HIGH RATES OF PRIMARY PRODUCTIVITY IN A SEMI-ARID TAILWATER: IMPLICATIONS FOR SELF-REGULATED PRODUCTION
Version of Record online: 16 AUG 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
River Research and Applications
Volume 28, Issue 10, pages 1820–1829, December 2012
How to Cite
Davis, C. J., Fritsen, C. H., Wirthlin, E. D. and Memmott, J. C. (2012), HIGH RATES OF PRIMARY PRODUCTIVITY IN A SEMI-ARID TAILWATER: IMPLICATIONS FOR SELF-REGULATED PRODUCTION. River Res. Applic., 28: 1820–1829. doi: 10.1002/rra.1573
- Issue online: 17 DEC 2012
- Version of Record online: 16 AUG 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 JUN 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 22 JUN 2011
- Manuscript Received: 3 MAR 2011
- Nevada Division of Environmental Protection
- primary production;
- maximum productivity
Reservoir-river systems in desert environments may provide the optimal combination of environmental conditions (e.g. light, nutrients, temperature, and flow) that maximizes primary production in downstream reaches. Stream metabolism was measured using an open-system approach each month during spring-summer in a semi-arid tailwater (South Fork Humboldt River) in the central Great Basin, USA. Spatial and temporal differences in metabolic rates were evident despite tailwater reaches sustaining comparable standing stocks of periphyton (>10 µg chla cm−2) during this growing season. Primary productivity was highest (15 to 36 g O2 m−2 day−1) in July, supporting previous studies that have described arid regulated/unregulated streams as ultra-productive. Substrate availability when combined with self-shading and hypoxic conditions created a system that was likely near the maximal productivity that stream systems can achieve because of the self-regulating attributes that thick periphyton mats impose upon themselves as they reach high biomass and maximal production rates. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.