Experimental assessment and implications of long‐term within‐trap mineralization of seston in lake trapping studies

Radbourne, Alan D. ORCID:; Ryves, David B.. 2020 Experimental assessment and implications of long‐term within‐trap mineralization of seston in lake trapping studies. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 18 (7). 327-334.

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Sediment trapping is a widely accepted technique in lake studies for analyzing seasonal limnological events and can provide insight into ecological succession as well as the seasonal dynamics of organic and inorganic fluxes. More recently, organic flux measurement from traps has been especially important in estimating whole‐lake C sequestration as a basis for regional and global upscaling of C budgets across lake types. However, in‐trap mineralization or dissolution of components of collected sediment (seston) has not been systematically examined, and thus a reliable correction factor for in‐trap losses of various sedimentary fluxes (especially those involving organic carbon) is still unknown. This experimental study assesses the loss of algal biomass representative of a 6‐month carousel‐type (closed) sediment trap deployment in a deep, eutrophic lake under cold (~ 5°C) and anoxic ambient conditions typical of the hypolimnion in stratifying, temperate lakes. Results show a loss of organic matter (OM) at a consistent rate over 180 d, reducing the fraction of initial OM content by approximately a third after 180 d of deployment (linear regression of OM fraction loss = −0.001864t ). The significance of these findings is demonstrated by application to published trap data; at Rostherne Mere, UK, which implies that annual OM fluxes are underestimated by 18.2% on average (range 13.7–23.2%). This highlights the far‐reaching implications for lake sediment trap methodology and our understanding of seston taphonomy, suggesting a mineralization correction factor for OM should be applied to traps deployed for longer than 1 week. With loss correction factored in, this study supports the reliability of longer‐term (i.e., ~ 6 months) sediment trap deployment.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 1541-5856
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 14 Jul 2020 12:30 +0 (UTC)

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