Limnology and Oceanography
Vertical and horizontal profiles from the North and South Pacific Oceans demonstrate the existence of three species of dissolved selenium: selenite, selenate, and organic selenide (operationally defined). In surface waters, organic selenide makes up about 80% of the total dissolved selenium, selenite concentrations are uniformly low, and selenate concentrations rise with increased vertical mixing. The organic selenide maximum (thought to consist of seleno-amino acids in peptides) coincides with the maxima of primary productivity, pigments, bioluminescence, and dissolved free amino acids. Deep ocean waters are enriched in selenite and selenate, while organic selenide is nondetectable. In suboxic waters of the tropical northeastern Pacific, organic selenide concentrations rise, while selenite values decrease. The downward flux of particulate selenium generally decreases with depth, and fluxing particulate selenium is found to be primarily in the (-2) oxidation state. These data allow a re-evaluation of the internal biogeochemical cycle of selenium. This cycle includes selective uptake, reductive incorporation, particulate transport, a multistep regeneration, and kinetic stabilization of thermodynamically unstable species.
Original Publication Citation
Cutter, G.A., & Bruland, K.W. (1984). The marine biogeochemistry of selenium: A re-evaluation. Limnology and Oceanography, 29(6), 1179-1192. doi: 10.4319/lo.19184.108.40.2069
Cutter, Gregory A. and Bruland, Kenneth W., "The Marine Biogeochemistry of Selenium: A Re-Evaluation" (1984). OEAS Faculty Publications. 60.