Determining the absolute abundance of dinoflagellate cysts in recent marine sediments: the Lycopodium marker-grain method put to the test

Mertens, Kenneth Neil, Verhoeven, K., Verleye, T., Louwye, S., Amorim, A., Ribeiro, S., Deaf, A. S., Hardubg, I. C., De Schepper, S., González, C., Kodrans-Nsiah, M., de Vernal, A., Henry, M., Radi, T., Dybkjaer, K., Poulsen, N. E., Feist-Burkhardt, S., Chitolie, J., Heilmann-Clausen, C., Londeix, L., Turon, J.-L., Marret, F., Matthiessen, Jens, McCarthy, F. M. G., Prasad, V., Pospelova, V., Kyffin Hughes, J. E., Riding, J. B., Rochon, A., Sangiorgi, F., Welters, N., Sinclair, N., Thun, C., Soliman, A., Van Nieuwenhove, Nicolas, Vink, A. and Young, M. (2009) Determining the absolute abundance of dinoflagellate cysts in recent marine sediments: the Lycopodium marker-grain method put to the test Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 157 . pp. 238-252. DOI 10.1016/j.revpalbo.2009.05.004.

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Supplementary data:


Absolute abundances (concentrations) of dinoflagellate cysts are often determined through the addition of
Lycopodium clavatum marker-grains as a spike to a sample before palynological processing. An interlaboratory
calibration exercise was set up in order to test the comparability of results obtained in different
laboratories, each using its own preparation method. Each of the 23 laboratories received the same amount of
homogenized splits of four Quaternary sediment samples. The samples originate from different localities and
consisted of a variety of lithologies. Dinoflagellate cysts were extracted and counted, and relative and
absolute abundances were calculated. The relative abundances proved to be fairly reproducible,
notwithstanding a need for taxonomic calibration. By contrast, excessive loss of Lycopodium spores during
sample preparation resulted in non-reproducibility of absolute abundances. Use of oxidation, KOH, warm
acids, acetolysis, mesh sizes larger than 15 μm and long ultrasonication (N1 min) must be avoided to
determine reproducible absolute abundances. The results of this work therefore indicate that the dinoflagellate cyst worker should make a choice between using the proposed standard method which
circumvents critical steps, adding Lycopodium tablets at the end of the preparation and using an alternative

Document Type: Article
Keywords: concentration, spike, inter-laboratory calibration, dinoflagellate cyst concentration, Lycopodium clavatum tablets spike
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.revpalbo.2009.05.004
ISSN: 0034-6667
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2009 16:06
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 10:19

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