Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants

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Tuesday February 13, 2024, 5pm GMT+1


Roza, S. E. V.1, Zonneveld K. A. F.1,2, Versteegh, G. J. M.3, Pospelova, V.4, Reuter, R. M.1, Stuut, J.- B. 5,6

Unveiling the recent climate change in the Northwest African Coast using time series analysis on dinocyst export production

1MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, Bremen, Germany
2University of Bremen, Department of Geosciences, Bremen, Germany
3Constructor University, Department of Physics and Earth Sciences, Bremen, Germany
4University of Minnesota, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Minneapolis, United States of America
5NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Department of Ocean Systems, Texel, Netherlands
6Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Amsterdam, Netherlands


The anthropogenic carbon contribution and consistent changes in nature have put a huge pressure on the sustainability of all ecosystems, and the ocean is no exception. Investigating high-resolution proxies for environmental reconstruction, such as marine plankton, is crucial to gaining better knowledge about the climate change. Therefore, we deliver a recent record of dinoflagellate cysts (dinocysts) from the coastal upwelling near Cape Blanc (Northwest Africa). Herein, the high plankton production (including dinoflagellates) is accommodated by the annual permanent upwelling and is supported by Saharan dust. Dinocysts were collected by a sediment trap from 2003 until 2020 with a resolution of one to three weeks. This data type is limited, and published studies focus more on the interannual production and ecology of the dinocyst taxa. Under the recent climate change scenario, we want to test the potential of the dinocyst record as a climate proxy. We executed dinocysts record and abiotic factors in this area, such as upwelling wind, dust emission, and sea surface temperature, with wavelet time series analysis to distinguish half-year and annual cycles in each dataset. Moreover, we observed three phases in the upwelling wind and dust emission cycles that also occurred in the dinocyst record. The annual cycle variations suggest a shift in the position of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), indicating changes in Northern/Southern hemisphere’s temperature.