Microbially induced flocculation of allochthonous dissolved organic carbon in lakes

von Wachenfeldt, Eddie, David Bastviken, Lars J. Tranvik

Limnol. Oceanogr., 54(5), 2009, 1811-1818 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2009.54.5.1811

ABSTRACT: The flocculation of allochthonous dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in lakes was investigated in a series of laboratory experiments. Flocculation was enhanced by increased temperatures, and addition of glucose increased the flocculation further. A change in pH within the range of 3.3 to 7.3 resulted in decreased flocculation with increasing deviation from the original pH. Flocculation was similar under oxic and anoxic conditions. For all treatments (i.e., temperature and glucose, pH, and O2 regime), flocculation was positively correlated to bacterial respiration. However, bacterial biomass made up a negligible fraction of the formed flocs, suggesting that the formation of detrital particles was a result of bacterial activity, but there was no significant contribution of bacteria to the mass of the particles formed. In all experiments, both the concentration of DOC and concentration of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) decreased concomitantly with flocculation, suggesting that CDOM is the precursor of the flocs. Bacteria mediate a translocation of DOC in the water column into particles prone to gravitational settling.

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