Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 2783–2804 | Cite as

Environmental characteristics and changes of sediment pore water dissolved organic matter in four Chinese lakes

  • Khan M. G. Mostofa
  • Wen Li
  • Fengchang WuEmail author
  • Cong-Qiang Liu
  • Haiqing Liao
  • Li Zeng
  • Min Xiao
Research Article


Sediment pore waters were examined in four Chinese lakes (Bosten, Qinghai, Chenghai and Dianchi) to characterise the sources of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and their microbial changes in the sediment depth profiles. Parallel factor (PARAFAC) modelling on the sample fluorescence spectra confirmed that the pore water DOM was mostly composed of two components with a mixture of both allochthonous and autochthonous fulvic acid-like substances in three lakes, except Lake Dianchi, and protein-like components in Lake Bosten. However, DOM in Lake Dianchi was composed of three components, including a fulvic acid-like, and two unidentified components, which could originate from mixed sources of either sewerage-impacted allochthonous or autochthonous organic matter (OM). Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations were typically high (583–7410 μM C) and fluctuated and increased vertically in the depth profile. The fluorescence intensity of the fulvic acid-like substance and absorbance at 254 nm increased vertically in the sediment pore waters of three lakes. A significant relationship between DOC and the fluorescence intensity of the fulvic acid-like component in the sediment pore waters of three lakes, except Lake Dianchi, suggested that the fulvic acid-like component could significantly contribute to total DOM and could originate via complex microbial processes in early diagenesis on OM (ca. phytoplankton, terrestrial plant material) in these lakes. Pore water DOM components could therefore be a useful indicator to assess the DOM sources of the lake sediment during sedimentation over the past several decades, which have been heavily affected by ambient terrestrial vegetation and human activities.


Sediment pore waters Dissolved organic matter Fluorescent dissolved organic matter PARAFAC modelling UV absorbance Fulvic acid-like component 


Funding information

This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 40973090, 40703022, 40525011, 40773065), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFA0601000) and also by the Key Construction Program of the National “985” Project, Tianjin University, China.


  1. Aoki S, Ohara S, Kimura K, Mizuguchi H, Fuse Y, Yamada E (2008) Characterization of fluorophores released from three kinds of lake phytoplankton using gel chromatography and fluorescence spectrophotometry. Anal Sci 24:1461–1467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bai Y, Shi Q, Wen D, Li Z, Jefferson WA, Feng C, Tang X (2012) Bacterial communities in the sediments of Dianchi Lake, a partitioned eutrophic waterbody in China. PLoS One 7(5):e37796. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bernasconi SM, Barbieri A, Simona M (1997) Carbon and nitrogen isotope variations in sedimenting organic matter in Lake Lugano. Limnol Oceanogr 42:1755–1765CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Borisover M, Laor Y, Parparov A, Bukhanovsky N, Lado M (2009) Spatial and seasonal patterns of fluorescent organic matter in Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and its catchment basin. Water Res 43:3104–3116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Burdige DJ, Kline SW, Chen W (2004) Fluorescent dissolved organic matter in marine sediment pore waters. Mar Chem 89:289–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chaijan M, Jongjareonrak A, Phatcharat S, Benjakul S, Rawdkuen S (2010) Chemical compositions and characteristics of farm raised giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas) muscle. LWT Food Sci Technol 43:452–457CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen X, Wu J, Hu Q (2008) Simulation of climate change impacts on streamflow in the Bosten Lake basin using an artificial neural network model. J Hydrol Eng 13:180–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chikaraishi Y (2006) Carbon and hydrogen isotopic composition of sterols in natural marine brown and red macroalgae and associated shellfish. Org Geochem 37:428–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chin YP, Aiken GR, O'Loughlin E (1994) Molecular eight, polydispersity, and spectroscopic properties of aquatic humic substances. Environ Sci Technol 28:1853–1858Google Scholar
  10. Coble PG (1996) Characterization of marine and terrestrial DOM in seawater using excitation-emission matrix spectroscopy. Mar Chem 51:325–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Coble PG, Schultz CA, Mopper K (1993) Fluorescence contouring analysis of DOC intercalibration experimental samples: a comparison of techniques. Mar Chem 41:173–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Colman SM, S-Y Y, An Z, Shen J, Henderson ACG (2007) Late Cenozoic climate changes in China’s western interior a review of research on Lake Qinghai and comparison with other records. Quat Sci Rev 26:2281–2300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cory RM, McKnight DM (2005) Fluorescence spectroscopy reveals ubiquitous presence of oxidized and reduced quinines in dissolved organic matter. Environ Sci Technol 39:8142–8149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dean W (1999) The carbon cycle and biogeochemical dynamics in lake sediments. J Paleolimnol 21:375–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Edzwald JK, Becker WC, Wattier KL (1985) Surrogate parameters for monitoring organic matter and THM precursors. J Am Water Works Assoc 77:122–132Google Scholar
  16. Fu P, FC W, Liu C–Q, Wei Z, Bai Y, Liao H (2006) Spectroscopic characterization and molecular weight distribution of dissolved organic matter in sediment porewaters from Lake Erhai, Southwest China. Biogeochemistry 81:179–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fu PQ, Mostofa KMG, Wu FC, Liu CQ, Li W, Liao H, Wang LF, Wang J, Mei Y (2010) Excitationemission matrix characterization of dissolved organic matter sources in two eutrophic lakes (Southwestern China Plateau). Geochem J 44:99–112Google Scholar
  18. Gudasz C, Sobek S, Bastviken D, Koehler B, Tranvik LJ (2015) Temperature sensitivity of organic carbon mineralization in contrasting lake sediments. J Geophys Res 120:1215–1225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Harvey HR, Tuttle JH, Bell JT (1995) Kinetics of phytoplankton decay during simulated sedimentation: changes in biochemical composition and microbial activity under oxic and anoxic conditions. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 59:3367–3377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hernes PJ, Peterson ML et al (2001) Particulate carbon and nitrogen fluxes and compositions in the central equatorial Pacific. Deep-Sea Res I Oceanogr Res Pap 48:1999–2023CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Huang XZ, Chen FH, Fan YX, Yang ML (2009) Dry late-glacial and early Holocene climate in arid central Asia indicated by lithological and palynological evidence from Bosten Lake, China. Quat Int 194:19–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jin XC, Liu HL, Tu QY, Zhang ZS Zhu X (1990) Eutrophication of Chinese lakes. Science Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  23. Keil RG, Tsamakis E, Hedges JI (2000) Early diagenesis of particulate amino acids in marine systems. In: Goodfriend GA, Collins MJ, Fogel ML, Macko SA, Wehmiller JF (eds) Perspectives in amino acid and protein geochemistry. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 69–82Google Scholar
  24. Kim C, Nishimura Y, Nagata T (2006) Role of dissolved organic matter in hypolimnetic mineralization of carbon and nitrogen in a large, monomictic lake. Limnol Oceanogr 51:70–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kowalczuk P, Durako MJ et al (2009) Characterization of dissolved organic matter fluorescence in the South Atlantic Bight with use of PARAFAC model: interannual variability. Mar Chem 113:182–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kristensen E, Ahmed SI, Devol AH (1995) Aerobic and anaerobic decomposition of organic matter in marine sediment: which is fastest? Limnol Oceanogr 40:1430–1437CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lehmann MF, Bernasconi SM, Barbieri A, McKenzie JA (2002) Preservation of organic matter and alteration of its carbon and nitrogen isotope composition during simulated and in situ early sedimentary diagenesis. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 66:3573–3584CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Li W, FC W et al (2008) Temporal and spatial distributions of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen in two small lakes on the Southwestern China Plateau. Limnology 9:163–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Li M, Xie GQ et al (2009) A study of the relationship between the water body chlorophyll a and water quality factors of the off coast of DianChi lake. Yunnan Geograph Environ Res 21:102–106Google Scholar
  30. Lovley DR, Coates JD et al (1996) Humic substances as electron acceptors for microbial respiration. Nature 382:445–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Malinverno A, Martinez EA (2015) The effect of temperature on organic carbon degradation in marine sediments. Sci Rep 5:17861CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. McCallister SL, Bauer JE, Canuel EA (2006) Bioreactivity of estuarine dissolved organic matter: a combined geochemical and microbiological approach. Limnol Oceanogr 51:94–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. McKnight DM, Boyer EW et al (2001) Spectrofluorometric characterization of dissolved organic matter for indication of precursor organic material and aromaticity. Limnol Oceanogr 46:38–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Meyers PA (1997) Organic geochemical proxies of paleoceanographic, paleolimnologic, and paleoclimatic processes. Org Geochem 27:213–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Moran MA, Jr. Sheldon WM, Zepp RG (2000) Carbon loss and optical property changes during longterm photochemical and biological degradation of estuarine dissolved organic matter. Limnol Oceanogr 6:1254–1264Google Scholar
  36. Mostofa KMG, Yoshioka T et al (2005) Three–dimensional fluorescence as a tool for investigating the dynamics of dissolved organic matter in the Lake Biwa watershed. Limnology 6:101–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mostofa KMG, Yoshioka T, Konohira E, Tanoue E (2007) Photodegradation of fluorescent dissolved organic matters in river waters. Geochem J 41:323–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mostofa KMG, FC W, Liu C–Q et al (2010) Characterization of Nanming River (southwestern China) sewerage–impacted pollution using an excitation–emission matrix and PARAFAC. Limnology 11:217–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mostofa KMG, Yoshioka T, Mottaleb A, Vione D (2013) Photobiogeochemistry of organic matter: principles and practices in water environments. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ohkouchi N, Nakajima Y, Ogawa NO, Chikaraishi Y, Suga H, Sakai S, Kitazato H (2008) Carbon isotopic composition of the tetrapyrrole nucleus in chloropigments from a saline meromictic lake: A mechanistic view for interpreting the isotopic signature of alkyl porphyrins in geological samples. Org Geochem 39:521–531Google Scholar
  41. O’Loughlin EJ, Chin Y-P (2004) Quantification and characterization of dissolved organic carbon and iron in sedimentary porewater from Green Bay, WI, USA. Biogeochemistry 71:371–386Google Scholar
  42. Ríos AF, Fraga F, Pérez FF, Figueiras FG (1998) Chemical composition of phytoplankton and particulate organic matter in the Ría de Vigo (NW Spain). Sci Mar 62:257–271Google Scholar
  43. Routh J, Meyers PA et al (2004) A sedimentary geochemical record of human–induced environmental changes in the Lake Brunnsviken watershed, Sweden. Limnol Oceanogr 49:1560–1569CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Senesi N (1990) Molecular and quantitative aspects of the chemistry of fulvic acid and its interactions with metal ions and organic chemicals: Part II. The fluorescence spectroscopy approach. Anal Chim Acta 232:77–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Shammi M, Pan X, Mostofa KMG, Zhang D, Liu CQ (2017a) Seasonal variation and characteristic differences in the fluorescent components of extracellular polymeric substances from mixed biofilms in saline lake. Sci Bull 62:764–766CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Shammi M, Pan X, Mostofa KMG, Zhang D, Liu CQ (2017b) Photo−flocculation of algal biofilm extracellular polymeric substances and its transformation into transparent exopolymer particles: chemical and spectroscopic evidences. Sci Rep 7:9074CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Stedmon CA, Markager S (2005) Tracing the production and degradation of autochthonous fractions of dissolved organic matter by fluorescence analysis. Limnol Oceanogr 50:1415–1426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Stedmon CA, Markager S, Bro R (2003) Tracing dissolved organic matter in aquatic environments using a new approach to fluorescence spectroscopy. Mar Chem 82:239–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Stedmon CA, Thomas DN, Granskog M, Kaartokallio H, Papaditriou S, Kuosa H (2007a) Characteristics of dissolved organic matter in Baltic coastal sea ice: allochthonous or autochthonous origins? Environ Sci Technol 41:7273–7279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Stedmon CA, Markager S et al (2007b) Photochemical production of ammonium and transformation of dissolved organic matter in the Baltic Sea. Mar Chem 104:227–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sun S, Zhang C (2000) Nitrogen distribution in the lakes and lacustrine of China. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 57:23–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Thomsen U, Thamdrup B, Stahl DA, Canfield DE (2004) Pathways of organic carbon oxidation in a deep lacustrine sediment, Lake Michigan. Limnol Oceanogr 49:2046–2057CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Traina SJ, Novak J, Smeck NE (1990) An ultraviolet absorbance method of estimating the percent aromatic carbon content of humic acids. J Environ Qual 19:151–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wan GJ, Chen J, SQ X, FC W, Santsehi PH (2005) Sudden enhancement of sedimentation flux of 210Pbex as an indicator of lake productivity as exemplified by Lake Chenghai. Sci China Ser D Earth Sci 48:484–496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wang LF, Xiong YQ, Wu FC, Fang J, Li Y (2009) The eutrophication process of Lake Dianchi evidences from the δ13C value of the bound nC16:0 fatty acid. J Lake Sci 21:456–464 [in Chinese]CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Weishaar JL, Aiken GR et al (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
  57. Weiss R, Carmack ECC, Koropalov V (1991) Deep–water renewal and biological production in Lake Baikal. Nature 349:665–669CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wu FC, Tanoue E (2002) Tryptophan in the sediments of lakes from Southwestern China Plateau. Chem Geol 184:139–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wu JL, Wang SM (2003) Stable isotopic tracing of historical progressive eutrophication from lake Chenghai, Yunnan in China. Quat Sci 23:557–564 [in Chinese]Google Scholar
  60. Wünnemann B, Mischke S, Chen F (2006) A Holocene sedimentary record from Bosten Lake, China. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 234:223–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Xiao M, FC W, Liao HQ, Li W, Lee XQ, Huang RS (2009) Vertical profiles of low molecular weight organic acids in sediment porewaters of six Chinese lakes. J Hydrol 365:37–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Xiong Y, Wu FC, Fang J, Wang L, Li Y, Liao H (2009) Organic geochemical record of environmental changes in Lake Dianchi, China. J Paleolimnol 44:217–231Google Scholar
  63. Xu H, Ai L, Tan L, An Z (2006) Stable isotopes in bulk carbonates and organic matter in recent sediments of Lake Qinghai and their climatic implications. Chem Geol 235:262–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Yamashita Y, Jaffe R (2008) Characterizing the interactions between trace metals and dissolved organic matter using excitation–emission matrix and parallel factor analysis. Environ Sci Technol 42:7374–7379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Yao WZ, Shi JQ, Qi HF, Yang JX, Jia L, Pu J (2011) Study on the phytoplankton in Qinghai Lake during summer of 2006–2010. Freshwater Fish 3:22–28Google Scholar
  66. Zhang EL, Shen J, Xia WL, Zhu YX, Wang SM (2002) Environmental records from organic carbon and its isotope of Qinghai lake sediment. Mar Geol Quat Geol 22:105–108Google Scholar
  67. Zhang C, Mischke S et al (2009a) Carbon and oxygen isotopic composition of surface-sediment carbonate in Bosten Lake (Xinjiang, China) and its controlling factors. Acta Geol Sin 83:386–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Zhang YL, Zhang EL, Liu ML (2009b) Spectral absorption properties of chromophoric dissolved organic matter and particulate matter in Yunnan Plateau lakes. J Lake Sci 21:255–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Zhang G, Xie H, Duan S, Tian M, Yi D (2011) Water level variation of Lake Qinghai from satellite and in situ measurements under climate change. J Appl Remote Sens 5:053532–053515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Zhang G, Yao T, Xie H, Qin J, Ye Q, Dai Y, Guo R (2014) Estimating surface temperature changes of lakes in the Tibetan Plateau using MODIS LST data. J Geophys Res 119:8552–8567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Zhong W, Shu Q (2001) Changes in paleo–climate and paleo–hydrology since 12 Ka BP in Bosten Lake, southern Xinjiang. Oceanol Limnol Sinica 32:213–220Google Scholar
  72. Zhu Y (2004) Succession tendency of water quality of Dianchi lake and prevention countermeasures. Yunnan Environ Sci 23:97–100 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  73. Zhu JH, Waiman NG, Zhou HL, Wang XY (2005) Phytoplankton pigments: concentration of Qinghai Lake by HPLC. Ocean Technol 24:46–49Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Khan M. G. Mostofa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wen Li
    • 2
  • Fengchang Wu
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Cong-Qiang Liu
    • 2
  • Haiqing Liao
    • 3
  • Li Zeng
    • 3
  • Min Xiao
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Surface–Earth System Science, Tianjin UniversityTianjin 300072People’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Environmental GeochemistryInstitute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijing 550002People’s Republic of China
  3. 3.State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Lake Pollution ControlChinese Research Academy of Environmental SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations