Articles | Volume 17, issue 3
Biogeosciences, 17, 649–666, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-17-649-2020
Biogeosciences, 17, 649–666, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-17-649-2020

Research article 07 Feb 2020

Research article | 07 Feb 2020

Sterol preservation in hypersaline microbial mats

Yan Shen et al.

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Short summary
Today, sterols are widespread in plants, animals, and fungi but are almost absent in the oldest rocks. Microbial mats, representing the earliest complex ecosystems on Earth, were omnipresent in Precambrian marine environments and may have degraded the sterols at that time. Here we analyze the distribution of sterols through a microbial mat. This provides insight into how variations in biological and nonbiological factors affect the preservation of sterols in modern and ancient microbial mats.
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