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Free Content Chemical Characterization of Estuarine Colloidal Organic Matter: Implications for Adsorptive Processes

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Dissolved and particulate organic matter are important components of the carbon and nitrogen cycles. Because of their surface active nature and reactivity, dissolved organic colloids are also important in many geochemical processes. The chemical nature of colloidal organic matter is an important factor in determining how it will behave in relation to other substances in the system. In the present study, colloidal organic matter (>0.4 μm to 1.2 nm) collected from the Chesapeake Bay estuary over a salinity range of 2 to 22‰ was characterized for organic carbon (DOC), lipid (TDL), carbohydrate (TDS) and amino acids (TAA). Analysis of the biochemical constituents of colloidal organic carbon indicated that (TDS), (TAA) and (TDL) account for 35–60%, 4–13% and less than 1%, respectively, of the DOC content. The TDS fraction had a predominance of glucose and galactose while the TAA fraction showed high abundances of aspartic, glutamic, serine, threonine and glycine. Seasonal changes in the TDS and TAA levels in estuarine colloids revealed that sugars and amino acids were higher in summer than in winter, and may be related to primary and secondary productivity. Enrichment of carbohydrates and amino acids in colloidal material collected near a density boundary (pycnocline) was observed. The results of this study are discussed in the light of these biogenic polymers acting as a sorbent in the enrichment.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1984-11-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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