Simulating rewetting events in intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams: A global analysis of leached nutrients and organic matter.
ABSTRACT: Climate change and human pressures are changing the global distribution and the extent of intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams (IRES), which comprise half of the global river network area. IRES are characterized by periods of flow cessation, during which channel substrates accumulate and undergo physico-chemical changes (preconditioning), and periods of flow resumption, when these substrates are rewetted and release pulses of dissolved nutrients and organic matter (OM). However, there are no estimates of the amounts and quality of leached substances, nor is there information on the underlying environmental constraints operating at the global scale. We experimentally simulated, under standard laboratory conditions, rewetting of leaves, riverbed sediments, and epilithic biofilms collected during the dry phase across 205 IRES from five major climate zones. We determined the amounts and qualitative characteristics of the leached nutrients and OM, and estimated their areal fluxes from riverbeds. In addition, we evaluated the variance in leachate characteristics in relation to selected environmental variables and substrate characteristics. We found that sediments, due to their large quantities within riverbeds, contribute most to the overall flux of dissolved substances during rewetting events (56%-98%), and that flux rates distinctly differ among climate zones. Dissolved organic carbon, phenolics, and nitrate contributed most to the areal fluxes. The largest amounts of leached substances were found in the continental climate zone, coinciding with the lowest potential bioavailability of the leached OM. The opposite pattern was found in the arid zone. Environmental variables expected to be modified under climate change (i.e. potential evapotranspiration, aridity, dry period duration, land use) were correlated with the amount of leached substances, with the strongest relationship found for sediments. These results show that the role of IRES should be accounted for in global biogeochemical cycles, especially because prevalence of IRES will increase due to increasing severity of drying events.
Project description:Increased periods of prolonged droughts followed by severe precipitation events are expected throughout South America due to climate change. Freshwater sediments are especially sensitive to these changing climate conditions. The increased oscillation of water levels in aquatic ecosystems causes enhanced cycles of sediment drying and rewetting. Here we experimentally evaluate the effects of induced drought followed by a rewetting event on the release of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and trace elements (iron, manganese, and zinc) from the sediment of a tropical reservoir in southeastern Brazil. Furthermore, we used bulb onions (Allium cepa) to assess the potential cytogenotoxicity of the water overlying sediments after rewetting. We found peaks in CO2 and CH4 emissions when sediments first transitioned from wet to dry, with fluxes declining as sediments dried out. CO2 emissions peaked again upon rewetting, whereas CH4 emissions remained unaltered. Our experiment also revealed average increases by up to a factor of ~5000 in the release rates of nutrients and trace elements in water overlying sediments after rewetting. These increased release rates of potentially toxic compounds likely explain the lower replication of Allium cepa cells (up to 22% reduction) exposed to water overlying sediments after rewetting. Our findings suggest that increased events of drought followed by rewetting may lead to a range of changes in freshwater ecosystems, including nutrient enrichment, increased toxicity following resuspension of contaminants, and higher emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
Project description:Peatlands are strategic areas for climate change mitigation because of their matchless carbon stocks. Drained peatlands release this carbon to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2). Peatland rewetting effectively stops these CO2 emissions, but also re-establishes the emission of methane (CH4). Essentially, management must choose between CO2 emissions from drained, or CH4 emissions from rewetted, peatland. This choice must consider radiative effects and atmospheric lifetimes of both gases, with CO2 being a weak but persistent, and CH4 a strong but short-lived, greenhouse gas. The resulting climatic effects are, thus, strongly time-dependent. We used a radiative forcing model to compare forcing dynamics of global scenarios for future peatland management using areal data from the Global Peatland Database. Our results show that CH4 radiative forcing does not undermine the climate change mitigation potential of peatland rewetting. Instead, postponing rewetting increases the long-term warming effect through continued CO2 emissions.
Project description:Boreal lakes are major components of the global carbon cycle, partly because of sediment-bound heterotrophic microorganisms that decompose within-lake and terrestrially derived organic matter (t-OM). The ability for sediment bacteria to break down and alter t-OM may depend on environmental characteristics and community composition. However, the connection between these two potential drivers of decomposition is poorly understood. We tested how bacterial activity changed along experimental gradients in the quality and quantity of t-OM inputs into littoral sediments of two small boreal lakes, a dark and a clear lake, and measured the abundance of operational taxonomic units and functional genes to identify mechanisms underlying bacterial responses. We found that bacterial production (BP) decreased across lakes with aromatic dissolved organic matter (DOM) in sediment pore water, but the process underlying this pattern differed between lakes. Bacteria in the dark lake invested in the energetically costly production of extracellular enzymes as aromatic DOM increased in availability in the sediments. By contrast, bacteria in the clear lake may have lacked the nutrients and/or genetic potential to degrade aromatic DOM and instead mineralized photo-degraded OM into CO2 . The two lakes differed in community composition, with concentrations of dissolved organic carbon and pH differentiating microbial assemblages. Furthermore, functional genes relating to t-OM degradation were relatively higher in the dark lake. Our results suggest that future changes in t-OM inputs to lake sediments will have different effects on carbon cycling depending on the potential for photo-degradation of OM and composition of resident bacterial communities.
Project description:Periods of desiccation and rewetting are regular, yet stressful events encountered by saltmarsh microbial communities. To examine the resistance and resilience of microbial biofilms to such stresses, sediments from saltmarsh creeks were allowed to desiccate for 23 days, followed by rewetting for 4 days, whereas control sediments were maintained under a natural tidal cycle. In the top 2?mm of the dry sediments, salinity increased steadily from 36 to 231 over 23 days, and returned to seawater salinity on rewetting. After 3 days, desiccated sediments had a lower chlorophyll a (Chl a) fluorescence signal as benthic diatoms ceased to migrate to the surface, with a recovery in cell migration and Chl a fluorescence on rewetting. Extracellular ?-glucosidase and aminopeptidase activities decreased within the first week of drying, but increased sharply on rewetting. The bacterial community in the desiccating sediment changed significantly from the controls after 14 days of desiccation (salinity 144). Rewetting did not cause a return to the original community composition, but led to a further change. Pyrosequencing analysis of 16S rRNA genes amplified from the sediment revealed diverse microbial responses, for example desiccation enabled haloversatile Marinobacter species to increase their relative abundance, and thus take advantage of rewetting to grow rapidly and dominate the community. A temporal sequence of effects of desiccation and rewetting were thus observed, but the most notable feature was the overall resistance and resilience of the microbial community.
Project description:Peatland ecosystems contain one-third of the world's soil carbon store and many have been exposed to drought leading to a loss of carbon. Understanding biogeochemical mechanisms affecting decomposition in peatlands is essential for improving resilience of ecosystem function to predicted climate change. We investigated biogeochemical changes along a chronosequence of hydrological restoration (dry eroded gully, drain-blocked <2 years, drain blocked <7 years and wet pristine site), and examined whether hydrological legacy alters the response of ?-glucosidase kinetics (i.e. type of inhibition) to short-term drying and waterlogging. In the dry eroded gully at depth, low phenolic concentrations were associated with enhanced ?-glucosidase enzyme activities (V max ) but short-term drying and waterlogging caused a significant increase of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and phenolics associated with increases in V max (enzyme production) and K m (indicative of competitive inhibition). Inhibition within the drain blocked and pristine sites at depth exhibited non-competitive inhibition (decreased V max), whilst uncompetitive inhibition (decreased V max and K m ) occurred in surface peat explained by variation in humic substances and phenolics. These results suggest that loss of carbon by short-term drought or rewetting may occur from sites with a legacy of drought due to the release of non-inhibitory phenolics that permits enhanced enzyme activity.
Project description:The frequency of soil drying-rewetting cycles is predicted to increase under future global climate change, and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are symbiotic with most plants. However, it remains unknown how AMF affect plant growth under different frequencies of soil drying-rewetting cycles. We subjected a clonal wetland plant Phragmites australis to three frequencies of drying-rewetting cycles (1, 2, or 4 cycles), two nutrient treatments (with or without), and two AMF treatments (with or without) for 64 days. AMF promoted the growth of P. australis, especially in the 2 cycles of the drying-rewetting treatment. AMF had a significant positive effect on leaf mass and number of ramets in the 2 cycles of the drying-rewetting treatment with nutrient addition. In the 2 cycles of drying-rewetting treatment without nutrient addition, AMF increased leaf area and decreased belowground to aboveground biomass ratio. These results indicate that AMF may assist P. australis in coping with medium frequency of drying-rewetting cycles, and provide theoretical guidance for predicting how wetland plants respond to future global climate change.
Project description:Stream microbes that occur in the Mediterranean Basin have been shown to possess heightened sensitivity to intensified water stress attributed to climate change. Here, we investigate the effects of long-term drought (150 days), storms and rewetting (7 days) on the diversity and composition of archaea, bacteria and fungi inhabiting intermittent streambed sediment (surface and hyporheic) and buried leaves. Hydrological alterations modified the archaeal community composition more than the bacterial community composition, whereas fungi were the least affected. Throughout the experiment, archaeal communities colonizing sediments showed greater phylogenetic distances compared to those of bacteria and fungi, suggesting considerable adaptation to severe hydrological disturbances. The increase in the class abundances, such as those of Thermoplasmata within archaea and of Actinobacteria and Bacilli within bacteria, revealed signs of transitioning to a drought-favoured and soil-like community composition. Strikingly, we found that in comparison to the drying phase, water return (as sporadic storms and rewetting) led to larger shifts in the surface microbial community composition and diversity. In addition, microhabitat characteristics, such as the greater capacity of the hyporheic zone to maintain/conserve moisture, tended to modulate the ability of certain microbes (e.g., bacteria) to cope with severe hydrological disturbances.
Project description:The impact of past global climate change on local terrestrial ecosystems and their vegetation and soil organic matter (OM) pools is often non-linear and poorly constrained. To address this, we investigated the response of a temperate habitat influenced by global climate change in a key glacial refuge, Lake Ohrid (Albania, Macedonia). We applied independent geochemical and palynological proxies to a sedimentary archive from the lake over the penultimate glacial-interglacial transition (MIS 6-5) and the following interglacial (MIS 5e-c), targeting lake surface temperature as an indicator of regional climatic development and the supply of pollen and biomarkers from the vegetation and soil OM pools to determine local habitat response. Climate fluctuations strongly influenced the ecosystem, however, lake level controls the extent of terrace surfaces between the shoreline and mountain slopes and hence local vegetation, soil development and OM export to the lake sediments. There were two phases of transgressional soil erosion from terrace surfaces during lake-level rise in the MIS 6-5 transition that led to habitat loss for the locally dominant pine vegetation as the terraces drowned. Our observations confirm that catchment morphology plays a key role in providing refuges with low groundwater depth and stable soils during variable climate.
Project description:Oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) currently impinge upon >1 million km(2) of sea floor and are predicted to expand with climate change. We investigated how changes in oxygen availability, macrofaunal biomass and retention of labile organic matter (OM) regulate heterotrophic bacterial C and N incorporation in the sediments of the OMZ-impacted Indian continental margin (540-1100 m; [O(2)]=0.35-15 μmol l(-1)). In situ pulse-chase experiments traced (13)C:(15)N-labelled phytodetritus into bulk sediment OM and hydrolysable amino acids, including the bacterial biomarker D-alanine. Where oxygen availability was lowest ([O(2)]=0.35 μmol l(-1)), metazoan macrofauna were absent and bacteria assimilated 30-90% of the labelled phytodetritus within the sediment. At higher oxygen levels ([O(2)]=2-15 μmol l(-1)) the macrofaunal presence and lower phytodetritus retention with the sediment occur concomitantly, and bacterial phytodetrital incorporation was reduced and retarded. Bacterial C and N incorporation exhibited a significant negative relationship with macrofaunal biomass across the OMZ. We hypothesise that fauna-bacterial interactions significantly influence OM recycling in low-oxygen sediments and need to be considered when assessing the consequences of global change on biogeochemical cycles.
Project description:We investigated the influence of laser phototherapy (LPT) on the survival of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) submitted to substances leached from dental adhesives.MSCs were isolated and characterized. Oral mucosa fibroblasts and osteoblast-like cells were used as comparative controls. Cultured medium conditioned with two adhesive systems was applied to the cultures. Cell monolayers were exposed or not to LPT. Laser irradiations were performed using a red laser (GaAlAs, 780 nm, 0.04 cm(2), 40 mW, 1 W/cm(2), 0.4 J, 10 seconds, 1 point, 10 J/cm(2)). After 24 h, cell viability was assessed by the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide reduction assay. Data were statistically compared by ANOVA followed by Tukey's test (P < 0.05).Different cell types showed different viabilities in response to the same materials. Substances leached from adhesives were less cytotoxic to MSCs than to other cell types. Substances leached from Clearfil SE Bond were highly cytotoxic to all cell types tested, except to the MSCs when applied polymerized and in association with LPT. LPT was unable to significantly increase the cell viability of fibroblasts and osteoblast-like cells submitted to the dental adhesives.LPT enhances mesenchymal stem cells survival in response to substances leached from dental adhesives.