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      Zooplankters in an oligotrophic ocean: contrasts in the niches of Globigerinoides ruber and Trilobatus sacculifer (Foraminifera: Globigerinida) in the South Pacific

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      Écoscience
      Informa UK Limited

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          The Paradox of the Plankton

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            The surface of the ice-age Earth.

            (1976)
            In the Northern Hemisphere the 18,000 B.P. world differed strikingly from the present in the huge land-based ice sheets, reaching approximately 3 km in thickness, and in a dramatic increase in the extent of pack ice and marine-based ice sheets. In the Southern Hemisphere the most striking contrast was the greater extent of sea ice. On land, grasslands, steppes, and deserts spread at the expense of forests. This change in vegetation, together with extensive areas of permanent ice and sandy outwash plains, caused an increase in global surface albedo over modern values. Sea level was lower by at least 85 m. The 18,000 B.P. oceans were characterized by: (i) marked steepening of thermal gradients along polar frontal systems, particularly in the North Atlantic and Antarctic; (ii) an equatorward displacement of polar frontal systems; (iii) general cooling of most surface waters, with a global average of -2.3 degrees C; (iv) increased cooling and up-welling along equatorial divergences in the Pacific and Atlantic; (v) low temperatures extending equatorward along the western coast of Africa, Australia, and South America, indicating increased upwelling and advection of cool waters; and (vi) nearly stable positions and temperatures of the central gyres in the subtropical Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans.
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              Subseafloor sedimentary life in the South Pacific Gyre.

              The low-productivity South Pacific Gyre (SPG) is Earth's largest oceanic province. Its sediment accumulates extraordinarily slowly (0.1-1 m per million years). This sediment contains a living community that is characterized by very low biomass and very low metabolic activity. At every depth in cored SPG sediment, mean cell abundances are 3 to 4 orders of magnitude lower than at the same depths in all previously explored subseafloor communities. The net rate of respiration by the subseafloor sedimentary community at each SPG site is 1 to 3 orders of magnitude lower than the rates at previously explored sites. Because of the low respiration rates and the thinness of the sediment, interstitial waters are oxic throughout the sediment column in most of this region. Consequently, the sedimentary community of the SPG is predominantly aerobic, unlike previously explored subseafloor communities. Generation of H(2) by radiolysis of water is a significant electron-donor source for this community. The per-cell respiration rates of this community are about 2 orders of magnitude higher (in oxidation/reduction equivalents) than in previously explored anaerobic subseafloor communities. Respiration rates and cell concentrations in subseafloor sediment throughout almost half of the world ocean may approach those in SPG sediment.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                Écoscience
                Écoscience
                Informa UK Limited
                1195-6860
                2376-7626
                July 16 2020
                : 1-10
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Paleontology, GNS Science , Lower Hutt, New Zealand
                Article
                10.1080/11956860.2020.1793561
                9a3bd194-3a68-4c2a-a405-e6204fa13aa3
                © 2020
                History

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