, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 87–94 | Cite as

Effectiveness of preservatives and poisons on sediment trap material in freshwater environments

  • Naoshige Goto
  • Kento Hisamatsu
  • Chikage Yoshimizu
  • Syuhei Ban
Research paper


To estimate the effectiveness of preservative/poisons on sediment trap material in freshwater environments, we measured the ratio of particulate organic matter retention [particulate organic carbon (POC) and nitrogen (PON), particulate phosphorus (PP)] using simulated sediment trap material (SSTM). SSTM was collected in summer and fall from depths of 30 and 85 m in the mesotrophic northern basin of Lake Biwa, Japan. All SSTM was incubated in buffered formalin, sodium azide (NaN3) and mercuric chloride (HgCl2) solutions for a period of 56 days. The retention ratio of POC, PON and PP of SSTM was measured throughout the course of the experiments. Results showed that buffered formalin and HgCl2 were very effective in preserving POC. Although NaN3 was less effective at preventing degradation of POC, the degradation process as a function of time was described with the double-exponential decay equation extremely well. Buffered formalin and HgCl2 were also effective in preserving PON, but less effective than for POC. To ensure accurate measurements of PON vertical flux, therefore, one should estimate the decomposition kinetics of PON in sediment trap material. None of the preservatives used in this study was effective for preserving PP, which was rapidly degraded within a week. However, the degradation process was also fully described by the equation, and this will make it possible to accurately estimate PP vertical flux.


Preservative and poison Freshwater Particulate organic carbon and nitrogen Particulate phosphorus Sediment trap 



We are grateful to Dr. M. Kumagai, Ritsumeikan University, and Dr. T. Ishikawa, Shiga University, for buoy deployment/recovery and sample collection. Thanks are also due to the staff of the Department of Ecosystem Studies, University of Shiga Prefecture, for their contributions to water sampling and chemical analysis. This study was supported by the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (D-0804) of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Limnology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naoshige Goto
    • 1
  • Kento Hisamatsu
    • 1
  • Chikage Yoshimizu
    • 2
    • 3
  • Syuhei Ban
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Environmental Science, The University of Shiga PrefectureHikoneJapan
  2. 2.Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto UniversityOtsuJapan
  3. 3.Research Institute for Humanity and NatureKyotoJapan

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