Mg-lattice associations in red coralline algae

Kamenos, N.A. , Cusack, M. , Huthwelker, T., Lagarde, P. and Scheibling, R.E. (2009) Mg-lattice associations in red coralline algae. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73(7), pp. 1901-1907. (doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2009.01.010)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


Recent investigations have shown red coralline algae to record ambient temperature in their calcite skeletons. Temperature recorded by variation in Mg concentrations within algal growth bands has sub-annual resolution and high accuracy. The conversion of Mg concentration to temperature is based on the assumption of Ca replacement by Mg within the algal calcite skeleton at higher temperatures. While Mg-temperature relationships in coralline algae have been calibrated for some species, the location of Mg within the calcite lattice remains unknown. Critically, if Mg is not a lattice component but associated with organic components this could lead to erroneous temperature records. Before coralline algae are used in large scale climate reconstructions it is therefore important to determine the location of Mg. Synchrotron Mg-X-ray absorbance near edge structure (XANES) indicates that Mg is associated with the calcite lattice in Lithothamnion glaciale (contemporary free-living, contemporary encrusting and sub-fossil free-living) and Phymatolithon calcareum (contemporary free-living) coralline algae. Mg is deposited within the calcite lattice in all seasons (L. glaciale and P. calcareum) and thallus areas (P. calcareum). These results suggest L. glaciale and P. calcareum are robust Mg-palaeotemperature proxies. We suggest that similar confirmation be obtained for Mg associations in other species of red coralline algae aiding our understanding of their role in climate reconstruction at large spatial scales.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kamenos, Professor Nick and Cusack, Professor Maggie
Authors: Kamenos, N.A., Cusack, M., Huthwelker, T., Lagarde, P., and Scheibling, R.E.
Subjects:Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Journal Abbr.:Geochim. cosmochim. acta
ISSN (Online):1872-9533
Published Online:22 January 2009

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
429311Crystallography for biology - as easy as EBSDMaggie CusackBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/E003265/1School of Geographical and Earth Sciences