Biological Control of Dissolved Aluminum in Seawater: Experimental Evidence

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Science  16 Feb 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4381, pp. 651-653
DOI: 10.1126/science.203.4381.651


Experimental evidence supports the hypothesis that the concentration and distribution of dissolved aluminum in ocean water are controlled by biological activity in the surface waters. The growth of the diatom Skeletonema costatum in artificial seawater media spiked with aluminum reduced the aluminum concentration to that actually found in surface open ocean waters (about 0.5 micrograms per liter). Furthermore, aluminum had a catalytic and limiting effect on the growth of the diatoms.