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First recorded presence of anthropogenic fly-ash particles in coral skeletons

Roberts, LR; Kersting, DK; Zinke, J; Rose, NL; (2024) First recorded presence of anthropogenic fly-ash particles in coral skeletons. Science of the Total Environment , 921 , Article 170665. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.170665. Green open access

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Abstract

Fly-ash particles formed during industrial fossil-fuel combustion show a globally observed rapid increase in concentration within natural archives post-1950 and have been proposed as a marker for the Anthropocene Epoch. Here, we present the first record of fly-ash particles incorporated into coral skeletons. Particles are present in Mediterranean corals between CE 1957 and 1992 at concentrations of 8–30 g−1 coral, mirroring the period of increased industrial activity in the area, and corroborating with spheroidal carbonaceous particle (SCP) records globally. The findings have important implications for the use of SCPs as markers in natural archives. With the exception of microplastics, this is the first evidence of particulate contamination in corals collected from natural environments. Further research is needed to understand incorporation pathways into coral skeletons, any subsequent ecotoxicological impact of contaminants, and the influence on overall coral health globally.

Type: Article
Title: First recorded presence of anthropogenic fly-ash particles in coral skeletons
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.170665
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.170665
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2024 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: SCPs, Contamination, Anthropocene, Cladocora caespitosa, Mediterranean Sea, Coral skeleton
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10187488
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