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Deposition, burial and sequestration of carbon in an oligotrophic, tropical lake

Javier Alcocer, Ana C. Ruiz-Fernández, Elva Escobar, Libia H. Pérez-Bernal, Luis A. Oseguera, Vilma Ardiles-Gloria
  • Javier Alcocer
    Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala. Proyecto de Investigación en Limnología Tropical, Mexico | jalcocer@unam.mx
  • Ana C. Ruiz-Fernández
    Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología. Unidad Académica Mazatlán, Mexico
  • Elva Escobar
    Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología; Ecología Marina y Biodiversidad; Laboratorio de Biodiversidad y Macroecología, Mexico
  • Libia H. Pérez-Bernal
    Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología. Unidad Académica Mazatlán, Mexico
  • Luis A. Oseguera
    Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala. Proyecto de Investigación en Limnología Tropical, Mexico
  • Vilma Ardiles-Gloria
    Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala. Proyecto de Investigación en Limnología Tropical, Mexico

Abstract

The amount of biogenic carbon that may be deposited, buried and eventually preserved (sequestered) in the sediments of a tropical, oligotrophic lake, was evaluated based on i) the temporal variation of the particulate organic carbon (POC) concentration in the superficial sediments in the deep zone of lake Alchichica, Puebla, Mexico; and ii) the POC accumulation and preservation in a 210Pb-dated sediment core from the lake. In lake Alchichica the POC concentration in the surficial sediments ranged between 12 and 60 mg POC g-1 (25 ± 12 mg POC g-1 dry weight). The magnitude of the sedimented POC in Alchichica was high and mostly of autochthonous origin. The POC concentrations recorded in the sediment core (16.6 to 31.6 mg g-1 dry weight) were comparable to the concentration range observed in the surface sediment samples collected during the study period, which signaled a high POC preservation capacity in the sedimentary column of lake Alchichica. The POC fluxes, estimated from the 210Pb-dated sediment core, varied between 14.9 and 35.3 g m-2 year-1 within the past century; and the maximum POC losses through diagenesis during this period were estimated to be lower than 25%. This study concludes that deep tropical lakes, exemplified by lake Alchichica, accumulate and preserve most of the POC deposited, playing an important role in regional carbon balances.

Keywords

Alchichica; biogenic carbon; POC; chlorophyll a; tropical lake; Mexico

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Submitted: 2013-04-22 23:01:56
Published: 2014-02-25 12:49:50
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Copyright (c) 2014 Javier Alcocer, Ana C. Ruiz-Fernández, Elva Escobar, Libia H. Pérez-Bernal, Luis A. Oseguera, Vilma Ardiles-Gloria

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