Potential bioavailability of representative pyrogenic organic matter compounds in comparison to natural dissolved organic matter pools

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Emily Graham, Hyun-Seob Song, Samantha Grieger, Vanessa Garayburu-Caruso, James Stegen, Kevin D. Bladon, Allison Myers-Pigg


Pyrogenic organic matter (PyOM) from wildfires impacts river corridors globally and is widely regarded as resistant to biological degradation. Though recent work suggests PyOM may be more bioavailable than historically perceived, estimating bioavailability across its chemical spectrum remains elusive. To address this knowledge gap, we assessed potential bioavailability of representative PyOM compounds relative to ubiquitous dissolved organic matter (DOM) with a substrate-explicit model. The range of potential bioavailability of PyOM was greater than natural DOM; however, the predicted thermodynamics, metabolic rates, and carbon use efficiencies overlapped significantly between all OM pools. Compound type (e.g., natural vs. PyOM) had approximately 6-fold less impact on predicted respiration rates than simulated carbon and oxygen limitations. Within PyOM, the metabolism of specific chemistries differed strongly between unlimited and oxygen limited conditions—anhydrosugars, phenols, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons degradations were more favorable under oxygen limitation than other molecules. Notably, amino sugar-, protein-, and lignin-like PyOM had lower carbon use efficiencies relative to natural DOM of the same classes, indicating potential impacts in process-based model representations. Overall, our work illustrates how similar PyOM bioavailability may be to that of natural DOM in the river corridor, furthering our understanding of how PyOM may influence riverine biogeochemical cycling.




Life Sciences, Other Life Sciences



Published: 2021-04-27 14:10

Last Updated: 2023-04-05 12:18

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