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Freshwater Biology



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The role of hydrological linkages among subsystems within catchments has received increased attention in recent years by stream ecologists and hydrologists. The groundwater/surface water interface is recognized as an important hotspot of nutrient retention and transformation, a habitat for a unique and diverse invertebrate community, and a significant contributor to ecosystem resistance and resilience to disturbance (see reviews in Jones & Holmes, 1996; Brunke & Gonser, 1997; Boulton et al., 1998; Dahm et al., 1998). The region of seasonal saturation, or that portion of the soil column that is seasonally saturated by a rising groundwater table, is recognized by wetland ecologists as an important source of water and nutrients to floods at the land surface (Bartley & Croome, 1999). This interface has received little attention by stream and groundwater ecologists, although it can supply dissolved organic matter and other solutes to both surface water and groundwater (Baker, Valett & Dahm, 2000).