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Controls on boron isotopes in a cold-water coral and the cost of resilience to ocean acidification

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Controls on boron isotopes in a cold-water coral and the cost of resilience to ocean acidification. / Gagnon, Alexander; Gothmann, Anne; Branson, Oscar; Rae, James William Buchanan; Stewart, Joseph.

In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 554, 116662, 15.01.2021.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Harvard

Gagnon, A, Gothmann, A, Branson, O, Rae, JWB & Stewart, J 2021, 'Controls on boron isotopes in a cold-water coral and the cost of resilience to ocean acidification', Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 554, 116662. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116662

APA

Gagnon, A., Gothmann, A., Branson, O., Rae, J. W. B., & Stewart, J. (2021). Controls on boron isotopes in a cold-water coral and the cost of resilience to ocean acidification. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 554, [116662]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116662

Vancouver

Gagnon A, Gothmann A, Branson O, Rae JWB, Stewart J. Controls on boron isotopes in a cold-water coral and the cost of resilience to ocean acidification. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 2021 Jan 15;554. 116662. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116662

Author

Gagnon, Alexander ; Gothmann, Anne ; Branson, Oscar ; Rae, James William Buchanan ; Stewart, Joseph. / Controls on boron isotopes in a cold-water coral and the cost of resilience to ocean acidification. In: Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 2021 ; Vol. 554.

Bibtex - Download

@article{8a6008c4e5f1436f82a5b7c5316aeb39,
title = "Controls on boron isotopes in a cold-water coral and the cost of resilience to ocean acidification",
abstract = "Coral skeletal growth is sensitive to environmental change and may be adversely impacted by an acidifying ocean. However, physiological processes can also buffer biomineralization from external conditions, providing apparent resilience to acidification in some species. These same physiological processes affect skeletal composition and can impact paleoenvironmental proxies. Understanding the mechanisms of coral calcification is thus crucial for predicting the vulnerability of different corals to ocean acidification and for accurately interpreting coral-based climate records. Here, using boron isotope (δ11B) measurements on cultured cold-water corals, we explain fundamental features of coral calcification and its sensitivity to environmental change. Boron isotopes are one of the most widely used proxies for past seawater pH, and we observe the expected sensitivity between δ11B and pH. Surprisingly, we also discover that coral δ11B is independently sensitive to seawater dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). We can explain this new DIC effect if we introduce boric acid diffusion across cell membranes as a new flux within a geochemical model of biomineralization. This model independently predicts the sensitivity of the δ11B-pH proxy, without being trained to these data, even though calcifying fluid pH (pHCF) is constant. Boric acid diffusion can resolve why δ11B is a useful proxy across a range of calcifiers, including foraminifera, even when calcifying fluid pH differs from seawater. Our modeling shows that δ11B cannot be interpreted unequivocally as a direct tracer of pHCF. Constant pHCF implies similar calcification rates as seawater pH decreases, which can explain the resilience of some corals to ocean acidification. However, we show that this resilience has a hidden energetic cost such that calcification becomes less efficient in an acidifying ocean.",
author = "Alexander Gagnon and Anne Gothmann and Oscar Branson and Rae, {James William Buchanan} and Joseph Stewart",
note = "This research was supported in part by a NSF CAREER Award (1552694) and a University of Washington Royalty Research Fund Award, both to A.C.G. A postdoctoral fellowship to A.M.G. from the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean also supported this research. ",
year = "2021",
month = jan,
day = "15",
doi = "10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116662",
language = "English",
volume = "554",
journal = "Earth and Planetary Science Letters",
issn = "0012-821X",
publisher = "Elsevier Science BV",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Controls on boron isotopes in a cold-water coral and the cost of resilience to ocean acidification

AU - Gagnon, Alexander

AU - Gothmann, Anne

AU - Branson, Oscar

AU - Rae, James William Buchanan

AU - Stewart, Joseph

N1 - This research was supported in part by a NSF CAREER Award (1552694) and a University of Washington Royalty Research Fund Award, both to A.C.G. A postdoctoral fellowship to A.M.G. from the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean also supported this research.

PY - 2021/1/15

Y1 - 2021/1/15

N2 - Coral skeletal growth is sensitive to environmental change and may be adversely impacted by an acidifying ocean. However, physiological processes can also buffer biomineralization from external conditions, providing apparent resilience to acidification in some species. These same physiological processes affect skeletal composition and can impact paleoenvironmental proxies. Understanding the mechanisms of coral calcification is thus crucial for predicting the vulnerability of different corals to ocean acidification and for accurately interpreting coral-based climate records. Here, using boron isotope (δ11B) measurements on cultured cold-water corals, we explain fundamental features of coral calcification and its sensitivity to environmental change. Boron isotopes are one of the most widely used proxies for past seawater pH, and we observe the expected sensitivity between δ11B and pH. Surprisingly, we also discover that coral δ11B is independently sensitive to seawater dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). We can explain this new DIC effect if we introduce boric acid diffusion across cell membranes as a new flux within a geochemical model of biomineralization. This model independently predicts the sensitivity of the δ11B-pH proxy, without being trained to these data, even though calcifying fluid pH (pHCF) is constant. Boric acid diffusion can resolve why δ11B is a useful proxy across a range of calcifiers, including foraminifera, even when calcifying fluid pH differs from seawater. Our modeling shows that δ11B cannot be interpreted unequivocally as a direct tracer of pHCF. Constant pHCF implies similar calcification rates as seawater pH decreases, which can explain the resilience of some corals to ocean acidification. However, we show that this resilience has a hidden energetic cost such that calcification becomes less efficient in an acidifying ocean.

AB - Coral skeletal growth is sensitive to environmental change and may be adversely impacted by an acidifying ocean. However, physiological processes can also buffer biomineralization from external conditions, providing apparent resilience to acidification in some species. These same physiological processes affect skeletal composition and can impact paleoenvironmental proxies. Understanding the mechanisms of coral calcification is thus crucial for predicting the vulnerability of different corals to ocean acidification and for accurately interpreting coral-based climate records. Here, using boron isotope (δ11B) measurements on cultured cold-water corals, we explain fundamental features of coral calcification and its sensitivity to environmental change. Boron isotopes are one of the most widely used proxies for past seawater pH, and we observe the expected sensitivity between δ11B and pH. Surprisingly, we also discover that coral δ11B is independently sensitive to seawater dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). We can explain this new DIC effect if we introduce boric acid diffusion across cell membranes as a new flux within a geochemical model of biomineralization. This model independently predicts the sensitivity of the δ11B-pH proxy, without being trained to these data, even though calcifying fluid pH (pHCF) is constant. Boric acid diffusion can resolve why δ11B is a useful proxy across a range of calcifiers, including foraminifera, even when calcifying fluid pH differs from seawater. Our modeling shows that δ11B cannot be interpreted unequivocally as a direct tracer of pHCF. Constant pHCF implies similar calcification rates as seawater pH decreases, which can explain the resilience of some corals to ocean acidification. However, we show that this resilience has a hidden energetic cost such that calcification becomes less efficient in an acidifying ocean.

U2 - 10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116662

DO - 10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116662

M3 - Article

VL - 554

JO - Earth and Planetary Science Letters

JF - Earth and Planetary Science Letters

SN - 0012-821X

M1 - 116662

ER -

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