The amount, chemical composition, and source of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), together with in situ ultraviolet (UV-B) attenuation, were measured at 1-2 week intervals throughout the summers of 1999, 2000, and 2001 at four sites in Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado). Eight additional sites, four in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park/John Muir Wilderness (California) and four in Glacier National Park (Montana), were sampled during the summer of 2000. Attenuation of UV-B was significantly related to DOC concentrations over the three years in Rocky Mountain (R2 = 0.39, F = 25.71, P < 0.0001) and across all parks in 2000 (R2 = 0.44, F = 38.25, P < 0.0001). The relatively low R2 values, however, reflect significant temporal and spatial variability in the specific attenuation per unit DOC. Fluorescence analysis of the fulvic acid DOC fraction (roughly 600-2,000 Daltons) indicated that the source of DOC significantly affected the attenuation of UV-B. Sites in Sequoia-Kings Canyon were characterized by DOC derived primarily from algal sources and showed much deeper UV-B penetration, whereas sites in Glacier and Rocky Mountain contained a mix of algal and terrestrial DOC-dominated sites, with more terrestrially dominated sites characterized by greater UV-B attenuation per unit DOC. In general, site characteristics that promoted the accumulation of terrestrially derived DOC showed greater attenuation of UV-B per unit DOC; however, catchment vegetation and soil characteristics, precipitation, and local hydrology interacted to make it difficult to predict potential exposure from DOC concentrations. ?? 2005 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Additional publication details
Spatial and temporal variability in the amount and source of dissolved organic carbon: Implications for ultraviolet exposure in amphibian habitats