The increase in the concentration of dissolved nutrients stimulates plant litter decomposition in streams
The decomposition of plant litter is a fundamental process in forest streams. These small streams constitute the majority of watercourses in many river basins and are usually shaded by the surrounding vegetation. The lack of sunlight to these streams limits the primary production or vegetal production, which is the process that underlies the food chains in many systems such as forests, grasslands, lakes or the open sea. However, the surrounding vegetation is a source of plant remains, especially leaf litter, to these streams. This litter is decomposed by micro-organisms and invertebrates, which by their actions lead to the availability of carbon and nutrients and their incorporation into the food webs.