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Precipitation of marine biogenic CaCO3 minerals occurs at specialist sites, typically with elevated pH and dissolved inorganic carbon, and in the presence of biomolecules which control the nucleation, growth, and morphology of the calcium carbonate structure. Here we explore aragonite precipitation in vitro under conditions inferred to occur in tropical coral calcification media under present and future atmospheric CO2 scenarios. We vary pH, ΩAr and pCO2 between experiments to explore how both HCO3− and CO32− influence precipitation rate and we identify the effects of the three most common amino acids in coral skeletons (aspartic acid, glutamic acid and glycine) on precipitation rate and aragonite morphology. We find that fluid ΩAr or [CO32−] is the main control on precipitation rate at 25 °C, with no significant contribution from HCO3− or pH. All amino acids inhibit aragonite precipitation at 0.2–5 mM and the degree of inhibition is inversely correlated with ΩAr and, in the case of aspartic acid, also inversely correlated with seawater temperature. Aspartic acid inhibits precipitation the most, of the tested amino acids (and generates changes in aragonite morphology) and glycine inhibits precipitation the least. Previous work shows that ocean acidification increases the amino acid content of coral skeletons and probably reduces calcification media ΩAr, both of which can inhibit aragonite precipitation. This study and previous work shows aragonite precipitation rate is exponentially related to temperature from 10 to 30 °C and small anthropogenic increases in seawater temperature will likely offset the inhibition in precipitation rate predicted to occur due to increased skeletal aspartic acid and reduced calcification media ΩAr under ocean acidification.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the UK Natural Environment Research Council ( NE/S001417/1 ) to NA, KP, RK, MC and AF. We thank Gavin Peters, University of St Andrews, for assistance with BET analyses. Electron microscopy was carried out in the Aberdeen Centre for Electron Microscopy, Analysis and Characterisation (ACEMAC).
This work was supported by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NE/S001417/1) to NA, KP, RK, MC and AF. We thank Gavin Peters, University of St Andrews, for assistance with BET analyses. Electron microscopy was carried out in the Aberdeen Centre for Electron Microscopy, Analysis and Characterisation (ACEMAC). Data are available through Mendeley Data at https://data.mendeley.com/datasets/b5bpfw97cg/1.
© 2023 The Authors
- Aragonite precipitation
- 1 Finished
Understanding trace element and isotope partitioning in aragonites and calcites in biological environments
18/03/19 → 18/09/23
Project: Research project (funded) › Research