Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic
Volume 7, issue 12
Biogeosciences, 7, 4051–4057, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-7-4051-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Biogeosciences, 7, 4051–4057, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-7-4051-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 20 Dec 2010

Research article | 20 Dec 2010

Rapid accretion of dissolved organic carbon in the springs of Florida: the most organic-poor natural waters

C. M. Duarte1, Y. T. Prairie2, T. K. Frazer3, M. V. Hoyer3, S. K. Notestein3, R. Martínez1, A. Dorsett1, and D. E. Canfield3 C. M. Duarte et al.
  • 1Global Change Research Department, IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB), Instituto Mediterráneo de Estudios Avanzados, C/Miquel Marqués, 21, 07190 Esporles (Illes Balears) Spain
  • 2Département des sciences biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, Case postale 8888, succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, H3C 3P8, Canada
  • 3Univ. of Florida, Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 7922 NW 71st Street Gainesville, FL 32653-3071, USA

Abstract. The concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in groundwater emanating as spring discharge at several locations in Florida, USA and the net increase in DOC in the downstream receiving waters were measured as part of a larger investigation of carbon dynamics in flowing waters. Springs with high discharge (>2.8 m3 s−1) were found to be the most organic-poor natural waters yet reported (13 ± 1.6 μmol C L−1), while springs with lesser discharge exhibited somewhat higher DOC concentrations (values ranging from 30 to 77 μmol C L−1). DOC concentrations increased rapidly downstream from the point of spring discharge, with the calculated net areal input rate of DOC ranging from 0.04 to 1.64 mol C m−2 d−1 across springs. Rates of DOC increase were generally greater in those springs with high discharge rates. These input rates compare favorably with values reported for gross primary production in these macrophyte-dominated spring systems, assuming that 17% of macrophyte primary production is lost, on average, as DOC. The measures reported here are possible only because of the remarkably low DOC levels in the up-surging groundwaters and the short residency times of the water in the spring-runs themselves.

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