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This analysis of organic matter dynamics in streams has 3 objectives: 1) to explore the relationships between physical characteristics of streams and their watersheds (climate, geomorphology) and steam organic matter dynamics using data from a broad geographic area; 2) to compare steam organic matter dynamics in a diverse array of steams in order to suggest determinants of observed patterns; and 3) to reveal deficiencies in currently available data on organic matter dynamics in steams. Streams were included in this analysis not to represent the global diversity of stream types but because organic matter data were available. In the introductory chapter we describe the kinds of data included for each stream and provide brief descriptions of previously published organic matter data for streams included in the comparative analysis but not described in individual chapters. The next 16 chapters present organic matter data for streams from North America, Europe, Australia, and Antarctica. Most of the streams represented are in the temperate zone of North America. Data presented include climate and geomorphic variables and organic matter inputs, exports, and standing crops. The chapters on individual steams are followed by 7 chapters analyzing physical features of these streams and specific components of the organic matter budgets. Stream size, water temperature, and precipitation were the most important variables setting the physical template for organic matter processes occurring in the streams.




Originally published in the Journal of the North American Benthological Society, Vol. 16, no. 1, 3-161.