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AGU journal highlights -- Jan. 14, 2013
Date:1/14/2013

xopolymer particles (TEP), a gel-like substance formed by the spontaneous aggregation of sticky chains of organic molecules that are secreted by algae, bacteria, and other organisms. Previous research found that aggregates of TEP form habitats for microscopic life and reaction surfaces for aqueous chemicals and can help promote sedimentation. In the ocean, TEP is a key component of ocean "snow." The role and variability of TEP in Arctic lakes and other inland waters, however, has been relatively unstudied.

Collecting weekly water samples from three Mackenzie Delta lakes over a 2-month span in 2006, Chateauvert et al. measured how the concentrations of TEP and other organic compounds varied following the annual flooding of the Mackenzie River. The authors find that the concentration of TEP varied by up to two orders of magnitude over the course of the study period, peaking immediately following the June flood and declining steadily afterward. They also find that the lake best connected to the river had the highest TEP concentrations. These findings ran directly counter to the authors' initial hypothesis of how TEP concentrations should evolve in the lakes. The authors find that changes in the concentration of chromophoric dissolved organic mattera form of organic material derived almost exclusively from river water in the regioncould account for more than half of the measured TEP variability.

Source: Journal of Geophysical ResearchBiogeosciences, doi:10.1029/2012JG002132, 2012
http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2012JG002132

Title: Abundance and patterns of transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) in Arctic floodplain lakes of the Mackenzie River Delta

Authors: C. Adam Chateauvert and Lance F. W. Lesack: Departments of Geography and Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada;

Max L. Bothwell: Pacific Biological Station, Environment
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Contact: Kate Ramsayer
202-777-7524
American Geophysical Union
Source:Eurekalert

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