Patterns in the percent sediment organic matter of arctic lakes.
Patterns of sediment organic matter deposition in lakes reflect the factors that affect the production of organic matter in the lake and watershed and the removal of organic matter from the sediments. We surveyed the percent sediment organic matter of 22 lakes in the Alaskan Arctic and the rate of organic matter loss with sediment age in 3 lakes in the same region. The variation in sediment organic matter among lakes was greater than the variation between shallow and deep locations within the same lake, which is consistent with landscape-scale control of variation in sediment organic matter. In shallow water sediments, percent sediment organic matter was positively correlated with the amount of light reaching the sediments and the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the overlying water, suggesting that differences in organic matter content reflect differences in benthic production. The percent organic matter of the sediments in deep water was correlated with the percent organic matter in the sediments from shallow water but not environmental variables. The results suggest that variation in sediment organic matter in this region may be influenced by variation in benthic organic matter production more than by the loss of organic matter via mineralization.
Fortino, K., Whalen, S.C., & Smoak, J.M. (2016). Patterns in the percent sediment organic matter of arctic lakes. Hydrobiologia, 777(1), 149-160. doi: 10.1007/s10750-016-2771-1.
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