Sedimentary records of bulk organic matter and lipid biomarkers in the Bering Sea: A centennial perspective of sea-ice variability and phytoplankton community


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Abstract

In this study, organic geochemical analyses of two sediment cores (BL16 and LV63–23) recovered from the western Bering Sea were carried out to examine the sea-ice variability and its relationship to phytoplankton community evolution over the past century. Bulk stable organic carbon isotopic composition (δ13CTOC) showed pronounced depletion on the northern shelf since the late 1970s, indicating greater terrigenous organic matter (OM) under warming during recent decades. Variation in sedimentary OM in the southward core was closely associated with marine primary productivity and regional deposition processes. Arctic sea-ice proxy IP25 throughout the two cores with different temporal profile patterns demonstrated sea-ice presence with the spatiotemporal variability across the study area over the past century. The phytoplankton marker-IP25 index (PIP25), a proxy for estimating semi-quantitatively sea-ice concentrations, reflected a decreased sea-ice cover with more distinct interannual fluctuations between 0.7 and 0.2 (especially in core BL16) after the late 1970s, coinciding with the recent warming scenario. Increased concentrations of phytoplankton biomarkers (brassicasterol and dinosterol) and their ratios as well as the PIP25 record in core BL16 indicated a synchronous variability of reduced sea-ice cover with the enhancement of phytoplankton productivity since the late 1970s. These results suggested a coupled interaction of the sea-ice condition and planktonic ecosystem in the north Bering shelf. Our results also revealed recent (since the 2000s) spatial heterogeneity in sea-ice coverage between the northern and southern parts of the Bering Sea.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
52877
DOI 10.1016/j.margeo.2020.106308

Cite as
Hu, L. , Liu, Y. , Xiao, X. , Gong, X. , Zou, J. , Bai, Y. , Gorbarenko, S. , Fahl, K. , Stein, R. and Shi, X. (2020): Sedimentary records of bulk organic matter and lipid biomarkers in the Bering Sea: A centennial perspective of sea-ice variability and phytoplankton community , Marine Geology, 429 (106308), pp. 1-11 . doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2020.106308


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