We establish a model for the reconstruction of average daily sea surface temperatures from calcification rates of an intertidal bivalve mollusk. The rate of shell production in Chione cortezi (Carpenter, 1864, ex Sloat MS) is mainly controlled by water temperature, ontogenetic age and the effect of tidal cycles. Statistical methods developed by dendrochronologists can successfully extract the water temperature signal from daily growth increment chronologies. After removal of noise, the growth rates are expressed as scaled daily growth indices. Average daily water temperatures during the first half of the year are highly correlated with the scaled daily growth index values of recent and subrecent specimens, using the multi-valued function presented here. Increment width analysis can reconstruct daily average water temperatures with a mean error of less than 3%. This technique provides an independent method for reconstructing temperatures in fossil specimens of species with living representatives and can supplement high-resolution temperature reconstructions based on geochemical analysis.
- Growth index
- Growth rate
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Earth-Surface Processes