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Population dynamics of modern planktonic foraminifera in the western Barents Sea

Abstract : This study reports on diversity and distribution of planktonic foraminifera (PF) in the Barents Sea Opening (BSO). Populations of PF living in late summer (collected by means of stratified plankton tows) and recently deposited individuals (sampled by interface corer) were compared. High abundances reaching up to 400 unit ind.m-3 in tow samples and 8000 unit ind.m-3 in surface sediments were recorded in the centre of the studied area while low abundances were observed in coastal areas, likely due to continental influences. The living and core-top assemblages are mainly composed of the same four species Neogloboquadrina pachyderma, Neogloboquadrina incompta, Turborotalita quinqueloba and Globigerinita uvula. The two species G. uvula and T. quinqueloba dominate the upper water column, whereas surface sediment assemblages display particularly high concentrations of N. pachyderma. The unusual dominance of G. uvula in the water sample assemblages compared to its low proportion in surface sediments might be the signature of (1) a seasonal signal due to summer phytoplankton composition changes at the BSO, linked to the increase in summer temperature at the study site, and/or (2) a signal of a larger timescale and wider geographical reach phenomenon reflecting poleward temperate/subpolar species migration and consecutive foraminiferal assemblage diversification at high latitudes due to global change. Protein concentrations were measured on single specimens and used as a proxy of individual carbon biomass. Specimens of all species show the same trend, a northward decrease in their size-normalized-protein concentration. This suggests that foraminiferal biomass is potentially controlled by different constituents of their organelles (e.g. lipids). The coupling of data from plankton tows, protein measurements and surface sediments allows us to hypothesize that PF dynamics (seasonality and distribution) are decoupled from their metabolism.
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Julie Meilland, Hélène Howa, Vivien Hulot, Isaline Demangel, Joëlle Salaün, et al.. Population dynamics of modern planktonic foraminifera in the western Barents Sea. Biogeosciences, 2020, 17, pp.1437-1450. ⟨10.5194/bg-17-1437-2020⟩. ⟨insu-03663845⟩

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