Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1086/723895
Document accepted manuscript
Title (Primary) Benthic metabolism and nutrient uptake vary with geomorphology and season in a lowland river
Author Attermeyer, K.; Anlanger, C.; Weitere, M.; Kamjunke, N.; Brauns, M.
Source Titel Freshwater Science
Year 2023
Department FLOEK
Volume 42
Issue 1
Page From 58
Page To 69
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Data and Software links
Keywords gross primary production; respiration; nutrient cycling; cut bank; riprap; season; interactions; benthos; hydromorphological degradation
Abstract Meandering rivers are characterized by geomorphic units like cut banks, point bars, and thalwegs. These units arise from interactions between hydrological and geomorphological forces. However, the individual contributions of geomorphic units to whole-river metabolism or nutrient processing are unclear because these quantifications are often done at larger spatial scales. We used closed recirculating chambers to measure benthic gross primary production (GPP), respiration (R), N uptake or release, and P uptake or release at bimonthly intervals over 1 y at different geomorphic units in the Mulde River, Germany. We compared GPP, R, and nutrient processing among a cut bank, a point bar, and the thalweg at a natural meander. We also compared the cut bank of this natural meander with a cut bank fixed by riprap at a human-altered meander. In the natural meander, GPP, R, and nutrient processing rates were higher at the point bar than the cut bank or thalweg. These differences are likely related to larger sediment grain sizes that provide a more stable substrate for microbial communities. A strong interaction between geomorphic units and time for GPP and NH4+ fluxes suggested that differences in nutrient processing rates among geomorphic units were restricted to specific times during the year. Specifically, we found that the nutrient processing rates differed among geomorphic units during the summer, but not winter. Furthermore, in June and August 2017, R was 2 to 3x lower at the cut bank stabilized by riprap than at the natural cut bank. Our results demonstrate that rivers are composed of functionally distinct geomorphic units susceptible to human-induced hydromorphological degradation. However, strong interactions between space and time and large within-geomorphic unit variability propose that local drivers influence ecosystem function, suggesting that we need additional research to resolve these drivers at the scales of geomorphic units.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Attermeyer, K., Anlanger, C., Weitere, M., Kamjunke, N., Brauns, M. (2023):
Benthic metabolism and nutrient uptake vary with geomorphology and season in a lowland river
Freshw. Sci. 42 (1), 58 - 69 10.1086/723895