AJPS  Vol.8 No.8 , July 2017
Degradation Rates of Native versus Exotic Leaves in a Tributary of the Yellow River in Georgia
Abstract: Forested aquatic streams depend heavily on forest canopy input. This input is a primary resource for the macroinvertebrate fauna. As a result, changes in the canopy impact the aquatic ecosystem. The focus of this study was to identify leaf degradation rates to determine resource availability for invertebrate communities. Specifically, leaf degradation rates were determined for oak, poplar, maple and kudzu. Oak, poplar, and maple are established stream canopy vegetation while kudzu is an invasive species. By comparing leaf degradation rates of native vs. exotic leaves, it provides an insight to changes in community structure. Furthermore, these changes in the plant canopy biodiversity have long-term implications for stream health.
Cite this paper: George, B. , Brandon, C. and Erwin, M. (2017) Degradation Rates of Native versus Exotic Leaves in a Tributary of the Yellow River in Georgia. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 8, 1967-1976. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2017.88132.

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