Advances in Earth Science ›› 2018, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (9): 983-993. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2018.09.0983

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles    

Earthworm Calcite Granule —A New Proxy for Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction

Xiulan Zong 1, 2( ), Yougui Song 1, *( ), Yue Li 1, 2   

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710061, China
    2.University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2018-05-08 Revised:2018-08-15 Online:2018-10-20 Published:2018-10-24
  • Contact: Yougui Song;
  • About author:

    First author:Zong Xiulan(1995-),female,Yining City,Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Master student. Research areas include loess in Central Asia and climate change in the Quaternary.

  • Supported by:
    Foundation item:Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China "Climate change since the last glaciation recorded by loess deposits in Central Asian arid area and its driving mechanism" (No.41572162);The International Partnership Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences "Loess in Central Asia and climate change in the Quaternary" (No.132B61KYS20160002).

Xiulan Zong, Yougui Song, Yue Li. Earthworm Calcite Granule —A New Proxy for Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2018, 33(9): 983-993.

Earthworm calcite granules (ECG), generally produced in Morren's glands of the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris and Lumbricus rubellus, are commonly preserved in Quaternary soils and sediments well. These granules can not only provide radio-carbon dating (Carbon-14) with the efficacious materials, but accurately record a wealth of climatic and environmental information on temperature and precipitation. For instance, researchers from France reconstructed the paleotemperature and paleoprecipitation during the last glacial in west part of Europe by taking advantage of δ18O and δ13C signal contained in ECG. Additionally, scientists from Germany and France carried out radiocarbon dating of ECG from two different loess-paleosol sequences, and the results showed consistency with the dating results of other materials (such as charcoal, bone, plant calcified root cells, etc.). Therefore, this new bio-indicator has been confirmed as a proxy for paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic reconstruction, hopefully becoming the golden key to understanding the paleoclimate change. This paper, based on the previous literatures, reviewed the present research status of ECG in paleoclimatology, mainly consisting of five aspects: (i) ECGs' production mechanism and their characteristics; (ii) The theoretical foundation of stable carbon and oxygen isotopes in terrestrial fossil earthworm calcite granules for paleoclimatic reconstruction; (iii) The pre-treatment of ECG samples; (iv) Current applications in chronology and paleoclimatology of earthworm calcite granules;(v) Major problems at present regarding paleoclimatic explanation and radiocarbon-14 dating of ECG. Finally, we proposed the future research and development direction in this field, which is expected to make a reference to the future researches.

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