Skip to content

Establishing temperate crustose Early Holocene coralline algae as archives for palaeoenvironmental reconstructions of the shallow water habitats of the Mediterranean Sea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-170
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Early online date16 Oct 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 16 May 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 16 Oct 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jan 2020


Over the past decades, coralline algae have increasingly been used as archives of palaeoclimate information due to their seasonal growth bands and their vast distribution from high latitudes to the tropics. Traditionally, these reconstructions have been performed mainly on high latitude species, limiting the geographic area of its potential use. Here we assess the use of temperate crustose fossil coralline algae from shallow water habitats for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction to generate records of past climate change. We determine the potential of three different species of coralline algae, Lithothamnion minervae, Lithophyllum stictaeforme and Mesophyllum philippii, with different growth patterns, as archives for pH (δ11B) and temperature (Mg/Ca) reconstruction in the Mediterranean Sea. Mg concentration is driven by temperature but modulated by growth rate, which is controlled by species-specific and intraspecific growth patterns. L. minervae is a good temperature recorder, showing a moderate warming trend in specimens from 11.37 cal ka BP (from 14.2 ± 0.4 ⁰C to 14.9 ⁰C ± 0.15) to today. In contrast to Mg, all genera showed consistent values of boron isotopes (δ11B) suggesting a common control on boron incorporation. The recorded δ11B in modern and fossil coralline specimens is in agreement with literature data about early Holocene pH, opening new perspectives of coralline-based, high-resolution pH reconstructions in deep time.

    Research areas

  • coralline algae, Holocene, Mediterranean Sea, Lithothamnion, Lithophyllum, Mesophyllum



  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Wiley at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 341 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 16/10/20

    Request copy


View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups