Todd Rosenstiel

Date of Award

Fall 10-28-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Biology



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 53 pages)


Bromomethane -- Florida -- Everglades -- Measurement, Methyl chloride -- Florida -- Everglades -- Measurement, Bromomethane -- Effect of salt on -- Florida -- Everglades, Methyl chloride -- Effect of salt on -- Florida -- Everglades, Ozone layer depletion -- Environmental aspects -- Florida -- Everglades




Methyl halides are trace gases with both natural and anthropogenic origins. Once generated, these gases transport chlorine and bromine into the stratosphere, where they play an important role in ozone depleting catalytic cycles. The Florida Everglades is one location where methyl halide emissions have been proposed to be elevated due to high primary production and ionic halogens. This region also provides a unique study environment due to salt water intrusions, which occur during storm or low marsh water level-high tide events. The purpose of this research was twofold. First, quantification of methyl chloride (CH3Cl) and methyl bromide (CH3Br) production from periphyton mats on a temporal scale was needed. Secondly, to determine how varying concentrations of salinity affect CH3Cl and CH3Br production originating from calcareous periphyton mats within the Everglades. Periphyton was exposed to continuous 12 hour dark/light cycles in varying concentrations of salt water (0, 0.1, 1, 5, and 10 parts per thousand). All water samples were analyzed to determine the production rate of CH3Cl and CH3Br in periphyton samples using a gas chromatograph coupled with an electron capture detector (GC-ECD). Periphyton mats were found to be a producer of CH3Cl in all freshwater (0 parts per thousand) trials and sampling times; however, results from CH3Br analysis found production rates that suggest consumption occurred in the majority of the 0 parts per thousand trials. Production rates for CH3Cl ranged from 0.077 to 0.109 g-1hr-1 after 24 hours, 0.027 to 0.073 pM g-1hr-1 after 48 hours, and 0.034 to 0.047 pM g-1hr-1 after 72 hours. Production rates for the CH3Br freshwater experiments ranged from -0.00025 to 0.00185 pM g-1hr-1 after 24 hours, -0.00022 to -0.00078 pM g-1hr-1 after 48 hours, and -0.00042 to -0.00061 pM g-1hr-1 after 72 hours. This research has also shown that increased salinity does have a significant positive effect on the production of CH3Cl and CH3Br from calcareous periphyton mats, which is important in areas that could be prone to salt water intrusions or rising sea levels due to global climate change.

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