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Early Eocene deep-sea benthic foraminiferal faunas: Recovery from the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum extinction in a greenhouse world
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
The early Eocene greenhouse world was marked by multiple transient hyperthermal events. The most extreme was the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, ~56 Ma), linkedto the extinction of the globally recognised deep-sea benthic foraminiferal Velasco fauna, which led to the development of early Eocene assemblages. This turnover has been studied at high resolution, but faunal development into the later early Eocene is poorly documented. There is no widely accepted early Eocene equivalent of the Late Cretaceous-Paleocene Velasco fauna, mainly due to the use of different taxonomic concepts. We compiled Ypresian benthic foraminiferal data from 17 middle bathyal-lower abyssal ocean drilling sites in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans, in order to characterise early Eocene deepseafaunas by comparing assemblages across space, paleodepth and time. Nuttallides truempyi, Oridorsalis umbonatus, Bulimina trinitatensis, the Bulimina simplex group, the Anomalinoides spissiformis group, pleurostomellids, uniserial lagenids, stilostomellids and lenticulinids were ubiquitous during the early Eocene (lower-middle Ypresian). Aragonia aragonensis,the Globocassidulina subglobosa group, the Cibicidoides eocaenus group and polymorphinids became ubiquitous during the middle Ypresian. The most abundant early Ypresian taxa were tolerant to stressed or disturbed environments, either by opportunistic behavior (Quadrimorphina profunda, Tappanina selmensis, Siphogenerinoides brevispinosa)and/or the ability to calcify in carbonate-corrosive waters (N. truempyi). Nuttallides truempyi, T. selmensis and other buliminids (Bolivinoides cf. decoratus group, Bulimina virginiana) were markedly abundant during the middle Ypresian. Contrary to the long-lived, highly diverse and equitable Velasco fauna, common and abundant taxa reflect highly perturbed assemblages through the earliest Ypresian, with lower diversity and equitability following the PETM extinction. In contrast, the middle Ypresian assemblages may indicate a recovering fauna, though to some extent persistently disturbed by the lower-amplitude Eocene hyperthermals (e.g., Eocene Thermal Maximum 2 and 3). We propose the name `Walvis Ridge fauna' for future reference to these Ypresian deep-sea benthic foraminiferal assemblages.
Journal: PLoS ONE
Number of pages: 47