Constraining calcium isotope fractionation (δ44/40Ca) in modern and fossil scleractinian coral skeleton

Pretet, Chloé, Samankassou, Elias, Felis, Thomas, Reynaud, Stéphanie, Böhm, Florian, Eisenhauer, Anton, Ferrier-Pagès, Christine, Gattuso, Jean-Pierre and Camoin, Gilbert (2013) Constraining calcium isotope fractionation (δ44/40Ca) in modern and fossil scleractinian coral skeleton Chemical Geology, 340 . pp. 49-58. DOI 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2012.12.006.

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Supplementary data:


The present study investigates the influence of environmental (temperature, salinity) and biological (growth rate, inter-generic variations) parameters on calcium isotope fractionation (δ44/40Ca) in scleractinian coral skeleton to better constrain this record. Previous studies focused on the δ44/40Ca record in different marine organisms to reconstruct seawater composition or temperature, but only few studies investigated corals.
This study presents measurements performed on modern corals from natural environments (from the Maldives for modern and from Tahiti for fossil corals) as well as from laboratory cultures (Centre Scientifique de Monaco). Measurements on Porites sp., Acropora sp., Montipora verrucosa and Stylophora pistillata allow constraining inter-generic variability.

Our results show that the fractionation of δ44/40Ca ranges from 0.6 to 0.1‰, independent of the genus or the environmental conditions. No significant relationship between the rate of calcification and δ44/40Ca was found. The weak temperature dependence reported in earlier studies is most probably not the only parameter that is responsible for the fractionation. Indeed, sub-seasonal temperature variations reconstructed by δ18O and Sr/Ca ratio using a multi-proxy approach, are not mirrored in the coral's δ44/40Ca variations. The intergeneric variability and intrageneric variability among the studied samples are weak except for S. pistillata, which shows calcium isotopic values increasing with salinity. The variability between samples cultured at a salinity of 40 is higher than those cultured at a salinity of 36 for this species.

The present study reveals a strong biological control of the skeletal calcium isotope composition by the polyp and a weak influence of environmental factors, specifically temperature and salinity (except for S. pistillata). Vital effects have to be investigated in situ to better constrain their influence on the calcium isotopic signal. If vital effects could be extracted from the isotopic signal, the calcium isotopic composition of coral skeletons could provide reliable information on the calcium composition and budget in ocean.


► Corals cultured in aquaria or from natural environment show the same Ca isotopic composition. ► δ44/40Ca of coral skeleton is independent of depositional setting environment. ► Strong influence of vital effects on coral skeleton δ44/40Ca composition and calcification mechanisms

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000319238900006
Keywords: Calcium isotopes; Modern/fossil scleractinian corals; Sea surface salinity; Sea surface temperature; Biomineralization
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2012.12.006
ISSN: 0009-2541
Projects: EPOCA, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2013 10:52
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2017 13:09

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