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Nitrogen isotopes from the Neoproterozoic Liulaobei Formation, North China: implications for nitrogen cycling and eukaryotic evolution

doi: 10.1007/s12583-020-1085-4
  • Received Date: 2020-06-22
  • The nitrogen isotope compositions (δ15N) of sedimentary rocks can provide information about the nutrient N cycling and redox conditions that may have played important roles in biological evolution in Earth’s history. Although considerable δ15N data for the Precambrian have been published, there is a large gap during the early Neoproterozoic that restrains our understanding of the linkages among N cycling, ocean redox changes and biological evolution during this key period. Here, we report bulk δ15N and organic carbon isotope (δ13Corg) compositions as well as the total nitrogen (TN) and total organic carbon (TOC) contents from the Tonian fossiliferous Liulaobei Formation in the southern part of the North China Platform. The δ15N in the study section is dominated by very stable values centering around +4.3‰, which is moderately lower than in modern sediments (~ +6‰). These positive δ15N values were attributed to partial denitrification under low primary productivity (scenario 1) and/or denitrification coupled with dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) (scenario 2). In either case, the availability of fixed nitrogen may have provided the nutrient N required to facilitate facilitated eukaryotic growth. Our study highlights the pivotal role of nutrient N in the evolution of eukaryotes.
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通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
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    沈阳化工大学材料科学与工程学院 沈阳 110142

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Nitrogen isotopes from the Neoproterozoic Liulaobei Formation, North China: implications for nitrogen cycling and eukaryotic evolution

doi: 10.1007/s12583-020-1085-4

Abstract: The nitrogen isotope compositions (δ15N) of sedimentary rocks can provide information about the nutrient N cycling and redox conditions that may have played important roles in biological evolution in Earth’s history. Although considerable δ15N data for the Precambrian have been published, there is a large gap during the early Neoproterozoic that restrains our understanding of the linkages among N cycling, ocean redox changes and biological evolution during this key period. Here, we report bulk δ15N and organic carbon isotope (δ13Corg) compositions as well as the total nitrogen (TN) and total organic carbon (TOC) contents from the Tonian fossiliferous Liulaobei Formation in the southern part of the North China Platform. The δ15N in the study section is dominated by very stable values centering around +4.3‰, which is moderately lower than in modern sediments (~ +6‰). These positive δ15N values were attributed to partial denitrification under low primary productivity (scenario 1) and/or denitrification coupled with dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) (scenario 2). In either case, the availability of fixed nitrogen may have provided the nutrient N required to facilitate facilitated eukaryotic growth. Our study highlights the pivotal role of nutrient N in the evolution of eukaryotes.

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