Formation of agglutinated cysts by the foraminiferan Sphaeroidina bulloides on the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (NE Atlantic)

Stefanoudis, Paris V.; Gooday, Andrew J.. 2016 Formation of agglutinated cysts by the foraminiferan Sphaeroidina bulloides on the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (NE Atlantic). Marine Biodiversity, 46 (4). 747-749. 10.1007/s12526-015-0433-6

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Benthic foraminiferal species sometimes produce a covering made of sediment and detrital material around their tests (shells). These sedimentary envelopes, termed ‘cysts’, have been observed in a number of species, from organic-walled and agglutinated to calcareous (e.g., Linke and Lutze 1993; Cedhagen 1996; Gross 2000, 2002; Gooday and Hughes 2002; Heinz et al. 2005). However, almost all published records of this phenomenon originate from coastal or bathyal settings, and there are very few examples from abyssal depths, i.e. deeper than 3500 m. During the analysis of Megacorer samples (25.5 cm2 surface area, formalin-buffered, 0–1 cm sediment horizon, >150 ?m fraction) collected in the area of the Porcupine Abyssal Plain Sustained Observatory (PAP-SO) in the northeast Atlantic (49°N 16.5°W, 4850 m water depth), we observed benthic foraminifera that had created partial or complete muddy coatings. Most belonged to Sphaeroidina bulloides d’Orbigny, 1826 (Fig. 1), and a few to Melonis barleeanus (Williamson, 1858). The S. bulloides cysts occasionally incorporated juvenile planktonic foraminiferal tests (<50 ?m), and always included one or more flexible agglutinated tubes (20–35 ?m wide, 140–400 ?m long) that extended out of the main structure (Fig. 1a–e). There was no evidence of the presence within the cysts of microscopic organisms, comparable to the ciliates and nematodes observed by Linke and Lutze (1993) inside the cysts of Elphidium incertum.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s12526-015-0433-6
ISSN: 1867-1616
Date made live: 16 Jan 2017 17:08 +0 (UTC)

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