ACRITARCH NEWSLETTER 16
Compiled by Joakim Samuelsson and Alain Le Hérissé
Subcommission Acritarchs and Related Forms
Commission Internationale de Microflore du Paléozoïque
Acritarch Newsletter 16
Research unit Palaeontology
Krijgslaan 281 / S 8
Alain Le Hérissé
Université de Bretagne Occidentale
U. M. R. 6538 Domaines Océaniques
6 Avenue Le Gorgeau BP 809
F-292 87 Brest Cedex
Compiler’s column it! For the electronic version of the
newsletter, see our homepage:
We live in the information age. As http://www.shef.ac.uk/~cidmdp/
ordinary citizens, we are overwhelmed by
information. As scientists, probably even Being at the very beginning of my own
more so. Here is another source of scientific career, I will soon move from
information, the acritarch newsletter. The Belgium and Ghent back to my native
idea behind this rather modest publication Sweden via Rennes and France. Therefore,
is to keep you, dear acritarch-worker, up to please send your news and views for 2001
date with the more “unofficial” side of not to Ghent, but to my future address
what is going on in the acritarch world. In below (valid from September 2001):
this issue, apart from the usual “news and
views” section, we have a list of selected
vintage acritarch-related papers published Joakim Samuelsson
this year (and a few that were published in
’99, but which did not appear until now). If Earth Sciences, Palaeontology,
you feel this newsletter could be better – Norbyvägen 22, S-752 36 Uppsala,
and I am the first to admit that it can – Sweden. E-mail:
please submit your contribution. The firstname.lastname@example.org
newsletter is for you, and you should use
Different meetings this year, including Geoscience 2000 in Manchester, GEO 2000 in
Bahrain, 10th IPC in Nanjing, 31 IGC in Rio, congress of Evora, colloquium of Stuttgart or
special symposia and workshops on Geology of North Africa in London and Tripoli, have
been the source of very significant contributions on acritarchs and related forms. This
participation of our community to the major scientific events is very encouraging. With a great
abundance of papers published, we have also a good signal of continuous interest of the
research on these microfossils, to solve geological problems and to discuss the evolution of
Although the primary use of acritarchs is for biostratigraphic correlation, they have also great
potential as paleoenvironmental indicators, and we would encourage work on these topics. If
we have in the future, the ability to correlate specific morphologies of acritarchs and related
forms to precise environmental conditions, as it can be done with dinocysts, it will be of
considerable value. For this objective, more information is needed on the detailed evolution of
acritarchs, on the real degree of polyphyletism inside the group, or the stability of acritarch
morphology in varying environments and varying climatic conditions. The application of
concepts such as sequence stratigraphy to Proterozoic and Paleozoic marine strata, is of course
necessary for a correct correlation between the distribution of palynofloras and the succession
of systems tracts.
The successful search in acritarch fractions of characteristic biomarker molecules (e.g.
Talyzina et al., 2000), or use of acritarchs in thermal maturity studies (Obermajer et al.,
1999*), indicates there are many ways to move forward in understanding and utilize the fossil
record of acritarchs for the new Millenium.
Alain Le Hérissé
*Obermajer, M., Stasiuk, L.D., Fowler, M.G., and Osadetz, K.G. Application of acritarch
fluorescence in thermal maturity studies. International Journal of Coal Geology 39 : 185-204.
NEWS AND CURRENT ACRITARCH RESEARCH
Rainer BROCKE (Frankfurt, Germany) currently works on Lower Ordovician acritarchs
from South China together with Li Jun (Nanjing), Thomas Servais (Lille) and Olda Fatka
(Prague). He is involved in the 3 year NSFC project: "Algae as roles for aftermath ecosystem
reconstruction: An example from theO/S of S. China". Carried out by Li Jun, Li Yue and
Wang Zong-zhe (Nanjing), and R. Brocke (Frankfurt). Further projects concern palynology
(spores, chitinozoa and acritachs) from the Silurian to Devonian in Germany, Bohemia and
Nicholas J. BUTTERFIELD (Cambidge, UK) has spend most of last year, at least in terms
of microfossil science, in preparing a paper together with Joakim Samuelsson on the
stratigraphic, palaeoenvironmental and palaeobiological implications of Neoproterozoic
fossils from the Franklin Mountains in northwestern Canada. The paper is currently in press in
Oldrich FATKA (Prague, Czech Republic): Several papers are in progress on different topics
(systematics, palaeogeography, stratigraphy) of Cambrian and Ordovician acritarchs in
cooperation with R. Brocke, Li Jun and T. Servais.
Alain LE HERISSE (University of Brest, France, UMR 6538 “Domaines océaniques”) is
presently engaged in several projects progressing in parallel (approximately the same as
developed in the preceding newsletter), with applicability in biostratigraphy, but concerning
also the search among acritarchs and related floras of sensitive tracers for paleoclimatic and
palaeoenvironmental resconstructions. Much work is done in collaboration, on upper
Ordovician in North Africa and Baltica, the Silurian of Gotland, the Siluro-Devonian
boundary in Libya, the late Devonian of Brazil etc. Geoscience 2000 in Manchester was an
opportunity to give a talk on the relationship of global palaeoclimatic conditions to radiations
and extinctions of acritarchs in the early oceans. It was the result of reflections together with
Malgorzata Moczydlowska-Vidal of consequences of major palaeogeographical changes
between the break-up of the Rodinia megacontinent in the late Precambrian up to the break-up
of late Paleozoic Pangea to the Permo-Triassic boundary, on the evolution of phytoplanktonic
associations and possibly cyst fluxes of acritarch producers.
A part of his work is also devoted to chitinozoans and to palaeoenvironmental interpretation
and evaluation of source-rocks potential of lacustrine deposits from Miocene to recent, based
on the nature of changes in overall composition of the palynofacies contents, in a programme
on the East African rifts.
Andrew H. KNOLL (Harvard, USA): Our lab continues to work on Proterozoic
micropaleontology, with current projects focusing on Namibia (terminal Proterozoic
acritarchs), South China (phosphatized animal and algal fossils), and northern Australia
(Paleo- and Mesoproterozoic microfossils). As a sure sign of advancing age, I was recently
appointed Associate Dean of the Faculty and Fisher Professor of Natural History at Harvard.
The latter is especially pleasing because my own mentor, Elso Barghoorn, occupied the Fisher
chair when I was a student.
Iskra LAKOVA (Sofia, Bulgaria) work with Alain Le Herisse on Llandovery-Wenlock
acritarchs from low-grade metamorphic formations of Kraishte Zone, SW Bulgaria. Our
results and age determinations are important for the geologic mapping and understanding the
general pattern of the structural geology of the area.
Interesting biostratigraphical and palaeoecological results have been obtained by Nadia
MAZIANE in her PhD (University of Liège, Belgium 1999) on the Uppermost Famennian of
Belgium and Southeast Ireland.
The studies of vase-shaped microfossils by PhD student Monica MARTI (just finishing her
programme in Uppsala, Sweden) has been recently published in Norsk Geologisk Tidsskrift
(2000, v. 80, 213-228), and for the first time these fossils are shown in colour revealing various
minerals replicating parts of the microorganism during fossilisation and diagenesis. The
microfossils, though not being acritarchs, are usually found in beds with acritarchs and their
vesicle is also made of organic matter. Newly discovered is the internal structure preserved inside
of the vesicle in the specimens from the Visingsö Group, Sweden. If you became interested read
more in the mentioned paper.
Malgorzata MOCZYDLOWSKA (Uppsala, Sweden) is busy finishing the project on the
autochthonous Lower Cambrian in the Caledonides, the Västerbotten County in northern
Sweden. In this area, new records of acritarchs together with ichnofossils and olenellid
trilobites have been studied from the upper Neoproterozoic-Lower Cambrian successions. The
acritarch assemblages are recorded throughout the Grammajukku Formation. They are age-
diagnostic for the Skiagia-Fimbriaglomerella acritarch Zone, time-equivalent to the
Schmidtiellus mickwitzi trilobite Zone (the lower part of the formation), and the
Heliosphaeridium-Skiagia acritarch Zone corresponding to the Holmia kjerulfi trilobite Zone
(the upper part of the formation). The acritarch record from the area documents the presence
of strata contemporaneous to the Schmidtiellus mickwitzi Zone for the first time in the
Scandinavian Caledonides. This zone was previously only recognized in the platform regions
of the Baltica palaeocontinent. The ichnofossils allowed the base of the Cambrian System to
be determined within in the subsurface successions, and to attribute this part of the succession
to the Lower Cambrian Platysolenites antiquissimus faunal Zone of Baltica. The trilobite
fauna, attributed tentatively to Holmia sp., occurs at the lowermost stratigraphic level among
olenellids in the Caledonides. Altogether, the biostratigraphy of the basal autochthonous
succession is worked out in more detail due to well-preserved and age-diagnostic acritarch
Gary MULLINS (Leicester, UK): I have recently moved to the University of Leicester to
start a project with Professors Richard Aldridge and David Siveter on the acritarchs and
prasinophyte algae of the Wenlock and Ludlow series of the type areas (Much Wenlock and
Ludlow, Shropshire). This three year project involves collecting new material from the
Ludlow Series and working in collaboration with several colleagues (Paul Hill, Ken J.
Dorning, Stewart G. Molyneux, Alain Le Hérissé, Paul Swire, Ruth E. Richards and Jane
Washington-Evans). We will be proposing two new, high resolution biostratigraphical
schemes, testing some palaeoenvironmental and evolutionary models and setting up a
database of specimens and photographs.
Leonard OLARU (Iasi, Romania): I work in the field of palynology and palynostratigraphy
of metamorphic formations of the East Carpathians and Dobrogea County from Romania of
Upper Proterozoic and Lower Paleozoic age. I begun to correlate by palynological data and
other biostratigraphical data (trilobites, graptolites) different zones of up mentioned regions
with correlate of classical regions of the East European Platform, Baltic and Scandinavian
shields and Laurentian region. I lead and supervise students to Master Degree and Ph.D. in the
Biostratigraphy (Palaeontology and Stratigraphy) field, Palynological speciality, of the
Department of Geology, University "Al.I.Cuza" Iasi, Romania. In the year 2000 at the
Department of Geololgy two Ph.D. theses were presented which dealt with acritarchs of
metamorphic formations of the East Carpathians of Romania. One of these theses is
published. It is following: Horaicu C. (2000): Datari si corelari pe baza asociatiilor
palinologice in formatiunile metamorfice din bazinul inferior al Vaii Vaserului, Masivul
cristalin al Maramuresului si Carpatii Orientali. Ed. Sedcom Libris, Iasi (in Romanian).
Summary in English of 21 p. entitled: “The dates and correlation based on the palynological
assemblage in the metamorphical formations in the inferior basin of Vaser Valley, the
crystaline Massif of Maramures and Eastern Carpathians”, published in the Sedcom Libris
Zélia PEREIRA (IGM, Portugal) is working on Devonian Carboniferous palynostratigraphy
Claudia RUBINSTEIN (Mendoza, Argentina) is working on Ordovician, Silurian and
Devonian palynostratigraphy and paleobiogeography of northwestern Argentina (Eastern
Cordillera, Puna and Famatina) and the Precordillera Basin. Other projects include the
palynology of the Brazilian Silurian-Devonian boundary, in cooperation with Philippe
Steemans (Liège) and Alain Le Hérissé (Brest) and the stratigraphy and palynology of the
Devonian-Carboniferous boundary in the Antofagasta Region, northern Chile, together with
Hans Niemeyer (Antofagasta).
Joakim SAMUELSSON (Ghent, Belgium) is finishing up some projects that as far as he is
concerned mainly deals with Chitinozoa. These are carried out e.g. together with Jacques
Verniers (Ghent), Marco Vecoli (Halle, Germany) and Wieslaw Bednarczyk (Warsaw,
Poland). From january, he will move on to his third post-doc, this time together with Florentin
Paris in Rennes, France. He will then move on to Sweden, to start working as “junior
researcher” for at least another four years. Science? See under Marco Vecoli below!
Vladimir N. SERGEEV (Moscow, Russia): I still work on the silicified microfossils from
the Lower (Lower Mesoproterozoic), Middle (Upper Mesoproterozic) and Upper
(Neoproterozoic) Riphean deposits of the Riphean type section, southern Ural Mountains.
This summer I have been in field to this area and collected more cherts from the outcrops
where earlier found the diverse and abundant microfossils assemblages. The material is still
under investigation and the papers are in preparation.
Thomas SERVAIS (Lille, France) is currently general secretary of the CIMP. He will
organize the next CIMP meeting at Lille in September 2002. Thomas also co-organizes a
conference on "Early Palaeozoic palaeobiogeographies of western Europe and northern
Africa", to be held at Lille in September 2001. Research topics include the study of calcareous
microfossils (including calcareous pre-dinoflagellates) and algae from several Palaeozoic
sequences (with Axel Munnecke, Tübingen; Jens Wendler, Bremen; Daniel Vachard, Lille),
and the understanging of the palaeo(bio)geography of western Europe (especially Belgium and
Germany) in the Early Palaeozoic. However, most research projects concern acritarchs.
Currently in progress are investigations in the lower and upper boundaries of the Tremadocian
(with several colleagues and in several areas of peri-Gondwana), in the Caradocian of China
(with Li Jun), and in the Late Devonian of the Rhenish Massif (with Christoph Hartkopf-
Fröder). The work on the Ordovician acritarch database (“acritarch clade team” of the IGCP
programme 410 “The Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event”) will be presented at the
closing meeting of the IGCP 410 at Riverside, California in June 2001. Several papers are in
preparation, including the revision of Late Cambrian and Early Ordovician morphotypes
(together with Ludovic Stricanne, Lille, Nina Talyzina, Uppsala, and Michel Vanguestaine,
A new doctoral student, Martin STOCKFORS, joined the micropal research in the small
group at Uppsala, Sweden at the beginning of the fall term. Martin is going to study radiation
and extinction trends of phytoplankton around the Cambrian explosion in China, supervised
by M. Moczydlowska.The research project integrates the disciplines of palaeobiology of
autotrophic protists and biochronology of the Cambrian System and it is within the field of
Earth Sciences. The project aims at examining new fossil material from the Yangtze Platform
of South China to estimate the biodiversity of phytoplankton and to establish the acritarch-
based zonation in the Lower Cambrian successions in the context of the secular biotic
evolution and radiation of metazoans, and interregional correlation with the well-recognized
zones in Baltica. In the global scale, the Cambrian Period was a time of major tectonic events
resulting in breaking-up and drifting apart of various fragments of the Rodinia supercontinent,
the opening of new sea-ways and extending of shallow marine environments along the
continental shelves. The period is known for radical biotic changes recorded by the
appearance of the first skeletal metazoans and their diversification, and radiations of soft-
bodied metazoans during the so-called Cambrian explosion (the first shelly metazoans, the
Chengjiang, the Sirius Passet and the Burgess Shale faunas). During the Cambrian times, the
consolidation of broad shallow shelves and intracratonic basins led to the development of new
environments where the autotrophic, both chemo- and photosynthesizing, prokaryotes
(cyanobacteria) and protists (mostly phytoplanktonic acritarchs) thrived and underwent fast
radiations. Protistan evolution is recorded by dramatic increase of diversity and rapid
taxonomic turnovers that are recognized in contemporaneous sedimentary successions almost
worldwide owing to their planktonic mode of life and dispersal in the global ocean. Acritarchs
and cyanobacteria are primary producers and constitute the basic link in the food web of
marine ecosystem, and thus provide a first insight into the detection of biotic response to
changing environments and initial change in the trophic chain. Any significant change in the
primary producers must have had an impact on the metazoan consumers. Establishing the
global biochronology and more precise interregional correlation would allow to reveal the
relationships between biotic and environmental changes in different palaeocontinents. For this
purpose, the fossil records from the geologic successions in the South China Platform are of a
Ludovic STRICANNE (Lille, France) finished a MSc (“DEA” in France) on statistical
analyses of galeate acritarchs from the Algerian Sahara at the University of Dijon, France.
This study, supervised by Bruno David (Dijon) and Thomas Servais (Lille), provided new
insights in the understanding of the classification of the galeate plexus and on the ecological
influence on the morphology of galeate acritarch cysts. Ludovic now starts a PhD in the
Ludlow sequences of Gotland, under the supervision of Thomas Servais (Lille), in
collaboration with Alain Le Hérissé (Brest) and Axel Munnecke and Jörg Pross (Tübingen,
Nina TALYZINA (Uppsala, Sweden) finished her postdoc at Lille University, France and is
working on a paper with T. Servais and M. Vanguestaine concerning acritarchs from Upper
Cambrian-Lower Ordovician of Algeria.
Michel VANGUESTAINE (Liège, Belgium) is currently involved in publishing results of a
project in south-east Ireland Lower Palaeozoic entitled “Re-evaluation of proposed terranes in
Leinster Lower Palaeozoic Massif using Palynology” (collaboration between Cork and Liège
Universities: P. Brück, K. Higgs, N. Maziane-Serraj & M.Vanguestaine). One paper is
published, two are in press, one is in preparation and several papers are still to be written.
Another paper on Cambro-Tremadocian samples from the German part of the Stavelot-Venn
Lower Paleozoic Massif is in preparation and is intended to be published in Newsletter in
Stratigraphy. Papers are also in preparation on the uppermost strata of the Rocroi Massif, on
the morphology understanding of the species Cristallinium randomense and of the species
Retisphaeridium brayense (Gardiner and Vanguestaine) Moczydlowska and Crimes 1995.
Restudy of the Chevron borehole in the Stavelot Massif with the Tremadoc-Arenig trifidum
assembage is planned with Thomas Servais (Lille). I am also involved in several other
projects on Cambro-Tremadocian samples of Algeria (together with N. Talyzina and T.
Servais), of Belgium ( new resampling of the Rocroi Massif and Ordovician sequences in the
Brabant Massif near the Arenig- LLanvirn boundary). Study of Belgian Late Devonian is an
other interesting topic. Interest is focused on acritarch and prasinophycean algae
palaeoecology. A student is presently working on that topic in two sections depicting
variations of water depth constrained by macrofauna distribution. A paper is deposited in the
review Geologica Belgica giving new observations leading to a new interpretation of results
published by Streel and Vanguestaine, 1989 at the Frasnian-Famennian boundary.
Marco VECOLI still works in Halle (Saale), Germany, as postoctoral fellow, recipient of a
TMR grant from the European Union. The acritarch related research includes study of late
Ordovician- Silurian acritarchs from the Trans European Suture Zone (numerous subcrop
localities from Denmark to Poland). Acritarchs are used for palaeobiogeographical
reconstructions and provenance indicators. In this research there is continuing and active
collaboration with Dr. Joakim Samuelsson and Prof. Jacques Verniers of Ghent University,
Belgium. Recent work together with the Ghent group permitted the cross correlation between
late Ordovician acritarch and chitinozoan zonations. In late June-early July M.V. participated
at the X Palynological Congress in China where he presented two papers, and started a
collaboration with Prof. Yin Leiming on palynology of Ordovician-Silurian transitional strata
in South China. Research on microphytoplankton response to late Ordovician biotic crisis
include also studies from North Africa borehole sections (in collaboration with Dr.
Dominique Massa and Professor Marco Tongiorgi). Marco recently started a study on Silurian
sections in Poland in collaboration with Dr. Monika Masiak and Dr. Wrona Stempien-Salek
of the Polish Academy of Sciences. In November, M.V. together with Dr. Dominique Massa
and the acritarch group from Pisa, lead by Prof. Marco Tongiorgi, presented a paper at the
“2nd Symposium on sedimentary basins of NW Libya” regarding Cambro-Ordovician
palynostratigraphy of the Ghadamis Basin. Palynological research in the North African region
is still one of the priorities for M.V. Oil industry is clearly showing a renewed interest in
Åsa WALLIN (Stockholm, Sweden) is continuing her PhD thesis work with the middle
Ordovician of Baltica. Lots of taxonomic work, like the description of a probable new genus,
is currently at hand.
Bastien WAUTHOUZ (Liège, Belgium): I presently go on with my PhD thesis. At the
moment I am looking at the not so well preserved material prepared from Belgian Silurian
turbidites. I am looking forward to studying the slides made out of English and Welsh
material. Then I will enjoy beautifully preserved material for the first time in my life!
Reed WICANDER (Mt. Pleasant, USA): This past year I had a paper published with Alain
Le Hérissé and Thomas Servais on Devonian acritarchs. I am continuing my work on
Ordovician acritarchs and presented a poster session at the Geological Society of America
Meeting in November titled "North American Ordovician acritarch biodiversity trends. This is
part of the IGCP Project Number 410 – The Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event. I am
still working, along with Geoffrey Playford, on the upper Ordovician acritarch assemblage
from the Bill's Creek and Stonington formations, Michigan U.S.A. I am also collaborating
with Geoff Clayton, Zelia Pereira, and Peter Wagener on Upper Devonian-Lower
Carboniferous acritarchs and spores from selected areas in North America, Europe, North
Africa, and Arabia.
Acritarchs are gaining more attention, because of their biostratigraphic significance, in the
debate about the Series/Stage subdivision of the Cambrian System, carried out by the Working
Group of the International Subcommission on Cambrian Stratigraphy, IUGS (Geyer &
Shergold, 2000; Episodes, 23 (3),188-195). They seem to be considered for the recognition of
the global Lower-Middle Cambrian boundary. Studies of acritarch assemblages revealed a
pronounced change from the Volkovia-Liepaina assemblage to the Eliasum-Cristallinium
assemblage. The base of the Eliasum-Cristallinium Assemblage Zone has been proposed to
define the base of the Middle Cambrian on a global scale (Moczydlowska, 1999, Bolletino
della Societa Paleontologica Italiana, 38, 207-225). The diagnostic assemblage can be traced
along shelf areas of various Cambrian continents and is known from Poland, Sweden, Spain,
Morocco, Wales and SE Newfoundland. It appears to be unaffected by the faunal
provincialism which is seen in the trilobite assemblages (Moczydlowska, 1999; Geyer &
Defended his habilitation thesis “Applicability of the group Acritarcha in the Ordovician” on
December the 14th 2000.
Olda also points out that palaeogeographical applicability of acritarchs has been discussed
recently in a paper by
Cocks, L.R.M., Verniers, J. 2000: Applicability of planktonic and nektic fossils to palaeogeographic
reconstructions . In: ERDTMANN, B.-D., KRAFT, P. (eds.). Pre-Variscan Terrane Analyses of
“Gondwanan Europe”. Acta Universitatis Carolinae, Geologica, 42 (3/4), 399- 400. Praha.
One of the great revelation I recently had was the studying of Charles Downie's holotypes of
Silurian acritarchs (1960 & 1963 papers). I had a very peculiar one when dealing with the
holotype of Baltisphaeridium (now Multiplicisphaeridium) cladum. Since I like to share my
mystical experiences I invite you to compare my drawing of the holotype and Cramer's 1970
interpretative drawing with the published photographs (holotype: Downie, 1963, pl. 92, fig.5,
there is eight other figured specimens published so far (see Le Hérissé (1989) for synonymy).
Not surprisingly few workers have really understood this taxon so far. This kind of problem
arises often with “old” taxa. Obviously we are here dealing with different taxa. What should
we do now? Should those taxa be revised prior to our using them anew? What sense is there
in using them again if they are not revised?
All colleagues are
invited to the Third
Romania which will be held in the Department of Geology in September 28-30, 2001, where
scientific communications of the large field of Palaeontology and Biostratigraphy
(Palaeozoology, Biostratigraphy, Palynology, Palaeobotany, Palaeoecology,
Palaeoenvironmental geology, etc) will be presented. All communications will be published in
the Acta Palaeontologica Romaniae. Detailes from the General Secretary, Leonard Olaru, e-
The biennial conferences of the Systematics Association are intended to provide a forum for
systematists from different disciplines to present and discuss their research. The third Biennial
Conference, to be held at Imperial College, London, 3 – 7 September 2001, will continue in
the spirit of previous meetings by providing a mixture of open and focused thematic sessions.
The organisers are keen to stress that the conference is open to everyone, and especially
research students and younger post-doctoral fellows, whatever their chosen subject.
For more information including registration and booking details see
http://systass.org/biennial2001/, or e-mail: email@example.com, or fax +44 (0)20-7942-
Stephen Louwye, currently teaching the introductory course “micropalaeontology” at the
Research Unit Palaeontology at Ghent University, Belgium, desperately needs good
Palaeozoic acritarch material for the practicals of his course. Despite several efforts at finding
well-preserved specimens in samples investigated for Chitinozoa, good acritarchs refuse to
turn up. If you have material to share, please e-mail Stephen at:
Some acritarch-papers published or first seen in 2000
Brocke, R., Li Jun, Wang, Yi. 2000. Upper Arenigian to lower Llanvirnian acritarch assemblages from South
China. - Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology Amsterdam, (in press).
Fatka, O., Brocke, R. 2000. Anal_za akritarchov_ch spolecenstev na hranici tremadok - arenig (Analyse of
acritarch assemblages at the Tremadocian -Arenig boundary). Zprávy o geologick_ch v_zkumech za rok
Karlstrom, K., S. Bowring, C. Dehler, A.H. Knoll, S.M. Porter, Z. Sharp, D.J. Des Marais, A. Weil, J. Geissman,
M. Elrick, M.J. Timmons, K. Keefe, and L. Crossey, 2000. Chuar Group of the Grand Canyon: Record of
break up of Rodinia, associated change in the global carbon cycle, and ecosystem expansion by 740 Ma.
Geology 28: 619-622.
Knoll, A.H. 2000. Learning to tell Neoproterozoic time. Precambrian Research 100: 3-20.
Knoll, A.H. and S. Xiao 2000. Precambrian Lagersätten. In: D. Briggs and P. Crowther (eds.) Paleobiology II.
pp. 335-339, Blackwell, Oxford.
Le Hérisse, A., 2000. Characteristics of the acritarch recovery in the early Silurian of Saudi Arabia. In S. Al-
Hajri and B. Owens: Stratigraphic palynology of the Paleozoic of Saudi Arabia. Geoarabia, Special
Le Hérisse, A., Servais, T. and Wicander, R., 2000. Devonian acritarchs and related forms. Subcommission on
Devonian Stratigraphy. Volume II : Fossils groups important for boundary definition. Courier
Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg Franfurt a.M., 220 : 195-205
Li, Jun, Wang, Yi, Brocke, R. 2000. Ordovician acritarchs from the Shihtzupu Formation of Tongzi, Southern
China. Acta Micropalaeontologica Sinica 17 (1): 30-38, Nanjing.
Marti, M. & Moczydlowska, M. 2000. Internal morphology and taphonomic history of the Neoproterozoic vase-
shaped microfossils from the Visingsö Group, Sweden. Norsk Geologisk Tidsskrift, 80, 213-228.
Montenari, M. & Servais, T. (2000): Lower Palaeozoic (Late Cambrian - Early Ordovician) acritarchs from the
metasedimentary Baden-Baden – Gaggenau zone (Schwarzwald, SW-Germany). Review of Palaeobotany
and Palynology. (in press). Amsterdam.
Montenari, M., Servais, T. & Paris, F. (2000): Palynological dating (acritarchs and chitinozoans) of Lower
Palaeozoic phyllites from the Black Forest/southwestern Germany. Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des
Sciences. Earth and Planetary Sciences 330 : 493-499. Paris.
Olaru L. 2000. Ordovician chitinozoans and acritarchs from the geological formation of the Bugeac Promontory
(North Dobrogea, Romania). Procedings of the Second Romanian Symposium on Palaeontology, 1-3
oct.1999, Acta Palaeontologica Romanie, vol. 2, 309-320, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
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An interesting new palynological preparation technique
Sometimes, we need to sit down and try to improve what we are doing in the lab. Am I fast
enough? Do I treat the poor specimens cruelly with all these nasty heavy liquids and the
heavy-duty centrifuging? To improve one’s lab work by looking at how other people are doing
it is not a bad idea, not at all. So, look up this relatively new method from Australia, published
by the Geological Survey of Western Australia, Record 1999/10:
A modified palynological technique for the extraction of large Neoproterozoic
acanthomorph acritarchs and other acid-insoluble microfossils by K. GREY
Neoproterozoic acritarchs provide valuable biostratigraphic data for correlation within the
Centralian Superbasin, and recent advances in Neoproterozoic biostratigraphy owe much to a
refinement of preparation techniques. This applies particularly to the extraction of large
acanthomorph acritarchs (between 200 and 900 µm in diameter). These fossils are a
significant component of diverse assemblages of the Ediacarian (latest Neoproterozoic, 600–
545 Ma) successions in the Centralian Superbasin of Australia. Preparation techniques are
critical for the extraction of acritarchs, as they are particularly vulnerable to fragmentation
because of their large size and brittle nature. The processing techniques described herein
produce optimum yields of whole, fragile specimens. They were subsequently used to improve
the quality and quantity of palynomorphs of simpler morphology recovered from slightly older
Cryogenian (middle Neoproterozoic, c. 850–725 Ma) samples from western Officer Basin
drillholes. A variety of laboratory extraction techniques were tested. As a result, preparation
methods were modified to eliminate harsh or vigorous steps that might cause fragmentation.
Mechanical breakdown was minimized. Where possible, samples were split along bedding
planes to free whole specimens by exposure to gentle chemical disaggregation. Acid
dissolution was non-vigorous, decantation replaced centrifugation, and filtration was used to
clear samples of fine particles. Heavy-liquid mineral separation (such as the use of zinc
bromide) was avoided. Instead, a swirling technique was carried out in the filter apparatus.
Generally, only one or two specimens per sample were recovered using previously
documented techniques. Using the modified method, more than 100 specimens were
recovered from smaller samples (about 25 g). The method was developed for a small general
laboratory, but was applied successfully in a commercially operated palynological laboratory.
It is now the standard method for all Geological Survey of Western Australia samples of
presumed Proterozoic age, and may have application for the preparation of younger samples.
Could these be internet sites of major interest?
Although I myself only recently have been utilising the full potential of the internet, I have
learned that scientists are pioneers in the field. Thus, I thought it worthwhile to point out the
existence of some three websites that every acritarch worker should be aware of.
The American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists (AASP) has an excellent site.
It contains a wealth of information, easily accessible and up-to-date. In addition, there is a list
of palynology jobs available, and an assemblage of useful links. Bookmark this page
PaleoNet is my absolute favourite when it comes to cyberpalaeontology. PaleoNet is a
system of listservers, www pages, and ftp sites designed to enhance electronic communication
among primarily professional paleontologists. With the help of this superb website, you can
find other sites from which you can download statistical packages, outline a course, find a job,
publish in “Palaeontologica Electronica”, view some artists images of worlds long lost and
debate the status quo in our science today. Bookmark!
For saving time when searching for micropalaeontological information posted on the
net, see the following list:
MEMBERS OF THE ACRITARCH SUBCOMMISSION
Thamer K. AL-AMERI, University of Baghdad, Dept. Geology, College of Sciences, P.O. Box 47062,
Jadiriyah, Iraq, phone: 7761801, fax: 7763592
Richard J. ALDRIDGE, University of Leicester, Department of Geology, University of Leicester, Leicester LEI
7RH, UK, phone: +44-0116-2523610, fax: +44-0116-2523918, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Antonio ANCILLETTA, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Universitá degli Studi, Via Trentino, 51, 09127
Cagliari, Italy, phone: +39(0)706757742, fax. +39(0)70282236, E-mail: email@example.com
Esther ASSELIN, Centre géoscientifique de Québec, Geological Survey of Canada- Québec, 2535 Laurier
boulevard, P.O. 7500 Sainte-Foy, Québec G1V 4C7, phone: 418-654-2612, fax: 418-654-2615, E-mail:
Dlear H. BABAN, Technical Kirkuk block co., P.O. Box 52002-251, Kirkuk, Iraq, phone: 050 216423, fax:
D. J. BATTEN, Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DB, UK,
phone: +44-1970-62273, fax: +44-1970-622689, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rainer BROCKE, Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Palaeobotanik, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt am
Main, Germany, phone: 069/97075-162, fax: 069/97075-137, E-mail: email@example.com
Anthony BUTCHER, School of Earth, Environmental & Physical Science, University of Portsmouth, Burnaby
Road, Portsmouth, PO1 3QL, United Kingdom, Tel: (0044)023-9284-2258, Fax: (0044)023-9284-2244E-mail:
Nicholas J. BUTTERFIELD, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EQ,
phone: +44-01223-333379, fax: +44-01223-333450, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
He CHENG-QUAN, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Academia Sinica, 39 East Beijing Road,
Nanjing 210008, People’s Republic of China, phone: +86-025-7711421, fax: +86-025-3357026, E-mail:
K.-H. EISERHARDT, Universität Hamburg, Geologisch-Paläontologisches Institut und Museum, Bundesstraße
55, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany, phone: +49 40 428 38-4991, fax: +49 40 428 38-5007, E-mail:
Bernd-D. ERDMANN, Technical University Berlin, Dept. of Applied Geosciences II, Sekr EB 10/Technical
University Berlin, Ernst-Reuter-Platz 1, D-10583 Berlin, Germany, phone: +49-30-314-23583/314-72875, fax:
Oldrich FATKA, Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Charles University Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2, Czech
Republic, E-mail: email@example.com
Rob FENSOME, Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic), Bedford Institute of Oceanography, P.O. Box 1006,
Darthmouth, NS, Canada B2Y 4A2, phone: 902-426-2232, fax: 902-426-4465, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
José Pedro FERNANDES, Dep. Geologia, Fac. Ciências Porto, Pr. Gomes Teixeira, 4099-002 PORTO,
PORTUGAL, phone: +351 2 3401466, fax: +351 2 2056456, E-mail: email@example.com
David GELSTHORPE, Department of Geology, Leicester University, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK, E-mail:
Hanna GÓRKA, Institute of Geology, Warsaw University, 02-089 Warszawa Al. Zwirki i Wigury 93, Poland,
phone: +144-022-228091, fax: +144-022-220248
Lilik S. HAKOBIAN, Geological Survey of Iran, Palynology lab., P.O. Box 13185, 1494 Teheran-Iran, fax:
Christoph HARTKOPF-FRÖDER, Geologisches Landesamt NRW, Postfach 1080, D-47710 Krefeld, phone:
+49-02151-897255, fax: +49-02151-897505, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thomas HEUSE, Thüringer Landesanstalt für Geologie, PF24 52, D-99405 Weimar, Tel.: (+49-3643) 556-313,
Fax: (+49-3643) 556-155, E-mail: email@example.com
Tadas JANKAUSKAS E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Falah Hussein KHALAF, Oil exploration comp., Exploration Research Dept., P.O. Box 476, Baghdad, Iraq,
Heinz KOZUR, Rézsü u. 83, H-1029 Budapest, Hungary, phone/fax: +36-1-397-1316
Iskra LAKOVA, Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Acad. G. Bonchev St., Bl. 24, 1113
Sofia, Bulgaria, tel: + 359-2 979-22-24, fax: +359-2 72-46-38, e-mail: email@example.com
Alain LE HERISSE, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, U. M. R. 6538 Domaines Océaniques, 6 Avenue Le
Gorgeau BP 809, F-292 87 Brest Cedex, France, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yin LEIMING, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Academia Sinica, 39 East Beijing Road,
Nanjing 210008, People’s Republic of China, phone: +86-025-7711421, fax: +86-025-3357026, E-mail:
Carl V. MENDELSON, Department of Geology, Beloit College, 700 College St., Beloit, Wisconsin 53511-
5595, USA, phone: 608-363-2223, fax: 608-363-2052, E-mail: email@example.com
Malgorzata MOCZYDLOWSKA-VIDAL, Uppsala University, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Historical Geology
and Palaeontology, Norbyvägen 22, S-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden, phone: +46-18-471-2743, fax: +46-18-471-
2749, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary L. MULLINS, SEEPS, University of Portsmouth, Burnaby Building, Burnaby Road, Portsmouth, PO1
3QL, United Kingdom, fax: +44 (0)1705 842244, E-mail: Gary.Mullins@port.ac.uk
Leonard OLARU, University “Al.I.Cuza” Iasi, Department of Geology, Bd.Carol the 1th, 20 A, 6600 Iasi,
Romania, phone: +40 32 201467, fax: +40 32 201 201, E-mail: email@example.com
Eduardo Guillermo OTTONE, Departamento de Ciencias Geologicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y
Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Pabellon no 2 Ciudad Universitaria, C.P. 1428, Buenos Aires,
Argentina, phone/fax: 54.011.4576.3329, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Zélia PEREIRA, Instituto Geológico e Mineiro, Rua da Amieira, 4465 S. Mamede Infesta, Portugal, phone: 351
2 9511915, fax. 351 2 9514040, E-mail: email@example.com, http://www.igm.pt/inicial/princip.htm
Lidija PASKEVICIENE, Institute of Geology, Sevcenkos 13? LT-2600 Vilnius, Lithuania, phone: 370 2
236702, fax: 370 2 236710, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Geoffrey PLAYFORD, University of Queensland, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane,
Australia 4072, phone: +61-7-3365-2366, fax: +61-7-3365-1277, E-mail: email@example.com
Luiz PADILHA DE QUADROS, PETROBRAS-CENPES-DIVEX-SEBIPE, SALA 1112-b, CEP 21949-900,
Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brasil. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Helga PRIEWALDER, Dept. Palaeontology, Geological Survey of Austria, Rasumofskygasse 23, A 1031
Vienna, AUSTRIA, Tel + 1 712 56 74-86, Fax + 1 712 56 74-56, E-Mail: email@example.com
John B. RICHARDSON, Dept. of Palaeontology, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London DW7
SBD, United Kingdom, phone: 0207 942-5035, fax: 0207 942-5546
Walter RIEGEL, Institut und Museum für Geologie und Paläontologie, Goldschmidtstraße 3, D-37077
Göttingen, Germany, phone: 0551-397956, fax: 0551-397996, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fatna-Farida ROUIGHI-ABDESSELAM, Centre de Recherche et Developpement SONATRACH, 1, Av. du
1er Novembre, 35000 Boumerdes, Algeria, phone: 213-2-81-11-231025
Claudia Viviana RUBINSTEIN, Unidad de Paleopalinología, IANIGLA, CRICyT., A. Ruiz Leal s/n, Parque
General San Martín, C.C. 131, 5500 Mendoza, Argentina, phone: 54-261-4287029 / 54-261-4274011, fax: 54-
261-4285940, E-mail: email@example.com
Jafar SABOURI, Geological Survey of Iran, Palynology lab., P.O. Box 13185, 1494 Teheran-Iran, fax:
Joakim SAMUELSSON, Universiteit Gent, Lab. Paleontology, Krijgslaan 281/S8, B-9000 Gent, Belgium,
phone: +32-9-264-4613, fax: +32-9-264-4608, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
William A.S. SARJEANT, Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, 114 Science Place,
Saskatoon SK, S7N 5E2, Canada, phone: 306-966-5722, fax: 306-966-8593, E-mail: email@example.com
Eckart SCHRANK, Inst. f. ANGEW. Geowiss. II, TU Berlin, Sekr. EB 10, Ernst-Reuter-Platz 1, D-10587
Berlin, phone: +30-31425166, fax: +30-314-79471, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vladimir N. SERGEEV, Pyzhevskii per., 7, 109017 Moscow, Russia, phone: (095)230-8133, fax: /, E-mail:
Thomas SERVAIS, Paleontologie -Sciences de la Terre, UPRESA 8014 CNRS, Cite Scientifique SN5, F-59655
Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, (FRANCE), phone: +33-3-20 33 72 20, fax: +33-0-3 20 43 69 00, E-mail:
Morten SMELROR, Department of Natural History, Museum of Natural History and Archaeology, Norwegian
University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway, phone: +47 735 921 47, fax: +47 735 922
49, E-mail: email@example.com
Ludovic STRICANNE, Laboratoire de Paléontologie et Paléogéographie du Paléozoïque UPRESA 8014 - UFR
Sciences de la Terre (SN5) Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, F-59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq
CEDEX, FRANCE, fax : 03.20.43.69.00
Kurosh TAVAKOLLI, Geological Survey of Iran, Palynology lab., P.O. Box 13185, 1494 Teheran-Iran, fax:
6009338, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Archana TRIPATHI, Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, 53, University Road, Lucknow 226007, India,
phone: 324291, 323206, fax: 91-0522-381948, 374528, E-mail: email@example.com, tripathi-
Jacques VERNIERS, Rijksuniversiteit Gent, Palaeontology, Krijgslaan 281/S8, B-9000 Gent, Belgium, phone:
+32-9-264-4614, fax: +32-9-264-4608, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nina A. VOLKOVA, Geological Institue, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pyzherskii pcr. 7, Moscow 109017,
Russia, phone: 230-80-87
Åsa WALLIN, Dept. of geology and geochemistry, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden, phone:
+46 8 164736, fax +46 8 6747897, E-mail: email@example.com
Harald WALTER, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
R. WARRINGTON, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG, U.K., phone: +44 0115
9363407, fax: +44 0115 9363437, E-mail: email@example.com
Reed WICANDER, Central Michigan University, Department of Geology, Central Michigan University, Mt.
Pleasant, Michigan 48859 USA., phone: 517-774-3179, fax: 517-774-2142, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gordon D. WOOD, 23222 Willow Pond Place, Katy, Texas 77494, USA, phone: 281-693-2860, E-mail: