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Title: Sub-annual fluorescence measurements of coral skeleton : relationship between skeletal luminescence and terrestrial humic-like substances
Authors: Kaushal, Nikita
Yang, Liudongqing
Tanzil, Jani Thuaibah Isa
Lee, Jen Nie
Goodkin, Nathalie Fairbank
Martin, Patrick
Keywords: Engineering::Environmental engineering
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Kaushal, N., Yang, L., Tanzil, J. T. I., Lee, J. N., Goodkin, N. F., & Martin, P. (2020). Sub-annual fluorescence measurements of coral skeleton : relationship between skeletal luminescence and terrestrial humic-like substances. Coral Reefs, 39, 1257–1272. doi:10.1007/s00338-020-01959-x
Journal: Coral Reefs 
Abstract: Some massive coral core slices reveal luminescent bands under ultraviolet light, which have been attributed to terrestrial humic acids in the skeleton. Coral luminescence has therefore been used to reconstruct past climate and hydrological variability. However, it has remained unresolved how closely coral luminescence at sub-annual resolution is related to terrestrial humic acid concentrations. This study presents a solution-based fluorescence method to quantify terrestrial humic substances in less than 4 mg of coral powder. The results show that in corals from Malaysia and Singapore, the luminescence green-to-blue ratio is correlated with skeletal concentrations of terrestrial humic substances (R2 > 0.40, p < 0.001) at two sites that are exposed to terrestrial dissolved organic matter from peatlands on Sumatra. In contrast, coral cores from two other sites located far from major terrestrial organic matter sources show lower green-to-blue values and no convincing correlation with fluorescence intensity of terrestrial humic substances in the skeleton. Abiogenic aragonite precipitation experiments with both terrestrial and marine organic matter sources confirmed that terrestrial humic substances are readily incorporated into aragonite, but not fluorescent organic matter from marine sources. The results of this study suggest that in coral cores with high luminescence green-to-blue ratios (> 0.6) and large downcore variability (range of ≥ 0.05), the green-to-blue ratio is strongly linked to variation in terrestrial humic substances. Coral cores therefore have the potential to reconstruct past variation in terrigenous dissolved organic carbon fluxes.
ISSN: 0722-4028
DOI: 10.1007/s00338-020-01959-x
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Rights: © 2020 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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