Javier Pérez

Javier Pérez
Universidad del País Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea | UPV/EHU · Vegetal Biology and Ecology

PhD in Ecology / Degrees in Biology and in Environmental Scieces

About

84
Publications
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Publications

Publications (84)
Article
Full-text available
Alder (Alnus glutinosa) and oak (Quercus robur) are dominant tree species in European Atlantic mixed forests, and their leaf litter is a key resource for stream ecosystems. While alder litter has higher nutrient content and palatability than other species and is rapidly processed in the stream by detritivores and microorganisms, oak litter is a tou...
Article
Full-text available
Ongoing global warming is expected to alter temperature-dependent processes. Nevertheless, how co-occurring local drivers will influence temperature sensitivity of plant litter decomposition in lotic ecosystems remains uncertain. Here, we examined the temperature sensitivity of microbial-mediated decomposition, microbial respiration, fungal biomass...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Leaf litter inputs from riparian vegetation and its decomposition play a key role in energy and nutrient transfer in many stream ecosystems. Instream leaf litter decomposition is driven by both leaf traits and environmental conditions. Therefore, understanding and predicting leaf trait variation under current environmental changes and their put...
Data
This document includes: Supporting Methods, a glossary, seven tables (Tables S1-S7) and three figures (Figures S1-S3)
Article
Microplastics (MPs) have been recognized as as one of the most ubiquitous environmental pollutants globally. They have been found in all ecosystems studied to date, threatening biological diversity, ecosystem functioning and human health. The present study aimed to elucidate the environmental and anthropogenic drivers of MP dynamics in the whole ca...
Article
Biodiversity loss is known to affect the two fundamental and opposite processes controlling carbon and nutrient cycles globally, that is, primary production and decomposition, which are driven by green and brown food web compartments, respectively. However, biodiversity in these two food web compartments has been mostly studied independently, and p...
Article
Full-text available
Leaf litter decomposition is a key process in stream ecosystems, the rates of which can vary with changes in litter quality or its colonization by microorganisms. Decomposition in streams is increasingly used to compare ecosystem functioning globally, often requiring the distribution of litter across countries. It is important to understand whether...
Article
Full-text available
Microplastics (MPs), a new class of pollutants that pose a threat to aquatic biodiversity, are of increasing global concern. In tandem, the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) causing the disease chytridiomycosis is emerging worldwide as a major stressor to amphibians. We here assess whether synergies exist between this inf...
Article
Full-text available
Litter decomposition is an ecological process of key importance for forest headwater stream functioning, with repercussions for the global carbon cycle. The process is directly and indirectly mediated by microbial decomposers, mostly aquatic hyphomycetes, and influenced by environmental and biological factors such as water temperature and litter qu...
Article
Full-text available
Leaf litter of alder (Alnus glutinosa) is a key resource to detrital stream food webs. Due to its high quality and palatability, it is readily colonised by microorganisms and consumed by detritivores, contributing significantly to carbon and nutrient cycling and to ecosystem functioning. Given that this species has declined due to the spread of the...
Chapter
Full-text available
Understanding ecological patterns and processes at the global scale is becoming increasingly important in view of the rapid pace of environmental change and consequent impacts on ecosystems. This chapter reviews current knowledge about how plant litter decomposition—a key stream ecosystem process—and its major biotic and abiotic drivers vary global...
Chapter
Terrestrial litter that decomposes in streams is critical to carbon and nutrient fluxes and aquatic food web dynamics. Litter dynamics is influenced by biogeochemical, morphological, environmental and climatic factors, making it challenging to understand how these factors relate to each other and to litter decomposition across different spatial sca...
Chapter
A key or keystone species is defined as a species with disproportionately large effects on the ecosystem relative to its abundance. In freshwater ecology it is often used with a bottom-up perspective, to refer to riparian plant species whose litter resources are of particular importance for invertebrate communities and ecosystem processes. This inc...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic impacts on freshwater ecosystems cause critical losses of biodiversity that can in turn impair key processes such as decomposition and nutrient cycling. Forest streams are mainly subsidized by terrestrial organic detritus, so their functioning and conservation status can be altered by changes in forest biodiversity and composition, pa...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between detritivore diversity and decomposition can provide information on how biogeochemical cycles are affected by ongoing rates of extinction, but such evidence has come mostly from local studies and microcosm experiments. We conducted a globally distributed experiment (38 streams across 23 countries in 6 continents) using stand...
Article
Full-text available
Freshwater organisms are often sensitive to pesticides, but their sensitivity varies across different taxa and with pesticide type and action mode, as shown by multiple acute toxicity tests. Such variability hampers predictions about how freshwater ecosystems may be altered by pesticide toxicity, which is especially critical for under-studied areas...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding which factors affect the process of leaf litter decomposition is crucial if we are to predict changes in the functioning of stream ecosystems as a result of human activities. One major activity with known consequences on streams is agriculture, which is of particular concern in tropical regions, where forests are being rapidly replace...
Article
Full-text available
Running waters contribute substantially to global carbon fluxes through decomposition of terrestrial plant litter by aquatic microorganisms and detritivores. Diversity of this litter may influence instream decomposition globally in ways that are not yet understood. We investigated latitudinal differences in decomposition of litter mixtures of low a...
Article
Full-text available
Running waters contribute substantially to global carbon fluxes through decomposition of terrestrial plant litter by aquatic microorganisms and detritivores. Diversity of this litter may influence instream decomposition globally in ways that are not yet understood. We investigated latitudinal differences in decomposition of litter mixtures of low a...
Article
Full-text available
Extreme temperature events have increased in intensity, duration and frequency in the last century, with potential consequences on organisms and ecosystems. In many streams, leaf litter of terrestrial origin is a key resource for microorganisms and some detritivores, and its decomposition has a main role on ecosystem functioning and is often used a...
Article
Full-text available
Plant biodiversity loss in riparian forests is known to alter key stream ecosystem processes such as leaf litter decomposition. One potential mechanism mediating this biodiversity–decomposition relationship is the increased variability of plant functional traits at higher levels of biodiversity, providing more varied resources for decomposers and t...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Plant litter decomposition is a key ecosystem process that can be altered by global changes such as biodiversity loss. These effects can be particularly important in detritus-based ecosystems, such as headwater streams, which are mainly fuelled by allochthonous plant litter inputs. However, experiments examining effects of plant diversity...
Chapter
Many terrestrial, freshwater and coastal environments receive abundant plant litter as an important source of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus for microorganisms and detritivores. Therefore, the dynamics of these elemental pools in litter provide important ecological information on carbon and nutrient cycling. This chapter describes methods for quan...
Article
Full-text available
The expansion of agriculture is particularly worrying in tropical regions of the world, where native forests are being replaced by crops at alarming rates, with severe consequences for biodiversity and ecosystems. However, there is little information about the potential effects of agriculture on the functioning of tropical streams, which is essenti...
Article
Full-text available
Fungicides can reach streams through runoff or adhered to leaf litter, and have the potential to adversely affect processes such as litter decomposition and associated communities. This study investigated the effects of chlorothalonil, a widely used fungicide, on litter decomposition, detritivorous invertebrates (larvae of the insect Sericostoma py...
Article
Microplastics (MPs) are contaminants of increasing concern due to their abundance, ubiquity and persistence over time. However, knowledge about MP distribution in fresh waters and their effects on freshwater organisms is still scarce, and there is virtually no information about their potential influence on ecosystem functioning. We used a microcosm...
Article
Extreme temperatures have increased in intensity, duration and frequency in the last century, with potential consequences on key ecological processes such as organic matter breakdown. Many stream ecosystems are fueled by the breakdown of terrestrial leaf litter, which is exposed to atmospheric conditions for certain periods of time before entering...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity loss is occurring globally at unprecedented rates, altering the functioning of the Earth's ecosystems. Multiple processes are often key components of ecosystem functioning, but it is unclear how biodiversity loss affects ecosystem multifunctionality (i.e., the ability of ecosystems to maintain multiple processes simultaneously). This i...
Article
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Global warming causes concomitant changes in several environmental factors that often have synergistic effects on populations and ecosystem processes. We examined how increased water temperature and reduced litter quality affected a leaf-shredding detritivore’s performance and its effect on litter breakdown. Detritivores were exposed in microcosms...
Article
Full-text available
Aquatic hyphomycetes represent a large component of the microbial assemblage that decomposes submerged leaf-litter in fluvial ecosystems. The structure and activity of these fungal decomposers depend on environmental factors. Fungal communities may adapt to local habitat conditions; however, little is known about how fungal communities respond to a...
Article
Full-text available
1. Understanding how biodiversity loss influences plant litter decomposition – i.e., the biologically mediated conversion of coarse to fine particulate organic matter – is crucial to predict changes in the functioning of many stream ecosystems, where detrital food webs are dominant. Rates of litter decomposition are influenced by detritivore divers...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity loss in riparian forests has the potential to alter rates of leaf litter decomposition in stream ecosystems. However, studies have reported the full range of positive, negative and no effects of plant diversity loss on decomposition, and there is currently no explanation for such inconsistent results. Furthermore, it is uncertain wheth...
Data
Effects of plant diversity loss on litter decomposition (mg) and FPOM production (mg) for the 4-species litter mixture (ACQI) and the different 3-species mixtures (ACQ, ACI, AQI and CQI) in microcosms without detritivores, examined with linear models. A: Alnus glutinosa; C: Corylus avellana; Q: Quercus robur; I: Ilex aquifolium. (DOCX)
Data
Excel spreadsheet containing the underlying numerical data for all figures and tables. (XLSX)
Data
Mean (± SE) net diversity, complementarity and selection effects on litter decomposition, and net diversity effect on FPOM production, for the 4-species litter mixture (ACQI) and the different 3-species mixtures (ACQ, ACI, AQI and CQI) in microcosms with detritivores. A: Alnus glutinosa; C: Corylus avellana; Q: Quercus robur; I: Ilex aquifolium (DO...
Article
Input of allochthonous leaf litter is the main carbon source for heterotrophic metabolism in low-order forested streams. A major part of this leaf litter is accumulated at benthic retention structures or buried in the hyporheic zone. As a result of hyporheic sediment characteristics, hyporheic physicochemistry differs from that of the benthic zone...
Article
Full-text available
Plant litter represents a major basal resource in streams, where its decomposition is partly regulated by litter traits. Litter-trait variation may determine the latitudinal gradient in decomposition in streams, which is mainly microbial in the tropics and detritivore-mediated at high latitudes. However, this hypothesis remains untested, as we lack...
Article
Full-text available
Riparian plant litter is a major energy source for forested streams across the world and its decomposition has repercussions on nutrient cycling, food webs and ecosystem functioning. However, we know little about plant litter dynamics in tropical streams, even if the tropics occupy 40% of the Earth's land surface. Here we investigated spatial and t...
Article
Full-text available
We are facing major biodiversity loss and there is evidence that such loss can alter ecosystem functioning. However, the effects of plant diversity on decomposition – a key component of the global carbon cycle – are still unclear. A recent study suggested that a plant trait – their nitrogen (N)-fixing capacity – could mediate effects of litter dive...
Article
Full-text available
The need of water for human use has led the impact on running waters of flow regulation to be of a global-scale. Although the effects of this impact have been widely investigated, efforts have been focused on large dams, so information about small reservoirs and their effects on ecosystem functioning is lacking. A recent collaborative project (IMPA...
Article
Full-text available
Drought, an important environmental factor affecting the functioning of stream ecosystems, is likely to become more prevalent in the Mediterranean region as a consequence of climate change and enhanced water demand. Drought can have profound impacts on leaf litter decomposition, a key ecosystem process in headwater streams, but there is still limit...
Article
Plant litter breakdown is a key ecological process in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Streams and rivers, in particular, contribute substantially to global carbon fluxes. However, there is little information available on the relative roles of different drivers of plant litter breakdown in fresh waters, particularly at large scales. We presen...
Research
Full-text available
Leaf-litter decomposition is a widespread functional indicator to assess the stream ecosystem status. However, the spatial location of leaf-bags could distort the impact assessment since intrinsic features of a given site have an important role in the spatial distribution of macroinvertebrates, which could affect decomposition rate. A source of var...
Article
Full-text available
Winter stream temperature variability is important for detritus decomposition and over-wintering of aquatic organisms. However, winter temperatures are rarely studied. We studied water temperatures in 33 streams of the Basque Mountains in Northern Spain. High coherence of stream temperature within the study area and high correlation between stream...
Article
Full-text available
Leaf-litter decomposition is a widespread functional indicator to assess the stream ecosystem status. However, the spatial location of leaf-bags could distort the impact assessment since intrinsic features of a given site have an important role in the spatial distribution of macroinvertebrates, which could affect decomposition rate. A source of var...
Article
Full-text available
In temperate streams, water temperature and organic matter inputs from surrounding forest vary along the altitude. We tested if the different features of streams of similar size determined by an altitudinal gradient might differentially affect the processing rate of different quality leaves (alder, oak and beech). To distinguish the relative contri...
Article
Full-text available
Although temporary streams represent a high proportion of the total number and length of running waters, historically the study of intermittent streams has received less attention than that of perennial ones. The goal of the present study was to assess the effects of flow cessation on litter decomposition in calcareous streams under oceanic climate...