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Tuesday May 10, 2022, 4 pm CEST


Peter K. BIJL1

DINOSTRAT: A global database of the stratigraphic and paleolatitudinal distribution of Mesozoic-Cenozoic organic-walled dinoflagellate cysts

1 Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands


Mesozoic–Cenozoic organic-walled dinoflagellate cyst (dinocyst) biostratigraphy is a crucial tool for relative and absolute age control in complex ancient sedimentary systems. However, stratigraphic ranges of dinocysts are found to be strongly diachronous geographically. A global compilation of state-of-the-art calibrated regional stratigraphic ranges could assist in quantifying regional differences and evaluate underlying causes. For this reason, DINOSTRAT is initiated – an open source, iterative, community-fed database intended to house all regional chronostratigraphic calibrations of dinocyst events ( DINOSTRAT version 2.0 includes >8500 entries of first and last occurrences (collectively called “events”) of >1900 dinocyst taxa, and their absolute ties to the chronostratigraphic time scale of Gradstein et al., 2020. Entries are derived from over 200 publications and 190 sedimentary sections. DINOSTRAT interpolates paleolatitudes of regional dinocyst events, allowing evaluation of the paleolatitudinal variability of dinocyst event ages. DINOSTRAT allows for open accessibility and searchability, on region, age, and taxon. In my seminar, I will present a selection of the data in DINOSTRAT: (1) the (paleo)latitudinal spread and evolutionary history of modern dinocyst species; (2) the evolutionary patterns and paleolatitudinal spread of dinoflagellate cyst (sub)families; (3) a selection of key dinocyst events which are particularly synchronous. Although several dinocysts show – at the resolution of their calibration – quasi-synchronous event ages, indeed many species have remarkable diachroneity. DINOSTRAT provides the data storage approach by which the community can now start to relate diachroneity to (1) inadequate tie to chronostratigraphic time scales; (2) complications in taxonomic concepts and (3) ocean connectivity and/or the affinities of taxa to environmental conditions. I aim to convince the audience to contribute to DINOSTRAT in the future, with comments, publications and suggestions.