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Boron isotopes (δ¹¹B) in coral: energy budgets and pH maintenance at the site of calcification

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication21st V.M.Goldschmidt Conference, Prague
DatePublished - 2011


The rate of water flow around a coral colony has a dramatic effect on diffusive boundary layer thickness and thereby colony physiology and skeletal formation. A controlled flow rate experiment was used to test whether these responses to environmental conditions influenced skeletal δ¹¹B as a measure of the pH at the site of calcification. Coral nubbins of Pocillopora verrucosa were grown for 2 years on stages within a reef and exposed to one of two flow regimes; flow enhanced by underwater pumps (15-20 cm s-¹) or reduced-flow, near stagnant conditions (~ 1 cm s-¹). Colonies in the enhanced-flow condition developed a more compact morphology, denser skeleton and calcified faster, in addition they had significantly higher tissue protein and chlorophyll concentrations, a higher density of zooxanthellae and higher reproductive output in terms of both quantity of oocytes and their size. We will present MC-ICPMS δ¹¹B analyses of the skeletons to explore colony control of the pH at the site of calcification and the allocation of energy resources by coral to the fundamental processes of skeletogenesis, growth, maintenance and reproduction.

Additional information

Conference Proceedings/Title of Journal: Mineralogical Magazine Conference Organiser: Goldschmidt


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