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First-order Estimate of the Planktic Foraminifer Biomass in the Modern Global Oceans : Volume 5, Issue 1 (27/04/2012)

By Schiebel, R.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004007634
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 38
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: First-order Estimate of the Planktic Foraminifer Biomass in the Modern Global Oceans : Volume 5, Issue 1 (27/04/2012)  
Author: Schiebel, R.
Volume: Vol. 5, Issue 1
Language: English
Subject: Science, Earth, System
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany


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Schiebel, R., & Movellan, A. (2012). First-order Estimate of the Planktic Foraminifer Biomass in the Modern Global Oceans : Volume 5, Issue 1 (27/04/2012). Retrieved from

Description: LUNAM Université, Université d'Angers, Laboratoire des Bio-Indicateurs Actuels et Fossiles (BIAF), CNRS, UMR6112, LPGN, 2 Boulevard Lavoisier, 49045 Angers CEDEX 01, France. Planktic foraminifera are heterotrophic mesozooplankton of global marine abundance. The position of planktic foraminifers in the marine food web is different compared to other protozoans and ranges above the base of heterotrophic consumers. Being secondary producers with an omnivorous diet, which ranges from algae to small metazoans, planktic foraminifers are not limited to a single food source, and are assumed to occur at a balanced abundance displaying the overall marine biological productivity at a regional scale. We have calculated the assemblage carbon biomass from data on standing stocks between the sea surface and 2500 m water depth, based on 754 protein-biomass data of 21 planktic foraminifer species and morphotypes, produced with a newly developed method to analyze the protein biomass of single planktic foraminifer specimens. Samples include symbiont bearing and symbiont barren species, characteristic of surface and deep-water habitats. Conversion factors between individual protein-biomass and assemblage-biomass are calculated for test sizes between 72 and 845 μm (minimum diameter). The calculated assemblage biomass data presented here include 1057 sites and water depth intervals. Although the regional coverage of database is limited to the North Atlantic, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, and Caribbean, our data include a wide range of oligotrophic to eutrophic waters covering six orders of magnitude of assemblage biomass. A first order estimate of the global planktic foraminifer biomass from average standing stocks (>125 μm) ranges at 8.5–32.7 Tg C yr−1 (i.e. 0.008–0.033 Gt C yr−1), and might be more than three time as high including the entire fauna including neanic and juvenile individuals adding up to 25–100 Tg C yr−1. However, this is a first estimate of regional planktic-foraminifer assemblage-biomass (PFAB) extrapolated to the global scale, and future estimates based on larger data-sets might considerably deviate from the one presented here. This paper is supported by, and a contribution to the Marine Ecosystem Data project (MAREDAT). Data are available from (

First-order estimate of the planktic foraminifer biomass in the modern global oceans

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