Effects of global change on headwater stream ecosystems: functional and enzymatic approaches
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Author/sFenoy Castilla, Encarnación
Abstract: The concept of global change includes a variety of stressors (warming, species invasions and extinctions, changes in biogeochemical cycles, habitat degradation and loss, etc.) altering the whole of biodiversity and ecosystems functioning. Headwater streams, which are considered hotspots of biodiversity (especially those from Mediterranean regions), are particularly vulnerable to global change related stressors. These ecosystems are subsided by leaf-litter inputs from riparian vegetation, the major source of energy and nutrients into food webs. Thus, leaf-litter decomposition by aquatic fungi and macroinvertebrates is a key process within the nutrient recycling required for maintenance of such ecosystem. The present dissertation aims to provide a better understanding on the potential alterations in stream ecosystem functioning due to the interaction of anthropogenic stressors. The main objective was to assess the effect of forecasted warming, increased dissolved nutrients a...