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Title (Primary) Organic matter in sediments of an acidic mining lake as assessed by lipid analysis. Part I: Fatty acids
Author Poerschmann, J.; Koschorreck, M.; Górecki, T.;
Journal Science of the Total Environment
Year 2012
Department TUCHEM; SEEFO;
Volume 414
Language englisch;
Keywords Acidic mining lake; Fatty acids; Microbial activity; Sedimentary organic matter

Fatty acid (FA) patterns of sediments collected from the bottom of an acidic mine pit lake (AML) at different depths (surface sediment: 0 to 1 cm; deep sediment: 4 to 5 cm) were studied to characterize microbial communities and the sources of sedimentary organic matter (SOM). Studies were performed on the molecular level utilizing source-specific, diagnostic FA biomarkers. The biomarker-based approach has been used widely in marine sediment studies, but has not been applied for sediments from AMLs so far.

Combined FA concentrations in the surface sediment were higher compared to those in the deep sediment (497 vs. 127 μg g− 1 d.w., respectively). This was related to deposition of autochthonous biomass and higher terrestrial plants onto the surface sediment, as well as – to lesser extent – with higher bacterial activity on the sediment-water interface. The FA distribution in both sediments was characterized by a strong even-over-odd preference and was bimodal in nature: there was a cluster at nC14–nC18 characteristic of chiefly autochthonous (algal and bacterial) SOM production, and another cluster at nC22–28 related to input from higher plants. The FA distribution in the surface sediment pointed to higher terrestrial input compared to autochthonous contribution to SOM (67%:33%) as an estimate. Fingerprinting of viable bacteria was accomplished through signature FA markers including branched C15 and C17 surrogates, cyclopropanoic acids, 3-hydroxy (OH) acids and monounsaturated surrogates with unusual double bond localization. The abundance of Gram-negative bacteria was higher in the surface sediment as evidenced by total diagnostic 3-OH-fatty acids (37 μg g− 1 versus 25 μg g− 1). Potential source taxa in both sediment layers included acidophilic iron- and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria including Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans. High abundances of terminally branched C15 and C17 surrogates in both sediments pointed to sulfate- and iron-reducing bacteria. Signature FAs characteristic of methanotrophs were virtually lacking in both sediments.

ID 11879
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Poerschmann, J., Koschorreck, M., Górecki, T. (2012):
Organic matter in sediments of an acidic mining lake as assessed by lipid analysis. Part I: Fatty acids
Sci. Total Environ. 414 , 614 - 623