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Phosphorus in Cold-Water Corals as a Proxy for Seawater Nutrient Chemistry

AuthorsMontagna, Paolo; McCulloch, Malcom; Taviani, Marco; Mazzoli, Claudio; Vendrell Simón, Begoña
Issue DateJun-2006
PublisherAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science
CitationScience 312(5781): 1788-1791 (2006)
AbstractPhosphorus is a key macronutrient being strongly enriched in the deep ocean as a result of continuous export and remineralization of biomass from primary production. We show that phosphorus incorporated within the skeletons of the cosmopolitan cold-water coral Desmophyllum dianthus is directly proportional to the ambient seawater phosphorus concentration and thus may serve as a paleo-oceanographic proxy for variations in ocean productivity as well as changes in the residence times and sources of deep-water masses. The application of this tool to fossil specimens from the Mediterranean reveals phosphorus-enriched bottom waters at the end of the Younger Dryas period
Description4 pages, 3 figures
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1125781
Identifiersdoi: 10.1126/science.1125781
issn: 0036-8075
e-issn: 1095-9203
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