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Freshwater Science


The biology of headwater streams is intimately linked to that of the surrounding terrestrial environment through organic matter subsidies. Lonicera maackii, an invasive shrub that is becoming abundant in headwater stream riparian areas, deposits substantial quantities of organic matter into the aquatic system. This organic material has allelopathic effects on terrestrial plants and insects, and a growing body of work suggests strong connections between L. maackii invasion and aquatic biota. Lonicera maackii deposits fruit and flowers in quantities and timings that are unique, and we tested the hypothesis that these subsidies would negatively affect survival and growth of laboratory-cultured Hyalella azteca and field-collected Anthopotamus verticis and Allocapnia spp. Invertebrates were exposed to a gradient of fruit (reference sediment + 0, 0.31, 0.62, 1.25, or 2.5 g dry mass [DM]) and flower (reference sediment + 0, 0.30, 0.60, 1.2, or 2.4 g DM) biomass in laboratory and field sediment exposure tests. Hyalella azteca survival was significantly reduced by exposure to L. maackii fruit in the laboratory and in the field exposures, and a negative effect was observed for A. verticis (p< 0.05). Lonicera maackii flower biomass was associated with negative effects on survival of H. azteca in the field and laboratory exposures and of A. verticis in the laboratory exposure. During the laboratory exposures, dissolved O2 (DO) and pH were /L and 5.5, respectively. In the field exposures, DO and pH were comparable to stream conditions during fruit exposures, declining significantly with increasing flower biomass. Our results suggest that L. maackii fruit and flowers, novel subsidies in these systems, can negatively affect benthic organism survival and growth. Research focused on verifying this novel subsidy hypothesis for L. maackii and other species could enhance our understanding of invasion biology and terrestrial–aquatic linkages.

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University of Chicago Press



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McEwan Laboratory

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