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Phosphorus in cold-water corals as a proxy for seawater nutrient chemistry
Montagna, P.; McCulloch, M.; Taviani, M.; Mazzoli, C.; Vendrell, B. (2006). Phosphorus in cold-water corals as a proxy for seawater nutrient chemistry. Science (Wash.) 312(5781): 1788-1791
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

    Coral; Nutrients (mineral); Phosphorus cycle; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Montagna, P.
  • McCulloch, M.
  • Taviani, M.
  • Mazzoli, C.
  • Vendrell, B.

    Phosphorus is a key macronutrient being strongly enriched in the deep ocean as a result of continuous export and remineralization of biomass from primary production. We show that phosphorus incorporated within the skeletons of the cosmopolitan cold-water coral Desmophyllum dianthus is directly proportional to the ambient seawater phosphorus concentration and thus may serve as a paleo-oceanographic proxy for variations in ocean productivity as well as changes in the residence times and sources of deep-water masses. The application of this tool to fossil specimens from the Mediterranean reveals phosphorus-enriched bottom waters at the end of the Younger Dryas period.

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