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Evaluation of boron isotope ratio as a pH proxy in the deep sea coral Desmophyllum dianthus: Evidence of physiological pH adjustment

Evaluation of boron isotope ratio as a pH proxy in the deep sea coral Desmophyllum dianthus: Evidence of physiological pH adjustment
Evaluation of boron isotope ratio as a pH proxy in the deep sea coral Desmophyllum dianthus: Evidence of physiological pH adjustment
The boron isotope ratio (?11B) of foraminifers and tropical corals has been proposed to record seawater pH. To test the veracity and practicality of this potential paleo-pH proxy in deep sea corals, samples of skeletal material from twelve archived modern Desmophyllum dianthus (D. dianthus) corals from a depth range of 274–1470 m in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans, ambient pH range 7.57–8.05, were analyzed for ?11B. The ?11B values for these corals, spanning a range from 23.56 to 27.88, are found to be related to seawater borate ?11B by the linear regression: ?11Bcoral=(0.76±0.28) ?11Bborate+(14.67±4.19) (1 standard error (SE)). The D. dianthus ?11B values are greater than those measured in tropical corals, and suggest substantial physiological modification of pH in the calcifying space by a value that is an inverse function of seawater pH. This mechanism partially compensates for the range of ocean pH and aragonite saturation at which this species grows, enhancing aragonite precipitation and suggesting an adaptation mechanism to low pH environments in intermediate and deep waters. Consistent with the findings of Trotter et al. (2011) for tropical surface corals, the data suggest an inverse correlation between the magnitude of a biologically driven pH offset recorded in the coral skeleton, and the seawater pH, described by the equation: ?pH=pH recorded by coral?seawater pH=?(0.75±0.12) pHw+(6.88±0.93) (1 SE). Error analysis based on 95% confidence interval(CI) and the standard deviation of the regression residuals suggests that the uncertainty of seawater pH reconstructed from ?11Bcoral is ±0.07 to 0.12 pH units. This study demonstrates the applicability of ?11B in D. dianthus to record ambient seawater pH and holds promise for reconstructing oceanic pH distribution and history using fossil corals.
deep sea coral, pH, boron isotopes, calibration, acidification
0012-821X
251-260
Anagnostou, E.
4527c274-f765-44ce-89ab-0e437aa3d870
Huang, K.-F.
399e89bb-054d-47e2-98ea-d0c43fd67298
You, C.-F.
557489a4-1e2a-45df-b4a3-eea4bfc7ccd6
Sikes, E.L.
7052c253-38b6-45a1-b6f2-440dfae51a55
Sherrell, R.M.
5db36f50-16cd-4c79-bb5f-7a5bb2ce2041
Anagnostou, E.
4527c274-f765-44ce-89ab-0e437aa3d870
Huang, K.-F.
399e89bb-054d-47e2-98ea-d0c43fd67298
You, C.-F.
557489a4-1e2a-45df-b4a3-eea4bfc7ccd6
Sikes, E.L.
7052c253-38b6-45a1-b6f2-440dfae51a55
Sherrell, R.M.
5db36f50-16cd-4c79-bb5f-7a5bb2ce2041

Anagnostou, E., Huang, K.-F., You, C.-F., Sikes, E.L. and Sherrell, R.M. (2012) Evaluation of boron isotope ratio as a pH proxy in the deep sea coral Desmophyllum dianthus: Evidence of physiological pH adjustment. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 349-350, 251-260. (doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2012.07.006).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The boron isotope ratio (?11B) of foraminifers and tropical corals has been proposed to record seawater pH. To test the veracity and practicality of this potential paleo-pH proxy in deep sea corals, samples of skeletal material from twelve archived modern Desmophyllum dianthus (D. dianthus) corals from a depth range of 274–1470 m in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans, ambient pH range 7.57–8.05, were analyzed for ?11B. The ?11B values for these corals, spanning a range from 23.56 to 27.88, are found to be related to seawater borate ?11B by the linear regression: ?11Bcoral=(0.76±0.28) ?11Bborate+(14.67±4.19) (1 standard error (SE)). The D. dianthus ?11B values are greater than those measured in tropical corals, and suggest substantial physiological modification of pH in the calcifying space by a value that is an inverse function of seawater pH. This mechanism partially compensates for the range of ocean pH and aragonite saturation at which this species grows, enhancing aragonite precipitation and suggesting an adaptation mechanism to low pH environments in intermediate and deep waters. Consistent with the findings of Trotter et al. (2011) for tropical surface corals, the data suggest an inverse correlation between the magnitude of a biologically driven pH offset recorded in the coral skeleton, and the seawater pH, described by the equation: ?pH=pH recorded by coral?seawater pH=?(0.75±0.12) pHw+(6.88±0.93) (1 SE). Error analysis based on 95% confidence interval(CI) and the standard deviation of the regression residuals suggests that the uncertainty of seawater pH reconstructed from ?11Bcoral is ±0.07 to 0.12 pH units. This study demonstrates the applicability of ?11B in D. dianthus to record ambient seawater pH and holds promise for reconstructing oceanic pH distribution and history using fossil corals.

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Published date: 1 October 2012
Keywords: deep sea coral, pH, boron isotopes, calibration, acidification
Organisations: Geochemistry

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Local EPrints ID: 342449
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/342449
ISSN: 0012-821X
PURE UUID: e3d0fd50-5a49-4219-9ae2-c791b4345cb0

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Date deposited: 30 Aug 2012 08:15
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:28

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Contributors

Author: E. Anagnostou
Author: K.-F. Huang
Author: C.-F. You
Author: E.L. Sikes
Author: R.M. Sherrell

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