In situ measures of dissolved organic carbon flux in a rural stream

350 210 Stroud Water Research Center

Kuserk, F.T., L.A. Kaplan, and T.L. Bott. 1984. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 41:964–973.

doi: 10.1139/f84-110


Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) dynamics were measured in a second-order stream located in a pasture in southeastern Pennsylvania. In situ measurements made at six stations in early summer showed a diel patern of net DOC release from the streambed communities with predawn minima and afternoon maxima. When an 18-m section of the stream was covered with black plastic for 1 mo to exclude algal growth and measures were repeated in late summer, a net removal of DOC occurred in the covered section, while in an adjacent uncovered section DOC was released. When a bovine manure extract was introduced into the covered section, the DOC removal rate increased by more than an order of magnitude. Jewel-weed (Impatiens capensis L.) extract also elicited an elevated rate of DOC removal. When these extracts were added individually to microcosms, removal rates in the dark were 57 and 65% of the in situ uptake estimates for the manure extract and leachate, respectively. Abiotic controls showed that nearly all of the DOC removal was biotic uptake. DOC flux measurements in a third-order section of White Clay Creek, located on an adjacent watershed, also revealed a net DOC release from the uncovered streambed. Introduction of a bovine manure extract elicited a DOC removal rate an order of magnitude less than in the pasture stream. A companion microcosm experiment yielded an uptake rate that was 178% of the in situ estimate.

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