Copper uptake kinetics in diverse marine phytoplankton Academic Article uri icon


  • We measured short-term uptake rates of copper using the gamma-emitting radioisotope 67Cu in seven algal species in natural and artificial seawater. Cellular net uptake of Cu was typically rapid over periods of 2-20 min. Net uptake ceased after about 60 min. The most copper-sensitive species examined, Synechococcus sp., exhibited 2-3 orders of magnitude higher carbon and surface-area-normalized Cu-accumulation rates (46 μmol Cu mol C-1 min-1 and 1,100 zmol Cu μm-2 min-1) (zmol = 10-21 moles) than those measured in diatoms, chlorophytes, a dinoflagellate, and a coccolithophore. Cu-accumulation rates for Thalassiosira weissflogii were three times faster in natural seawater than in EDTA-buffered artificial seawater containing an inorganic Cu concentration of 28 pmol L -1. Calculations showing that the diffusive flux of inorganic Cu was insufficient to account for observed short-term uptake rates suggest that some of the Cu bound to naturally occurring organic ligands is released through the rapid dissociation of those complexes in the cell's boundary layer. © 2006, by the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Inc.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Quigg, A., Reinfelder, J. R., & Fisher, N. S.

citation count

  • 48

publication date

  • March 2006