The deep-sea microfossil record of macroevolutionary change in plankton and its study

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doi: 10.1144/SP358.10
Author(s): Lazarus, David B.
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Germany
Natural History Museum, United Kingdom
Volume Title: Comparing the geological and fossil records; implications for biodiversity studies
Volume Author(s): McGowan, Alistair J., editor; Smith, Andrew B.
Source: Comparing the geological and fossil records; implications for biodiversity studies, edited by Alistair J. McGowan and Andrew B. Smith. Geological Society Special Publications, Vol.358, p.141-166. Publisher: Geological Society of London, London, United Kingdom. ISSN: 0305-8719 CODEN: GSLSBW
Note: In English. Supplemental information/data is available in the online version of this article. 116 refs.; illus., incl. 1 table
Summary: The deep-sea planktonic microfossil record (foraminifera, coccolithophores, diatoms, radiolaria and dinoflagellates) provides a unique resource for palaeobiology. Despite some geographical gaps due to poor regional preservation, and intermittant time intervals lost to erosion, most time periods for each Cenozoic planktonic biogeographical province are preserved. Vast numbers of specimens and numerous deep-sea cores provide abundant material and the opportunity to tightly integrate macroevolutionary and palaeoenvironmental data. Current documentation of this record is mixed. Catalogues for foraminifera and coccolithophores offer nearly complete species-level clade histories, but taxonomy for siliceous microfossils is incomplete. Published occurrence data is primarily stratigraphic and covers only a fraction of the total preserved diversity. Age models for some sections are excellent (accuracy c. 100 kya) but for many other sections are still poor. Taxonomic errors, age model errors and reworking displace fossil occurrences in time, complicating palaeobiological analysis. With additional taxonomic work, careful collection of whole fauna/floral assemblage occurrence data, improved age models, and the development of better data filtering and analysis tools to deal with data outliers the deep-sea microfossil record can deliver its promise of providing the most complete, detailed record of macroevolutionary change available to science. SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: Supplementary Appendix is available at
Year of Publication: 2011
Research Program: DSDP Deep Sea Drilling Project
IPOD International Phase of Ocean Drilling
ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 08 Paleontology, General; Algae; Biologic evolution; Cenozoic; Chatham Rise; Coccolithophoraceae; DSDP Site 572; DSDP Site 573; DSDP Site 594; Deep Sea Drilling Project; Deep-sea environment; Diatoms; Dinoflagellata; East Pacific; Equatorial Pacific; Foraminifera; Fossil record; Global; IPOD; Invertebrata; Kerguelen Plateau; Leg 119; Leg 85; Leg 90; Marine environment; Microfossils; North Pacific; Northeast Pacific; ODP Site 744; Ocean Drilling Program; Pacific Ocean; Paleoenvironment; Palynomorphs; Planktonic taxa; Plantae; Preservation; Protista; Radiolaria; Reworking; South Pacific; Southern Ocean; Southwest Pacific; Taxonomy; West Pacific
Coordinates: N002954 N012606 W1135030 W1331835
S453129 S453128 E1745653 E1745652
S613440 S613439 E0803528 E0803527
Record ID: 2012021009
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom