Biomarkers of Si-mineralizing bacteria: a key to understand changes in primary production in deep time
Prof. Dr. Jörn Peckmann, Sylvain Richoz, Daniel Birgel, Karolina Brylka, Daniel Conley, Alexmar Cordova-Gonzales, Richard Seifert, Franziska Stamm and Tjördis Störling
MIN Faculty / Institute for Geology
Co-applicant university: Lund University
The global cycles of carbon (C) and silicon (Si) are closely interlinked. Weathering of rocks significantly consumes atmospheric CO2 and releases Si into the ocean. There, biomineralizing phytoplankton with silica frustules strongly contributes to the biological pump, sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere. Thus, detailed knowledge on the fate of Si in the ocean is a prerequisite for (1) a thorough understanding of the climate system and (2) possible measures to mitigate climate change. However, the oceanic Si-cycle has changed in Earth history along with changes of the evolving biological communities. This project aims to establish a toolbox of chemical fossils, enabling the reconstruction of bacterial Si-cycling through geological time.