Publications by authors named "Rex L Lowe"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Eighty years of food-web response to interannual variation in discharge recorded in river diatom frustules from an ocean sediment core.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2017 09 5;114(38):10155-10159. Epub 2017 Sep 5.

Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720;

Little is known about the importance of food-web processes as controls of river primary production due to the paucity of both long-term studies and of depositional environments which would allow retrospective fossil analysis. To investigate how freshwater algal production in the Eel River, northern California, varied over eight decades, we quantified siliceous shells (frustules) of freshwater diatoms from a well-dated undisturbed sediment core in a nearshore marine environment. Abundances of freshwater diatom frustules exported to Eel Canyon sediment from 1988 to 2001 were positively correlated with annual biomass of surveyed over these years in upper portions of the Eel basin. Over 28 years of contemporary field research, peak algal biomass was generally higher in summers following bankfull, bed-scouring winter floods. Field surveys and experiments suggested that bed-mobilizing floods scour away overwintering grazers, releasing algae from spring and early summer grazing. During wet years, growth conditions for algae could also be enhanced by increased nutrient loading from the watershed, or by sustained summer base flows. Total annual rainfall and frustule densities in laminae over a longer 83-year record were weakly and negatively correlated, however, suggesting that positive effects of floods on annual algal production were primarily mediated by "top-down" (consumer release) rather than "bottom-up" (growth promoting) controls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1611884114DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5617238PMC
September 2017

The Hawaiian freshwater algae biodiversity survey (2009-2014): systematic and biogeographic trends with an emphasis on the macroalgae.

BMC Ecol 2014 Oct 25;14:28. Epub 2014 Oct 25.

Background: A remarkable range of environmental conditions is present in the Hawaiian Islands due to their gradients of elevation, rainfall and island age. Despite being well known as a location for the study of evolutionary processes and island biogeography, little is known about the composition of the non-marine algal flora of the archipelago, its degree of endemism, or affinities with other floras. We conducted a biodiversity survey of the non-marine macroalgae of the six largest main Hawaiian Islands using molecular and microscopic assessment techniques. We aimed to evaluate whether endemism or cosmopolitanism better explain freshwater algal distribution patterns, and provide a baseline data set for monitoring future biodiversity changes in the Hawaiian Islands.

Results: 1,786 aquatic and terrestrial habitats and 1,407 distinct collections of non-marine macroalgae were collected from the islands of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, Lanai and Hawaii from the years 2009-2014. Targeted habitats included streams, wet walls, high elevation bogs, taro fields, ditches and flumes, lakes/reservoirs, cave walls and terrestrial areas. Sites that lacked freshwater macroalgae were typically terrestrial or wet wall habitats that were sampled for diatoms and other microalgae. Approximately 50% of the identifications were of green algae, with lesser proportions of diatoms, red algae, cyanobacteria, xanthophytes and euglenoids. 898 DNA sequences were generated representing eight different markers, which enabled an assessment of the number of taxonomic entities for genera collected as part of the survey. Forty-four well-characterized taxa were assessed for global distribution patterns. This analysis revealed no clear biogeographic affinities of the flora, with 27.3% characterized as "cosmopolitan", 11.4% "endemic", and 61.3% as intermediate.

Conclusions: The Hawaiian freshwater algal biodiversity survey represents the first comprehensive effort to characterize the non-marine algae of a tropical region in the world using both morphological and molecular tools. Survey data were entered in the Hawaiian Freshwater Algal Database, which serves as a digital repository of photographs and micrographs, georeferenced localities and DNA sequence data. These analyses yielded an updated checklist of the non-marine macroalgae of the Hawaiian Islands, and revealed varied biogeographic affinities of the flora that are likely a product of both natural and anthropogenic dispersal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12898-014-0028-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4222836PMC
October 2014

Distribution of diatoms in relation to land use and pH in blackwater coastal plain streams.

Environ Manage 2007 Mar 11;39(3):369-84. Epub 2007 Jan 11.

Pinelands Commission, PO Box 7, New Lisbon, NJ 08064, USA.

We compared the composition of diatom assemblages collected from New Jersey Pinelands blackwater streams draining four different land uses, including forest land, abandoned-cranberry bogs, active-cranberry bogs, and developed and upland-agricultural land. Over a 2-year period (2002-2003), we collected 132 diatom taxa at 14 stream sites. Between-year variability in the composition of stream samples was high. Most diatom species were rarely encountered and were found in low abundance. Specific conductance and pH were higher at developed/agricultural sites compared with all other site types. Neither species richness nor genus richness was significantly different between stream types. However, clear community patterns were evident, and a significant difference in species composition existed between the developed/agricultural sites and both cranberry and forest sites. The primary community gradient, represented by the first axis of a DCA ordination, was associated with variations in pH and specific conductance. Although community patterns revealed by ordinating the data collected in 2002 differed from those obtained using the 2003 data, both ordinations contrasted the developed/agricultural sites and the other sites. Acidobiontic and acidophilous diatoms characterized the dominant species at forest, abandoned-bog, and cranberry sites, whereas indifferent species dominated the developed/agricultural samples. Although our study demonstrated a relationship between the composition of diatom assemblages and watershed conditions, several factors, including taxonomic problems, the large number of diatom species, incomplete pH classifications, and year-to-year variability may limit the utility of diatom species as indicators of watershed conditions in the New Jersey Pinelands.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00267-006-0041-0DOI Listing
March 2007
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