Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Carbon Isotopes (δ13C and Δ14C) in Shell Carbonate, Conchiolin, and Soft Tissues in Eastern Oyster (Crassostrea Virginica)

  • Carla S Hadden (a1), Kathy M Loftis (a1) and Alexander Cherkinsky (a1)
Abstract

Biogeochemical analyses of eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) are frequently included in environmental monitoring and paleoecological studies because their shells and soft tissues record environmental and dietary signals. Carbon isotopes in the mineral phase of the shell are derived from ambient bicarbonate and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), while organic carbon present in soft tissue is of dietary origin. Mineral-bound organic matter within the carbonate shell matrix (“conchiolin”) is studied less frequently. The purpose of this study was to compare carbon isotope composition (δ13C and Δ14C) of conchiolin to those of shell carbonates and soft tissues in eastern oysters and assess the extent to which conchiolin can provide insight into paleoecological records. Eleven oyster specimens were live-collected from Apalachicola Bay, USA, as well as a set of environmental samples (water, sediment, and terrestrial plants). Overall, the δ13C values in all studied oyster tissue types record environmental signals related to carbon sources, with conchiolin being enriched in 13C by an average of 2.3‰ relative to bulk soft tissues. Δ14C values in oyster shell carbonates generally reflect the marine versus riverine source of DIC, while conchiolin Δ14C values are impacted by variable relative contributions of young and old organic matter. Environmental samples indicate a significantly large difference in Δ14C among sources, from –127‰ in particulate organic matter to approximately +15‰ in DIC. Conchiolin is significantly depleted in 14C relative to other tissue types, by as much as 56.6‰, posing a major obstacle to the use of conchiolin as an alternative material for radiocarbon dating.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. Email: hadden@uga.edu.
Footnotes
Hide All

Selected Papers from the 2nd Radiocarbon in the Environment Conference, Debrecen,Hungary, 3–7 July 2017

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Ambrose, SH, Norr, L. 1993. Experimental evidence for the relationship of the carbon isotope ratios of whole diet and dietary protein to those of bone collagen and carbonate. In: Lambert JB, Grupe G, editors. Prehistoric Human Bone: Archaeology at the Molecular Level. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag. p 137.
Andrus, CF, Crowe, DE. Geochemical analysis of Crassostrea virginica as a method to determine season of capture. Journal of Archaeological Science 27(1):3342.
Andrus, CFT, Thompson, VD. 2012. Determining the habitats of mollusk collection at the Sapelo Island shell ring complex, Georgia, USA using oxygen isotope sclerochronology. Journal of Archaeological Science 39(2):215228.
Baldwin, BS, Newell, RIE. 1995. Relative importance of different size food particles in the natural diet of oyster larvae (Crassostrea virginica) . Marine Ecology Progress Series 120:135145.
Carriker, MR, Palmer, RE, Prezant, RS. 1980. Functional ultramorphology of the dissoconch valves of oyster Crassostrea virginica . Proceedings of the National Shellfisheries Association 70:139182.
Chanton, JP, Lewis, FG. 1999. Plankton and dissolved inorganic carbon isotopic composition in a river-dominated estuary: Apalachicola Bay, Florida. Estuaries 22(3A):575583.
Chanton, JP, Lewis, FG. 2002. Examination of coupling between primary and secondary production in a river-dominated estuary: Apalachicola Bay, Florida, USA. Limnology and Oceanography 47(3):683697.
Chanton, JP, Cherrier, J, Wilson, RM, Sarkodee-Adoo, J, Bosman, S, Mickle, A, Graham, WM. 2012. Radiocarbon evidence that carbon from the Deepwater Horizon spill entered the planktonic food web of the Gulf of Mexico. Environmental Research Letters 7(3):045303.
Cherkinsky, A, Culp, RA, Dvoracek, DK, Noakes, JE. 2010. Status of the AMS facility at the University of Georgia. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physical Research B 268:867870.
Cherkinsky, A, Prasad, GR, Dvoracek, D. 2013. AMS measurement of samples smaller than 300μg at Center for Applied Isotope Studies, University of Georgia. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 294:8790.
Cherrier, J, Sarkodee-Adoo, J, Guilderson, TP, Chanton, JP. 2014. Fossil carbon in particulate organic matter in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon event. Environmental Science & Technology Letters 1(1):108112.
DeNiro, MJ, Epstein, S. 1978. Influence of diet on the distribution of carbon isotopes in animals. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 42(5):495506.
Degens, ET. 1969. Biogeochemistry of stable carbon isotopes. In: Eglington G, Murphy MTJ, editors. Organic Geochemistry: Methods and Results. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. p 304329.
Druffel, ER. 1997. Geochemistry of corals: proxies of past ocean chemistry, ocean circulation, and climate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 94(16):83548361.
Druffel, ERM, Beaupré, SR, Ziolkowski, LA. 2016. Radiocarbon in the oceans. In: Schuur EAG, Druffel ERM, Trumbore SE, editors. Radiocarbon and Climate Change: Mechanisms, Applications and Laboratory Techniques. Switzerland: Springer International. p 139166.
Elder, JF, Cairns, DJ. 1982. Production and decomposition of forest litter-fall on the Apalachicola River flood plain, Florida. U.S. Geological Survey Water Supply Paper 2196-B.
Ellis, GS, Herbert, G, Hollander, D. 2014. Reconstructing carbon sources in a dynamic estuarine ecosystem using oyster amino acid δ13C values from shell and tissue. Journal of Shellfish Research 33(1):217225.
Farquhar, GD, Elheringer, JR, Kubrick, KT. 1989. Carbon isotope discrimination and photosynthesis. Annual Review of Plant Biology 40(1):503537.
Fukumori, K, Oi, M, Doi, H, Takahashi, D, Okuda, N, Miller, TW, Kuwae, M, Miyasaka, H, Genkai-Kato, M, Koizumi, Y, Omori, K. 2008. Bivalve tissue as a carbon and nitrogen isotope baseline indicator in coastal ecosystems. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 79(1):4550.
Furla, PA, Galgani, I, Durand, IS, Allemand, DE. 2000. Sources and mechanisms of inorganic carbon transport for coral calcification and photosynthesis. Journal of Experimental Biology 203(22):34453457.
Galstoff, PS. 1964. The American Oyster Crassostrea virginica Gmelin. Fishery Bulletin of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 64:480, p.
Gannes, LZ, O’Brien, DM, Martinez, , del Rio, C. 1997. Stable Isotopes in Animal Ecology: Assumptions, caveats, and a call for more laboratory experiments. Ecology 78(4):12711276.
Gillikin, DP, Ridder, FD, Ulens, H, Elskens, M, Keppens, E, Baeyens, W, Dehairs, F. 2005. Assessing the reproducibility and reliability of estuarine bivalve shells (Saxidomus giganteus) for sea surface temperature reconstruction: implications for paleoclimate studies. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 228(1):7085.
Gillikin, DP, Lorrain, A, Meng, L, Dehairs, F. 2007. A large metabolic carbon contribution to the δ13C record in marine aragonitic bivalve shells. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 71:29362946.
Griffin, S, Druffel, ER. 1989. Sources of carbon to deep-sea corals. Radiocarbon 31(3):533543.
Hadden, CS, Cherkinsky, A. 2015. 14C variations in pre-bomb nearshore habitats of the Florida Panhandle, USA. Radiocarbon 57(3):469477.
Hadden, CS, Cherkinsky, A. 2017. Carbon reservoir effects in eastern oyster from Apalachicola Bay, USA. Radiocarbon. DOI: 10.1017/RDC.2017.45.
Harding, JM, Spero, HJ, Mann, R, Herbert, GS, Sliko, JS. 2010. Reconstructing early 17th century estuarine drought conditions from Jamestown oysters. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107(23):1054910554.
Jones, DS. 1983. Sclerochronology: reading the record of the molluscan shell: annual growth increments in the shells of bivalve molluscs record marine climatic changes and reveal surprising longevity. American Scientist. 71(4):384391.
Kashiyama, YU, Ogawa, NO, Chikaraishi, YO, Kashiyama, NA, Sakai, SA, Tanabe, KA, Ohkouchi, NA. 2010. Reconstructing the life history of modern and fossil nautiloids based on the nitrogen isotopic composition of shell organic matter and amino acids. In: Tanabe K, Shigeta Y, Sasaki, Hirano H, editors. Cephalopods: Present and Past. Tokyo: Tokai University Press. p 6775.
Kennedy, BE. 1988. Variation in δ13C values of post medieval Europeans [PhD thesis]. University of Calgary.
Kirby, MX, Soniat, TM, Spero, HJ. 1998. Stable isotope sclerochronology of Pleistocene and recent oyster shells (Crassostrea virginica). Palaios 13(6):560569.
Lee, SW, Choi, CS. 2007. The correlation between organic matrices and biominerals (myostracal prism and folia) of the adult oyster shell. Crassostrea gigas. Micron 38(1):5864.
Livingston, RJ, Lewis, FG, Woodsum, GC, Niu, XF, Galperin, B, Huang, W, Christensen, JD, Monaco, ME, Battista, TA, Klein, CJ, Howell, RL. 2000. Modelling oyster population response to variation in freshwater input. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 50(5):655672.
Macdonald, IR, Guinasso, NL, Ackleson, SG, Amos, JF, Duckworth, R, Sassen, R, Brooks, JM. 1993. Natural oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico visible from space. Journal of Geophysical Research 98(C9):1635116364.
McConnaughey, TA, Gillikin, DP. 2008. Carbon isotopes in mollusk shell carbonates. Geo-Marine Letters 28(5–6):287299.
Mook, WGA, Tan, FC. 1991. Stable carbon isotopes in rivers and estuaries. In: Degens ET, Kempe S, Richey JE, editors. Biogeochemistry of Major World Rivers. SCOPE Report 42. New York: SCOPE. p 245–64.
Newell, RI, Jordan, SJ. 1983. Preferential ingestion of organic material by the American oyster Crassostrea virginica . Marine Ecology Progress Series 28:4753.
Peterson, BJ, Fry, B. 1987. Stable isotopes in ecosystem studies. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 18(1):293320.
Plummer, NL, Sprinkle, CL. 2001. Radiocarbon dating of dissolved inorganic carbon in groundwater from confined parts of the Upper Floridan aquifer, Florida, USA. Hydrogeology Journal 9(2):127150.
Post, DM. 2002. Using stable isotopes to estimate trophic position: models, methods, and assumptions. Ecology 83(3):703718.
Rounick, JS, Winterbourn, MJ. 1986. Stable carbon isotopes and carbon flow in ecosystems. BioScience 36(3):171177.
Sastry, AN. 1963. Reproduction of the bay scallop, Aequipecten irradians Lamarck. Influence of temperature on maturation and spawning. The Biological Bulletin 125(1):146153.
Sikes, CS, Wheeler, AP, Wierzbicki, A, Dillaman, RM, De Luca, L. 1998. Oyster shell protein and atomic force microscopy of oyster shell folia. The Biological Bulletin 194(3):304316.
Stenzel, HB. 1963. Aragonite and calcite as constituents of adult oyster shells. Science 142(3589):232233.
Stuiver, M, Polach, HA. 1977. Discussion: reporting of 14C data. Radiocarbon 19(3):355363.
Surge, DM, Lohmann, KC, Goodfriend, GS. 2003. Reconstructing estuarine conditions: oyster shells as recorders of environmental change, southwest Florida. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 57(5):737756.
Sykes, GA, Collins, MJ, Walton, DI. 1995. The significance of a geochemically isolated intracrystalline organic fraction within biominerals. Organic Geochemistry 23(11–12):10591065.
Tanaka, N, Monaghan, MC, Rye, DM. 1986. Contribution of metabolic carbon to mollusc and barnacle shell carbonate. Nature 320:520523.
Watanabe, S, Kodama, M, Fukuda, M. 2009. Nitrogen stable isotope ratio in the manila clam, Ruditapes philippinarum, reflects eutrophication levels in tidal flats. Marine Pollution Bulletin 58(10):14471453.
White, NM. 2014. Apalachicola Valley riverine, estuarine, bayshore, and saltwater shell middens. The Florida Anthropologist 67(2–3):77104.
Zhang, G, Fang, X, Guo, X, Li, L, Luo, R, Xu, F, Yang, P, Zhang, L, Wang, X, Qi, H, Xiong, Z. 2012. The oyster genome reveals stress adaptation and complexity of shell formation. Nature. 490(7418):4954.
Recommend this journal

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

Radiocarbon
  • ISSN: 0033-8222
  • EISSN: 1945-5755
  • URL: /core/journals/radiocarbon
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 19 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 67 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 27th April 2018 - 22nd May 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.