Carbon isotope evidence for CAM photosynthesis in the Mesozoic

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doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3121.2005.00654.x
Authors:Decker, John E.; de Wit, Maarten J.
Author Affiliations:Primary:
Africa Earth Observatory Network, South Africa
Volume Title:Terra Nova
Source:Terra Nova, 18(1), p.9-17. Publisher: Blackwell, Oxford, United Kingdom. ISSN: 0954-4879
Publication Date:2006
Note:In English. 45 refs.; illus., incl. 2 tables, sketch map
Summary:Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthesis, a flexible adaptation to water-stress, has not been shown to occur before the Pleistocene, despite suggestions that CAM first evolved in the Mesozoic or earlier. Here are reported multiple (> 7) positive organic carbon isotope excursions (δ13C org > -200/00) in late Triassic and early Jurassic (∼ 200 Ma) sedimentary rocks from an arid terrestrial ecosystem in southern Africa. These excursions are interpreted as evidence of the episodic dominance of CAM plants in response to heightened aridity in the heartland of Gondwana, and hint at climatic instability in a greenhouse world. [G.L.B.]
Sections:Environmental studies; Geochemistry
Subjects:Acidic composition; Angiospermae; Assemblages; C-13/C-12; Carbon; Cenozoic; Clarens Formation; Climate change; Depositional environment; Elliot Formation; Geochemistry; Gondwana; Greenhouse effect; Isotope ratios; Isotopes; Karoo Supergroup; Mesozoic; Metabolism; Molteno Formation; Paleoclimatology; Paleoecology; Paleoenvironment; Paleogeography; Photochemistry; Photosynthesis; Plantae; Pleistocene; Quaternary; Spermatophyta; Stable isotopes; Triassic; Upper Triassic; Africa; Karoo Basin; Lesotho; South Africa; Southern Africa; Crassulacean acid metabolism; Drakensberg Group
Coordinates:S304000 S283500 E0293000 E0270000
Abstract Numbers:06M/1285
Record ID:2006090423
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from Mineralogical Abstracts, United Kingdom, Twickenham, United Kingdom
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