Rainwater interacts with tree canopies in forest ecosystems, which greatly influence its quality. However, little information is available regarding how tree canopies influence dissolved organic matter (DOM) in rainwater. To examine this, we collected bulk deposition (rainfall) and throughfall in a conifer (Chamaecyparis obtusa
) plantation, western Japan, during a rain event, and analyzed their DOM molecular compositions using ultrahigh-resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry. The dissolved organic carbon flux and the number of DOM molecular species detected were approximately seven times and three times higher in throughfall than in rainfall, respectively. We found that the average proportion of molecular species shared between five sample replicates was larger in throughfall (69%) than in rainfall (50%). Nonmetric multidimensional scaling revealed that the molecular species were significantly differentiated between throughfall and rainfall, and the dissimilarity among the replicates was much smaller in throughfall. This indicates that the quality of DOM in rainwater became spatially homogeneous due to contact with tree canopies. The number of lignin-like molecules was larger than those of any other biomolecular compounds in throughfall and seven times larger than in rainfall, suggesting that many of plant-derived DOM molecules were dissolved into rainwater.
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