Organic particles in a shallow sediment trap: Substantial loss to the dissolved phase

Kähler, Paul, Eduard Bauerfeind

Limnol. Oceanogr., 46(3), 2001, 719-723 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2001.46.3.0719

ABSTRACT: We used multivariate statistics to divide the solubilized organic matter in a shallow time-series trap into fractions derived from swimmers and from the passive flux. Most of the dissolved organic matter in the traps originated from swimmers, but the contribution from passively trapped material was also substantial. Accounting for this fraction attributable to the passively trapped material yields a vertical organic carbon flux 2.7 times larger than the conventional estimate, which is based on recovered particles only. For organic nitrogen, this correction is even greater (six times). Solubilization is a fast process that is significant within a few days.

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