Breakdown of Ficus and Eucalyptus leaves in an organically polluted river in India: Fungal diversity and ecological functions

N. S. Raviraja, K. R. Sridhar, Felix Bärlocher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

1. At two organically polluted sites in the River Nethravathi, banyan and eucalypt leaves were colonized by one or two species of aquatic hyphomycetes. A total of three or four species were identified at the two sites in samples of water and naturally occurring leaves. 2. Spore production from stream-exposed leaves by aquatic hyphomycetes was lower by a factor of up to 1 million compared with an earlier study in geographically close but unpolluted streams. 3. Exponential decay rates and loss rates of phosphorus and calcium, were not statistically different from an earlier study in unpolluted streams. Nitrogen increased during decomposition more slowly in the current study. 4. The microbial community on both leaves released enzymes active against starch, pectin, cellulose and xylan. 5. Banyan leaves conditioned for 12 weeks were more palatable to the gastropod Notopala sp. than unconditioned leaves. 6. Together with earlier data from unpolluted streams, the study provides evidence that organic pollution severely restricts diversity of aquatic hyphomycetes and their reproductive output, but does not have an equally strong effect on ecological functions generally associated with this group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-545
Number of pages9
JournalFreshwater Biology
Volume39
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 05-1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science

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