|Document Type:||Journal Article|
|Title:||Modelling organic matter dynamics in headwater streams of southwestern British Columbia, Canada|
|Author:||O. M. Karlsson, J. S. Richardson, Peter M. Kiffney|
A mass–balance model was developed to simulate organic matter (OM) dynamics in headwater stream ecosystems of south-western British Columbia, Canada. Empirical data from two streams were used to structure and test a mass-balance model of the riparian–stream system. The model was driven by data on inputs, outputs, processing rates, discharge and water temperature. Statistical sub–models were derived for different processes (e.g. decomposition rates and periphyton growth). Inputs and outputs of OM were modelled on the basis of a series of assumptions of system properties, such as temperature and hydrological regimes. Major uncertainties identified through Monte-Carlo simulations of model predictions and variables important in controlling OM dynamics in these streams were dissolved OM (DOM) import and export, stream area and litterfall import. DOM was quantitatively the most important source of OM, accounting for 80% of total export of OM, followed by export of fine particulate organic matter (FPOM) at 15%. Different scenarios of logging and temperature regimes on the system were simulated to predict how these factors would affect standing stock of OM in the stream. When inputs of riparian litterfall were simulated to mirror reductions predicted from forest harvesting in the riparian area particulate OM (POM) standing stock was reduced by almost 80%. In comparison, a 3°C increase in water temperature resulted in only a 20% reduction of POM standing stock due to enhanced mineralisation.