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Benthic Metabolism in a Perennial and an Intermittent Texas Prairie Stream

B. H. Hill and T. J. Gardner
The Southwestern Naturalist
Vol. 32, No. 3 (Sep. 28, 1987), pp. 305-311
DOI: 10.2307/3671447
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3671447
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Benthic Metabolism in a Perennial and an Intermittent Texas Prairie Stream
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Abstract

Benthic metabolism was measured monthly for 14 months in two Texas prairie streams. Mrs. White's Creek, a second-order stream with an average discharge of 148 1/s, maintained flow for >90% of the study period and has a history of perennial discharge. Squirrel Creek, a third-order stream with an average discharge of 292 1/s, maintained flow for <60% of the period of observation and is annually intermittent. Net primary productivity and respiration of stream substrates were measured as changes in O2 concentration within sealed chambers. Productivity in the perennial stream ranged from 2.6 to 439.2 mg $\text{O}_{2}\ \text{m}^{-2}\ \text{h}^{-1}$ and averaged 130.7 mg $\text{O}_{2}\ \text{m}^{-2}\ \text{h}^{-1}$ during the course of the study. Productivity in the intermittent stream ranged from 3.2 to 370.4 mg $\text{O}_{2}\ \text{m}^{-2}\ \text{h}^{-1}$ and averaged 108.2 mg $\text{O}_{2}\ \text{m}^{-2}\ \text{h}^{-1}$. There were no significant differences in primary productivity between the two sites. Respiration in the perennial stream ranged from 7.2 to 311.2 mg $\text{O}_{2}\ \text{m}^{-2}\ \text{h}^{-1}$ and averaged 102.7 mg $\text{O}_{2}\ \text{m}^{-2}\ \text{h}^{-1}$ for the study. Respiration in the intermittent stream was significantly lower than in the perennial stream and ranged from 7.1 to 133.6 mg $\text{O}_{2}\ \text{m}^{-2}\ \text{h}^{-1}$ during the course of the study, with an overall average of 47.4 mg $\text{O}_{2}\ \text{m}^{-2}\ \text{h}^{-1}$.

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