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TRACES - Project 4

SP4 Biodiversity and bioindicators I - Brackish-Marine Systems

SP4 focusses on biological aspects of the brackish-marine systems in close collaboration with SP1 by joint use of samples, data and chronologies. Surface samples will be described (substrate, phytal cover, turbulence, detritus cover) and analysed for bioindicators, combined with sediment data from SP1, to map the current environmental conditions and biodiversity. Ecologically important water parameters (oxygen, chlorophyll a, salinity, light penetration) will be added. We will mainly rely on taxa with easily preservable hard parts (Ostracoda, Foraminifera and pollen, plus diatoms and Cladocera from SP5) because of their proven value as palaeoproxies and bioindicators in environmental micropalaeontology. Correlating spatial patterns of sedimentological and geochemical parameters with faunal distribution will allow calibration of bioindicators for core sample analysis and deciphering of ecological and sedimentological processes. Furthermore, morphological reactions (e.g., malformations in foraminifera) and shell chemistry will provide an assessment of pollutants impacts. Biomarker analyses will be added by SP3. We will test dioxins as indicators of forest and other fires with an external collaboration partner (Lothar Viereck, FSU Jena) backed by charcoal analyses.