Aquatic environment

Photo-production of dissolved inorganic carbon from dissolved organic matter in contrasting coastal waters in the southwestern Taiwan Strait, China

Weidong Guo , Liyang Yang , Xiangxiang Yu , Weidong Zhai , Huasheng Hong


Received September 22, 2011,Revised November 18, 2011, Accepted , Available online July 08, 2012

Volume 24,2012,Pages 1181-1188

Photo-production of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) from chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) is an important transformation process in marine carbon cycle, but little is known about this process in Chinese coastal systems. This study investigated an estuarine water sample and a coastal seawater sample from the subtropical waters in southeast of China. Water samples were exposed to natural sunlight and the absorption and fluorescence of CDOM as well as the DIC concentration were measured in the summer of 2009. The estuarine water had higher CDOM level, molecular weight and proportion of humic-like fluorescent components than the seawater that exhibited abundant tryptophan-like fluorescent component. After a 3-day irradiation, the CDOM level decreased by 45% in the estuarine water and 20% in the seawater, accompanied with a decrease in the molecular weight and aromaticity of DOM which was inferred from an increase in the absorption spectral slope parameter. The photo-degradation rates of all the five fluorescent components were also notable, in particular two humic-like components (C4 and C5) were removed by 78% and 69% in the estuarine water and by 69% and 56% in the seawater. The estuarine water had a higher photo-production rate of DIC than the seawater (4.4 vs. 2.5 μupmol/(, in part due to its higher CDOM abundance. The differences in CDOM compositions between the two types of waters might be responsible for the higher susceptibility of the estuarine water to photo-degradation and hence could also affect the photo-production process of DIC.

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