The origin and mechanisms of formation of aquatic surface microlayers are reviewed, and processes within the layer responsible for enrichment of inorganic and organic substances, particles, and microorganisms are discussed. In a study of the chemical and biological composition of microlayers in three lakes of different levels of productivity, surface slicks were sampled with a revolving cylinder coated with hydrophilic Teflon. DOC, POC, DON and various forms of phosphorus were enriched in the microlayer compared to those in the subsurface water. In eutrophic and oligotrophic lakes the DOC:DON ratio shows that the slicks were more influenced by allochtonous sources than was the subsurface water, which indicates that processes in the ecotone influence the microlayer composition.
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Södergren, A. Role of aquatic surface microlayer in the dynamics of nutrients and organic compounds in lakes, with implications for their ecotones. Hydrobiologia 251, 217–225 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00007181