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Title: The importance of biotic entrainment for base flow fluvial sediment transport
Authors: Rice, Stephen P.
Johnson, Matthew F.
Mathers, Kate L.
Reeds, Jake
Extence, Chris A.
Keywords: Zoogeomorphology
Signal crayfish
Diel bioturbation
Suspended sediment
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: © American Geophysical Union
Citation: RICE, S. ... et al., 2016. The importance of biotic entrainment for base flow fluvial sediment transport. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 121, pp. 890–906.
Abstract: Sediment transport is regarded as an abiotic process driven by geophysical energy, but zoogeomorphological activity indicates that biological energy can also fuel sediment movements. It is therefore prudent to measure the contribution that biota make to sediment transport, but comparisons of abiotic and biotic sediment flux are rare. For a stream in the UK, the contribution of crayfish bioturbation to suspended sediment flux was compared with the amount of sediment moved by hydraulic forcing. During baseflow periods, biotic fluxes can be isolated because nocturnal crayfish activity drives diel turbidity cycles, such that night-time increases above day-time lows are attributable to sediment suspension by crayfish. On average, crayfish bioturbation contributed at least 36% (430 kg) to monthly baseflow suspended sediment loads; this biotic surcharge added between 4.7 and 13.54 t (0.19 to 0.55 t km-2 yr-1) to the annual sediment yield. As anticipated, most sediment was moved by hydraulic forcing during floods and the biotic contribution from baseflow periods represented between 0.43 and 1.24% of the annual load, but this may be a conservative estimate because of unusually prolonged flooding during the measurement period. In addition, we measured direct entrainment of sediment by crayfish, not their potentially greater role in making mobile sediment available to floods via burrowing. These results suggest that in rivers, during baseflow periods, bioturbation can entrain significant quantities of fine sediment into suspension with implications for the aquatic ecosystem and baseflow sediment fluxes. Energy from life rather than from elevation can make significant contributions to sediment fluxes.
Description: An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright (2016) American Geophysical Union.
Version: Published version
DOI: 10.1002/2015JF003726
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/21027
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2015JF003726
ISSN: 2169-9011
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Geography and Environment)

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