G. R. Aiken

United States Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, United States

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Publications (198)308.18 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Iron is a source of interference in the spectroscopic analysis of dissolved organic matter (DOM); however, its effects on commonly-employed ultraviolet and visible (UV-Vis) light adsorption and fluorescence measurements are poorly defined. Here, we describe the effects of iron(II) and iron(III) on the UV-Vis absorption and fluorescence of solutions containing two DOM fractions and two surface water samples. In each case, regardless of DOM composition, UV-Vis absorption increased linearly with increasing iron(III). Correction factors were derived using iron(III) absorption coefficients determined at wavelengths commonly used to characterize DOM. Iron(III) addition increased specific UV absorbances (SUVA) and decreased the absorption ratios (E2:E3) and spectral slope ratios (SR) of DOM samples. Both iron(II) and iron(III) quenched DOM fluorescence at pH 6.7. The degree and region of fluorescence quenching varied with the iron:DOC concentration ratio, DOM composition, and pH. Regions of the fluorescence spectra associated with greater DOM conjugation were more susceptible to iron quenching, and DOM fluorescence indices were sensitive to the presence of both forms of iron. Analyses of the excitation-emission matrices using a 7- and 13-component parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) model showed low PARAFAC sensitivity to iron addition.
    Environmental science & technology. 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Responses of near-surface permafrost and glacial ice to climate change are of particular significance for understanding long term effects on global carbon cycling and carbon export by high-latitude northern rivers. Here we report Δ14C -dissolved organic carbon (DOC) values and dissolved organic matter optical data for the Yukon River, 15 tributaries of the Yukon River, glacial meltwater, and groundwater and soil water endmember sources draining to the Yukon River, with the goal of assessing mobilization of aged DOC within the watershed. Ancient DOC was associated with glacial meltwater and groundwater sources. In contrast, DOC from watersheds dominated by peat soils and underlain by permafrost was typically enriched in Δ14C indicating that degradation of ancient carbon stores is currently not occurring at large enough scales to quantitatively influence bulk DOC exports from those landscapes. On an annual basis, DOC exported was predominantly modern during the spring period throughout the Yukon River basin, and became older through summer-fall and winter periods, suggesting that contributions of older DOC from soils, glacial meltwaters and groundwater are significant during these months. Our data indicate that rapidly receding glaciers and increasing groundwater inputs will likely result in greater contributions of older DOC in the Yukon River and its tributaries in coming decades.
    Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Dissolved organic matter (DOM) was isolated from large volumes of deep (674 m) and surface (21 m) ocean water via reverse osmosis/electrodialysis (RO/ED) and two solid-phase extraction (SPE) methods (XAD-8/4 and PPL) at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA). By applying the three methods to common water samples, the efficiencies of XAD, PPL and RO/ED DOM isolation were compared. XAD recovered 42% of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from deep water (25% with XAD-8; 17% with XAD-4) and 30% from surface water (16% with XAD-8; 14% with XAD-4). PPL recovered 61 ± 3% of DOC from deep water and 61% from surface water. RO/ED recovered 82 ± 3% of DOC from deep water, 14 ± 3% of which was recovered in a sodium hydroxide rinse, and 75 ± 5% of DOC from surface water, with 12 ± 2% in the sodium hydroxide rinse. The highest recoveries of all were achieved by the sequential isolation of DOC, first with PPL and then via RO/ED. This combined technique recovered 98% of DOC from a deep water sample and 101% of DOC from a surface water sample. In total, 1.9, 10.3 and 1.6 g-C of DOC were collected via XAD, PPL and RO/ED, respectively. Rates of DOC recovery using the XAD, PPL and RO/ED methods were 10, 33 and 10 mg-C hr- 1, respectively. Based upon C/N ratios XAD was heavily C-enriched compared water column DOM, whereas RO/ED and PPL➔RO/ED isolate C/N values were most representative of the original DOM. All techniques are suitable for the isolation of large amounts of DOM with purities suitable for most advanced analytical techniques. Coupling PPL and RO/ED techniques may provide substantial progress in the search for a method to quantitatively isolate oceanic DOC, bringing the entirety of the DOM pool within the marine chemist’s analytical window.
    Marine Chemistry 01/2014; · 3.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Southeastern Alaska is a remote coastal-maritime ecosystem that is experiencing increased deposition of mercury (Hg) as well as rapid glacier loss. Here we present the results of the first reported survey of total and methyl Hg (MeHg) concentrations in regional streams and biota. Overall, streams draining large wetland areas had higher Hg concentrations in water, mayflies, and juvenile salmon than those from glacially-influenced or recently deglaciated watersheds. Filtered MeHg was positively correlated with wetland abundance. Aqueous Hg occurred predominantly in the particulate fraction of glacier streams but in the filtered fraction of wetland-rich streams. Colonization by anadromous salmon in both glacier and wetland-rich streams may be contributing additional marine-derived Hg. The spatial distribution of Hg in the range of streams presented here shows that watersheds are variably, yet fairly predictably, sensitive to atmospheric and marine inputs of Hg.
    Environmental Pollution 09/2013; 184C:62-72. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the processes controlling the transfer and chemical composition of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in freshwater systems is crucial to understanding the carbon cycle and the effects of DOC on water quality. Previous studies have identified watershed-scale controls on bulk DOC flux and concentration among small basins but fewer studies have explored controls among large basins or simultaneously considered the chemical composition of DOC. Because the chemical character of DOC drives riverine biogeochemical processes such as metabolism and photodegradation, accounting for chemical character in watershed-scale studies will improve the way bulk DOC variability in rivers is interpreted. We analyzed DOC quantity and chemical character near the mouths of 17 large North American rivers, primarily between 2008 and 2010, and identified watershed characteristics that controlled variability. We quantified DOC chemical character using both specific ultraviolet absorbance at 254 nm (SUVA254) and XAD-resin fractionation. Mean DOC concentration ranged from 2.1 to 47 mg C L�1 and mean SUVA254 ranged from 1.3 to 4.7 Lmg C�1m�1.We found a significant positive correlation between basin wetland cover and both bulk DOC concentration (R2 = 0.78; p<0.0001) and SUVA254 (R2 = 0.91; p<0.0001), while other land use characteristics were not correlated. The strong wetland relationship with bulk DOC concentration is similar to that found by others in small headwater catchments. However, two watersheds with extremely long surface water residence times, the Colorado and St. Lawrence, diverged from this wetland relationship. These results suggest that the role of riverine processes in altering the terrestrial DOC signal at the annual scale was minimal except in river systems with long surface water residence times. However, synoptic DOC sampling of both quantity and character throughout river networks will be needed to more rigorously test this finding. The inclusion of DOC chemical character will be vital to achieving a more complete understanding of bulk DOC dynamics in large river systems.
    Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 06/2013; 27(2).
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    ABSTRACT: Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is a key component of fate and transport models for most metals, including mercury (Hg). Utilizing a suite of diverse DOM isolates, we demonstrated that DOM character, in addition to concentration, influences inorganic Hg (Hg(II)i) bioavailability to Hg-methylating bacteria. Using a model Hg-methylating bacterium, Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ND132, we evaluated Hg-DOM-sulfide bioavailability in washed-cell assays at environmentally relevant Hg/DOM ratios (~1-8 ng Hg/mg C) and sulfide concentrations (1-1000 µM). All tested DOM isolates significantly enhanced Hg methylation above DOM-free controls (from ~2 to >20-fold for 20 mg C/L DOM solutions), but high molecular weight/highly aromatic DOM isolates and/or those with high sulfur content were particularly effective at enhancing Hg methylation. Because these experiments were conducted under conditions of predicted super-saturation with respect to metacinnabar (β-HgS(s)), we attribute the DOM-dependent enhancement of Hg(II)i bioavailability to steric and specific chemical (e.g., DOM thiols) inhibition of β-HgS(s) growth and aggregation by DOM. Experiments examining the role of DOM across a wide sulfide gradient revealed that DOM only enhances Hg methylation under fairly low sulfide conditions (< ~30 µM), conditions that favor HgS nanoparticle/cluster formation relative to dissolved HgS species. <sup></sub><sub><sub><sub>
    Environmental Science & Technology 05/2013; · 5.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Water samples were collected from six small rivers in the Yukon River basin in central Alaska to examine the role of colloids and organic matter in the transport of trace elements in Northern high latitude watersheds influenced by permafrost. Concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), selected elements (Al, Si, Ca, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Rb, Sr, Ba, Pb, U), and UV-absorbance spectra were measured in 0.45 μm filtered samples. ‘Nanocolloidal size distributions’ (0.5–40 nm, hydrodynamic diameter) of humic-type and chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM), Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, and Pb were determined by on-line coupling of flow field-flow fractionation (FFF) to detectors including UV-absorbance, fluorescence, and ICP-MS. Total dissolved and nanocolloidal concentrations of the elements varied considerably between the rivers and between spring flood and late summer base flow. Data on specific UV-absorbance (SUVA), spectral slopes, and the nanocolloidal fraction of the UV-absorbance indicated a decrease in aromaticity and size of CDOM from spring flood to late summer. The nanocolloidal size distributions indicated the presence of different ‘components’ of nanocolloids. ‘Fulvic-rich nanocolloids’ had a hydrodynamic diameter of 0.5–3 nm throughout the sampling season; ‘organic/iron-rich nanocolloids’ occurred in the <8 nm size range during the spring flood; whereas ‘iron-rich nanocolloids’ formed a discrete 4–40 nm components during summer base flow. Mn, Co, Ni, Cu and Zn were distributed between the nanocolloid components depending on the stability constant of the metal (+II)–organic complexes, while stronger association of Cr to the iron-rich nanocolloids was attributed to the higher oxidation states of Cr (+III or +IV). Changes in total dissolved element concentrations, size and composition of CDOM, and occurrence and size of organic/iron and iron-rich nanocolloids were related to variations in their sources from either the upper organic-rich soil or the deeper mineral layer, depending on seasonal variations in hydrological flow patterns and permafrost dynamics.
    Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 03/2013; 105:221–239. · 3.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rising CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, global climate change, and the sustainability of the Earth's biosphere are great societal concerns for the 21st century. Global climate change has, in part, resulted in a higher frequency of flooding events, which allow for greater exchange between soil/plant litter and aquatic carbon pools. Here we demonstrate that the summer 2011 flood in the Mississippi River basin, caused by extreme precipitation events, resulted in a "flushing" of terrestrially derived dissolved organic carbon (TDOC) to the northern Gulf of Mexico. Data from the lower Atchafalaya and Mississippi rivers showed that the DOC flux to the northern Gulf of Mexico during this flood was significantly higher than in previous years. We also show that consumption of radiocarbon-modern TDOC by bacteria in floodwaters in the lower Atchafalaya River and along the adjacent shelf contributed to northern Gulf shelf waters changing from a net sink to a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere in June and August 2011. This work shows that enhanced flooding, which may or may not be caused by climate change, can result in rapid losses of stored carbon in soils to the atmosphere via processes in aquatic ecosystems.
    Geophysical Research Letters 01/2013; 40(1):116-122. · 3.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 1] Chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) fluxes and yields from 15 major U.S. rivers draining an assortment of terrestrial biomes are presented. A robust relationship between CDOM and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) loads is established (e.g., a 350 versus DOC; r 2 = 0.96, p < 0.001). Calculated CDOM yields are also correlated to watershed percent wetland (e.g. a 350 ; r 2 = 0.81, p < 0.001) providing a method for the estimation of CDOM export from ungauged watersheds. A large variation in CDOM yields was found across the rivers. The two rivers in the north-eastern U.S. (Androscoggin and Penobscot), the Edisto draining into the South Atlantic Bight, and some rivers draining into the Gulf of Mexico (Atchafalaya and Mobile) exhibit the highest CDOM yields, linked to extensive wetlands in these watersheds. If the Edisto CDOM yield is representative of other rivers draining into the South Atlantic Bight, this would result in a CDOM load equivalent to that of the Mississippi from a region of approximately 10% of the Mississippi watershed, indicating the importance of certain regions with respect to the role of terrigenous CDOM in ocean color budgets.
    Geophysical Research Letters 01/2013; 40:1575-1579. · 3.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in natural waters possesses chemical and molecular qualities indicative of its source and age. The apportionment of DOC by age into millennial and decadal pools is necessary to understand the temporal connection between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the global carbon cycle. We measured Δ14C-DOC and chemical composition indices (specific ultraviolet absorbance (SUVA254), fluorescence index (FI), hydrophobic organic acid fraction (HPOA) content) for 15 large river basins in the conterminous United States. Across all rivers the average proportion of HPOA in DOC correlated strongly with SUVA254 (r2 = 0.93 p < 0.001). Individual Δ14C-DOC ranged from a low of -92.9‰ (726 y.b.p.) in the Colorado River to 73.4‰ (>Modern) in the Altamaha River for the year 2009. When adjusted by total discharge, these U.S. Rivers export modern carbon at between 34 and 46‰, a signal dominated by the Mississippi River. The variation in Δ14C correlates to indices of the aromaticity of the DOC measured by the SUVA254 (r2 = 0.87, p < 0.001), and FI (r2 = 0.6; p < 0.001) as well as differences in annual river discharge (r2 = 0.46, p < 0.006). SUVA254 was further correlated to broad scale vegetation phenology estimated from the Enhanced Vegetation Index derived from the NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS). We show that basins with high discharge, high proportions of vegetation cover, and low human population densities export DOC enriched in aromatic material that corresponds to recently fixed atmospheric CO2. Conversely old DOC is exported from low discharge watersheds draining arid regions, and watersheds more strongly impacted by humans. The potential influence from fossil carbon from human inputs to aquatic systems may be important and requires more research.
    Global Biogeochemical Cycles 12/2012; 26(4):4014-. · 4.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration and chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) parameters were measured over a range of discharge in 30 U.S. rivers, covering a diverse assortment of fluvial ecosystems in terms of watershed size and landscape drained. Relationships between CDOM absorption at a range of wavelengths (a254, a350, a440) and DOC in the 30 watersheds were found to correlate strongly and positively for the majority of U.S. rivers. However, four rivers (Colorado, Colombia, Rio Grande and St. Lawrence) exhibited statistically weak relationships between CDOM absorption and DOC. These four rivers are atypical, as they either drain from the Great Lakes or experience significant impoundment of water within their watersheds, and they exhibited values for dissolved organic matter (DOM) parameters indicative of autochthonous or anthropogenic sources or photochemically degraded allochthonous DOM and thus a decoupling between CDOM and DOC. CDOM quality parameters in the 30 rivers were found to be strongly correlated to DOM compositional metrics derived via XAD fractionation, highlighting the potential for examining DOM biochemical quality from CDOM measurements. This study establishes the ability to derive DOC concentration from CDOM absorption for the majority of U.S. rivers, describes characteristics of riverine systems where such an approach is not valid, and emphasizes the possibility of examining DOM composition and thus biogeochemical function via CDOM parameters. Therefore, the usefulness of CDOM measurements, both laboratory-based analyses and in situ instrumentation, for improving spatial and temporal resolution of DOC fluxes and DOM dynamics in future studies is considerable in a range of biogeochemical studies.
    Journal of Geophysical Research (Biogeosciences). 09/2012; 117(G3):3001-.
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    ABSTRACT: Northern high-latitude rivers transport large amounts of terrestrially derived dissolved organic matter (DOM) from boreal and arctic ecosystems to coastal areas and oceans. Current knowledge of the biodegradability of DOM in these rivers is limited, particularly for large rivers discharging to the Arctic Ocean. We conducted a seasonally comprehensive study of biodegradable dissolved organic carbon (BDOC) dynamics in the Yukon River and two of its tributaries in Alaska, USA. Distinct seasonal patterns of BDOC, consistent across a wide range of watershed size, indicate BDOC is transported year-round. Relative biodegradability (%BDOC) was greatest during winter, and decreased into spring and summer. Due to large seasonal differences in DOC concentration, the greatest concentrations of BDOC (mg C L-1) occurred during spring freshet, followed by winter and summer. While chemical composition of DOM was an important driver of BDOC, the overriding control of BDOC was mineral nutrient availability due to wide shifts in carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stoichiometry across seasons. We calculated seasonal and annual loads of BDOC exported by the Yukon River by applying measured BDOC concentrations to daily water discharge values, and also by applying an empirical correlation between %BDOC and the ratio of DOC to dissolved inorganic N (DIN) to total DOC loads. The Yukon River exports ˜0.2 Tg C yr-1 as BDOC that is decomposable within 28 days. This corresponds to 12-18% of the total annual DOC export. Furthermore, we calculate that the six largest arctic rivers, including the Yukon River, collectively export ˜2.3 Tg C yr-1 as BDOC to the Arctic Ocean.
    Global Biogeochemical Cycles 09/2012; 26(3). · 4.68 Impact Factor
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    Alison M Craven, George R Aiken, Joseph N Ryan
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    ABSTRACT: The ratio of copper to dissolved organic matter (DOM) is known to affect the strength of copper binding by DOM, but previous methods to determine the Cu(2+)-DOM binding strength have generally not measured binding constants over the same Cu:DOM ratios. In this study, we used a competitive ligand exchange-solid-phase extraction (CLE-SPE) method to determine conditional stability constants for Cu(2+)-DOM binding at pH 6.6 and 0.01 M ionic strength over a range of Cu:DOM ratios that bridge the detection windows of copper-ion-selective electrode and voltammetry measurements. As the Cu:DOM ratio increased from 0.0005 to 0.1 mg of Cu/mg of DOM, the measured conditional binding constant ((c)K(CuDOM)) decreased from 10(11.5) to 10(5.6) M(-1). A comparison of the binding constants measured by CLE-SPE with those measured by copper-ion-selective electrode and voltammetry demonstrates that the Cu:DOM ratio is an important factor controlling Cu(2+)-DOM binding strength even for DOM isolates of different types and different sources and for whole water samples. The results were modeled with Visual MINTEQ and compared to results from the biotic ligand model (BLM). The BLM was found to over-estimate Cu(2+) at low total copper concentrations and under-estimate Cu(2+) at high total copper concentrations.
    Environmental Science & Technology 08/2012; 46(18):9948-55. · 5.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using fluorescence spectroscopy and parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) we characterized and modeled the fluorescence properties of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in samples from the Penobscot River, Androscoggin River, Penobscot Bay, and the Gulf of Maine (GoM). We analyzed excitation-emission matrices (EEMs) using an existing PARAFAC model (Cory and McKnight, 2005) and created a system-specific model with seven components (GoM PARAFAC). The GoM PARAFAC model contained six components similar to those in other PARAFAC models and one unique component with a spectrum similar to a residual found using the Cory and McKnight (2005) model. The unique component was abundant in samples from the Androscoggin River immediately downstream of a pulp mill effluent release site. The detection of a PARAFAC component associated with an anthropogenic source of DOM, such as pulp mill effluent, demonstrates the importance for rigorously analyzing PARAFAC residuals and developing system-specific models.
    Marine pollution bulletin 07/2012; 64(8):1678-87. · 2.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The flow and chemical composition of Arctic rivers are highly variable and reflect the mix of sources and flow paths of surface and ground water contributing to them during any particular season. Annual Yukon River carbon (C) export is dominated by the spring flush, with more than 50% of organic C and 30% of inorganic C exports occurring during May and June. As part of the US National Science Foundation's Arctic Great Rivers Observatory Project, which is studying the six largest rivers discharging to the Arctic Ocean, we measured Yukon River flow and water chemistry at high frequency during the critical periods immediately preceding, during, and following ice melt in 2009 - 2011. Springtime flows had high dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations that rose quickly with water discharge at ice out and decreased with flow into summer. Waters collected near peak flow had high specific ultraviolet absorbance (SUVA) values and high aromatic C content. The rising limb of the spring flush hydrograph also had the greatest bioavailable DOC (BDOC) content, relative to the remainder of the year. The bulk of the DOC exported in spring was of terrestrial plant origin and 14C modern, with respiration carbon dioxide collected from BDOC incubations having similar 14C content to that of the bulk DOC. Interestingly, FT-ICR MS characterization of the DOC exported during the spring flush indicated the presence of labile, atmospherically deposited DOC components having apparent fossil fuel combustion origin, similar to those identified in direct glacial runoff. The importance of the spring flush period and of DOC exports to the total C budget of the Yukon River will also be discussed in the context of seasonal patterns of water discharge, watershed C yields, and of dissolved, particulate, and gaseous inorganic and organic C concentration and flux.
    04/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is generally thought to lower metal bioavailability in aquatic systems due to the formation of metal-DOM complexes that reduce free metal ion concentrations. However, this model may not be pertinent for metal nanoparticles, which are now understood to be ubiquitous, sometimes dominant, metal species in the environment. The influence of DOM on Hg bioavailability to microorganisms was examined under conditions (0.5-5.0 nM Hg and 2-10 μM sulfide) that favor the formation of β-HgS(s) (metacinnabar) nanoparticles. We used the methylation of stable-isotope enriched (201)HgCl(2) by Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ND132 in short-term washed cell assays as a sensitive, environmentally significant proxy for Hg uptake. Suwannee River humic acid (SRHA) and Williams Lake hydrophobic acid (WLHPoA) substantially enhanced (2- to 38-fold) the bioavailability of Hg to ND132 over a wide range of Hg/DOM ratios (9.4 pmol/mg DOM to 9.4 nmol/mg DOM), including environmentally relevant ratios. Methylmercury (MeHg) production by ND132 increased linearly with either SRHA or WLHPoA concentration, but SRHA, a terrestrially derived DOM, was far more effective at enhancing Hg-methylation than WLHPoA, an aquatic DOM dominated by autochthonous sources. No DOM-dependent enhancement in Hg methylation was observed in Hg-DOM-sulfide solutions amended with sufficient l-cysteine to prevent β-HgS(s) formation. We hypothesize that small HgS particles, stabilized against aggregation by DOM, are bioavailable to Hg-methylating bacteria. Our laboratory experiments provide a mechanism for the positive correlations between DOC and MeHg production observed in many aquatic sediments and wetland soils.
    Environmental Science & Technology 03/2012; 46(5):2715-23. · 5.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: [1] Dissolved organic matter (DOM) fuels the majority of in-stream microbial processes, including the removal of nitrate via denitrification. However, little is known about how the chemical composition of DOM influences denitrification rates. Water and sediment samples were collected across an ecosystem gradient, spanning the alpine to plains, in central Colorado to determine whether the chemical composition of DOM was related to denitrification rates. Laboratory bioassays measured denitrification potentials using the acetylene block technique and carbon mineralization via aerobic bioassays, while organic matter characteristics were evaluated using spectroscopic and fractionation methods. Denitrification potentials under ambient and elevated nitrate concentrations were strongly correlated with aerobic respiration rates and the percent mineralized carbon, suggesting that information about the aerobic metabolism of a system can provide valuable insight regarding the ability of the system to additionally reduce nitrate. Multiple linear regressions (MLR) revealed that under elevated nitrate concentrations denitrification potentials were positively related to the presence of protein-like fluorophores and negatively related to more aromatic and oxidized fractions of the DOM pool. Using MLR, the chemical composition of DOM, carbon, and nitrate concentrations explained 70% and 78% of the observed variability in denitrification potential under elevated and ambient nitrate conditions, respectively. Thus, it seems likely that DOM optical properties could help to improve predictions of nitrate removal in the environment. Finally, fluorescence measurements revealed that bacteria used both protein and humic-like organic molecules during denitrification providing further evidence that larger, more aromatic molecules are not necessarily recalcitrant in the environment.
    03/2012; 117(G1).
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    ABSTRACT: The Adirondack region of New York has been identified as a hot spot where high methylmercury concentrations are found in surface waters and biota, yet mercury (Hg) concentrations vary widely in this region. We collected stream and groundwater samples for Hg and organic carbon analyses across the upper Hudson River, a 493 km2 basin in the central Adirondacks to evaluate and model the sources of variation in filtered total Hg (FTHg) concentrations. Variability in FTHg concentrations during the growing seasons (May–Oct) of 2007–2009 in Fishing Brook, a 66-km2 sub-basin, was better explained by specific ultra-violet absorbance at 254 nm (SUVA254), a measure of organic carbon aromaticity, than by dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations, a commonly used Hg indicator. SUVA254 was a stronger predictor of FTHg concentrations during the growing season than during the dormant season. Multiple linear regression models that included SUVA254 values and DOC concentrations could explain 75 % of the variation in FTHg concentrations on an annual basis and 84 % during the growing season. A multiple linear regression landscape modeling approach applied to 27 synoptic sites across the upper Hudson basin found that higher SUVA254 values are associated with gentler slopes, and greater riparian area, and lower SUVA254 values are associated with an increasing influence of open water. We hypothesize that the strong Hg–SUVA254 relation in this basin reflects distinct patterns of FTHg and SUVA254 that are characteristic of source areas that control the mobilization of Hg to surface waters, and that the seasonal influence of these source areas varies in this heterogeneous basin landscape.
    Biogeochemistry 01/2012; 113(113):451-466. · 3.53 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
308.18 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1993–2014
    • United States Geological Survey
      • Ohio Water Resources Center
      Reston, Virginia, United States
  • 2013
    • University of Alaska Southeast
      Juneau, Alaska, United States
  • 2011
    • University of Illinois at Chicago
      • Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
      Chicago, IL, United States
    • Acadia University
      Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 2003–2011
    • University of Colorado at Boulder
      • Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering (CEAE)
      Boulder, CO, United States
  • 2001–2011
    • Geological Survey of Alabama
      Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States
    • Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2010
    • University of New South Wales
      • School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
      Kensington, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2005–2008
    • Old Dominion University
      • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
      Norfolk, VA, United States
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      • Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
      Chapel Hill, NC, United States
  • 2002
    • University of Notre Dame
      • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences
      United States
  • 1999
    • Kent State University
      • Department of Geology
      Kent, OH, United States