A general conceptual model of small stream ecosystem structure and funcÂ tion has emerged in the last decade (e.g. 34, 56, 77), an important cornerÂ stone of which is the geomorphic view (e.g. 18, 40) of the stream as a subsystem of its watershed (e.g. 46). The intimate relationship between the stream and its riparian zone forms the basis for a significant (often the dominant) portion of the annual energy input. Light, and secondarily nutriÂ ents and temperature, in large measure determine changes in the balance between heterotrophy, dependent on allochthonous (terrestrial) organic matter, and autotrophy, based on autochthonous (in-stream) primary proÂ duction by periphytic algae and macrophytes (e.g. 7 1, 1 13). Changes in the proportional balance between terrestrially linked heterotrophy and channel based autotrophy constitute a dominant control of broad scale differences in community structure. In-stream gross primary production approaches a balance with, or exceeds,community respiration with increasing stream size [order (89)], at least through mid-sized rivers (e.g. 36), or in other light-rich watershed settings as at higher latitudes and altitudes and in arid regions (77). Within broad temperature-defined boundaries such trophic relationÂ ships (heterotrophy/autotrophy) may be well correlated with stream invertebrate community structure (e.g. 35,
Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics – Annual Reviews
Published: Nov 1, 1979
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