Functional properties of DOM in a stream draining blanket peat

S Thacker, E Tipping, D Gondar, Andrew Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


The functional properties of dissolved organic matter (DOM) from Rough Sike, a stream draining blanket peat in the northern Pennines, UK, were investigated using a series of 12 standardised assays. Nine stream samples were collected at different discharges during 2003--2006, and DOM concentrates obtained by low temperature rotary evaporation. Suwannee River Fulvic Acid was used as a quality control standard in the assays. Dissolved organic matter in high-discharge samples was more light-absorbing at 280 and 340 nm and adsorbed more strongly to alumina, than DOM characteristic of low streamflow, but was less fluorescent and hydrophilic, and poorer in proton-dissociating groups. No significant differences were found in light absorption at 254 nm, copper- or benzo(a)pyrene binding, or photochemical fading. Combination of the Rough Sike data with previously-published results for other streams and a lake yields totals of 20-23 values per assay, for a range of DOM types. For the combined data, variability in all the assays is significant (p <0.001), as judged by comparison with variations in repeat measurements on the quality control standard. Analysis of the combined data shows that DOM hydrophilicity and adsorption are well-predicted by linear relationships with the extinction coefficient at 340 nm (E340), while good quadratic relationships exist between E340 and both buffering capacity and fluorescence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-573
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2008


  • Discharge
  • Functional properties
  • Stream
  • Dissolved organic matter
  • Peat


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