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Non-lithifying microbial ecosystem dissolves peritidal lime sand

Present, Theodore M. and Gomes, Maya L. and Trower, Elizabeth J. and Stein, Nathan T. and Lingappa, Usha F. and Naviaux, John and Thorpe, Michael T. and Cantine, Marjorie D. and Fischer, Woodward W. and Knoll, Andrew H. and Grotzinger, John P. (2021) Non-lithifying microbial ecosystem dissolves peritidal lime sand. Nature Communications, 12 . Art. No. 3037. ISSN 2041-1723. doi:10.1038/s41467-021-23006-1.

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Microbialites accrete where environmental conditions and microbial metabolisms promote lithification, commonly through carbonate cementation. On Little Ambergris Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands, microbial mats occur widely in peritidal environments above ooid sand but do not become lithified or preserved. Sediment cores and porewater geochemistry indicated that aerobic respiration and sulfide oxidation inhibit lithification and dissolve calcium carbonate sand despite widespread aragonite precipitation from platform surface waters. Here, we report that in tidally pumped environments, microbial metabolisms can negate the effects of taphonomically-favorable seawater chemistry on carbonate mineral saturation and microbialite development.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Present, Theodore M.0000-0002-4747-2174
Gomes, Maya L.0000-0002-9707-350X
Trower, Elizabeth J.0000-0001-9898-5589
Stein, Nathan T.0000-0003-2199-6751
Naviaux, John0000-0002-0681-3163
Cantine, Marjorie D.0000-0002-9674-018X
Fischer, Woodward W.0000-0002-8836-3054
Grotzinger, John P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Additional Information:© The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit Received 01 October 2020; Accepted 07 April 2021; Published 24 May 2021. We thank the Agouron Institute and Simons Collaboration on the Origins of Life for funding; the Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Environment and Coastal Resources for Scientific Research Permit 17-06-02-12; the Tarika family, P. Mahoney, J. Seymour, and J. Grancich for logistical support; A. Simms and L. Reynolds for coring advice; K. Dawson, G. Ames, F. Wu, A. Kupfer-Harris, and D. Brenner for lab and analytical support; and J. Alleon, A. Bahniuk, H. Grotzinger, K. Metcalfe, D. Morris, E. Orzechowski, D. Quinn, C. Sanders, E. Sibert, and J. Strauss for assisting fieldwork. E.J.T. and M.L.G. were further supported by NASA Exobiology grant 80NSSC18K0278. Data availability: All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article and its Supplementary Information files. Source data for Figs. 3, 4, and 5 are provided in the Supplementary Information files. Author Contributions: T.M.P., J.P.G., M.L.G., E.J.T., N.T.S., U.F.L., M.T.T., W.W.F., and A.H.K. conceived of the research, designed and executed the field campaign, collected cores and samples, and collected pH, salinity, and temperature data in the field. T.M.P., M.L.G., E.J.T., and J.N. collected geochemical data in the lab. E.J.T. prepared sediment thin sections and photomicrographs. T.M.P and M.L.G. processed the geochemical data. T.M.P., M.L.G., E.J.T., N.T.S., U.F.L., J.N., M.T.T., M.D.C., W.W.F., A.H.K., and J.P.G. interpreted the data. T.M.P. prepared the figures. T.M.P. wrote the manuscript with input from all authors. The authors declare no competing interests. Peer review information: Nature Communications thanks Julie Bartley, Dmitriy Grazhdankin and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work. Peer reviewer reports are available.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Agouron InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Geochemistry; Sedimentology
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210525-102606501
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Official Citation:Present, T.M., Gomes, M.L., Trower, E.J. et al. Non-lithifying microbial ecosystem dissolves peritidal lime sand. Nat Commun 12, 3037 (2021).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:109248
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:26 May 2021 17:07
Last Modified:26 May 2021 17:07

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