As corals grow, they secrete a calcareous skeleton with the aid of photosynthetic activity of endosymbiotic dinoflagellates. The rate of this secretion varies annually which produces annual bands. Entrapped with the carbonate are trace substances that record the chemistry of the surrounding ocean. Detailing these changes in chemistry requires careful high-resolution sampling. New procedures involving laser ablation inductive couple plasma mass spectroscopy (LA-ICP/MS) provides a unique method that does not involve tedious sample preparation. The La-ICP/MS data for a series of Atlantic corals from Looe Key, U.S. Florida Keys shows an intriguing distribution trace and minor elements whose concentrations are related to reported bleaching events. SEM data from the layers exhibit a change in crystal habit concurrent with the changes in chemistry. These changes reflected the affect of the variable influence of the symbiotic algae on the development of the coral skeleton.
Additional publication details
Changes in trace and minor constituents and associated micro-architecture of Montastrea faveolata during time of "stress"
Larger Work Title:
Oceans Conference Record (IEEE)
Celebrating the Past... Teaming Toward the Fututre