Nitrogen isotopes of organic nitrogen in reef coral skeletons as a proxy of tropical nutrient dynamics
Article first published online: 12 OCT 2011
Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 38, Issue 19, October 2011
How to Cite
2011), Nitrogen isotopes of organic nitrogen in reef coral skeletons as a proxy of tropical nutrient dynamics, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L19605, doi:10.1029/2011GL049053., , and (
- Issue published online: 12 OCT 2011
- Article first published online: 12 OCT 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 6 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Received: 26 JUL 2011
- coral skeleton;
- nitrogen isotope
 Understanding tropical nutrient dynamics is essential for quantifying marine productivity. In tropical and subtropical oceans, however, the spatial and continuous observation of nutrients has been scarce because of low nutrient concentration. The nitrogen isotopes of organic nitrogen in coral skeletons (δ15Ncoral) could be used to record nitrogenous nutrient origins at oceanic surfaces. Here, we show the intra- and inter-reef variations of δ15Ncoral in the western Pacific. The zonal distribution of δ15Ncoral was found inside a coral reef corresponding with δ15N of seawater nitrate (δ15Nnitrate). The extended analysis of δ15Ncoral among various coral reefs also shows a latitudinal gradient from tropical to temperate in the western Pacific. The δ15Ncoral records high-resolution dynamics of nitrogenous nutrients through the geologic time scale.