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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


BRINTRUP, Kate et al. Comparison of organic matter in intermittent and perennial rivers of Mediterranean Chile with the support of citizen science. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2019, vol.92, 3.  Epub July 25, 2019. ISSN 0716-078X.


Although intermittent rivers account for over half of the global fluvial network and could increase in length and quantity in Mediterranean climates (in response to climate changes), there is little documentation of organic matter input to them. This study was made possible by the cooperation of the Concepción Chiguayante School community and the Explora project (Chile), with the support of citizen science. The aim was to compare coarse particulate organic matter quantities and types in the Lonquén basin.


Samplings were performed in two perennial rivers and two intermittent rivers. First, the riparian vegetation of the streams was characterized through photointerpretation and subsequently the organic matter accumulated in the selected river beds was quantified and typified. Spearman's correlation was used.


The riparian vegetation was similar in both types of rivers, though significantly greater (p < 0.05) plant material accumulation was found in intermittent rivers compared to perennial rivers (1029 and 337 g m−2, respectively). Likewise, there was a significant relationship among leaves, smaller organic matter, seeds, herbs and shrubs in intermittent rivers.


The results reveal the importance of the intermittent rivers that were sampled as transitory reservoirs of organic matter with high productive potential, especially in the first flood pulses, when this material is transported downstream.

Keywords : Intermittent rivers; Citizen science; Coarse particulate organic matter; Mediterranean climate.

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