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Identification of two organic bands showing different chemical composition within the skeleton of Porites lutea: a confocal Raman microscopy study

Author(s): M. Wall | G. Nehrke

Journal: Biogeosciences Discussions
ISSN 1810-6277

Volume: 9;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 8273;
Date: 2012;
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Confocal Raman microscopy mapping was used to investigate the organic matrix distribution within the skeleton of the coral Porites lutea. Two types of growth lines could be identified: one corresponds to the well-known incremental growth layers, whereas the second type of growth lines showed an elemental composition that differed from the incremental growth layers. The position and shape of the latter growth lines resemble either denticle finger-like structures (most likely traces of former spines) or former skeletal surfaces. We hypothesize that these lines are involved in the three-dimensional arrangement of skeletal elements and represent the outer skeletal surface before another growth cycle of elongation, infilling and thickening of skeletal components continues. We show that high spatial resolution mapping can significantly improve our understanding of skeletal growth patterns in coral skeletons.
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