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Environmental predictors of diversity in recent planktonic foraminifera as recorded in marine sediments

Fenton, Isabel S., Pearson, Paul Nicholas ORCID:, Dunkley Jones, Tom and Purvis, Andy 2016. Environmental predictors of diversity in recent planktonic foraminifera as recorded in marine sediments. PLoS ONE 11 (11) , e0165522. 10.1371/journal.pone.0165522

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Global diversity patterns are thought to result from a combination of environmental and historical factors. This study tests the set of ecological and evolutionary hypotheses proposed to explain the global variation in present-day coretop diversity in the macroperforate planktonic foraminifera, a clade with an exceptional fossil record. Within this group, marine surface sediment assemblages are thought to represent an accurate, although centennial to millennial time-averaged, representation of recent diversity patterns. Environmental variables chosen to capture ocean temperature, structure, productivity and seasonality were used to model a range of diversity measures across the world's oceans. Spatial autoregressive models showed that the same broad suite of environmental variables were important in shaping each of the four largely independent diversity measures (rarefied species richness, Simpson's evenness, functional richness and mean evolutionary age). Sea-surface temperature explains the largest portion of diversity in all four diversity measures, but not in the way predicted by the metabolic theory of ecology. Vertical structure could be linked to increased diversity through the strength of stratification, but not through the depth of the mixed layer. There is limited evidence that seasonal turnover explains diversity patterns. There is evidence for functional redundancy in the low-latitude sites. The evolutionary mechanism of deep-time stability finds mixed support whilst there is relatively little evidence for an out-of-the-tropics model. These results suggest the diversity patterns of planktonic foraminifera cannot be explained by any one environmental variable or proposed mechanism, but instead reflect multiple processes acting in concert.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Funders: NERC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 January 2017
Date of Acceptance: 13 October 2016
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 12:10

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