Vital effects in coral skeletal composition display strict three-dimensional control
Article first published online: 9 JUN 2006
Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 33, Issue 11, June 2006
How to Cite
2006), Vital effects in coral skeletal composition display strict three-dimensional control, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L11608, doi:10.1029/2006GL025968., et al. (
- Issue published online: 9 JUN 2006
- Article first published online: 9 JUN 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 MAY 2006
- Manuscript Revised: 26 APR 2006
- Manuscript Received: 6 FEB 2006
 Biological control over coral skeletal composition is poorly understood but critically important to paleo-environmental reconstructions. We present micro-analytical measurements of trace-element abundances as well as oxygen and carbon isotopic compositions of individual skeletal components in the zooxanthellate coral Colpophyllia sp. Our data show that centers of calcification (COC) have higher trace element concentrations and distinctly lighter isotopic compositions than the fibrous components of the skeleton. These observations necessitate that COC and the fibrous skeleton are precipitated by different mechanisms, which are controlled by specialized domains of the calicoblastic cell-layer. Biological processes control the composition of the skeleton even at the ultra-structure level.