0000-0001-6744-6718 (Cutter)

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Limnology and Oceanography Letters








Sulfur (S) is a major heteroatom in organic matter. This project evaluated spatial variability in the concentration and molecular-level composition of organic sulfur along gradients of depth and latitude. We measured the concentration of total organic sulfur (TOS) directly from whole seawater. Our data reveal high variability in organic sulfur, relative to established variability in total organic carbon or nitrogen. The deep ocean contained significant amounts of organic sulfur, and the concentration of TOS in North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) decreased with increasing age while total organic carbon remained stable. Analysis of dissolved organic matter extracts by ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry revealed that 6% of elemental formulas contained sulfur. The sulfurcontaining compounds were structurally diverse, and showed higher numbers of sulfur-containing elemental formulas as NADW moved southward. These measurements of organic sulfur in seawater provide the foundation needed to define the factors controlling organic sulfur in the global ocean.


© 2020 The Authors. Limnology and Oceanography published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Data Availability

Article states: "Oceanographic data and metadata from this project are available at the Biological & Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO) under project #2204 (https://www.bco-dmo.org/project/2204). The mass spectrometry data and its associated metadata are available from MetaboLights under accession number MTBLS1024 (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/metabolights/MTBLS1024)."

Original Publication Citation

Longnecker, K., Oswald, L., Soule, M. C. K., Cutter, G. A., & Kujawinski, E. B. Organic sulfur: A spatially variable and understudied component of marine organic matter. Limnology and Oceanography Letters, 5(4), 305-312. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/lol2.10149


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