Fish as major carbonate mud producers and missing components of the tropical carbonate factory

Perry, Chris T., Salter, Michael A., Harborne, Alastair R., Crowley, Stephen F., Jelks, Howard L. and Wilson, Rod W. (2011) Fish as major carbonate mud producers and missing components of the tropical carbonate factory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, 108 10: 3865-3869. doi:10.1073/pnas.1015895108

Author Perry, Chris T.
Salter, Michael A.
Harborne, Alastair R.
Crowley, Stephen F.
Jelks, Howard L.
Wilson, Rod W.
Title Fish as major carbonate mud producers and missing components of the tropical carbonate factory
Journal name Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0027-8424
Publication date 2011-03-08
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1015895108
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 108
Issue 10
Start page 3865
End page 3869
Total pages 5
Editor George N. Somero
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher National Academy of Sciences
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Carbonate mud is a major constituent of recent marine carbonate sediments and of ancient limestones, which contain unique records of changes in ocean chemistry and climate shifts in the geological past. However, the origin of carbonate mud is controversial and often problematic to resolve. Here we show that tropical marine fish produce and excrete various forms of precipitated (nonskeletal) calcium carbonate from their guts (“low” and “high” Mg-calcite and aragonite), but that very fine-grained (mostly < 2 μm) high Mg-calcite crystallites (i.e., >4 mole % MgCO3) are their dominant excretory product. Crystallites from fish are morphologically diverse and species-specific, but all are unique relative to previously known biogenic and abiotic sources of carbonate within open marine systems. Using site specific fish biomass and carbonate excretion rate data we estimate that fish produce ~6.1 × 106 kg CaCO3/year across the Bahamian archipelago, all as mud-grade (the < 63 μm fraction) carbonate and thus as a potential sediment constituent. Estimated contributions from fish to total carbonate mud production average ~14% overall, and exceed 70% in specific habitats. Critically, we also document the widespread presence of these distinctive fish-derived carbonates in the finest sediment fractions from all habitat types in the Bahamas, demonstrating that these carbonates have direct relevance to contemporary carbonate sediment budgets. Fish thus represent a hitherto unrecognized but significant source of fine-grained carbonate sediment, the discovery of which has direct application to the conceptual ideas of how marine carbonate factories function both today and in the past.
Keyword Marine teleost
Fish intestine
Carbonate production
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID NE/G010617/1
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Authors prepress title: 'Fish as major carbonate mud producers and new components of the tropical carbonate factory".

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Created: Sat, 05 May 2012, 02:46:57 EST by Alastair Harborne on behalf of School of Biological Sciences