Morphological and Microchemical Correlations of Living and Fossil Botryococcus
Karl J. Niklas, Tom L. Phillips, 1977. "Morphological and Microchemical Correlations of Living and Fossil Botryococcus", Interdisciplinary Studies of Peat and Coal Origins, P. H. Given, A. D. Cohen
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The morphological variation of living colonies of green algae of the genus Botryococcus, as induced by pH, [hv], agitation and [NH4+] regimes,'allows for the mathematical designation of boundary conditions referable to these parameters in the environment:
Vt = volume of colony, v = cell volume and k = 2.0. Fossil algal morphologies may be used to predict ecological parameters prior to fossilisation. Cannel and boghead coal types mathematically cluster as referable to low Y, low [hv] or high [NH4 ], and high Y, low [hv] or high [NH4 ] conditions in the growth phase of included thalli, respectively. Transmission electron micrographs correlated with enzyme catalysis relate the cytoplasmic location of microchemical fractions with the sheath having a chitin (40-44%) - hydrocarbon (56-60%) composition. Thirteen hydrocarbon constituents of 39 sapropelic coals are related to algal biosynthesis; , The presence of the "I-peak" is shown to correlate with the relative age of the coal sample. A chemosynthetif scheme is proposed relating differential microchemical preservation to post-fossilization reactions during coal formation. Multivariant statistical analyses correlate mprphology and chemistry of fossil thalli with coal type. Cannel coals are shown to differ from boghead coals in having a greater influx of lignin-degradation products from associated vascular flora (14-18% of the coal matrix is derivable from condensation reactions of vanillan, vanillic and protocatechuic acids). Algal cells accumulated under anaerobic and reducing conditions with transport conditions resulting in high Y and slower degradation. A reducing to oxidizing transition J.S, suggested by chemosynthetic flow models causing polymerization of humic gels and phenolic plant derivatives.
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This publication represents the proceedings, of a symposium on The Geology, Paleobotany, Geochemistry, and Microbiology of Peats." The symposium was held during the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America and associated societies, which took place in Miami, 18-20 November, 1974, and was jointly sponsored by the Coal Geology Division of the Society and the Organic Geochemistry Division of the Geochemical Society. Fourteen papers were presented, and nine are included in this publication. Five authors elected to make other arrangements for publishing their work; but the abstracts of these five papers, as submitted for inclusion in Abstracts with Programs, volume 6, number 7, 1974, are included here for completeness. Peats are of interest to scientists in a variety of disciplines: coal geology, organic geochemistry, soil science, plant ecology, the general ecology of food chains, agronomy, and environmental studies. Workers in many of these fields contributed to this symposium, but it is perhaps fair to say that the central unifying core is the consideration of peat as the precursor of coal. From a broad and general earth science point of view, peats and coals are of special interest because (a) such sediments contain higher concentrations of organic matter than any other common sedimentary deposits, and (b) in most peat beds and coal seams, the greater part of the organic matter and part of the mineral matter are autochthonous in the strictest sense, so that the many biological and chemical fossils that they contain are valid indicators of the organisms from which the organic matter was derived or of the environment of deposition. By contrast, although the reservoir and source rocks of petroleum do contain chemical fossils indicating their origin, reservoir rocks at least, cannot, of their nature, contain relevant fossils in the ordinary biological sense.