Coral Reefs

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 539-546

First online:

Effect of pCO2 and temperature on the boron isotopic composition of the zooxanthellate coral Acropora sp.

  • Stéphanie ReynaudAffiliated withCentre Scientifique de Monaco Email author 
  • , N. Gary HemmingAffiliated withQueens College School of Earth and Environmental SciencesLamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
  • , Anne Juillet-LeclercAffiliated withLaboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, Laboratoire mixte CNRS-CEA
  • , Jean-Pierre GattusoAffiliated withLaboratoire d’Océanographie, UMR 7093, CNRS-Université de Paris 6

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Culture experiments were carried out with Acropora sp. (a branching scleractinian coral) in seawater at two pCO2 conditions (438 and 725 µatm) and two temperatures (25 and 28 °C) in order to establish the pH and temperature dependence of the boron isotopic composition of the skeleton. A clear pCO2 effect, but no temperature effect, on the coral boron isotope composition is seen. For corals cultured at “normal pCO2” (438 µatm), the δ11B of the skeleton was 24.0±0.2‰ at 25 °C, and 23.9±0.3‰ at 28 °C. The values of δ11B measured for corals cultured at higher pCO2 (725 µatm) were lower: 22.5±0.1‰, and 22.8±0.1‰ at 25 and 28 °C, respectively. The δ11B of corals cultivated at both high and normal pCO2 conditions are consistent with a dominant pH control, and are very close to that calculated from theoretical considerations. Thus, the corals do not seem to significantly alter ambient seawater for calcification with respect to pH. Co-variation between boron and carbon isotope values is explored.


Corals Skeleton δ11B Boron Culture Temperature pCO2