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Melitasphaeridium choanophorum; a living fossil dinoflagellate cyst in the Gulf of Mexico

Andrea M. Price, Melissa M. Baustian, R. Eugene Turner, Nancy N. Rabalais and Gail L. Chmura
Melitasphaeridium choanophorum; a living fossil dinoflagellate cyst in the Gulf of Mexico
Palynology (July 2017) 41 (3): 351-358

Abstract

We show the first conclusive evidence that Melitasphaeridium choanophorum, a dinoflagellate cyst species until recently considered extinct, is still living in the northern Gulf of Mexico. This suggests the Gulf of Mexico may have acted as a refugium for some warm-water dinoflagellates during past glaciations. Melitasphaeridium choanophorum can be considered a living fossil because cysts with cell contents were found among 15 of the 39 surface sediment samples analyzed from the northern Gulf of Mexico, and from five of 12 samples from a dated core (1962-1997). Melitasphaeridium choanophorum comprises a minor component of the total dinoflagellate cyst assemblages, with a maximum of 1.4% or 15 cysts g (super -1) . It was found in surface sediments with overlying sea-surface temperatures of 16.6 to 31.2 degrees C (winter and summer), and summer sea-surface salinities of 21.0 to 31.7 psu. The relationship of M. choanophorum with modern sea-surface conditions can be used to infer past oceanographic conditions.


ISSN: 0191-6122
EISSN: 1558-9188
Serial Title: Palynology
Serial Volume: 41
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Melitasphaeridium choanophorum; a living fossil dinoflagellate cyst in the Gulf of Mexico
Affiliation: McGill University, Department of Geography, Montreal, QC, Canada
Pages: 351-358
Published: 201707
Text Language: English
Publisher: American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists, Dallas, TX, United States
References: 38
Accession Number: 2018-020391
Categories: Paleobotany
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables
N28°30'00" - N29°30'00", W93°30'00" - W89°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Water Institute of the Gulf, USA, United StatesLouisiana State University, USA, United StatesLouisiana Universities Marine Consortium, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 201805
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