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Interactions between algal (AOM) and natural organic matter (NOM): Impacts on their photodegradation in surface waters

Yang, Xiaofang, Zheng, Xing, Wu, Linjie, Cao, Xin, Li, Yi, Niu, Junfeng, Meng, Fangang
Environmental pollution 2018 v.242 pp. 1185-1197
algae, aquatic ecosystems, carbon cycle, dissolved organic matter, lakes, moieties, photolysis, photosensitivity, polysaccharides, proteins, rivers, soil, spectroscopy, surface water
The occurrence of algae bloom would lead to the release of algae-derived organic matter (AOM) and then alter the abundance and behavior of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in aquatic ecosystems. In this study, the characteristics and photodegradation of AOM, naturally occurring organic matter (NOM) derived from soil and plants and their mixtures were explored to reveal the potential interactions between AOM and NOM in water. Results indicated that the protein-like components from AOM and the humic-like components from SRNOM took place inter-component interactions in the AOM-NOM mixtures. Meanwhile, application of two-dimensional Fourier transform infrared correlation spectroscopic (2D-FTIR-COS) analysis revealed that carboxylic C=O had a high priority to bind with other functional groups (e.g., phenolic-OH, polysaccharides C-O, amideⅡC-N/N-H and celluloses C-H). More crucially, it was found that the AOM-NOM mixtures subjected to a very different photodegradation behavior to their end-members (i.e., AOM and NOM), likely because of the occurrence of AOM-NOM interactions as well as their roles in mediating the yield of reactive oxygen species. For instance, the presence of AOM led to increased photodegradation degrees of the chromophoric fraction in NOM. In contrast, the NOM did not exhibit any photosensitization role in the photodegradation of the proteins from AOM. This study has potential implications for our understanding of the carbon cycling in anthropogenically impacted aquatic systems such as inland rivers and lakes.