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Response of siliceous marine organisms to Permian-Triassic climate crisis based on new findings from central Spitsbergen, Svalbard
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  • William Joseph Foster,
  • Gayane Asatryan,
  • Joseph Botting,
  • Sofia Rauzi,
  • David B. Lazarus,
  • Stella Z Buchwald,
  • Terry Isson,
  • Johan Renaudie,
  • Wolfgang Kiessling
William Joseph Foster
Universität Hamburg

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Gayane Asatryan
Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions und Biodiversitätsforschung
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Joseph Botting
Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales
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Sofia Rauzi
University of Wakaito
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David B. Lazarus
Museum für Naturkunde
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Stella Z Buchwald
Universität Hamburg
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Terry Isson
University of Waikato
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Johan Renaudie
Museum für Naturkunde
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Wolfgang Kiessling
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
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Siliceous marine ecosystems play a critical role in climate regulation and the severe impact of the Permian-Triassic mass extinction on silica-secreting animals may have contributed to a sustained greenhouse climate during the Early Triassic, via decreased export of organic carbon burial and increased reverse weathering rates. Yet, our understanding of siliceous marine organisms during this critical interval is poor, and whilst radiolarians experienced the strongest diversity loss in their evolutionary history and perhaps also the greatest population decline of silica-secreting organisms, only a small number of Griesbachian localites that record siliceous organisms are known. Here, we report newly discovered latest Changhsingian to early Griesbachian (Clarkina meishanensis - Hindeodus parvus Zone) radiolarians and siliceous sponge spicules from Svalbard. This fauna documents the survival of a low-diversity radiolarian assemblage alongside stem-group hexactinellid sponges. This is, therefore, the first described account of post-extinction silica-secreting organisms from the Permian/Triassic boundary, a shallow marine shelf environment, and a mid-northern palaeolatitudinal setting. Our new data suggest that latitudinal diversity gradients for silica-secreting organisms following the mass extinction were significantly altered, and that silica productivity was restricted to high latitude and deep water thermal refugia. This also suggests that the export of organic carbon to the deep ocean and reverse weathering rates were not as severely impacted at non-equatorial latitudes.
04 Sep 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
11 Sep 2023Published in ESS Open Archive