Paleoceanographic implications of genetic variation in living North Atlantic Neogloboquadrina pachyderma.

Bauch, Dorothea , Darling, K., Simstich, Johannes, Bauch, Henning A. , Erlenkeuser, Helmut and Kroon, Dirk-Jan (2003) Paleoceanographic implications of genetic variation in living North Atlantic Neogloboquadrina pachyderma. Nature, 424 (6946). pp. 299-302. DOI 10.1038/nature01778.

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The shells of the planktonic foraminifer Neogloboquadrina pachyderma have become a classical tool for reconstructing glacial–interglacial climate conditions in the North Atlantic Ocean1, 2, 3. Palaeoceanographers utilize its left- and right-coiling variants, which exhibit a distinctive reciprocal temperature and water mass related shift in faunal abundance both at present and in late Quaternary sediments1, 2, 4, 5. Recently discovered cryptic genetic diversity in planktonic foraminifers6, 7, 8 now poses significant questions for these studies. Here we report genetic evidence demonstrating that the apparent ‘single species’ shell-based records of right-coiling N. pachyderma used in palaeoceanographic reconstructions contain an alternation in species as environmental factors change. This is reflected in a species-dependent incremental shift in right-coiling N. pachyderma shell calcite δ18O between the Last Glacial Maximum and full Holocene conditions. Guided by the percentage dextral coiling ratio, our findings enhance the use of δ18O records of right-coiling N. pachyderma for future study. They also highlight the need to genetically investigate other important morphospecies to refine their accuracy and reliability as palaeoceanographic proxies.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Planktonic Foraminifera; Glacial–interglacial climate condition; North Atlantic; Neogloboquadrina pachyderma
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Projects: Laptev Sea System, Permafrost, SFB313
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:25
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 09:53

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