Canadian Forest Service Publications

Stronger effects of litter origin on the processing of conifer than broadleaf leaves: A test of home‐field advantage of stream litter breakdown. 2019. Yeung, A.C.Y.; Kreutzweiser, D.P.; Richardson, J.S. Freshwater Biology 64(10): 1755-1768.

Year: 2019

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39999

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1111/fwb.13367

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Plain Language Summary

This is based on a PhD student thesis from the NSERC Strategic Network CNAES for which a CFS scientist (Kreutzweiser) served as advisory committee member. The study was conducted in forest watersheds at the White River forest area, the Turkey Lakes Watershed and nearby, and in British Columbia. The work was conducted to refine a widely-used bioassessment tool for forest streams, the use of standardized leaf packs to measure forest stream integrity. Varying leaf litter types from local (home) sources and from other regions (away) sources to determine the extent to which aquatic invertebrates and microbial communities are biophysically-adapted to preferentially select local resources. This was a test of the burgeoning ecological theory called “home field advantage” or HFA theory which is developed in terrestrial systems, but not in aquatic systems. The study found that aquatic microbial communities exhibited strong HFA tendencies, but invertebrate communities were opportunistic and did not. This has implications for improving the use of the bioassessment tool by refining and regionally-adjusting expected parameters, and implications for advancement of the ecological theory.