Special Issue "Insights into Organic Carbon, Iron, Metals and Phosphorus Dynamics in Freshwaters"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Quality and Contamination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Liudmila S. Shirokova
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Georesources and Environnement Toulouse GET UMR 5563 CNRS, Université Paul Sabatier, 14 Avenue Edouard Belin, Toulouse 31400, France
Interests: environment; biodiversity; water quality; environmental impact assessment; lakes, rivers, microorganisms, greenhouse gases, biogeochemical cycles

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Organic carbon (OC), iron (Fe), and phosphorus (P) are three key aquatic components that largely determine the biotic and abiotic functioning of freshwater systems, including groundwater, soil water, lakes, rivers, and their estuaries.

Over the past decade, there has been increasing interest regarding the elevation in organic carbon and iron concentrations in freshwaters in relation to the so-called “browning” effect, caused by climate warming and changes in anthropogenic pressure. As for phosphorus, it is a vital element for all aquatic ecosystems and its aquatic biogeochemical cycle now undergoes sizable changes linked to eutrophication, invasive species development, and transformations between organic and inorganic forms.

This Special Issue welcomes articles dedicated to all aspects of the behavior of organic carbon, phosphorus, iron (and other related metals) in a broad range of freshwater environments, from soil solutions and groundwaters to ponds, lakes, rivers, and their riparian zones and estuaries. Of special interest are papers dealing with the fate of OC, P, and Fe due to the impact of climate change and human activities on aquatic ecosystems, including both anthropogenically altered and pristine regions. Works dealing with biogeochemical cycles in aquatic ecosystems mostly affected by climate change and exhibiting high C and Fe concentrations (boreal and subarctic rivers and lakes, wetlands, floodplains) are perfectly suited for this Special Issue.

Papers on field, experimental, and modeling studies related to dissolved and particulate OC, Fe, and P may focus on climate warming, permafrost thaw, floods, eutrophication, acidification, pollution, and the recovery of aquatic environments, though other contexts are also of interest.

Dr. Liudmila S. Shirokova
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • lakes
  • rivers
  • groundwater
  • soil solutions
  • biogeochemical cycles
  • eutrophication
  • acidification
  • pollution
  • climate warming
  • organic carbon
  • phosphorus
  • iron
  • trace metal

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Testing Landscape, Climate and Lithology Impact on Carbon, Major and Trace Elements of the Lena River and Its Tributaries during a Spring Flood Period
Water 2021, 13(15), 2093; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13152093 - 30 Jul 2021
Viewed by 555
Abstract
Transport of carbon, major and trace elements by rivers in permafrost-affected regions is one of the key factors in circumpolar aquatic ecosystem response to climate warming and permafrost thaw. A snap-shot study of major and trace element concentration in the Lena River basin [...] Read more.
Transport of carbon, major and trace elements by rivers in permafrost-affected regions is one of the key factors in circumpolar aquatic ecosystem response to climate warming and permafrost thaw. A snap-shot study of major and trace element concentration in the Lena River basin during the peak of spring flood revealed a specific group of solutes according to their spatial pattern across the river main stem and tributaries and allowed the establishment of a link to certain landscape parameters. We demonstrate a systematic decrease of labile major and trace anion, alkali and alkaline-earth metal concentration downstream of the main stem of the Lena River, linked to change in dominant rocks from carbonate to silicate, and a northward decreasing influence of the groundwater. In contrast, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and a number of low-soluble elements exhibited an increase in concentration from the SW to the NE part of the river. We tentatively link this to an increase in soil organic carbon stock and silicate rocks in the Lena River watershed in this direction. Among all the landscape parameters, the proportion of sporadic permafrost on the watershed strongly influenced concentrations of soluble highly mobile elements (Cl, B, DIC, Li, Na, K, Mg, Ca, Sr, Mo, As and U). Another important factor of element concentration control in the Lena River tributaries was the coverage of the watershed by light (for B, Cl, Na, K, U) and deciduous (for Fe, Ni, Zn, Ge, Rb, Zr, La, Th) needle-leaf forest (pine and larch). Our results also suggest a DOC-enhanced transport of low-soluble trace elements in the NW part of the basin. This part of the basin is dominated by silicate rocks and continuous permafrost, as compared to the carbonate rock-dominated and groundwater-affected SW part of the Lena River basin. Overall, the impact of rock lithology and permafrost on major and trace solutes of the Lena River basin during the peak of spring flood was mostly detected at the scale of the main stem. Such an impact for tributaries was much less pronounced, because of the dominance of surface flow and lower hydrological connectivity with deep groundwater in the latter. Future changes in the river water chemistry linked to climate warming and permafrost thaw at the scale of the whole river basin are likely to stem from changes in the spatial pattern of dominant vegetation as well as the permafrost regime. We argue that comparable studies of large, permafrost-affected rivers during contrasting seasons, including winter baseflow, should allow efficient prediction of future changes in riverine ‘inorganic’ hydrochemistry induced by permafrost thaw. Full article
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Article
Seasonal Variations of Dissolved Iron Concentration in Active Layer and Rivers in Permafrost Areas, Russian Far East
Water 2020, 12(9), 2579; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092579 - 15 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 833
Abstract
Dissolved iron (dFe) in boreal rivers may play an important role in primary production in high-latitude oceans. However, iron behavior in soils and dFe discharge mechanism from soil to the rivers are poorly understood. To better understand iron dynamics on the watershed scale, [...] Read more.
Dissolved iron (dFe) in boreal rivers may play an important role in primary production in high-latitude oceans. However, iron behavior in soils and dFe discharge mechanism from soil to the rivers are poorly understood. To better understand iron dynamics on the watershed scale, we observed the seasonal changes in dFe and Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) concentrations in the river as well as dFe concentration in soil pore waters in permafrost watershed from May to October. During snowmelt season, high dFe production (1.38–4.70 mg L1) was observed in surface soil pore waters. Correspondingly, riverine dFe and DOC concentrations increased to 1.10 mg L1 and 32.3 mg L1, and both were the highest in the year. After spring floods, riverine dFe and DOC concentrations decreased to 0.15 mg L1 and 7.62 mg L1, and dFe concentration in surface soil pore waters also decreased to 0.20–1.28 mg L1. In late July, riverine dFe and DOC concentrations increased to 0.33 mg L1 and 23.6 mg L1 in response to heavy rainfall. In August and September, considerable increases in dFe concentrations (2.00–6.90 mg L1) were observed in subsurface soil pore waters, probably because infiltrated rainwater developed reducing conditions. This dFe production was confirmed widely in permafrost wetlands in valley areas. Overall, permafrost wetlands in valley areas are hotspots of dFe production and greatly contribute to dFe and DOC discharge to rivers, especially during snowmelt and rainy seasons. Full article
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Article
Spatial and Seasonal Variations of C, Nutrient, and Metal Concentration in Thermokarst Lakes of Western Siberia Across a Permafrost Gradient
Water 2020, 12(6), 1830; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061830 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1044
Abstract
Thermokarst lakes and ponds formed due to thawing of frozen peat in high-latitude lowlands are very dynamic and environmentally important aquatic systems that play a key role in controlling C emission to atmosphere and organic carbon (OC), nutrient, and metal lateral export to [...] Read more.
Thermokarst lakes and ponds formed due to thawing of frozen peat in high-latitude lowlands are very dynamic and environmentally important aquatic systems that play a key role in controlling C emission to atmosphere and organic carbon (OC), nutrient, and metal lateral export to rivers and streams. However, despite the importance of thermokarst lakes in assessing biogeochemical functioning of permafrost peatlands in response to climate warming and permafrost thaw, spatial (lake size, permafrost zone) and temporal (seasonal) variations in thermokarst lake hydrochemistry remain very poorly studied. Here, we used unprecedented spatial coverage (isolated, sporadic, discontinuous, and continuous permafrost zone of the western Siberia Lowland) of 67 lakes ranging in size from 102 to 105 m2 for sampling during three main hydrological periods of the year: spring flood, summer baseflow, and autumn time before ice-on. We demonstrate a systematic, all-season decrease in the concentration of dissolved OC (DOC) and an increase in SO4, N-NO3, and some metal (Mn, Co, Cu, Mo, Sr, U, Sb) concentration with an increase in lake surface area, depending on the type of the permafrost zone. These features are interpreted as a combination of (i) OC and organically bound metal leaching from peat at the lake shore, via abrasion and delivery of these compounds by suprapermafrost flow, and (ii) deep groundwater feeding of large lakes (especially visible in the continuous permafrost zone). Analyses of lake water chemical composition across the permafrost gradient allowed a first-order empirical prediction of lake hydrochemical changes in the case of climate warming and permafrost thaw, employing a substituting space for time scenario. The permafrost boundary shift northward may decrease the concentrations and pools of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), Li, B, Mg, K, Ca, Sr, Ba, Ni, Cu, As, Rb, Mo, Sr, Y, Zr, rare Earth elements (REEs), Th, and U by a factor of 2–5 in the continuous permafrost zone, but increase the concentrations of CH4, DOC, NH4, Cd, Sb, and Pb by a factor of 2–3. In contrast, the shift of the sporadic to isolated zone may produce a 2–5-fold decrease in CH4, DOC, NH4, Al, P, Ti, Cr, Ni, Ga, Zr, Nb, Cs, REEs, Hf, Th, and U. The exact magnitude of this response will, however, be strongly seasonally dependent, with the largest effects observable during baseflow seasons. Full article
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Article
Impact of Permafrost Thaw and Climate Warming on Riverine Export Fluxes of Carbon, Nutrients and Metals in Western Siberia
Water 2020, 12(6), 1817; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061817 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1243
Abstract
The assessment of riverine fluxes of carbon, nutrients, and metals in surface waters of permafrost-affected regions is crucially important for constraining adequate models of ecosystem functioning under various climate change scenarios. In this regard, the largest permafrost peatland territory on the Earth, the [...] Read more.
The assessment of riverine fluxes of carbon, nutrients, and metals in surface waters of permafrost-affected regions is crucially important for constraining adequate models of ecosystem functioning under various climate change scenarios. In this regard, the largest permafrost peatland territory on the Earth, the Western Siberian Lowland (WSL) presents a unique opportunity of studying possible future changes in biogeochemical cycles because it lies within a south–north gradient of climate, vegetation, and permafrost that ranges from the permafrost-free boreal to the Arctic tundra with continuous permafrost at otherwise similar relief and bedrocks. By applying a “substituting space for time” scenario, the WSL south-north gradient may serve as a model for future changes due to permafrost boundary shift and climate warming. Here we measured export fluxes (yields) of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), major cations, macro- and micro- nutrients, and trace elements in 32 rivers, draining the WSL across a latitudinal transect from the permafrost-free to the continuous permafrost zone. We aimed at quantifying the impact of climate warming (water temperature rise and permafrost boundary shift) on DOC, nutrient and metal in rivers using a “substituting space for time” approach. We demonstrate that, contrary to common expectations, the climate warming and permafrost thaw in the WSL will likely decrease the riverine export of organic C and many elements. Based on the latitudinal pattern of riverine export, in the case of a northward shift in the permafrost zones, the DOC, P, N, Si, Fe, divalent heavy metals, trivalent and tetravalent hydrolysates are likely to decrease the yields by a factor of 2–5. The DIC, Ca, SO4, Sr, Ba, Mo, and U are likely to increase their yields by a factor of 2–3. Moreover, B, Li, K, Rb, Cs, N-NO3, Mg, Zn, As, Sb, Rb, and Cs may be weakly affected by the permafrost boundary migration (change of yield by a factor of 1.5 to 2.0). We conclude that modeling of C and element cycle in the Arctic and subarctic should be region-specific and that neglecting huge areas of permafrost peatlands might produce sizeable bias in our predictions of climate change impact. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Title: C-metal-P(-S) Cycling in a Coastal Freshwater Wetland under Impact of Natural and Artifical Flooding Events by Brackish Seawater
Authors: Michael Bottcher et al.

2. Title: Structural Control on Fe Isotope Fractionation During its Adsorption onto and Assimilation by Heterotrophic Soil Bacteria
Authors: Aridane Gonzalez et al.

3. Title: Testing landscape, climate and lithology impact on carbon, major and trace elements of the Lena River and its tributaries during a springflood period
Authors: Oleg Pokrovsky et al.

4. Title: Colloids of Iron and Copper in Acid Mine Drainage Lakes
Authors: Jerome Viers et al.

5. Title: Biogeochemical Cycles of Phosphorus in Rivers and Estuaries
Authors: Vitalyi Savenko et al.

6. Title: Ecological and geochemical state of river waters in the northern part of Western Siberia
Authors: Irina Ivanova et al.

7. Title: Trace elements in mussels’ shells, water, and bottom sediments from the Severnaya Dvina and the Onega River basins (Northwestern Russia)
Authors: A.A. Lyubas, A.A. Tomilova, A.V. Chupakov, I.V. Vikhrev, O.V. Travina, N.A. Zubriy, A.V. Kondakov, I.N. Bolotov, O.S. Pokrovsky.

And 3 additional papers on Hydrochemistry of C, Fe and P in Lakes and Rivers in NW Russia will come soon.

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