Extensive primary production promoted the recovery of the Ediacaran Shuram excursion

Cañadas, Fuencisla; Papineau, Dominic; Leng, Melanie J. ORCID:; Li, Chao. 2022 Extensive primary production promoted the recovery of the Ediacaran Shuram excursion. Nature Communications, 13 (1), 148.

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Member IV of the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation records the recovery from the most negative carbon isotope excursion in Earth history. However, the main biogeochemical controls that ultimately drove this recovery have yet to be elucidated. Here, we report new carbon and nitrogen isotope and concentration data from the Nanhua Basin (South China), where δ13C values of carbonates (δ13Ccarb) rise from − 7‰ to −1‰ and δ15N values decrease from +5.4‰ to +2.3‰. These trends are proposed to arise from a new equilibrium in the C and N cycles where primary production overcomes secondary production as the main source of organic matter in sediments. The enhanced primary production is supported by the coexisting Raman spectral data, which reveal a systematic difference in kerogen structure between depositional environments. Our new observations point to the variable dominance of distinct microbial communities in the late Ediacaran ecosystems, and suggest that blooms of oxygenic phototrophs modulated the recovery from the most negative δ13Ccarb excursion in Earth history.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 2041-1723
Date made live: 11 Jan 2022 13:16 +0 (UTC)

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