Cobalt

formula: Co; CAS Registry Number: 7440-48-4

Naturally occurring transition metal

Cobalt is a rare element which in small quantities is present in many minerals. Applications of cobalt include alloys and pigments in glass-, ceramics-, and enamel production. It is also used as catalyst, as component in batteries and as micronutrient in medicine and agriculture. The radioactive isotope 60Co serves as radiation source in cancer therapy.

Cobalt is released into the environment mainly by weathering of rocks and minerals, volcanic action and anthropogenic activities.

Cobalt is an essential element for all higher animals and for humans. Essentiality has also been demonstrated for marine organisms whereas it is not clear for terrestrial plants.

Nevertheless, high concentrations of cobalt are toxic. Cobalt compounds are classified as carcinogenic and mutagenic. Effects on reproduction have been demonstrated in animal experiments. Many organisms are able to accumulate cobalt (bioaccumulation).

Specimen

  • Common mussel species as invasive animal in rivers and lakes with high information level for water pollution
  • Bioindicator in rivers and lakes
  • Fine insoluble mineral or organic particles in the water phase
  • Common brown alga of the coastal areas of the North and Baltic Sea
  • One of the most important edible mussel species common in the North and Baltic Sea
  • As the only viviparous fish in German nearshore waters, it is a bioindicator in nearshore coastal marine ecosystems.
  • A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
  • A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
  • A deciduous tree typical of ecosystems close to dense conurbations and an indicator for the characterisation of the immission situation during the vegetation period.
  • As the most dominant deciduous tree species in Central Europe, it plays a significant role in most nearly natural and also anthropogenically influenced forest ecosystems up to an altitude of 1100 m.
  • The roe deer is the most common of the larger herbivores (first order-consumer) to be found in the wild in Europe.
  • As an organism living at ground level, it is a major driver of the decomposition of organic material (e.g. plant litter).
  • As an organism living at ground level, it is a major driver of the decomposition of organic material (e.g. plant litter).
  • Soil is livelihood and biosphere for humans, animals, plants and soil organisms. All the substances brought in are transported, transformed and/or accumulated in the soil.

Sampling area

Sampling period

1985 - 2019