Stream Metabolism

Robert O. Hall, Erin R. Hotchkiss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Stream metabolism, or gross primary production and ecosystem respiration, is a fundamental property of stream ecosystems and is simple to measure in an instructional setting. In this chapter, we present theory on measuring stream metabolism based on diel oxygen curves, describe field methods to collect oxygen and associated data, and detail analytical methods for converting oxygen data to metabolism. The difficult aspect of estimating metabolism is quantifying air-water gas exchange and we present field and modeling methods to estimate this parameter. We also provide supplemental R code and spreadsheets to simplify the calculations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEcosystem Function
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780128132692
ISBN (Print)9780128130476
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Autotrophic
  • Ecosystem respiration
  • Gas exchange
  • Gross primary production
  • Heterotrophic
  • Maximum likelihood estimation
  • Net ecosystem production
  • Open channel


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