Systematic occurrences of malformed (teratological) acritarchs in the run-up of Early Palaeozoic δ13C isotope excursions

Beitrag in einer Fachzeitschrift

Details zur Publikation

Autorinnen und Autoren: Munnecke A, Delabroye A, Servais T, Vandenbroucke TR, Vecoli M
Zeitschrift: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Jahr der Veröffentlichung: 2012
Seitenbereich: 137-146
ISSN: 0031-0182
Sprache: Englisch


The Late Ordovician and Silurian are characterised by several strong, global positive δC excursions. Some of them exceed +5‰ and thus belong to the strongest perturbations of the carbon cycle in the Phanerozoic. The onset of the excursions is characterised by extinction and/or turnover events of several groups of marine invertebrates. The causal mechanisms of the carbon cycle perturbations, however, are still unknown and currently a matter of vigorous scientific debate. Our own investigations in the Hirnantian (latest Ordovician) have shown that the onset of the major δC excursion (HICE) is characterised by very high abundances of acritarchs showing abnormal, teratological forms. A critical review of published reports of abnormal acritarchs from the Late Ordovician to Early Devonian, and a correlation of their occurrences with the global stable carbon isotope curve, show that high abundances of teratological forms of acritarchs are often coeval to the run-up of δC excursions. High abundances of teratological forms in modern marine protists are commonly observed in environments with a high degree of environmental stress. In the fossil record, the challenge is to attribute abnormal forms of organisms to specific environmental circumstances. Our study implies that they are somehow related to the global carbon cycle, i.e., to carbon isotopic composition of the ambient sea water, and that they share a common extrinsic cause with the contemporaneous extinction and/or turnover events in other fossil groups. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

FAU-Autorinnen und Autoren / FAU-Herausgeberinnen und Herausgeber

Munnecke, Axel Prof. Dr.
Professur für Paläontologie (Schwerpunkt Faziesanalyse)

Einrichtungen weiterer Autorinnen und Autoren

LILLE 1 University - Science and Technology
Universiteit Gent (UGent) / Ghent University


Klima und Ressourcen
Forschungsschwerpunkt einer Fakultät: Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät


Munnecke, A., Delabroye, A., Servais, T., Vandenbroucke, T.R., & Vecoli, M. (2012). Systematic occurrences of malformed (teratological) acritarchs in the run-up of Early Palaeozoic δ13C isotope excursions. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 137-146.

Munnecke, Axel, et al. "Systematic occurrences of malformed (teratological) acritarchs in the run-up of Early Palaeozoic δ13C isotope excursions." Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (2012): 137-146.


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