Contrasting Impacts of Photochemical and Microbial Processing on the Photoreactivity of Dissolved Organic Matter in an Adirondack Lake Watershed

Joseph Wasswa, Charles T. Driscoll, Teng Zeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Photochemical and microbial processing are the prevailing mechanisms that shape the composition and reactivity of dissolved organic matter (DOM); however, prior research has not comparatively evaluated the impacts of these processes on the photoproduction of reactive intermediates (RIs) from freshly sourced terrestrial DOM. We performed controlled irradiation and incubation experiments with leaf and soil samples collected from an acid-impacted lake watershed in the Adirondack Mountain region of New York to examine the effects of DOM processing on the apparent quantum yields of RIs (Φapp,RI), including excited triplet states of DOM (3DOM*), singlet oxygen (1O2), and hydroxyl radicals (OH). Photodegradation led to net reductions in Φapp,1O2, Φapp,3DOM*, and Φapp,OH, whereas (photo-)biodegradation resulted in increases in Φapp,1O2 and Φapp,3DOM*. Photodegradation and (photo-)biodegradation also shifted the energy distribution of 3DOM* in different directions. Multivariate statistical analyses revealed the potential relevance of photo-biodegradation in driving changes in Φapp,1O2 and Φapp,3DOM* and prioritized five bulk DOM optical and redox properties that best explained the variations in Φapp,1O2 and Φapp,3DOM* along the watershed terrestrial-aquatic continuum. Our findings highlight the contrasting impacts of photochemical and microbial processes on the photoreactivity of freshly sourced terrestrial DOM and invite further studies to develop a more holistic understanding of their implications for aquatic photochemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1688-1701
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume56
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

Keywords

  • DOM
  • browning
  • inland waters
  • photochemistry
  • reactive intermediates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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