Skip to Main Content
Origins, fates, and ramifications of natural organic compounds of wetlandsAuthor(s): Robert G. Wetzel
Source: In: Proceedings of a Conference on Sustainability of Wetlands and Water Resources, May 23-25, Oxford, Mississippi, eds. Holland, Marjorie M.; Warren, Melvin L.; Stanturf, John A., p. 183-189
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (138 KB)
DescriptionMuch of the organic carbon for heterotrophic metabolism in aquatic ecosystems is soluble and derived from structural compounds of higher plants of terrestrial and wetland-littoral sources of both lake and river ecosystems. The chemical recalcitrance of this organic matter and its oxidative utilization are fundamentally different from many sources within the aquatic ecosystems. Within the lake or river, complex physical interactions occur that can greatly modify rates of utilization and biochemical reactions. Natural photolysis by photosynthetically active radiation, UV-A and UV-B, can result in the partial degradation of these macromolecules, reactivate complexed enzymes, and generate simple organic compounds and nutrients. A portion of the dissolved organic matter is photolytically degraded completely to CO2. The chemical recalcitrance of these organic compounds (a) represents a fundamental, often dominant, subsidy of organic matter that drives metabolism in fresh waters and (b) is an essential aspect of metabolic stability in aquatic ecosystems. Climatic changes affect this metabolic stability in both positive and negative ways but, generally, will increase instabilities.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationWetzel, Robert G. 2000. Origins, fates, and ramifications of natural organic compounds of wetlands. In: Proceedings of a Conference on Sustainability of Wetlands and Water Resources, May 23-25, Oxford, Mississippi, eds. Holland, Marjorie M.; Warren, Melvin L.; Stanturf, John A., p. 183-189
- Spatial and temporal variations in DOM composition in ecosystems: The importance of long-term monitoring of optical properties
- Dissolved organic carbon in Alaskan boreal forest: sources, chemical characteristics, and biodegradability
- Developing a broader scientific foundation for river restoration: Columbia River food webs
XML: View XML