Science Inventory

FACTORS AFFECTING COLORED DISSOLVED ORGANIC MATTER IN AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

Citation:

ZEPP, R. G., G. C. SHANK, M. A. MORAN, W. SHELDON, AND W. MILLER. FACTORS AFFECTING COLORED DISSOLVED ORGANIC MATTER IN AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES. Presented at EPA Science Forum 2005, Washington, DC, May 16 - 18, 2005.

Impact/Purpose:

The overall objective of this task is to develop quantitative relationships for assessing the vulnerability of aquatic ecosystems (freshwater and coastal) and their services to global change. The task will contribute experimental and modeling tools for assessments of the interactions of global climate and UV changes with coral reefs and selected watersheds and estuaries in the U.S. and Brazil These activities are contributing to two APGs in the ecosystems focus area of the Global Change Research Multiyear Plan: the 2008 APG (APG 2) on developing information and tools that managers will use in their decision-making about how to adapt to the effects of global change on aquatic ecosystems; and the 2010 APG (APG 3) on providing information and models that will support development of biocriteria for corals. One major task objective is to assess interactions of global warming and UV exposure that are contributing to the observed coral bleaching and disease. Our lab is working with scientists at the NHEERL Gulf Ecology Lab to characterize UV exposure and effects at several coral reef sites in the Florida Keys. This collaboration will contribute to one ERD APM in 2006 and three joint NERL-NHEERL APMs in the 2008 - 2010 period. Other research is examining the effects of changing climate and UV on microbial activity in waters close to beaches in the U.S. Work is being completed on the interactions of land use and climate changes with the ecological functioning of streams in watersheds of the southeastern U.S. The task also includes two sub-tasks that are funded mainly by funds-in IAGs. One sub-task funded by NASA involves research in central Brazil that is part of the Large Scale Biosphere Atmosphere Experiment (LBA). This work involves a close collaboration between EPA and a group of scientists from the Department of Ecology, University of Brasilia, Brazil. The objectives of this project are to assess the impacts of land use and climatic changes on soil nutrient cycles and microbiota, trace gas exchange and water quality in the Brazilian cerrado. Another sub-task funded by the Office of Naval Research is examining interactions between nitrogen and organic substances in aquatic ecosystems that produce the colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) that controls penetration of solar UV radiation into coastal waters.

Description:

The sunlight-absorbing (colored) component of dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in aquatic environments is widely distributed in freshwaters and coastal regions where it influences the fate and transport of toxic organic substances and biologically-important metals such as mercury, iron, and copper. In this research we have examined two key factors, microbial degradation and sorption, that affect the loss of CDOM in rivers, estuaries and coastal shelf regions of the southeastern U.S.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Product Published Date: 05/16/2005
Record Last Revised: 06/21/2006
Record ID: 119114

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

ECOSYSTEMS RESEARCH DIVISION

IMMEDIATE OFFICE