The relative stability of planktic foraminifer thermal preferences over the past 3 million years

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Stationarity of species’ ecological tolerances is a first-order assumption of paleoenvironmental reconstruction based upon analog methods. To test this and other assumptions used in quantitative analysis of foraminiferal faunas for paleoceanographic reconstruction, we analyzed paired alkenone unsaturation ratio (UK37) 37′)  sea surface temperature (SST) estimates and relative abundances of planktic foraminifera within Late Pliocene assemblages. We established Pliocene temperature preferences for nine species in the North Atlantic: Dentoglobigerina altispira, Globorotalia menardii, Globoconella puncticulata, Neogloboquadrina atlantica, Neogloboquadrina incompta, Neogloboquadrina pachyderma, Trilobatus sacculifer, Globigerinita glutinata, and Globigerina bulloides. We compared these to the temperature preferences of the same extant species, and in the three cases where the species are now extinct (Dentoglobigerina altispira, Neogloboquadrina atlantica, and Globoconella puncticulata), comparisons were made to either the descendant species or other modern species commonly used as analogs. In general, the taxa tested show similar temperature responses in both Late Pliocene and present-day (core-top) distributions. The data from these comparisons are mostly encouraging, supporting past paleoceanographic conclusions, and are otherwise valuable for testing previous taxonomic grouping decisions that are often necessary for interpreting the paleoenvironment based upon Pliocene foraminiferal assemblages.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The relative stability of planktic foraminifer thermal preferences over the past 3 million years
Series title Geosciences
DOI 10.3390/geosciences13030071
Volume 13
Issue 3
Year Published 2023
Language English
Publisher MDPI
Contributing office(s) Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center, Florence Bascom Geoscience Center
Description 71, 15 p.
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