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Coccoliths in Pleistocene-Holocene Nannofossil Assemblages
  • W. C. Dudley, University of Hawaii - Hilo
  • J. C. Duplessy, Centre des Faibles Radioactivites CNRS-CEA - France
  • Patricia Blackwelder, Nova Southeastern University
  • L. E. Brand, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • R. R. L. Guillard, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
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Marine palaeotemperature studies are increasingly using oxygen isotope analyses of the minute calcium carbonate structures produced by a group of marine phytoplankton, the coccolithophores. To provide a sound experimental basis for palaeotemperature calculations using the isotopic data from analyses of coccoliths, we have grown coccolithophores in laboratory batch culture in controlled environmental conditions, and determined the oxygen isotopic compositions of the coccoliths produced at known temperatures. The results reported here indicate that the oxygen isotopic composition of the coccoliths of all the species studied is strongly temperature dependent. A ‘vital effect’ was observed in all the species, with the isotopic values of different culture samples falling into two definite groups containing separate taxa. The difference in vital effect between different species suggests that calcification processes may vary among different taxa and indicates that a re-evaluation of coccolith oxygen isotope palaeoclimatic interpretations may be in order.

©1980 Nature Publishing Group

Citation Information
W. C. Dudley, J. C. Duplessy, Patricia Blackwelder, L. E. Brand, et al.. "Coccoliths in Pleistocene-Holocene Nannofossil Assemblages" Nature Vol. 285 Iss. 5762 (1980) p. 222 - 223 ISSN: 0028-0836
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