Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 19, Issue 5–6, pp 531–544 | Cite as

Non-pollen palynomorphs in the Black Sea corridor

  • Peta J. Mudie
  • Fabienne Marret
  • André Rochon
  • Ali E. Aksu
Original Article

Abstract

There have been few studies of non-pollen palynomorphs (NPP) in Holocene brackish water environments. The Black Sea is one of the world’s largest and deepest bodies of stable brackish water and a natural laboratory for study of marine carbon cycling to anoxic sediments. The main NPP in the modern sediments of this brackish water sea are dinoflagellate cysts (dinocysts), acritarchs (mainly the prasinophytes Cymatiosphaera, Micrhystridium, Sigmopollis and Pseudoschizaea) and diverse fungal remains. Other NPP include colonial algae, tintinnids, copepod and cladoceran egg covers, testate amoebae and microforaminiferal linings. These NPP assemblages are similar to those in the marginal marine environment of the Pliocene St. Erth Beds (England), but have more abundant NPP, and virtually lack scolecodonts. In the Black Sea corridor, modern assemblages from areas with salinity >22‰ have higher percentages of microforaminiferal linings and fewer prasinophytes, colonial algae and fungal spores. Prasinophytes dominate only in mid-Holocene sediments, during a 2000 years interval of sea level transgression and sapropel deposition. Early Holocene sediments have lower dinocyst diversity, increased fresh–brackish water colonial algae (Pediastrum spp. and Botryococcus braunii), zygnemataceous spores and desmids (including Zygnema, Cosmarium), ostracod linings and fewer foraminiferal linings. These assemblages are similar to those in the Baltic Sea where the annual salinity is about 6–8‰.

Keywords

Non-pollen palynomorphs Shales Black Sea Pleistocene Holocene 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peta J. Mudie
    • 1
    • 4
  • Fabienne Marret
    • 2
  • André Rochon
    • 3
  • Ali E. Aksu
    • 4
  1. 1.Geological Survey of Canada-AtlanticNatural Resources CanadaDartmouthCanada
  2. 2.School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK
  3. 3.Université du Québec à RimouskiRimouskiCanada
  4. 4.Earth Science DepartmentMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada

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