CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Marine & Freshwater Research   
Marine & Freshwater Research
Journal Banner
  Advances in the Aquatic Sciences
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Research Fronts
Virtual Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Submit Article
Author Instructions
Open Access
For Referees
General Information
Review an Article
Referee Guidelines
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates
Library Recommendation

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter logo LinkedIn


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 52(1)

Carbon in catchments: connecting terrestrial carbon losses with aquatic metabolism

Jonathan J. Cole, Jonathan J. Cole, Nina F. Caraco and Nina F. Caraco

Marine and Freshwater Research 52(1) 101 - 110
Published: 2001


For a majority of aquatic ecosystems, respiration (R) exceeds autochthonous gross primary production (GPP). These systems have negative net ecosystem production ([NEP]=[GPP]–R) and ratios of [GPP]/R of <1. This net heterotrophy can be sustained only if aquatic respiration is subsidized by organic inputs from the catchment. Such subsidies imply that organic materials that escaped decomposition in the terrestrial environment must become susceptible to decomposition in the linked aquatic environment.

Using a moderate-sized catchment in North America, the Hudson River (catchment area 33500 km2), evidence is presented for the magnitude of net heterotrophy. All approaches (CO2 gas flux; O2 gas flux; budget and gradient of dissolved organic C; and the summed components of primary production and respiration within the ecosystem) indicate that system respiration exceeds gross primary production by ~200 g C m-2 year-1. Highly 14C-depleted C of ancient terrestrial origin (1000–5000 years old) may be an important source of labile organic matter to this riverine system and support this excess respiration. The mechanisms by which organic matter is preserved for centuries to millennia in terrestrial soils and decomposed in a matter of weeks in a river connect modern riverine metabolism to historical terrestrial conditions.

Keywords: river, watershed, pCO2

Full text doi:10.1071/MF00084

© CSIRO 2001

blank image
Subscriber Login

PDF (1.4 MB) $25
 Export Citation
Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2016