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Open Access Iron Biogeochemistry in Aquatic Systems: From Source to Bioavailability

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Iron (Fe) is an essential trace element for several key metabolic processes in phytoplankton; however Fe is present in low concentration in many aquatic systems including vast oceanic regions and large lakes. In these systems, Fe can limit the growth of phytoplankton and atmospheric carbon dioxide biological fixation. Indeed Fe limitation exerts a global impact on the carbon cycle and the imprint of aquatic systems on our climate. In order to understand how aquatic systems function and increase our ability to predict their response to changing conditions, it is therefore paramount to understand when and how Fe controls operate. This review presents the complex relationship between Fe chemistry and the biology of surface waters to highlight the parameters defining the forms of Fe that are accessible for phytoplankton growth (or bioavailable). Particular attention is given to the identification of Fe sources and Fe organic complexation as these, in conjunction with biological recycling and remineralisation, mostly control Fe residence time, chemistry and bioavailability.

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Keywords: CARBON; IRON; LAKE; LIMITATION; OCEAN; PHYTOPLANKTON

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Technology Sydney Plant Functional Biology and Climate Change Cluster PO Box 123 Broadway 2007 NSW, Australia 2: University of Geneva Earth and Environmental Sciences Institute F.-A. Forel Marine and Lake Biogeochemistry 10 rte de Suisse CH-1290 Versoix, Switzerland 3: University of Technology Sydney Plant Functional Biology and Climate Change Cluster PO Box 123 Broadway 2007 NSW, Australia; University of Geneva Earth and Environmental Sciences Institute F.-A. Forel Marine and Lake Biogeochemistry 10 rte de Suisse CH-1290 Versoix, Switzerland. [email protected]

Publication date: November 1, 2014

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  • International Journal for Chemistry and Official Membership Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) and its Divisions

    CHIMIA, a scientific journal for chemistry in the broadest sense, is published 10 times a year and covers the interests of a wide and diverse readership. Contributions from all fields of chemistry and related areas are considered for publication in the form of Review Articles and Notes. A characteristic feature of CHIMIA are the thematic issues, each devoted to an area of great current significance.

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