Faculté des sciences et de médecine

Environmental and biological controls on Na∕Ca ratios in scleractinian cold-water corals

Schleinkofer, Nicolai ; Raddatz, Jacek ; Freiwald, André ; Evans, David ; Beuck, Lydia ; Rüggeberg, Andres ; Liebetrau, Volker

In: Biogeosciences, 2019, vol. 16, no. 18, p. 3565–3582

Here we present a comprehensive attempt to correlate aragonitic Na∕Ca ratios from Desmophyllum pertusum (formerly known as Lophelia pertusa), Madrepora oculata and a caryophylliid cold-water coral (CWC) species with different seawater parameters such as temperature, salinity and pH. Living CWC specimens were collected from 16 different locations and analyzed for their Na∕Ca ratios using... More

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    Summary
    Here we present a comprehensive attempt to correlate aragonitic Na∕Ca ratios from Desmophyllum pertusum (formerly known as Lophelia pertusa), Madrepora oculata and a caryophylliid cold-water coral (CWC) species with different seawater parameters such as temperature, salinity and pH. Living CWC specimens were collected from 16 different locations and analyzed for their Na∕Ca ratios using solution- based inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) measurements.The results reveal no apparent correlation with salinity (30.1–40.57 g  kg−1) but a significant inverse correlation with temperature (−0.31±0.04  mmolmol−1∘C−1). Other marine aragonitic organisms such as Mytilus edulis (inner aragonitic shell portion) and Porites sp. exhibit similar results highlighting the consistency of the calculated CWC regressions. Corresponding Na∕Mg ratios show a similar temperature sensitivity to Na∕Ca ratios, but the combination of two ratios appears to reduce the impact of vital effects and domain-dependent geochemical variation. The high degree of scatter and elemental heterogeneities between the different skeletal features in both Na∕Ca and Na∕Mg, however, limit the use of these ratios as a proxy and/or make a high number of samples necessary. Additionally, we explore two models to explain the observed temperature sensitivity of Na∕Ca ratios for an open and semi-enclosed calcifying space based on temperature-sensitive Na- and Ca-pumping enzymes and transport proteins that change the composition of the calcifying fluid and consequently the skeletal Na∕Ca ratio.