Proxies recorded in marine sediments, such as the trace element or isotopic composition of microscopic plankton shells, or the size and relative abundance of the shells themselves, reflect a wide variety of key indicators of past climate change and carbon cycling, such as the acidification of the ocean and pH or the temperature of the ocean surface and hence degree of global warming. However, signals of past climate change and carbon cycling are distorted by selective dissolution and encrypted as a result of sea floor animals moving sediment particles around – bioturbation. Bioturbation also fundamentally influences the dynamics of global carbon cycling and climate – facilitating the exchange of solutes between sediments and ocean, and making previously
buried solids available for further reaction.
The aim of this workshop is to bring together the necessary experts to jointly address both these facets, to elucidate a holistic picture of the role of bioturbation, and to identify the key knowns and unknowns in the underlying mechanics of the bioturbation process.