Peridinioid dinoflagellate cysts in a Holocene high-mountain lake deposit in Italy
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This paper documents the discovery of peridinioid organic walled dinoflagellate cysts in Holocene sediments of the freshwater, low-alkalinity, high mountain Lake Nero di Cornisello (Adamello mountain range, Trentino, Italy). Among the three main cyst morphotypes found in the samples, the dominant one is acavate, with a smooth and light brown colored wall, with a clear conical shape, elongated with a pointy to rounded end in the antapical-ventral part, with the epicyst broader than the hypocyst and displays a typical peridinioid archeopyle. Comparison with data available in literature, besides pointing out the general scarcity of observations on dinocysts in lakes sediments, suggested a strong morphological similarity with the marine genus Brigantedinium. This finding pinpoints the need for more detailed studies on cysts in freshwater environments offering a new tool for paleoenvironmental interpretations.
KeywordsPeridinioid dinoflagellate cysts Freshwater Lake sediments Central-eastern Alps Holocene
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The work for this paper was carried out in the frame of the Ph.D. thesis of the first author at the University of Pisa (Italy; Doctoral Study Programme in Evolutionary Biology—Protistology). We are grateful to the Autonomous Province of Trento for funding the OLOAMBIENT project; we thank Natasja Welters and Jan van Tongeren for laboratory assistance, the MTSN research fellows, who assisted us during field work and the Fireman Permanent Group of Trento Province for assistance in field operation.
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