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Estimating production of gilvin from catchment leaf litter during seasonal rains

Qiu, S., McComb, A.J., Bell, R.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-7756-3755 and Davis, J.A. (2005) Estimating production of gilvin from catchment leaf litter during seasonal rains. Marine and Freshwater Research, 56 (6). pp. 843-849.

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The yellow substance, gilvin, is an important component of water quality in natural waters. Quantitative study of gilvin production is difficult since gilvin is not a well defined substance. In the present study, leaf litter from four common tree species of south-western Australia were exposed to rainy weather for 183 days and leachate properties were monitored. The gilvin leaching from litter was estimated using a ‘humic acid (HA) equivalent’ concept, derived by drawing an analogy between the spectrophotometric properties of gilvin and that of humic acid. Gilvin (g440, m-1) was leached from litter primarily during the first few weeks after the commencement of the wet season. On average, 13% less gilvin was leached under ‘flooded’ conditions compared with ‘non-flooded’ conditions. Litter leaching in the presence of soil caused a significant time lag (about a month) for the peak load to occur, and reduced the total gilvin in the leachate through soil–litter interactions. Banksia menziesii leaves produced little gilvin, equivalent to 6.6% of that leached from the flooded gum. The Eucalyptus species, such as flooded gum and jarrah, common in wooded catchments in the region, appeared to be a major player producing yellow-coloured substances under annual rainfall conditions in south-western Australia.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: 2005 CSIRO
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