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Attachment of oysters to natural substrata by biologically induced marine carbonate cement
MacDonald, J.; Freer, A.; Cusack, M. (2010). Attachment of oysters to natural substrata by biologically induced marine carbonate cement. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 157(9): 2087-2095.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • MacDonald, J.
  • Freer, A.
  • Cusack, M.

    Oysters live permanently immobilised by cementation of the left valve to a hard substrate. The contact zone between oysters and natural substrata has been analysed using SEM imaging, electron dispersive X-ray microanalysis, electron backscatter diffraction and Raman spectroscopy and reveals the influence of both biogenic and non-biogenic processes in oyster cementation. Original adhesion is brought about by secretion of an organic component that acts as a nucleating surface onto which crystals precipitate. These crystals have a random orientation and are composed of high Mg calcite. This suggests that the crystals nucleating on the glue substrate are outwith the biological control experienced by the shell biomineralisation process and are formed by inorganic precipitation from seawater. It is proposed that oysters do not control or secrete crystalline cement. Instead, they adhere by secretion of an organic film onto which crystals precipitate from seawater.

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