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Open AccessArticle

Key Environmental Factors Controlling Planktonic Foraminiferal and Pteropod Community’s Response to Late Quaternary Hydroclimate Changes in the South Aegean Sea (Eastern Mediterranean)

1
Department of Historical Geology and Paleontology, Faculty of Geology and Geoenvironment, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, 15784 Athens, Greece
2
The Goulandris Natural History Museum, Levidou 13, 14562 Kifissia, Greece
3
Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration (I.G.M.E.), Olympic Village, 13677 Acharnae, Greece
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(9), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8090709
Received: 27 August 2020 / Revised: 9 September 2020 / Accepted: 10 September 2020 / Published: 14 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Marine Geological Dynamics)
A multidisciplinary study was conducted in order to investigate the environmental factors affecting the planktonic foraminiferal and pteropod communities of the south Aegean Sea. Aspects of the Late Quaternary paleoceanographic evolution were revealed by means of quantitative analyses of planktonic foraminiferal and pteropod assemblages (including multivariate statistical approach; principal component analysis (PCA)), the oxygen (δ18O) and carbon (δ13C) isotopic composition of planktonic foraminifera and related paleoceanographic (planktonic paleoclimatic curve (PPC), productivity (E-index), stratification (S-index), seasonality) indices, extracted by the gravity core KIM-2A derived from the submarine area between Kimolos and Sifnos islands. Focusing on the last ~21 calibrated thousands of years before present (ka BP), cold and eutrophicated conditions were identified during the Late Glacial period (21.1–15.7 ka BP) and were followed by warmer and wetter conditions during the deglaciation phase. The beginning of the Holocene was marked by a climatic amelioration and increased seasonality. The more pronounced environmental changes were identified during the deposition of the sapropel sublayers S1a (9.4–7.7 ka BP) and S1b (6.9–6.4 ka BP), with extremely warm and stratified conditions. Pteropod fauna during the sapropel deposition were recorded for the first time in the south Aegean Sea, suggesting arid conditions towards the end of S1a. Besides sea surface temperature (SST), which shows the highest explanatory power for the distribution of the analyzed fauna, water column stratification, primary productivity, and seasonality also control their communities during the Late Quaternary. View Full-Text
Keywords: paleoceanographic evolution; planktonic foraminifera; pteropods; stable isotopes; sea surface temperature (SST); stratification; productivity; sapropel S1; Aegean Sea; Late Quaternary paleoceanographic evolution; planktonic foraminifera; pteropods; stable isotopes; sea surface temperature (SST); stratification; productivity; sapropel S1; Aegean Sea; Late Quaternary
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Giamali, C.; Kontakiotis, G.; Koskeridou, E.; Ioakim, C.; Antonarakou, A. Key Environmental Factors Controlling Planktonic Foraminiferal and Pteropod Community’s Response to Late Quaternary Hydroclimate Changes in the South Aegean Sea (Eastern Mediterranean). J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8, 709.

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