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Applying near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy to predict carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic-bound cadmium in lake picoplankton

Abstract

This study describes the 0.1–3 μm particle size fraction in a Precambrian Shield lake (37-ha Lake 382 in the Experimental Lakes Area, northwestern Ontario) receiving experimental additions of cadmium to determine fate and effects of low cadmium loading. This size fraction is important in binding cadmium in water. The study examined the feasibility of using near-infrared reflectance spectrophotometry (NIRS) for quantifying carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in this size fraction in 20-fold concentrated water samples from the lake and from a limnocorral experiment exploring the effect of fertilization on sedimentation of cadmium from the water column. NIRS was also used for detecting and characterizing organic matter in this size fraction associated with cadmium. Aliquots (1.5 ml) of the concentrated samples were applied to pre-ashed Whatman GF/C glass fibre filters. The filters containing 40–150 μg carbon, 1–21 μg nitrogen, 1–10 μg phosphorus, and 0.21–2.21 ng cadmium, were scanned by NIRS, then analyzed by traditional methods for carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Cadmium was determined in the concentrated samples by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Coefficients of determination,r 2, between chemically-measured and NIRS-predicted values were 0.921 for carbon, 0.852 for nitrogen, 0.869 for phosphorus, and 0.752 for cadmium. Several lines of evidence suggested that the organic material associated with cadmium was predominantly algae <3 μm. NIRS is useful for measuring organic matter in this size fraction and is potentially useful for characterizing organic matter that binds metals.

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Malley, D.F., Lawrence, S.G., Holoka, M.H. et al. Applying near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy to predict carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic-bound cadmium in lake picoplankton. Journal of Aquatic Ecosystem Health 5, 135–147 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00662802

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00662802

Key words

  • whole-lake experiment
  • limnocorrals
  • fertilization