Algal extracellular release in river-floodplain dissolved organic matter: response of extracellular enzymatic activity during a post-flood period

Anna Sieczko (Korresp. Autor*in), Maria Maschek, Peter Peduzzi

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


River-floodplain systems are susceptible to rapid hydrological events. Changing hydrological connectivity of the floodplain generates a broad range of conditions, from lentic to lotic. This creates a mixture of allochthonously and autochthonously derived dissolved organic matter (DOM). Autochthonous DOM, including photosynthetic extracellular release (PER), is an important source supporting bacterial secondary production (BSP). Nonetheless, no details are available regarding microbial extracellular enzymatic activity (EEA) as a response to PER under variable hydrological settings in river-floodplain systems. To investigate the relationship between bacterial and phytoplankton components, we therefore used EEA as a tool to track the microbial response to non-chromophoric, but reactive and ecologically important DOM. The study was conducted in three floodplain subsystems with distinct hydrological regimes (Danube Floodplain National Park, Austria). The focus was on the post-flood period. Enhanced %PER (up to 48% of primary production) in a hydrologically isolated subsystem was strongly correlated with β-glucosidase, which was related to BSP. This shows that – in disconnected floodplain backwaters with high terrestrial input – BSP can also be driven by autochthonous carbon sources (PER).
In a semi-isolated section, in the presence of fresh labile material from primary producers, enhanced activity of phenol oxidase was observed. In frequently flooded river-floodplain systems, BSP was mainly driven by enzymatic degradation of particulate primary production.
Our research demonstrates that EEA measurements are an excellent tool to describe the coupling between bacteria and phytoplankton, which cannot be deciphered when focusing solely on chromophoric DOM.
FachzeitschriftFrontiers in Microbiology
Frühes Online-Datum22 Jan. 2015
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2015

ÖFOS 2012

  • 106020 Limnologie


  • Extracellular enzymatic activity
  • photosynthetic extracellular release
  • autochthonous DOM
  • non-chromophoric DOM
  • River-floodplain