Coccolith distribution patterns in South Atlantic and Southern Ocean surface sediments in relation to environmental gradients

Boeckel, B., Baumann, K. H., Henrich, R. and Kinkel, H. (2006) Coccolith distribution patterns in South Atlantic and Southern Ocean surface sediments in relation to environmental gradients Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers, 53 (6). pp. 1073-1099. DOI 10.1016/j.dsr.2005.11.006.

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Abstract

In this study, the coccolith compositions of 213 surface sediment samples from the South Atlantic and Southern Ocean were analysed with respect to the environmental parameters of the overlying surface waters. From this data set, the abundance patterns of the main species and their ecological affinities were ascertained. In general, Emiliania huxleyi is the most abundant species of the recent coccolith assemblages in the study region. However, the lower photic zone taxa, composed of Florisphaera profunda and Gladiolithus flabellatus often dominate the assemblages between 20 degrees N and 30 degrees S. If E huxleyi is excluded, Calcidiscus leptoporus and F. profunda become the most abundant species, each dominating discrete oceanographic regimes. While F. profunda is very abundant in the sediments underneath warmer, stratified surface waters with a deep nutricline, Calcidiscus leptoporus is encountered in high-productivity environments. Furthermore, the results of a canonical correspondence analysis reveal affinities of Gephyrocapsa spp., Helicosphaera spp. and Coccolithus pelagicus for intermediate to higher nutrient conditions in a well-mixed upper water column. In contrast, Gladiolithus flabellatus seems to be associated with high temperatures and salinities under low-nutrient conditions. Based on the relative abundances of Calcidiscus leptoporus, F. profunda, Gladiolithus flabellatus, Helicosphaera spp., Umbilicosphaera foliosa, Umbilicosphaera sibogae and a group of subordinate subtropical species, six surface sediment assemblages have been identified, which reflect the distribution and characteristics of the overlying surface waters. Their distribution appears to be mainly a function of the relative position of the nutricline and thermocline in the overlying photic zone. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: coccoliths distribution ecology statistics surface sediments South Atlantic Southern Ocean (Atlantic sector) calcareous dinoflagellate cysts benguela upwelling system late quaternary equatorial atlantic export production indian-ocean calcidiscus-leptoporus cryptic speciation argentine basin oxygen-isotopes
Research affiliation: Kiel University
Refereed: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.dsr.2005.11.006
ISSN: 0967-0637
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2012 05:27
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2012 03:57
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/15974

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