Seawater carbonate chemistry and shell opacity of pteropod, supplement to: Oakes, Rosie L; Peck, Victoria L; Manno, C; Bralower, Timothy J (2019): Degradation of Internal Organic Matter is the Main Control on Pteropod Shell Dissolution After Death. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 33(6), 749-760


The potential for preservation of thecosome pteropods is thought to be largely governed by the chemical stability of their delicate aragonitic shells in seawater. However, sediment trap studies have found that significant carbonate dissolution can occur above the carbonate saturation horizon. Here we present the results from experiments conducted on two cruises to the Scotia Sea to directly test whether the breakdown of the organic pteropod body influences shell dissolution. We find that, on the timescales of three to thirteen days, the oxidation of organic matter within the shells of dead pteropods is a stronger driver of shell dissolution than the saturation state of seawater. Three to four days after death, shells became milky white and nano‐SEM images reveal smoothing of internal surface features and increased shell porosity, both indicative of aragonite dissolution. These findings have implications for the interpretation of the condition of pteropod shells from sediment traps and the fossil record, as well as for understanding the processes controlling particulate carbonate export from the surface ocean.

In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2019) was used to compute a complete and consistent set of carbonate system variables, as described by Nisumaa et al. (2010). In this dataset the original values were archived in addition with the recalculated parameters (see related PI). The date of carbonate chemistry calculation by seacarb is 2019-11-20.

Related Identifier
Related Identifier
Metadata Access
Creator Oakes, Rosie L; Peck, Victoria L; Manno, C; Bralower, Timothy J
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Contributor Yang, Yan
Publication Year 2019
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 675 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (-41.346W, -55.191S, -40.112E, -53.812N)
Temporal Coverage Begin 2013-12-03T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 2015-12-08T00:00:00Z