Durance, I.; Gutierrez-Canovas, C.; Perkins, D.M.; Woodward, G.

Cellulolytic decomposition in Welsh upland rivers in response to organic matter addition (2013)

These data are cellulolytic decomposition in eight Welsh upland rivers with contrasting land-use, moorland and exotic conifer, in response to riparian deciduous leaf addition. Eight sampling reaches were chosen at two sites, Llyn Brianne (4 reaches) and Plynlimon (4 reaches). The experiment consisted of adding deciduous leaves to half of the reaches whilst the other half were maintained as a control (no addition of deciduous leaves). To characterise the cellulolytic decomposition of the studied streams, cotton strips were placed and then collected during January 2013 (before deciduous leaf addition) and March 2013 (after deciduous leaf addition) in each sampling reach.

The main goal of this survey was to examine how aquatic biodiversity and litter decomposition respond to leaf addition in moorland and conifer forested rivers. Dr Isabelle Durance was responsible for organising the surveys, Dr Dan Perkins was in charge of collecting, processing and sorting the samples. The work was carried out under Diversity in Upland Rivers for Ecosystem Service Sustainability (DURESS) project (Grant reference NERC NE/J014818/1). DURESS was a project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability (BESS) programme.

Publication date: 2017-03-29

Get the data

This dataset is made available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

Format of the data: Comma-separated values (CSV)

You must cite: Durance, I.; Gutierrez-Canovas, C.; Perkins, D.M.; Woodward, G. (2017). Cellulolytic decomposition in Welsh upland rivers in response to organic matter addition (2013). NERC Environmental Information Data Centre. https://doi.org/10.5285/53b4ec90-cb8a-49c6-a6f9-18a77f980b0f


© Cardiff University


Study area

Provenance & quality

Each stream was divided into an upstream control zone and a downstream experimental zone. Samples of algal biofilm were collected from tiles previously placed on each sampling site. Deciduous leaves were added directly to the stream and by fixing 'Onion bags' of leaves the stream bed and bank. Samples were collected two occasions, January (3-16/01/2013), and March (11-14/03/2013) in all the streams in both the upstream reference zones and downstream experimental zones. Six experimental units (cotton strips) were placed randomly in each reach of the experimental sites before and after the manipulation. At the end of the 'before' (T1) and after (T2) experimental periods, strips were recovered from the streams and frozen immediately at ~20 degrees Celsius. Back at the laboratory calico strips were rinsed thoroughly in tap water and oven dried to constant mass at 65 degrees Celsius and the tensile strength was measured using a Hounsfield machine (Maywood Instruments Ltd., Basingstoke, UK) with a 25 kN load cell and 40 mm test gap (after Jenkins et al. 2013). One estimate of breaking strain was obtained per strip. Three untreated strips (which were also rinsed thoroughly in tap water after being taken to the field and returned, then oven dried to constant mass before tensile strength testing) were used as controls for any loss of strength from transport and washing in tap water.


Supplemental information

Hladyz, S., Åbjörnsson, K., Giller, P. S., & Woodward, G. (2011). Impacts of an aggressive riparian invader on community structure and ecosystem functioning in stream food webs. Journal of Applied Ecology, 48(2), 443-452
Jenkins, G.B., Woodward, G. and Hildrew, A.G., 2013. Long-term amelioration of acidity accelerates decomposition in headwater streams. Global change biology, 19(4), pp.1100-1106.
Layer, K., Riede, J.O., Hildrew, A.G. and Woodward, G., 2010. Food web structure and stability in 20 streams across a wide pH gradient. Advances In Ecological Research, 42, pp.265-299.

Correspondence/contact details

Dr. Isabelle Durance
Cardiff University
Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue
CF10 3AX


Durance, I.
Cardiff University
Gutierrez-Canovas, C.
Cardiff University
Perkins, D.M.
Imperial College London
Woodward, G.
Imperial College London

Other contacts

NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre
Rights Holder
Cardiff University

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Biota , Environment
cellulolytic decomposition,  decomposition,  diversity,  DURESS ecosystem services,  land-use,  Llyn Brianne,  Plynlimon,  Wales
Environmental Monitoring Facilities
Natural Environment Research Council Award: NE/J014818/1
Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid
Last updated
20 May 2022 10:40