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Aquatic macroinvertebrates in the breakdown of C3 and C4 plants in streams of Serra do Mar, SP: comparison between forest and grassland

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Fernanda Gaudio Augusto
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: Piracicaba.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA/STB)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Plinio Barbosa de Camargo; Susana Trivinho Strixino
Advisor: Plinio Barbosa de Camargo

In forested headwaters, the plant material input from the riparian zone is very important, as its decomposition provides nutrients for a low primary production system. Land use changes have a great influence in the abundance and composition of allochthonous plant material available for decomposition, altering nutrients sources and fluxes. The macroinvertebrates act in the decomposition process as key organisms at the conversion of coarse organic matter into fine organic matter. In this context, this study aimed to investigate the colonization and the role of aquatic macroinvertebrates in leaf breakdown. Two streams of the Serra do Mar, SP, were selected, one at a forest area and the other at a pasture area, where litter bags filled with Mollinedia schottiana, Brachiaria brizantha (grass) or a mixture of species were installed. These were placed at the bottom of streams and collected periodically (7, 17, 31, 63 and 91 days).Invertebrates were identified, quantified and ranked into functional groups while plant material was dried for determination of its remaining dry weight. Then, the isotopic analyzes were performed for the found macroinvertebrates and its possible food sources, and it was also calculated the contribution of the primary producers in their diets. The results show faster breakdown of the grass at the forest area and of Mollinedia schottiana at the pasture. Greater macroinvertebrates abundance and density were found in the pasture and in the grass, being the density inversely proportional to the remaining weight. Richness was similar between streams and treatments and the diversity was higher at the forest. Chironomidae were the most abundant in both streams and treatments, being responsible for more than 50% of all individuals. Trichoptera were more abundant at the forest and in treatments with Mollinedia schottiana, while Amphipoda were found only in the forest. Collectors, shredders and predators, in general, were the main functional trophic group found and shredders were more representative in the first samplings, mainly at the forest and in treatments with Mollinedia schottiana. The pasture was more isotopically enriched, both in relation to 13C as to 15N. The isotopic values of macroinvertebrates indicated low grasses (C4) contribution in their diet, what can highlight the higher influence of Mollinedia schottiana (C3) in the forest and periphyton and Mollinedia schottiana (C3) in the pasture. Thus, it can enhance the role of riparian vegetation to the streams, and the importance of its conservation for the transfer of matter and energy process at these ecosystems and other adjacent systems (AU)

FAPESP's process: 14/03431-5 - The influence of aquatic macroinvertebrates in leaf decomposition in streams of forest and grassland in the Serra do Mar, Brazil
Grantee:Fernanda Gaudio Augusto
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Master