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Bach, Lennart Thomas (2014): Experiment: changing carbonate chemistry influence on coccoliths formed by Emiliania huxleyi. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Bach, Lennart Thomas; Bauke, Christine; Meier, K J Sebastian; Riebesell, Ulf; Schulz, Kai Georg (2012): Influence of changing carbonate chemistry on morphology and weight of coccoliths formed by Emiliania huxleyi. Biogeosciences, 9(8), 3449-3463,

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The coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi is a marine phytoplankton species capable of forming small calcium carbonate scales (coccoliths) which cover the organic part of the cell. Calcification rates of E. huxleyi are known to be sensitive to changes in seawater carbonate chemistry. It has, however, not yet been clearly determined how these changes are reflected in size and weight of individual coccoliths and which specific parameter(s) of the carbonate system drive morphological modifications. Here, we compare data on coccolith size, weight, and malformation from a set of five experiments with a large diversity of carbonate chemistry conditions. This diversity allows distinguishing the influence of individual carbonate chemistry parameters such as carbon dioxide (CO2), bicarbonate (HCO3- ), carbonate ion (CO32-), and protons (H+) on the measured parameters. Measurements of fine-scale morphological structures reveal an increase of coccolith malformation with decreasing pH suggesting that H+ is the major factor causing malformations. Coccolith distal shield area varies from about 5 to 11 µm2. Changes in size seem to be mainly induced by varying [HCO3- ] and [H+] although influence of [CO32-] cannot be entirely ruled out. Changes in coccolith weight were proportional to changes in size. Increasing CaCO3 production rates are reflected in an increase in coccolith weight and an increase of the number of coccoliths formed per unit time. The combined investigation of morphological features and coccolith production rates presented in this study may help to interpret data derived from sediment cores, where coccolith morphology is used to reconstruct calcification rates in the water column.
#NameShort NameUnitPrincipal InvestigatorMethod/DeviceComment
1TreatmentTreatBach, Lennart Thomas
2Carbon, inorganic, dissolvedDICµmol/kgBach, Lennart Thomas
3Alkalinity, totalATµmol/kgBach, Lennart Thomas
4pHpHBach, Lennart Thomas
5Carbon dioxide, partial pressurepCO2µatmBach, Lennart Thomas
6Bicarbonate ion[HCO3]-µmol/kgBach, Lennart Thomas
7Carbonate ion[CO3]2-µmol/kgBach, Lennart Thomas
8Carbon dioxideCO2µmol/kgBach, Lennart Thomas
9Calcite saturation stateOmega CalBach, Lennart Thomas
10Aragonite saturation stateOmega ArgBach, Lennart Thomas
11Cell sizeCell sizeµmBach, Lennart Thomas
12Particulate inorganic carbon production per cellPIC prodpg/#/dayBach, Lennart Thomas
13MassMassµgBach, Lennart Thomasmean coccolith weight
14Mass, standard deviationMass std dev±Bach, Lennart Thomascoccolith weight stdev
15Calcium carbonate production per cellCaCO3 prodpg/#/dayBach, Lennart Thomas
16ProductionP1/dayBach, Lennart Thomasnumber of coccoliths produced per day
17Surface areaSAµm2Bach, Lennart Thomascoccolith distal shield area mean
18Surface area, standard deviationSA std dev±Bach, Lennart Thomas
19LengthlµmBach, Lennart Thomasmean coccolith length
20Length, standard deviationl std dev±Bach, Lennart Thomas
21WidthwµmBach, Lennart Thomasmean coccolith width
22Width, standard deviationw std dev±Bach, Lennart ThomasMeasured
23LengthlµmBach, Lennart Thomasmean central area length
24Length, standard deviationl std dev±Bach, Lennart Thomas
25WidthwµmBach, Lennart Thomasmean central area width
26Width, standard deviationw std dev±Bach, Lennart ThomasMeasured
27Height/width ratioHeight/widthBach, Lennart Thomasmean coccolith length/coccolith width ratio
28Height/width ratio, standard deviationHeight/width std dev±Bach, Lennart Thomas
29Height/width ratioHeight/widthBach, Lennart Thomasmean central area length/central area width ratio
30Height/width ratio, standard deviationHeight/width std dev±Bach, Lennart Thomas
31Surface areaSAµm2Bach, Lennart Thomasmean calculated distal shield surface area
32Surface area, standard deviationSA std dev±Bach, Lennart Thomas
33Surface areaSAµm2Bach, Lennart Thomasmean calculated central area surface area
34Surface area, standard deviationSA std dev±Bach, Lennart Thomas
35Coccoliths, malformed and incompleteCocco malformed%Bach, Lennart Thomasmean malformation
36Coccoliths, malformed and incomplete, standard deviationCocco malformed std dev±Bach, Lennart Thomas
1977 data points

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