Response of Arctic benthic foraminiferal traits to past environmental changes

Katrine Elnegaard Hansen, Christof Pearce, Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review


The Arctic is subjected to all-encompassing disruptions in marine ecosystems caused by anthropogenic warming. To provide reliable estimates of how future changes will affect the ecosystems, knowledge of Arctic marine ecosystem responses to past environmental variability beyond the instrumental era is essential. Here, we present a novel approach on how to evaluate the state of benthic marine biotic conditions during the deglacial and Holocene period on the Northeast Greenland shelf. Benthic foraminiferal species were assigned traits (e.g., oxygen tolerance, food preferences) aiming to identify past faunal changes as a response to external forcing mechanisms. This approach was applied on sediment cores from offshore Northeast Greenland. We performed numerical rate-of-change detection to determine significant changes in the benthic foraminiferal traits. That way, the significant abrupt trait changes can be assessed across sites, providing a better understanding of the impact of climate drivers on the traits. Our results demonstrate that during the last ~ 14,000 years, bottom water oxygen is the main factor affecting the variability in the benthic foraminiferal faunas in this area. Our results show that significant changes in the traits correspond to drastic climate perturbations. Specifically, the deglacial-Holocene transition and mid-Holocene warm period exhibited significant change, with several trait turnovers.
Antal sider14
TidsskriftScientific Reports
Udgave nummer1
StatusUdgivet - 13 dec. 2023


  • Programområde 5: Natur og klima


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