Phosphorus mobility in dam reservoir affected by redox oscillations: An experimental study

Anne Rapin , Malgorzata Grybos , Marion Rabiet , Brice Mourier , Véronique Deluchat


Received June 08, 2018,Revised , Accepted July 30, 2018, Available online August 10, 2018

Volume 77,2019,Pages 250-263

The internal sedimentary phosphorus (P) load of aquatic systems is able to support eutrophication, especially in dam–reservoir systems where sedimentary P stock is high and where temporary anaerobic conditions occur. The aim of this study therefore is to examine the response of sedimentary P exposed to redox oscillations. Surface sediments collected in the Champsanglard dam–reservoir (on the Creuse River, France) were subjected to two aerobic phases (10 and 12 days) alternated with two anaerobic periods (21 and 27 days) through batch incubations. The studied sediment contained 77 ± 3 μmol/g DW of P, mainly associated with the ascorbate fraction (amorphous Fe/Mn oxyhydroxides). The used sediment was rich in organic matter (OM) (21% ± 1%) with primarily allochthone signature. Our results showed that redox oscillations enhance dissolved inorganic phosphorus release at sediment/water interface. During the first anaerobic stage, the P release was mainly controlled by the dissolution/precipitation of iron minerals. The more pronounced increase of P release during the second anaerobic stage (44%) was due to various mechanisms related to the change in quality of dissolved organic matter (DOM), namely a higher SUVA254 and humification indices. The release of more refractory DOM (rDOM) served to lower the microbial metabolism activity, possibly favored iron oxyhydroxide aggregation and thus limiting iron reduction. In addition, rDOM is able to compete for mineral P sorption sites, leading to a greater P release. In reservoir with predominant allochthone OM input, the release of more aromatic DOM therefore plays an important role in P mobility.

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