Impact of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum on deep-ocean microbenthic community structure; using rank-abundance curves to quantify paleoecological response

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doi: 10.1130/G30074A.1
Author(s): Webb, Amelinda E.; Leighton, Lindsey R.; Schellenberg, Stephen A.; Landau, Elizabeth A.; Thomas, Ellen
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
San Diego State University, Department of Geological Sciences, San Diego, CA, United States
Yale University, United States
Volume Title: Geology (Boulder)
Source: Geology (Boulder), 37(9), p.783-786. Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States. ISSN: 0091-7613 CODEN: GLGYBA
Note: In English. With GSA Data Repository Item 2009193. 31 refs.; illus.
Summary: Global climate change has often resulted in extinction events that can be quantitatively measured by taxonomic loss but are more difficult to assess in terms of ecological restructuring. We use a commonly applied ecological tool, rank-abundance curves (RACs), to evaluate the ecological response of benthic foraminiferal and ostracode communities to the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, which may be seen as an analog for current and future global warming. RACs are proxies for community structure, and therefore changes in the shape of RACs allow inferences to be drawn about and quantification of ecological responses. Benthic foraminiferal communities became increasingly stressed during the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, and community reorganization occurred before the taxonomically defined extinction horizon. In contrast, ostracode communities became less stressed during the same interval, reinforcing the idea that different groups of organisms respond differently to extinction events and global warming. The decoupling of ecologic impact from taxonomic impact during the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum reaffirms the fact that future climate change could have far-reaching effects on taxa and ecosystems and proves the importance of examining both the taxonomic and ecologic responses of communities during extinction events.
Year of Publication: 2009
Research Program: ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 12 Stratigraphy, Historical Geology and Paleoecology; Arthropoda; Benthic taxa; Carbonate sediments; Cenozoic; Clastic sediments; Climate change; Communities; Crustacea; Deep-sea environment; Extinction; Foraminifera; Global change; Global warming; Invertebrata; Leg 113; Mandibulata; Marine environment; Marine sediments; Maud Rise; Microfossils; Natural analogs; ODP Site 690; Ocean Drilling Program; Ooze; Ostracoda; Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum; Paleoclimatology; Paleoecology; Paleogene; Paleotemperature; Protista; Quantitative analysis; Sediments; Southern Ocean; Taxonomy; Tertiary; Weddell Sea
Coordinates: S650938 S650937 E0011218 E0011218
Record ID: 2009088591
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