Spatio-temporal variation of skeletal Mg-calcite in Antarctic marine calcifiers in a global change scenario

Blanca Figuerola*, Damian Gore, Glenn Johnstone, Jonathan S. Stark

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Working paperPreprint


    Human driven changes such as increases in oceanic CO2, global warming and pollution may negatively affect the ability of marine calcifiers to build their skeletons/shells, especially in polar regions. Here we address, for the first time, spatio-temporal variability of skeletal Mg-calcite using bryozoan and serpulid species as models in a recruitment experiment of settlement tiles in East Antarctica. Mineralogies were determined using X-ray diffractometry for 754 specimens belonging to six bryozoan species (four cheilostome and two cyclostome species) and two serpulid species from around Casey Station. All species had calcitic skeletons. Intra- and interspecific variability in wt% MgCO3 in calcite among most species contributed to the biggest source of variation overall. Therefore, biological processes seem to be the main factor controlling the skeletal Mg-calcite in these taxa. However, spatial variability found in wt% MgCO3 in calcite could also reflect local impacts such as freshwater input and contaminated sediments. The vulnerability of these species to global change is also examined and those species with high-Mg calcite skeletons and low thermal tolerance (e.g. Beania erecta) could be particularly sensitive to near-future global ocean chemistry changes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages18
    Publication statusSubmitted - 20 Dec 2018

    Publication series


    Bibliographical note

    Now published in PLOS ONE doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0210231


    • Skeletal chemistry
    • Magnesium calcite
    • Ocean acidification
    • Bryozoa
    • Serpulids
    • Casey Station
    • Benthic communities


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