From 1 - 1 / 1
  • Southeastern Australia's marine waters are undergoing a trend of increased warming, surpassing the global average. This area has emerged as an alluring location for research on planktic microfossils, particularly dinoflagellate cysts, which are abundant in contemporary and Late Quaternary sediments. The composition of dinoflagellate cyst assemblages offers valuable information about the physical and biogeochemical properties of mid-latitude waters in this region. This study presents an analysis of cyst assemblages from marine sediment cores from waters inshore and offshore Maria Island, Tasmania, southeast Australia, up to 9 kyrs BP. The dominant cysts were Protoceratium reticulatum, Protoperidinium spp. (P. avellana, P. conicum, P.minutum, P. oblongum, P. subinerme, P. shanghaiense) and Spiniferites spp. (S. bulloideus, S. hyperacanthus, S. membranaceus, S. mirabilis, S. pachydermus, and S. ramosus). Inshore, Spiniferites spp. were more abundant (up to 61%), while P. reticulatum was dominant (up to 80%) at the offshore site. Impagidinium spp. and Nematosphaeropsis labyrinthus were exclusively detected offshore, with their increasing occurrence from 6 kyrs BP to present suggesting a transition from shallow coastal to stable deep-water habitat. Cysts of the Alexandrium tamarense complex were detected over the past 140 years and 9 kyrs BP at the inshore and offshore sites respectively, indicating an endemic long-term presence. Low abundances of Gymnodinium catenatum cysts were detected exclusively inshore from 50 years ago to present, suggesting recent bloom events. The limited southward penetration of the East Australian Current is indicated by the lack of warm-water cyst taxa such as Lingulodinium machaerophorum. Unlike coccolithophores, previously studied in the same sediment core, no discernible shift from cold to warm-water dinoflagellate cyst species was observed. The documentation of dinoflagellate cyst assemblages presented in this study will aid in predicting the effects of climate change, eutrophication, and introduction of novel species on local and broader community dynamics.