Trace metals are required for numerous processes in phytoplankton and can influence the growth and structure of natural phytoplankton communities. The metal contents of phytoplankton reflect biochemical demands as well as environmental availability and influence the distribution of metals in the ocean. Metal quotas of natural populations can be assessed from analyses of individual cells or bulk particle assemblages or inferred from ratios of dissolved metals and macronutrients in the water column. Here, we review the available data from these approaches for temperate, equatorial, and Antarctic waters in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The data show a generalized metal abundance ranking of Fe≈Zn>Mn≈Ni≈Cu≫Co≈Cd; however, there are notable differences between taxa and regions that inform our understanding of ocean metal biogeochemistry. Differences in the quotas estimated by the various techniques also provide information on metal behavior. Therefore, valuable information is lost when a single metal stoichiometry is assumed for all phytoplankton.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error