Distribution of dissolved carbohydrates and uronic acids in a tropical estuary, India
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Carbohydrates including uronic acids are among the active components of dissolved organic carbon, and play an important role in biogeochemical cycling of organic carbon in marine environments. In order to understand their distribution, concentrations of total dissolved carbohydrate (TCHO), dissolved polysaccharide (PCHO), dissolved monosaccharide (MCHO), and dissolved uronic acid (URA) were measured in the Mandovi estuary, west coast of India during the monsoon and premonsoon seasons. The estuary experienced nearly fresh water condition during the monsoon season and marine condition during the pre-monsoon season. Concentrations of TCHO, MCHO and URA ranged from 17.7 to 67.3 mu M C, 4.1 to 15.5 mu M C and 2.3 to 10.8 mu M C, and their contribution to dissolved organic carbon (DOC) varied from approx. 11 to 60%, 2.5 to 9.7%, and 1.8 to 5.3%, respectively. PCHO accounted for approx. 52 to 92% of the TCHO. Generally, concentrations and yields of TCHO species were greater during the monsoon season. Phytoplankton abundance and bacterial cell numbers influenced the distribution of TCHO in the pre-monsoon season but not during the monsoon season. Transport of TCHO rich (11 to 60%) dissolved organic matter from the Mandovi estuary to the coastal waters during the monsoon season may affect ecosystem function by fueling biological activity of heterotrophic micro-organisms
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