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Sci Adv. 2019 Jan 9;5(1):eaav0486. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aav0486. eCollection 2019 Jan.

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

Tiegs SD, Costello DM, Isken MW, Woodward G, McIntyre PB, Gessner MO, Chauvet E, Griffiths NA, Flecker AS, Acuña V, Albariño R, Allen DC, Alonso C, Andino P, Arango C, Aroviita J, Barbosa MVM, Barmuta LA, Baxter CV, Bell TDC, Bellinger B, Boyero L, Brown LE, Bruder A, Bruesewitz DA, Burdon FJ, Callisto M, Canhoto C, Capps KA, Castillo MM, Clapcott J, Colas F, Colón-Gaud C, Cornut J, Crespo-Pérez V, Cross WF, Culp JM, Danger M, Dangles O, de Eyto E, Derry AM, Villanueva VD, Douglas MM, Elosegi A, Encalada AC, Entrekin S, Espinosa R, Ethaiya D, Ferreira V, Ferriol C, Flanagan KM, Fleituch T, Follstad Shah JJ, Frainer Barbosa A, Friberg N, Frost PC, Garcia EA, García Lago L, García Soto PE, Ghate S, Giling DP, Gilmer A, Gonçalves JF Jr, Gonzales RK, Graça MAS, Grace M, Grossart HP, Guérold F, Gulis V, Hepp LU, Higgins S, Hishi T, Huddart J, Hudson J, Imberger S, Iñiguez-Armijos C, Iwata T, Janetski DJ, Jennings E, Kirkwood AE, Koning AA, Kosten S, Kuehn KA, Laudon H, Leavitt PR, Lemes da Silva AL, Leroux SJ, LeRoy CJ, Lisi PJ, MacKenzie R, Marcarelli AM, Masese FO, McKie BG, Oliveira Medeiros A, Meissner K, Miliša M, Mishra S, Miyake Y, Moerke A, Mombrikotb S, Mooney R, Moulton T, Muotka T, Negishi JN, Neres-Lima V, Nieminen ML, Nimptsch J, Ondruch J, Paavola R, Pardo I, Patrick CJ, Peeters ETHM, Pozo J, Pringle C, Prussian A, Quenta E, Quesada A, Reid B, Richardson JS, Rigosi A, Rincón J, Rîşnoveanu G, Robinson CT, Rodríguez-Gallego L, Royer TV, Rusak JA, Santamans AC, Selmeczy GB, Simiyu G, Skuja A, Smykla J, Sridhar KR, Sponseller R, Stoler A, Swan CM, Szlag D, Teixeira-de Mello F, Tonkin JD, Uusheimo S, Veach AM, Vilbaste S, Vought LBM, Wang CP, Webster JR, Wilson PB, Woelfl S, Xenopoulos MA, Yates AG, Yoshimura C, Yule CM, Zhang YX, Zwart JA.

Abstract

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.

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