Constraints that abundance anomalies observed on main sequence stars put on turbulence, meridional circulation and mass loss are reviewed. The emphasis is on recent observations of Li abundances.
Upper limits to turbulence are obtained from the Be abundance in the Sun and from underabundances of Ca and Sc in FmAm stars. The Li abundance in G type stars suggests the presence of turbulence below convection zones.
The abundance anomalies, both over and underabundances, observed in FmAm and λ Booti stars can be explained by diffusion in the presence of mass loss. A mass loss rate of 10−15 Mo yr−1 is required to explain the FmAm stars while a mass loss rate of 10−13 Mo yr−1 is required by the λ Booti stars.
The position and width of the Li abundance gap observed in Hyades and other open clusters is explained by diffusion. A detailed reproduction of the Li(Teff) curve seems to require a mass loss rate of slightly more than 10−15 Mo yr−1, of the same order as the mass loss rate required by the FmAm stars. In the presence of such a mass loss only small overabundances of heavy elements are expected. The observed variations in the Li abundance as a function of the age of clusters suggests that the Li abundance observed in old halo stars does not represent the cosmological abundance.
Detailed two dimensional calculations of diffusion in presence of meridional circulation for HgMn and FmAm stars lead to a cut-off of about 100 km s−1 for the maximum equatorial rotational velocity at which abundance anomalies are expected in these objects. This agrees with observations. A similar calculation for the F stars of the Hyades where Li underabundances are observed leads to a contradiction, unless meridional circulation patterns are modified by the presence of convection zones once they become as large as in late F stars. There remains a possibility that meridional circulation would be responsible for some of the reduction of the Li abundance as observed in the Hyades and UMa. Further observations are suggested to distinguish the effects of settling and nuclear destruction.