Marine Science Faculty Publications

Interoceanic Differences in Foraminifera with Symbiotic Algae: A Result of Nutrient Supplies?

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



ICRS6, Nutrient, Symbiosis, Foraminifera, Diversity


Symbiont-bearing benthic foraminifera, belonging to two different suborders, are commonly found on coral reefs and in reef-associated environments. Interoceanic comparisons of members of the two suborders provide striking differences. Symbiont- bearing rotaliines have' diversified "vertically" in the Pacific, i.e.. show depth zonation, while the few Atlantic forms are simple and unspecial- ized. Symbiont-bearing milioline taxa are numeri- cally comparable between the two regions. These protists, with their relatively more opaque tests and greater variety of taxa of algal symbionts, appear to be restricted to shallower, higher light environments. They have diversified "horizontally" into backreef, lagoonal and upper slope habitats. Subtropical gyres of the larger Pacific, remote from the influences of upwelling and runoff, have provided oligotrophic habitats necessary for the development and persistence of vertical zonation exhibited by rotaliine foraminifera with algal symbionts.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Sixth International Coral Reef Symposium, Townsville, Australia, v. 3, p. 251-255