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dc.contributor.authorMcDonough, Liza K.
dc.contributor.authorAndersen, Martin S.
dc.contributor.authorBehnke, Megan
dc.contributor.authorRutlidge, Helen
dc.contributor.authorOudone, Phetdala
dc.contributor.authorMeredith, Karina
dc.contributor.authorO’Carrol, Denis M.
dc.contributor.authorSantos, Isaac R.
dc.contributor.authorMarjo, Christopher E.
dc.contributor.authorSpencer, Robert G. M.
dc.contributor.authorMcKenna, Amy
dc.contributor.authorBaker, Andy
dc.identifier.citationMcDonough, L.K., Andersen, M.S., Behnke, M.I. et al. A new conceptual framework for the transformation of groundwater dissolved organic matter. Nat Commun 13, 2153 (2022).en_US
dc.description.abstractGroundwater comprises 95% of the liquid fresh water on Earth and contains a diverse mix of dissolved organic matter (DOM) molecules which play a significant role in the global carbon cycle. Currently, the storage times and degradation pathways of groundwater DOM are unclear, preventing an accurate estimate of groundwater carbon sources and sinks for global carbon budgets. Here we reveal the transformations of DOM in aging groundwater using ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry combined with radiocarbon dating. Long-term anoxia and a lack of photodegradation leads to the removal of oxidised DOM and a build-up of both reduced photodegradable formulae and aerobically biolabile formulae with a strong microbial signal. This contrasts with the degradation pathway of DOM in oxic marine, river, and lake systems. Our findings suggest that processes such as groundwater extraction and subterranean groundwater discharge to oceans could result in up to 13 Tg of highly photolabile and aerobically biolabile groundwater dissolved organic carbon released to surface environments per year, where it can be rapidly degraded. These findings highlight the importance of considering groundwater DOM in global carbon budgets.en_US
dc.publisherNature Communicationsen_US
dc.titleA new conceptual framework for the transformation of groundwater dissolved organic matteren_US
dc.identifier.journalNature Communicationsen_US

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  • Behnke, Megan
    Postdoctoral Researcher, Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center

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