Advertisement

Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 21–35 | Cite as

Freshwaters: which NOM matters?

  • Montserrat FilellaEmail author
Review

Abstract

One of the difficulties encountered in the study of natural organic matter (NOM) in aquatic environments concerns terminology: a large number of different names and acronyms are used. In fact, this diversity merely reflects the variety of approaches applied to the study of NOM, leading to the definition and measurement of different operationally-defined fractions. As a result, the choice of the ‘best’ method to use and of the ‘best’ fraction to work on in a particular case is far from straightforward. This has as a consequence that often very simple methods for NOM characterisation are used in applied environmental studies and surveys. This study includes, first, a review of the most widely applied terminology, as described in over 500 articles, and, second, a first attempt at assessing how the panoply of methods available is really used in applied environmental studies.

Keywords

Natural organic matter NOM Organic carbon DOC TOC Fulvic Humic 

References

  1. Abbt-Braun G, Lankes U, Frimmel FH (2004) Structural characterization of aquatic humic substances—The need for a multiple method approach. Aquat Sci 66:151–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aiken GR, McKnight DM, Thorn KA, Thurman EM (1992) Isolation of hydrophilic organic acids from water using nonionic macroporous resins. Org Geochem 18:567–573CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aiken GR, Thurman EM, Malcolm RL, Walton HF (1979) Comparison of XAD macroporous resins for the concentration of fulvic acid from aqueous solution. Anal Chem 51:1799–1803CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Allen HL (1978) Low molecular weight dissolved organic matter in five soft-water ecosystems: a preliminary study and ecological implications. Verh Internat Verein Limnol 20:514–524Google Scholar
  5. Bäckström M, Dario M, Karlsson S, Allard B (2001) Effects of a fulvic acid on the adsorption of mercury and cadmium on goethite. Sci Total Environ 304:257–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baker A, Spencer RGM (2004) Characterization of dissolved organic matter from source to sea using fluorescence and absorbance spectroscopy. Sci Total Environ 333:217–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bibby RL, Webster-Brown JG (2005) Characterisation of urban catchment suspended particulate matter (Auckland region, New Zealand); a comparison with non-urban SPM. Sci Total Environ 343:177–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Buffle J (1988) Complexation reactions in aquatic systems. An analytical approach. Ellis Horwood, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  9. Brun A, Engesgaard P, Christensen TH, Rosbjerg D (2002) Modelling of transport and biogeochemical processes in pollution plumes: Vejen landfill, Denmark. J Hydrol 256:228–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carrias J-F, Serre J-P, Sime-Ngando T, Amblard C (2002) Distribution, size, and bacterial colonization of pico- and nano-detrital organic particles (DOP) in two lakes of different trophic status. Limnol Oceanogr 47:1202–1209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chanudet V, Filella M (2006) The application of the MBTH method for carbohydrate determination in freshwaters revisited. Int J Environ Anal Chem 86:693–712CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chen J, Gu B, LeBoeuf EJ, Pan H, Dai S (2002) Spectroscopic characterization of the structural and functional properties of natural organic matter fractions. Chemosphere 48:59–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chen J, Gu B, Royer RA, Burgos WD (2003) The roles of natural organic matter in chemical and microbial reduction of ferric iron. Sci Total Environ 307:167–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chen DJZ, MacQuarrie KTB (2004) Numerical simulation of organic carbon, nitrate, and nitrogen isotope behavior during denitrification in a riparian zone. J Hydrol 293:235–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cole JJ, McDowell WH, Likens GE (1984) Sources and molecular weight of “dissolved” organic carbon in an oligotrophic lake. Oikos 42:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cruz FW Jr, Karmann I, Magdaleno GB, Coichev N, Viana O Jr (2005) Influence of hydrological and climatic parameters on spatial-temporal variability of fluorescence intensity and DOC of karst percolation waters in the Santana Cave System, Southeastern Brazil. J Hydrol 302:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Devez A, Gomez E, Gilbin R, Elbaz-Poulichet F, Persin F, Andrieux P, Casellas C (2005) Assessment of copper bioavailability and toxicity in vineyard runoff waters by DPASV and algal bioassay. Sci Total Environ 348:82–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Eberlein K, Leal MT, Hammer KD, Hickel W (1985) Dissolved organic substances during a Phaeocystis pouchetii bloom in the German Bight (North Sea). Mar Biol 89:311–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Engelhaupt E, Bianchi TS (2001) Sources and composition of high-molecular-weight dissolved organic carbon in a southern Lousiana tidal stream (Bayou Trepagnier). Limnol Oceanogr 46:917–926CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Everett DH (1972) Manual of symbols and terminology for physicochemical quantities and units. Appendix II. Definitions, terminology and symbols in colloid and surface chemistry. Pure Appl Chem 31(Part I):578–638Google Scholar
  21. Fan L, Harris JL, Roddick FA, Booker NA (2001) Influence of the characteristics of natural organic matter on the fouling of microfiltration membranes. Wat Res 35:4455–4463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Feng X, Simpson AJ, Simpson MJ (2005) Chemical and mineralogical controls on humic acid sorption to clay mineral surfaces. Org Geochem 36:1553–1566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fortuin NPM, Willemsen A (2005) Exsolution of nitrogen and argon by methanogenesis in Dutch ground water. J Hydrol 301:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gao H, Zepp R (1998) Factors influencing photoreactions of dissolved organic matter in a coastal river of the Southeastern United States. Environ Sci Technol 32:2940–2946CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gourlay C, Mouchel J-M, Tusseau-Vuillemin M-H, Garric J (2005) Influence of algal and bacterial particulate organic matter on benzo[a]pyrene bioaccumulation in Daphnia magna. Sci Total Environ 346:220–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Grossart H-P, Simon M, Logan BE (1997) Formation of macroscopic organic aggregates (lake snow) in a large lake: The significance of transparent exopolymer particles, phytoplankton, and zooplankton. Limnol Oceanogr 42:1651–1659CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gustafsson Ö, Andersson P, Axelman J, Bucheli TD, Kömp P, McLachlan MS, Sobek A, Thörngren J-O (2005) Observations of the PCB distribution within and in-between ice, snow, ice-rafted debris, ice-interstitial water, and seawater in the Barents Sea marginal ice zone and the North Pole area. Sci Total Environ 342:261–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hama T, Handa N (1987) Pattern of organic matter production by natural phytoplankton population in a eutrophic lake 2. Extracellular products. Arch Hydrobiol 109:227–243Google Scholar
  29. Hanisch K, Schweitzer B, Simon M (1996) Use of dissolved carbohydrates by planktonic bacteria in a mesotrophic lake. Microb Ecol. 31:41–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hayakawa K (2004) Seasonal variations and dynamics of dissolved carbohydrates in Lake Biwa. Org Geochem 35:169–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hedges JI (2002) Why dissolved organics matter? In: Hansell DA, Carlson CA (eds) Biogeochemistry of marine dissolved organic matter. Academic Press, Amsterdam, pp 1–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hedges JI, Clark WA, Quay PD, Richey JE, Devol AH, Santos UM (1986) Compositions and fluxes of particulate organic material in the Amazon River. Limnol Oceanogr 31:717–738CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hedges JI, Cowie GL, Richey JE, Quay PD, Benner R, Strom M, Forsberg BR (1994) Origins and processing of organic matter in the Amazon River as indicated by carbohydrates and amino acids. Limnol Oceanogr 39:743–761CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hedges JI, Keil RG, Benner R (1997) What happens to terrestrial organic matter in the ocean. Org Geochem 27:195–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hem LJ, Efraimsen H (2001) Assimilable organic carbon in molecular weight fractions of natural organic matter. Wat Res 35:1106–1110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hillier S (2001) Particulate composition and origin of suspended sediment in the R. Don, Aberdeenshire, UK. Sci Total Environ 265:281–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hoagland KD, Rosowski JR, Gretz MR, Roemer SC (1993) Diatom extracellular polymeric substances: function, fine structure, chemistry, and physiology. J Phycol 29:537–566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hoyer O, Lüsse B, Bernhardt H (1985) Isolation and characterization of extracellular organic matter (EOM) from algae. Z Wasser-Abwasser-Forsch 18:76–90Google Scholar
  39. Hseu Y-C, Chang W-C, Yang H-L (2001) Inhibition of human plasmin activity using humic acids with arsenic. Sci Total Environ 273:93–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hsieh C-Y, Tsai M-H, Ryan DK, Pancorbo OC (2004) Toxicity of the 13 priority pollutant metals to Vibrio fisheri in the Microtox® chronic toxicity test. Sci Total Environ 320:37–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hu H, Mylon SE, Benoit G (2006) Distribution of the thiols glutathione and 3-mercaptopropionic acid in Connecticut lakes. Limnol Oceanogr 51:2763–2774CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Huang W-J, Fang G-C, Wang C-C (2005) The determination and fate of disinfection by-products from ozonation of polluted raw water. Sci Total Environ 345:261–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hung C-C, Warnken KW, Santschi PH (2005) A seasonal survey of carbohydrates and uronic acids in the Trinity River, Texas. Org Geochem 36:463–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Hurst AM, Edwards MJ, Chipps M, Jefferson B, Parsons SA (2004) The impact of rainstorm events on coagulation and clarifier performance in potable water treatment. Sci Total Environ. 321:219–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Imai A, Fukushima T, Matsushige K, Kim YH (2001) Fractionation and characterization of dissolved organic matter in a shallow eutrophic lake, its inflowing rivers, and other organic matter sources. Wat Res 35:4019–4028CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Jorgensen NOG, Jensen RE (1994) Microbial fluxes of free monosaccharides and total carbohydrates in freshwater determined by PAD-HPLC. FEMS Microb Ecol 14:79–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Kainz M, Lucotte M (2002) Can flooded organic matter from sediments predict mercury concentrations in zooplankton of a perturbed lake? Sci Total Environ 293:151–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kaplan LA, Reasoner DJ, Rice EW (1994) A survey of BOM in US drinking waters. J AWWA 86:121–132Google Scholar
  49. Karlén C, Odnevall Wallinder I, Heijerick D, Leygraf C, Janssen CR (2001) Runoff rates and ecotoxicity of zinc induced by atmospheric corrosion. Sci Total Environ 277:169–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Katsuyama M, Ohte N (2002) Determining the sources of stormflow from the fluorescence properties of dissolved organic carbon in a forested headwater catchment. J Hydrol 268:192–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Kim S-B, Corapcioglu MY (2002) Contaminant transport in riverbank filtration in the presence of dissolved organic matter and bacteria: a kinetic approach. J Hydrol 266:269–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Krogh A (1934) Conditions of life in the ocean. Ecol Monogr 4:421–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Laird GA, Scavia D (1990) Distribution of labile dissolved organic carbon in Lake Michigan. Limnol Oceanogr 35:443–447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Lanzillotta E, Ceccarini C, Ferrara R, Dini F, Frontini FP, Banchetti R (2004) Importance of the biogenic organic matter in photo-formation of dissolved gaseous mercury in a culture of the marine diatom Chaetoceros sp. Sci Total Environ 318:211–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Leenheer JA (1981) Comprehensive approach to preparative isolation and fractionation of dissolved organic carbon from natural waters and wastewaters. Environ Sci Technol 15:578–587CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Leenheer JA, Huffman EWD Jr (1976) Classification of organic solutes in water by using macroreticular resins. J Res US Geol Surv 4:737–751Google Scholar
  57. Leite Silva MA, Rezende CE (2002) Behavior of selected micro and trace elements and organic matter in sediments of a freshwater system in south-east Brazil. Sci Total Environ 292:121–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Lindsey ME, Xu G, Lu J, Tarr MA (2003) Enhanced Fenton degradation of hydrophobic organics by simultaneous iron and pollutant complexation with cyclodextrins. Sci Total Environ 307:215–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Lock MA, Ford TE (1986) Colloidal and dissolved organic carbon dynamics in undisturbed boreal forest catchments: a seasonal study of apparent molecular weight spectra. Freshw Biol 16:187–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Long RA, Azam F (1996) Abundant protein-containing particles in the sea. Aquat Microb Ecol 10:213–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Lowe LE (1975) Fractionation of acid-soluble components of soil organic matter using polyvinyl pyrrolidone. Can J Soil Sci 55:119–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Lu Y, Allen HE (2001) Partitioning of copper onto suspended particulate matter in river waters. Sci Total Environ 277:119–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Ma H, Allen HE, Yin Y (2001) Characterization of isolated fractions of dissolved organic matter from natural waters and a wastewater effluent. Wat Res 35:985–996CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Malcolm RL, MacCarthy P (1992) Quantitative evaluation of XAD-8 and XAD-4 resins used in tandem for removing organic solutes from water. Environ Int 18:597–607CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Mannino A, Harvey HR (2000) Terrigenous dissolved organic matter along an estuarine gradient and its flux to the coastal ocean. Org Geochem 31:1611–1625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Martin J-M, Dai M-H, Cauwet G (1995) Significance of colloids in the biogeochemical cycling of organic carbon and trace metals in the Venice Lagoon (Italy). Limnol Oceanogr 40:119–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. McCarthy JF, Williams TM, Liang L, Jardine PM, Jolley LW, Taylor DL, Palumbo AV, Cooper LW (1993) Mobility of natural organic matter in a sandy aquifer. Environ Sci Technol 27:667–676CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. McDonald S, Bishop AG, Prenzler PD, Robards K (2004) Analytical chemistry of freshwater humic substances. Anal Chim Acta 527:105–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Meems N, Steinberg CEW, Wiegand C (2004) Direct and interacting toxicological effects on the waterflea (Daphnia magna) by natural organic matter, synthetic humic substances and cypermethrin. Sci Total Environ 319:123–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Mostajir B, Dolan JR, Rassoulzadegan F (1995) Seasonal variations of pico- and nano-detrital (DAPI yellow particles, DYP) in the Ligurian Sea (NW Mediterranean). Aquat Microb Ecol 9:267–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Münster U (1993) Concentrations and fluxes of organic carbon substrates in the aquatic environment. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 63:243–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. O’Driscoll NJ, Siciliano SD, Lean DRS (2003) Continuous analysis of dissolved gaseous mercury in freshwater lakes. Sci Total Environ 304:285–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Ostfeld A, Salomons S (2005) A hybrid genetic—instance based learning algorithm for CE-QUAL-W2 calibration. J Hydrol 310:122–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Passow U, Alldredge AL (1994) Distribution, size and bacterial colonization of transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) in the ocean. Mar Ecol Progr Ser 113:185–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Patel-Sorrentino N, Mounier S, Lucas Y, Benaim JY (2004) Effects of UV–visible irradiation on natural organic matter from the Amazon basin. Sci Total Environ 321:231–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Perdue EM, Ritchie JD (2003) Dissolved organic matter in freshwaters. In: Drever JI (ed) Treatise on Geochemistry. Surface and ground water, weathering. and soils, vol 5. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 274–318Google Scholar
  77. Petrunic BM, MacQuarrie KTB, Al TA (2005) Reductive dissolution of Mn oxides in river-recharged aquifers: a laboratory column study. J Hydrol 301:163–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Peuravuori J, Lehtonen T, Pihlaja K (2002) Sorption of aquatic humic matter by DAX-8 and XAD-8 resins. Comparative study using pyrolysis gas chromatography. Anal Chim Acta 471:219–226Google Scholar
  79. Pivokonsky M, Kloucek O, Pivokonska L (2006) Evaluation of the production, composition and aluminum and iron complexation of algogenic organic matter. Wat Res 40:3045–3052CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Schmidt W, Hambsch B, Petzoldt H (1998) Classification of algogenic organic matter concerning its contribution to the bacterial regrowth potential and by-products formation. Wat Sci Technol 37:91–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Serkiz SM, Perdue EM (1990) Isolation of dissolved organic matter from the Suwannee River using reverse osmosis. Water Res 24:911–916CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Servais P, Billen G, Hascoët M-C (1987) Determination of the biodegradable fraction of dissolved organic matter in waters. Water Res 21:445–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Sharp JH (2002) Analytical methods for total DOM pools. In: Hansell DA, Carlson CA (eds) Biogeochemistry of marine dissolved organic matter. Academic Press, Amsterdam, pp 35–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Sincock AM, Wheater HS, Whitehead PG (2003) Calibration and sensitivity analysis of a river water quality model under unsteady flow conditions. J Hydrol 277:214–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Slaveykova VI, Parthasarathy N, Buffle J, Wilkinson KJ (2004) Permeation liquid membrane as a tool for monitoring bioavailable Pb in natural waters. Sci Total Environ 328:55–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Søndergaard M, Schierup H-H (1982) Release of extracellular organic carbon during a diatom bloom in Lake Mosso: molecular weight fractionation. Freshw Biol 12:313–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Steiro C, Becher G, Christy A, Gjessing ET (2004) Studies of the sorption of PCBs to DNOM from different surface waters. In: Martin-Neto L, Bastos Pereira Milori DM, Lopes da Silva WT (eds) Humic substances and soil and water environment (Proceedings XII International Meeting of IHSS). Sao Paulo, Brazil, pp 562–565Google Scholar
  88. Striquer-Soares F, Chevolot L (1996) Particulate and dissolved carbohydrates and proteins in Lobo Reservoir (Sao Paulo State, Brazil): relationships with phytoplankton. J Plankton Res 18:521–537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Sundh I (1989) Characterization of phytoplankton extracellular products (PDOC) and their subsequent uptake by heterotrophic organisms in a mesotrophic forest lake. J Plankton Res 11:463–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Tareq SM, Safiullah S, Anawar HM, Rahman MM, Ishizuka T (2003) Arsenic pollution in groundwater: a self-organizing complex geochemical process in the deltaic sedimentary environment, Bangladesh. Sci Total Environ 313:213–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Thurman EM (1985) Organic geochemistry of natural waters. Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk Pub, DordrechtCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Thurman EM, Malcolm RL (1981) Preparative isolation of aquatic humic substances. Environ Sci Technol 15:463–466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Tietjen T, Vähätalo AV, Wetzel RG (2005) Effects of clay mineral turbidity on dissolved organic carbon and bacterial production. Aquat Sci 67:51–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Timofeyev MA, Wiegand C, Burnison BK, Shatilina ZM, Pflugmacher S, Steinberg CEW (2004) Impact of natural organic matter (NOM) on freshwater amphipods. Sci Total Environ 319:115–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Town RM, Filella M (2002) Size fractionation of trace metals in freshwaters: implications for understanding their behaviour and fate. Rev Environ Sci Biotechnol 1:277–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Trulleyová Š, Rulík M (2004) Determination of biodegradable dissolved organic carbon in waters: comparison of batch methods. Sci Total Environ 332:253–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Wallace JB, Ross DH, Meyer JL (1982) Seston and dissolved organic carbon dynamics in a Southern Appalachian stream. Ecology 63:824–838CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Wang MC, Liu CP, Sheu BH (2004) Characterization of organic matter in rainfall, throughfall, stemflow, and streamwater from three subtropical forest ecosystems. J Hydrol 289:275–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Weishaar JL, Aiken GR, Bergamaschi BA, Fram MS, Fujii R, Mopper K (2003) Evaluation of specific ultraviolet absorbance as an indicator of the chemical composition and reactivity of dissolved organic carbon. Environ Sci Technol 37:4702–4708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Wilkinson KJ, Joz-Roland A, Buffle J (1997) Different roles of pedogenic fulvic acids and aquagenic biopolymers on colloid aggregation and stability in freshwaters. Limnol Oceanogr 42:1714–1724CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Worrall F, Burt T (2005) Predicting the future DOC flux from upland peat catchments. J Hydrol 300:126–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Zhao YQ, Sun G, Allen SJ (2004) Purification capacity of a highly loaded laboratory scale tidal flow reed bed system with effluent recirculation. Sci Total Environ 330:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Inorganic, Analytical and Applied ChemistryUniversity of GenevaGeneva 4Switzerland
  2. 2.SCHEMARameldangeLuxembourg

Personalised recommendations