Articles | Volume 19, issue 11
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-19-2881-2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-19-2881-2022
Research article
 | 
13 Jun 2022
Research article |  | 13 Jun 2022

Origin, transport, and retention of fluvial sedimentary organic matter in South Africa's largest freshwater wetland, Mkhuze Wetland System

Julia Gensel, Marc Steven Humphries, Matthias Zabel, David Sebag, Annette Hahn, and Enno Schefuß

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Cited articles

Albrecht, R., Sebag, D., and Verrecchia, E.: Organic matter decomposition: bridging the gap between Rock–Eval pyrolysis and chemical characterization (CPMAS13C NMR), Biogeochemistry, 122, 101–111, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-014-0033-8, 2015.  a, b, c, d
Alexander, W. J. R.: Some comment on the diversion of the Mkuze river in Lake St. Lucia, Tech. rep., https://saeis.saeon.ac.za/Document/2051 (last access: 24 May 2022), 1973. a, b, c, d
Alexander, W. J. R., Stormanns, C., and Breen, C.: Some aspects of the hydrology of the Mkuze Swamp system, in: Proceedings of the Greater Mkuze Swamp System Symposium and Workshop, Institute of Natural Resources, Pietermaritzburg, pp. 4–7, https://saeis.saeon.ac.za/Document/2093 (last access: 02 June 2022), 1986. a
Ardón, M., Helton, A. M., and Bernhardt, E. S.: Drought and saltwater incursion synergistically reduce dissolved organic carbon export from coastal freshwater wetlands, Biogeochemistry, 127, 411–426, 2016. a
Baas, M., Pancost, R., Van Geel, B., and Sinninghe Damsté, J. S.: A comparative study of lipids in Sphagnum species, Org. Geochem., 31, 535–541, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0146-6380(00)00037-1, 2000. a, b
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We investigated organic matter (OM) and plant-wax-derived biomarkers in sediments and plants along the Mkhuze River to constrain OM's origin and transport pathways within South Africa's largest freshwater wetland. Presently, it efficiently captures OM, so neither transport from upstream areas nor export from the swamp occurs. Thus, we emphasize that such geomorphological features can alter OM provenance, questioning the assumption of watershed-integrated information in downstream sediments.
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