Secular changes in environmental stresses and eukaryotes during the Early Triassic to the early Middle Triassic

Ryosuke Saito, Kunio Kaiho, Masahiro Oba, Jinnan Tong, Zhong Qiang Chen, Satoshi Takahashi, Jing Chen, Li Tian, Raman Kumar Biswas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The Early Triassic, following the end-Permian mass extinction, was an interval of severe low diversity. Increasing amounts of evidence demonstrate that variable environmental stresses were widespread and intense after the end-Permian mass extinction. Here we report biomarkers from lowest Triassic to lower Middle Triassic strata in South China (Qingyan and Chaohu sections), including biomarkers for environmental stress (2-methyl hopane index) and eukaryotic algae (steranes and C21 n-alkylbenzene ratio). Using the 2-methyl hopane index, we detected the persistence of environmental stress during most of the Early Triassic. Using steranes and the C21 n-alkylbenzene ratio, we found a gradual increase in the biomass of eukaryotic algae during the Early to early Middle Triassic. A decrease in environmental stress in the Qingyan section (Leidapo Member) during the early Middle Triassic was synchronous with the "explosion" of the Qingyan Biota, which is characterized by a high abundance and diversity of invertebrate marine animals. Because the environmental stresses revealed by the 2-methyl hopane index encompass various factors (e.g., pH and temperature), we cannot identify the exact stresses at that time; however, our results reflect the amelioration of harsh environments for life during the interval of complete biotic recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-45
Number of pages11
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 1


  • Cyanobacteria
  • Delayed biotic recovery
  • Early Triassic
  • Eukaryotic algae
  • Oceanic anoxia
  • Organic geochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Palaeontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Secular changes in environmental stresses and eukaryotes during the Early Triassic to the early Middle Triassic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this