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Environmental Significace of the Groundwater-Surface Water Interaction Zone

Surface Water Global Metabolite Biogeography

Background: In collaboration with the Department of Energy's Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), WHONDRS launched the Surface Water Global Metabolite Biogeography Study in 2018, and it is ongoing.This study will provide broad understanding of factors governing the character of organic matter that may be delivered to hyporheic zone sediments via hydrologic exchange. Such knowledge is essential as we develop hydrobiogeochemical models that explicitly represent the influences of organic matter character on river corridor biogeochemical and microbial function. More generally, we conceptualize this study as examining the biogeography of metabolites, much like the biogeography of biological species (e.g., Delgado-Baquerizo et al. 2018).

The Surface Water Global Metabolite Biogeography Study allows anyone to sample surface water in streams around the world using a kit that takes approximately 10 minutes to use. The only constraint is that surface water stage or discharge data need to be available for the sampled stream at an interval of every two hours (or more frequently) and for at least three months prior to sampling. As is always the case with WHONDRS, all data produced will be publicly available. The protocol can be viewed at on YouTube. All costs are covered by PNNL, so collaborators just need to have the interest and time to collect the samples and provide some basic metadata. If you'd like to participate, please contact us at , and spread the word to your colleagues! We will discuss the suitability of your sampling location with you and then ship you a sampling kit. You record the metadata, collect the samples, and then ship them back to WHONDRS using a pre-paid shipping package.

Spatial coverage

Spatial coverage

Data types: Anions, cations, total N, NPOC, specific conductivity, pH, FTICR-MS (EMSL), hydrograph (USGS and others), metagenomics (via Kelly Wrighton at Colorado State University and the Joint Genome Institute)

Ideas for science questions to explore with the data:

  • Is a core metabolome shared across all streams? If so, what types of metabolites are shared and what types are not?
  • Are there aspects of historical discharge dynamics that consistently drive metabolite profiles across systems? Or, do watershed characteristics (e.g., wetland area) overwhelm influences of discharge dynamics?
  • Can we create a 'metabolite atlas' similar to the approach for soil microbes? If so, what metabolite properties can be mapped?

Data access: Data from the Surface Water Global Metabolite Biogeography Study are published in batches since the study is ongoing.

Stegen J C; Goldman A E; Blackburn S E; Chu R K; Danczak R E; Garayburu-Caruso V A ; Graham E B; Grieshauber C; Lin X; Morad J W; Ren H; Renteria L; Resch C T; Tfaily M; Tolic N; Toyoda J G; Wells J R; Znotinas K R (2018): WHONDRS Surface Water Sampling for Metabolite Biogeography. Worldwide Hydrobiogeochemistry Observation Network for Dynamic River Systems (WHONDRS). doi:10.15485/1484811.


Previous and Ongoing Studies

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