Organic Phosphorus Compounds in Aquatic Sediments : Analysis, Abundance and Effects

Sammanfattning: Phosphorus (P) is often the limiting nutrient in lacustrine and brackish eco-systems, and enhanced input of P into an aquatic system might therefore negatively impact the environment. Because modern waste water manage-ment have reduced external P input to surface waters, internal P loading from the sediment has become one of the main P sources to aquatic ecosys-tems, in which relatively unknown organic P compounds seem to be more active in P recycling than previously thought. This thesis focus is on improving analysis methods for organic P com-pounds in lacustrine and brackish sediments, as well as determining which of these compounds might be degraded, mobilized and subsequently recycled to the water column and on what temporal scale this occur. In both lacustrine and brackish environments, the most labile P compound was pyrophosphate, followed by different phosphate diesters. Phosphate monoesters were the least labile organic P compounds and degraded the slowest with sediment depth. In regulated lakes, it was shown that pyrophosphate and polyphos-phate compound groups were most related to lake trophic status, thus indi-cating their involvement in P cycling. This thesis also indicates faster P turn-over in sediment from the brackish environment compared to sediment from the lacustrine environment. A comparison of organic P extraction procedures showed that pre-extraction with EDTA, and NaOH as main extractant, was most efficient for total P extraction. Using buffered sodium dithionite (BD) as a pre-extractant and NaOH as main extractant was most efficient for extracting the presuma-bly most labile organic P compound groups, pyrophosphate and polyphos-phate. Furthermore, it was determined that organic P compounds associated with humic substances were more recalcitrant than other P compounds, that the BD step used in traditional P fractionation might extract phosphate monoesters, and that NMR is a statistically valid method for quantification of organic P compounds in sediment extracts.