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Fates of dissolved free amino acids in groundwater discharged through stream bed sediments


Fiebig,  Douglas Michael
Max Planck Society;

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Fiebig, D. M. (1992). Fates of dissolved free amino acids in groundwater discharged through stream bed sediments. Hydrobiologia, 235/236, 311-319.

Laboratory simulations were used to investigate the immobilization of dissolved free amino acids (DFAAs) from groundwater discharged up through cores of stream bed sediments from a first-order stream. At natural concentrations, 99% of DFAAs supplied in groundwater were immobilized, with 14 to 25% of this material respired and the remainder retained in the lower layers of the cores (depth = 7.4 cm). Immobilization efficiencies increased with increasing groundwater DFAA concentrations and discharge rates. Moderate enrichments (up to 1 mgl-1) appeared to stimulate biotic immobilization of DFAAs, while abiotic processes accounted for much of the increased immobilization at higher enrichments (tested up to 100 mgl-1). Variability in groundwater discharge rates induced no changes in the proportional contribution of biotic and abiotic immobilization processes. Thus, relative contributions of DFAA concentration and groundwater discharge rate to a given DFAA load (concentration x discharge rate) influenced the degree to which immobilized DFAAs were retained (as microbial biomass or adsorbed to the biofilm) or respired. Results showed that DFAAs in groundwater discharged through the stream bed are in a highly dynamic state of flux, suggesting that these compounds may be more significant to the transfer of organic matter to the benthic trophic structure than their normally low concentrations in groundwater would imply.