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Metal-induced malformations in early Palaeozoic plankton are harbingers of mass extinction

Thijs Vandenbroucke UGent, Poul Emsbo, Axel Munnecke, Nicolas Nuns, Ludovic Duponchel, Kevin Lepot, Melesio Quijada, Florentin Paris, Thomas Servais and Wolfgang Kiessling (2015) NATURE COMMUNICATIONS. 6.
abstract
Glacial episodes have been linked to Ordovician–Silurian extinction events, but cooling itself may not be solely responsible for these extinctions. Teratological (malformed) assemblages of fossil plankton that correlate precisely with the extinction events can help identify alternate drivers of extinction. Here we show that metal poisoning may have caused these aberrant morphologies during a late Silurian (Pridoli) event. Malformations coincide with a dramatic increase of metals (Fe, Mo, Pb, Mn and As) in the fossils and their host rocks. Metallic toxins are known to cause a teratological response in modern organisms, which is now routinely used as a proxy to assess oceanic metal contamination. Similarly, our study identifies metal-induced teratology as a deep-time, palaeobiological monitor of palaeo-ocean chemistry. The redox-sensitive character of enriched metals supports emerging ‘oceanic anoxic event’ models. Our data suggest that spreading anoxia and redox cycling of harmful metals was a contributing kill mechanism during these devastating Ordovician–Silurian palaeobiological events.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
WESTERN LIBYA, NORTH-AMERICA, CHESAPEAKE BAY, RARE-EARTH-ELEMENTS, HEAVY-METALS, POLLUTION, CONTAMINATION, BIOSTRATIGRAPHY, DEFORMITIES, ACRITARCHS
journal title
NATURE COMMUNICATIONS
Nat. Commun.
volume
6
article number
7966
pages
7 pages
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000360346900007
JCR category
MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES
JCR impact factor
11.329 (2015)
JCR rank
3/63 (2015)
JCR quartile
1 (2015)
ISSN
2041-1723
DOI
10.1038/ncomms8966
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0)
id
6975805
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-6975805
date created
2015-11-05 16:26:34
date last changed
2017-05-04 13:56:45
@article{6975805,
  abstract     = {Glacial episodes have been linked to Ordovician--Silurian extinction events, but cooling itself may not be solely responsible for these extinctions. Teratological (malformed) assemblages of fossil plankton that correlate precisely with the extinction events can help identify alternate drivers of extinction. Here we show that metal poisoning may have caused these aberrant morphologies during a late Silurian (Pridoli) event. Malformations coincide with a dramatic increase of metals (Fe, Mo, Pb, Mn and As) in the fossils and their host rocks. Metallic toxins are known to cause a teratological response in modern organisms, which is now routinely used as a proxy to assess oceanic metal contamination. Similarly, our study identifies metal-induced teratology as a deep-time, palaeobiological monitor of palaeo-ocean chemistry. The redox-sensitive character of enriched metals supports emerging {\textquoteleft}oceanic anoxic event{\textquoteright} models. Our data suggest that spreading anoxia and redox cycling of harmful metals was a contributing kill mechanism during these devastating Ordovician--Silurian palaeobiological events.},
  articleno    = {7966},
  author       = {Vandenbroucke, Thijs and Emsbo, Poul and Munnecke, Axel and Nuns, Nicolas and Duponchel, Ludovic and Lepot, Kevin and Quijada, Melesio and Paris, Florentin and Servais, Thomas and Kiessling, Wolfgang},
  issn         = {2041-1723},
  journal      = {NATURE COMMUNICATIONS},
  keyword      = {WESTERN LIBYA,NORTH-AMERICA,CHESAPEAKE BAY,RARE-EARTH-ELEMENTS,HEAVY-METALS,POLLUTION,CONTAMINATION,BIOSTRATIGRAPHY,DEFORMITIES,ACRITARCHS},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {7},
  title        = {Metal-induced malformations in early Palaeozoic plankton are harbingers of mass extinction},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms8966},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2015},
}

Chicago
Vandenbroucke, Thijs, Poul Emsbo, Axel Munnecke, Nicolas Nuns, Ludovic Duponchel, Kevin Lepot, Melesio Quijada, Florentin Paris, Thomas Servais, and Wolfgang Kiessling. 2015. “Metal-induced Malformations in Early Palaeozoic Plankton Are Harbingers of Mass Extinction.” Nature Communications 6.
APA
Vandenbroucke, T., Emsbo, P., Munnecke, A., Nuns, N., Duponchel, L., Lepot, K., Quijada, M., et al. (2015). Metal-induced malformations in early Palaeozoic plankton are harbingers of mass extinction. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 6.
Vancouver
1.
Vandenbroucke T, Emsbo P, Munnecke A, Nuns N, Duponchel L, Lepot K, et al. Metal-induced malformations in early Palaeozoic plankton are harbingers of mass extinction. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS. 2015;6.
MLA
Vandenbroucke, Thijs, Poul Emsbo, Axel Munnecke, et al. “Metal-induced Malformations in Early Palaeozoic Plankton Are Harbingers of Mass Extinction.” NATURE COMMUNICATIONS 6 (2015): n. pag. Print.