Sedimentary ancient DNA, fecal biomarker, and tephrochronology from Eidisvatn, Faroe Islands


This dataset includes sedimentary ancient DNA, lipid biomarker, and tephra geochemical data from a lake sediment core from the Faroe Islands. The purpose of the study was to characterize the signature of human influence on the landscape via lake sediment analysis, and to determine the timing of human arrival to the Faroe Islands. To achieve this, we analyzed fecal sterols, which are lipid biomarkers that are produced by the mammalian gut microbiome and deposited on the land surface in feces. We also used metabarcoding techniques to determine the first appearance of ancient sheep DNA in the lake sedimentary sequence. The lake sediment core was recovered from Eidisvatn on the island of Esturoy (62.286194, -7.057611) in August of 2015. Radiocarbon and tephrochronology were used to constrain sediment core chronology. Radiocarbon samples were analyzed via accelerator mass spectrometry at either the Woods Hole NOSAMS facility or the University of California Irvine Keck AMS facility. We analyzed the geochemistry of five tephra layers using microprobe. We extracted lipid biomarkers from 68 core subsamples, and following column chromatography, fecal biomarkers were identified and quantified via GC-MSD at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. 14 sediment samples were analyzed in the University of California Santa Cruz Paleogenomics Center. Plant and mammal DNA were amplified from each sample, and libraries were sequenced via an Illumina NextSeq.

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Creator Curtin, Lorelei ORCID logo; D'Andrea, William J ORCID logo; Balascio, Nicholas L ORCID logo; Shirazi, Sabrina ORCID logo; Shapiro, Beth ORCID logo; Gregory, de Wet; Bradley, Raymond S ORCID logo; Bakke, Jostein ORCID logo
Publisher PANGAEA
Publication Year 2021
Funding Reference Howard Hughes Medical Institute Crossref Funder ID 10483 Professor GT10483; National Geographic Society Crossref Funder ID 9740-15 ; National Science Foundation Crossref Funder ID BCS-1623458 ; National Science Foundation Crossref Funder ID BCS-1623627
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International;
OpenAccess true
Resource Type Dataset
Format application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet
Size 63.2 kBytes
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (-7.058 LON, 62.286 LAT); Faroe Islands