Temporal control on concentration, character and export of dissolved organic carbon in two hemiboreal headwater streams draining contrasting catchments
2015 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, ISSN 2169-8953, E-ISSN 2169-8961, Vol. 120, no 5, 832-846 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Although lateral carbon (C) export from terrestrial to aquatic systems is known to be an important component in landscape C balances, most existing global studies are lacking empirical data on the soil C export. In this study, the concentration, character, and export of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were studied during 2 years in two hemiboreal headwater streams draining catchments with different soil characteristics (mineral versus peat soils). The streams exposed surprisingly similar strong air temperature controls on the temporal variability in DOC concentration in spite of draining such different catchments. The temporal variability in DOC character (determined by absorbance metrics, specific ultraviolet absorbance 254 (SUVA254) as a proxy for aromaticity and a254/a365 ratio as a proxy for mean molecular weight) was more complex but related to stream discharge. While the two streams showed similar ranges and patterns in SUVA254, we found a significant difference in median a254/a354, suggesting differences in the DOC character. Both streams responded similarly to hydrological changes with higher a254/a365 at higher discharge, although with rather small differences in a254/a365 between base flow and high flow (<0.3). The DOC exports (9.6–25.2 g C m−2 yr−1) were among the highest reported so far for Scandinavia and displayed large interannual and intraannual variability mainly driven by irregular precipitation/discharge patterns. Our results show that air temperature and discharge affect the temporal variability in DOC quantity and character in different ways. This will have implications for the design of representative sampling programs, which in turn will affect the reliability of future estimates of landscape C budgets.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 120, no 5, 832-846 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-251341DOI: 10.1002/2014JG002814ISI: 000356523000002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-251341DiVA: diva2:805546
FunderSwedish Research CouncilSwedish Research Council Formas