Long-lived banks of oospores in lake sediments from the Trans-Urals (Russia) indicated by germination in over 300 years old radiocarbon dated sediments
Plant macro remains of more than 40 samples from 13 lakes of the Trans-Urals have been radiocarbon dated. Sediment samples from one lake (Lake FS, Russia, oblast Tscheljabinsk; 50°–54° N, 59°–62° E) contained oospores of Characeae which were transferred to water containers to test their viability. Oospores of Nitella mucronata (A. Braun) Miquel (Characeae) germinated and completed their lifecycle coming from a sediment depth of more than 50 cm. Radiocarbon datings derived from seeds of the same depth of the lake sediments imply an age over 300 years (339 ± 33 uncal. BP (1469–1641 cal. AD) and 386 ± 36 uncal. BP (1440–1633 cal. AD. Results indicate the potentials of oospores to survive under favorable conditions for much longer time as previously suggested.