TERRAPUB Geochemical Journal

Geochemical Journal, Vol. 52 (No. 4), pp. e15-e20, 2018


Algal-derived 24-ethylcholesta-5,22-dien-3β-ol (stigmasterol) is frequently found in high-molecular-weight dissolved organic matter (HMW-DOM) during summer in freshwater and brackish lakes

Atsushi Urai,1* Koji Takahashi,1 Yoshito Chikaraishi2,3 and Kazuo Fukushima1

1Department of Environmental Science, Shinshu University, Asahi-3-1-1, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-8621, Japan
2Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, N19W8 Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0819, Japan
3Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Natsushima-2-15, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 237-0061, Japan

(Received December 13, 2017; Accepted April 30, 2018; Online published June 12, 2018)

Abstract: Source and formation of high-molecular-weight dissolved organic matter (HMW-DOM) and its interaction with other organic components such as particulate organic matter (POM) and low-molecular-weight DOM (LMW-DOM) have been poorly understood so far. Molecular and isotopic compositions of HMW-DOM are generally far different from those of POM and LMW-DOM. In this study, we further investigate large proportions of 24-ethylcholesta-5,22-dien-3β-ol (stigmasterol) in the HMW-DOM (but not in POM and LMW-DOM) during summer in three types of lakes: freshwater Lakes Kizaki and Suwa and a brackish-water Lake Suigetsu, in Japan. Moreover, from the carbon and hydrogen isotope analysis, we reveal autochthonous algae (perhaps some minor, specific phytoplankton) as a major source of the abundant stigmasterol in the lakes. These results suggest that HMW-DOM in summer is derived from autochthonous phytoplankton rather than allochthonous terrestrial plants and that HMW-DOM likely has few interaction (e.g., exchange of components) with POM and DOM in the lakes.
Key words: HMW-DOM, stigmasterol, carbon and hydrogen isotopic compositions, freshwater and brackish lakes

*Corresponding author E-mail: uraia@jamstec.go.jp

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