Boron in Florida waters


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Boron in Florida waters
Series Title:
Quarterly Journal of the Florida Academy of Sciences
Physical Description:
Odum, Howard T.
Parrish, Bruce
Publication Date:


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Spatial Coverage:
United States -- Florida


General Note:
Pages: 105-109

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University of Florida
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HOWArIIm T. ODUM and BBUCcE t-.;n.i..rH
Dept. of o..*,i._r,, Ua M, i,. of Florida

As part of a study of the factors 1.-*i..iI h11.h i.. .1i..!... i. of Flor-
ida's conIstaut temperature springs, a few boron analyses were
made of waters frollm ,ri.. 'i lakes and streams to determine if
e ;-S.tI boronk coJncentrations were limiting plant growth in Flor-
ida's aquatic commuelnties.
Boron is one of the biologically active minor elements. Boron
is present in plant tissues in high concentration relative to the plants
substrate (Ilutchinson 1943), Likue ....n I .i.1.-....1l active ele-
ments it is necessary in small (. ria i .,ir ;.. ,1 becomes toxic
in larger concentration. (Zittle, !'rri. )
Water samples collected in plastic vessels were .i.i h.i.I for
boron with a luiinrric colorimetric method modified from Naftel
(1989) and Winsor (194S). We are I-.. L, 11,. -.Ii .ri,, to Mr. H.
W. Winsor of the Florida \ ki. ulr. 11 Experiment 'it ... for
showing us his ., i I. Ik r1 methods .i... criticizing our *, ilc-. This
method which had bien used with heterogeneous soil extracts
seemed suitable for natural waters. lc 'ated analyses of the same
sample of wa'er from 'i\,.I I.Ii.: showed a standard d1, .i [i..1
of 4Pm.. I1. Tis thile percent error expected in 95% of the analyses
is less than 25%.
The data o onboro in Florida waters are given in Table I. T1 .1.
data are arranged in order of the ehlorinities of the waters. Similar
concentrations were found for IIawaiian waters by Tanada and
Dean ( .I-.,
As shown in the graph in Fi.''i.' I there is a correlation between
the boron and chloride concentrations, This is not a chloride bias
*. li,- on tile chemical analysis because the three analyses of sea
water did not 111h r i .&. 1.,l from the 4.7 ppm ii ull;. found by
0tl, r methods in the open ocean walter of ,.11. .nit, 19,000 (Sverd-
Si'. j.' li. .,?"ii, Fleming, 1946).
I Boron can be .[*i. ,.d to be associated with chlorides because
of some simnilarLies in the 2. z. l- .Ii. ..1 behavior of the two ele-
ments, tend to Ihb washed out of rock strata .,i-.1.iL and to
become concentrated in the ocean or in the desert lakes of arid
regions. Where residual salt water is trapped in pore spaces of

t1 1 1 1, LT IL UIII tH L t IIIS i l iii t

sediments and is ., ifi :.III if., :n.d stream s in thie .......1. water,
boti horoin and chloride may be expected to be i.1.1, to 11,. r-
Thle observed corriTI'tin ii 4 boron and chloride in Florida waters
is i-rll,, ,hin to these geochemiicl similarities. As shown in
Table I the ratio of lrmon to chloride in those waters which receive
;]......1 water salt is oF the same order of nmagrtuiitdc as that in sea
water. Data are i. (i '., Oduni (1933) -1 ..., i t Ihat the chloride
content of fresh water in pi'ripu'r;tlI Florida Ielow 25 ft. ilevatiol
can wb accounted for by residual pore spa.' salt roIm thel round




1000 IO0O 105

In several springs, '11 i illJ two Smrusola (',.,n,,!. .1 rF,. .1 Warm
.i h Springs, Little Sailt S..rinie' the hB/C ratio is considerably
lower tlian that in the sea. One possible explanation is that these
iq ... evaporite I'li, -',.i. Dr. A. i. Ili. k, Dept. .,1 Chemistry,
UIiv. of Florida, ,I.cei '1 .1 thIat the high t tempratutre of Warm




Boron in Florida Waters. Chlirinities Determined with the Mohr Method or
from F..i ..t -t al, 1947 and B/Cl Ratios Are Given. GCcect Salt Lake,
Utah, is included for Comparlson.

Locality and Date Boron Chloride | B/Cl
_. Pp"- .__. i'" xl 1

Great Salt Lake, Utah, 1950 (water furnished
by Dr, H. -arltinant, Univ. of California) 43.5 149.224 2.9
Sea Water
Mouth oF Tampa Bay, M .. 80, 1953 .. ,4 18,700 2,3
Gulf, June, I3 ...... 6.. 3 19,000 3,3
Guli, June, 195............ 5.4 19,000 2,8
Florida Cprinc. It,'
'War,, 1.1 '....,ug. S Crnsuta CC., JIunt 17 | .34) 9,350 .3
Salt t. i._. .m .i. Co.. June 14 .20 2,439 .8
Lihtli s..I i Sarasota Co., JuL e 17 .20 1,430 1-4
Blue S r..i. Volusia Co., Ju e 1 ........ .125 775 1.6
PFnce IcLeon Springs, Volusia Co.,
June 19 ....-.-... .......-............ ...... (0,5 622 .9
HomOsassa 'i .,iL.-, Citrus Co., June .1.6 6 570 3.3
Cllssahlowitrica Springs, Citrus Co.,
June 20 .. .024 523 4.5
Silver Springs, Marion Co., May 2-S
Boil, inoeani o 5 rVplicatio .... 0154 8 19,
-% iile downstrejami, mean ,of 5
S ;.,, ................................. 0170 8 21.
Siunk: .1 ,rti ,ii, mean of 4 Samples .015 8 19.
Sanlandio -' r.. '- L.. ..rmnle Co., June a19 ,083 8 40.
,[ ..L .. Springs, Ala:ehu Cn.- June .10 ,015 8 19,
Orange Springs, Marion Co., J.....' 1 ...... 019 7 27,
Wecekiwachee Springs, HLrnaundo Co.,
June 6 -.......-.........-----------.... .---... .............. .013 5 26.
Iehtucknee Springs, June 9, at Rt. 27
11 i ... --o. .. 017 4 42.
,,.r 1]95.3
i* .,,. Creek, Marinm Co., June I .)19 9 21.
Fenholloway River. Foley, June 9 .027 4 68.
Snwanuce River, Branford, June 9 .012 7 17.
Santa Fo lir-.r High Springs, Jtune .027 10 27,
lic'-c ,..i C r, k, Gainesvfile, Ri, 2(6.
May 31 -.....-...-..- ... .012 7 17.
IIatLhet Creek, Gainesville, It 24.
M ay -31 ... .. ......... 1,015 7 | ,
May 1.015 21
Lakes 1953
Morris Laku, Putnam Co., June I .... .011 5 2 2,
North Twin Lake, Putnam Co., June 1 _. .013 7 53,
Lady Sl.1.i i Lake, Pltnan-t Co., June 1 .. .016 4 11,
Loelillosa Lake, Alaehia Co., June 3 ..... .017 11 15.
Newnans Lake. Alaehua Co., May 31 ...... .012 7 17.
Hainwatr, t111ndelrstormn, Gaine.sville, June 1[4
Sample No. 1 .009 2 43.
.... l. N 2 ---............. I .015

r*.It "id'ii" in contrast to most of Florida's cprIi C,. might be due
to the heat of solution. Alternatively some boron in residual salt
water mar have L ben removed from the water by the sediments.
In the upland waters which do not receive so much lIt', .',-.,m,.1
water the boron content is low. However, the B/C1 ratio is 10
times or more larger tli, i sea water and this raises a problem.
Some of the boroni like much of the chloride may come from cyclic
salt. If representative, the two rainwater analyses suggest that
tht atmospheric derived boron might be adequate to account for
the boron in ,'jl mil lakes. However, this ,. ']luipn., il.i of the boron
content in lake waters i-liJi s a .I,1', r. nii.J action ill thr cyclical
salt transfer to account for the high B/C1. Small amounts of the
boron mineral tourmaline are found in somic of Florida's sands so
that the high B13/C ratio may alternatively be aeountedl for by
boron received from soils.
In i,.m,'? natural waters inorganie Ii-.1.. ArL,,ru is lii,,,tiun to plant
r,, th A comparison of phosphorus with boron shows which is
more likely to be ,,'ri up first and thus limiting to g,,-o li The
I1. i' ratio in Silver Springs water is maintained at '., hbut the
B/P ratio in the a tttatic plants (algUe coated d S.._',2.l...') is '.lillS
Thus if boron and phosphorus are removed from the water in the
ratio found in the plants pih*.!-1-iii.., will be used up long before
A trace element rniy .,ill I the growth rate even when its con-
centration is not so small -is to Ix' liiiinm. Baumeister I'llJ
found that .5-100 ppm B had a growth promoting effect on
aquatic hp .r ,I iilI [', .. Whether the hihli. r boron concentrations
in the more salty springs ald streams contribute to fertility there
is not known ik -L iihl. I .

i .'.I ib ] Eli 'A.I
194.3, Ifluence of Boron on PlhotoNynthesis and Rvepiratikn of Submergvd
Plants, b. w. ts Bit., 91: 242-277. Only an abstraTUt seen fC.A. 39,
FERGUSON, G, E., LINC;HAM., C. W., 1.\ i S. K., and VERNON, R. 0.
1947. Springs of Florida, Fla. G oli. Surv. Bnil. 31.
tiL'i h.INI)%N G, G, E.
1944. The Bioge.phemnistry DA Alunmiilun and of Certain Relate-l Elenments-
Quart. (ev. Biol., 18; 1-29, 129-253-. 331-803.

BORON IN Fi qill I. WATERS 109

19O9 CGoloriwrelric Microcdettrivinationu of BHron hIndus. & Engit Chcm..
Analyt1. Edd, 11: L1 ,.
19 52 Factors Controlling Marine Invasion in Florida \WaterTs Bull. Mar,
Si, Gulf and Carihbbin. In press.

194l, The Oceans, Pr :. .... Hlt N- Y.

TANADA, T., and I.)L N L. A.
1942, B ron in Some ITiawaiian Soils and Crops, Hawaii Plant. Rtec. 46:
I Ony an lstrwat seen.

1'" lS,',i Mi. W,
1948. Bronmi Micnwrterrminaii. n in Fresh PLuLt Tissup. Analvt. Chen..
20: 176-181.
I .I, BRactioi ou Borate with Substuances of H,,.II.,. .1 Interest, Advan,.'
Enzyniol. 12:

Quart. Journ. Fla. Acad. Sci. 17(2). 1954,

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