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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science