|Basal monothalamous and pseudochambered benthic foraminifera associated with planktonic foraminiferal shells and mineral grains from the Porcupine Abyssal Plain, NE Atlantic|Stefanoudis, P.V.; Gooday, A.J. (2015). Basal monothalamous and pseudochambered benthic foraminifera associated with planktonic foraminiferal shells and mineral grains from the Porcupine Abyssal Plain, NE Atlantic. Mar. Biodiv. 45(3): 357-369. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s12526-014-0277-5
In: Marine Biodiversity. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 1867-1616, more
Single-chambered monothalamids; Pseudochambered foraminifera; Diversity; Deep-sea benthos; Abyssal faunas
|Authors|| || Top |
- Stefanoudis, P.V.
- Gooday, A.J.
We present a survey of ‘live’ (stained) and dead monothalamous (single-chambered, mainly spherical) and pseudochambered (chain-like) foraminifera associated with planktonic foraminiferal shells and mineral grains, based on two samples from one abyssal plain site (F2, 4,880 m water depth) and one abyssal hill site (H4, 4,330 m water depth) on the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP), northeast Atlantic. Our study is the first to focus on this poorly known component of abyssal foraminiferal faunas and highlight their abundances and diversity at the PAP. In both samples these monothalamids and pseudochambered forms represented 27–35 % and 18–23 %, respectively, of the entire ‘live’ and dead foraminiferal assemblage (>150 µm, 0–1 cm sediment layer). Among 1,078 stained and dead specimens we recognise a total of 18 distinct morphotypes on the basis of test characteristics. Another 144 specimens could not be assigned to any morphotype and are regarded as indeterminate. Most of the monothalamids are small (<150 µm), although some incorporate planktonic foraminiferal shells to create larger structures. In absolute terms, stained and dead individuals of these morphotypes were more abundant at the abyssal hill site, although data from additional samples are needed to confirm if this is representative of differences between abyssal hills and the surrounding abyssal plain at the PAP. Agglutinated spheres and domes similar to some of our abyssal forms have been reported from shelf and slope settings, but they are generally much larger. Small agglutinated spheres are very common in the abyssal Pacific, at depths close to or below the carbonate compensation depth (CCD). However, they are composed largely of siliceous particles, including mineral grains, radiolarians and diatom fragments. In contrast, carbonate oozes at the PAP, situated above the CCD, are rich in coccoliths and planktonic foraminiferal shells, which are used in the construction of agglutinated spheres and domes. Our results underline the important contribution made by largely underestimated foraminiferal taxa to abyssal communities.