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Abstract: Preservation Potential and Biogeochemical Cycling of Wood in Marine Carbonate Environments: An Experimental Study

HEISE, E.A., and A. RAYMOND, Dept. of G&G, Texas A&M Univ.; S.E. WALKER, Dept. of Geol., Univ. of GA, C.E. BRETT and D.D. CARLSON, Dept. of Earth and Environ. Sci, Univ. of Rochester; K. PARSONS, Haskin Shellfish Res. Lab., Rutgers Univ., and G. STAFF, Austin Comm. College.

Abstract

As a part of the Shelf Slope Experimental Taphonomy Initiative (SSETI), we explored the preservation potential and biogeochemical cycling of a range of wood types in a subtropical marine carbonate environment. These wood types include: `primitive' conifer (Araucaria and Sequoia), `primitive' vesselless angiosperm (Magnolia), `advanced' conifer (Pinus), and `advanced' angiosperm (Quercus, 2 species). Wood samples were kiln-dried lumber except for Quercus stellata Wang, which had decomposed in a terrestrial environment for 5 years prior to this study. We deployed samples in weighted bags (1.1 cm mesh) at a range of depths (15, 30, 73, 213, and 267 mbsl) and retrieved them after one and two years in the summers of 1994-96.

Teredinidae were the dominant wood destroyers at all depths. Limnnoriidae and probably Cheluridae attacked the surface of the wood; however, limnorid attack rates dropped dramatically at the deepest sites. The amount of teredo attack varied inversely with the amount of surface attack by limnorids at intermediate and deep sites. Wood in shallow environments often showed low attack rates due to burial by sediments. After one year, all the kiln-dried lumber was heavily bored while Q. stellata (which had been fungally inoculated during terrestrial decomposition) was noticeably less attacked. Magnolia was attacked more than Quercus at most depths, which may indicate that advanced angiosperm anatomy is more resistant to attack; however, tannins in Quercus could contribute to this phenomenon.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90937©1998 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Salt Lake City, Utah