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Working group Natural organic matter

Natural organic compounds are a significant component in the biogeochemical cycle. By the process of primary production, organic material is synthesized, consuming CO2, inorganic nutrients and trace metals and using solar radiation as energy source. At the same time organic material is degraded - mainly by microbial processes - consuming oxygen and release CO2 and inorganic compounds. In addition, organic matter plays an important role in complexing trace metals and organic contaminants, which may influence their physicochemical behaviour as well as their biological availability. In addition to organic compounds which are formed in the marine environment, seawater contains organic matter of terrestrial origin.


  • quantification of carbon and nitrogen bound in organic matter (POC, PON, DOC, DON)
  • characterisation of different classes of organic compounds
  • improvement and development of analytical methods to analyse organic compounds