Skip to main content Accessibility help

Silicon isotopes in Antarctic sponges: an interlaboratory comparison

  • Katharine R. Hendry (a1) (a2), Melanie J. Leng (a3), Laura F. Robinson (a1), Hilary J. Sloane (a3), Jerzy Blusztjan (a1), Rosalind E.M. Rickaby (a2), R. Bastian Georg (a2) (a4) and Alex N. Halliday (a2)...

Cycling of deepwater silicon (Si) within the Southern Ocean, and its transport into other ocean basins, may be an important player in the uptake of atmospheric carbon, and global climate. Recent work has shown that the Si isotope (denoted by δ29Si or δ30Si) composition of deep sea sponges reflects the availability of dissolved Si during growth, and is a potential proxy for past deep and intermediate water silicic acid concentrations. As with any geochemical tool, it is essential to ensure analytical precision and accuracy, and consistency between methodologies and laboratories. Analytical bias may exist between laboratories, and sponge material may have matrix effects leading to offsets between samples and standards. Here, we report an interlaboratory evaluation of Si isotopes in Antarctic and sub-Antarctic sponges. We review independent methods for measuring Si isotopes in sponge spicules. Our results show that separate subsamples of non-homogenized sponges measured by three methods yield isotopic values within analytical error for over 80% of specimens. The relationship between δ29Si and δ30Si in sponges is consistent with kinetic fractionation during biomineralization. Sponge Si isotope analyses show potential as palaeoceaongraphic archives, and we suggest Southern Ocean sponge material would form a useful additional reference standard for future spicule analyses.

Corresponding author
Hide All
Beucher, C.P., Brzezinksi, M.A. Crosta, X. 2007. Silicic acid dynamics in the glacial sub-Antarctic: implications for the silicic acid leakage hypothesis. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 21, 10.1029/2006GB002746.
Beucher, C.P., Brzezinksi, M.A. Jones, J.L. 2008. Sources and biological fractionation of silicon isotopes in the eastern equatorial Pacific. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 72, 30633073.
Brzezinksi, M.A., Sigman, D.M., Sarmiento, J.L., Matsumoto, K., Gruber, N., Rau, G.H. Coale, K.H. 2002. A switch from Si(OH)4 to NO3- depletion in the glacial Southern Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters, 29, 1564.
Cardinal, D., Savoye, N., Trull, T.W., Dehairs, F., Kopczynska, E.E., Fripiat, F., Tison, J.-L. André, L. 2007. Silicon isotope in spring Southern Ocean diatoms: large zonal changes despite homogeneity among size fractions. Marine Chemistry, 106, 4662.
Cortese, G., Gersonde, R., Hillendbrand, C.-D. Kuhn, G. 2004. Opal sedimentation shifts in the World Ocean over the last 15 Myr. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 224, 509527.
De La Rocha, C. Bickle, M. 2005. Sensitivity of silicon isotopes to whole-ocean changes in the silica cycle. Marine Geology, 217, 267282.
De La Rocha, C., Brzezinksi, M.A. Deniro, M.J. 1997. Fractionation of silicon isotopes by marine diatoms during biogenic silica formation. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, 61, 50515056.
De La Rocha, C., Brzezinksi, M.A., Deniro, M.J. Shemesh, A. 1998. Silicon isotope composition of diatoms as an indicator of past oceanic change. Nature, 395, 680683.
De La Rocha, C.L. 2003. Silicon isotope fractionation by marine sponges and the reconstruction of the silicon isotope composition of ancient deep water. Geology, 31, 423426.
Falkowski, P.G., Katz, M.E., Knoll, A.H., Quigg, A., Raven, J.A., Schofield, O. Taylor, F.J.R. 2004. The evolution of modern eukaryotic phytoplankton. Science, 305, 354360.
Foo, C.W.P., Huang, J. Kaplan, D.L. 2004. Lessons from seashells: silica mineralization via protein templating. Trends in Biotechnology, 22, 577585.
Frøhlich, H. Barthel, D. 1997. Silica uptake of the marine sponge Halichondria panicea in Kiel Bight. Marine Biology, 128, 115125.
Garcia, H.E., Locarnini, R.A., Boyer, T.P. Antonov, J.I. 2006. World Ocean Atlas 2005, vol. 4: nutrients (phosphate, nitrate, silicate). In Levitus, S., ed. NOAA atlas NESDIS 64. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 396 pp.
Georg, R.B., Halliday, A.N., Schauble, E.A. Reynolds, B.C. 2007. Silicon in the Earth’s core. Nature, 447, 11031106.
Georg, R.B., Reynolds, B.C., Frank, M. Halliday, A.N. 2006. New sample preparation techniques for the determination of Si isotopic composition using MC-ICPMS. Chemical Geology, 235, 95104.
Hendry, K.R., Georg, R.B., Rickaby, R.E.M., Robinson, L.F. Halliday, A.N. 2009. Sponge spicules as recorders of deep-water silicic acid. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73, A522.
Hendry, K.R., Georg, R.B., Rickaby, R.E.M., Robinson, L.F. Halliday, A.N. 2010. Deep ocean nutrients during the Last Glacial Maximum deduced from sponge spicule silicon isotopes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.02.005.
Hodson, M.J., Parker, A.G., Leng, M.J. Sloane, H.J. 2008. Silicon, oxygen and carbon isotpes in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) phytoliths - implications for palaeoecology and archaeology. Journal of Quaternary Science, 23, 331339.
Leng, M.J. Sloane, H.J. 2008. Combined oxygen and silicon isotope analysis of biogenic silica. Journal of Quaternary Science, 23, 313319.
Leng, M.J., Swann, G.E.A., Hodson, M.J., Tyler, J.J., Patwardhan, S.V. Sloane, H.J. 2009. The potential use of silicon isotope composition of biogenic silica as a proxy for environmental change. Silicon, 1, 6577.
Müller, W.E.G., Schloßmacher, U., Wang, X., Boreiko, A., Brandt, D., Wolf, S.E., Tremel, W. Schroeder, H.C. 2007. Poly(silicate)-metabolizing silicatein in siliceous spicules and silicasomes of demosponges comprises dual enymatic activities (silica polymerase and silica esterase). FEBS Journal, 275, 362370.
Opfergelt, S., Cardinal, D., Henriet, C., Andre, L. Delvaux, B. 2006. Silicon isotope fractionation bewteen plant parts in banana: in situ vs. in vitro. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 88, 224227.
Opfergelt, S., De Bournonville, G., Cardinal, D., Andre, L., Delstanche, S. Delvaux, B. 2009. Impact of soil weathering degree on silicon isotopic fracitonation during adsorption onto iron oxides in basaltic ash soils, Cameroon. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73, 72267240.
Ragueneau, O., Tréguer, P., Leynaert, A., Anderson, R.F., Brzezinksi, M.A., Demaster, D.J., Dugdale, R.C., Dymond, J., Fischer, G., Francois, R., Heinze, C., Maier-Raimer, E., Martin-Jezequel, V., Nelson, D.M. Quéguiner, B. 2000. A review of the Si cycle in the modern ocean: recent progress and missing gaps in the application of biogenic opal as a paleoproductivity proxy. Global and Planetary Change, 26, 317365.
Reynolds, B.C., Aggarwal, J., Andre, L., Baxter, D., Beucher, C., Brzezinksi, M.A., Engstrom, E., Georg, R.B., Land, M., Leng, M.J., Opfergelt, S., Rodushkin, I., Sloane, H.J., van der Boorn, S.H.J.M., Vroon, P.Z. Cardinal, D. 2007. An inter-laboratory comparison of Si isotope reference materials. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 22, 561568.
Savage, P.S., Georg, R.B., Armytage, R.M.G., Williams, H.M. Halliday, A.N. 2010. Silicon isotope homogeneity in the mantle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 295, 139146.
Schroeder, H.C., Wang, X., Tremel, W., Ushijima, H. Müller, W.E.G. 2008. Biofabrication of biosilica-glass by living organisms. Natural Products Reports, 25, 433636.
Street-Perrott, F.A., Barker, P.A., Leng, M.J., Sloane, H.J., Wooller, M.J., Ficken, K.J. Swain, D.L. 2008. Towards an understanding of Late Quaternary variations in the continental biogeochemical cycle of silicon: multi-isotope and sediment-flux data for Lake Rutundu, Mt. Keyna, East Africa, since 38 ka BP. Journal of Quaternary Science, 23, 375387.
Swann, G.E.A., Leng, M.J., Juschus, O., Melles, M., Brigham-Grette, J. Sloane, H.J. 2010. A combined oxygen and silicon diatom isotope record of Late Quaternary change in Lake El’gygytgyn, north east Siberia. Quaternary Science Reviews, 29, 774789.
Uriz, M.J., Turon, X. Becerro, M.A. 2000. Silica deposition in Demosponges: spiculogenesis. Cell and Tissue Research, 301, 299309.
Uriz, M.J., Turon, X., Becerro, M.A. Agell, G. 2003. Siliceous spicules and skeleton frameworks in sponges: origin, diversity, ultrastructural patterns, and biological functions. Microscopy Research and Technique, 62, 279299.
Van den Boorn, S.H.J.M., Vroon, P.Z., van Belle, C.C., van der Wagt, B., Schwieters, J. van Bergen, M.J. 2006. Determination of silicon isotope ratios in silicate minerals by high-resolution MC-ICP-MS using a sodium hydroxide sample digestion method. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 21, 734742.
Wille, M., Sutton, J., Ellwood, M.J., Sambridge, M., Maher, W., Eggins, S. Kelly, M. 2010. Silicon isotopic fractionation in marine sponges: a new model for understanding silicon isotopic fractionation in sponges. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.1001.1036.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Antarctic Science
  • ISSN: 0954-1020
  • EISSN: 1365-2079
  • URL: /core/journals/antarctic-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed