Science of the Total Environment, 15 January 2017, Vol.577, pp.329-339
Pre-dams are small reservoirs constructed upstream of the main drinking water reservoirs and are used for nutrient removal and sediment trapping. Little is known about the role of pre-dams regarding the production and decomposition of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in relation to discharge and how this affects the quality of DOC in the water. We combined quantitative and qualitative investigations under different hydrological conditions at three pre-dams exhibiting a gradient from oligotrophic/high-DOC to eutrophic/low-DOC. All pre-dams were mainly autotrophic in their upper water layers. The ratio of OC production to total gained OC (i.e. OC import + OC production) decreased with increasing discharge. On average, 0–30% of the total gained OC was produced within the pre-dams. The amount of microbially decomposed DOC increased with the average water residence time (WRT) and with the trophic status of the pre-dams. Radiocarbon analyses of respired CO revealed that heterotrophic bacteria preferentially utilized old DOC components (195–395 years before present) under base flow conditions, whereas younger components (modern, i.e. OC produced after 1950) were utilized at high discharge. DOC quality changed significantly over the year within the pre-dams: High proportions of algae-derived DOC were observed during base flow in summer, and the freshness index (β/α ratio) decreased significantly with higher discharges. DOC production and quality changes in response to hydrological conditions should be considered for future water quality management in reservoirs, as climate scenarios for temperate regions predict decreased runoffs leading to longer WRT and increased eutrophication and production of algae-derived OC.
Carbon Isotopes ; 14c ; Autotrophy ; Microbial Decomposition ; Fluorescence ; Net Production ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
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