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Marked isotopic variability within and between the Amazon River and marine dissolved black carbon pools


Coppola, Alysha I; Seidel, Michael; Ward, Nicholas D; Viviroli, Daniel; Nascimento, Gabriela S; Haghipour, Negar; Revels, Brandi N; Abiven, Samuel; Jones, Matthew W; Richey, Jeffrey E; Eglinton, Timothy I; Dittmar, Thorsten; Schmidt, Michael W I (2019). Marked isotopic variability within and between the Amazon River and marine dissolved black carbon pools. Nature Communications, 10:4018.

Abstract

Riverine dissolved organic carbon (DOC) contains charcoal byproducts, termed black carbon (BC). To determine the significance of BC as a sink of atmospheric CO₂ and reconcile budgets, the sources and fate of this large, slow-cycling and elusive carbon pool must be constrained. The Amazon River is a significant part of global BC cycling because it exports an order of magnitude more DOC, and thus dissolved BC (DBC), than any other river. We report spatially resolved DBC quantity and radiocarbon (Δ¹⁴C) measurements, paired with molecular-level characterization of dissolved organic matter from the Amazon River and tributaries during low discharge. The proportion of BC-like polycyclic aromatic structures decreases downstream, but marked spatial variability in abundance and Δ¹⁴C values of DBC molecular markers imply dynamic sources and cycling in a manner that is incongruent with bulk DOC. We estimate a flux from the Amazon River of 1.9–2.7 Tg DBC yr⁻¹ that is composed of predominately young DBC, suggesting that loss processes of modern DBC are important.

Abstract

Riverine dissolved organic carbon (DOC) contains charcoal byproducts, termed black carbon (BC). To determine the significance of BC as a sink of atmospheric CO₂ and reconcile budgets, the sources and fate of this large, slow-cycling and elusive carbon pool must be constrained. The Amazon River is a significant part of global BC cycling because it exports an order of magnitude more DOC, and thus dissolved BC (DBC), than any other river. We report spatially resolved DBC quantity and radiocarbon (Δ¹⁴C) measurements, paired with molecular-level characterization of dissolved organic matter from the Amazon River and tributaries during low discharge. The proportion of BC-like polycyclic aromatic structures decreases downstream, but marked spatial variability in abundance and Δ¹⁴C values of DBC molecular markers imply dynamic sources and cycling in a manner that is incongruent with bulk DOC. We estimate a flux from the Amazon River of 1.9–2.7 Tg DBC yr⁻¹ that is composed of predominately young DBC, suggesting that loss processes of modern DBC are important.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, General Physics and Astronomy, General Chemistry
Language:English
Date:1 December 2019
Deposited On:16 Oct 2019 15:48
Last Modified:16 Oct 2019 15:48
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-1723
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11543-9

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