Vertical Distribution and Isotopic Composition of Living Planktonic Foraminifera in the Western North Atlantic

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Science  04 Jan 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4426, pp. 61-63
DOI: 10.1126/science.207.4426.61


Thirteen species of planktonic foraminifera collected with vertically stratified zooplankton tows in the slope water, Gulf Stream cold core ring, and northern Sargasso Sea show significant differences in their vertical distributions in the upper 200 meters of these different hydrographic regimes. Gulf Stream cold core rings may be responsible for a southern displacement of the faunal boundary associated with the Gulf Stream when reconstructed from the deep-sea sediment record. Oxygen isotope analyses of seven species reveal that nonspinose species (algal symbiont-barren) apparently calcify in oxygen isotope equilibrium, whereas spinose species usually calcify out of oxygen isotope equilibrium by approximately0.3 to 0.4 per mil in δ18O values. The isotope data indicate that foraminifera shells calcify in depth zones that are significantly narrower than the overall vertical distribution of a species would imply.