Rare earth elements (REEs) and Si in five species of seaweed, ambient surface seawaters, and suspended solid particles in the seawaters were determined separately. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used for REEs and inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometry (ICP-ES) was used for Si in order to evaluate REEs as a tracer in seaweeds and to understand the source of inorganic elements, especially Si, in seaweeds. Two different REE patterns, one similar to that of the seawater solution and another resembling that of suspended particles, were observed in seaweeds, and the variation of REE patterns seems to show a clear dependence on the abundance of Si. The REE pattern and Si concentration seem to vary depending on the division: green and red algae showed REE patterns similar to that of suspended particles, but brown algae showed patterns closer to that of seawater solutions and relatively lower Si concentration. The possibility of contamination from silicate particles on the surface of seaweeds was ruled out for several reasons. Silicate particles, not dissolved silicate, have been identified as the direct source of REEs and Si in plants (Fu et al. 1998), and seaweeds are no exception. We have to consider that seaweeds can take up Si from suspended particles through their blade or branches. From the appearance of tetrad-effect-like variation of REEs, Si is assumed to enter a dissolved state just before the particles are taken up. From the results of a sonication experiment, REEs, once taken up as silicate particles, seem to be separated from Si in the thallus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science
- Plant Science