How drought affects river network carbon dynamics
Climate change is responsible for hydrological droughts that can cause river drying, which in turn modifies biodiversity and organic matter (OM) decomposition. The OM, which includes carbon-based compounds, is transported by the flow of water and through the dispersal of the organisms that consume it. Drying alters OM transport and dispersal and as a result changes carbon cycling and CO2 emissions. However, the understanding of climate change effects on the entire river network is limited. The EU-funded MetaDryNet project will examine the effects of drying on OM transport, organism dispersal and CO2 emissions in intermittent river networks by combining meta-analysis, network-scale field experiments and modelling. The project will increase our knowledge of how resources and biodiversity are bound with drying river networks.
Fields of science
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