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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2019-113
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2019-113
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 11 Nov 2019

Submitted as: research article | 11 Nov 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).

Changes in the composition of marine and sea-ice diatoms derived from sedimentary ancient DNA of the eastern Fram Strait over the past 30,000 years

Heike H. Zimmermann1, Kathleen R. Stoof-Leichsenring1, Stefan Kruse1, Juliane Müller2,3,4, Rüdiger Stein2,3,4, Ralf Tiedemann2, and Ullrike Herzschuh1,5,6 Heike H. Zimmermann et al.
  • 1Polar Terrestrial Environmental Systems, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, 14473, Germany
  • 2Marine Geology, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, 27568 Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 3MARUM, University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
  • 4Faculty of Geosciences, University of Bremen, 28334 Bremen, Germany
  • 5Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
  • 6Institute of Environmental Sciences and Geography, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. The Fram Strait is an area with a relatively low and irregular distribution of diatom microfossils in surface sediments, and thus microfossil records are underrepresented, rarely exceed the Holocene and contain sparse information about past diversity and taxonomic composition. These attributes make the Fram Strait an ideal study site to test the utility of sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) metabarcoding. By amplifying a short, partial rbcL marker, 95.7 % of our sequences are assigned to diatoms across 18 different families with 38.6 % of them being resolved to species and 25.8 % to genus level. Independent replicates show high similarity of PCR products, especially in the oldest samples. Diatom richness is highest in the Late Weichselian and lowest in Mid- and Late-Holocene samples. Taxonomic composition is dominated by cold-water and sea-ice associated diatoms and shows two re-organizations – one after the Last Glacial Maximum and another after the Younger Dryas. Different sequences assigned, amongst others, to Chaetoceros socialis indicate the detectability of intra-specific diversity using sedaDNA. We detect no clear pattern between our diatom sedaDNA record and the previously published IP25 record of this core, although proportions of pennate diatoms increase with higher IP25 concentrations and proportions of Nitzschia cf. frigida exceeding 2 % of the assemblage point towards past sea-ice presence.

Heike H. Zimmermann et al.
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Heike H. Zimmermann et al.
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Short summary
This study targets high-resolution, diatom-specific sedimentary ancient DNA using a DNA metabarcoding approach. Diatom DNA is preserved with substantial taxonomic richness in the eastern Fram Strait over the past 30,000 years with taxonomic composition being dominated by cold-water and sea-ice associated diatoms. Taxonomic re-organizations took place after the Last Glacial Maximum and after the Younger Dryas. Peak proportions of pennate diatoms might indicate past sea-ice presence.
This study targets high-resolution, diatom-specific sedimentary ancient DNA using a DNA...
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