Phase heterogeneity in carbonate production by marine fish influences their roles in sediment generation and the inorganic carbon cycle
Nature Publishing Group
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Marine teleost fish are important carbonate producers in neritic and oceanic settings. However, the fates of the diverse carbonate phases (i.e., mineral and amorphous forms of CaCO3) they produce, and their roles in sediment production and marine inorganic carbon cycling, remain poorly understood. Here we quantify the carbonate phases produced by 22 Bahamian fish species and integrate these data with regional fish biomass data from The Bahamas to generate a novel platform-scale production model that resolves these phases. Overall carbonate phase proportions, ordered by decreasing phase stability, are: ~20% calcite, ~6% aragonite, ~60% high-Mg calcite, and ~14% amorphous carbonate. We predict that these phases undergo differing fates, with at least ~14% (amorphous carbonate) likely dissolving rapidly. Results further indicate that fisheries exploitation in The Bahamas has potentially reduced fish carbonate production by up to 58% in certain habitats, whilst also driving a deviation from natural phase proportions. These findings have evident implications for understanding sedimentary processes in shallow warm-water carbonate provinces. We further speculate that marked phase heterogeneity may be a hitherto unrecognised feature of fish carbonates across a wide range of neritic and oceanic settings, with potentially major implications for understanding their role in global marine inorganic carbon cycling.
M.A.S., C.T.P., and R.W.W. acknowledge financial support from the UK National Environmental Research Council (NERC) through grants NE/K003143/1 and NE/G010617/1. A.R.H. was funded through NERC fellowship NE/F015704/1, and by the Australian Research Council (ARC) through fellowship DE120102459.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is freely available from Nature Publishing Group via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 7, Art. No. 765