Enhancing effect of marine oligotrophy on environmental concentrations of particle-reactive trace elements

American Chemical Society
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Environmental Science & Technology, 2000, 34 pp. 1966 - 1969
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A biogeochemical model has been previously developed that explains the inverse and nonlinear relationship between Po-210 concentration in zooplankton and their biomass, under oligotrophic conditions in French Polynesia. In this study the model structure was reviewed to determine a set of biogeochemical behaviors of Po-210, proposed to be critical to its environmental enhancement under oligotrophy: this set was then used to identify 25 other elements with comparable behaviors to Po-210. Field investigation in the Timor Sea showed that four of these a priori identified elements, viz. Cd, Co, Pb, and Mn as well as Cr and Ni, showed elevated water concentrations with reduced particle removal rates in the euphotic zone, results that are consistent with those previously obtained for Po-210 and the proposed explanatory model. These findings point to the enhanced susceptibility to contamination with particlereactive elements of oligotrophic marine systems, whose degree and geographic extent may be enhanced by projected increases in sea surface temperatures from global warming.
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