Changes in freshwater organic matter fluorescence intensity with freezing/thawing and dehydration/rehydration

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Abstract

[1] The effects of photodegradation and biodegradation upon aquatic organic matter lability have been extensively researched in all aquatic systems because of the impact of these processes upon carbon cycling, with most studies undertaken on the dissolved organic fraction. Little research has been published into the effect of freezing/thawing and dehydration/rehydration although these are mechanisms which are often encountered in nature. In this work, 13 freshwaters from central England were analyzed for chemical water quality, total organic carbon, and organic matter fluorescence using excitation-emission-matrices (EEMs). Samples were stored unfiltered under dehydrated or frozen conditions, then rehydrated or thawed, and analyzed for fluorescence over five cycles. The effect of freezing/thawing and dehydration/rehydration upon total organic matter fluorescence was assessed through changes in fluorescence intensity of four common peaks measured on the EEM spectra. Sample spectra were found to respond in a sample specific manner after one and five cycles of analysis; although fluorescence intensity generally decreased, the magnitude of decrease was variable between fluorescence peaks and samples. Freezing/thawing and dehydration/rehydration provide useful information on the sensitivity of freshwater organic matter fluorescence to these environmental processes.

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