Articles | Volume 20, issue 12
Research article
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19 Jun 2023
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 19 Jun 2023

Hyperspectral imaging sediment core scanning tracks high-resolution Holocene variations in (an)oxygenic phototrophic communities at Lake Cadagno, Swiss Alps

Paul D. Zander, Stefanie B. Wirth, Adrian Gilli, Sandro Peduzzi, and Martin Grosjean


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The development of hyperspectral core scanning has facilitated high spatial/temporal pigment reconstructions indicative of changes in bioproductivity and was so far limited to those bacteriochlorophylls derived from Chromatiaceae (purple sulfur bacteria) to reconstruct changes in water column redox conditions and meromixis. This is the first study that reconstructs and quantifies Chlorobi-derived bacteriochlorophylls and its derivatives at high resolution in lake sediments. Therefore, this paper yields more insight into temporal variations of oxygenic and anoxygenic phototrophic communities, and provides a non-destructive tool for more detailed reconstructions of photic zone euxinia in meromictic lakes.
Short summary
This study shows, for the first time, that hyperspectral imaging can detect bacteriochlorophyll pigments produced by green sulfur bacteria in sediment cores. We tested our method on cores from Lake Cadagno, Switzerland, and were able to reconstruct high-resolution variations in the abundance of green and purple sulfur bacteria over the past 12 700 years. Climate conditions, flood events, and land use had major impacts on the lake’s biogeochemical conditions over short and long timescales.
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