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Nonpollen palynomorphs: Indicators of salinity and environmental change in the Caspian–Black Sea–Mediterranean corridor

By
P.J. Mudie
P.J. Mudie
Geological Survey Canada Atlantic, Box 1006, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 4A2, Canada
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S.A.G. Leroy
S.A.G. Leroy
Institute for the Environment, Brunel University, Uxbridge UB8 3PH, West London, UK
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F. Marret
F. Marret
Department of Geography, Liverpool University, Liverpool L69 7ZT, UK
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N.P. Gerasimenko
N.P. Gerasimenko
National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv, Earth Sciences and Geomorphology Department, Kyiv, GSP 680, Ukraine
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S.E.A. Kholeif
S.E.A. Kholeif
National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries Egypt, Qayed Bay, Alexandria, Egypt
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T. Sapelko
T. Sapelko
Institute of Limnology, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg 196105, Russian Federation
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M. Filipova-Marinova
M. Filipova-Marinova
Museum of Natural History, 41 Maria Louisa Blvd., 9000 Varna, Bulgaria
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Previous palynological studies of the Caspian–Black Sea–Mediterranean corridor primarily focused on pollen and spores for paleoecological and chronostratigraphic studies. Until recently, there has been less emphasis on the nonpollen palynomorphs, such as dinoflagellate cysts, algal and fungal spores, and animal remains. New studies of nonpollen palynomorphs in land-locked seas, estuaries, and lakes reported here indicate that they are important markers of salinity, nutrient loading, and human activity, including ballast discharge, farming, and soil erosion. We describe the nonoxidative laboratory processing methods necessary to extract nonpollen palynomorphs from marine- and brackish-water sediment samples. We list 48 nonpollen palynomorphs taxa from 37 surface sediments (including the past millennium) for cores along the salinity gradient from <16‰ off the Danube Delta to >39‰ in the Aegean, Mediterranean, and Red Seas, for two Crimean saline lakes, the Caspian and Aral Seas, and for lakes in Iran and Kazakhstan. The main nonpollen palynomorphs taxa are illustrated and listed systematically to provide a baseline for future collaborative studies among Black Sea corridor palynologists. We outline the biological affinities of some nonpollen palynomorphs and discuss the initial results of the study in terms of what nonpollen palynomorphs may reveal about the history of the salinity in the Black Sea corridor and the impact of humans on soil erosion, plankton production, and harmful algal blooms.

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GSA Special Papers

Geology and Geoarchaeology of the Black Sea Region: Beyond the Flood Hypothesis

Ilya V. Buynevich
Ilya V. Buynevich
Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Valentina Yanko-Hombach
Valentina Yanko-Hombach
Avalon Institute of Applied Science, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and Department of Physical and Marine Geology, Odessa National I.I. Mechnikov University, Odessa, Ukraine
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Allan S. Gilbert
Allan S. Gilbert
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Fordham University, Bronx, New York, USA
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Ronald E. Martin
Ronald E. Martin
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
473
ISBN print:
9780813724737
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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