FCE LTER Journal Articles


Utilization of PARAFAC-Modeled Excitation-Emission Matrix (EEM) Fluorescence Spectroscopy to Identify Biogeochemical Processing of Dissolved Organic Matter in a Northern Peatland


In this study, we contrast the fluorescent properties of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in fens and bogs in a Northern Minnesota peatland using excitation emission matrix fluorescence spectroscopy with parallel factor analysis (EEM-PARAFAC). EEM-PARAFAC identified four humic-like components and one protein-like component and the dynamics of each were evaluated based on their distribution with depth as well as across sites differing in hydrology and major biological species. The PARAFAC-EEM experiments were supported by dissolved organic carbon measurements (DOC), optical spectroscopy (UV-Vis), and compositional characterization by ultrahigh resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectroscopy (FT-ICR MS). The FT-ICR MS data indicate that metabolism in peatlands reduces the molecular weights of individual components of DOM, and oxygen-rich less aromatic molecules are selectively biodegraded. Our data suggest that different hydrologic and biological conditions within the larger peat ecosystem drive molecular changes in DOM, resulting in distinctly different chemical compositions and unique fluorescent fingerprints. PARAFAC modeling of EEM data coupled with ultrahigh resolution FT-ICR MS has the potential to provide significant molecular-based information on DOM composition that will support efforts to better understand the composition, sources, and diagenetic status of DOM from different terrestrial and aquatic systems.


© 2015 The American Society of Photobiology

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/php.12448

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under Cooperative Agreements #DEB-1237517, #DBI-0620409, and #DEB-9910514. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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