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Evolutionary prospection in the Neogene planktic foraminifer Globorotalia menardii and related forms from ODP Hole 925B (Ceara Rise, western tropical Atlantic): evidence for gradual evolution superimposed by long distance dispersal?

Knappertsbusch, Michael. (2016) Evolutionary prospection in the Neogene planktic foraminifer Globorotalia menardii and related forms from ODP Hole 925B (Ceara Rise, western tropical Atlantic): evidence for gradual evolution superimposed by long distance dispersal? Swiss Journal of Palaeontology, 135 (2). pp. 205-248.

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Abstract

Evolutionary prospection is the study of morphological evolution and speciation in calcareous plankton from selected time-slices and key sites in the world oceans. In this context, the Neogene menardiform globorotalids serve as study objects for morphological speciation in planktic foraminifera. A downcore investigation of test morphology of the lineage of G. menardii-limbata-multicamerata during the past 8 million years was carried out in the western tropical Atlantic ODP Hole 925B. A total of 4669 specimens were measured and analyzed from 38 stratigraphic levels and compared to previous studies from DSDP Sites 502 and 503. Collection of digital images and morphometric measurements from digitized outlines were achieved using a microfossil orientation and imaging robot called AMOR and software, which was especially developed for this purpose. Most attention was given to the evolution of spiral height versus axial length of tests in keel view, but other parameters were investigated as well. The variability of morphological parameters in G. menardii, G. limbata, and G. multicamerata through time are visualized by volume density diagrams. At Hole 925B results show gradual test size increase in G. menardii until about 3.2 Ma. The combination of taxonomic determination in the light microscope with morphometric investigations shows strong morphological overlap and evolutionary continuity from ancestral to extant G. menardii (4–6 chambers in the final whorl) to the descendent but extinct G. limbata (seven chambers in the final whorl) and to G. multicamerata (C8 chambers in the final whorl). In the morphospace defined by spiral height (dX) and axial length (dY) Globorotalia limbata and G. multicamerata strongly overlap with G. menardii. Distinction of G. limbata from G. menardii is only possible by slight differences in the number of chambers of the final whorl, nuances in spiral convexity, upper keel angles, radii of osculating circles, or by differences in reflectance of their tests. Globorotalia multicamerata can be distinguished from the other two forms by more than eight chambers in the final whorl. It appeared as two stratigraphically separate clusters during the Pliocene. Between 2.88 and 2.3 Ma G. menardii was severely restricted in size and abundance. Thereafter, it showed a rapid and prominent expansion of the upper test size extremes between 2.3 and 1.95 Ma persisting until present. The sizefrequency distributions at Hole 925B are surprisingly similar to trends of menardiform globorotalids from Caribbean DSDP Site 502. There, the observations were explained as an adaptation to changes in the upper water column due to the emergence of the Isthmus of Panama. In light of more recent paleontological and geological investigations about the completion of the permanent land connection between North and South America since about 3 Ma the present study gives reason to suspect the sudden test size increase of G. menardii to reflect immigration of extra-large G. menardii from the Indian Ocean or the Pacific. It is hypothesized that during the Late Pliocene dispersal of large G. menardii into the southern to tropical Atlantic occurred during an intermittent episode of intense Agulhas Current leakage around the Cape of Good Hope and from there via warm eddy transport to the tropical Atlantic (Agulhas dispersal hypothesis).
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geologie-Paläontologie > Paläontologie (Meyer)
UniBasel Contributors:Knappertsbusch, Michael W.
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1664-2376
e-ISSN:1664-2384
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:05 Jan 2017 07:04
Deposited On:05 Jan 2017 07:04

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