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Is the umbo matrix of bivalve shells (Laternula elliptica) a climate archive?
Dick, D.; Philipp, E.; Kriews, M.; Abele, D. (2007). Is the umbo matrix of bivalve shells (Laternula elliptica) a climate archive? Aquat. Toxicol. 84(4): 450-456.
In: Aquatic Toxicology. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0166-445X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Laser ablation; Trace metals; Laternula elliptica (P. P. King, 1832) [WoRMS]; PSW, Antarctica, South Shetland I., King George I., Potter Cove [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    trace metals; bivalve shell archives; laser ablation

Authors  Top 
  • Dick, D.
  • Philipp, E.
  • Kriews, M.
  • Abele, D.

    Heavy metal accumulation into bivalve soft tissues has received increasing interest in recent years with respect to biomonitoring of environmental change including pollution. To a lesser extent, accretion of elements from the environment into bivalve hard structures (shells) has been investigated, although the importance of the shells as environmental archives has been acknowledged. Here we report element distribution within consecutive growth bands in the shells of the Antarctic soft shell clam Laternula elliptica, which is currently exposed to vast environmental change in Antarctic Peninsula coastal environments that undergo rapid climate warming. We performed a high spatial resolution analysis for Al, Fe, Mn, Cu, Pb and U in the shell umbo, by means of laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Element ratios within the umbo did not resemble either the ratios in the surrounding seawater, the sedimenting material in Potter Cove, or even the Earth's crust basal composition. Mn and Cu were preferentially incorporated into the umbo. A strong decrease of element accretion with time could be related to lifetime respiration mass (R) of the animals. This indicates element accretion into the umbo and shell matrix to be largely a function of animal ecophysiology and life history, and these effects need to be considered in the context of potential usefulness of L. elliptica shells as environmental archives.

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