Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Sci Total Environ. 2012 Jun 15;427-428:277-85. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.03.087. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

Annual variability in the radiocarbon age and source of dissolved CO2 in a peatland stream.

Author information

  • 1NERC Radiocarbon Facility (Environment), Rankine Avenue, East Kilbride, G75 0QF, United Kingdom.


Radiocarbon dating has the capacity to significantly improve our understanding of the aquatic carbon cycle. In this study we used a new passive sampler to measure the radiocarbon ((14)C) and stable carbon (δ(13)C) isotopic composition of dissolved CO(2) for the first time in a peatland stream throughout a complete year (May 2010-June 2011). The in-stream sampling system collected time-integrated samples of CO(2) continuously over approximately 1 month periods. The rate of CO(2) trapping was proportional to independently measured streamwater CO(2) concentrations, demonstrating that passive samplers can be used to estimate the time-averaged dissolved CO(2) concentration of streamwater. While there was little variation and no clear trend in δ(13)CO(2) values (suggesting a consistent CO(2) source), we found a clear temporal pattern in the (14)C concentration of dissolved CO(2). The (14)C age of CO(2) varied from 707±35 to 1210±39 years BP, with the youngest CO(2) in the autumn and oldest in spring/early summer. Mean stream discharge and (14)C content of dissolved CO(2) were positively correlated. We suggest that the observed pattern in the (14)C content of dissolved CO(2) reflects changes in its origin, with older carbon derived from deeper parts of the peat profile contributing proportionally more gaseous carbon during periods of low stream flow.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk