End-Triassic fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 concentration reconstructed by the use of stomatal frequency analysis

Changing CO2 conditions during the end-Triassic inferred from stomatal frequency analysis on Lepidopteris ottonis (Goeppert) Schimper and Ginkgoites taeniatus (Braun) Harris

by Bonis N. R., Van Konijnenburg-van Cittert J. H. A., Kürschner W. M. (2010)

N. R. Bonis, a J. H. A. Van Konijnenburg-Van Cittert, ab W. M. Kürschner, a

Palaeoecology, Institute of Environmental Biology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, Laboratory of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Budapestlaan 4, 3584 CD Utrecht, The Netherlands

Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity Naturalis, PO Box 9517, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands


 In Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 295: 146-161 – https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.05.034 –



End-Triassic fluctuations in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration were reconstructed by the use of stomatal frequency analysis on a single plant species: the seedfern Lepidopteris ottonis (Goeppert) Schimper.

Stomatal index showed no distinct intra- and interpinnule variation which makes it a suitable proxy for past relative CO2 changes. Records of decreasing stomatal index and density from the bottom to the top of the Rhaetian–Hettangian Wüstenwelsberg section (Bavaria, Germany) indicate rising CO2 levels during the Triassic–Jurassic transition.

Additionally, stomatal frequency data of fossil ginkgoalean leaves (Ginkgoites taeniatus(Braun) Harris) suggest a maximum palaeoatmospheric CO2 concentration of 2750 ppmv for the latest Triassic.

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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