwater drainage impacts overwhelm the effects of reach-scale riparian vegetation on the sources and lability of POM and DOC in small streams. 5. Our results suggest that the protection or restoration of riparian vegetation, in the absence of modifications to catchment-scale stormwater drainage connection, is insufficient to mitigate the effects of urbanisation on organic matter sources, lability and processing in these small streams.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)168-186
    Number of pages19
    JournalFreshwater Biology
    Volume59
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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    stormwater
    riparian vegetation
    particulate organic matter
    drainage
    dissolved organic carbon
    catchment
    soil organic matter
    vegetation
    carbon
    organic matter
    urbanization
    biomass
    effect
    vegetation cover
    stable isotopes
    food webs
    food web
    stable isotope
    water quality
    nutrient

    Cite this

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    title = "Tracing carbon sources in small urbanising streams: catchment-scale stormwater drainage overwhelms the effects of reach-scale riparian vegetation",
    abstract = "1. Organic matter provides energy and nutrients to aquatic systems. Alterations to its sources and processing have repercussions for water quality and food-web stability and structure. Despite worldwide recognition of the impacts of urbanisation, there is limited understanding of the relative importance of catchment-scale urban stormwater drainage connection and reach-scale riparian vegetation on organic matter sources. 2. We investigated the effects of catchment-scale urban stormwater drainage connection and reachscale riparian vegetation cover on organic matter sources in small streams. Using stable isotopes and elemental ratios (i.e. d13C, d15N and C : N), we traced the origin of microbially respired carbon and standing stocks of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), suspended particulate organic matter (POM) and benthic coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM). 3. Catchment-scale urban stormwater drainage connection significantly increased the contribution of labile organic matter to POM and DOC standing stocks. Greater POM lability was a product of increased inputs of autochthonous organic matter in more heavily urbanised streams, although the origin of labile DOC was less clear. 4. While reach-scale riparian vegetation was the most likely source of the terrestrially dominated CPOM observed across most sites, increasing cover had no significant effect on the origin of POM or DOC standing stocks. We conclude that catchment-scale stormwater drainage impacts overwhelm the effects of reach-scale riparian vegetation on the sources and lability of POM and DOC in small streams. 5. Our results suggest that the protection or restoration of riparian vegetation, in the absence of modifications to catchment-scale stormwater drainage connection, is insufficient to mitigate the effects of urbanisation on organic matter sources, lability and processing in these small streams.",
    keywords = "Urbanisation, riparian vegetation, organic matter, stable isotopes, Keeling plots.",
    author = "Samantha Imberger and Perran Cook and Michael Grace and Ross THOMPSON",
    year = "2014",
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    language = "English",
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    pages = "168--186",
    journal = "Freshwater Biology",
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    }

    Tracing carbon sources in small urbanising streams: catchment-scale stormwater drainage overwhelms the effects of reach-scale riparian vegetation. / Imberger, Samantha; Cook, Perran; Grace, Michael; THOMPSON, Ross.

    In: Freshwater Biology, Vol. 59, No. 1, 2014, p. 168-186.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Tracing carbon sources in small urbanising streams: catchment-scale stormwater drainage overwhelms the effects of reach-scale riparian vegetation

    AU - Imberger, Samantha

    AU - Cook, Perran

    AU - Grace, Michael

    AU - THOMPSON, Ross

    PY - 2014

    Y1 - 2014

    N2 - 1. Organic matter provides energy and nutrients to aquatic systems. Alterations to its sources and processing have repercussions for water quality and food-web stability and structure. Despite worldwide recognition of the impacts of urbanisation, there is limited understanding of the relative importance of catchment-scale urban stormwater drainage connection and reach-scale riparian vegetation on organic matter sources. 2. We investigated the effects of catchment-scale urban stormwater drainage connection and reachscale riparian vegetation cover on organic matter sources in small streams. Using stable isotopes and elemental ratios (i.e. d13C, d15N and C : N), we traced the origin of microbially respired carbon and standing stocks of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), suspended particulate organic matter (POM) and benthic coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM). 3. Catchment-scale urban stormwater drainage connection significantly increased the contribution of labile organic matter to POM and DOC standing stocks. Greater POM lability was a product of increased inputs of autochthonous organic matter in more heavily urbanised streams, although the origin of labile DOC was less clear. 4. While reach-scale riparian vegetation was the most likely source of the terrestrially dominated CPOM observed across most sites, increasing cover had no significant effect on the origin of POM or DOC standing stocks. We conclude that catchment-scale stormwater drainage impacts overwhelm the effects of reach-scale riparian vegetation on the sources and lability of POM and DOC in small streams. 5. Our results suggest that the protection or restoration of riparian vegetation, in the absence of modifications to catchment-scale stormwater drainage connection, is insufficient to mitigate the effects of urbanisation on organic matter sources, lability and processing in these small streams.

    AB - 1. Organic matter provides energy and nutrients to aquatic systems. Alterations to its sources and processing have repercussions for water quality and food-web stability and structure. Despite worldwide recognition of the impacts of urbanisation, there is limited understanding of the relative importance of catchment-scale urban stormwater drainage connection and reach-scale riparian vegetation on organic matter sources. 2. We investigated the effects of catchment-scale urban stormwater drainage connection and reachscale riparian vegetation cover on organic matter sources in small streams. Using stable isotopes and elemental ratios (i.e. d13C, d15N and C : N), we traced the origin of microbially respired carbon and standing stocks of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), suspended particulate organic matter (POM) and benthic coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM). 3. Catchment-scale urban stormwater drainage connection significantly increased the contribution of labile organic matter to POM and DOC standing stocks. Greater POM lability was a product of increased inputs of autochthonous organic matter in more heavily urbanised streams, although the origin of labile DOC was less clear. 4. While reach-scale riparian vegetation was the most likely source of the terrestrially dominated CPOM observed across most sites, increasing cover had no significant effect on the origin of POM or DOC standing stocks. We conclude that catchment-scale stormwater drainage impacts overwhelm the effects of reach-scale riparian vegetation on the sources and lability of POM and DOC in small streams. 5. Our results suggest that the protection or restoration of riparian vegetation, in the absence of modifications to catchment-scale stormwater drainage connection, is insufficient to mitigate the effects of urbanisation on organic matter sources, lability and processing in these small streams.

    KW - Urbanisation

    KW - riparian vegetation

    KW - organic matter

    KW - stable isotopes

    KW - Keeling plots.

    U2 - 10.1111/fwb.12256

    DO - 10.1111/fwb.12256

    M3 - Article

    VL - 59

    SP - 168

    EP - 186

    JO - Freshwater Biology

    JF - Freshwater Biology

    SN - 0046-5070

    IS - 1

    ER -