Sulfur

Sulphur; formula: S; CAS Registry Number: 7704-34-9

Ubiquitous element which naturally occurs in its elementary form as well as in sulfide- and sulfate minerals

Commercially it plays an important role in chemical and pharmaceutical industry, e.g. in the production of fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, pigments, detergents and ointments. Furthermore, it is used in pyrotechnics, steel- und electrical industries and building industry.

Sulfur is part of the amino acids methionine and cysteine/cystine and thus essential for all living organisms.

It acts as antagonist of some trace elements and excess can result in copper-, cobalt-, or selenium deficiencies. On the other hand, it counteracts toxicity of these three metals.

The toxicity of elementary sulfur to organisms is low. This is, however, not true for the sulfur compounds sulfur dioxide (SO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S).

Specimen

Common bladder wrack Common brown alga of the coastal areas of the North and Baltic Sea
Common spruce A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
Pine A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
Lombardy poplar A deciduous tree typical of ecosystems close to dense conurbations and an indicator for the characterisation of the immission situation during the vegetation period.
Beech 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.
Earthworm (Aporrectodea longa) As an organism living at ground level, it is a major driver of the decomposition of organic material (e.g. plant litter).
Earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) As an organism living at ground level, it is a major driver of the decomposition of organic material (e.g. plant litter).

Sampling area

BR/NP Berchtesgaden The only high mountains national park in Germany and an area of the Limestone Alps with international relevance
Saarländischer Verdichtungsraum Important, old-industrialised conurbation in Germany.
Bornhöveder Seengebiet Main water divide between the North- and Baltic Sea
NP Bayerischer Wald Germany's first national park
NP Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft National Park in the largest brackish water (Bodden) habitat of the world.
BR/NP Wattenmeere National park in the world largest connected sand and mud flats.
Verdichtungsraum Halle-Leipzig Region in the chemical triangle of Central Germany
NP Harz Germany's largest forest national park
Solling Second highest and largest low mountain range in Northern Germany
BR Pfälzerwald Germany's largest connected forest area in a range of low mountains
Oberbayerisches Tertiärhügelland The Upper Bavarian Tertiary Uplands are a part of the Southern German Molasse Basin

Sampling period

1985 - 2019