Seasonality in planktic foraminifera of the central California coastal upwelling region

Davis, Catherine V.; Hill, Tessa M.; Russell, Ann D.; Gaylord, Brian; Jahncke, Jaime

The close association between planktic foraminiferal assemblages and local hydrography make foraminifera invaluable proxies for environmental conditions. Modern foraminiferal seasonality is important for interpreting fossil distributions and shell geochemistry as paleoclimate proxies. Understanding this seasonality in an active upwelling area is also critical for anticipating which species may be vulnerable to future changes in upwelling intensity and ocean acidification. Two years (2012–2014) of plankton tows, along with conductivity–temperature–depth profiles and carbonate chemistry measurements taken along the north-central California shelf, offer new insights into the seasonal dynamics of planktic foraminifera in a seasonal coastal upwelling regime. This study finds an upwelling affinity for Neogloboquadrina pachyderma as well as a seasonal and upwelling associated alternation between dominance of N. pachyderma and Neogloboquadrina incompta, consistent with previous observations. Globigerina bulloides, however, shows a strong affinity for non-upwelled waters, in contrast to findings in Southern California where the species is often associated with upwelling. We also find an apparent lunar periodicity in the abundances of all species and document the presence of foraminifera even at very low saturation states of calcite.

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Davis, Catherine V. / Hill, Tessa M. / Russell, Ann D. / et al: Seasonality in planktic foraminifera of the central California coastal upwelling region. 2016. Copernicus Publications.

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