The patterns of elemental concentration (Ca, Na, Sr, Mg, Mn, Ba, Cu, Pb, V, Y, U and Cd) in shells of invertebrates representing different CaCO 3 polymorphs: a case study from the brackish Gulf of Gdańsk (the Baltic Sea)

Piwoni-Piórewicz, Anna; Strekopytov, Stanislav; Humphreys-Williams, Emma; Kukliński, Piotr

The shells of calcitic arthropod Amphibalanus improvisus; aragonitic bivalves Cerastoderma glaucum, Limecola balthica, and Mya arenaria; and bimineralic bivalve Mytilus trossulus were collected in the brackish waters of the southern Baltic Sea in order to study patterns of bulk elemental concentration (Ca, Na, Sr, Mg, Ba, Mn, Cu, Pb, V, Y, U and Cd) in shells composed of different crystal lattices (calcite and aragonite). The factors controlling the elemental composition of shells are discussed in the context of crystal lattice properties, size classes of organisms and potential environmental differences between locations. Clams that precipitate fully aragonitic shells have a clear predominance of Sr over Mg in shells, contrary to predominant accumulation of Mg over Sr in calcitic shells of barnacles. However, the barnacle calcite shell contains higher Sr concentration than bivalve aragonite. The elemental variability between size-grouped shells is different for each studied species, and the elemental concentrations tend to be lower in the large size classes compared to the smaller size classes. Biological differences between and within species, such as growth rate, feeding strategy (including feeding rate and assimilation efficiency or composition) and contribution of organic material, seem to be important factors determining the elemental accumulation in shells. Because specimens used in this study were obtained from different sampling sites within the gulf, the impact of location-specific environmental factors, such as sediment type, cannot be excluded.

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Piwoni-Piórewicz, Anna / Strekopytov, Stanislav / Humphreys-Williams, Emma / et al: The patterns of elemental concentration (Ca, Na, Sr, Mg, Mn, Ba, Cu, Pb, V, Y, U and Cd) in shells of invertebrates representing different CaCO3 polymorphs: a case study from the brackish Gulf of Gdańsk (the Baltic Sea). 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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