The importance of allochthonous organic matter quality when investigating pulse disturbance events in freshwater lakes: a mesocosm experiment

Caldero-Pascual, Maria
Yildiz, Dilvin
Yalçın, Gülce
Metin, Melisa
Yetim, Sinem
Fiorentin, Claudia
Andersen, Mikkel Rene
Jennings, Eleanor
Jeppesen, Erik
Ger, Kemal Ali
Beklioğlu, Meryem
McCarthy, Valerie
Extreme precipitation is occurring with greater frequency and intensity as a result of climate change. Such events boost the transport of allochthonous organic matter (allo-OM) to freshwater ecosystems, yet little is known about the impacts on dissolved organic matter (DOM) quality and seston elemental stoichiometry, especially for lakes in warm climates. A mesocosm experiment located in a Turkish freshwater lake was designed to simulate a pulse event leading to increased inputs of allo-OM by examining the individual effects of increasing water colour (HuminFeed (R), HF), the direct effects of the extra energetic inputs (alder tree leaf leachate, L), and the interactions of the single treatment effects (combination of both sources, HFL), along with a comparison with unmanipulated controls. Changes in the DOM quality and nutrient stoichiometry of the allo-OM treatment additions was examined over the course of the experiments. Results indicated that there was an increase of high recalcitrant DOM components in the HF treatment, in contrast to an increase in less aromatic microbially derived molecules for the L treatment. Unexpectedly, seston C:P ratios remained below a severe P-limiting threshold for plankton growth and showed the same temporal pattern in all mesocosms. In contrast, seston N:P ratios differed significantly between treatments, with the L treatment reducing P-limiting conditions, whilst the HF treatment increased them. The effects of the combined HFL treatment indicated an additive type of interaction and chlorophyll-a was highest in the HFL treatment. Our results demonstrate that accounting for the optical and stoichiometric properties of experimental allo-OM treatments is crucial to improve the capacity to explain extrapolated conclusions regarding the effects of climate driven flooding on freshwater ecosystems in response to global climate change.


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Citation Formats
M. Caldero-Pascual et al., “The importance of allochthonous organic matter quality when investigating pulse disturbance events in freshwater lakes: a mesocosm experiment,” HYDROBIOLOGIA, pp. 0–0, 2021, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: