In contrast to the large number of studies on humic waters from permafrost-free regions and oligotrophic waters from permafrost-bearing regions, the bio- and photolability of DOM from the humic surface waters of permafrost-bearing regions has not been thoroughly evaluated. Following standardized protocol, we measured biodegradation (at low, intermediate and high temperatures) and photodegradation (at one intermediate temperature) of DOM in surface waters along the hydrological continuum (depression â stream â thermokarst lake â Pechora River) within a frozen peatland in European Russia. In all systems, within the experimental resolution of 5 % to 10 %, there was no bio- or photodegradation of DOM over a 1-month incubation period. It is possible that the main cause of the lack of degradation is the dominance of allochthonous refractory (soil, peat) DOM in all waters studied. However, all surface waters were supersaturated with CO.sub.2 . Thus, this study suggests that, rather than bio- and photodegradation of DOM in the water column, other factors such as peat pore-water DOM processing and respiration of sediments are the main drivers of elevated pCO.sub.2 and CO.sub.2 emission in humic boreal waters of frozen peat bogs.