Research Topic

Organic ligands - A key control on trace metal biogeochemistry in the ocean

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Organic metal-binding ligands govern the bioavailability of trace metals in the marine environment and, thus, influence pivotal global elemental cycles, such as those of carbon and nitrogen. To date, the sources, chemical structures and degradation mechanisms of organic metal-binding ligands are still not ...

Organic metal-binding ligands govern the bioavailability of trace metals in the marine environment and, thus, influence pivotal global elemental cycles, such as those of carbon and nitrogen. To date, the sources, chemical structures and degradation mechanisms of organic metal-binding ligands are still not well understood, making it difficult to model them with sufficient confidence to predict how they, and consequently trace metal cycles, will respond to projected global alteration of continental aridity (dust supply), ocean acidification, and oceanic oxygen minimum zones resulting from a changing climate. GEOTRACES has been a great platform to gain access to areas that have not been sampled before in such a comprehensive way. First results for both dissolved trace metal concentrations and metal binding ligand concentrations are starting to be published giving additional insight into the bioavailability of trace metals such as iron, copper, zinc, cobalt and nickel. A SCOR Working Group (#139) has been meeting since 2011 with the aim to improve our understanding of the role of organic metal-binding ligands in oceanic biogeochemistry. Results from these, and other research activities will feed into this Research Topic of Frontiers in Marine Science.

This Research Topic is committed to the analytical characterization and the understanding of processes that influence the sources and sinks of organic ligands as well as their role in the biogeochemical cycle of trace metals in the marine environment. It aims to publish innovative insights into all aspects of organic trace metal binding ligands in the open ocean, shelf seas and estuaries.

This Research Topic will accept contributions of original research, new methods or hypothesis, reviews or opinions from trace-metal biogeochemists, organic geochemists and biogeochemical modelers etc.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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