On the accuracy of paleodiversity reconstructions; a case study in Antarctic Neogene radiolarians

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doi: 10.1666/12016
Author(s): Renaudie, Johan; Lazarus, David B.
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Volume Title: Paleobiology
Source: Paleobiology, 39(3), p.491-509. Publisher: Paleontological Society, Lawrence, KS, United States. ISSN: 0094-8373 CODEN: PALBBM
Note: In English. Supplemental information/data is available in the online version of this article. 89 refs.; illus., incl. 1 table, sketch map
Summary: The deep-sea Cenozoic planktonic microfossil record has the unique characteristics of continuously well-preserved populations of most species, with virtually unlimited sample size, and therefore constitutes, in principle, a major resource for macroevolutionary research. Antarctic Neogene radiolarians in particular, are diverse, abundant and consistently well-preserved and evolved rapidly. This fauna is, in theory, a near-perfect testing ground for paleodiversity reconstructions. In this study we determined the diversity history of these faunas from a new quantitative, taxonomically complete data set from Neogene and Quaternary sections at several Antarctic sites. The pattern retrieved by our whole-fauna data set shows a significant, largely extinctionless ecological change in faunal composition and decrease in the evenness of species' abundances during the late Miocene, followed 3 Myr later, at around 5 Ma, by a significant drop in diversity. We tentatively associate this ecological event with a synchronous, regional change in the composition of the primary producers, but as yet cannot identify any environmental changes associated with the later extinction. Further, our whole-fauna diversity history was compared to diversity computed from much less complete, biostratigraphically oriented studies of species' occurrences, compiled in the Neptune database and reconstructed by using subsampling methodologies. Comparison of our whole-fauna and subsampling-reconstructed diversity patterns shows that the first-order trends are the same in both, suggesting that, to some degree, such literature compilations can be used to explore diversity history of plankton. However, our results also highlight substantial errors and distortions in the reconstructed diversity which make it poorly suited to more-detailed studies (e.g., for comparison of diversity history with paleoenvironmental history). We conclude that detailed studies of plankton diversity, and particularly those attempting to understand the relation between diversity and paleoceanographic change, should be based on taxonomically comprehensive, quantitative data.
Year of Publication: 2013
Research Program: ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 10 Paleontology, Invertebrate; Biodiversity; Biologic evolution; Cenozoic; Deep-sea environment; Extinction; Faunal studies; Indian Ocean; Invertebrata; Kerguelen Plateau; Leg 113; Leg 119; Leg 120; Leg 183; Marine environment; Maud Rise; Microfossils; Neogene; ODP Site 1138; ODP Site 689; ODP Site 690; ODP Site 693; ODP Site 744; ODP Site 747; ODP Site 748; ODP Site 751; Ocean Drilling Program; Paleoecology; Paleoenvironment; Planktonic taxa; Protista; Radiolaria; Rates; Southern Ocean; Speciation; Tertiary; Weddell Sea
Coordinates: S704954 S643100 E0030600 W0143525
S613440 S613439 E0803528 E0803527
S582627 S535540 E0794854 E0755830
Record ID: 2013047960
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, The Paleontological Society, Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States