Dissolved organic matter originating from the riparian shrub Salix gracilistyla
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Dissolved organic matter (DOM)
Abstract To estimate the importance of leaching of dissolved organic matter (DOM) as a pathway through which organic matter is supplied to stream ecosystems, we examined the amount of leachate over time and chemical properties of DOM leached from leaves in different conditions (i.e., green leaves, yellow senescent leaves, and leaf litter) of Salix gracilistyla Miq. the dominant riparian plant species in the middle reaches of rivers in western Japan. We analyzed dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total sugar and polyphenol in the leachate of leaf samples collected from a fluvial bar in the middle reaches of the Ohtagawa River in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. A considerable leaching of DOC from senescent leaves (37.3 mg g-1 d. w. leaf) and leaf litter (8.1 mg g-1 d. w. leaf) occurred within 24 h after the immersion. In contrast, DOC leached from green leaves was negligible until 1 wk after leaf immersion. Carbon loss of leaves by leaching within 24 h after leaf immersion was estimated to be less than 8%, suggesting that leaching of DOC from S. gracilistyla leaves is a minor pathway through which organic matter is supplied to stream ecosystems. DOM leached from the leaves included sugar and polyphenol, which were among the major chemical forms of DOM leached from the leaves (based on the molecular mass). In a laboratory experiment in which the difference in the stability of DOM between the chemical forms was examined, sugar decomposed more rapidly than polyphenol.
Journal of Forest Research
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Graduate School of Biosphere Science