, Volume 100, Issue 1–3, pp 151–165 | Cite as

Instream release of dissolved organic matter from coarse and fine particulate organic matter of different origins

  • Chihiro Yoshimura
  • Manabu Fujii
  • Tatsuo Omura
  • Klement Tockner


Dissolved organic matter (DOM), produced through leaching from particulate organic matter (POM), is an essential component of the carbon cycle in streams. The present study investigated the instream DOM release from POM, varying in size and chemical quality. We produced large and medium sized fine particulate organic matter (L-FPOM, 250–500 μm; M-FPOM, 100–250 μm) of defined quality by feeding five types of coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM) to shredding amphipods (Gammarus spp.). Microscopic observations showed that L-FPOM and M-FPOM mainly consisted of the fecal pellets of amphipods, and incompletely eaten plant fragments, respectively. DOM release experiments were conducted by exposing CPOM and M- and L-FPOM fractions in natural stream water over a two week period. For CPOM, the release of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) by leaching was highest during the first 6 h (3.64–23.9 mg C g C−1 h−1) and decreased rapidly afterwards. For M- and L-FPOM, the DOC release remained low during the entire study period (range: 0.008–0.15 mg C g C−1 h−1). Two-way ANOVA revealed that the DOC release rate significantly differed with POM source and size fraction, both at day 1 and after a week of exposure. Multiple regression analyses revealed a significant correlation of elemental contents and lignin content to DOC release rate after a week of exposure. Overall, the results indicated that DOC release rate of FPOM, on a carbon basis, is comparable to that of CPOM after leaching, while size and source of POM significantly affect DOC release rate.


CPOM Decomposition DOM FPOM Leaching Microbial respiration 



We thank Richard Illi for his kind assistance in the lab, Hiroaki Furumai, Edith Kaiser, and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments, and Mary Harner and Tom Shatwell for the style and language check. This work was supported in part by a grant from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and by a grant (0-20572-98) from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)—Research Council.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chihiro Yoshimura
    • 1
  • Manabu Fujii
    • 2
  • Tatsuo Omura
    • 2
  • Klement Tockner
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringTokyo Institute of TechnologyMeguroJapan
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  3. 3.Department of Aquatic EcologyEawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and TechnologyDübendorfSwitzerland
  4. 4.IGB, Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland FisheriesBerlinGermany
  5. 5.Institute of BiologyFree University of BerlinBerlinGermany

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