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Refractory dissolved organic nitrogen accumulation in high-elevation lakes

TitleRefractory dissolved organic nitrogen accumulation in high-elevation lakes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsGoldberg SJ, Ball G.I, Allen B.C, Schladow SG, Simpson A.J, Masoom H., Soong R., Graven HD, Aluwihare LI
JournalNature Communications
Date Published2015/02
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2041-1723
Accession NumberWOS:000350292400005
Keywordsatmospheric; carbon; chemically distinct; climate-change; deposition; fluorescence spectroscopy; matter; nmr-spectroscopy; pelagic bacteria; tahoe california nevada; water column

The role of dissolved organic matter (DOM) as either a sink for inorganic nutrients or an additional nutrient source is an often-neglected component of nutrient budgets in aquatic environments. Here, we examined the role of DOM in reactive nitrogen (N) storage in Sierra Nevada (California, USA) lakes where atmospheric deposition of N has shifted the lakes toward seasonal phosphorus (P)-limitation. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and isotope analyses performed on DOM isolated from Lake Tahoe reveal the accumulation of refractory proteinaceous material with a 100-200-year residence time. In contrast, smaller lakes in the same watershed contain DOM with typical terrestrial characteristics, indicating that proteins in Lake Tahoe are autochthonously produced. These data support the role of DOM as a possible sink for reactive N in these lake ecosystems and identify a potential role for DOM in affecting the inorganic nutrient stoichiometry of these environments.

Short TitleNat. Commun.
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