Compositional differences of chromophoric dissolved organic matter derived from phytoplankton and macrophytes

  • Zhang Y
  • Liu X
  • Wang M
 et al. 
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Chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) is an important component in the aquatic environment and plays a key role in light attenuation and in carbon biogeochemical cycles. We examined CDOM production in each of two laboratory experiments in which phytoplankton and macrophyte degradation were monitored using absorption and excitation-emission matrix fluorescence spectroscopy (EEMs). During the incubation period, CDOM was produced from phytoplankton and macrophytes, and partly decomposed by microorganisms. The absorption spectra of the phytoplankton derived and the macrophyte derived CDOM were distinct and characterized by peaks and shoulders in the UV bands. Production of CDOM absorption at 350nm, a(350), was 0.0125m2/g per unit of chlorophyll a from phytoplankton CDOM from 0-3d. Meanwhile a(350) production was 2.708×10-4m2/g per unit of wet biomass from macrophytes CDOM from 1-7d. Despite the high production of CDOM by phytoplankton and macrophytes, extrapolation of these values to the field indicated that about 15% of total CDOM was produced from phytoplankton during algal blooms in Meiliang Bay in summer and about 8% of total CDOM was produced from macrophytes in the macrophyte dominated littorals. The mean value of the spectral slope (S) describing the exponential decrease of the absorption spectrum, which was strongly correlated to an optical index of molecular size, for the phytoplankton derived CDOM was 10.26±2.05μm-1, which was significantly lower than the mean S of 14.47±2.88μm-1for the macrophyte derived CDOM (t-test, p

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