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Palaeobiogeography of Early Cretaceous (Berriasian-Barremian) calcareous nannoplankton

Street, C; Bown, PR; (2000) Palaeobiogeography of Early Cretaceous (Berriasian-Barremian) calcareous nannoplankton. MARINE MICROPALEONTOLOGY , 39 (1-4) 265 - 291.

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In order to assess Early Cretaceous nannoplankton biogeography, we studied a series of sites which provide a north-south transect across the Atlantic Ocean, supplemented by sections from the North Sea Basin, Barents Sea, Falkland Plateau, Weddell Sea (Antarctica), Argo Abyssal Plain (NW of Australia) and Neuquen Basin (Argentina). Quantitative assemblage data were gathered from each site for seven time-slices within the Berriasian to Barremian interval, each horizon being determined by a nannofossil datum. Trends in species relative abundance and measures of diversity, evenness and richness provide revealing biogeographic information. A broad, low- to mid-palaeolatitude zone (50 degrees N-50 degrees S) is flanked in both Northern and Southern Hemispheres by distinct high-palaeolatitude zones. Major changes in assemblage abundance and composition occur across a sharp biogeographic 'front' at around 50 degrees N and S palaeolatitude. High-palaeolatitude assemblages are lower in species richness and diversity and characterised by the presence of abundant, typically bipolar, taxa (e.g. Crucibiscutum salebrosum). A less distinct biogeographic boundary at similar to 40 degrees N is distinguished by the presence/absence of rarer, but biogeographically significant, taxa, many of which have previously been assigned to Boreal or Tethyan provinces. Continental shelf sites are characterised by lower-diversity assemblages with common to dominant diagnostic taxa, which vary with palaeolatitude: Nannoconus and Micrantholithus at low palaeolatitudes, and Biscutum constans and Zeugrhabdotus spp. at higher palaeolatitudes. The latter two taxa are considered to be indicative of elevated surface-water fertility and the former two may have been similarly adapted. The genus Watznoueria is ubiquitously dominant, giving the populations an unevenness, which appears to be a common feature throughout coccolithophore history. (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Type: Article
Title: Palaeobiogeography of Early Cretaceous (Berriasian-Barremian) calcareous nannoplankton
Location: PR
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/163838
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