Abstract

Microbial communities developing on modern clastic sedimentary surfaces of arid lands are dominated by phototrophic microorganisms that form a variety of characteristic "microbially induced sedimentary structures" (MISS) through their interactions with detrital sedimentary grains, aided by secretions of extracellular polymeric substances and other organic materials. In this study, we describe modern MISS from unvegetated arid topsoils and compare them with fossil MISS found within decimeter- to meter-thick sedimentary sequences of Mesoproterozoic siliciclastic outcrops of the Dripping Spring Quartzite formation of the Apache Group in central Arizona, USA. These sequences contain numerous bedding plane exposures with desiccation surfaces including polygonal cracks, curls, and chips. Repetition of these structures within stratigraphic sequences indicates recurring episodes of subaerial exposure. Some of these MISS contain cellular microfossils that exhibit morphological adaptations for surviving desiccation. The strong similarities between modern and ancient MISS in this study provide additional criteria for recognizing morphological biosignatures of terrestrial microbial communities in ancient deposits. Our results provide compelling evidence for the presence of land-based microbial communities by the Mesoproterozoic (∼1200 Ma). The association of MISS features further suggests that the primary producers that had colonized Mesoproterozoic land surfaces were likely desiccation-adapted photosynthetic microbes, similar to modern desert soil crust communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-54
Number of pages10
JournalPalaios
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

sedimentary structure
microbial communities
fossils
fossil
desiccation
microorganisms
desert soils
microbial community
soil crusts
microfossils
cell structures
arid lands
topsoil
secretion
desert soil
soil crust
subaerial exposure
bedding plane
quartzite
microfossil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Palaeontology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Modern terrestrial sedimentary biostructures and their fossil analogs in mesoproterozoic subaerial deposits. / Beraldi-Campesi, Hugo; Farmer, Jack; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran.

In: Palaios, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2014, p. 45-54.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{acf86591d3f943cfb6e36a5939fba107,
title = "Modern terrestrial sedimentary biostructures and their fossil analogs in mesoproterozoic subaerial deposits",
abstract = "Microbial communities developing on modern clastic sedimentary surfaces of arid lands are dominated by phototrophic microorganisms that form a variety of characteristic {"}microbially induced sedimentary structures{"} (MISS) through their interactions with detrital sedimentary grains, aided by secretions of extracellular polymeric substances and other organic materials. In this study, we describe modern MISS from unvegetated arid topsoils and compare them with fossil MISS found within decimeter- to meter-thick sedimentary sequences of Mesoproterozoic siliciclastic outcrops of the Dripping Spring Quartzite formation of the Apache Group in central Arizona, USA. These sequences contain numerous bedding plane exposures with desiccation surfaces including polygonal cracks, curls, and chips. Repetition of these structures within stratigraphic sequences indicates recurring episodes of subaerial exposure. Some of these MISS contain cellular microfossils that exhibit morphological adaptations for surviving desiccation. The strong similarities between modern and ancient MISS in this study provide additional criteria for recognizing morphological biosignatures of terrestrial microbial communities in ancient deposits. Our results provide compelling evidence for the presence of land-based microbial communities by the Mesoproterozoic (∼1200 Ma). The association of MISS features further suggests that the primary producers that had colonized Mesoproterozoic land surfaces were likely desiccation-adapted photosynthetic microbes, similar to modern desert soil crust communities.",
author = "Hugo Beraldi-Campesi and Jack Farmer and Ferran Garcia-Pichel",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.2110/palo.2013.084",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "29",
pages = "45--54",
journal = "Palaios",
issn = "0883-1351",
publisher = "SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Modern terrestrial sedimentary biostructures and their fossil analogs in mesoproterozoic subaerial deposits

AU - Beraldi-Campesi, Hugo

AU - Farmer, Jack

AU - Garcia-Pichel, Ferran

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Microbial communities developing on modern clastic sedimentary surfaces of arid lands are dominated by phototrophic microorganisms that form a variety of characteristic "microbially induced sedimentary structures" (MISS) through their interactions with detrital sedimentary grains, aided by secretions of extracellular polymeric substances and other organic materials. In this study, we describe modern MISS from unvegetated arid topsoils and compare them with fossil MISS found within decimeter- to meter-thick sedimentary sequences of Mesoproterozoic siliciclastic outcrops of the Dripping Spring Quartzite formation of the Apache Group in central Arizona, USA. These sequences contain numerous bedding plane exposures with desiccation surfaces including polygonal cracks, curls, and chips. Repetition of these structures within stratigraphic sequences indicates recurring episodes of subaerial exposure. Some of these MISS contain cellular microfossils that exhibit morphological adaptations for surviving desiccation. The strong similarities between modern and ancient MISS in this study provide additional criteria for recognizing morphological biosignatures of terrestrial microbial communities in ancient deposits. Our results provide compelling evidence for the presence of land-based microbial communities by the Mesoproterozoic (∼1200 Ma). The association of MISS features further suggests that the primary producers that had colonized Mesoproterozoic land surfaces were likely desiccation-adapted photosynthetic microbes, similar to modern desert soil crust communities.

AB - Microbial communities developing on modern clastic sedimentary surfaces of arid lands are dominated by phototrophic microorganisms that form a variety of characteristic "microbially induced sedimentary structures" (MISS) through their interactions with detrital sedimentary grains, aided by secretions of extracellular polymeric substances and other organic materials. In this study, we describe modern MISS from unvegetated arid topsoils and compare them with fossil MISS found within decimeter- to meter-thick sedimentary sequences of Mesoproterozoic siliciclastic outcrops of the Dripping Spring Quartzite formation of the Apache Group in central Arizona, USA. These sequences contain numerous bedding plane exposures with desiccation surfaces including polygonal cracks, curls, and chips. Repetition of these structures within stratigraphic sequences indicates recurring episodes of subaerial exposure. Some of these MISS contain cellular microfossils that exhibit morphological adaptations for surviving desiccation. The strong similarities between modern and ancient MISS in this study provide additional criteria for recognizing morphological biosignatures of terrestrial microbial communities in ancient deposits. Our results provide compelling evidence for the presence of land-based microbial communities by the Mesoproterozoic (∼1200 Ma). The association of MISS features further suggests that the primary producers that had colonized Mesoproterozoic land surfaces were likely desiccation-adapted photosynthetic microbes, similar to modern desert soil crust communities.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84902291339&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84902291339&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.2110/palo.2013.084

DO - 10.2110/palo.2013.084

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84902291339

VL - 29

SP - 45

EP - 54

JO - Palaios

JF - Palaios

SN - 0883-1351

IS - 1

ER -