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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-253
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-253
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 12 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 12 Aug 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG).

From Canals to the Coast: Dissolved Organic Matter and Trace Metal Composition in Rivers Draining Degraded Tropical Peatlands in Indonesia

Laure Gandois1, Alison May Hoyt2,a, Stéphane Mounier3, Gaël Le Roux1, Charles Franklin Harvey2,4, Adrien Claustres1, Mohammed Nuriman5, and Gusti Anshari5 Laure Gandois et al.
  • 1EcoLab, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, INPT, UPS, Toulouse, France
  • 2Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 01239, USA
  • 3PROTEE, Université de Toulon, F-83957, La Garde, France
  • 4Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling, Singapore‐MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, Singapore
  • 5Magister of Environmental Science, and Soil Science Department, Universitas Tanjungpura (UNTAN), Pontianak, West Kalimantan Province, Indonesia
  • apresent address: Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, 07745 Jena, Germany

Abstract. Worldwide, peatlands are important sources of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and trace metals (TM) to surface waters and these fluxes may increase with peatland degradation. In Southeast Asia, tropical peatlands are being rapidly deforested and drained. The black rivers draining these peatland areas have high concentrations of DOM, and the potential to be hotspots for CO2 release. However, the fate of this fluvial carbon export is uncertain, and its role as a trace metal carrier has never been investigated. This work aims to address these gaps in our understanding of tropical peatland DOM and associated elements in the context of degraded tropical peatlands of Indonesian Borneo. We quantified dissolved organic carbon and trace metals concentrations in the dissolved and fine colloidal (< 0.22 µm) and coarse colloidal (0.22–2.7 µm) fractions and characterized the characteristics (δ13C, Absorbance, Fluorescence: excitation-emission matrix and PARAFAC analysis) of the peatland-derived DOM as it drains from peatland canals, flows along the blackwater Ambawang River, and eventually mixes with Kapuas Kecil River before meeting the ocean near the city of Pontianak in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. We observe downstream shifts in indicators of in-stream processing. The increase in the δ13C of DOC, along with an increase in the C1/C2 ratio of PARAFAC fluorophores, and decrease in SUVA (Specific UV Absorbance) along the continuum suggest the predominance pf photo-oxidation. However, we also observe very low dissolved oxygen concentrations, suggesting that oxygen is quickly consumed by microbial degradation of DOM in the shallow layers of water. Black rivers draining degraded peatlands show significantly higher concentrations of Al, Fe, Pb, As, Ni, and Cd. A strong association is observed between DOM, Fe, As, Cd and Zn in the dissolved and fine colloid fraction, while Al is associated to Pb and Ni and present in a higher proportion in the coarse colloidal fraction. We additionally measure the isotopic composition of lead released from degraded tropical peatlands for the first time and show that Pb originates from anthropogenic atmospheric deposition. Degraded tropical peatlands are important sources of DOM and trace metals to rivers and a secondary source of atmospherically deposited contaminants.

Laure Gandois et al.
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Short summary
Worldwide, peatlands are important sources of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and trace metals (TM) to surface waters and these fluxes may increase with peatland degradation. In Southeast Asia, tropical peatlands are being rapidly deforested and drained. This work aims to address the fate of organic carbon and its role as a trace metal carrier in drained peatlands of Indonesia.
Worldwide, peatlands are important sources of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and trace metals...
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