Technical Note: Towards resolving in situ, centimeter-scale location and timing of biomineralization in calcareous meiobenthos – the calcein–osmotic pump method
Abstract. Insights into oceanographic environmental conditions such as paleoproductivity, deep-water temperatures, salinity, ice volumes, and nutrient cycling have all been obtained from geochemical analyses of biomineralized carbonate of marine organisms. However, we cannot fully understand geochemical proxy incorporation and the fidelity of such in species until we better understand fundamental aspects of their ecology such as where and when these (micro)organisms calcify. Here, we present an innovative method using osmotic pumps and the fluorescent marker calcein to help identify where and when calcareous meiofauna calcify in situ. Method development initially involved juvenile quahogs (Mercenaria mercenaria); subsequent method refinement involved a neritic benthic foraminiferal community. Future applications of this method will allow determining the in situ growth rate in calcareous organisms and provide insights about microhabitats where paleoceanographically relevant benthic foraminifera actually calcify.