Aquatic Humic Matter: from Molecular Structure to Ecosystem Stability

  • Dag O. Hessen
  • Lars J. Tranvik
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 133)


Identification, Delimitation and Chemical Properties of Humic Substances. The most straightforward way to solve a problem is to first define the agents of interest. However, this is not a trivial matter when it comes to humic substances (HS). First of all, the definition of HS per se is not trivial, since the distinction between aquatic humus and other types of dissolved, colloidal or particulate matter is not unifying. Being composed of a multitude of complex molecules of different origin, structure, molecular size and age, HS also possess a number of different properties. Hence, at best, one can only hope to infer average structure and functionality from average properties (Perdue, this Vol.).Yet some basic features can be identified; the most obvious would be the presence of chromophores, typically giving from yellow to reddish or brownish colour owing to a pronounced light absorption in the UV, blue and green parts of the spectrum.


Humic Substance Particulate Organic Carbon Dissolve Organic Matter Aquatic Humus Dissolve Organic Matter 
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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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dag O. Hessen
  • Lars J. Tranvik

There are no affiliations available

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