MEPS 581:71-83 (2017)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12303

Controls on the standing crop of benthic foraminifera at an oceanic scale

Daniel O. B. Jones1,*, John W. Murray2

1National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton Waterfront Campus, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK
2Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: At present, there is very little basin-scale information on patterns of standing crop in marine organisms or their structuring forces. Understanding modern patterns and controls on foraminifera is particularly critical because of their abundance and importance in benthic systems, as well as their role as palaeoceanographic proxies. Here, we examine for the first time basin-scale patterns and predictors of benthic foraminiferal standing crop from the shelf to abyssal deep sea in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas using a large database of 967 quantitative samples. Spatial regression analyses reveal that the flux of particulate organic matter is a major control on standing crop size across all depths investigated, with increasing food supply increasing foraminiferal standing crops. Other factors also play a role. Dissolved oxygen is significant at slope depths and negatively related to standing crop. Temperature and possibly salinity are locally significant factors in the abyss. This study demonstrates that productivity is important in describing foraminiferal standing crop at the basin scale, supporting its use as a palaeoceanographic proxy, but also demonstrates that other environmental variables are also likely important in controlling the standing crop and should be considered in reconstruction of Earth’s past marine environment.


KEY WORDS: Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas · Meiofauna · Infauna · Density · Benthic-pelagic coupling · Palaeoceanography


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Cite this article as: Jones DOB, Murray JW (2017) Controls on the standing crop of benthic foraminifera at an oceanic scale. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 581:71-83. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12303

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