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Lipid biomarker signatures in a hypersaline lake on Isabel Island (Eastern Pacific) as a proxy for past rainfall anomaly (1942-2006 AD)

  • Isabel Lake is a hypersaline crater-lake on Isabel Island, Mexico, situated in the eastern tropical Pacific, an area highly sensitive to hydrological changes. Today, annual rainfall mostly occurs during the wet season, from June to October, when the northern edge of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) extends over the island. In order to evaluate the potential of sedimentary lipid biomarker signatures as a proxy of past hydro-climatic variability we have performed a calibration analysis comparing changes in biomarker distribution in the upper 16 cm of the sediment core with a regional instrumental data set. Annual laminations present in the sediment sequence allow for precise chronological control (1942-2006), More than 80 different lipid compounds were identified in the sediment and could be assigned to three major groups of source organisms: (1) algal populations; (2) a mixed community of ciliates, bacteria and cyanobacteria; and (3) photosynthetic sulfur bacteria. We found that the observed changes in the. relativeIsabel Lake is a hypersaline crater-lake on Isabel Island, Mexico, situated in the eastern tropical Pacific, an area highly sensitive to hydrological changes. Today, annual rainfall mostly occurs during the wet season, from June to October, when the northern edge of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) extends over the island. In order to evaluate the potential of sedimentary lipid biomarker signatures as a proxy of past hydro-climatic variability we have performed a calibration analysis comparing changes in biomarker distribution in the upper 16 cm of the sediment core with a regional instrumental data set. Annual laminations present in the sediment sequence allow for precise chronological control (1942-2006), More than 80 different lipid compounds were identified in the sediment and could be assigned to three major groups of source organisms: (1) algal populations; (2) a mixed community of ciliates, bacteria and cyanobacteria; and (3) photosynthetic sulfur bacteria. We found that the observed changes in the. relative contribution of the different lipid biomarkers to the sediment record were determined by the regional rainfall variability over the last 65 years. The planktonic community of Isabel Lake was highly sensitive to salinity fluctuations related to rainfall variability; seasonal precipitation results in freshwater input into the lake, driving an annual algal bloom and a relative decrease in the abundance of the more halotolerant populations of (cyano) bacteria and ciliates. Consequently, the concentration ratio between the two most abundant biomarkers in the Isabel Lake sediments, n-alkyl diols and tetrahymanol (which we define as the DiTe index), representing algal and ciliate planktonic populations, respectively, was significantly correlated with the seasonal rainfall anomaly (r = 0.68, p < 0.01). We propose that the DiTe index is a proxy of changes in the aquatic ecosystem of Isabel Lake and, by extension, regional hydrological changes in a sensitive climatic area of the eastern tropical Pacific.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Lidia Romero-Viana, Ulrike Kienel, Dirk Sachse
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2012.06.011
ISSN:0031-0182 (print)
Parent Title (English):Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology : an international journal for the geo-sciences
Publisher:Elsevier
Place of publication:Amsterdam
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2012
Year of Completion:2012
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:Diol; ENSO; Lipid; Mexico; Paleoclimate; Salinity; Tetrahymanol; biomarkers
Volume:350
Issue:18
Pagenumber:13
First Page:49
Last Page:61
Funder:DFG Emmy-Noether grant [SA: 1889/1-1]; DFG-Leibniz Center for Surface Process and Climate Studies at the University of Potsdam
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften
Peer Review:Referiert