Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Authors: Schöne, Bernd R.
Marali, Soraya
Jantschke, Anne
Mertz-Kraus, Regina
Butler, Paul G.
Fröhlich, Lukas
Title: Can element chemical impurities in aragonitic shells of marine bivalves serve as proxies for environmental variability?
Online publication date: 3-Jan-2023
Year of first publication: 2023
Language: english
Abstract: In many biogenic and geogenic materials, ion impurities can provide serviceable proxies for environmental conditions. However, the element/Ca ratios of bivalve shells are notoriously challenging to interpret. Due to strong vital effects, nonclassical nucleation and growth mechanisms, and/or kinetic processes, the concentration of trace and minor elements in marine shells typically remains below values observed in inorganic CaCO3 precipitated from a solution resembling seawater chemistry but above those expected for thermodynamic equilibrium. The interpretation is further complicated by non-lattice bound and microstructure-specific element content. If environmental conditions were still encoded in the shells, they should result in statistically significantly reproducible element/Ca chronologies between contemporaneous specimens from the same site. Here, we tested this hypothesis and exemplarily studied seven elements in twelve modern specimens of Arctica islandica collected from four different localities in the North Atlantic (Faroe Islands, NE Iceland, Isle of Man, Gulf of Maine). Age-detrended chronologies of weighted annual B, Mg, Sr and Ba/Ca ratios (Al, Zn and Pb largely remained below detection limit) measured in the shells were reproducible between most specimens from the same site, supporting the hypothesis that the incorporation of these elements was at least partly controlled by environmental forcings. Notably, the agreement (explored with linear regression analyses and sign tests) between shell element/Ca ratios and environmental quantities was weaker than the agreement of respective element/Ca ratios between specimens suggesting that the available information on temperature, food and water chemistry did not properly reflect the in-situ conditions to which the bivalves were exposed or other extrinsic factors were at work. As in inorganic aragonite – but in contrast to thermodynamic expectations –, annual Sr/Ca, Mg/Ca and B/Ca ratios were negatively correlated to water temperature (up to 40% explained variability). The link between Ba/Ca and bulk phytoplankton often remained below the significance threshold, but was otherwise positive. Quantitative environmental reconstructions based on ion impurities in bivalve shells will remain challenging or impossible unless the chemistry of the parent solution (= extrapallial fluid) from which the shell actually formed is known, including temporal changes thereof. This information is crucial to compute representative partition coefficients required to calibrate transfer functions.
DDC: 540 Chemie
540 Chemistry and allied sciences
550 Geowissenschaften
550 Earth sciences
560 Paläontologie
560 Paleontology
570 Biowissenschaften
570 Life sciences
590 Tiere (Zoologie)
590 Zoological sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 09 Chemie, Pharmazie u. Geowissensch.
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Document type specification: Scientific article
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Information on rights of use:
Journal: Chemical geology
Pages or article number: 121215
Publisher: Elsevier
Publisher place: New York, NY
Issue date: 2023
ISSN: 0009-2541
Publisher DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2022.121215
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

Files in This Item:
  File Description SizeFormat
can_element_chemical_impuriti-20221206083158695.pdfArtikel8.56 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
can_element_chemical_impuriti-20221206083230886.xlsxSupplements - 135.44 MBMicrosoft Excel XMLView/Open
can_element_chemical_impuriti-20221206083238377.xlsxSupplements - 2626.2 kBMicrosoft Excel XMLView/Open
can_element_chemical_impuriti-20221206083242584.xlsxSupplements - 3584.21 kBMicrosoft Excel XMLView/Open
can_element_chemical_impuriti-20221206083246075.xlsxSupplements - 41.11 MBMicrosoft Excel XMLView/Open
can_element_chemical_impuriti-20221206083248958.xlsxSupplements - 5335.18 kBMicrosoft Excel XMLView/Open