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Journal Article

Effects of Watershed Perturbation on Stream Potassium and Calcium Dynamics

Jackson R. Webster and Bernard C. Patten
Ecological Monographs
Vol. 49, No. 1 (Mar., 1979), pp. 51-72
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/1942572
https://www.jstor.org/stable/1942572
Page Count: 22
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Effects of Watershed Perturbation on Stream Potassium and Calcium Dynamics
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Abstract

Three small streams located at Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, North Carolina, USA, on an old field watershed, a pine plantation watershed, and a hardwood forest watershed were investigated to determine effects of watershed perturbation on K and Ca dynamics in the stream ecosystems. Data collected included measurements of litterfall inputs, large particulate organic matter and benthic organism standing crops, large particulate organic matter and organism drift, and insect emergence. We used ^8^5Sr and ^1^3^4Cs to estimate detritivore ingestion and elimination rates of Ca and K, respectively. We found that watershed perturbations had altered stream inputs and caused accompanying changes in the stream fauna. Our results indicated that the perturbed streams had less efficient physical processing of allochthonous inputs, but greater biological utilization of inputs. The streams exhibited high resilience to perturbation with complete recovery limited by the recovery rate of allochthonous inputs.