Wetlands Ecology and Management

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 1033–1038 | Cite as

Dissolved organic carbon in a tropical wetland dominated by Cyperus papyrus

  • Alfonse Opio
  • Mike B. Jones
  • Frank Kansiime
  • Tom Otiti
Original Paper


To improve understanding of carbon budgets in tropical wetlands, there is need to include estimates of fluxes of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) which are usually influenced by hydrological conditions. In this study, an assessment was made to test the hypotheses that tropical wetlands show significant fluvial losses of organic carbon and that these fluvial losses vary seasonally depending on the rate of water movement through the wetland. Measurements were made on a wetland dominated by Cyperus papyrus near Kampala, Uganda. DOC loads were computed from inflows and outflows discharge during wet and dry season. The inflow and outflow DOC concentrations ranged between 5.99 and 7.48 mg l−1 and 5.88–10.6 mg l−1 during dry season, and 6.24–8.48 mg l−1 and 6.20–23.65 mg l−1 during wet season respectively. There was little difference (12.5 %) in the load coming in and going out in the wet season, so DOC loss was not detected at this time. In the dry season, the loads were much smaller but there was more going out than coming in (32.6 %), but nevertheless there was a detectable loss of carbon from the wetland at this time.


Carbon budgets Cyperus papyrus Dissolved organic carbon Papyrus Wetlands 



The authors would like to thank Irish Aid and Trinity International Development Initiative (TIDI) for financial support. Thanks to Mr. Bright Twesigye and Mr. Joseph Kaketu Pale who assisted during the field work. We are thankful to Mr. John Omara for the analysis of dissolved organic carbon in the water samples using total organic carbon analyzer.

Compliance with ethical standards


This research has been funded by Higher Education Authority and Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. This was a bilateral cooperation between Makerere University, Uganda and Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfonse Opio
    • 1
  • Mike B. Jones
    • 2
  • Frank Kansiime
    • 3
  • Tom Otiti
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceGulu UniversityGuluUganda
  2. 2.Department of Botany, School of Natural SciencesTrinity College DublinDublinIreland
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Management, College of Agriculture and Environmental SciencesMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda
  4. 4.Department of Physics, College of Natural SciencesMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda

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