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Controls of dissolved organic matter quality: evidence from a large-scale boreal lake survey
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6106-6893
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2798-9018
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.
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2014 (English)In: Global Change Biology, ISSN 1354-1013, E-ISSN 1365-2486, Vol. 20, no 4, 1101-1114 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Inland waters transport large amounts of dissolved organic matter (DOM) from terrestrial environments to the oceans, but DOM also reacts en route, with substantial water column losses by mineralization and sedimentation. For DOM transformations along the aquatic continuum, lakes play an important role as they retain waters in the landscape allowing for more time to alter DOM. We know DOM losses are significant at the global scale, yet little is known about how the reactivity of DOM varies across landscapes and climates. DOM reactivity is inherently linked to its chemical composition. We used fluorescence spectroscopy to explore DOM quality from 560 lakes distributed across Sweden and encompassed a wide climatic gradient typical of the boreal ecozone. Six fluorescence components were identified using parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC). The intensity and relative abundance of these components were analyzed in relation to lake chemistry, catchment, and climate characteristics. Land cover, particularly the percentage of water in the catchment, was a primary factor explaining variability in PARAFAC components. Likewise, lake water retention time influenced DOM quality. These results suggest that processes occurring in upstream water bodies, in addition to the lake itself, have a dominant influence on DOM quality. PARAFAC components with longer emission wavelengths, or red-shifted components, were most reactive. In contrast, protein-like components were most persistent within lakes. Generalized characteristics of PARAFAC components based on emission wavelength could ease future interpretation of fluorescence spectra. An important secondary influence on DOM quality was mean annual temperature, which ranged between −6.2 and +7.5 °C. These results suggest that DOM reactivity depends more heavily on the duration of time taken to pass through the landscape, rather than temperature. Projected increases in runoff in the boreal region may force lake DOM toward a higher overall amount and proportion of humic-like substances.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 20, no 4, 1101-1114 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-214177DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12488ISI: 000332069500008OAI: diva2:684330
Available from: 2014-01-07 Created: 2014-01-07 Last updated: 2016-05-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Lake Dissolved Organic Matter Quantity and Quality: Variability across Temporal and Spatial Scales
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lake Dissolved Organic Matter Quantity and Quality: Variability across Temporal and Spatial Scales
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Surface waters receive large amounts of dissolved organic matter (DOM) via runoff from land. The DOM is rich in organic carbon that serves as an energy source for the aquatic biota. During uptake of this energy, aquatic organisms mineralize organic carbon. The resulting inorganic carbon is partially released to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and methane that are greenhouse gases, and which are of concern for the ongoing global warming. The rate at which organic carbon is mineralized depends strongly on DOM quantity and quality that vary with respect to both time and space. In this thesis, DOM quantity and quality were addressed using spectroscopic methods that build on the absorptive and fluorescent properties of chromophoric DOM (CDOM). New techniques to measure CDOM absorption and fluorescence were applied and further developed that allowed us to present novel CDOM variability patterns. Addressing the lake-rich Scandinavian landscape, strong focus was placed on water retention by lakes that tightly links to lake DOM quantity and quality.

An analysis of 24,742 lakes from seven large Swedish river systems indicated that the majority of lakes in Sweden exchange their water within one year. From headwaters to the Sea, summed lake volumes in the catchments of lakes were found to increase at rates comparable to discharge, which indicated effective water renewal along flow. A strong relationship between lake water retention and CDOM was apparent and further investigated based on samples from a lake district to a regional scale.

Results from in situ high-frequency monitoring of CDOM absorption in a eutrophic humic lake showed intra-annual variability patterns known from oligotrophic lake systems. The patterns for CDOM absorption contrasted results obtained for synchronously measured partial pressures of carbon dioxide that showed diurnal signals. Measurements of CDOM fluorescence and DOC concentrations indicated lake-internal DOM production. A comparison of these results with results from addressing 560 lakes distributed across Sweden, showed that a well-calibrated CDOM fluorescence measurement captures signals from lake-internal DOM production. I conclude that improved CDOM fluorescence measurements are promising to address lake-internally produced DOM.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. 37 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1225
dissolved organic matter, organic carbon, CDOM, lakes
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Limnology
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-242335 (URN)978-91-554-9163-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-03-27, Friessalen, Evolutionsbiologiskt Centrum (EBC), Norbyvägen 14, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2015-03-02 Created: 2015-01-24 Last updated: 2016-05-24Bibliographically approved

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