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Live (Rose Bengal stained) and dead benthic foraminifera from the oxygen minimum zone of the Pakistan continental margin (Arabian Sea)

Schumacher, S.; Jorissen, F.J.; Dissard, D.; Larkin, K.E.; Gooday, A.J.. 2007 Live (Rose Bengal stained) and dead benthic foraminifera from the oxygen minimum zone of the Pakistan continental margin (Arabian Sea). Marine Micropaleontology, 62 (1). 45-73. 10.1016/j.marmicro.2006.07.004

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Abstract/Summary

Live (Rose Bengal stained) and dead benthic foraminiferal communities (hard-shelled species only) from the Pakistan continental margin oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) have been studied in order to determine the relation between faunal composition and the oxygenation of bottom waters. Samples were taken from 136 m to 1870 m water depth during the intermonsoon season of 2003 (March–April). Live foraminiferal densities show a clear maximum in the first half centimetre of the sediment only few specimens are found down to 4 cm depth. The faunas exhibit a clear zonation across the Pakistan margin OMZ. Down to 500 m water depth, Uvigerina ex gr. U. semiornata and Bolivina aff. B. dilatata dominate the assemblages. These taxa are largely restricted to the upper cm of the sediment. They are adapted to the very low bottom-water oxygen values (≈ 0.1 ml/l in the OMZ core) and the extremely high input of organic carbon on the upper continental slope. The lower part of the OMZ is characterised by cosmopolitan faunas, containing also some taxa that in other areas have been described in deep infaunal microhabitats. The contrast between faunas typical for the upper part of the OMZ, and cosmopolitan faunas in the lower part of the OMZ, may be explained by a difference in the stability of dysoxic conditions over geological time periods. The core of the OMZ has been characterised by prolonged periods of stable, strongly dysoxic conditions. The lower part of the OMZ, on the contrary, has been much more variable over time-scales of 1000s and 10,000 years because of changes in surface productivity and a fluctuating intensity of NADW circulation. We suggest that, as a consequence, well-adapted, shallow infaunal taxa occupy the upper part of the OMZ, whereas in the lower part of the OMZ, cosmopolitan deep infaunal taxa have repeatedly colonised these more intermittent low oxygen environments.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.marmicro.2006.07.004
ISSN: 0377-8398
Additional Keywords: live (Rose Bengal stained); dead benthic foraminifera; oxygen minimum zone; Arabian Sea
Date made live: 08 Nov 2006 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/142035

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