Pyrite: Its Rapid Formation in a Salt Marsh and Its Importance in Ecosystem Metabolism

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Science  05 Jan 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4375, pp. 49-51
DOI: 10.1126/science.203.4375.49


Pyrite formation in salt-marsh peat occurs more rapidly than is generally thought for any natural system. Pyrite is the major end product of sulfate reduction, and sulfate reduction is the major form of respiration in the salt-marsh ecosystem. When the rapid formation of pyrite is ignored, the rates of sulfate reduction and ecosystem respiration may be grossly underestimated.