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10 November 2020 Zooplankters in an Oligotrophic Ocean: Contrasts in the Niches of Globigerinoides ruber and Trilobatus sacculifer (Foraminifera: Globigerinida) in the South Pacific
George H. Scott
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Abstract

Distributions of the planktonic foraminifers Globigerinoides ruber (d'Orbigny) and Trilobus sacculifer (Brady) from the tropical-subtropical South Pacific Ocean are related to sea surface temperature (SST), chlorophyll-a, nitrate, phosphate, salinity and oxygen to determine whether their niches overlap. Their distributions in the ForCenS database of species in seafloor sediment are studied as proxies for upper ocean data. In the occurrence analysis (MaxEnt) SST is the strongest predictor of niche suitability followed by chlorophyll-a; environments between 0–20° S are the most suitable for both species: niches are undifferentiated. Contrarily, abundance analysis (Random Forests) identifies nitrate and chlorophyll-a as primary variables for Globigerinoides ruber, and SST and chlorophyll-a for Trilobatus sacculifer. Maximum abundances of the former are predicted in the subtropical hyper-oligotrophic zone while maxima of the latter are predicted at its margins and near the West Pacific Warm Pool. The high relative abundance of Globigerinoides ruber in the hyper-oligotrophic zone is attributed to its photosymbiotic relation with on-board dinoflagellates; this compensates for the low primary productivity in the zone. It is the best-adapted planktonic foraminifer in this huge marine ‘desert’ and is a proxy for hyper-oligotrophic environments. The photosymbiotic relation is weaker in Trilobatus sacculifer which primarily depends on particulate nutrition.

George H. Scott "Zooplankters in an Oligotrophic Ocean: Contrasts in the Niches of Globigerinoides ruber and Trilobatus sacculifer (Foraminifera: Globigerinida) in the South Pacific," Ecoscience 27(4), 269-278, (10 November 2020). https://doi.org/10.1080/11956860.2020.1793561
Received: 2 July 2020; Accepted: 2 July 2020; Published: 10 November 2020
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