Recently there has been much emphasis placed on the importance of leaf detritus processing to the energetics of stream invertebrates. This study was designed primarily to assess the effects of municipal effluent on the ability of a stream community to utilize leaf detritus, and secondarily to evaluate the extent of the pollution of the White River by the Fayetteville, Arkansas, effluent discharge. Physical and chemical water quality and benthos were sampled periodically at one station upstream and two stations downstream from the discharge, and in the Richland Creek tributary. Processing of leaf detritus was also studied at each site using 5 g of red oak (Quercus shumardi) leaves. The physicochemistry and benthic community structure indicated moderate to heavy pollution by the effluent. Despite this, leaf detritus processing rates were extremely rapid which indicated that leaf decomposition is virtually unaffected by macroinvertebrates.
Brown, Arthur V.; Willis, Lawrence D.; and Brussock, Peter P.
"Effects of Sewage Pollution in the White River, Arkansas,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 37
, Article 5.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol37/iss1/5