Vegetation response to exceptional global warmth during Oceanic Anoxic Event 2

Ulrich Heimhofer, Nina Wucherpfennig, Thierry Adatte, Stefan Schouten, Elke Schneebeli-Hermann, Silvia Gardin, Gerta Keller, Sarah Kentsch, Ariane Kujau

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9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Cenomanian–Turonian Oceanic Anoxic Event (OAE2; ~94.5 million years ago) represents an episode of global-scale marine anoxia and biotic turnover, which corresponds to one of the warmest time intervals in the Phanerozoic. Despite its global significance, information on continental ecosystem response to this greenhouse episode is lacking. Here we present a terrestrial palynological record combined with marine-derived temperature data (TEX86) across an expanded OAE2 section from the Southern Provençal Basin, France. Despite high TEX86-derived temperature estimates reaching up to 38 °C, the continental hinterland did support a diverse vegetation, adapted to persist under elevated temperatures. A transient phase of climatic instability and cooling during OAE2 known as Plenus Cold Event (PCE) is marked by the proliferation of open, savanna-type vegetation rich in angiosperms at the expanse of conifer-dominated forest ecosystems. A rise in early representatives of Normapolles-type pollen during the PCE marks the initial radiation of this important angiosperm group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3832
JournalNature communications
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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    Heimhofer, U., Wucherpfennig, N., Adatte, T., Schouten, S., Schneebeli-Hermann, E., Gardin, S., Keller, G., Kentsch, S., & Kujau, A. (2018). Vegetation response to exceptional global warmth during Oceanic Anoxic Event 2. Nature communications, 9(1), [3832]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-06319-6