Formation and diagenesis of modern marine calcified cyanobacteria

N. Planavsky, Pamela R Reid, T. W. Lyons, K. L. Myshrall, P. T. Visscher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Calcified cyanobacterial microfossils are common in carbonate environments through most of the Phanerozoic, but are absent from the marine rock record over the past 65 Myr. There has been long-standing debate on the factors controlling the formation and temporal distribution of these fossils, fostered by the lack of a suitable modern analog. We describe calcified cyanobacteria filaments in a modern marine reef setting at Highborne Cay, Bahamas. Our observations and stable isotope data suggest that initial calcification occurs in living cyanobacteria and is photosynthetically induced. A single variety of cyanobacteria, Dichothrix sp., produces calcified filaments. Adjacent cyanobacterial mats form well-laminated stromatolites, rather than calcified filaments, indicating there can be a strong taxonomic control over the mechanism of microbial calcification. Petrographic analyses indicate that the calcified filaments are degraded during early diagenesis and are not present in well-lithified microbialites. The early diagenetic destruction of calcified filaments at Highborne Cay indicates that the absence of calcified cyanobacteria from periods of the Phanerozoic is likely to be caused by low preservation potential as well as inhibited formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-576
Number of pages11
JournalGeobiology
Volume7
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2009

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diagenesis
Cyanobacteria
cyanobacterium
calcification
Phanerozoic
microfossils
Bahamas
microfossil
temporal distribution
carbonates
stable isotopes
reefs
stable isotope
reef
fossils
rocks
fossil
carbonate
rock

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Planavsky, N., Reid, P. R., Lyons, T. W., Myshrall, K. L., & Visscher, P. T. (2009). Formation and diagenesis of modern marine calcified cyanobacteria. Geobiology, 7(5), 566-576. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1472-4669.2009.00216.x

Formation and diagenesis of modern marine calcified cyanobacteria. / Planavsky, N.; Reid, Pamela R; Lyons, T. W.; Myshrall, K. L.; Visscher, P. T.

In: Geobiology, Vol. 7, No. 5, 12.2009, p. 566-576.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Planavsky, N, Reid, PR, Lyons, TW, Myshrall, KL & Visscher, PT 2009, 'Formation and diagenesis of modern marine calcified cyanobacteria', Geobiology, vol. 7, no. 5, pp. 566-576. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1472-4669.2009.00216.x
Planavsky, N. ; Reid, Pamela R ; Lyons, T. W. ; Myshrall, K. L. ; Visscher, P. T. / Formation and diagenesis of modern marine calcified cyanobacteria. In: Geobiology. 2009 ; Vol. 7, No. 5. pp. 566-576.
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