Posts Tagged 'paleo'

Deepwater carbonate ion concentrations in the western tropical Pacific since 250 ka: Evidence for oceanic carbon storage and global climate influence

We present new “size-normalized weight” (SNW)-Δ[CO32−] core-top calibrations for three planktonic foraminiferal species and assess their reliability as a paleo-alkalinity proxy. SNWs of Globigerina sacculifer and Neogloboquadrina dutertrei can be used to reconstruct past deep Pacific [CO32−], whereas SNWs of Pulleniatina obliquiloculata are controlled by additional environmental factors. Based on this methodological advance, we reconstruct SNW-based deepwater [CO32−] for core WP7 from the western tropical Pacific since 250 ka. Secular variation in the SNW proxy documents little change in deep Pacific [CO32−] between the Last Glacial Maximum and the Holocene. Further back in time, deepwater [CO32−] shows long-term increases from marine isotope stage (MIS) 5e to MIS 3 and from early MIS 7 to late MIS 6, consistent with the “coral reef hypothesis” that the deep Pacific Ocean carbonate system responded to declining shelf carbonate production during these two intervals. During deglaciations, we have evidence of [CO32−] peaks coincident with Terminations 2 and 3, which suggests that a breakdown of oceanic vertical stratification drove a net transfer of CO2 from the ocean to the atmosphere, causing spikes in carbonate preservation (i.e., the “deglacial ventilation hypothesis”). During MIS 4, a transient decline in SNW-based [CO32−], along with other reported [CO32−] and/or dissolution records, implies that increased deep-ocean carbon storage resulted in a global carbonate dissolution event. These findings provide new insights into the role of the deep Pacific in the global carbon cycle during the late Quaternary.

Continue reading ‘Deepwater carbonate ion concentrations in the western tropical Pacific since 250 ka: Evidence for oceanic carbon storage and global climate influence’

Calcareous nannoplankton response to the latest Cenomanian Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 perturbation

Morphometric analyses were performed on Biscutum constans, Zeugrhabdotus erectus, Discorhabdus rotatorius and Watznaueria barnesiae specimens from five sections spanning the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary interval including Oceanic Anoxic Event (OAE) 2 (~ 94 Ma). The study provides evidence for size fluctuations and dwarfism of B. constans during OAE 2, followed by a partial recovery at the end of the event: this taxon appears to be the most sensitive species, with similar and coeval size trends in all the analyzed sections. Conversely, morphometry shows negligible or unsystematic coccolith variations in Z. erectus, D. rotatorius and W. barnesiae. The comparison of OAE 2 data with those available for the early Aptian OAE 1a and latest Albian OAE 1d, indicates that B. constans repeatedly underwent size reduction and temporary dwarfism possibly implying that the same paleoenvironmental factors controlled calcification of B. constans during subsequent OAEs although the amplitude of B. constans coccolith reduction is significantly larger for OAE 1a than OAE 2. Paleoceanographic reconstructions suggest that ocean chemistry related to the amount of CO2 and toxic metal concentrations played a central role in B. constans coccolith secretion, while temperature and nutrient availability do not seem to have been crucial. Contrary to OAE 1a, Z. erectus, D. rotatorius and W. barnesiae appear to be substantially unrelated to OAE 2 paleoenvironmental stress, possibly because of different degrees of perturbation.

Continue reading ‘Calcareous nannoplankton response to the latest Cenomanian Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 perturbation’

Hydrographic and ecologic implications of foraminiferal stable isotopic response across the U.S. mid-Atlantic continental shelf during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

We present new δ13C and δ18O records of surface (Morozovella and Acarinina) and thermocline dwelling (Subbotina) planktonic foraminifera and benthic foraminifera (Gavelinella, Cibicidoides, and Anomalinoides) during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) from Millville, New Jersey, and compare them with three other sites located along a paleoshelf transect from the U.S. mid-Atlantic coastal plain. Our analyses show different isotopic responses during the PETM in surface versus thermocline and benthic species. Whereas all taxa record a 3.6–4.0‰ δ13C decrease associated with the carbon isotope excursion, thermocline dwellers and benthic foraminifera show larger δ18O decreases compared to surface dwellers. We consider two scenarios that can explain the observed isotopic records: (1) a change in the water column structure and (2) a change in habitat or calcification season of the surface dwellers due to environmental stress (e.g., warming, ocean acidification, surface freshening, and/or eutrophication). In the first scenario, persistent warming during the PETM would have propagated heat into deeper layers and created a more homogenous water column with a thicker warm mixed layer and deeper, more gradual thermocline. We attribute the hydrographic change to decreased meridional thermal gradients, consistent with models that predict polar amplification. The second scenario assumes that environmental change was greater in the mixed layer forcing surface dwellers to descend into thermocline waters as a refuge or restrict their calcification to the colder seasons. Although both scenarios are plausible, similar δ13C responses recorded in surface, thermocline, and benthic foraminifera challenge mixed layer taxa migration.

Continue reading ‘Hydrographic and ecologic implications of foraminiferal stable isotopic response across the U.S. mid-Atlantic continental shelf during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum’

Core-top calibration of B/Ca in Pacific Ocean Neogloboquadrina incompta and Globigerina bulloides as a surface water carbonate system proxy

Practical methods for reconstructing past ocean carbonate chemistry are needed to study past periods of ocean acidification and improve understanding of the marine carbonate system’s role in the global climate cycles. Planktic foraminiferal B/Ca may fill this role, but requires better understanding and improved proxy calibrations. We used Pacific Ocean core-top sediments to generate new calibrations of the B/Ca proxy for past carbonate system parameters in two upwelling/subpolar species of asymbiotic planktic foraminifera (Globigerina bulloides and Neogloboquadrina incompta ). Both species show significant positive correlation of B/Ca with calcite saturation (Ωcalcite) and carbonate ion concentration ([View the MathML source]) across a broad range of environmental conditions. This suggests a calcification rate control on B/Ca incorporation (as Ωcalcite regulates calcification rate), in agreement with recent inorganic calcite studies. This is also consistent with a surface entrapment model of trace element incorporation into CaCO3. In neither species is B/Ca significantly correlated with pH, suggesting that pH does not directly regulate boron incorporation, and that calculation of pH directly from foraminiferal B/Ca is not suitable. Correlations between B/Ca and [B(OH)4−], [B(OH)4−/HCO3−], and [B(OH)4−]/DIC) are weaker than with Ωcalcite. Boron partition coefficients View the MathML source show little or no correlation with [CO32−] or temperature and vary widely, providing no support for application of KD to calculate carbonate system parameters from B/Ca. We also discuss potential effects of depth-related dissolution, temperature, and salinity on B/Ca. These empirical calibrations linking foraminiferal calcite B/Ca with Ωcalcite provide a strong tool for reconstructing the past ocean carbonate system and improve our understanding of the proxy’s geochemical basis.

Continue reading ‘Core-top calibration of B/Ca in Pacific Ocean Neogloboquadrina incompta and Globigerina bulloides as a surface water carbonate system proxy’

Extinction selectivity among marine fishes during multistressor global change in the end-Permian and end-Triassic crises

Ancient mass extinction events such as the end-Permian and end-Triassic crises provide analogues for multistressor global change of ocean warming, pH reduction, and deoxygenation. Organism physiology is hypothesized to be a key trait influencing vulnerability to these stressors, but it is not certain how physiology predicts survival over evolutionary time scales and when organisms are faced with opposing or synergistic stressors. Fishes (bony fishes and chondrichthyan fishes) are active organisms with high aerobic scope for thermal tolerance and well-developed acid-base regulation, traits that should confer resilience to global change. To test this, we compiled a database of fossil marine fish occurrences to quantify extinction rates during background and mass extinctions from the Permian through Early Jurassic, using maximum likelihood estimation to compare extinction trajectories with marine invertebrates. Our results show that fewer chondrichthyan fishes underwent extinction than marine invertebrates during the end-Permian crisis. End-Triassic chondrichthyan extinction rates also were not elevated above background levels. In contrast, bony fishes underwent an end-Triassic extinction comparable to that of marine invertebrates. The differing responses of these two groups imply that a more active physiology can be advantageous during global change, although not uniformly. Permian–Triassic chondrichthyan fishes may have had broader environmental tolerances, facilitating survival. Alternatively, the larger offspring size of chondrichthyan fishes may provide greater energy reserves to offset the demands of warming and acidification. Although more active organisms have adult adaptations for thermal tolerance and pH regulation, some may nevertheless be susceptible to global change during early life stages.

Continue reading ‘Extinction selectivity among marine fishes during multistressor global change in the end-Permian and end-Triassic crises’

Timing of global regression and microbial bloom linked with the Permian-Triassic boundary mass extinction: implications for driving mechanisms

New high-resolution U-Pb dates indicate a duration of 89 ± 38 kyr for the Permian hiatus and of 14 ± 57 kyr for the overlying Triassic microbial limestone in shallow water settings of the Nanpanjiang Basin, South China. The age and duration of the hiatus coincides with the Permian-Triassic boundary (PTB) and the extinction interval in the Meishan Global Stratotype Section and Point, and strongly supports a glacio-eustatic regression, which best explains the genesis of the worldwide hiatus straddling the PTB in shallow water records. In adjacent deep marine troughs, rates of sediment accumulation display a six-fold decrease across the PTB compatible with a dryer and cooler climate as indicated by terrestrial plants. Our model of the Permian-Triassic boundary mass extinction (PTBME) hinges on the synchronicity of the hiatus with the onset of the Siberian Traps volcanism. This early eruptive phase released sulfur-rich volatiles into the stratosphere, thus simultaneously eliciting a short-lived ice age responsible for the global regression and a brief but intense acidification. Abrupt cooling, shrunk habitats on shelves and acidification may all have synergistically triggered the PTBME. Subsequently, the build-up of volcanic CO2 induced a transient cool climate whose early phase saw the deposition of the microbial limestone.

Continue reading ‘Timing of global regression and microbial bloom linked with the Permian-Triassic boundary mass extinction: implications for driving mechanisms’

Contrasting microbial community changes during mass extinctions at the Middle/Late Permian and Permian/Triassic boundaries

Microbial communities are known to expand as a result of environmental deterioration during mass extinctions, but differences in microbial community changes between extinction events and their underlying causes have received little study to date. Here, we present a systematic investigation of microbial lipid biomarkers spanning ∼20 Myr (Middle Permian to Early Triassic) at Shangsi, South China, to contrast microbial changes associated with the Guadalupian–Lopingian boundary (GLB) and Permian–Triassic boundary (PTB) mass extinctions. High-resolution analysis of the PTB crisis interval reveals a distinct succession of microbial communities based on secular variation in moretanes, 2-methylhopanes, aryl isoprenoids, steranes, n-alkyl cyclohexanes, and other biomarkers. The first episode of the PTB mass extinction (ME1) was associated with increases in red algae and nitrogen-fixing bacteria along with evidence for enhanced wildfires and elevated soil erosion, whereas the second episode was associated with expansions of green sulfur bacteria, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and acritarchs coinciding with climatic hyperwarming, ocean stratification, and seawater acidification. This pattern of microbial community change suggests that marine environmental deterioration was greater during the second extinction episode (ME2). The GLB shows more limited changes in microbial community composition and more limited environmental deterioration than the PTB, consistent with differences in species-level extinction rates (∼71% vs. 90%, respectively). Microbial biomarker records have the potential to refine our understanding of the nature of these crises and to provide insights concerning possible outcomes of present-day anthropogenic stresses on Earth’s ecosystems.

Continue reading ‘Contrasting microbial community changes during mass extinctions at the Middle/Late Permian and Permian/Triassic boundaries’


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