Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-340
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-340

  05 Jan 2022

05 Jan 2022

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Dissolved organic matter signatures in urban surface waters: spatio-temporal patterns and drivers

Clara Romero González-Quijano1, Sonia Herrero Ortega2, Peter Casper2, Mark Gessner2,3, and Gabriel Singer1,4,5 Clara Romero González-Quijano et al.
  • 1Department of Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin, Germany
  • 2Department of Experimental Limnology, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Stechlin, Germany
  • 3Department of Ecology, Berlin Institute of Technology (TU Berlin), Berlin, Germany
  • 4Research Area of Earth, Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg, Delmenhorst, Germany
  • 5Department of Ecology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria

Abstract. Advances in analytical chemistry have facilitated the characterization of dissolved organic matter (DOM), which has improved understanding of DOM sources and transformations in surface waters. For urban waters, however, where DOM diversity is likely high, the interpretation of DOM signatures is hampered by a lack of basic information. Here we explored the spatiotemporal variation of DOM composition in contrasting urban water bodies, based on spectrophometry and fluorometry, size-exclusion chromatography and ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry, to identify linkages between DOM signatures and potential drivers. The highly diverse DOM we observed distinguished lakes and ponds characterized by a high proportion of autochthonous DOM from rivers and streams with more allochthonous DOM. Seasonal variation was apparent in all types of water bodies, driven by the interaction between phenology and urban influences. Specifically, nutrient supply, the percentage of green space adjacent to the water bodies and point source pollution emerged as major urban drivers of DOM composition. Optical DOM properties also revealed the influence of effluents from waste water treatment plants, suggesting their use in water-quality assessment and monitoring. Furthermore, optical measurements inform about processes both within water bodies and in their surroundings, which could improve the assessment of ecosystem functioning and integrity.

Clara Romero González-Quijano et al.

Status: open (until 16 Feb 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2021-340', Anonymous Referee #1, 16 Jan 2022 reply

Clara Romero González-Quijano et al.

Clara Romero González-Quijano et al.

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Short summary
Despite today's diversity of methods to measure dissolved organic matter (DOM), its potential to ecologically inform about urban surface waters has been underused. We found DOM from urban lakes and ponds to differ greatly from urban streams and rivers in composition as well as temporal turnover. Urban land use (the percentage of green space), nutrient supply and point source pollution were the principal drivers of DOM. We suggest to include DOM composition in regular monitoring.
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