Stable isotope 'vital effects' in coccolith calcite

P. Ziveri, H. Stoll, I. Probert, C. Klaas, M. Geisen, G.M. Ganssen, J. Young

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Uncertainties about the origin of the many disequilibrium or 'vital effects' in a variety of calcifying organisms, and whether these effects are constant or variable, have hampered paleoceanographic application of carbon and oxygen isotopic ratios. Unraveling the source of these effects will improve paleoceanographic applications and may provide new information on changes in cell physiology and ecology. Culture of eight species of coccolithophorids, a dominant marine phytoplankton group, reveals a 5‰ array of disequilibrium or 'vital effects' in both the carbon and oxygen isotopic composition of coccolith calcite. In moderate light and nutrient-replete cultures, oxygen isotopic fractionation and carbon isotopic fractionation correlates directly with cell division rates and correlates inversely with cell size across a range of species. However, when growth rates of a single species are increased or decreased by higher or lower light levels, ε
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-149
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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