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|Validation of alternative marine calcareous skeletons as recorders of global climate change|
Parent project: Research action SPSD-II: Second scientific support plan for a sustainable development policy, more
Reference no: EV/04
Period: December 2000 till February 2005
Thesaurus terms: Carbonate biogenic deposits; Climate; Shells
Taxonomic terms: Bivalvia [WoRMS]; Echinodermata [WoRMS]
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Five Belgian Institutions (the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences: Department of Invertebrates (RBINSc); the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Section of Mineralogy, Petrography and Geochemistry (MRAC); Université Libre de Bruxelles, Laboratoire de Biologie Marine (ULB); Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laboratory of analytical Chemistry and Laboratory of Isotope Geochemistry (VUB); University of Antwerp, Ecophysiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology Unit, Department of Biology (UA) have set up a project to validate the use of CALcareous MARine Skeletons as recorders of global climate changes.
Potential recorders have been selected among three taxa: sclerosponges, bivalves, and echinoderms, for their contrasted characteristics: lifetime, growth rate, and mineralisation features. Areas of interest spread from the North East Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean.
The potential as environmental recorders of sclerosponges, bivalves, and echinoderms is well known, and the originality of CALMARS rather resides in three new perspectives.
CALMARS approach is based on a combination of field and laboratory work. Field work consists in regular samplings of each group at a few selected sites in both tropical and temperate settings (North Sea & Scheldt, Norway, Jamaica and Kenya) where long-term monitoring of environmental conditions is carried out to follow up the recording of seasonal variations in the skeleton. Single samplings along environmental gradients are also performed in order to assess the recording of latitudinal variations. Specimens preserved in museums will help to extend data in time and localities. Proxies studied are Mg, Sr, Ba, Cd, Mn, U, B, Pb, Zn and O13Ccarb, O18Ocarb, using laser ablation ICP-MS in order to gain a high time resolution. Effects of environmental parameters are tested for each group under experimental conditions (in situ with incubation chambers or in aquarium). Impact of ambient substrate concentrations and physico-chemical conditions are also studied in controlled in-vitro experiments, during which incorporation of proxy are followed after radioactive and stable isotope spiking to ascertain results obtained along naturally occurring gradients.
Link with International Programmes
Paleo-oceanographic studies of climate change to modern-day analyses of pollution impacts.
Expected results and/or products
CALMARS aims at improving and extending the records of global change in the oceanic domain with a peculiar interest for the climate databases. Through a network of biologists and geochemists of complementary experience, CALMARS intends to:
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