National Research Program


Interactions Between Organic Solutes and Trace Metals in Natural Waters, and Their Ecological Role

Aquatic humic substances and other classes of dissolved organic material present in natural waters can control the biogeochemistry of trace metals and other solutes and can influence ecological processes in lakes and streams. The nature and reactivity of the dissolved organic material is in turn influenced by biological, chemical, and physical processes occurring in the aquatic environment. Recent advances in isolating and characterizing different fractions of the dissoloved organic carbon (DOC) and in measuring rates of microbial processes can be used to advance the understanding of the dynamic relationship between aquatic biota and dissolved organic material and trace metals in different environments. Project objectives are to (1) determine the processes involved in the biogeochemistry of dissolved organic material and selected trace metals in several aquatic environments; (2) describe the temporal and spatial dynamics controlling the concentration and chemical speciation of trace metals and DOC in aquatic environments; and (3) quantify carbon flux and other ecological processes involving dissolved solutes in aquatic ecosystems over a range of spatial and temporal scales.

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