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  1. Redox active species in Arctic lacustrine sediments play an important, regulatory role in the carbon cycle, yet there is little information on their spatial distribution, abundance, and oxidation states. Here, we use voltammetric microelectrodes to quantify the in situ concentrations of redox-active species at high vertical resolution (mm to cm) in the benthic porewaters of an oligotrophic Arctic lake (Toolik Lake, AK, USA). Mn( ii ), Fe( ii ), O 2 , and Fe( iii )-organic complexes were detected as the major redox-active species in these porewaters, indicating both Fe( ii ) oxidation and reductive dissolution of Fe( iii ) and Mn( iv ) minerals. We observed significant spatial heterogeneity in their abundance and distribution as a function of both location within the lake and depth. Microbiological analyses and solid phase Fe( iii ) measurements were performed in one of the Toolik Lake cores to determine the relationship between biogeochemical redox gradients and microbial communities. Our data reveal iron cycling involving both oxidizing (FeOB) and reducing (FeRB) bacteria. Additionally, we profiled a large microbial iron mat in a tundra seep adjacent to an Arctic stream (Oksrukuyik Creek) where we observed Fe( ii ) and soluble Fe( iii ) in a highly reducing environment. The variable distribution of redox-active substances at all the sites yields insights into the nature and distribution of the important terminal electron acceptors in both lacustrine and tundra environments capable of exerting significant influences on the carbon cycle. 
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  2. Abstract Many challenges remain before we can fully understand the multifaceted role that natural organic matter (NOM) plays in soil and aquatic systems. These challenges remain despite the considerable progress that has been made in understanding NOM’s properties and reactivity using the latest analytical techniques. For nearly 4 decades, the International Humic Substances Society (IHSS, which is a non-profit scientific society) has distributed standard substances that adhere to strict isolation protocols and reference materials that are collected in bulk and originate from clearly defined sites. These NOM standard and reference samples offer relatively uniform materials for designing experiments and developing new analytical methods. The protocols for isolating NOM, and humic and fulvic acid fractions of NOM utilize well-established preparative scale column chromatography and reverse osmosis methods. These standard and reference NOM samples are used by the international scientific community to study NOM across a range of disciplines from engineered to natural systems, thereby seeding the transfer of knowledge across research fields. Recently, powerful new analytical techniques used to characterize NOM have revealed complexities in its composition that transcend the “microbial” vs. “terrestrial” precursor paradigm. To continue to advance NOM research in the Anthropocene epoch, a workshop was convened to identify potential new sites for NOM samples that would encompass a range of sources and precursor materials and would be relevant for studying NOM’s role in mediating environmental and biogeochemical processes. We anticipate that expanding the portfolio of IHSS reference and standard NOM samples available to the research community will enable this diverse group of scientists and engineers to better understand the role that NOM plays globally under the influence of anthropogenic mediated changes. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  3. Abstract

    The ice‐cover period in lakes is increasingly recognized for its distinct combination of physical and biological phenomena and ecological relevance. Knowledge gaps exist where research areas of hydrodynamics, biogeochemistry and biology intersect. For example, density‐driven circulation under ice coincides with an expansion of the anoxic zone, but abiotic and biotic controls on oxygen depletion have not been disentangled, and while heterotrophic microorganisms and migrating phytoplankton often thrive at the oxycline, the extent to which physical processes induce fluxes of heat and substrates that support under‐ice food webs is uncertain. Similarly, increased irradiance in spring can promote growth of motile phytoplankton or, if radiatively driven convection occurs, more nutritious diatoms, but links between functional trait selection, trophic transfer to zooplankton and fish, and the prevalence of microbial versus classical food webs in seasonally ice‐covered lakes remain unclear. Under‐ice processes cascade into and from the ice‐free season, and are relevant to annual cycling of energy and carbon through aquatic food webs. Understanding the coupling between state transitions and the reorganization of trophic hierarchies is essential for predicting complex ecosystem responses to climate change. In this interdisciplinary review we describe existing knowledge of physical processes in lakes in winter and the parallel developments in under‐ice biogeochemistry and ecology. We then illustrate interactions between these processes, identify extant knowledge gaps and present (novel) methods to address outstanding questions.

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  4. Abstract

    Inland waters are increasingly recognized as critical sites of methane emissions to the atmosphere, but the biogeochemical reactions driving such fluxes are less well understood. The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of North America is one of the largest wetland complexes in the world, containing millions of small, shallow wetlands. The sediment pore waters ofPPRwetlands contain some of the highest concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and sulfur species ever recorded in terrestrial aquatic environments. Using a suite of geochemical and microbiological analyses, we measured the impact of sedimentary carbon and sulfur transformations in these wetlands on methane fluxes to the atmosphere. This research represents the first study of coupled geochemistry and microbiology within thePPRand demonstrates how the conversion of abundant labileDOCpools into methane results in some of the highest fluxes of this greenhouse gas to the atmosphere ever reported. AbundantDOCand sulfate additionally supported some of the highest sulfate reduction rates ever measured in terrestrial aquatic environments, which we infer to account for a large fraction of carbon mineralization in this system. Methane accumulations in zones of active sulfate reduction may be due to either the transport of free methane gas from deeper locations or the co‐occurrence of methanogenesis and sulfate reduction. If both respiratory processes are concurrent, any competitive inhibition of methanogenesis by sulfate‐reducing bacteria may be lessened by the presence of large labileDOCpools that yield noncompetitive substrates such as methanol. Our results reveal some of the underlying mechanisms that makePPRwetlands biogeochemical hotspots, which ultimately leads to their critical, but poorly recognized role in regional greenhouse gas emissions.

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