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Combined sclerochronologic and oxygen isotope analysis of gastropod shells (Gibbula cineraria, North Sea): life-history traits and utility as a high-resolution environmental archive for kelp forests
Schöne, B.R.; Rodland, D.L.; Wehrmann, A.; Heidel, B.; Oschmann, W.; Zhang, Z.; Fiebig, J.; Beck, L. (2007). Combined sclerochronologic and oxygen isotope analysis of gastropod shells (Gibbula cineraria, North Sea): life-history traits and utility as a high-resolution environmental archive for kelp forests. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 150: 1237-1252. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-006-0435-9
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Schöne, B.R.
  • Rodland, D.L.
  • Wehrmann, A.
  • Heidel, B.
  • Oschmann, W.
  • Zhang, Z.
  • Fiebig, J.
  • Beck, L.

Abstract
    The grey top-shell, Gibbula cineraria is a common member of temperate to cold water kelp forest communities, but its longevity and the age structure of its populations remains unresolved. Combined measurements of shell growth rates (sclerochronology) and oxygen isotope composition allow analysis of rate and timing of shell growth. Eight specimens were analyzed from the southern North Sea (near Helgoland, German Bight). Three age groups were identified but external measurements (width, height, ornamentation patterns and number of whorls) and shell weight are not adequate for ontogenetic age discrimination. Stable oxygen isotope data is consistent with shell growth during the interval from April to December in isotopic equilibrium with seawater, and growth increments exhibit strong tidal controls with fortnightly bundles well preserved. Reliable environmental proxy data (water temperature) can be extracted from the shell aragonite using conventional stable oxygen isotope analyses, with a temporal resolution of days attainable during intervals of maximum growth, but annual extremes are not always recorded in the shell. While demonstrating the utility of G. cineraria as a environmental and potential paleoenvironmental proxy for kelp forest habitats, its longevity has been significantly overestimated.

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