Size distribution of Holocene planktic foraminifer assemblages: biogeography, ecology and adaptation

Schmidt, D.N., Renaud, S., Bollmann, J., Schiebel, R. and Thierstein, H.R. (2004) Size distribution of Holocene planktic foraminifer assemblages: biogeography, ecology and adaptation. Marine Micropaleontology, 50, (3-4), 319-338. (doi:10.1016/S0377-8398(03)00098-7).


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The size of any organism is influenced by the surrounding ecological conditions. In this study, we investigate the effects of such factors on the size spectra of planktic foraminiferal assemblages from Holocene surface sediments. We analyzed assemblages from 69 Holocene samples, which cover the major physical and chemical gradients of the oceans. On a global scale, the range of sizes in assemblages triples from the poles to the tropics. This general temperature-related size increase is interrupted by smaller sizes at temperatures characteristic of the polar and subtropical fronts, at 2°C and 17°C, respectively, as well as in upwelling areas. On a regional scale, surface water stratification, seasonality and primary productivity are highly correlated with the size patterns. Such environmentally controlled size changes are not only characteristic for entire assemblage, but also for the dominant single species.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/S0377-8398(03)00098-7
ISSNs: 0377-8398 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: Author Keywords: planktic foraminifera; morphometrics; size; biogeography; Holocene; paleoenvironment
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Ocean & Earth Science (SOC/SOES)
ePrint ID: 54699
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
February 2004Published
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:34

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