Trace metals phytoplankton
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Trace Metals & Phytoplankton. Gert Vlaming. 24-01-2003. Contents. Introduction Trace metals Importance of phytoplankton Conclusion. Gaia theory. Environment. Life. Trace metals. Fe 3+ Mn 2+ Co 2+ Cu 2+. Ni 2+ Cd 2+ Zn 2+. Trace metals of importance. Complexation field diagram.

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Trace Metals & Phytoplankton

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Trace metals phytoplankton

Trace Metals & Phytoplankton

Gert Vlaming

24-01-2003


Contents

Contents

  • Introduction

  • Trace metals

  • Importance of phytoplankton

  • Conclusion


Gaia theory

Gaia theory

Environment

Life


Trace metals

Trace metals


Trace metals of importance

Fe3+

Mn2+

Co2+

Cu2+

Ni2+

Cd2+

Zn2+

Trace metals of importance


Complexation field diagram

Complexation field diagram

Whitfield, 1997


Recycled elements

Recycled elements

  • Low concentrations in the surface layer

  • Enhanced concentrations in the deeper water

  • Residence time: intermediate (103 – 105 yrs)

  • Concentrations: 10-12 – 10-5 M


Concentrations

Concentrations

mol/l


Concentrations ii

Concentrations II

  • Atlantic ocean receives a greater flux of windborne dust and atmospheric contaminants than the Pacific

  • Accumulated elements released from the decaying particulate matter

  • Mn and Co: adsorption onto particles


Biochemical functions

Biochemical functions

And many enzymatic reactions


Availability

Availability

  • > 97% of the total metal in solution is held in strong organic complexes

  • These complexes are not available for phytoplanktonic uptake

The essential trace metals have very low concentrations


Importance of life for trace metal concentrations

Importance of life for trace metal concentrations


Fractionation

Fractionation

Broecker & Peng, 1982


Rec ycling ratio

Recycling ratio

flux circulating within the ecosystem

R =

flux circulating through the environment

R

R


Rec ycling ratio1

Recycling ratio

Whitfield, 1997


Rec ycling ratio ii

Recycling ratio II

  • The inability of phytoplankton to exercise absolute discrimination

  • Phytoplankton are capable of actively regulating their internal economy

  • For most essential trace metals the cells are at, or close to, their nutrient limitation levels


Adaptations

Adaptations

  • Internal

  • External

  • Interspecific

  • Collective

There’s a “chemical war” going on ...


Uptake

Uptake

  • Diffusion

  • Transfer of complexes

  • Capture

  • Uptake by Michaelis-Menten kinetics


Organic complexation

Organic complexation

  • Cells release organic complexing agents

  • Beneficial for Fe, Cu en Mn

  • Enabling large pool of Fe to be maintained

  • Maintaining concentrations below toxic levels


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • Availability of trace metals is a significant factor regulating primary production

  • Phytoplankton is strongly effecting the concentrations of trace metals


Questions

Questions


Additional

Additional


Evolution of life

Evolution of life

  • Prokaryotic life: 3.5 Ga

  • Eukaryotic life: 1.5 Ga

  • Multicellular life: 600 Ma


Start of multicellular life

Start of multicellular life

Possibly because:

  • Lowering of the alkalinity of the oceans

  • The attainment of an appropriately low global mean temperature

  • The maintenance of a critical level of dissolved oxygen in the sea

  • The establishment of the required cocktail of available trace metals


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