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Erik Jeppesen

Variability in dissolved organic matter composition and biolability across gradients of glacial coverage and distance from glacial terminus on the Tibetan Plateau

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DOI

  • Yongqiang Zhou, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Lei Zhou, Taihu Laboratory for Lake Ecosystem Research, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Xiaoting He, Kunming University of Science and Technology
  • ,
  • Kyoung Soon Jang, Korea Basic Science Institute
  • ,
  • Xiaolong Yao, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Yang Hu, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Yunlin Zhang, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Xiangying Li, Hohai University
  • ,
  • Robert G.M. Spencer, Florida State University
  • ,
  • Justin Dean Brookes, University of Adelaide
  • ,
  • Erik Jeppesen

Globally, alpine glaciers hold a large quantity of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and are headwaters of numerous rivers supporting downstream heterotrophic metabolism. Yet, it remains unclear how glacial coverage and distance from glacial terminus affect the fate of DOM. Here, we elucidate DOM variability in glacial-fed streams on the Tibetan Plateau using field sampling and bio-incubation experiments and compare our findings with the existing literature. We found that, dissolved organic carbon, DOM absorption a(254), DOM aromaticity, and the relative abundance of lignin compounds in glacial-fed streams and rivers all increased with increasing distance from the glacial terminus and with decreasing glacial coverage. We also found contribution of protein-like components, the relative abundance of aliphatic compounds, and DOM biolability increased with increasing glacial coverage and with decreasing distance from the glacial terminus. The ratio of glacial coverage to the logarithmic transformed distance from the glacial terminus was better than actual glacial coverage and distance from glacial terminus in tracing the variability of glacial-fed stream DOM. Microbes in surface ice can produce biolabile DOM that are exported downstream with meltwater. This glacial-fed stream and river DOM is an important source of highly bioavailable material fueling downstream heterotrophic activity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume53
Issue21
Pages (from-to)12207-12217
Number of pages11
ISSN0013-936X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Biolability, Dissolved organic matter (DOM), Glacier, Tibetan Plateau, Ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS)

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