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dc.contributor.authorCritelli, Emily
dc.contributor.authorDimick, Emma
dc.contributor.authorGehrke, Ava
dc.contributor.authorWellnitz, Todd A.
dc.descriptionColor poster with text, photographs, and graphs.en_US
dc.description.abstractLeaf detritus is an important energy source for streams. After initial decomposition by microorganisms, macroinvertebrates known as “shredders” feed on leaves and break them into small fragments. These fine particulates then provide food for other stream organisms. Leaves vary in physical structure and chemical composition, and this causes them to decompose at different rates in streams. In Wisconsin, for example, non-native buckthorn leaves (Rhamnus cathartica) have fewer physical and chemical anti-herbivore defenses, so they should break down more quickly relative to native elm leaves. Leaf breakdown rates can also vary with the kinds of shredder species present. Streams with higher water quality typically support more kinds of macroinvertebrates and may have more shredder species than do streams of lower water quality. We examined the role of shredders in breaking down non-native buckthorn and native elm leaves in streams having different water quality. Water quality was determined with a macroinvertebrate-based biotic index, that classifies species into groups of based on their pollution tolerance.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipUniversity of Wisconsin--Eau Claire Office of Research and Sponsored Programsen_US
dc.relation.ispartofseriesUSGZE AS589;
dc.subjectStream ecologyen_US
dc.subjectDepartment of Biologyen_US
dc.titleThe Decomposition of Leaves in Streams : The Importance of Leaf Type and Macroinvertebrate “Shredders”en_US

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    Posters of collaborative student/faculty research presented at CERCA

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