Estimates of the sources and wet deposition fluxes of inorganic nutrients (PO43-, NO3-, NO2-, NH4+) have been made using a long-term wet atmospheric deposition measurement at three sites along the Mediterranean coast of Israel. The nutrient composition in rainwater indicated a dominant anthropogenic source for NO, and NH: and a continental, natural, and anthropogenic, rock/soil source for PO43-. The calculated long-term dissolved inorganic N (IN) and inorganic P (IP) fluxes were 0.28 and 0.009 g m(-2) yr(-1) to the coastal zone and estimated as 0.24 and 0.008 g m(-2) yr(-1) to the Southeast (SE) Mediterranean, with a possible increasing pattern of the annual dissolved IN fluxes. Concentration of total and seawater leachable LP (LIP) from dust was examined on 20 Whatman 41 filters collected during 1996. The mean total IP concentration in dust was 0.13 +/- 0.11% (geomean = 0.09%), with a mean of 387 +/- 205 mu g IP per g of dust leached by seawater. LIP from dust varies between 6 and 85% (mean of 38%) of the dry total IF. Dust of desert-type (Saharan) events exhibited lower LIP solubility in seawater (similar to 25%, median) than air masses of European origin (similar to 45%, median). The calculated ratio of wet deposition to total (wet and dry) deposition here of 0.2 showed the importance of dry deposition of P in the SE Mediterranean basin compared to atmospheric inputs into the northwestern basin. The total IP and seawater LIP fluxes from dry deposition were estimated as 0.04 and 0.01 g m(-2) yr(-1), respectively. Atmospheric inputs of bioavailable N and P represent an imbalanced contribution to the new production of 8-20 and 4-11%, respectively, and reinforce the unusual N: P ratios (similar to 27) and possible P limitation in the SE Mediterranean
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