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Forskningsartikel2017Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Preferential sequestration of terrestrial organic matter in boreal lake sediments

Guillemette, Francois; von Wachenfeldt, Eddie; Kothawala, Dolly N.; Bastviken, David; Tranvik, Lars J.


The molecular composition and origin has recently been demonstrated to play a critical role in the persistence of organic matter in lake water, but it is unclear to what degree chemical attributes and sources may also control settling and burial of organic matter in lake sediments. Here we compared the annual contribution of allochthonous and autochthonous sources to the organic matter settling in the water column and present in the sediments of 12 boreal lakes. We used the fluorescence properties and elemental composition of the organic matter to trace its origin and found a consistent pattern of increasing contribution of terrestrial compounds in the sediments as compared to the settling matter, with an annual average allochthony of similar to 87% and similar to 57%, respectively. Seasonal data revealed a predominance of in-lake-produced compounds sinking in the water column in summer. Yet only a slight concurrent decrease in the contribution of terrestrial C to lake sediments was observed during the same period, and sediment allochthony increased again to high levels in autumn. Our results reveal a preferential preservation of allochthonous matter in the sediments and highlight the role of lakes as sequesters of organic carbon primarily originating from the surrounding landscape.


lake; sediments; terrestrial; flocculation; fluorescence; organic matter

Publicerad i

Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
2017, Volym: 122, nummer: 4, sidor: 863-874

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