Intra-annual variability of organic carbon concentrations in running waters: Drivers along a climatic gradient
2014 (English)In: Global Biogeochemical Cycles, ISSN 0886-6236, Vol. 28, no 4, 451-464 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Trends in surface water dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations have received considerable scientific interest during recent decades. However, intra-annual DOC variability is often orders of magnitude larger than long-term trends. Unraveling the controls on intra-annual DOC dynamics holds the key to a better understanding of long-term changes and their ecological significance. We quantified and characterized intra-annual DOC variability and compared it with long-term DOC trends in 136 streams and rivers, varying in size and geographical characteristics, across a 1400km latitudinal gradient during 2000-2010. Discharge, temperature, and month of the year were the most significant predictors of intra-annual DOC variability in a majority of the running waters. Relationships between DOC, discharge, and temperature were, however, different along a mean annual temperature (MAT) gradient. Running waters with low MAT generally displayed positive DOC-discharge correlations whereas the relationships in sites with higher MAT were more variable. This reflected contrasting relationships between temperature and discharge with discharge positively correlated with temperature in cold areas, while it was negatively correlated with temperature in catchments with higher MAT. Sites where flow, temperature, and month were poorly related to intra-annual DOC dynamics were large catchments or sites with extensive upstream lake cover. DOC trends were generally much smaller than intra-annual DOC variability and did not show any north-south gradient. Our findings suggest that DOC in running waters could respond to a changing climate in ways not predictable, or even discernible, from extrapolation of recent interannual trends. Key Points <list list-type="bulleted" id="gbc20160-list-0001"> <list-item id="gbc20160-li-0001">Large-scale characterization of intra-annual DOC dynamics in running waters <list-item id="gbc20160-li-0002">Discharge, temperature and month are significant predictors of DOC variability <list-item id="gbc20160-li-0003">Shifting patterns in DOC dynamics along a 1400 km climatic gradient
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 28, no 4, 451-464 p.
DOC, NOM, organic matter, seasonality, streams, climate
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-227890DOI: 10.1002/2013GB004770ISI: 000335809500009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-227890DiVA: diva2:731744