Statistical foraminiferal ecology from seasonal samples, central Oregon continental shelf Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/j9602296c

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  • This study examined the foraminifera and the ecologic conditions of the benthic environment of the Oregon shelf and the uppermost slope (75-550 m depth) between 143°45' N and 144°40' N. Seasonal collections monitored the near-bottom marine environment and the sedimentary substrate at 16 stations. The foraminiferal benthic fauna was examined from eight seasonal stations and two additional stations. Use of a multiple corer provided randomly selected subsarnples of the sediment for ecologic and faunal analyses. Use of water bottles that triggered upon bottom impact provided measurements of the water as close to the bottom as 0. 6 m. Computerized data processing and statistical analyses aided the ecologic and faunal evaluations. The environmental study showed the existence of considerable variation in the hydrography of near-bottom waters, especially between summer and winter (upwelling and non-upwelling) collections at the same station. Upwelling conditions directly affect the benthic Redacted for Privacy environment. In addition, the water at any one place, at least dciring upwelling, was so well mixed that vertical stratification did not exist between 0.6 and 5.0 m off the bottom. Statistically significant sea-. sorial variations in surface sediments at the same station were not observed. The living benthic foraminiferal fauna exhibited considerable within-station variation both in species composition and in specimen size of selected species. The percent abundance of individual dominant species varied in adjacent cores (subsamples) by amounts up to 46%. Living specimens of a single species were found that were three times as large as the smallest living specimen from the same sample, yet there was no evidence of a multimodal size distribution resulting from age classes. The author suggests that the dominant species are aggregated and that the aggregations are colonies of asexually produced siblings. Lack of fit of species-frequency curves to the lognormal distribution indicated that relatively few species are fit to reproduce in a particular environment; most juvenile specimens that enter a particular environment belong to species that will not thrive there and either die or simply maintain growth with little chance of reproductive success. The existence of colonial aggregations of individuals is considered to provide the best explanation of the observed variations between adjacent samples. However, the observed variations could be due to sampling error or to substrate microheterogeneity. A possible natural community of 15 dominant species has been determined for those species that form a consistent part of each other's biologic environment. The community crossed the depth and substrate boundaries upon which the stations were selected and appeared to be a general community for the Oregon outer shelf. The limits of the community appear to be determined mostly by water depth, with approximate boundaries at 75-100 m and somewhere between 200-500 m. Regression analyses to determine the ecologic control on the foraminiferal fauna did not indicate a close correspondence between faunal parameters and environmental variables. Regression analyses to determine the ecologic control on mdividual species indicated that most species depended upon a set of two to four environmental variables rather than upon one single limiting factor. The set for each species was different. Temperature. phosphate concentration and oxygen concentrations were common hydrographic members of sets; percent silt, percent sand, percent clay, organic carbon content and organic nitrogen were common sedimentary members of sets.
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