Abstract: Foraminifera are commonly used in paleoclimate reconstructions as they occur throughout the world's oceans and are often abundantly preserved in the sediments. Traditionally, foraminifera‐based proxies like δ18O and Mg/Ca are analyzed on pooled specimens of a single species. Analysis of single specimens of foraminifera allows reconstructing climate variability on timescales related to El Niño-Southern Oscillation or seasonality. However, quantitative calibrations between the statistics of individual foraminifera analyses (IFA) and climate variability are still missing. We performed Mg/Ca and δ18O measurements on single specimens from core top sediments from different settings to better understand the signal recorded by individual foraminifera. We used three species of planktic foraminifera (Globigerinoides ruber (s.s.), T. sacculifer, and N. dutertrei) from the Indo‐Pacific Warm Pool and one species (G. ruber (pink)) from the Gulf of Mexico. Mean values for the different species of Mg/Ca versus calculated δ18O temperatures agree with published calibration equations. IFA statistics (both mean and standard deviation) of Mg/Ca and δ18O between the different sites show a strong relationship indicating that both proxies are influenced by a common factor, most likely temperature variations during calcification. This strongly supports the use of IFA to reconstruct climate variability. However, our combined IFA data for the different species only show a weak relationship to seasonal and interannual temperature changes, especially when seasonal variability increases at a location. This suggests that the season and depth habitat of the foraminifera strongly affect IFA variability, such that ecology needs to be considered when reconstructing past climate variability.
Source: Supplement to: Groeneveld, Jeroen; Ho, Sze Ling; Mackensen, Andreas; Mohtadi, Mahyar; Laepple, Thomas (2019): Deciphering the variability in Mg/Ca and stable oxygen isotopes of individual foraminifera. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 34(5), 755-773, https://doi.org/10.1029/2018PA003533
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