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ARC

Cascade Effect

Long-term experimental additions of small amounts of phosphorus to arctic streams contributed to what is now a general principle of stream ecology: nutrient addition stimulates increased algal and plant growth, which leads to a cascade of impacts on food webs, community structure, and biodiversity.

Bowden, W. B., J. C. Findlay and P. E. Maloney. 1994. Long-term effects of phosphorus fertilization on the distribution of bryophytes in an arctic river. Freshwater Biology 32:445-454.
Peterson, B. J., J. E. Hobbie, A. Hershey, M. Lock, T. Ford, R. Vestal, M. Hullar, R. Ventullo and G. Volk. 1985. Transformation of a tundra river from heterotrophy to autotrophy by addition of phosphorus. Science 229:1383-1386.
Slavik, K., B. J. Peterson, L.A. Deegan, W. B. Bowden, A. E. Hershey, and J. E. Hobbie. 2004. Long-term responses of the Kuparuk River ecosystem to phosphorus fertilization. Ecology 85: 939–954.
Bruce J. Peterson
Photographs showing the difference in bottom coverage between the diatom state (left) and the fertilized moss state.
Graph showing the difference between the cover on moss in the reference (open bars) and fertilized (solid bars) reaches of the Kuparuk River.

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