Dr. Shai Arnon from ZIWR (BGU) took part in a collaborative study involving 94 international partners (led by IRSTEA, France) that focused on intermittent rivers and streams, which are broadly defined as waterways that sometimes stop flowing and can dry completely. Although far less studied than permanent rivers, they could represent half of the world's river network and, in response to climate change and increasing water demands, may come to dominate the landscape in some regions.
With little known about their role in the global carbon cycle, this research, published on May 21st 2018 in Nature Geoscience, represents the first global study of the contribution that intermittent rivers make to carbon cycling. Quantification and analyses of the plant litter deposited along the dry beds of 212 rivers distributed across the globe showed high levels of O2 consumption and CO2 emissions upon short-term simulated rewetting events. Associated drivers including climatic variables, flow regimes and geomorphological variables were also identified. These results highlight the need to incorporate intermittent river ecosystems into further studies exploring the contribution of inland waters to carbon cycling at the global scale.
Link to the paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-018-0134-4
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