Calcareous cyst-producing dinoflagellates: ecology and aspects of cyst preservation in a highly productive oceanic region
Published:January 01, 2002
Ines Wendler, Karin A. F. Zonneveld, Helmut Willems, 2002. "Calcareous cyst-producing dinoflagellates: ecology and aspects of cyst preservation in a highly productive oceanic region", The Tectonic and Climatic Evolution of the Arabian Sea Region, P. D. Clift, D. Kroon, C. Gaedicke, J. Craig
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Absolute and relative abundances of calcareous dinoflagellate cyst species in surface sediment samples from the Arabian Sea are compared with environmental parameters of the upper 100 m of the water column to gain information on their largely unknown autecology. Ten species or morphotypes were encountered of which four occurred only as accessories. On the basis of the distribution patterns of the six more abundant species or morphotypes, the studied area is subdivided into three provinces, demonstrating a clear relationship to monsoon-controlled upper-ocean conditions. The two dominant species, Thoracosphaera heimii and Orthopithonella granifera, show opposite trends in distribution of both their absolute and relative abundances. In the NE Arabian Sea, low absolute and relative abundances of T. heimii are mainly attributed to enhanced dissolution of the small tests in this region, whereas elevated concentrations of O. granifera seem to be related to higher water temperatures and the influence of the Indus River. Sphaerodinella albatrosiana and Calciodinellum operosum are most abundant in the open ocean, associated with lower nutrient levels, relatively high temperatures and low seasonality. Spiny cysts (mainly represented by Scrippsiella trochoidea), in contrast, exhibit a more shelf-ward distribution and are most abundant in regions that are influenced by coastal upwelling, characterized by eutrophic and rather unstable conditions with seasonally lower temperatures and a shallow thermocline. A generally negative correlation of calcareous dinoflagellate cysts with primary productivity or high nutrient concentrations, as proposed by other workers, cannot be confirmed. Cyst accumulation rates off Somalia show that strong turbulence and high current speeds are unfavourable for calcareous dinoflagellates, suggesting that these organisms are more successful under rather stratified conditions.
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The Tectonic and Climatic Evolution of the Arabian Sea Region
Over long periods of time the tectonic evolution of the solid Earth has been recognized as the major control on the development of the global climate system. Tectonic activity acts in one of two different ways to influence regional and global climate: (i) through the opening and closing of oceanic gateways and its effect on the circulation patterns in the global ocean; (ii) through the growth and erosion of orogenic belts, resulting in changes in oceanic chemistry and disruption of atmospheric circulation. The Arabian Sea region has several features that make it the best area for studies of climate and palaeoceanographic responses to tectonic activity, most notably in the context of the South Asian monsoon and its relationship to the growth of high topography in the adjacent Himalayas and Tibet.
The Tectonic and Climatic Evolution of the Arabian Sea Region brings together a collection of recent studies on the area from a wide group of international contributors. The paper range from high resolution, Holocene palaeoceanographic studies of the Pakistan margin to regional tectonic reconstructions of the ocean basin and surrounding margins throughout the Cenozoic. Marine geophysics, stratigraphy, isotope chemistry and neotectonics come together in a multidisciplinary approach to the study of interactions of land and sea. while much work remains to be done to understand fully the tectonic and climatic evolution of the Arabian Sea, a great deal has been achieved since the last major review, as detailed in the 26 contributions. This volume is essential reading for palaeoceanographers, sedimentologists and geophysicists. It will also be interest to structural geologists and those working in the petroleum industry.