Coccolithophores in Polar Waters: Papposphaera arctica HET and HOL revisited

Helge Abildhauge Thomsen, Mikal Heldal, Jette B. Østergaard

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It has been generally accepted based on the finding of combination coccospheres in field samples that Turrisphaera arctica and Papposphaera sarion are alternate life-cycle phases of a single species. However, while recently revisiting P. sarion it became evident that the Turrisphaera phase of this species is not identical with T. arctica but rather is an undescribed species of
Turrisphaera. The most conspicuous diagnostic feature of T. arctica, an asymmetrical and tilted hypertrophy of the distal tube opening in circum-flagellar coccoliths, was hinted at in the first description of the taxon. However, focus was here on the overall similarity between T. borealis and T. arctica to the extent that the rather conspicuous difference between the two taxa was not clearly recognized by the authors of the taxon, nor by any researcher who has worked on these species since then.We present herematerial of T. arctica from various Arctic locations (WestGreenland,NEGreenland, Svalbard) that completelymatches the type material fromResoluteBay,Cornwallis Island.
This material additionally comprised (NE Greenland) large numbers of combination coccospheres that clearly indicate that T.
arctica shares a life history with an as yet undescribed species of Papposphaera. This allows us to emend the description of T. arctica including
also its heterococcolithophore phase, and in this contextmaking use of the combination P. arctica whichwas established decades
ago, yet here with the specific comment that P. sarion is no longer a valid synonym of P. arctica
Original languageEnglish
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)419-427
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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