The Late Permian extinction interval is in many marine locations characterized by the development of anoxic conditions. The Finnmark Platform is one of few exceptions, as sedimentological and palynofacies evidence indicate oxygenated conditions throughout the event. Changes in acritarch assemblages and morphology were studied in order to better understand the link between acritarchs and environmental conditions. The main taxa are of Micrhystridium, Baltisphaeridium and leiospheres, while Veryhachium and the prasinophytes Cymatiosphaera and Tasmanites were present in low abundances. Increased concentrations of acritarchs, particularly Micrhystridium, show that the environmental changes at the start of the extinction event may have resulted in enhanced marine productivity. A shift from Micrhystridium/Baltisphaeridium dominance before and during the extinction event, to leiosphere-dominance after the extinction event, indicates a shift towards a more inshore environment. The new data are compared with published Late Permian acritarch records from East Greenland, China and Pakistan. A striking difference between the East Greenland and Finnmark Platform, which are both expanded Upper Permian/Lower Triassic sections, is that the acritarch record from Greenland shows a strong decrease in process length of the acritarch Micrhystridium. Together with a change in the acritarch assemblage, this change in morphology was interpreted to represent a decrease in salinity at the site, resulting from increased run-off. The differences between the East Greenland and the Finnmark records are likely due to their palaeogeographical settings, as the East Greenland section was located in a narrow and elongated basin which was likely more sensitive to evaporation and run-off changes than the Finnmark Platform.
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