[Coral-List] Comment on von Euw paper in Science on Biological Control of Coral Calcification

Scott Wooldridge swooldri23 at gmail.com
Mon Jun 5 17:57:56 EDT 2017

Dear Fellow Coral Researchers,

The results of von Euw paper in Science on Biological Control of Coral
Calcification is an exciting confirmation of the involvement of acidic
organic material as a “seed” for aragonite crystal nucleation. However, the
suggested involvement of acidic organic material is not new, and can be
traced back (at least) to Goreau (1959).

Recently I outlined a new conceptual model of coral biomineralisation that
explains the role that such organic material plays in the “dark
calcification” phase of aragonite deposition. Secondary, thickening of this
material into needle-like crystal fibres occurs during the “light-enhanced”
phase of calcification, and benefits from a raised aragonite saturation
state in the precipitating microenvironment – as achieved by
energy-requiring pumping of protons (H+) out of the calcifying fluid.

This new coral biomineralisation explains that ocean acidification causes
the coral host to have to work harder (= consume more energy) to convert
the organic seed material in aragonite fibres.

The involvement of acidic material, in no way discounts the importance of
ocean acidification to the health and CaCO3 deposition potential of reef
building corals.

All of this is explained in detail (see particularly Figure 6) in the
attached manuscript.


Scott Wooldridge


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