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Clean Coastal Waters: Understanding and Reducing the Effects of Nutrient Pollution
primary production (Martin et al. 1994; Coale et al. 1996). However, there is no evidence that iron limits primary production in estuaries and coastal seas (although it may partially limit nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria in estuaries) (Howarth and Marino 1998; Howarth et al. 1999). Although iron concentrations are lower in estuaries than in freshwater lakes, concentrations in estuaries and coastal seas are far greater than in oceanic waters (Marino et al. 1990; Schlesinger 1997). The solubility of iron in seawater and estuarine waters is low, and complexation with organic matter is critical to keeping iron in solution and maintaining its biological availability. Eutrophication tends to increase the amount of dissolved organic matter in water, and therefore may act to increase iron availability. Furthermore, hypoxia and anoxia accompanying eutrophication may enhance iron availability in the water column due to iron release from sediments as the reducing intensity increases (NRC 1993a).