Coccolith strontium to calcium ratios in Emiliania huxleyi: The dependence on seawater strontium and calcium concentrations
Limnol. Oceanogr., 51(1), 2006, 310-320 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2006.51.1.0310
ABSTRACT: In recent studies the Sr/Ca ratio of coccolithophore calcite was used as a proxy for past coccolithophore growth and calcification rates. Since Sr and Ca concentrations in seawater have not remained constant through time, interpretation of Sr/Ca data from the coccolith-dominated sedimentary record requires knowledge about the incorporation of seawater Sr into coccolith calcite during coccolithogenesis. Here we show that Sr/Ca of Emiliania huxleyi coccoliths is linearly related to seawater Sr/Ca, meaning that the Sr exchange coefficient does not change with changing seawater Sr/Ca. The exchange coefficient for Sr in this study, 0.39, is close to values presented in the literature and is high compared with values obtained by inorganic precipitation experiments. This suggests a strong effect of cell physiology on biogenic calcite precipitation in coccolithophores. We present a conceptual model, based on the transmembrane transport of Sr and Ca, which explains the offset.