Articles | Volume 13, issue 2
Research article
26 Jan 2016
Research article |  | 26 Jan 2016

Dissolved organic carbon lability and stable isotope shifts during microbial decomposition in a tropical river system

N. Geeraert, F. O. Omengo, G. Govers, and S. Bouillon


Interactive discussion

Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Peer-review completion

AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision
ED: Reconsider after major revisions (19 Dec 2015) by Gerhard Herndl
AR by Naomi Geeraert on behalf of the Authors (04 Jan 2016)  Author's response
ED: Publish as is (14 Jan 2016) by Gerhard Herndl
Short summary
Rivers transport a large amount of carbon as dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Our incubation experiments on water of the Tana River, Kenya, showed that microbial decomposition of 10–60 % of the initial DOC occurred within the first 24–48 h. Simultaneously, there was a decrease in isotopic composition, indicating that DOC derived from C4 vegetation is preferentially decomposed. This has implications for the assessment of vegetation in a catchment based on isotope signatures of riverine carbon.
Final-revised paper