Species of the acritarch genus palaeostomocystis deflandre 1937: Potential indicators of neritic subpolar to polar environments in antarctica during the cenozoic

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A palynological analysis was undertaken on 16 samples from seven piston cores collected along two offshore transects near Seymour and James Ross Islands. Diverse assemblages of reworked marine microplankton (including organic‐walled dinoflagellate cysts, cymatiosphaerids, leiospheres, and other acritarchs) and terrestrial palynomorphs (including pollen and spores) were recovered from glacio‐marine sediments of late Pleistocene age. Among the reworked taxa, four species belonging to the acritarch genus Palaeostomocystis Deflandre 1937 comprise up to 17% of all palynomorphs. Highest abundances were recorded from sites close to the coast. The potential use of Palaeostomocystis as a proxy for early ice‐sheet development on the Antarctic margins is evaluated in light of earlier studies. This evaluation suggests that the high abundances of Palaeostomocystis on the Antarctic Peninsula reflect neritic‐type environments (shallow waters, bay‐like areas, or marginal seas) and sub‐polar to polar conditions as exist in the Bering Sea, Greenland margins, and other subarctic to arctic areas today. © 2009 by AASP Foundation.

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