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Article: Bulk organic δ13C and C/N as indicators for sediment sources in the Pearl River delta and estuary, southern China

TitleBulk organic δ13C and C/N as indicators for sediment sources in the Pearl River delta and estuary, southern China
Authors
Issue Date2010
PublisherAcademic Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecss
Citation
Estuarine, Coastal And Shelf Science, 2010, v. 87 n. 4, p. 618-630 How to Cite?
AbstractPreservation of organic matter in estuarine and coastal areas is an important process in the global carbon cycle. This paper presents bulk δ13C and C/N of organic matter from source to sink in the Pearl River catchment, delta and estuary, and discusses the applicability of δ13C and C/N as indicators for sources of organic matter in deltaic and estuarine sediments. In addition to the 91 surface sediment samples, other materials collected in this study cover the main sources of organic material to estuarine sediment. These are: terrestrial organic matter (TOM), including plants and soil samples from the catchment; estuarine and marine suspended particulate organic carbon (POC) from both summer and winter. Results show that the average δ13C of estuarine surface sediment increases from -25.0 ± 1.3‰ in the freshwater environment to -21.0 ± 0.2‰ in the marine environment, with C/N decreasing from 15.2 ± 3.3 to 6.8 ± 0.2. In the source areas, C3 plants have lower δ13C than C4 plants (-29.0 ± 1.8‰ and -13.1 ± 0.5‰ respectively). δ13C increases from -28.3 ± 0.8‰ in the forest soil to around -24.1‰ in both riverbank soil and mangrove soil due to increasing proportion of C4 grasses. The δ13CPOC increases from -27.6 ± 0.8‰ in the freshwater areas to -22.4 ± 0.5‰ in the marine-brackish-water areas in winter, and ranges between -24.0‰ in freshwater areas and -25.4‰ in brackish-water areas in summer. Comparison of the δ13C and C/N between the sources and sink indicates a weakening TOM and freshwater POC input in the surface sedimentary organic matter seawards, and a strengthening contribution from the marine organic matter. Thus we suggest that bulk organic δ13C and C/N analysis can be used to indicate sources of sedimentary organic matter in estuarine environments. Organic carbon in surface sediments derived from anthropogenic sources such as human waste and organic pollutants from industrial and agricultural activities accounts for less than 10% of the total organic carbon (TOC). Although results also indicate elevated δ13C of sedimentary organic matter due to some agricultural products such as sugarcane, C3 plants are still the dominant vegetation type in this area, and the bulk organic δ13C and C/N is still an effective indicator for sources of organic matter in estuarine sediments. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/151303
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 2.335
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.094
ISI Accession Number ID
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NERC/EPSRC (UK)IP/883/1105
University of Durham
NERC (UK)1150.1005
Quaternary Research Association
British Sediment Research Group
Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong SARHKU7058/06P
HKU7052/08P
Funding Information:

This research was part of the PhD project sponsored by NERC/EPSRC (UK) through the Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award (to FY). This research was also supported by the University of Durham through a special research grant (to YZ), the NERC (UK) Radiocarbon Laboratory Steering Committee (1150.1005) (to YZ) and the NERC Isotope Geosciences Facilities Steering Committee through the organic isotope analyses awarded (IP/883/1105) (to YZ). We also acknowledge support from the Quaternary Research Association, the Durham Geography Graduates Association, University College of Durham University and the British Sediment Research Group for grants awarded to FY to complete fieldwork and laboratory visits. This research was also supported by the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong SAR through research grants HKU7058/06P and HKU7052/08P (to W.W.-S. Yim). The authors also thank the director of the Environmental Protection Department, Hong Kong SRA for the collection of surface sediment samples and water salinity from the Hong Kong area.

References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorYu, Fen_HK
dc.contributor.authorZong, Yen_HK
dc.contributor.authorLloyd, JMen_HK
dc.contributor.authorHuang, Gen_HK
dc.contributor.authorLeng, MJen_HK
dc.contributor.authorKendrick, Cen_HK
dc.contributor.authorLamb, ALen_HK
dc.contributor.authorYim, WWSen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2012-06-26T06:20:19Z-
dc.date.available2012-06-26T06:20:19Z-
dc.date.issued2010en_HK
dc.identifier.citationEstuarine, Coastal And Shelf Science, 2010, v. 87 n. 4, p. 618-630en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0272-7714en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/151303-
dc.description.abstractPreservation of organic matter in estuarine and coastal areas is an important process in the global carbon cycle. This paper presents bulk δ13C and C/N of organic matter from source to sink in the Pearl River catchment, delta and estuary, and discusses the applicability of δ13C and C/N as indicators for sources of organic matter in deltaic and estuarine sediments. In addition to the 91 surface sediment samples, other materials collected in this study cover the main sources of organic material to estuarine sediment. These are: terrestrial organic matter (TOM), including plants and soil samples from the catchment; estuarine and marine suspended particulate organic carbon (POC) from both summer and winter. Results show that the average δ13C of estuarine surface sediment increases from -25.0 ± 1.3‰ in the freshwater environment to -21.0 ± 0.2‰ in the marine environment, with C/N decreasing from 15.2 ± 3.3 to 6.8 ± 0.2. In the source areas, C3 plants have lower δ13C than C4 plants (-29.0 ± 1.8‰ and -13.1 ± 0.5‰ respectively). δ13C increases from -28.3 ± 0.8‰ in the forest soil to around -24.1‰ in both riverbank soil and mangrove soil due to increasing proportion of C4 grasses. The δ13CPOC increases from -27.6 ± 0.8‰ in the freshwater areas to -22.4 ± 0.5‰ in the marine-brackish-water areas in winter, and ranges between -24.0‰ in freshwater areas and -25.4‰ in brackish-water areas in summer. Comparison of the δ13C and C/N between the sources and sink indicates a weakening TOM and freshwater POC input in the surface sedimentary organic matter seawards, and a strengthening contribution from the marine organic matter. Thus we suggest that bulk organic δ13C and C/N analysis can be used to indicate sources of sedimentary organic matter in estuarine environments. Organic carbon in surface sediments derived from anthropogenic sources such as human waste and organic pollutants from industrial and agricultural activities accounts for less than 10% of the total organic carbon (TOC). Although results also indicate elevated δ13C of sedimentary organic matter due to some agricultural products such as sugarcane, C3 plants are still the dominant vegetation type in this area, and the bulk organic δ13C and C/N is still an effective indicator for sources of organic matter in estuarine sediments. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.en_HK
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherAcademic Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecssen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Scienceen_HK
dc.titleBulk organic δ13C and C/N as indicators for sediment sources in the Pearl River delta and estuary, southern Chinaen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailZong, Y: yqzong@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.emailYim, WWS: wwsyim@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityZong, Y=rp00846en_HK
dc.identifier.authorityYim, WWS=rp01746en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/j.ecss.2010.02.018en_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-77951024048en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros171036-
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-77951024048&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume87en_HK
dc.identifier.issue4en_HK
dc.identifier.spage618en_HK
dc.identifier.epage630en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000278245900014-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridYu, F=35747418400en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridZong, Y=7005203454en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLloyd, JM=7402365382en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridHuang, G=7403425099en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLeng, MJ=7006497331en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridKendrick, C=35210597000en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLamb, AL=7102445484en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridYim, WWS=7007024728en_HK
dc.identifier.citeulike6834646-

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