Infoscience

Journal article

Compositional variations at ultra-structure length scales in coral skeleton

Distributions of Mg and Sr in the skeletons of a deep-sea coral (Caryophyllia ambrosia) and a shallow-water, reef-building coral (Pavona clavus) have been obtained with a spatial resolution of 150 nm, using the NanoSIMS ion microprobe at the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris. These trace element analyses focus on the two primary ultra-structural components in the skeleton: centers of calcification (COC) and fibrous aragonite. In fibrous aragonite, the trace element variations are typically on the order of 10% or more, on length scales on the order of 1-10 mu m. Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca variations are not correlated. However, Mg/Ca variations in Pavona are strongly correlated with the layered organization of the skeleton.

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