Articles | Volume 17, issue 24
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-17-6327-2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-17-6327-2020
Research article
 | 
15 Dec 2020
Research article |  | 15 Dec 2020

The relative importance of photodegradation and biodegradation of terrestrially derived dissolved organic carbon across four lakes of differing trophic status

Christopher M. Dempsey, Jennifer A. Brentrup, Sarah Magyan, Lesley B. Knoll, Hilary M. Swain, Evelyn E. Gaiser, Donald P. Morris, Michael T. Ganger, and Craig E. Williamson

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Short summary
We looked at how terrestrial dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from the watersheds of four different lakes responded to both biodegradation (i.e., microbes) and photodegradation (i.e., sunlight). The traditional paradigm is that biodegradation is more important than photodegradation. Our research shows that, on short timescales (i.e., 7 d), sunlight is more important than microbes in degrading DOC. Interestingly, the lakes had different responses to sunlight based on their trophic status.
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