Biomarker indicators of past ecosystems

Rachel Lupien, Kasia K. Sliwinska

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in bookResearchpeer-review


Biomarkers are identifiable molecular fossils preserved in archaeological and geological archives, and are used to reconstruct Quaternary ecosystems, encompassing climate, environment, and biota. The diversity and resilience of biomarkers, in addition to their accessible and consistent laboratory analytical techniques, make them a powerful tool for paleoclimatologists, paleoecologists, and archaeologists. Here, we provide an overview of the main biomarker groups relevant to these fields, the general extraction methods for biomolecules, and the established and emerging biomarker compound distribution, index, and isotope proxies for atmospheric pCO2, hydroclimate, temperature, vegetation, fire, primary productivity, and mammalian presence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReference module in Earth systems and environmental sciences
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 5: Nature and Climate


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