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Periphyton samples from the Big Cypress National Preserve were analyzed for concentrations of copper, lead, zinc, mercury, and methylmercury. Concentrations of organic carbon, inorganic carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in periphyton samples also were determined. The samples were extracted with sodium acetate solution at a pH of 5.5 to determine exchangeable and carbonate phase metal concentrations in periphyton. Total metal concentrations in the periphyton were directly related to the degree of calcite saturation in the water column. Exchangeable and carbonate phase metal concentrations were directly related to the percent inorganic carbon in the samples. A connection between the geochemistry of trace metals and calcite precipitation and dissolution is suggested.
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Copper, lead, mercury and zinc in periphyton from the south Florida ecosystem