Global patterns and drivers of ecosystem functioning in rivers and riparian zones

Scott D. Tiegs, David M. Costello, Mark W. Isken, Guy Woodward, Peter B. McIntyre, Mark O. Gessner, Eric Chauvet, Natalie A. Griffiths, Alex S. Flecker, Vicenç Acuña, Ricardo Albariño, Daniel C. Allen, Cecilia Alonso, Patricio Andino, Clay Arango, Jukka Aroviita, Marcus V.M. Barbosa, Leon A. Barmuta, Colden V. Baxter, Thomas D.C. BellBrent Bellinger, Luz Boyero, Lee E. Brown, Andreas Bruder, Denise A. Bruesewitz, Francis J. Burdon, Marcos Callisto, Cristina Canhoto, Krista A. Capps, María M. Castillo, Joanne Clapcott, Fanny Colas, Checo Colón-Gaud, Julien Cornut, Verónica Crespo-Pérez, Wyatt F. Cross, Joseph M. Culp, Michael Danger, Olivier Dangles, Elvira De Eyto, Alison M. Derry, Veronica Díaz Villanueva, Michael M. Douglas, Arturo Elosegi, Andrea C. Encalada, Sally Entrekin, Rodrigo Espinosa, Diana Ethaiya, Verónica Ferreira, Carmen Ferriol, Kyla M. Flanagan, Tadeusz Fleituch, Jennifer J.Follstad Shah, André Frainer Barbosa, Nikolai Friberg, Paul C. Frost, Erica A. Garcia, Liliana García Lago, Pavel Ernesto García Soto, Sudeep Ghate, Darren P. Giling, Alan Gilmer, José Francisco Gonçalves, Rosario Karina Gonzales, Manuel A.S. Graça, Mike Grace, Hans Peter Grossart, François Guérold, Vlad Gulis, Luiz U. Hepp, Scott Higgins, Takuo Hishi, Joseph Huddart, John Hudson, Samantha Imberger, Carlos Iñiguez-Armijos, Tomoya Iwata, David J. Janetski, Eleanor Jennings, Andrea E. Kirkwood, Aaron A. Koning, Sarian Kosten, Kevin A. Kuehn, Hjalmar Laudon, Peter R. Leavitt, Aurea L.Lemes Da Silva, Shawn J. Leroux, Carri J. LeRoy, Peter J. Lisi, Richard MacKenzie, Amy M. Marcarelli, Frank O. Masese, Brendan G. McKie, Adriana Oliveira Medeiros, Kristian Meissner, Marko Miliša, Shailendra Mishra, Yo Miyake, Ashley Moerke, Shorok Mombrikotb, Rob Mooney, Tim Moulton, Timo Muotka, Junjiro N. Negishi, Vinicius Neres-Lima, Mika L. Nieminen, Jorge Nimptsch, Jakub Ondruch, Riku Paavola, Isabel Pardo, Christopher J. Patrick, Edwin T.H.M. Peeters, Jesus Pozo, Catherine Pringle, Aaron Prussian, Estefania Quenta, Antonio Quesada, Brian Reid, John S. Richardson, Anna Rigosi, José Rincón, Geta Rîşnoveanu, Christopher T. Robinson, Lorena Rodríguez-Gallego, Todd V. Royer, James A. Rusak, Anna C. Santamans, Géza B. Selmeczy, Gelas Simiyu, Agnija Skuja, Jerzy Smykla, Kandikere R. Sridhar, Ryan Sponseller, Aaron Stoler, Christopher M. Swan, David Szlag, Franco Teixeira-De Mello, Jonathan D. Tonkin, Sari Uusheimo, Allison M. Veach, Sirje Vilbaste, Lena B.M. Vought, Chiao Ping Wang, Jackson R. Webster, Paul B. Wilson, Stefan Woelfl, Marguerite A. Xenopoulos, Adam G. Yates, Chihiro Yoshimura, Catherine M. Yule, Yixin X. Zhang, Jacob A. Zwart

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River ecosystems receive and process vast quantities of terrestrial organic carbon, the fate of which depends strongly on microbial activity. Variation in and controls of processing rates, however, are poorly characterized at the global scale. In response, we used a peer-sourced research network and a highly standardized carbon processing assay to conduct a global-scale field experiment in greater than 1000 river and riparian sites. We found that Earth's biomes have distinct carbon processing signatures. Slow processing is evident across latitudes, whereas rapid rates are restricted to lower latitudes. Both the mean rate and variability decline with latitude, suggesting temperature constraints toward the poles and greater roles for other environmental drivers (e.g., nutrient loading) toward the equator. These results and data set the stage for unprecedented "next-generation biomonitoring" by establishing baselines to help quantify environmental impacts to the functioning of ecosystems at a global scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaav0486
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalScience Advances
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019


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