Breaking it Down: Shredder Influence on Microbial Diversity during Leaf Breakdown
Organic matter decomposition rates in streams can be influenced by initial resource quality, hydrology and colonizing communities. We used Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) to assess microbial communities in decomposing leaves of two temperate (Acer rubrum and Quercus prinus) and two tropical (Dacryodes excelsa and Cecropia schreberiana) leaf species while in the presence or absence of a common temperate-zone shredder. By identifying fragments in each sample, we analyzed microbial diversity by estimating richness, Shannon’s diversity, and evenness. We hypothesized that consumers would alter microbial diversity on leaf substrates throughout different stages of breakdown. Percent leaf mass remaining significantly differed with consumers present (df=1,P=0.01) as well as by leaf type (df=3,P=
Society for Freshwater Science Annual Meeting (SFS)
Harper, S., J. Colón-Gaud, J. Harrison, Tiehang Wu.
"Breaking it Down: Shredder Influence on Microbial Diversity during Leaf Breakdown."
Biology Faculty Presentations.