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Biomarker indicators of bacterial activity and organic fluxes during end Triassic mass extinction event
Author(s): Dan Jiao; Randall S. Perry; Mike H. Engel; Mark A. Sephton
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Paper Abstract

Lipid biomarker analyses of sedimentary organic matter from a marine Triassic-Jurassic (T-J) section at Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia reveal significant bacterial activity and microbial community changes that coincide with faunal extinctions across the T-J boundary. Bacterial activity is indicated by the 25-norhopane biodegradation index (25-norhopanes / 25-norhopanes+regular hopanes). Microbial community changes is revealed by variations in relative abundance of 2-methylhopane which is mainly generated from cyanobacteria. The 2-methylhopane index (2-methyl hopane/ C30 hopane + C29 25-norhopane) increases above the radiolarian based T-J boundary, and coincides with changes in the 25-norhopane index. The data reveal a complex microbial event involving both autotrophic and heteorotrophic bacteria responding to variations in allochthonous organic matter and nutrient supply.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 August 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7097, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XI, 709709 (28 August 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.796160
Show Author Affiliations
Dan Jiao, Imperial College (United Kingdom)
Randall S. Perry, Imperial College (United Kingdom)
Planetary Science Institute (United States)
Mike H. Engel, The Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)
Mark A. Sephton, Imperial College (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7097:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XI
Richard B. Hoover; Gilbert Victor Levin; Alexei Yu. Rozanov; Paul C.W. Davies, Editor(s)

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