Linking landscape heterogeneity with lake dissolved organic matter properties assessed through absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy: spatial and seasonal patterns in temperate lakes of Southern Andes (Patagonia, Argentina)
QUEIMALIÑOS, CLAUDIA; REISSIG, MARIANA; PÉREZ, GONZALO LUIS; SOTO CÁRDENAS, CAROLINA; GEREA, MARINA; GARCÍA, PATRICA ELIZABETH; GARCÍA DANIEL; DIÉGUEZ, MARÍA DEL CARMEN
THE SCIENCE OF TOTAL ENVIRONMENT
Año: 2019 vol. 686 p. 223 - 223
Hydrological connectivity between terrestrial and aquatic systems is influenced by landscape features. Topography, vegetation cover and type, lake morphometry and climate (seasonality, precipitation) drive the timing, concentration and quality of allochthonous dissolved organic matter (DOM) inputs to lakes, influencing lake metabolism. The impact of climate changes on terrestrial-aquatic linkages depends on regional trends and ecosystems properties. We examined how landscape heterogeneity affects lake DOM in pristine temperate headwater lakes located in sharp bioclimatic gradients at the leeward side of the southern Andes (Patagonia, Argentina), and predicted their potential responses to forecasted changes in regional climate. We assessed DOM properties of deep and shallow lakes spotted along precipitation and altitudinal gradients which reflect on vegetation heterogeneity. Lake DOM (concentration, and chromophoric and fluorescent properties) was related to terrestrial bioclimatic conditions, addressing also DOM bio- and photodegradation processes. Co-effects of climate and vegetation determined the quantity and quality of DOM allochthonous inputs. Higher terrestrial signs showed up at the wettest extreme of the gradient and during the rainy season, being attributable to higher hydrological land-water connectivity, and dense vegetation cover. Under drier conditions, DOM displayed higher photobleaching signs at spatial and temporal scales. The ratio between non-humic and terrestrial humic substances indicated that DOM biodegradation dominates in shallow forested lakes and photodegradation prevails in deep ones, whereas coupled photo- and biological processing shaped the DOM pool of high altitude lakes. Overall, DOM optical metrics captured landscape heterogeneity. Under the forecasted climate changes for Patagonia (decreasing precipitation and increasing temperature), piedmont lakes may experience lower hydrological connectivity, lower terrestrial inputs and, enhanced photobleaching usually associated with longer water residence time. In high altitude lakes, terrestrial DOM inputs are expected to increase due to the upward expansion of native deciduous forests, thus becoming more similar to lakes located lower in the landscape.