The coralligenous build-ups located on the Mediterranean shelf in front of Marzamemi (SE Sicily, Italy) represent useful natural examples to use in studying the relationship between skeletal organisms and non-skeletal components in marine bioconstructions. Coralligenous build-ups are formed in open marine systems, and their comparison with coeval bioconstructions (biostalactites) of confined environments, like submarine caves, allows depicting the complex interactions between metazoans and microbial communities in the formations of recent bioconstructions in different Mediterranean settings. In this study, two coralligenous build-ups were characterized in terms of organisms and sediments involved in their formation. The framework mainly consists of coralline algae and subordinate bryozoans and serpulids. Sponges affect the general morphology of the bioconstructions both interacting with skeletonized organisms and through bioerosion activity. The micrite or microcrystalline calcite is present in minor amounts compared to other components that form the build-ups and consists of two types: autochthonous (in situ) and allochthonous (detrital). Fine autochthonous micrite mineralized directly inside the framework cavities and shows aphanitic or peloidal fabric, produced by organomineralization processes of soft sponge tissues and microbial metabolic activity, respectively. The detrital micrite occurring inside cavities derives from external sources or erosion processes of the bioconstructions themselves. This component has been classified as organic or inorganic based on the organic matter contents deduced by UV epifluorescence. A great quantity of sponges live in cavities of the coralligenous build-ups and compete with carbonatogenic bacteria for the same cryptic spaces, limiting the production of microbialites. The sharing of a similar relationship between sponges and microbial communities by coralligenous concretion and biotic crusts of particular submarine caves suggests that this competition is not habitat-specific. On the contrary, it may develop in a range of environmental settings, from open to cryptic systems, and could be used to clarify the role of metazoans vs. microbialites in palaeoecological reconstructions

Origin and role of non-skeletal carbonate in coralligenous build-ups: new geobiological perspectives in biomineralization processes

Rosso, Antonietta;Sanfilippo, Rossana;Sciuto, Francesco;
2024-01-01

Abstract

The coralligenous build-ups located on the Mediterranean shelf in front of Marzamemi (SE Sicily, Italy) represent useful natural examples to use in studying the relationship between skeletal organisms and non-skeletal components in marine bioconstructions. Coralligenous build-ups are formed in open marine systems, and their comparison with coeval bioconstructions (biostalactites) of confined environments, like submarine caves, allows depicting the complex interactions between metazoans and microbial communities in the formations of recent bioconstructions in different Mediterranean settings. In this study, two coralligenous build-ups were characterized in terms of organisms and sediments involved in their formation. The framework mainly consists of coralline algae and subordinate bryozoans and serpulids. Sponges affect the general morphology of the bioconstructions both interacting with skeletonized organisms and through bioerosion activity. The micrite or microcrystalline calcite is present in minor amounts compared to other components that form the build-ups and consists of two types: autochthonous (in situ) and allochthonous (detrital). Fine autochthonous micrite mineralized directly inside the framework cavities and shows aphanitic or peloidal fabric, produced by organomineralization processes of soft sponge tissues and microbial metabolic activity, respectively. The detrital micrite occurring inside cavities derives from external sources or erosion processes of the bioconstructions themselves. This component has been classified as organic or inorganic based on the organic matter contents deduced by UV epifluorescence. A great quantity of sponges live in cavities of the coralligenous build-ups and compete with carbonatogenic bacteria for the same cryptic spaces, limiting the production of microbialites. The sharing of a similar relationship between sponges and microbial communities by coralligenous concretion and biotic crusts of particular submarine caves suggests that this competition is not habitat-specific. On the contrary, it may develop in a range of environmental settings, from open to cryptic systems, and could be used to clarify the role of metazoans vs. microbialites in palaeoecological reconstructions
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/589269
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