Stable oxygen isotope composition of planktonic foraminifera in the Canary Islands region


Seasonal depth stratified plankton tows, sediment traps and core tops taken from the same stations along a transect at 29°N off NW Africa are used to describe the seasonal succession, the depth habitats and the oxygen isotope ratios (delta18O(shell)) of five planktic foraminiferal species. Both the delta18O(shell) and shell concentration profiles show variations in seasonal depth habitats of individual species. None of the species maintain a specific habitat depth exclusively within the surface mixed layer (SML), within the thermocline, or beneath the thermocline. Globigerinoides ruber (white) and (pink) occur with moderate abundance throughout the year along the transect, with highest abundances in the winter and summer/fall season, respectively. The average delta18O(shell) of G. ruber (w) from surface sediments is similar to the delta18O(shell) values measured from the sediment-trap samples during winter. However, the delta18O(shell) of G. ruber (w) underestimates sea surface temperature (SST) by 2 °C in winter and by 4 °C during summer/fall indicating an extension of the calcification/depth habitat into colder thermocline waters. Globigerinoides ruber (p) continues to calcify below the SML as well, particularly in summer/fall when the chlorophyll maximum is found within the thermocline. Its vertical distribution results in delta18O(shell) values that underestimate SST by 2 °C. Shell fluxes of Globigerina bulloides are highest in summer/fall, where it lives and calcifies in association with the deep chlorophyll maximum found within the thermocline. Pulleniatina obliquiloculata and Globorotalia truncatulinoides, dwelling and calcifying a part of their lives in the winter SML, record winter thermocline (~180 m) and deep surface water (~350 m) temperatures, respectively. Our observations define the seasonal and vertical distribution of multiple species of foraminifera and the acquisition of their delta18O(shell).

Supplement to: Wilke, Iris; Meggers, Helge; Bickert, Torsten (2009): Depth habitats and seasonal distributions of recent planktic foraminifers in the Canary Islands region (29°N) based on oxygen isotopes. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 56(1), 89-106

Related Identifier IsSupplementTo
Related Identifier References
Metadata Access
Creator Wilke, Iris; Meggers, Helge; Bickert, Torsten ORCID logo
Publisher PANGAEA
Publication Year 2009
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Resource Type Supplementary Publication Series of Datasets; Collection
Format application/zip
Size 6 datasets
Discipline Geosciences; Natural Sciences
Spatial Coverage (-18.000W, 28.400S, -12.443E, 29.783N)
Temporal Coverage Begin 1995-10-01T16:55:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 1998-07-01T17:30:00Z