Acta Geochimica

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 613–626 | Cite as

Influence of the biological carbon pump effect on the sources and deposition of organic matter in Fuxian Lake, a deep oligotrophic lake in southwest China

  • Haibo He
  • Zaihua LiuEmail author
  • Chongying Chen
  • Yu Wei
  • Qian Bao
  • Hailong Sun
  • Yundi Hu
  • Hao Yan
Original Article


Biological carbon pumping (BCP) is a key process in which dissolved inorganic carbon in terrestrial aquatic ecosystems is utilized by aquatic autotrophs for photosynthesis and transformed into autochthonous organic matter (AOC). However, the mechanisms underlying BCP and the amount of generated AOC deposited effectively, are still poorly understood. Therefore, we conducted a systematic study combining modern hydrochemical monitoring and a sediment trap experiment in Fuxian Lake (Yunnan, SW China), the second-deepest plateau, oligotrophic freshwater lake in China. Temperature, pH, EC (electrical conductivity), DO (dissolved O2), [HCO3], [Ca2+], SIc, partial CO2 (pCO2) pressure, and carbon isotopic compositions of HCO313CDIC) in water from Fuxian Lake all displayed distinct seasonal and vertical variations. This was especially apparent in an inverse correlation between pCO2 and DO, indicating that variations of hydrochemistry in the lake water were mainly controlled by the metabolism of the aquatic phototrophs. Furthermore, the lowest C/N ratios and highest δ13Corg were recorded in the trap sediments. Analyses of the C/N ratio demonstrated that the proportions of AOC ranged from 30% to 100% of all OC, indicating that AOC was an important contributor to sedimentary organic matter (OC). It was calculated that the AOC flux in Fuxian Lake was 20.43 t C km−2 in 2017. Therefore, AOC produced by carbonate weathering and aquatic photosynthesis could potentially be a significant carbon sink and may have an important contribution to solving the lack of carbon sinks in the global carbon cycle.


Carbonate weathering Hydrochemical variation Biological carbon pump effect Sediment trap Autochthonous organic carbon Carbon sink 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41430753, U1612441).


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Copyright information

© Science Press and Institute of Geochemistry, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of GeochemistryCASGuiyangChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.CAS Center for Excellence in Quaternary Science and Global ChangeGuiyangChina

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