Young death assemblages with limited time-averaging in rocky and Posidonia oceanica habitats in the Mediterranean Sea

Paolo G. Albano, Quan Hua, Darrell S. Kaufman, Martin Zuschin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Death assemblages (DAs) are increasingly recognized as a valuable source to reconstruct past ecological baselines, due to the accumulation of skeletal material of non-contemporaneous cohorts. We here quan-tify the age and time-averaging of DAs on shallow subtidal (5–25 m) rocky substrates and in meadows of Posidonia oceanica in the eastern Mediterranean. We show that such DAs are very young – median ages 9– 56 years – with limited time-averaging, one to two orders of magnitude less than on even nearby soft substrates. On rocky substrates, out-of-habitat transport is likely the main cause of loss of older shells. In Posidonia oce-anica meadows, the root and rhizome system creates a dense structure – the matte – that quickly entangles and buries shells and limits the potential for bioturbation. The matte is, however, a peculiar feature of Posidonia oceanica, and age and time-averaging in meadows of other seagrass species may be different. The young age of DAs in these habitats requires a careful consideration of their appropriateness as baselines. The large difference in DA age between soft substrates, subject to numerous studies, and hard and seagrass substrates, rarely inspected with geochronological techniques, implies that DA dating is important for studies aiming at using DAs as baselines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
JournalGeological Society Special Publication
Volume529
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Geology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Young death assemblages with limited time-averaging in rocky and Posidonia oceanica habitats in the Mediterranean Sea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this