Seasonal changes of arsenic speciation in lake waters in relation to eutrophication

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Journal Article
Science of the Total Environment, 2010, 408 (7), pp. 1684 - 1690
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In this study, the influence of eutrophication on arsenic speciation in lake waters was investigated. Surface water samples (n = 110) were collected from 18 lakes in Japan during July 2007 and February 2008. The lakes were classified into mesotrophic (7 lakes) and eutrophic (11 lakes) based on the total phosphate (T-P) and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentrations in water column. Inorganic, methylated and ultraviolet-labile fractions of arsenic species were determined by combining hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry with ultraviolet irradiation. Organoarsenicals (mainly methylated and ultraviolet-labile fractions) comprised 3060% of the total arsenic in most lakes during summer. On the other hand, inorganic arsenic species (As(III + V)) dominates (about 6085%) during winter. The occurrence of ultraviolet-labile fractions of arsenic was higher in eutrophic lakes than those in mesotrophic lakes in both seasons. The concentration of dimethyl arsenic (DMAA) was high in eutrophic lakes during winter; and in mesotrophic lakes during summer. The results suggest that the conversion of As(III + V) to more complicated organoarsenicals occurred frequently in eutrophic lakes compared to that in mesotrophic lakes, which is thought to be the influence of biological activity in the water column. The distribution of arsenic species were well correlated with phosphate concentrations than those of Chl-a. This might be due to the competitive uptake of As(V) and phosphate by phytoplankton. The organoarsenicals (OrgAs)/As(V) ratio was higher at low phosphate concentration indicating that conversion of As(V) to OrgAs species was more active in phosphate-exhausted lakes with high phytoplankton density.
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