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Oxygen and carbon isotope ratios related to growth line patterns in skeletons of Lophelia pertusa (L) (Anthozoa, Scleractinia): implications for determination of linear extension rates
Mortensen, P.B.; Rapp, H.T. (1998). Oxygen and carbon isotope ratios related to growth line patterns in skeletons of Lophelia pertusa (L) (Anthozoa, Scleractinia): implications for determination of linear extension rates. Sarsia 83: 433-446
In: Sarsia. University of Bergen. Universitetsforlaget: Bergen. ISSN 0036-4827, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Mortensen, P.B.
  • Rapp, H.T.

Abstract
    Patterns of growth lines and the composition of stable oxygen and carbon isotopes were studied in skeletons of the deep-water scleractinian Lophelia pertusa in longitudinal and transverse sections of corallites. δ 18 O showed a significant, positive linear correlation with δ 13 C. A gradual depletion of 18 O and 13 C was found in the theca, both towards the corallite edge within single growth layers, and across growth layers from the theca surface. δ 18 O was negatively correlated with the rate of linear extension. These results indicated that isotopic fractionation in Lophelia is controlled by kinetic isotope effects. The range of δ 18 O was 3.5 times larger than expected for aragonite precipitating in isotopic equilibrium with ambient sea water. However, the shape of the δ 18 O curve along the growth axis in the septa was almost parallel with the curve of seawater temperatures. This correspondence may be caused by a relation between growth rate and temperature or other environmental variables correlated with temperature. The δ 18 O curve fitted best with the temperature curve when the pronounced growth lines were assigned to the first quarter of the year. A 6 year growth line chronology was established for corallites in one colony. Between 10 and 14 fine lines were counted between pairs of the more pronounced annual lines in the septa. An average linear extension rate of 5.5 mm/yr was suggested based on measured distances between distal ends of adjacent growth layers in the theca. Colonies of Lophelia from one locality were kept alive in aquarium for 18 months before analysis. Direct measurements on these corallites showed that the linear extension decreased to 2.6 mm/yr.

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