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Lethal microbial blooms delayed freshwater ecosystem recovery following the end-Permian extinction
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5416-2289
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6723-239X
Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2397-6116
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2021 (English)In: Nature Communications, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 12, no 1, article id 5511Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Harmful algal and bacterial blooms linked to deforestation, soil loss and global warming are increasingly frequent in lakes and rivers. We demonstrate that climate changes and deforestation can drive recurrent microbial blooms, inhibiting the recovery of freshwater ecosystems for hundreds of millennia. From the stratigraphic successions of the Sydney Basin, Australia, our fossil, sedimentary and geochemical data reveal bloom events following forest ecosystem collapse during the most severe mass extinction in Earth’s history, the end-Permian event (EPE; c. 252.2 Ma). Microbial communities proliferated in lowland fresh and brackish waterbodies, with algal concentrations typical of modern blooms. These initiated before any trace of post-extinction recovery vegetation but recurred episodically for >100 kyrs. During the following 3 Myrs, algae and bacteria thrived within short-lived, poorly-oxygenated, and likely toxic lakes and rivers. Comparisons to global deep-time records indicate that microbial blooms are persistent freshwater ecological stressors during warming driven extinction events.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Nature Publishing Group, 2021. Vol. 12, no 1, article id 5511
Keywords [en]
General Physics and Astronomy, General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, General Chemistry
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Diversity of life; The changing Earth
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-4342DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-25711-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-4342DiVA, id: diva2:1614559
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2015-04264Swedish Research Council, 2018-04527Swedish Research Council, 2019-04061Swedish Research Council, 2019-04524
Note

Also supported by National Science Foundation (grant EAR-1636625)

Available from: 2021-11-26 Created: 2021-11-26 Last updated: 2023-03-28Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-25711-3

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