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    Author(s): Clifford N. Dahm
    Date: 1981
    Source: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (988.0 KB)


    Removal of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from water resulting from adsorption and microbial uptake was examined to determine the importance of biotic and abiotic pathways. Physical–chemical adsorption to components of the stream sediment or water and biotic assimilation associated with the microbial population was determined in recirculating chambers utilizing leachate from alder (Alnus rubra). Adsorptive mechanisms were further separated into interactions involving (1) specific clay minerals, (2) amorphous solid phases of hydrous aluminum and iron oxides, and (3) fine particulate organic matter. Physical–chemical adsorptive mechanisms for alder leachate removal exhibited rapid kinetic equilibration between the DOC and solid phases, but only a specific fraction of the DOC, likely containing certain chemical functional groups, was adsorbed. The amorphous aluminum and iron oxides possessed a much higher potential capacity than the clay minerals or fine particulate organics for DOC adsorption. Microbial uptake of DOC from the alder leachate was kinetically slower than adsorptive uptake. However, microbial activity was overall much more effective in the removal and degradation of the total DOC pool leached from alder leaves. Over a 48-h period, 97% of added 14C labeled leachate was removed from solution by adsorption (~ 20%) and microbial utilization (~ 77%). The rate of microbial uptake was 45 µg C/g sediment C·h-1 or 14 mg C·m-2·h-1.

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    Dahm, Clifford N. 1981. Pathways and mechanisms for removal of dissolved organic carbon from leaf leachate in streams. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Vol. 38(1): 9 pages.: 68-76.


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