Interindividual variability and ontogenetic effects on Mg and Sr incorporation in the planktonic foraminifer Globigerinoides sacculifer

Adriana Dueñas-Bohórquez, Régine Elisabeth da Rocha, Azumi Kuroyanagi, Lennart J. de Nooijer, Jelle Bijma, Gert Jan Reichart

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40 Citations (Scopus)


In order to investigate the interindividual and ontogenetic effects on Mg and Sr incorporation, magnesium/calcium (Mg/Ca) and strontium/calcium (Sr/Ca) ratios of cultured planktonic foraminifera have been determined. Specimens of Globigerinoides sacculifer were grown under controlled physical and chemical seawater conditions in the laboratory. By using this approach, we minimised the effect of potential environmental variability on Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios. Whereas temperature is the overriding control of Mg/Ca ratios, the interindividual variability observed in the Mg/Ca values contributes 2-3°C to the apparent temperature variance. Interindividual variability in Sr/Ca ratios is much smaller than that observed in Mg/Ca values. The variability due to ontogeny corresponds to -0.43mmol/mol of Mg/Ca ratio per chamber added. This translates into an apparent decrease of ∼1°C in Mg/Ca-based temperature per ontogenetic (chamber) stage. No significant ontogenetic effect is observed on Sr incorporation. We conclude that the presence of a significant ontogenetic effect on Mg incorporation can potentially offset Mg/Ca-based temperature reconstructions. We propose two new empirical Mg/Ca-temperature equation based on Mg/Ca measurements of the last four ontogenetic (chamber) stages and whole foraminiferal test: Mg/Ca=(0.55(±0.03)-0.0002(±4×10-5) MSD)e0.089T and, Mg/Ca=(0.55(±0.03)-0.0001(±2×10-5) MSD)e0.089T, respectively, where MSD corresponds to the maximum shell diameter of the individual.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-532
Number of pages13
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 15
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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