11:45 - 12:00
STREAM BASAL RESOURCES EXHIBIT SHORT-TERM RESILIENCE FOLLOWING REACH-SCALE REMOVAL OF A DOMINANT RIPARIAN SHRUB Detrital and algal resources in headwater streams are strongly influenced by associated riparian vegetation. Understanding stream ecosystem resilience to alteration in riparian species composition is increasingly important, as dominant riparian species continue to be functionally extirpated by insects and disease globally. In the southern Appalachians, riparian eastern hemlock trees have undergone significant mortality, leading to increased growth of the evergreen shrub, Rhododendron maximum. Rhododendron removal is a potential management strategy to restore hardwood forests since it inhibits tree recruitment and growth. Here we assess the resilience of stream basal food resources in headwater streams to a reach-scale (300m) removal of rhododendron along four streams (2 reference, 2 treatments: cut, cut+burn). Treatments increased benthic sediment by 2-7 fold and reduced canopy cover 33-43% (deciduous leaf-off) . However, algal quantity (chlorophyll a), algal quality (C:N ratio), and benthic leaf litter quantity were unaffected. Higher litter quality was observed in late summer and early fall of both years, but not year-round. Short-term, stream basal resources in these headwater streams appear to be resilient to rhododendron removal at the reach-scale despite large changes in abiotic conditions.
Seth Wenger (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, email@example.com;
C. Rhett Jackson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, RJACKSON@warnell.uga.edu;
Katherine Elliott (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Center for Forest Watershed Research, Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Chelcy Miniat (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Center for Forest Watershed Research, Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, email@example.com;
Catherine Pringle (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Maura Dudley (Primary Presenter/Author), Oglethorpe University, email@example.com;