The role of authigenic sulfides in immobilization of potentially toxic metals in the Bagno Bory wetland, southern Poland
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
The supply of Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, Zn, and Tl into a wetland in the industrial area of Upper Silesia, southern Poland via atmospheric precipitation and dust deposition has been counterbalanced by the biogenic metal sulfide crystallization in microsites of the thin (<30 cm) peat layer, despite the overall oxidative conditions in the wetland. Disequilibrium of the redox reactions in the peat pore water (pH 5.4–6.2) caused by sulfate-reducing microorganisms has resulted in the localized decrease in Eh and subsequent precipitation of micron- and submicron-sized framboidal pyrite, spheroidal ZnS and (Zn,Cd)S, and galena as revealed by high-resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM)/energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS). Saturation index for each sulfide is at a maximum within the calculated Eh range of −80 and −146 mV. Lead was also immobilized in galena deposited in fungal filaments, possibly at a higher Eh. Thallium (up to 3 mg kg−1) in the peat strongly correlates with Zn, whereas Cu (up to 55 mg kg−1) co-precipitated with Pb. The metal sulfides occur within microbial exudates, which protect them from oxidation and mechanical displacement. Vertical distribution of toxic metals in the peat layer reflects differences in pollution loads from atmospheric deposition, which has been much reduced recently.