Interactions with NOM

Organic geochemistry integration in environmental ecosystems

Source: BGC

Natural organic matter (NOM) occurs in soils, freshwater and marine environments, in the atmosphere and in the form of prebiotic organic matter. It represents an exceedingly complex mixture of organic compounds that collectively exhibits a nearly continuous range of properties (size-reactivity continuum).

The fate of NOM in the bio- and geosphere is governed according to the rather fundamental restraints of thermodynamics and kinetics. In these intricate materials, the “classical” signatures of the (geogenic or ultimately biogenic) precursor molecules, like lipids, glycans, proteins and natural products have been attenuated, often beyond recognition, during a succession of biotic and abiotic (e.g. photo- and redox chemistry) reactions. Due to the loss of biochemical signature, these materials can be designated as non-repetitive complex systems.

The ecological significance of the quintessential molecular heterogeneity of NOM in the range of the theoretical limits defined by the laws of chemical binding is to procure a crucial life-sustaining force, with a well balanced persistence and reactivity to enable and sustain microbial life in aquatic, marine and terrestrial ecosystems and to maintain plant growth and soil quality, indispensable prerequisites for at least any higher terrestrial life. In addition, NOM is an active participant of the global carbon and other element cycles. It also defines the bioavailability and cycling of organic and inorganic nutrients and pollutants, making the molecular level understanding of such supermixtures a high priority topic of general interest.

NOM incorporates the hugely disparate characteristics of abiotic and biotic complexity. Coevolution of NOM and life occurred throughout the entire history of the earth. However, the origin of life on earth (with an ever decreasing apparent time scale for deployment) and the conditional relationships between abiotic and biotic complexity are not yet understood in full.

  • Hertkorn, N. et al.: High field NMR spectroscopy and FTICR mass spectrometry: powerful discovery tools for the molecular level characterization of marine dissolved organic matter from the South Atlantic Ocean. Biogeosciences, 2013
  • Yassine M. et al.: Structural Characterization of Organic Aerosol using Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry: Aromaticity Equivalent Approach. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 2014
  • Gonsior, M. et al.: Dissolved organic matter changes along treatments of a drinking water plant in Sweden and the formation of previously unknown DBPs. Environmental Science and Technology, 2014
  • Herzsprung, P. et al.: Understanding molecular formula assignment of Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry data of natural organic matter from a chemical point of view. Analytical Bioanalytical Chemistry, 2014
  • Cortés-Francisco, N. et al.: High-field FT-ICR mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy to characterize DOM removal through a nanofiltration pilot plant. Water Research, 2014
  • Popova, O.P. et al.: Chelyabinsk Airburst Consortium Chelyabinsk airburst, damage assessment, meteorite recovery, and characterization. Science, 2013
  • Jenniskens, P. et al.: Radar-enabled recovery of the Sutter's Mill meteorite, a carbonaceous chondrite regolith breccia. Science, 2012