A speciation procedure based on the coprecipitation of manganese(II) with zirconium(IV) hydroxide has been developed for the investigation of levels of manganese species. The determination of manganese levels was performed by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS). Total manganese was determined after the reduction of Mn(VII) to Mn(II) by ascorbic acid. The analytical parameters including pH, amount of zirconium(IV), sample volume, etc., were investigated for the quantitative recoveries of manganese(II). The effects of matrix ions were also examined. The recoveries for manganese(II) were in the range of 95-98%. Preconcentration factor was calculated as 50. The detection limit for the analyte ions based on 3 sigma (n = 21) was 0.75 mu g L-1 for Mn(II). The relative standard deviation was found to be lower than 7%. The validation of the presented procedure was performed by analysis of certified reference material having different matrices, NIST SRM 1515 (Apple Leaves) and NIST SRM 1568a (Rice Flour). The procedure was successfully applied to natural waters and food samples. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.