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Keywords:

  • Delta13C;
  • F-F event;
  • atmospheric CO2 level;
  • south China

[1] A perturbation of the global carbon cycle has often been used for interpreting the Frasnian-Famennian (F-F) mass extinction. However, the changes of atmospheric CO2 level (pCO2) during this interval are much debatable. To illustrate the carbon cycle during F-F transition, paired inorganic (δ13Ccarb) and organic (δ13Corg) carbon isotope analyses were carried out on two late Devonian carbonate sequences (Dongcun and Yangdi) from south China. The larger amplitude shift of δ13Corg compared to δ13Ccarb and its resultant Δ13C (Δ13C = δ13Ccarbδ13Corg) decrease indicate decreased atmospheric CO2level around the F-F boundary. The onset ofpCO2 level decrease predates that of marine regressions, which coincide with the beginning of conodont extinctions, suggesting that temperature decrease induced by decreased greenhouse effect of atmospheric CO2might have contributed to the F-F mass extinction.