Research Topic

Death and Decomposition in Aquatic Ecosystems

About this Research Topic

Resource subsidies affect food webs, nutrient cycling, and community interactions, but their effects depend on the history, magnitude, and recurrence frequency of the subsidies. In aquatic ecosystems, plant detritus is considered the predominant form of such subsidies; however, while often less abundant in many ecosystems, carrion represents subsidies with relatively rapid turnover and highly concentrated nutrient and energy release that can have strong and lasting effects on ecosystems. Carrion subsidies can come in the form of phenology-based frequency (e.g., salmon spawning and death) or stochastic and episodic (e.g., mass fish kills). Some aquatic ecosystems have a natural history of carrion resource subsidies (e.g., natural salmon-bearing streams), while others have only recently been exposed to phenology-based carrion subsidies (e.g., salmon introductions around the world). Others only experience episodic subsidies in the form of unexpected mass mortalities (e.g., eutrophication- or disease-related fish kills). The responses of ecosystems to these different histories and frequencies of carrion subsidies have often been investigated independently, with little effort to compare and bridge research boundaries in the broader context of resource subsidies.

This Research Topic will provide an extensive ecological understanding of how pulsed carrion nutrient and energy releases have widespread and lasting impacts on many aquatic ecosystems. This Topic will include authors that were invited to present research in a special session at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Society for Freshwater Science, hosted in Detroit, MI. Many of the authors have confirmed their willingness to contribute to this Topic, and we would entertain additional submissions from authors with appropriate topics.


Keywords: Carrion, Mass Mortality, Organic Matter, Decomposition, Resource Subsidy, Disturbance, Pulse, Necrobiome, Evolution, Food Webs


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Resource subsidies affect food webs, nutrient cycling, and community interactions, but their effects depend on the history, magnitude, and recurrence frequency of the subsidies. In aquatic ecosystems, plant detritus is considered the predominant form of such subsidies; however, while often less abundant in many ecosystems, carrion represents subsidies with relatively rapid turnover and highly concentrated nutrient and energy release that can have strong and lasting effects on ecosystems. Carrion subsidies can come in the form of phenology-based frequency (e.g., salmon spawning and death) or stochastic and episodic (e.g., mass fish kills). Some aquatic ecosystems have a natural history of carrion resource subsidies (e.g., natural salmon-bearing streams), while others have only recently been exposed to phenology-based carrion subsidies (e.g., salmon introductions around the world). Others only experience episodic subsidies in the form of unexpected mass mortalities (e.g., eutrophication- or disease-related fish kills). The responses of ecosystems to these different histories and frequencies of carrion subsidies have often been investigated independently, with little effort to compare and bridge research boundaries in the broader context of resource subsidies.

This Research Topic will provide an extensive ecological understanding of how pulsed carrion nutrient and energy releases have widespread and lasting impacts on many aquatic ecosystems. This Topic will include authors that were invited to present research in a special session at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Society for Freshwater Science, hosted in Detroit, MI. Many of the authors have confirmed their willingness to contribute to this Topic, and we would entertain additional submissions from authors with appropriate topics.


Keywords: Carrion, Mass Mortality, Organic Matter, Decomposition, Resource Subsidy, Disturbance, Pulse, Necrobiome, Evolution, Food Webs


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

10 December 2018 Manuscript
20 April 2019 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

10 December 2018 Manuscript
20 April 2019 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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