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Nature's chemical diversity reflected in Swedish lakes
Date:5/2/2014

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.


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Contact: Lars Tranvik
lars.tranvik@ebc.uu.se
0046-702-25830
Uppsala University
Source:Eurekalert

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