Scientific article

Temporal evolution of organic carbon concentrations in Swiss lakes: Trends of allochthonous and autochthonous organic carbon

Published inScience of the total environment, vol. 520, p. 13-22
Publication date2015

Evaluation of time series of organic carbon (OC) concentrations in lakes is useful for monitoring some of the effects of global change on lakes and their catchments. Isolating the evolution of autochthonous and allochthonous lake OC might be a useful way to differentiate between drivers of soil and photosynthetic OC related changes. However, there are no temporal series for autochthonous and allochthonous lake OC. In this study, a new approach has been developed to construct time series of these two categories of OC from existing dissolved organic carbon (DOC) data. First, temporal series (longer than ten years) of OC have been compiled for seven big Swiss lakes and another 27 smaller ones and evaluated by using appropriate non-parametric statistical methods. Subsequently, the new approach has been applied to construct time series of autochthonous and allochthonous lake OC in the seven big lakes. Doing this was possible because long term series of DOC concentrations at different depths are available for these lakes. Organic carbon concentrations generally increase in big lakes and decrease in smaller ones, although only in some cases are these trends statistically significant. The magnitude of the observed changes is generally small in big lakes (< 1% annual change) and larger in smaller lakes. Autochthonous DOC concentrations in big lakes increase or decrease depending on the lake and the station but allochthonous DOC concentrations generally increase. This pattern is consistent with an increase in the OC input from the lakes' catchments and/or an increase in the refractoriness of the OC in question, and with a temporal evolution of autochthonous DOC depending on the degree of recovery from past eutrophication of each particular lake. In small lakes, OC dynamics are mainly driven by decreasing biological productivity, which in many, but not all cases, outweighs the probable increase of allochthonous OC.

  • Lakes
  • Switzerland
  • Carbon cycle
  • Organic carbon
  • DOC
  • Temporal trends
  • OC origin
Citation (ISO format)
RODRÍGUEZ-MURILLO, J.C., FILELLA, Montserrat. Temporal evolution of organic carbon concentrations in Swiss lakes: Trends of allochthonous and autochthonous organic carbon. In: Science of the total environment, 2015, vol. 520, p. 13–22. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.02.085
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0048-9697

Technical informations

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