Worldwide morphological variability in Mid-Pliocene menardellid globorotalids

Mary, Yannick and Knappertsbusch, Michael. (2015) Worldwide morphological variability in Mid-Pliocene menardellid globorotalids. Marine Micropaleontology, 121. pp. 1-15.

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Proper species concepts of planktonic foraminifera are essential for paleo-environmental studies. Although subtle but key differences indicate the existence of sibling species, the quantitative morphological variability of foraminifera tests remains still poorly documented. We present morphological analyses of over 7500 oriented specimens of the subgenus Menardella (globorotalid foraminifera) at a time-slice at 3.2 Ma (Mid-Pliocene). Size, frequency distribution and linear test measurements were collected with an automated device, the robot AMOR. We performed morphometric investigations in a total of 19 samples distributed worldwide. Among formally established menardellid morpho-species, eight different morphotypes are recognized. The geographic variation in morphotype abundance allows for the recognition of five menardellid provinces among the tropical Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean. Results suggest that during the Mid-Pliocene, the formal morpho-species Globorotalia (Menardella) menardii is in fact composed of two distinct morphotypes, which differ in size range, morphological variability and biogeography. Morphological characterization of the morpho-species Globorotalia (M.) multicamerata reveals the occurrence of three distinct morphotypes, which may represent an adaptation to their vertical distribution in the water column.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Paläontologie (Meyer)
UniBasel Contributors:Knappertsbusch, Michael W.
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:05 Jan 2017 09:02
Deposited On:05 Jan 2017 06:58

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