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Growth and fecundity of Marginopora vertebralis and Amphistegina lobifera in laboratory culture

Roselyn Naidu, Murray Ford, Paul Kench, Pamela Hallock and Rajesh Prasad
Growth and fecundity of Marginopora vertebralis and Amphistegina lobifera in laboratory culture
Journal of Foraminiferal Research (July 2021) 51 (3): 210-224


The shells of large benthic foraminifers (LBF) are key contributors to the development and maintenance of coastal landforms in the Pacific as well as to Paleogene and Miocene carbonates deposited along the Neotethys Seaway and tropical Pacific islands. The current study assessed growth and fecundity of two species, Marginopora vertebralis and Amphistegina lobifera, collected from sites in Viti Levu, Fiji, based on shell diameter, shell weight, fecundity, and survival. Specimens were cultured without supplemental nutrients or food for 15 months under controlled laboratory conditions. Physicochemical parameters, including salinity, alkalinity, pH, and temperature, varied by <5% throughout the experiment. Asexual reproduction by M. vertebralis produced approximately 270 offspring per brood, while A. lobifera produced approximately 500 offspring per brood. The minimum size at reproduction for M. vertebralis was 15 mm, and A. lobifera reproduction occurred at diameters > or =0.9 mm. These observations were consistent with those of previous studies that predicted asexual fecundity related to parent size. Four non-linear mathematical functions (exponential, Gompertz, logistic, and von Bertalanffy) were compared to describe the age-weight relationship for each species. Results revealed that the logistic model best fits M. vertebralis growth, and von Bertalanffy model best fits A. lobifera growth. The growth model for A. lobifera predicted trends in juvenile growth and maximum size consistent with a previously published von Bertalanffy model based on cultures in which the foraminifers were provided nutrient sources and grew much faster than those observed in this study. These observations support published hypotheses that many LBF are exceptionally well-adapted to extreme oligotrophy, a characteristic that accounted for their dominance as carbonate producers in the Paleogene and Miocene of the Neotethys and Pacific islands.

ISSN: 0096-1191
EISSN: 1943-264X
Serial Title: Journal of Foraminiferal Research
Serial Volume: 51
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Growth and fecundity of Marginopora vertebralis and Amphistegina lobifera in laboratory culture
Affiliation: University of Auckland, School of Environment, Auckland, New Zealand
Pages: 210-224
Published: 202107
Text Language: English
Publisher: Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research, Ithaca, NY, United States
References: 90
Accession Number: 2021-064490
Categories: Invertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 8 tables, sketch map
S18°13'00" - S18°10'60", E177°39'00" - E178°31'60"
Secondary Affiliation: Simon Fraser University, CAN, CanadaUniversity of South Florida, USA, United StatesUniversity of South Pacific, FJI, Fiji
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2021, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 2021
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