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

Amelinda E. Webb, Lindsey R. Leighton, Stephen A. Schellenberg, Elizabeth A. Landau and Ellen Thomas
Impact of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum on deep-ocean microbenthic community structure; using rank-abundance curves to quantify paleoecological response
Geology (Boulder) (September 2009) 37 (9): 783-786

Abstract

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.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 37
Serial Issue: 9
Title: Impact of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum on deep-ocean microbenthic community structure; using rank-abundance curves to quantify paleoecological response
Affiliation: San Diego State University, Department of Geological Sciences, San Diego, CA, United States
Pages: 783-786
Published: 200909
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 31
Accession Number: 2009-088591
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2009193
Illustration Description: illus.
S65°09'38" - S65°09'37", E01°12'18" - E01°12'18"
Secondary Affiliation: Yale University, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200948
Program Name: ODPOcean Drilling Program
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