Date: 25 Sep 2009

Impacts of Climate on the Flux of Dissolved Organic Carbon from Catchments

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Abstract

Recent increases in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations in surface waters across both Europe and North America have focused attention on the factors controlling the export of DOC compounds from catchments. Waters containing high concentrations of DOC generally have a characteristic brown colour and are associated with the presence of highly organic soils. Catchments dominated by these soils typically export between 10 and 300 kg DOC ha−1 year−1 (Billett et al., 2004; Laudon et al., 2004; Jonsson et al., 2006). A portion of this DOC is mineralised in streams and lakes to CO2, while the remainder is transported to the sea (Jonsson et al., 2006). Organic matter accumulates in soils when decomposition rates are restricted either by low temperatures or water-logged conditions. In Europe organic soils are found mainly in colder, wetter