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Other research product . Collection . 2013

Calcium isotope fractionation in cultured, modern and fossil scleractinian coral skeleton

Pretet, Chloé; Samankassou, Elias; Felis, Thomas; Reynaud, Stéphanie; Böhm, Florian; Eisenhauer, Anton; Ferrier-Pagès, Christine; +2 Authors
Open Access
Published: 01 Jan 2013
Publisher: PANGAEA

The present study investigates the influence of environmental (temperature, salinity) and biological (growth rate, inter-generic variations) parameters on calcium isotope fractionation (d44/40Ca) in scleractinian coral skeleton to better constrain this record. Previous studies focused on the d44/40Ca 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 d44/40Ca ranges from 0.6 to 0.1 per mil, independent of the genus or the environmental conditions. No significant relationship between the rate of calcification and d44/40Ca 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 d18O and Sr/Ca ratio using a multi-proxy approach, are not mirrored in the coral's d44/40Ca 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.


Integrated Ocean Drilling Program / International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP)

Funded by
European Project on Ocean Acidification
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 211384
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP1 | ENV
SNSF| Climate reconstruction using 44/40Ca and 88/86Sr isotopes in annually banded reef corals
  • Funder: Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
  • Project Code: 115944
  • Funding stream: Projects | Project funding | Project funding (special)
SNSF| Climate reconstruction using 44/40Ca and 137/134Ba isotopes in annually banded reef corals
  • Funder: Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
  • Project Code: 140618
  • Funding stream: Projects | Project funding
Related to Research communities
European Marine Science