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    ABSTRACT: Global climate change threatens the oceans as anthropogenic carbon dioxide causes ocean acidification and reduced carbonate saturation. Future projections indicate under saturation of aragonite, and potentially calcite, in the oceans by 2100. Calcifying organisms are those most at risk from such ocean acidification, as carbonate is vital in the biomineralisation of their calcium carbonate protective shells. This study highlights the importance of multi-generational studies to investigate how marine organisms can potentially adapt to future projected global climate change. Mytilus edulis is an economically important marine calcifier vulnerable to decreasing carbonate saturation as their shells comprise two calcium carbonate polymorphs: aragonite and calcite. M. edulis specimens were cultured under current and projected pCO2 (380, 550, 750 and 1000 μatm), following 6 months of experimental culture, adults produced second generation juvenile mussels. Juvenile mussel shells were examined for structural and crystallographic orientation of aragonite and calcite. At 1000 μatm pCO2, juvenile mussels spawned and grown under this high pCO2 do not produce aragonite which is more vulnerable to carbonate under-saturation than calcite. Calcite and aragonite were produced at 380, 550 and 750 μatm pCO2. Electron back scatter diffraction analyses reveal less constraint in crystallographic orientation with increased pCO2. Shell formation is maintained, although the nacre crystals appear corroded and crystals are not so closely layered together. The differences in ultrastructure and crystallography in shells formed by juveniles spawned from adults in high pCO2 conditions may prove instrumental in their ability to survive ocean acidification.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Structural Biology
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    ABSTRACT: The chemical composition and microstructure of the calcite cuticles of eleven species of phacopine trilobites have been investigated by electron beam imaging, diffraction, and microanalysis, and results reveal that the lenses of their schizochroal eyes differed significantly in chemical composition from the rest of the cuticle in vivo. Apart from the eye lenses, most cuticles are inferred to have escaped extensive recrystallisation because their constituent crystals are sub-micrometre in size and have a preferred orientation that is consistent between species. Their current compositions of ~ 1.4 to 2.4 mol% MgCO3 are likely to be close to original values, although as they commonly luminesce and contain detectable manganese and iron, some diagenetic alteration has taken place. The associated lenses have a microstructure that is suitable for focusing light, yet are optically turbid owing to the presence within calcite of micropores and crystals of microdolomite, apatite, celestite and pyrite. The microdolomite indicates that lenses recrystallised from an original high-Mg calcite composition and this is supported by the presence of nanometre-scale modulated microstructures in both the calcite and dolomite. These lenses currently contain ~ 1 to 6 mol% MgCO3, and by comparison with the proportion of magnesium lost from echinoderm stereom in the same thin sections, may have contained ~ 7.5 mol% MgCO3in vivo. In some samples, more extensive diagenetic alteration is evidenced by recrystallisation of the cuticle including lenses to coarse equant calcite or enrichment of the cuticle, but not necessarily the lenses, in magnesium accompanying replacement by a Mg–Fe phyllosilicate. The phacopine trilobites had to modify partition coefficients for magnesium considerably in order to grow lenses with contrasting compositions to the rest of their cuticles, and such a strong vital effect on biomineralisation suggests that incorporation of magnesium was essential for functioning of their calcite optical systems.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Chemical Geology

  • No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Journal of Structural Geology
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