Journal article

The origin of carbon isotope vital effects in coccolith calcite

HLO McClelland, J Bruggeman, M Hermoso, REM Rickaby

NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP | Published : 2017

Abstract

Calcite microfossils are widely used to study climate and oceanography in Earth's geological past. Coccoliths, readily preserved calcite plates produced by a group of single-celled surface-ocean dwelling algae called coccolithophores, have formed a significant fraction of marine sediments since the Late Triassic. However, unlike the shells of foraminifera, their zooplankton counterparts, coccoliths remain underused in palaeo-reconstructions. Precipitated in an intracellular chemical and isotopic microenvironment, coccolith calcite exhibits large and enigmatic departures from the isotopic composition of abiogenic calcite, known as vital effects. Here we show that the calcification to carbon f..

View full abstract

Grants

Awarded by UKOARP


Awarded by NERC


Awarded by ERC


Awarded by Natural Environment Research Council


Funding Acknowledgements

This study was conducted at the University of Oxford (UK). H.L.O.M. was funded by PhD studentship NE/I019522/1 in association with UKOARP. R.E.M.R. acknowledges NERC grant NE/H017119/1 and ERC grant SP2-GA-2008-200915. The work of J.B. was funded by NERC National Capability in Marine Modelling. We thank Ian Probert for providing strains. We thank P. Ziveri and two other reviewers for their valuable comments on this manuscript.