Rare earth elements in oyster shells: provenance discrimination and potential vital effects

Mouchi, Vincent; Godbillot, Camille; Forest, Vianney; Ulianov, Alexey; Lartaud, Franck; de Rafélis, Marc; Emmanuel, Laurent; Verrecchia, Eric P.

Rare earth elements (REEs) and yttrium in seawater originate from atmospheric fallout, continental weathering, and transport from rivers, as well as hydrothermal activity. Previous studies have reported the use of REE and Y measurements in biogenic carbonates as a means to reconstruct these surface processes in ancient times. As coastal seawater REE and Y concentrations partially reflect those of nearby rivers, it may be possible to obtain a regional fingerprint of these concentrations from bivalve shells for seafood traceability and environmental monitoring studies. Here, we present a dataset of 297 measurements of REE and Y abundances by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) from two species (Crassostrea gigas and Ostrea edulis). We measured a total of 49 oyster specimens from six locations in France (Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea). Our study reports that there is no significant difference in concentrations from shell parts corresponding to winter and summer periods for both species. Moreover, interspecific vital effects are reported from specimens from both species and from the same locality. REE and Y profiles as well as inline-formulat-distributed stochastic neighbour embedding processing (inline-formulat-SNE; a discriminant statistical method) indicate that REE and Y measurements from C. gigas shells can be discriminated from one locality to another, but this is not the case for O. edulis, which presents very similar concentrations in all studied localities. Therefore, provenance studies using bivalve shells based on REEs and Y have to first be tested for the species. Other methods have to be investigated to be able to find the provenance of some species, such as O. edulis.

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Mouchi, Vincent / Godbillot, Camille / Forest, Vianney / et al: Rare earth elements in oyster shells: provenance discrimination and potential vital effects. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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