Skip to main content

Thallium in marine plankton

Abstract

Concentrations of thallium in phytoplankton (0.02 to 0.8 μg g−1), zooplankton (0.03 to 0.5 μg g−1) and ichthyoplankton (0.1 μg g−1) from the central Pacific were comparable \(\left( {\bar x = 0.2\mu g{\text{ }}g^{ - 1} } \right)\), as were the atomic ratios of thallium to calcium (∼3x10−6) and to potassium (∼1x10−6) in those organisms. These relatively constant ratios, plus the biounlimited ocean profile of thallium, indicate that it is rapidly cycled through plankton in the same manner as potassium, its principal biogeochemical analogue. The higher atomic ratios of thallium to potassium in pelagic clays (6x10−6) and ferromanganese nodules (4x10−3) suggest that both biological transport processes and abiotic transport processes influence this trace element's oceanic cycle.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Literature cited

  • Bowen, H. J. M.: Environmental chemistry of the elements, 333 pp. London: Academic Press 1979

    Google Scholar 

  • Broecker, W. S. and T.-H. Peng: Tracers in the sea, 690 pp. New York: Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory 1982

    Google Scholar 

  • Burnett, M. W.: The occurrence and distribution of Ca, Sr, Ba and Pb in marine ecosystems, 237 pp. Ph.D. thesis, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena 1978

    Google Scholar 

  • Collier, R. and J. Edmond: The trace element geochemistry of marine biogenic particulate matter. Prog. Oceanogr. 13, 113–199 (1984)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cronan, D. S.: Manganese nodules and other ferro-manganese oxide deposits. In: Chemical oceanography. Vol. 5. pp 217–263 Ed. by J. P. Riley and C. Chester. New York: Academic Press 1976

    Google Scholar 

  • Eisler, R.: Trace metal concentrations in marine organisms, 685 pp. New York: Pergamon Press 1981

    Google Scholar 

  • Flegal, A. R. and C. C. Patterson: Thallium concentrations in seawater. Mar. Chem. 15, 327–331 (1985)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hamaguchi, H., N. Ohta, N. Onuma and K. Kawasaki: Inorganic constituents in biological material. XIV. Contents of thallium selenium and arsenic in fish and shells from the Minamata District, Kyushu. J. chem. Soc. Japan (Pure Chem. Sect.) 81, 920–927 (1960)

    Google Scholar 

  • Heit, M.: Variability of the concentrations of 17 trace elements in the muscle and liver of a single striped bass, Morone saxatilis. Bull. envir. Contam. Toxic. 23, 1–5 (1979)

    Google Scholar 

  • Li, Y.-H.: Interelement relationship in abyssal Pacific ferromanganese nodules and associated pelagic sediments. Geochim. cosmochim. Acta 46, 1052–1060 (1982)

    Google Scholar 

  • Manners, J. P., K. G. Morallee and R. J. P. Williams: Thallium (I) as a potassium probe in biological systems. J. chem. Soc. D 16, 965–966 (1970)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Martin, J. H. and G. A. Knauer: The elemental composition of plankton. Geochim. cosmochim. Acta 37, 1639–1653 (1973)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Murozumi, M. and S. Nakamura: Isotope dilution mass spectrometry of copper, cadmium, thallium and lead in marine environments. In: Isotope marine chemistry, pp 439–471. Ed. by E. Goldberg, Y. Horibe and K. Saruhashi. Tokyo: Rokakuho University 1980

    Google Scholar 

  • Oehme, F. W.: Mechanisms of heavy metal toxicities. Clin. Toxic. 5, 151–167 (1972)

    Google Scholar 

  • Patterson, C. C. and D. Settle: The reduction of order of magnitude errors in lead analyses of biological materials and natural waters by evaluating and controlling the extent and sources of industrial lead contamination introduced during sample collecting and analysis. In: Accuracy in trace analysis: sampling, sample handling, analysis, pp 321–351. Ed. by P. LaFleur. Washington, D.C.: National Bureau of Standards 1975. (Spec. Publs natn. Bur. Stand No. 422)

    Google Scholar 

  • Quinby-Hunt, M. S. and K. K. Turekian: Distribution of elements in sea water. EOS Trans., Am. geophys. Un. 64, 130–131 (1983)

    Google Scholar 

  • Shaw, D. M.: The geochemistry of thallium. Geochim. cosmochim. Acta 2, 118–154 (1952)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith, I. C. and B. L. Carson: Trace metals in the environment, Vol. 1. Thallium, 394 pp. Ann Arbor: Ann Arbor Science 1977

    Google Scholar 

  • Wedepohl, K. H. (Ed.) Handbook of geochemistry, element 81, Vol. 2. No. 3. pp 81-B-1–81-0-1. Berlin: Springer-Verlag 1972

    Google Scholar 

  • Williams, R. J. P.: Biochemistry of group IA and IIA cations. In: Bioinorganic chemistry, pp 155–173. Washington, D.C.: American Chemical Society 1971. (Adv. Chem. Ser. No. 100)

    Google Scholar 

  • Zitko, V.: Toxicity and pollution potential of thallium. Sci. total Envir. 4, 185–192 (1975)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zitko, V. and W. V. Carson: Accumulation of thallium in clams and mussels. Bull. envir. Contam. Toxic. 14, 530–533 (1975)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

Communicated by R. S. Carney, Moss Landing

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Flegal, A.R., Settle, D.M. & Patterson, C.C. Thallium in marine plankton. Mar. Biol. 90, 501–503 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00409270

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00409270

Keywords

  • Calcium
  • Nodule
  • Clay
  • Potassium
  • Phytoplankton