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Determining the absolute abundance of dinoflagellate cysts in recent marine sediments: the Lycopodium marker-grain method put to the test
Mertens, K.N.; Verhoeven, K.; Verleye, T.J.; Louwye, S.; Amorim, A.; Ribeiro, S.; Deaf, A.S.; Harding, I.C.; De Schepper, S.; Kodrans-Nsiah, M.; de Vernal, A.; Radi, T.; Dybkjaer, K.; Poulsen, N.E.; Feist-burkhardt, S.; Chitolie, J.; González Arango, C.; Heilmann-Clausen, C.; Londeix, L.; Turon, J.-L.; Marret, F.; Matthiessen, J.; 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.K.; Van Nieuwenhove, N.; Vink, A.; Young, M. (2009). Determining the absolute abundance of dinoflagellate cysts in recent marine sediments: the Lycopodium marker-grain method put to the test. Rev. Palaeobot. Palynol. 157(3-4): 238-252. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.revpalbo.2009.05.004
In: Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; Lausanne; New York; Shannon; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0034-6667; e-ISSN 1879-0615, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keywords
    Dinoflagellata [WoRMS]; Lycopodium clavatum
    Marine/Coastal
Author keywords
    dinoflagellate cyst; concentration; Lycopodium clavatum tablets; spike; inter-laboratory calibration

Authors  Top 
  • Mertens, K.N., more
  • Verhoeven, K., more
  • Verleye, T.J., more
  • Louwye, S., more
  • Amorim, A.
  • Ribeiro, S.
  • Deaf, A.S.
  • Harding, I.C.
  • De Schepper, S.
  • Kodrans-Nsiah, M.
  • de Vernal, A.
  • Radi, T.
  • Dybkjaer, K.
  • Poulsen, N.E.
  • Feist-burkhardt, S.
  • Chitolie, J.
  • González Arango, C.
  • Heilmann-Clausen, C.
  • Londeix, L.
  • Turon, J.-L.
  • Marret, F.
  • Matthiessen, J.
  • 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.K.
  • Van Nieuwenhove, N.
  • Vink, A.
  • Young, M.

Abstract
    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 inter-laboratory 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 (> 1 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 method.

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