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Title: From particle attachment to space-filling coral skeletons

Abstract

Reef-building corals and their aragonite (CaCO 3 ) skeletons support entire reef ecosystems, yet their formation mechanism is poorly understood. Here we used synchrotron spectromicroscopy to observe the nanoscale mineralogy of fresh, forming skeletons from six species spanning all reef-forming coral morphologies: Branching, encrusting, massive, and table. In all species, hydrated and anhydrous amorphous calcium carbonate nanoparticles were precursors for skeletal growth, as previously observed in a single species. The amorphous precursors here were observed in tissue, between tissue and skeleton, and at growth fronts of the skeleton, within a low-density nano- or microporous layer varying in thickness from 7 to 20 µm. Brunauer-Emmett-Teller measurements, however, indicated that the mature skeletons at the microscale were space-filling, comparable to single crystals of geologic aragonite. Nanoparticles alone can never fill space completely, thus ion-by-ion filling must be invoked to fill interstitial pores. Such ion-by-ion diffusion and attachment may occur from the supersaturated calcifying fluid known to exist in corals, or from a dense liquid precursor, observed in synthetic systems but never in biogenic ones. Concomitant particle attachment and ion-by-ion filling was previously observed in synthetic calcite rhombohedra, but never in aragonite pseudohexagonal prisms, synthetic or biogenic, as observed here. Models for biomineralmore » growth, isotope incorporation, and coral skeletons’ resilience to ocean warming and acidification must take into account the dual formation mechanism, including particle attachment and ion-by-ion space filling.« less

Authors:
; ; ORCiD logo; ; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES). Chemical Sciences, Geosciences & Biosciences Division; National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1714382
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1763680
Grant/Contract Number:  
FG02-07ER15899; AC02-05CH11231; 755876; DMR-1603192
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
National Academy of Sciences
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; coral skeleton formation; PEEM; spectromicroscopy; biomineral; aragonite

Citation Formats

Sun, Chang-Yu, Stifler, Cayla A., Chopdekar, Rajesh V., Schmidt, Connor A., Parida, Ganesh, Schoeppler, Vanessa, Fordyce, Benjamin I., Brau, Jack H., Mass, Tali, Tambutté, Sylvie, and Gilbert, Pupa U. P. A.. From particle attachment to space-filling coral skeletons. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2012025117.
Sun, Chang-Yu, Stifler, Cayla A., Chopdekar, Rajesh V., Schmidt, Connor A., Parida, Ganesh, Schoeppler, Vanessa, Fordyce, Benjamin I., Brau, Jack H., Mass, Tali, Tambutté, Sylvie, & Gilbert, Pupa U. P. A.. From particle attachment to space-filling coral skeletons. United States. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2012025117
Sun, Chang-Yu, Stifler, Cayla A., Chopdekar, Rajesh V., Schmidt, Connor A., Parida, Ganesh, Schoeppler, Vanessa, Fordyce, Benjamin I., Brau, Jack H., Mass, Tali, Tambutté, Sylvie, and Gilbert, Pupa U. P. A.. Fri . "From particle attachment to space-filling coral skeletons". United States. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2012025117.
@article{osti_1714382,
title = {From particle attachment to space-filling coral skeletons},
author = {Sun, Chang-Yu and Stifler, Cayla A. and Chopdekar, Rajesh V. and Schmidt, Connor A. and Parida, Ganesh and Schoeppler, Vanessa and Fordyce, Benjamin I. and Brau, Jack H. and Mass, Tali and Tambutté, Sylvie and Gilbert, Pupa U. P. A.},
abstractNote = {Reef-building corals and their aragonite (CaCO 3 ) skeletons support entire reef ecosystems, yet their formation mechanism is poorly understood. Here we used synchrotron spectromicroscopy to observe the nanoscale mineralogy of fresh, forming skeletons from six species spanning all reef-forming coral morphologies: Branching, encrusting, massive, and table. In all species, hydrated and anhydrous amorphous calcium carbonate nanoparticles were precursors for skeletal growth, as previously observed in a single species. The amorphous precursors here were observed in tissue, between tissue and skeleton, and at growth fronts of the skeleton, within a low-density nano- or microporous layer varying in thickness from 7 to 20 µm. Brunauer-Emmett-Teller measurements, however, indicated that the mature skeletons at the microscale were space-filling, comparable to single crystals of geologic aragonite. Nanoparticles alone can never fill space completely, thus ion-by-ion filling must be invoked to fill interstitial pores. Such ion-by-ion diffusion and attachment may occur from the supersaturated calcifying fluid known to exist in corals, or from a dense liquid precursor, observed in synthetic systems but never in biogenic ones. Concomitant particle attachment and ion-by-ion filling was previously observed in synthetic calcite rhombohedra, but never in aragonite pseudohexagonal prisms, synthetic or biogenic, as observed here. Models for biomineral growth, isotope incorporation, and coral skeletons’ resilience to ocean warming and acidification must take into account the dual formation mechanism, including particle attachment and ion-by-ion space filling.},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.2012025117},
journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {11}
}

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https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2012025117

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