Modelling planktic foraminifer growth and distribution using an ecophysiological multi-species approach

Fabien Lombard, L. Labeyrie, E. Michel, L. Bopp, E. Cortijo, S. Retailleau, H. Howa, F. Jorissen

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We present an eco-physiological model reproducing the growth of eight foraminifer species (Neogloboquadrina pachyderma, Neogloboquadrina incompta, Neogloboquadrina dutertrei, Globigerina bulloides, Globigerinoides
ruber, Globigerinoides sacculifer, Globigerinella siphonifera and Orbulina universa). By using the main physiological rates of foraminifers (nutrition, respiration, symbiotic photosynthesis), this model estimates their growth as a
function of temperature, light availability, and food concentration. Model parameters are directly derived or calibrated from experimental observations and only the influence of food concentration (estimated via Chlorophyll-a concentration) was calibrated against field observations. Growth rates
estimated from the model show positive correlation with observed abundance from plankton net data suggesting close coupling between individual growth and population abundance. This observation was used to directly estimate potential
abundance from the model-derived growth. Using satellite data, the model simulate the dominant foraminifer species with a 70.5% efficiency when compared to a data set of 576 field observations worldwide. Using outputs of
a biogeochemical model of the global ocean (PISCES) instead of satellite images as forcing variables gives also good results, but with lower efficiency (58.9%). Compared to core tops observations, the model also correctly reproduces
the relative worldwide abundance and the diversity of the eight species when using either satellite data either PISCES
results. This model allows prediction of the season and water
depth at which each species has its maximum abundance
potential. This offers promising perspectives for both an improved
quantification of paleoceanographic reconstructions
and for a better understanding of the foraminiferal role in the
marine carbon cycle.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiogeosciences Discussions
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)853-873
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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