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Thirty FLSM samples were collected from four sampling stations, during nine cruises, in the period 1996-1998. Twenty six chemical properties of the fluffy material were measured (organic matter-total, humic substances, a variety of fatty acids fractions, P, N, ?13C, ?15N; Li; heavy metals- Co, Cd, Pb, Ni, Zn, Fe, Al, Mn, Cu, Cr). The so obtained data set was subjected to statistical evaluation.
Comparison of mean values of the measured properties led to conclusion that both seasonal and spatial differences of the fluffy material collected at the stations occured. Application of Principal Component Analysis, and Cluster Analysis, to the data set amended with environmental characteristics (depth, salinity, chlorophyll a, distance from the river mouth), led to quantification of factors conditioning the FLSM formation. The five most important factors were: contribution of the lithogenic component (responsible for 25% of the data set variability), time dependent factors (including primary productivity, mass exchange with fine sediment fraction, atmospheric deposition, contribution of material originating from abrasion-altogether 21%), contribution of fresh autochtonous organic matter (9%), influence of microbial activity (8%), seasonality (8%).
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