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Differential transport and degradation of bulk organic carbon and specific terrestrial biomarkers in the surface waters of a sub-arctic brackish bay mixing zone
(UMFpub)
2008 (English)In: Marine Chemistry, ISSN 0304-4203, E-ISSN 1872-7581, Vol. 112, no 3-4, p. 203-214Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Detailed organic geochemical analyses were performed on surface water particulate samples of the lower Kalix River and northern Bothnian Bay collected during the spring flood of 2005. Both bulk geochemical and molecular biomarker analyses indicated a predominance of terrestrially-derived particulate organic matter (POM), both of higher plant and Sphagnum origin in the low salinity zone (LSZ) of the Kalix River estuary, with an increasing contribution of marine-derived POM in the offshore Bothnian Bay basin. Two-dimensional box modeling of the mixed surface layer in the LSZ indicated that 65% of the particulate organic carbon (POC) and between 73 and 93% of the terrestrial biomarker classes analyzed (high molecular weight n-alkanes, n-alkanoic acids and n-alkanols as well as sitosterol) were degraded in the course of their weeklong transit through the inner LSZ during the spring flood. This corresponds to field-based degradation rate constants for the biomarkers of 0.5 and 2.5 day(-1), which are similar to results reported from mesocosm experiments for related compounds. The degradation rate constant for terrestrial POC of 0.38 day(-1) was about 20 times larger than for DOC and suggests that POC mineralization stands for 44% of the total mineralization, which is much larger than previously considered. This sub-arctic river-export regime has a geochemistry resembling that of neighboring western Russian Arctic Rivers, Suggesting that a large part of the OM coastally exported from northernmost Eurasian soils may be degraded within the vicinity of the river mouths and putatively be released as carbon dioxide. The 65% degradation of terrestrial POC in the coastal surface water of this sub-arctic recipient is substantially larger than a global-average of 35% used in recent budget estimates of the fate of terrestrially-exported POC on the pan-arctic shelves. Considering ongoing and predicted changes in the Arctic Region due to global warming a more efficient degradation of river-exported terrestrial POC may have far-reaching consequences for the large-scale biogeochemical cycling of carbon in the pan-arctic region and beyond. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV , 2008. Vol. 112, no 3-4, p. 203-214
Keyword [en]
Saturated hydrocarbons, Sphagnum, Sterols, Dissolved organic carbon, Salinity, n-Alkanoic acids, Kalix River, Bothnian Bay, Arctic
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-140780DOI: 10.1016/j.marchem.2008.08.002ISI: 000261992100008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-140780DiVA, id: diva2:1150501
Available from: 2017-10-19 Created: 2017-10-19 Last updated: 2018-06-09

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van Dongen, Bart E.

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