Science of the Total Environment, 15 February 2015, Vol.506-507, pp.353-360
Streams and rivers are important sites of organic carbon mineralization which is dependent on the land use within river catchments. Here we tested whether planktonic and epilithic biofilm bacteria differ in their response to the quality of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Thus, planktonic and biofilm bacterial production was compared with patterns of DOC along a land-use gradient in the Bode catchment area (Germany). The freshness index of DOC was positively related to the proportion of agricultural area in the catchment. The humification index correlated with the proportion of forest area. Abundance and production of planktonic bacteria were lower in headwaters than at downstream sites. Planktonic production was weakly correlated to the total concentration of DOC but more strongly to quality-measures as revealed by spectra indexes, i.e. positively to the freshness index and negatively to the humification index. In contrast to planktonic bacteria, abundance and production of biofilm bacteria were independent of DOC quality. This finding may be explained by the association of biofilm bacteria with benthic algae and an extracellular matrix which represent additional substrate sources. The data show that planktonic bacteria seem to be regulated at a landscape scale controlled by land use, whereas biofilm bacteria are regulated at a biofilm matrix scale controlled by autochthonous production. Thus, the effects of catchment-scale land use changes on ecosystem processes are likely lower in small streams dominated by biofilm bacteria than in larger streams dominated by planktonic bacteria.
Bacterial Production ; Doc ; Freshness Index ; Humification Index ; Biofilm ; Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (Clsm) ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
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