The larger-foraminifera turnover (LFT) during the Paleocene-Eocene transition constitutes an important step in Paleogene larger-foraminifera evolution, involving a rapid increase in species diversity, shell size, and adult dimorphism. A platform-to-basin transect in Egypt provides new data on timing and causal mechanisms through correlation with planktic biozonations and through integration with regional paleoenvironmental data. The LFT coincides with the boundary between shallow benthic biozones SBZ4 and SBZ5 and closely correlates with the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). Enhanced oligotrophy from the late Paleocene onward favored the diversification of K-strategist larger foraminifera. We suggest that a short-term eutrophication during the PETM led to a temporary decline of extreme K-strategist larger-foraminifera species, providing opportunities for new taxa with different ecological strategies to develop. During post-PETM oligotrophic conditions, these new taxa were able to evolve rapidly and soon dominated early Eocene larger-foraminifera assemblages, whereas many Paleocene taxa gradually disappeared. The success of larger foraminifera during the early Paleogene appears climatically controlled. Because of the vulnerability of corals to high surface-water temperatures, the late Paleocene to early Eocene global warming may have favored larger foraminifera at the expense of corals as the main carbonate-producing component on carbonate platforms at lower latitudes.

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