Through the Phanerozoic, biota have been intimately linked to Earth's degassing inducing major changes in composition and structure of the ocean-atmosphere system. Emplacement of large igneous provinces (LIPs) has been the primary natural source of atmCO2 with dramatic consequences on climate and ecosystems. During the mid-Cretaceous the Ontong Java-Manihiki and Caribbean Plateaus LIPs are recognized as responsible of pCO2 as high as 2000 ppm. Coeval biocalcification crises occurred in pelagic and neritic settings, suggesting a causal link between high concentrations of carbon dioxide and drops in benthic and planktonic calcifiers' efficiency. Within the oceanic biosphere, calcareous nannoplankton play a key-role as: (1) is widespread and consists of cosmopolitan and endemic taxa; (2) has a 220 My-long evolutionary history; (3) is one the most effective calcite producers; (4) is relevant for the C cycle; (5) is extremely sensitive to environmental variations. Diversity pulses of Cretaceous calcareous nannoplankton are grossly coeval with LIP construction, climate and sea-level changes, variations in ocean structure and composition, suggesting that evolutionary patterns are closely linked to environmental modifications. We explored time-intervals of LIP formation marked by nannoplankton adaptation/evolution, quantifying evolutionary rates, species richness, abundance, calcite production and morphometry. High-resolution investigations of the initial phase of both early Aptian oceanic anoxic event (OAE) 1a and latest Cenomanian OAE 2 pointed out major evolutionary changes, decreases in heavily calcified nannoliths and occurrence of dwarf coccoliths. Nannoplankton calcification crises and dwarfism is here interpreted as forced by rapidly increasing pCO2 during formation of the Ontong Java-Maniniki and Caribbean Plateaus. Alternatively or concurrently, calcification crash and dwarfism might result from enhanced fertility associated to OAE1a and OAE2 regardless of ocean alkalinity. However, such global nutrification episodes must be linked as well to LIP construction via supply of biolimiting metals. Contrary to common reasoning, we stress the fact that emplacement of Cretaceous LIPs did not cause extinctions among calcareous nannoplankton.
|Titolo:||Evolution and Production of Calcareous Nannoplankton During the Cretaceous as Proxies of LIP-induced Oceanic Fertilization, Acidification and Anoxia|
ERBA, ELISABETTA (Primo)
BOTTINI, CINZIA (Secondo)
TIRABOSCHI, DANIELE (Ultimo)
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore GEO/01 - Paleontologia e Paleoecologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2008|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|