Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nature's chemical diversity reflected in Swedish lakes

02.05.2014

It's not only the biology of lakes that varies with the climate and other environmental factors, it's also their chemistry. More knowledge about this is needed to understand the ecology of lakes and their role in the carbon cycle and the climate. Today an international research group led by Uppsala University is publishing a comprehensive study of the composition of organic compounds in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

- Lake water is like a very thin broth with several thousand ingredients in the recipe, all with different properties. At the same time many of the molecules are common in a broad spectrum of different environments. For instance, in the extremely complex chemical mixture we have found the same components as colleagues have described from the Congo. And they react to environmental factors in the same way in the tropics as in Sweden, says Lars Tranvik, who directed the study.

All of the world's lakes cover only three per cent of the surface area of the continents, but they nevertheless play a huge role in the carbon cycle of the planet. Among other things, there is an outflow of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. This is largely due to the fact that these lakes take in tremendous amounts of organic materials from the surrounding land, and these are also converted in the water with the help of microorganisms.

Most of this organic matter is found in dissolved form in the water and consists of thousands of different molecules. The present study is the most comprehensive investigation ever of how the composition of these organic compounds is formed by processes in lakes and their catchments in the surrounding landscape. The researchers have analysed the make-up of the dissolved organic matter in 120 lakes from north to south in Sweden, as well as how its composition varies with the climate and other factors.

The study is a collaborative project involving a group of scientists from the Limnology program at Uppsala University and the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen/ University of Oldenburg. It is based on, among other things, data from a national environmental survey which monitors water chemistry and other properties of lakes. In addition, the researchers have performed detailed analyses of the organic material with the help of a powerful instrument in Germany – a high-resolution mass spectrometer.

The results show that not only biological diversity but also chemical diversity is regulated by various environmental factors. For example, in lakes with long water retention times, that is, where the water remains in place for a long period before being transported downstream, molecules from surrounding forests and wetlands are largely broken down.

- This leads to a completely different chemical composition, where the content of compounds that are produced by plankton in the lakes is more dominant, says Anne Kellerman, a doctoral candidate who is the lead author of the article.

By comparing lakes in different climates, we can get a picture of what chemical composition the water will have in a future climate with higher temperatures and more precipitation. This has consequences for how we should locate and design plants for drinking water production in the future.

- We're now continuing our investigations of the chemical diversity of nature by trying to figure out what mechanisms underlie the patterns we're finding. What determines that organic material in some cases is preserved in nature for a long time, and why is it degraded quickly under different circumstances? wonders Lars Tranvik.

This research is being conducted in a strong research environment funded by the Swedish Research Council Formas, "Color of Water", which is analysing current and future changes in the organic matter in lakes, and how this affects both drinking-water production and the ecology of the lakes.

###

Reference: Kellerman, A.M., Dittmar, T., Kothawala, D.N., and Tranvik. L. J Chemodiversity of dissolved organic matter in lakes driven by climate and hydrology. Nature Communications xxxxx
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4804

Contact:

Lars Tranvik, professor, Limnology, department of Ecology and Genetics, mobile: 070 225830. lars.tranvik@ebc.uu.se

Anne Kellerman, PhD student, Limnology, department of Ecology and Genetics, mobile: 072 2168380. anne.kellerman@ebc.uu.se

Dolly Kothawala, researcher, Limnology, department of Ecology and Genetics, mobile: 073 5247371. dolly.kothawala@ebc.uu.se

Lars Tranvik | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.uu.se

Further reports about: Ecology Genetics Limnology composition diversity materials

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Minimized water consumption in CSP plants - EU project MinWaterCSP is making good progress
05.12.2017 | Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum

nachricht Jena Experiment: Loss of species destroys ecosystems
28.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

Large-scale battery storage system in field trial

11.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>