Iron (Fe) is a growth-limiting micronutrient for phytoplankton in major areas of oceans and deposited wind-blown desert dust is a primary Fe source to these regions. Simulated atmospheric processing of four mineral dust proxies and two natural dust samples followed by subsequent growth studies of the marine planktic diatom Cyclotella meneghiniana in artificial sea-water (ASW) demonstrated higher growth response to ilmenite (FeTiO3) and hematite (α-Fe2O3) mixed with TiO2 than hematite alone. The processed dust treatment enhanced diatom growth owing to dissolved Fe (DFe) content. The fresh dust-treated cultures demonstrated growth enhancements without adding such dissolved Fe. These significant growth enhancements and dissolved Fe measurements indicated that diatoms acquire Fe from solid particles. When diatoms were physically separated from mineral dust particles, the growth responses become smaller. The post-mineralogy analysis of mineral dust proxies added to ASW showed a diatom-induced increased formation of goethite, where the amount of goethite formed correlated with observed enhanced growth. The current work suggests that ocean primary productivity may not only depend on dissolved Fe but also on suspended solid Fe particles and their mineralogy. Further, the diatom C. meneghiniana benefits more from mineral dust particles in direct contact with cells than from physically impeded particles, suggesting the possibility for alternate Fe-acquisition mechanism/s.
|Title||Atmospheric processing of iron-bearing mineral dust aerosol and its effect on growth of a marine diatom, Cyclotella meneghiniana|
|Authors||Eshani Hettiarachchi, Sergei Ivanov, Thomas L. Kieft, Harland L. Goldstein, Bruce M. Moskowitz, Richard L. Reynolds, Gayan Rubasinghege|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Environmental Science & Technology|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center|