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Publication Detail
Extensive primary production promoted the recovery of the Ediacaran Shuram excursion
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Cañadas F, Papineau D, Leng MJ, Li C
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    Nature Communications
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    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
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.
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