, Volume 81, Issue 1, pp 59–75 | Cite as

Distribution and Characteristics of Dissolved Organic Matter in Mangrove Sediment Pore Waters along the Coastline of French Guiana

  • C. Marchand
  • P. Albéric
  • E. Lallier-Vergès
  • F. Baltzer
Original Paper


Mangroves represent a major environment of tropical coasts. They are highly productive, and act both as a source and a sink of organic carbon. Concentrations and characteristics (fluorescence and hydrophobic–hydrophilic fractions) of dissolved organic matter (DOM) were investigated in relation to the organic content of sediments and to the chemistry of pore waters along the coastline of French Guiana. The pore waters studied were extracted (centrifugation, soil moisture sampler) from sediments cored beneath A. germinans mangrove stands representative of development stages: pioneer, mature and senescent. In order to asses the effects of seasonal changes, two cores were performed in each location, just after dry and wet seasons, respectively. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations in pore waters of the upper sediment were found to increase, from 0.7 mmol  l−1 under the pioneers to 9 under senescent mangroves. The evolution of sedimentary organic carbon (SedOC) in the same sediment paralleled that of DOC, increasing from 0.7 to 28%. On the contrary, in the lower parts of sediment cores SedOC and DOC displayed contrasting vertical trends: SedOC decreased sharply with depth while DOC increased, reaching concentrations up to 30 mmol  l−1 at 50 cm in the older, senescent mangroves. In addition, the Fluorescence/DOC ratios and the hydrophobic contents of DOC were higher at greater depths in most cores, expressing changes in the DOC composition. These results suggest that the DOC of the upper layers originated directly from the SedOC of the enclosing sediment, while the hydrophobic and fluorescent DOC accumulated in the anoxic bottom layer. The mechanisms responsible for this accumulation at depth requires additional research to be fully understood. However, the anoxic conditions and high pH values prevailing in the lower sediment, by lessening DOM sorption and enhancing SedOC dissolution, may be partly responsible for the high DOC concentrations and fluorescences at depth. In addition, seasonal variation may be involved. During the rainy season, water sources were mixed resulting in lower DOC concentrations in the upper sediment, whereas during the dry season, increased evapotranspiration concentrate salts and DOC, which are transported vertically with percolating water.


Mangrove Pore water Dissolved organic carbon Fluorescence French Guiana 


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This research was supported by INSU and the PNEC Guyane. The authors would like to thank IRD Cayenne, ENGREF Kourou and F. Fromard (Univ. P. Sabatier, Toulouse, France) for their valuable assistance on field. R.C. Aller for the improvement of this manuscript is gratefully acknowledged. N. Selmaoui and T. Quiniou are also thanked for their comments concerning the statistical analyses. Detailed comments of F. Hagedorn and of two anonymous reviewers were much appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Marchand
    • 1
  • P. Albéric
    • 1
  • E. Lallier-Vergès
    • 1
  • F. Baltzer
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut des Sciences de la Terre d‘Orléans, UMR 6113 CNRS-UOUniversité d‘Orléans, GéosciencesOrléansFrance
  2. 2.Département des Sciences de la TerreUniversité Paris SudOrsayFrance

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