Lewis et al. Littorina littorea_Holocene paper for LU repository.pdf (2.83 MB)
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δ18O-inferred salinity from Littorina littorea (L.) gastropods in a Danish shell midden at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition

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posted on 24.10.2019, 15:26 authored by Jonathan Lewis, Angela L Lamb, David RyvesDavid Ryves, Peter Rasmussen, Melanie J Leng, Soren H Andersen
Norsminde Fjord has received extensive geoarchaeological investigation, hosting one of the classic Stone Age shell midden sites in Denmark, and one of the best examples of the widespread oyster decline at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition. Here intra-shell δ 18O (and δ 13C) analyses from the common periwinkle, Littorina littorea (L.) are used to infer inter-annual environmental changes at the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition (four from each period). This study utilises a modern δ 18O L. littorea-salinity training set previously developed for the Limfjord, Denmark to quantify winter salinity. δ 18O values range between +1.6 and +4.0‰ in the Late Mesolithic and –6.3‰ to +2.0 in the Early Neolithic. Using maximum δ 18O values, winter salinity at the known temperature of growth cessation in L. littorea (i.e. +3.7±1°C) for the first annual cycle of each shell ranges between 25.5–26.8 psu (s.d. 0.56) for the Late Mesolithic, with an average salinity of 26.1 psu. Early Neolithic shells range between 19.4 to 28.2 psu (s.d. 4.59) with an average salinity of 23.7 psu. No statistically significant change in salinity occurs between the Late Mesolithic and Early Neolithic. This result supports recent diatom/mollusc-based inferences that salinity was not the sole cause of the oyster decline, though some evidence is presented here for more variable seasonal salinity conditions in the Early Neolithic, which (along sedimentary change and temperature deterioration) might have increased stress on oyster populations in some years. It is recommended here that for robust palaeoenvironmental inferences, where possible, multiple specimens should be used from the same time period in conjunction with multiproxy data.

Funding

NERC facility grant IP-1550-0515

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

The Holocene

Volume

30

Issue

2

Pages

233-243

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal The Holocene and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683619883015. Users who receive access to an article through a repository are reminded that the article is protected by copyright and reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses. Users may also download and save a local copy of an article accessed in an institutional repository for the user's personal reference.

Acceptance date

06/09/2019

Publication date

2019-11-08

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

0959-6836

eISSN

1477-0911

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Dave Ryves. Deposit date: 23 October 2019