This is a paperback reprint of the original.
First published in 1992, "The Proterozoic Biosphere" was the first major study of the paleobiology of the Proterozoic Earth. It is a multidisciplinary work dealing with the evolution of the Earth, the environment and life during the forty percent of Earth's history that extends from the middle of the Precambrian eon (2500 Ma) to the beginning of the Paleozoic era (550 Ma). The book includes a vast amount of data on Proterozoic organisms and their analogs. Prepared by the Precambrian Paleobiology Research Group, a multidisciplinary consortium of forty-one scientists from eight countries, this monograph was a benchmark in the development of the science of the biochemistry and the organic chemistry of Proterozoic sediments. The study aimed to generate data and analyses based on the re-examination of previous studies and on newer investigations and to build towards the future by placing special emphasis on neglected aspects of paleobiologic study and unsolved problems in the field.
List of contributors Preface Volume I 1. Geology and paleobiology of the Archean Earth 2. Geological evolution of the Proterozoic Earth 3. Proterozoic biochemistry 4. Proterozoic atmosphere and ocean 5. Proterozoic and selected early Cambrian microfossils: prokaryotes and protists 6. Modern mat-building microbial communities: a key to the interpretation of Proterozoic stromatolitic communities 7. Proterozoic and earliest Cambrian carbonaceous remains, trace and body fossils 8. The Proterozoic-early Cambrian evolution of metaphytes and metazoans 9. Molecular phylogenetics, molecular paleontologym and the Proterozoic fossil record 10. Biostratigraphy and paleobiology of the Proterozoic 11. Biotic diversity and rates of evolution during Proterozoic and earliest Phanerozoic time 12. A paleogeographic model for Vendian and Cambrian time 13. Evolution of the Proterozoic biosphere: benchmarks, tempo and mode Volume II 14. Geographic and geologic data for PPRG rock samples 15. Flow chart and processing procedures for rock samples 16. Procedures of whole rock and kerogen analysis 17. Abundances and isotopic compositions of carbon and sulphur species in whole rock and kerogen samples 18. Procedures for analysis of extractable organic matter 19. Composition of extractable organic matter 20. Modern mat-building microbial communities: methods of investigation and supporting data 21. Construction and use of geological, geochemical and paleobiological databases 22. Proterozoic and selected early Cambrian microfossils and microfossil-like objects 23. Described taxa of Proterozoic and selected earliest Cambrian Carbonaceous remains, trace and body fossils 24. Atlas of representative Proterozoic microfossils 25. Informal revised classifications of Proterozoic microfossils 26. Models for Vendian-Cambrian biotic diversity and for Proterozoic atmospheric and ocean chemistry 27. Glossary of technical terms References cited Subject index Index to geologic units Taxonomic index
... a fundamental reference for all work on the Proterozoic ... a compulsory buy for any institution teaching Earth history.
- Euan Nisbet, New Scientist
"... most of the contributions are short and to the point ... must be considered a landmark in Precambrian geology, and a major achievement that so many outstanding scientists were organized into producing a volume that encompasses a large subject area and includes a significant contribution of new data."
" ... the section on Proterozoic biogeochemistry will doubtless serve as a reference point for future studies of carbon and sulphur isotopes, as well as biomarker analysis and interpretation ... this volume will surely stimulate research initiatives and serve as a key reference source for anyone interested in pursuing a more detailed understanding of the numerous topics presented."