National Academies Press: OpenBook

Effects of Past Global Change on Life (1995)


Suggested Citation:"REFERENCES." National Research Council. 1995. Effects of Past Global Change on Life. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4762.
Page 218
Suggested Citation:"REFERENCES." National Research Council. 1995. Effects of Past Global Change on Life. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4762.
Page 219
Suggested Citation:"REFERENCES." National Research Council. 1995. Effects of Past Global Change on Life. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4762.
Page 220

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BIOTIC RESPONSES TO TEMPERATURE AND SALINITY CHANGES DURING LAST DEGLACIATION, GULF OF MEXICO 218 form Globigerinoides ruber increased to its greatest abundances of 70% during a period of low-salinity meltwater influx. Warm-water forms increased in abundance at 13 ka as the cool-water species Globigerina falconensis decreased in response to warmer SSTs. A brief reappearance of the glacial species Gr. inflata at the expense of warmwater forms at 11.4 ka marks a rapid, temporary migration of cold surface water into the Gulf of Mexico. This event is followed immediately by an interval of increased abundances of Gg. falconensis, and decreased abundances of N. dutertrei and Pu. obliquiloculata, and heralds the beginning of the Younger Dryas cooling in the Gulf of Mexico. Late deglacial warming at about 10.2 ka fostered the appearance of warm-water Holocene assemblages including Gr. menardii. Further warming at 5.5 ka distinguishes a warmer subzone in the late Holocene. The euryhaline species Gs. ruber bloomed during the early portion of the meltwater spike. After surface waters had warmed sufficiently at 13 ka, the low-salinity tolerant species N. dutertrei also showed higher abundances due to some combination of lower salinities and warmer temperatures. Lowest salinities at 12 ka favored the pink form of Gs. ruber. There is no faunal evidence that surface waters were cooled directly by meltwater influx. In fact, warm-water assemblages are present during the interval of lowest salinity. However, field observations suggest that most planktonic foraminifera probably migrated to deeper waters below the relatively fresh surface waters that were perhaps cooler. These results demonstrate the need for further high-resolution work on the response of oceanic fauna to rapid environmental changes associated with deglaciation, including temperature and salinity. As our understanding of past global change improves through paleontological, geochemical, and modeling efforts, the effect of particular combinations of environmental parameters becomes clearer. Insight into the controlling combinations in the past will assist in the assessment of the biotic response to present and future anthropogenically forced global change. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This research was supported by National Science Foundation grants OCE88-17135 and DPP89-11554. REFERENCES Andrée, M., H. Oeschger, U. Siegenthaler, T. Riesen, M. Moell, B. Amman, and K. Tobolski (1986). 14C dating of plant macrofossils in lake sediment, Radiocarbon 28, 411-416. Bard, E., B. Hamelin, R. G. Fairbanks, and A. Zindler (1990). Calibration of the 14C timescale over the past 30,000 years using mass spectrometric U-Th ages from Barbados corals, Nature 345, 405-410. Bé, A. W. H., and D. S. Tolderlund (1971). 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What can we expect as global change progresses? Will there be thresholds that trigger sudden shifts in environmental conditions—or that cause catastrophic destruction of life?

Effects of Past Global Change on Life explores what earth scientists are learning about the impact of large-scale environmental changes on ancient life—and how these findings may help us resolve today's environmental controversies.

Leading authorities discuss historical climate trends and what can be learned from the mass extinctions and other critical periods about the rise and fall of plant and animal species in response to global change. The volume develops a picture of how environmental change has closed some evolutionary doors while opening others—including profound effects on the early members of the human family.

An expert panel offers specific recommendations on expanding research and improving investigative tools—and targets historical periods and geological and biological patterns with the most promise of shedding light on future developments.

This readable and informative book will be of special interest to professionals in the earth sciences and the environmental community as well as concerned policymakers.

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