Oxygen, animals and oceanic ventilation: an alternative view

  title={Oxygen, animals and oceanic ventilation: an alternative view},
  author={Nicholas J. Butterfield},
  • N. Butterfield
  • Published 1 January 2009
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • Geobiology
Of all the components of biogeochemical cycles, few attract more attention than the waste product of oxygenic photosynthesis. Chemically unstable and biosynthetically dangerous, diatomic oxygen is the key ingredient in aerobic metabolism, and a prerequisite for the evolution of large complex organisms that define the modern biosphere. Exactly how much they require is only loosely constrained, but Catling et al . (2005) suggest something in the order of 10 3 –10 4 pascals [Pa] ( ≈ 1–10… 

Oxygen, animals and aquatic bioturbation: An updated account

‘permissive environment’ causality provides an intuitively satisfying explanation for the delayed arrival of Phanerozoic-style ecosystems, and is supported empirically by geochemical evidence for the expanding oxygenation of mid-late Neoproterozoic oceans.

Oxygen requirements for the Cambrian explosion

The appearance sequence of different animals is broadly consistent with their hypoxic sensitivity: animals like molluscs and annelids that are less sensitive to hypoxia appeared earlier, while animals like echinoderms and fishes that are more sensitive toHypoxic tolerance experiments may be helpful to constrain the oxygen requirement for animal evolution.

The Ecological Physiology of Earth's Second Oxygen Revolution

Although Cambrian oxygen must have reached 10–20% of modern levels, sufficient to support the animal diversity recorded by fossils, it may not have been much higher than this and today's levels may have been approached only later in the Paleozoic Era.

On the co‐evolution of surface oxygen levels and animals

Views from across this interpretive spectrum are presented—in a point–counterpoint format—regarding crucial aspects of the potential links between animals and surface oxygen levels to disentangle the relationships between oxygen availability and emergence and diversification of animal life.

Life in Changing Fluids: A Critical Appraisal of Swimming Animals Before the Cambrian.

  • D. Gold
  • Geography
    Integrative and comparative biology
  • 2018
It is concluded that there are very few groups of planktotrophic swimming animals that were likely to have existed at this time, with the possible exception of medusozoan cnidarians (jellyfish).

Mid-Proterozoic redox evolution and the possibility of transient oxygenation events.

While prevailing conditions during much of this time would likely have presented challenges for early animals, there were intervals when oxygenated conditions were more widespread and could have favored yet undetermined advances in eukaryotic innovation, including critical early steps toward animal evolution.

Low Mid-Proterozoic atmospheric oxygen levels and the delayed rise of animals

Evidence for inhibited oxidation of Cr at Earth’s surface in the mid-Proterozoic is found, suggesting that atmospheric O2 levels were at most 0.1% of present atmospheric levels.

A theory of atmospheric oxygen

It is shown that the Snowball Earth glaciations, which immediately precede both transitions, provide an appropriate transient increase in atmospheric oxygen to drive the atmosphere either from its Archean state to its Proterozoic state, or from its Protersic state toIts Phanerozoic state.

Low-oxygen waters limited habitable space for early animals

Anomalous cerium enrichments preserved in carbonate rocks across bathymetric basin transects from nine localities of the Nama Group, Namibia suggest that low-oxygen conditions occurred in a narrow zone between well- oxygengenated surface waters and fully anoxic deep waters, demonstrating that oxygen availability was a key requirement for the development of early animal-based ecosystems.



Terminal Proterozoic reorganization of biogeochemical cycles

It is shown that hydrocarbons extracted from Proterozoic sediments in several locations worldwide are derived mainly from bacteria or other heterotrophs rather than from photosyn-thetic organisms, and that preservation of algal-lipid skeletons improves at the beginning of the Cambrian, reflecting the increase in transport by rapidly sinking faecal pellets.

Oxidation of the Ediacaran Ocean

High-resolution carbon isotope and sulphur isotope records from the Huqf Supergroup, Sultanate of Oman, that cover most of the Ediacaran period indicate that the ocean became increasingly oxygenated after the end of the Marinoan glaciation and allow us to identify three distinct stages of oxidation.

The co-evolution of the nitrogen, carbon and oxygen cycles in the Proterozoic ocean

Geochemical evidence suggests that there was a delay of several hundred million years between the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis and the accumulation of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere. The deep

Oxygen hypothesis of polar gigantism not supported by performance of Antarctic pycnogonids in hypoxia

The oxygen hypothesis is tested using Antarctic pycnogonids, which have been evolving in very cold conditions (−1.8–0°C) for several million years and contain spectacular examples of gigantism, and there is no evidence for size×DO interactions.

Tracing the stepwise oxygenation of the Proterozoic ocean

A new perspective on ocean oxygenation is presented based on the authigenic accumulation of the redox-sensitive transition element molybdenum in sulphidic black shales, which reflects a greatly expanded oceanic reservoir due to oxygenation of the deep ocean and corresponding decrease in sulphide conditions in the sediments and water column.

COPSE: a new model of biogeochemical cycling over Phanerozoic time

We present a new model of biogeochemical cycling over Phanerozoic time. This work couples a feedback-based model of atmospheric O2 and ocean nutrients (Lenton and Watson, 2000a, 2000b) with a

Metal limitation of cyanobacterial N2 fixation and implications for the Precambrian nitrogen cycle

Nitrogen fixation is a critical part of the global nitrogen cycle, replacing biologically available reduced nitrogen lost by denitrification. The redox‐sensitive trace metals Fe and Mo are key

Biomarker evidence for green and purple sulphur bacteria in a stratified Palaeoproterozoic sea

Hydrocarbon biomarkers from a 1.64-Gyr-old basin in northern Australia reveal a marine basin with anoxic, sulphidic, sulphate-poor and permanently stratified deep waters, hostile to eukaryotic algae, and support mounting evidence for a long-lasting Proterozoic world in which oxygen levels remained well below modern levels.

The transition to a sulphidic ocean ∼ 1.84 billion years ago

The Proterozoic aeon (2.5 to 0.54 billion years (Gyr) ago) marks the time between the largely anoxic world of the Archean (> 2.5 Gyr ago) and the dominantly oxic world of the Phanerozoic (< 0.54 Gyr

N2-fixing cyanobacteria supplied nutrient N for Cretaceous oceanic anoxic events

The abundance of specific membrane lipids, 2-methylhopanoids, indicates that cyanobacteria played a key role in the seemingly global deposition of black shales during the early Aptian (ca. 120.5 Ma)