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Marine Biology

, Volume 159, Issue 3, pp 601–611 | Cite as

Isotopic fractionation between seawater and the shell of Scrobicularia plana (Bivalvia) and its application for age validation

  • Sílvia SantosEmail author
  • Joana F. M. F. Cardoso
  • Valeska Borges
  • Rob Witbaard
  • Pieternella C. Luttikhuizen
  • Henk W. van der Veer
Original Paper

Abstract

This study analyzed the isotopic profiles of four aragonitic shells of Scrobicularia plana in conjunction with measured seawater temperatures and salinities. Comparison of δ18OSHELL with expected values revealed fractionation of δ18O in near equilibrium with the ambient environment. Growth cessation occurred between November and March. Carbonate deposition stopped when temperatures were <12°C. Analysis of δ13CSHELL values suggested that carbon in the shell does not reflect the DIC in ambient water, likely due to the incorporation of metabolic carbon. An ontogenetic trend of increasing δ13C values over time was observed, likely related to changes in metabolic activity. Annual growth patterns were inferred from δ18OSHELL profiles and compared with internal and external growth lines. Estimations of age based on external lines were unreliable, resulting in overestimation of age and underestimation of growth rates, likely due to the disturbance lines being wrongly identified as annual. Analysis of internal lines may lead to over- or underestimation of age and was more reliable in recent portions of the shell.

Keywords

Bivalve Dissolve Inorganic Carbon Seawater Temperature Growth Line External Line 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was co-financed by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and Fundo Social Europeu (POPH/FSE) through grants awarded to Sílvia Santos (SFRH/BD/28370/2006) and Joana Cardoso (SFRH/BPD/34773/2007). Thanks are due to Dr. Hubert Vonhof and Ralph Groen from Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam for assistance with the analysis of δ18O of water samples. The authors also thank Gerard Nieuwland, Michiel Kienhuis, and Evaline van Weerlee, at NIOZ, for all the help with the analysis of the isotopic profiles of shell carbonates and water DIC. Furthermore, we thank Hans Witte for helping with the experimental setup and Catarina Cruzeiro, Célia Carvalho, Sofia Saraiva, and Vânia Freitas for assistance during the monthly measurements. Finally, we also thank Jeanine Olsen, Carlo Heip and 2 anonymous reviewers for comments on earlier versions of the paper.

Supplementary material

227_2011_1838_MOESM1_ESM.tif (25.1 mb)
Fig. S1 Cross-section of S. plana stained with Feigl’s solution. Black color is indicative that aragonite is shell’s main component. (TIFF 25690 kb)
227_2011_1838_MOESM2_ESM.eps (495 kb)
Fig. S2 Mean monthly water temperature, mean monthly salinity, δ18OWATER and δ13CWATER values for 2008–2009, measured near experimental site (Marsdiep, western Dutch Wadden Sea). (EPS 494 kb)
227_2011_1838_MOESM3_ESM.eps (908 kb)
Fig. S3 Daily seawater temperatures (open circles) measured close to experimental site. Estimated water temperatures based on δ18OSHELL and δ18OWATER are represented for shells 1291 (open circles), 1317 (open triangles), and 1338 (open squares). (EPS 907 kb)
227_2011_1838_MOESM4_ESM.eps (485 kb)
Fig. S4 Covariation of δ18OSHELL and δ13CSHELL values of four S. plana shells. Correlation was determined by linear regression (shell 1243: r2 = 0.24, F1,30 = 9.69, p = 0.004; shell 1291: r2 = 0.01, F1,45 = 0.31, p = 0.58; shell 1317: r2 = 0.05, F1,39 = 1.96, p = 0.17; shell 1317: r2 = 0.01, F1,25 = 0.31, p = 0.58). (EPS 485 kb)
227_2011_1838_MOESM5_ESM.eps (456 kb)
Fig. S5 Shell growth of S. plana during experimental period. Only animals measured monthly that survived first winter, in a total of 25 animals, were considered. (EPS 456 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sílvia Santos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joana F. M. F. Cardoso
    • 1
    • 2
  • Valeska Borges
    • 1
  • Rob Witbaard
    • 1
  • Pieternella C. Luttikhuizen
    • 1
  • Henk W. van der Veer
    • 1
  1. 1.NIOZ, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea ResearchDen Burg TexelThe Netherlands
  2. 2.CIMAR/CIIMAR, Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental, Universidade do PortoPortoPortugal

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