Biotic Ligand Model

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Synonyms

Metal Bioavailability; Metal Speciation

Glossary

BLM

Biotic ligand model.

DOM

Dissolved organic matter.

kint

Metal internalization rate constant (transport across the cell membrane).

k, K

Lower case k = rate constant; upper case K = chemical equilibrium constant.

M(H2O)nz+

Free-metal ion = metal aquo-ion.

M-X-cell

Surface metal complex (present on the external surface of the cell membrane).

Definition

The Biotic Ligand Model or “BLM” is a conceptual model, based on chemical equilibria, that describes how dissolved cationic trace metals interact with living organisms. It is commonly used to predict how the organism will respond to exposure to a metal-containing solution. Initially developed for aquatic organisms, the BLM has now been extended into the terrestrial realm. The BLM is closely linked to the concepts of metal “speciation” and metal “bioavailability.”

Historical Background

The Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) is designed to predict how (dissolved