International
Lucía Rivero-Cuesta

Responses of benthic foraminifera to changes of temperature and salinity

Benthic foraminifera are widely used as paleoenvironmental proxies because of their high sensitivity to environmental changes and excellent preservation potential in sediment. Affected by global changes, environmental factors such as seawater temperature and salinity are changing, which will affect the distribution and species composition of benthic foraminifera. A recent study revealed how the benthic foraminiferal community respond to the change of temperature and salinity.

This study is published in the journal Science China Earth Sciences with title of Responses of benthic foraminifera to changes of temperature and salinity: Results from a laboratory culture experiment. Prof. Yanli LEI from Institute of Oceanology Chinese Academy of Sciences is corresponding authors of this article. Through laboratory culture experiment, the researchers only changed the temperature and salinity, while controlling other environmental parameters consistent. They conducted a two-factor crossed experiment in which foraminiferal communities were cultured at different temperatures (6, 12, and 18°C) and salinities (15, 20, 25, and 30 psu) for 10 weeks. The research revealed the different response of benthic foraminifera communities to the change of temperature and salinity.

Scientist knows little about the response of benthic foraminifera to environmental factors. Environmental factors are not independent, and the responses of foraminifera usually reflect the combined effects of the measured environmental factors and other unknown biotic and abiotic factors in the field. Therefore, it is difficult to discern cause-effect relationships between environmental factors and changes in benthic foraminiferal community in field studies, especially with interactive effects.

Read full article . . .