Ecological successions throughout the desiccation of Tirez lagoon (Spain) as an astrobiological time-analog for wet-to-dry transitions on Mars
EntityUAM. Departamento de Biología Molecular
10.1038/s41598-023-28327-3Scientific Reports 13.1 (2023): 1423
SubjectsMars Craters; Mars Science Laboratory; Crater; Biología y Biomedicina / Biología
Rights© The Author(s) 2023
Esta obra está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución 4.0 Internacional.
Tirez was a small and seasonal endorheic athalassohaline lagoon that was located in central Spain. In recent years, the lagoon has totally dried out, offering for the first time the opportunity to analyze its desiccation process as a “time-analog” to similar events occurred in paleolakes with varying salinity during the wet-to-dry transition on early Mars. On the martian cratered highlands, an early period of water ponding within enclosed basins evolved to a complete desiccation of the lakes, leading to deposition of evaporitic sequences during the Noachian and into the Late Hesperian. As Tirez also underwent a process of desiccation, here we describe (i) the microbial ecology of Tirez when the lagoon was still active 20 years ago, with prokaryotes adapted to extreme saline conditions; (ii) the composition of the microbial community in the dried lake sediments today, in many case groups that thrive in sediments of extreme environments; and (iii) the molecular and isotopic analysis of the lipid biomarkers that can be recovered from the sediments today. We discuss the implications of these results to better understanding the ecology of possible Martian microbial communities during the wet-to-dry transition at the end of the Hesperian, and how they may inform about research strategies to search for possible biomarkers in Mars after all the water was lost
Google Scholar:Fairén, Alberto G. - Rodríguez, Nuria - Sánchez-García, Laura - Rojas, Patricia - Uceda, Esther R. - Carrizo, Daniel - Amils Pibernat, Ricardo - Sanz García, José Luis
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