The Biota of Intermittent Rivers and Ephemeral Streams: Algae and Vascular Plants

Sergi Sabater, Xisca Timoner, Gudrun Bornette, Mélissa De Wilde, Juliet C. Stromberg, John C. Stella

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

34 Scopus citations


Intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams (IRES) support highly biodiverse primary producers, including algae, cyanobacteria, and aquatic and riparian plants. All these groups share common traits to cope with a harsh environment whose water table varies and where desiccation is common. Traits include morphological characteristics, life cycle adaptations, and physiological mechanisms to contend with hydric stress and increased water temperatures. Despite these environmental challenges, primary producers play ubiquitous roles in the fluxes of energy and material in IRES. They are the basis for ecosystem metabolism, expressed as episodic pulses of production that occur immediately following rewetting, when their abundant output of high-quality organic matter is critical for supporting consumers both in-stream and in the neighboring terrestrial system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIntermittent Rivers and Ephemeral Streams
Subtitle of host publicationEcology and Management
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780128039045
ISBN (Print)9780128038352
StatePublished - Jul 19 2017


  • Adaptation
  • Algae
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Drying
  • Macrophytes
  • Photosynthetic pigments
  • Rewetting
  • Riparian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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