Microbial processes in large rivers
Jones, J. G.
Microbial processes (i.e. those of decomposition and turnover) in large rivers are largely controlled by flow and particularly by catastrophic events. Seasonally adjusted mean values may be obtained for a particular function, but the most important driving force is that of turbulence. Although studies on the decomposition processes which fall within the remit of this contribution are widely dispersed, and often not conducted on the largest of our rivers, it is possible to draw general conclusions which may assist in planning future research programmes. The significance of dead-zones and the shifts in redox reactions associated with sediment movement and deposition are important not only in terms of carbon turnover, but also in the transport ofa range of pollutants. Finally, the absence of a comprehensive database on rivers, comparable to that currently available on lakes and produced by the International Lake Environment Committee Foundation (ILEC), is noted and regretted. Given the transboundary responsibility for rivers, such a database is seen as an essential component of river management.