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Multiple S-isotopic evidence for episodic shoaling of anoxic water during Late Permian mass extinction.

Shen Y, Farquhar J, Zhang H, Masterson A, Zhang T, Wing BA - Nat Commun (2011)

Bottom Line: Global fossil data show that profound biodiversity loss preceded the final catastrophe that killed nearly 90% marine species on a global scale at the end of the Permian.We observe a sulphur isotope signal (negative δ(34)S with negative Δ(33)S) that may have resulted from limitation of sulphate supply, which may be linked to a near shutdown of bioturbation during shoaling of anoxic water.These results indicate that episodic shoaling of anoxic water may have contributed to the profound biodiversity crisis before the final catastrophe.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: CAS Key Laboratory of Crust-Mantle Materials and Environments, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China. yashen@ustc.edu.cn

ABSTRACT
Global fossil data show that profound biodiversity loss preceded the final catastrophe that killed nearly 90% marine species on a global scale at the end of the Permian. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain this extinction and yet still remain greatly debated. Here, we report analyses of all four sulphur isotopes ((32)S, (33)S, (34)S and (36)S) for pyrites in sedimentary rocks from the Meishan section in South China. We observe a sulphur isotope signal (negative δ(34)S with negative Δ(33)S) that may have resulted from limitation of sulphate supply, which may be linked to a near shutdown of bioturbation during shoaling of anoxic water. These results indicate that episodic shoaling of anoxic water may have contributed to the profound biodiversity crisis before the final catastrophe. Our data suggest a prolonged deterioration of oceanic environments during the Late Permian mass extinction.

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The Permian–Triassic stratigraphy and sulphur isotopic data at Meishan.(a) Stratigraphy of the Permian–Triassic boundary (PTB) and extinction events Em, E1 and E2. Note that E2 corresponds to Bed 28 (not shown). (b) Sulphur isotopic compositions (δ34S) of pyrites at Meishan. Grey filled circles are Beds 22–24, black circles are Beds 25–26 and open circles are Beds 27–30. (c) Sulphur isotopic compositions (Δ33S) of pyrites at Meishan. Red circles indicate negative δ34S and Δ33S values.
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f1: The Permian–Triassic stratigraphy and sulphur isotopic data at Meishan.(a) Stratigraphy of the Permian–Triassic boundary (PTB) and extinction events Em, E1 and E2. Note that E2 corresponds to Bed 28 (not shown). (b) Sulphur isotopic compositions (δ34S) of pyrites at Meishan. Grey filled circles are Beds 22–24, black circles are Beds 25–26 and open circles are Beds 27–30. (c) Sulphur isotopic compositions (Δ33S) of pyrites at Meishan. Red circles indicate negative δ34S and Δ33S values.

Mentions: The Meishan section arguably provides the most detailed records of the Latest Permian biotic crisis1,8,9. A profound loss of marine fauna, including most fusulinids and ammonoids and many brachipods, is observed below Bed 25 at Meishan8,9,10. Fossil records suggest that the onset of biodiversity loss probably began during deposition of Bed 22, with an extinction rate of <33% (ref. 8,9,10; Em in Fig. 1), and continued until the end-Permian extinction event, which is preserved in Beds 25–26 (E1 in Fig. 1). At Meishan, the end-Permian extinction preserved by Beds 25–26 is estimated to have marked a loss of 94% of marine species within <0.5 million years8,11. Recent biomarker data also suggest a separate, later episode of extinction occurring during deposition of Bed 28 (ref. 12; E2 in Fig. 1). The picture that has emerged may not be of a singular event but rather of a series of events, the cause(s) of which is currently the most debated of the mass extinctions.


Multiple S-isotopic evidence for episodic shoaling of anoxic water during Late Permian mass extinction.

Shen Y, Farquhar J, Zhang H, Masterson A, Zhang T, Wing BA - Nat Commun (2011)

The Permian–Triassic stratigraphy and sulphur isotopic data at Meishan.(a) Stratigraphy of the Permian–Triassic boundary (PTB) and extinction events Em, E1 and E2. Note that E2 corresponds to Bed 28 (not shown). (b) Sulphur isotopic compositions (δ34S) of pyrites at Meishan. Grey filled circles are Beds 22–24, black circles are Beds 25–26 and open circles are Beds 27–30. (c) Sulphur isotopic compositions (Δ33S) of pyrites at Meishan. Red circles indicate negative δ34S and Δ33S values.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3105335&req=5

f1: The Permian–Triassic stratigraphy and sulphur isotopic data at Meishan.(a) Stratigraphy of the Permian–Triassic boundary (PTB) and extinction events Em, E1 and E2. Note that E2 corresponds to Bed 28 (not shown). (b) Sulphur isotopic compositions (δ34S) of pyrites at Meishan. Grey filled circles are Beds 22–24, black circles are Beds 25–26 and open circles are Beds 27–30. (c) Sulphur isotopic compositions (Δ33S) of pyrites at Meishan. Red circles indicate negative δ34S and Δ33S values.
Mentions: The Meishan section arguably provides the most detailed records of the Latest Permian biotic crisis1,8,9. A profound loss of marine fauna, including most fusulinids and ammonoids and many brachipods, is observed below Bed 25 at Meishan8,9,10. Fossil records suggest that the onset of biodiversity loss probably began during deposition of Bed 22, with an extinction rate of <33% (ref. 8,9,10; Em in Fig. 1), and continued until the end-Permian extinction event, which is preserved in Beds 25–26 (E1 in Fig. 1). At Meishan, the end-Permian extinction preserved by Beds 25–26 is estimated to have marked a loss of 94% of marine species within <0.5 million years8,11. Recent biomarker data also suggest a separate, later episode of extinction occurring during deposition of Bed 28 (ref. 12; E2 in Fig. 1). The picture that has emerged may not be of a singular event but rather of a series of events, the cause(s) of which is currently the most debated of the mass extinctions.

Bottom Line: Global fossil data show that profound biodiversity loss preceded the final catastrophe that killed nearly 90% marine species on a global scale at the end of the Permian.We observe a sulphur isotope signal (negative δ(34)S with negative Δ(33)S) that may have resulted from limitation of sulphate supply, which may be linked to a near shutdown of bioturbation during shoaling of anoxic water.These results indicate that episodic shoaling of anoxic water may have contributed to the profound biodiversity crisis before the final catastrophe.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: CAS Key Laboratory of Crust-Mantle Materials and Environments, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China. yashen@ustc.edu.cn

ABSTRACT
Global fossil data show that profound biodiversity loss preceded the final catastrophe that killed nearly 90% marine species on a global scale at the end of the Permian. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain this extinction and yet still remain greatly debated. Here, we report analyses of all four sulphur isotopes ((32)S, (33)S, (34)S and (36)S) for pyrites in sedimentary rocks from the Meishan section in South China. We observe a sulphur isotope signal (negative δ(34)S with negative Δ(33)S) that may have resulted from limitation of sulphate supply, which may be linked to a near shutdown of bioturbation during shoaling of anoxic water. These results indicate that episodic shoaling of anoxic water may have contributed to the profound biodiversity crisis before the final catastrophe. Our data suggest a prolonged deterioration of oceanic environments during the Late Permian mass extinction.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus