Form and Function: Linking Stream Geomorphology and Elemental Cycling
Michael J. Paul
The linkage between the physical morphology of stream systems and material cycling is a major focus of current research around the world. Prior work suggests that the physical structure of streams affects material transport, uptake, and transformation, but the mechanisms and particular controls are still largely unknown. Urban regions provide ideal laboratories for the study of physical controls on material cycles because the altered hydrology tends to channelize streams, simplifying their physical structure relative to less disturbed streams. I am interested in how the components of carbon cycles (allochthonous inputs, transport, decomposition, primary production, respiration, and export) are affected by physical channel changes. Surveys of carbon cycles in urban streams in Atlanta indicate that these components of carbon cycles are all altered relative to forested streams. The next step is investigating which physical components are linked to that alteration, providing a focus for restoration efforts. This talk reviews my work on this topic to date and describes my interests in pursuing similar research in the BES region.
Carbon Cycles, Stream Ecology, Fluvial Geomorphology