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Sampling, storage and laboratory approaches for dissolved organic matter characterisation in freshwaters: Moving from nutrient fraction to molecular-scale characterisation

Lloyd, C.E.M., Johnes, P.J., Pemberton, J.A., Yates, C.A., Jones, D. and Evershed, R.P. (2022) Sampling, storage and laboratory approaches for dissolved organic matter characterisation in freshwaters: Moving from nutrient fraction to molecular-scale characterisation. Science of The Total Environment, 827 . Art. 154105.

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Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.154105
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Abstract

Recent research has highlighted the importance of dissolved organic matter (DOM) for ecosystem function and because of this paradigm shift, it has become crucial to not only quantify its contribution to river nutrient loads but also to characterise its composition. There has been a significant research effort utilising optical methods, such as fluorescence and UV–Vis spectrophotometry, in order to start exploring DOM character. However, these methods still lack the granularity to understand the chemical composition at the molecular level, which is vital to properly understanding its functional role in freshwater ecosystems. As a direct result, there has been a shift towards including molecular-scale analyses to investigate the in-stream processing of the material. Alongside this, recent methodological advancements, particularly in mass spectrometry are opening new opportunities for probing one of the most complex environmental mixtures. However, in order to fully exploit these opportunities, it is key that the way that samples are collected, processed and stored is considered carefully such that sample integrity is maintained. There are additional challenges when collecting water samples for analysis at molecular scale, for example the ultra-low concentrations of individual compounds within DOM means that the samples are sensitive to contamination. This paper discusses current sample collection, processing and storage protocols for this C, N and P quantification and characterisation in freshwaters, and proposes a new standardised protocol suitable for both nutrient fraction quantification and molecular scale analyses, based on method development and testing undertaken in our UK Natural Environment Research Council large grant programme, characterising the nature, origins and ecological significance of Dissolved Organic Matter IN freshwater Ecosystems (DOMAINE).

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Sustainable Farming Systems
Food Futures Institute
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2022 Elsevier B.V.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/64078
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