Schmidt, F et al. (2014): Organic matter and sediment properties of samples from site GeoB15105 from the Black Sea. doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.839450, Supplement to:Schmidt, Frauke; Koch, Boris P; Witt, Matthias; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe (2014): Extending the analytical window for water-soluble organic matter in sediments by aqueous Soxhlet extraction. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 141, 83-96, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2014.06.009
Dissolved organic matter (DOM) in marine sediments is a complex mixture of thousands of individual constituents that participate in biogeochemical reactions and serve as substrates for benthic microbes. Knowledge of the molecular composition of DOM is a prerequisite for a comprehensive understanding of the biogeochemical processes in sediments. In this study, interstitial water DOM was extracted with Rhizon samplers from a sediment core from the Black Sea and compared to the corresponding water-extractable organic matter fraction (<0.4 µm) obtained by Soxhlet extraction, which mobilizes labile particulate organic matter and DOM. After solid phase extraction (SPE) of DOM, samples were analyzed for the molecular composition by Fourier Transform Ion-Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) with electrospray ionization in negative ion mode. The average SPE extraction yield of the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in interstitial water was 63%, whereas less than 30% of the DOC in Soxhlet-extracted organic matter was recovered. Nevertheless, Soxhlet extraction yielded up to 4.35% of the total sedimentary organic carbon, which is more than 30-times the organic carbon content of the interstitial water. While interstitial water DOM consisted primarily of carbon-, hydrogen- and oxygen-bearing compounds, Soxhlet extracts yielded more complex FT-ICR mass spectra with more peaks and higher abundances of nitrogen- and sulfur-bearing compounds. The molecular composition of both sample types was affected by the geochemical conditions in the sediment; elevated concentrations of HS- promoted the early diagenetic sulfurization of organic matter. The Soxhlet extracts from shallow sediment contained specific three- and four-nitrogen-bearing molecular formulas that were also detected in bacterial cell extracts and presumably represent proteinaceous molecules. These compounds decreased with increasing sediment depth while one- and two-nitrogen-bearing molecules increased, resulting in a higher similarity of both sample types in the deep sediment. In summary, Soxhlet extraction of sediments accessed a larger and more complex pool of organic matter than present in interstitial water DOM.