Table_1_Quantitative Food Webs Indicate Modest Increases in the Transfer of Allochthonous and Autochthonous C to Macroinvertebrates Following a Large Wood Addition to a Temperate Headwater Stream.XLS
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Headwaters suffer from reduced leaf and wood inputs and retention capacity from historical land actions like watershed logging and agriculture. When in-stream wood is reduced, stream retention capacity declines and subsequent changes in streamwater flow-paths and patterns of deposition alter decomposition and primary production that influence secondary invertebrate production via modified habitat and resources. Wood additions are commonly used as stream restoration tools for habitat improvements that can restore or strengthen food web connections; however, changes in carbon (C) flow through food webs are rarely measured because of time and expense. We quantified allochthonous and autochthonous C flow through aquatic macroinvertebrate communities 1 year before and 2 years after an experimental addition of large wood, compared to macroinvertebrates in an upstream control, in a temperate headwater stream. We predicted wood additions increase macroinvertebrate consumption and assimilation of allochthonous and autochthonous C through retention of leaves and altered flow-paths that expose more gravel and cobble for periphyton colonization. Macroinvertebrate allochthonous C assimilation tended to increase in years with greater organic matter retention and autochthonous C increased with more exposed gravel and cobble across seasons and between reaches. While the effect of wood addition on C flow through the macroinvertebrate community was minimal, it increased by ∼20% relative to the control from an increase in production and C assimilation of common mayfly and caddisfly scrapers, Baetis and Glossossoma. Because the amount of organic matter retained and coarse substrate exposed corresponded with C form and amount consumed, restoration of large wood has the potential to increase organic matter C trophic transfer.
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