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Patterns of litter inputs, hyphomycetes and invertebrates in a Brazilian savanna stream: a process of degradative succession

  • Renan de Souza Rezende (a1), Adriana Oliveira Medeiros (a2), José Francisco Gonçalves (a3), Maria João Feio (a4), Elves Pereira Gusmão (a2) (a5), Victor Ângelo de Andrade Gomes (a5), Adolfo Calor (a5) and Juliana dos Santos Dahora Almeida (a2)...


Litter breakdown is an important ecological process at the bottom of food webs in streams. Previous studies have been based only on a temporal interval of a single season, thus ignoring seasonal variation in litter input and community structure. We investigated organic matter input in a Brazilian savanna stream and the influence of its associated hyphomycetes on the invertebrate community. Organic matter input was sampled monthly and the leaves submitted to decomposition experiments. There were lower breakdown rates and higher invertebrate species richness and abundance during the dry season, which reached their maximum in July due to low stream discharge. Invertebrate composition was best explained by hyphomycetes (mainly by Flagellospora curvula and Anguillospora filiformis). Hyphomycetes have the capacity to degrade complex compounds of litter and to rapidly absorb nutrients by growing branched filaments, thus making the leaves more favourable for consumption by invertebrates. Shredder abundance was negatively related to litter richness, indicating possible species-specific relationships. We observed a sequential process with increased leaf litter input promoting an increase in hyphomycetes biomass, which in turn favoured invertebrate density.


Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: Renan de Souza Rezende, Email:


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Patterns of litter inputs, hyphomycetes and invertebrates in a Brazilian savanna stream: a process of degradative succession

  • Renan de Souza Rezende (a1), Adriana Oliveira Medeiros (a2), José Francisco Gonçalves (a3), Maria João Feio (a4), Elves Pereira Gusmão (a2) (a5), Victor Ângelo de Andrade Gomes (a5), Adolfo Calor (a5) and Juliana dos Santos Dahora Almeida (a2)...


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