Molecular weight distribution of phosphorus fraction of aquatic dissolved organic matter

Evan C. Ged, Treavor H. Boyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This study characterized dissolved organic phosphorus (DOP) that is discharged from the Everglades Agricultural Area as part of the larger pool of aquatic dissolved organic matter (DOM). Whole water samples collected at the Everglades stormwater treat area 1 West (STA-1 W) were fractionated using a batch ultrafiltration method to separate organic compounds based on apparent molecular weight (AMW). Each AMW fraction of DOM was characterized for phosphorus, carbon, nitrogen, UV absorbance, and fluorescence. The DOP content of the Everglades water matrix was characteristically variable constituting 4-56% of total phosphorus (TP) and demonstrated no correlation with dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Measured values for DOP exceeded 14μgL-1 in four out of five sampling dates making phosphorus load reductions problematic for the stormwater treatment areas (STAs), which target inorganic phosphorus and have a goal of 10μgL-1 as TP. The molecular weight distributions revealed 40% of DOP is high molecular weight, aromatic-rich DOM. The results of this research are expected to be of interest to environmental chemists, environmental engineers, and water resources managers because DOP presents a major obstacle to achieving TP levels <10μgL-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-927
Number of pages7
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Dissolved organic carbon
  • Dissolved organic phosphorus
  • Everglades Agricultural Area
  • Molecular weight ultrafiltration
  • Specific ultraviolet absorbance
  • Stormwater treatment areas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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