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Marine Biology

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 375–383 | Cite as

Some biologically important low molecular weight organic acids in the sediments of Loch Eil

  • D. Miller
  • C. M. Brown
  • T. H. Pearson
  • S. O. Stanley
Article

Abstract

The isolation of biologically important low molecular weight organic acids from organically enriched sediments in Loch Eil, Scotland, was carried out by extraction of pore water with acidified ethyl acetate. High concentrations of acetic acid, up to 1.8 mg g-1 dry weight of sediment were found at Station E-24. Propionate, butyrate, valerate, lactate and traces of succinate were also found. Succinate was present in significant amounts, 42.2 μg g-1 dry weight of sediment at Station E-70, which received a higher input of organic matter than E-24. Both propionate and succinate were absent from a control station in the Lynn of Lorne where the sediment was low in carbon compared with Loch Eil. In experimental tanks, acetate levels increased as the input of organic carbon (as cellulose) was increased up to a load level of 1.5 g m-2 day-1. Above this, acetate decreased and succinate appeared. Succinate was not detected in low-loaded tanks. Experiments with sieved mud showed a vertical distribution of the different acids with depth. Lactate and succinate reached highest concentration in the 0 to 3 cm layer, acetate at 3 to 6 cm and propionate at 6 to 9 cm. The results are discussed in relation to the role of these acids as food sources and as indicators of biochemical pathways taking place in sediments with different carbon input levels.

Keywords

Cellulose Lactate Propionate Organic Carbon Ethyl Acetate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Miller
    • 1
  • C. M. Brown
    • 1
  • T. H. Pearson
    • 1
  • S. O. Stanley
    • 1
  1. 1.Dunstaffnage Marine Research LaboratoryObanScotland

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