This study presents intraspecific variations in carbon-isotope (δ13C) and oxygen-isotope (δ18O) compositions of nine specimens of a subtropical brachiopod, Basiliola lucida, collected west of Okinawa-jima, Ryukyu Islands, southwestern Japan. The δ13C values of samples collected along the maximum growth axis (ontogenetic samples) from two modern and seven older (pre-1945 cal AD) shells show no seasonal changes. The modern shells, which were collected from comparable depths, have similar δ13C values that fall within the range of calcite precipitated in isotopic equilibrium with ambient seawater (equilibrium calcite) (δ13CEC values), and their mean δ13C values are ~1.1-1.6‰ less than those from the older shells. This decrease in δ13C values is similar in magnitude to the decreases in atmospheric CO2 and the oceanic dissolved inorganic carbon at the sea surface in recent years (13C Suess effect), suggesting that the effect can even be detected at water depths of 200-300m in the subtropical northwestern Pacific Ocean. The δ18O values fluctuate within a narrow range (0.26-0.41‰) with no seasonal changes, and they exhibit small (0.14-0.51‰) offsets from those of equilibrium calcite (δ18OEC values). A statistically significant negative linear relationship is established between seawater temperature and mean δ18O values of the nine shells, but the slope (-0.31‰/°C) is steeper than those of equilibrium calcite (-0.23‰/°C) and other calcareous organisms (-0.15‰ to ?0.26‰/°C). The cross-plots of the δ13C and δ18O values suggest that the degree of the vital effect varies among individuals in this species. The δ13C and δ18O values of B. lucida are potentially useful for reconstructing the δ13C and δ18O evolution of ancient oceans, because both values show small intraspecific variations, the former is identical to the δ13CEC values, and the latter shows small within-shell variations and small, nearly constant offsets from the δ18OEC values.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology