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Seasonal and site-specific variability in terrigenous particulate organic carbon concentration in near-shore waters of Lake Biwa, Japan

Sakai, Yoichiro, Karube, Zin’ichi, Takeyama, Tomohiro, Kohzu, Ayato, Yoshimizu, Chikage, Nagata, Toshi, Tayasu, Ichiro, Okuda, Noboru
Limnology 2013 v.14 no.2 pp. 167-177
carbon, food webs, isotopes, lakes, land use, nitrogen, organic matter, rice, rivers, topography, turbulent flow, watersheds, Japan
Identifying sources of particulate organic matter (POM) is important for clarifying fundamental mechanisms by which lake food webs are sustained. We determined carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios of POM in near-shore waters of Lake Biwa, a large, meso-eutrophic lake in Japan, to estimate relative contributions of terrigenous particulate organic carbon (T-POC), plankton-derived POC (P-POC) and epilithon-derived POC (E-POC) to POC in near-shore waters. Samples were collected during different months (November, February, May and July) at 29 sites located near the mouth of tributary rivers with different discharge and catchment land use. The data revealed that POC mainly consisted of P-POC and T-POC, with relative contributions varying widely over season and among locations. E-POC generally contributed little to the near-shore POC. Path analyses revealed that the concentration of riverine POC whose isotopic signatures were similar to those of rice straws increased with a larger %paddy field area in the catchment of tributary rivers, which subsequently enhanced T-POC inputs to near-shore waters through riverine transportation. Furthermore, our results suggested that T-POC contribution was influenced, with a time lag, by wave-driven turbulence and shore topography, which appear to affect sedimentation and resuspension of T-POC.