Assessing mechanisms of environmental change: Palynological signals across the Late Ludlow (Silurian) positive isotope excursion (δ13C, δ18O) on Gotland, Sweden

Journal article
(Original article)


Publication Details

Author(s): Stricanne L, Munnecke A, Pross J
Journal: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Publication year: 2006
Volume: 230
Pages range: 1-31
ISSN: 0031-0182
Language: English


Abstract


The Silurian is characterised by strong environmental changes, as indicated by several pronounced positive δC and δO excursions. The mechanisms responsible for these isotopic shifts are a matter of much debate. The purpose of the present study is a quantitative high-resolution evaluation of the palynomorph distribution across the Late Ludlow (Ludfordian) isotope excursion on Gotland. Marine and terrestrial palynomorphs have been chosen as palaeoenvironmental indicators because they are widely distributed and exceptionally well preserved. Moreover, the combined analysis of marine and terrestrial palynomorphs allows the reconstruction of contemporaneous palaeoenvironmental change in the marine and terrestrial realms. To correlate our results with the carbon isotope stratigraphy, we have sampled only localities with published isotope data from diagenetically unaltered brachiopod shells. Our results show that fluctuations in the composition of the acritarch assemblages are closely correlated with the stable isotope development. Low abundances of acritarchs occur in times of high stable isotope values and vice versa, indicating that an increase in marine productivity cannot have been the reason for the positive δC excursion. The results are in good agreement with climatic models for the Silurian assuming alternating humid and arid climatic conditions in low latitudes. Times of high stable isotope values correspond to arid climatic conditions in low latitudes, with low input of terrestrial nutrients resulting in impoverished acritarch and conodont communities, whereas times of low stable isotope values correlate with humid climate, high nutrient input, and abundant and diverse acritarch communities. The major change in acritarch communities took place during the increase of the stable isotope values after hemipelagic planktonic or nektonic organisms (graptolites, conodonts) have been affected. This indicates that environmental changes connected with the stable isotope excursion first affected deeper-water settings and later the photic zone. The absolute abundance of terrestrial spores closely mirrors the marine δC and δO development, showing that both the marine and the terrestrial realm were synchronously affected by the climatic changes. The high abundance of spores during the isotope excursion might be explained by increased aeolian input. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


FAU Authors / FAU Editors

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


External institutions with authors

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg


Research Fields

Climate and Resources
Research focus area of a faculty: Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät


How to cite

APA:
Stricanne, L., Munnecke, A., & Pross, J. (2006). Assessing mechanisms of environmental change: Palynological signals across the Late Ludlow (Silurian) positive isotope excursion (δ13C, δ18O) on Gotland, Sweden. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 230, 1-31. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2005.07.003

MLA:
Stricanne, Ludovic, Axel Munnecke, and Jörg Pross. "Assessing mechanisms of environmental change: Palynological signals across the Late Ludlow (Silurian) positive isotope excursion (δ13C, δ18O) on Gotland, Sweden." Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 230 (2006): 1-31.

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Last updated on 2018-14-12 at 09:38