Evaluation of passive samplers for the collection of dissolved organic matter in streams

350 210 Stroud Water Research Center

Warner D., D. Oviedo-Vargas, and T.V. Royer. 2015. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 187(1):1–9.

doi: 10.1007/s10661-014-4208-5


Traditional sampling methods for dissolved organic matter (DOM) in streams limit opportunities for long-term studies due to time and cost constraints. Passive DOM samplers were constructed following a design proposed previously which utilizes diethylaminoethyl (DEAE) cellulose as a sampling medium, and they were deployed throughout a temperate stream network in Indiana. Two deployments of the passive samplers were conducted, during which grab samples were frequently collected for comparison. Differences in DOM quality between sites and sampling methods were assessed using several common optical analyses. The analyses revealed significant differences in optical properties between sampling methods, with the passive samplers preferentially collecting terrestrial, humic-like DOM. We assert that the differences in DOM composition from each sampling method were caused by preferential binding of complex humic compounds to the DEAE cellulose in the passive samplers. Nonetheless, the passive samplers may provide a cost-effective, integrated sample of DOM in situations where the bulk DOM pool is composed mainly of terrestrial, humic-like compounds.