Probing the internal calcification chemistry of O. universa using B/Ca

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 8:45 AM
Katherine Holland, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia, Stephen Eggins, Australian National University, Research School of Earth Sciences, Canberra, Australia, Baerbel Hoenisch, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY, United States, Laura Haynes, Columbia University of New York, Palisades, NY, United States and Ann D Russell, University of California Davis, Davis, CA, United States
The B/Ca, U/Ca ratio values of calcitic foraminifer shells are all influenced by seawater carbonate chemistry (seawater [B(OH)4-/HCO3-], [CO32-], and pH respectively), and as such are increasingly being used as proxies to reconstruct past changes in ocean inorganic carbon content, saturation state and pH. However, the behavior of these proxies is subject to modification by foraminifers’ efforts to regulate the conditions under which they grow their shells. We have undertaken experiments on Orbulina universa that manipulate synthetic culture water DIC, pH and [Ca] in an effort to disentangle the biological versus environmental influences of seawater carbonate system and saturation state on B/Ca, U/Ca and Mg/Ca ratio into foraminiferal calcite. Experiments were designed to be able determine the extent to which foraminifers are able to modify the chemical composition of their (vacuolized?) internal calcification fluid, in particular by using B/Ca and U/Ca as sensors for calcification chemistry (i.e. internal [B(OH)4-/HCO3-] and [CO32-]) . We have used a high resolution LA-ICPMS depth profiling techniques to characterize the amplitude of B/Ca, U/Ca, Mg/Ca, and Sr/Ca ratio values across and the thickness (calcification rate) of diurnal bands that are developed in individual shells grown under different synthetic seawater compositions. Results indicate Orbulina universa modify the chemistry of their calcification fluid far from that of external seawater, but are not able to mitigate changes in external seawater. This most likely achieved through the interactive effects of internal pH manipulation and a carbon concentration mechanism. Our results are likely to have important implications for the interpretation of Mg/Ca, B/Ca and U/Ca as proxies seawater temperatures and carbonate system parameters.