Alkenone producers during late Oligocene-early Miocene revisited

Plancq, J. , Grossi, V., Henderiks, J., Simon, L. and Mattioli, E. (2012) Alkenone producers during late Oligocene-early Miocene revisited. Paleoceanography, 27(1), PA1202. (doi:10.1029/2011PA002164)

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This study investigates ancient alkenone producers among the late Oligocene–early Miocene coccolithophores recorded at Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Site 516. Contrary to common assumptions, Reticulofenestra was not the most important alkenone producer throughout the studied time interval. The comparison between coccolith species-specific absolute abundances and alkenone contents in the same sedimentary samples shows that Cyclicargolithus abundances explain 40% of the total variance of alkenone concentration and that the species Cyclicargolithus floridanus was a major alkenone producer, although other related taxa may have also contributed to the alkenone production at DSDP Site 516. The distribution of the different alkenone isomers (MeC37:2, EtC38:2, and MeC38:2) remained unchanged across distinct changes in species composition, suggesting similar diunsaturated alkenone compositions within the Noelaerhabdaceae family during the late Oligocene–early Miocene. However, the overall larger cell size of Cyclicargolithus may have implications for the alkenone-based reconstruction of past partial pressure of CO2. Our results underscore the importance of a careful evaluation of the most likely alkenone producers for periods (>1.85 Ma) predating the first occurrence of contemporary alkenone producers (i.e., Emiliania huxleyi and Gephyrocapsa oceanica).

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Plancq, Dr Julien
Authors: Plancq, J., Grossi, V., Henderiks, J., Simon, L., and Mattioli, E.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Paleoceanography
Publisher:American Geophysical Union
ISSN (Online):1944-9186
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 American Geophysical Union
First Published:First published in Paleoceanography 27(1):PA1202
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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