AJAC  Vol.5 No.5 , April 2014
Neutron Activation Analysis and Scanning Electron Microscopy of Phytoplankton in the Coastal Zone of Crimea (The Black Sea)
Abstract: The physiology and ecology of planktonic organisms are influenced by the concentration, chemical speciation and resulting bioavailability of some trace metals. The determination of the elemental structure of phytoplankton is important for interpretation of physiological and functional states of coastal ecosystems. The present study is focused on the structure and elemental composition of the phytoplankton assemblages from the different coastal zones by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS). For the first time these complementary techniques were simultaneously applied to study the Black Sea phytoplankton. The concentrations of 45 elements in the coastal phytoplankton communities used as bioindicator of inorganic contamination of the Black Sea coastal area near Sevastopol, Ukraine, were determined. Phytoplankton samples were collected by total tows of the plankton net with 35 μm pore size at 3 stations situated in polluted and relatively pristine water areas of the Sevastopol coastal zone during autumn period of the phytoplankton growth. The concentration of Mg, Al, Sc, Ti, V, Mn, As, Rb, Ba, Th and Fe, Cr increases exponentially from relatively pristine station to more polluted station and 10-times and 3-times greater, respectively, in the phytoplankton of the Sevastopol Bay. The rare-earth elements have relatively the same concentration values less than 1 μg/g and tend to accumulate in the phytoplankton from the polluted station in the Sevastopol Bay. The obtained results are in a good agreement with the elemental concentration data in the oceanic plankton, plankton communities from the White Sea and the Black Sea. Using energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry the mineral particles of unknown origin and impurities of copper (0.42% by weight) in the phytoplankton at the polluted station and zinc (0.57% by weight) at the relatively pristine station were determined.
Cite this paper: Nekhoroshkov, P. , Kravtsova, A. , Frontasyeva, M. and Tokarev, Y. (2014) Neutron Activation Analysis and Scanning Electron Microscopy of Phytoplankton in the Coastal Zone of Crimea (The Black Sea). American Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 5, 323-334. doi: 10.4236/ajac.2014.55040.

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