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Article

Particulate Organic Carbon in the Tropical Usumacinta River, Southeast Mexico: Concentration, Flux, and Sources

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Programa de Posgrado en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Av. Universidad 3000, Alcaldía Coyoacán, C. P., Mexico City 04510, Mexico
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Grupo de Investigación en Limnología Tropical, FES Iztacala, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Av. de los Barrios No.1, Los Reyes Iztacala, Tlalnepantla 54090, Mexico
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Instituto de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas y Sustentabilidad, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, AP 27-3, Santa María de Guido, Morelia, Michoacán 58090, Mexico
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Departamento de Biogeoquímica y Ecología Microbiana, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC), Serrano 115 dpdo, 28006 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hong Yang
Water 2021, 13(11), 1561; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111561
Received: 30 April 2021 / Revised: 25 May 2021 / Accepted: 29 May 2021 / Published: 31 May 2021
Particulate organic carbon (POC) derived from inland water plays an important role in the global carbon (C) cycle; however, the POC dynamic in tropical rivers is poorly known. We assessed the POC concentration, flux, and sources in the Usumacinta, the largest tropical river in North America, to determine the controls on POC export to the Gulf of Mexico. We examined the Mexican middle and lower Usumacinta Basin during the 2017 dry (DS) and rainy (RS) seasons. The POC concentration ranged from 0.48 to 4.7 mg L−1 and was higher in the RS, though only in the middle basin, while remaining similar in both seasons in the lower basin. The POC was predominantly allochthonous (54.7 to 99.6%). However, autochthonous POC (phytoplankton) increased in the DS (from 5.1 to 17.7%) in both basins. The POC mass inflow–outflow balance suggested that floodplains supply (C source) autochthonous POC during the DS while retaining (C sink) allochthonous POC in the RS. Ranging between 109.1 (DS) and 926.1 t POC d−1 (RS), the Usumacinta River POC export to the Gulf of Mexico was similar to that of other tropical rivers with a comparable water discharge. The extensive floodplains and the “Pantanos de Centla” wetlands in the lowlands largely influenced the POC dynamics and export to the southern Gulf of Mexico.
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Keywords: POC; TSS; chlorophyll-a; tropical river; Selva Lacandona; Pantanos de Centla; Chiapas; Mexico POC; TSS; chlorophyll-a; tropical river; Selva Lacandona; Pantanos de Centla; Chiapas; Mexico
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cuevas-Lara, D.; Alcocer, J.; Cortés-Guzmán, D.; Soria-Reinoso, I.F.; García-Oliva, F.; Sánchez-Carrillo, S.; Oseguera, L.A. Particulate Organic Carbon in the Tropical Usumacinta River, Southeast Mexico: Concentration, Flux, and Sources. Water 2021, 13, 1561. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111561

AMA Style

Cuevas-Lara D, Alcocer J, Cortés-Guzmán D, Soria-Reinoso IF, García-Oliva F, Sánchez-Carrillo S, Oseguera LA. Particulate Organic Carbon in the Tropical Usumacinta River, Southeast Mexico: Concentration, Flux, and Sources. Water. 2021; 13(11):1561. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111561

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cuevas-Lara, Daniel, Javier Alcocer, Daniela Cortés-Guzmán, Ismael F. Soria-Reinoso, Felipe García-Oliva, Salvador Sánchez-Carrillo, and Luis A. Oseguera 2021. "Particulate Organic Carbon in the Tropical Usumacinta River, Southeast Mexico: Concentration, Flux, and Sources" Water 13, no. 11: 1561. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13111561

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