(Article of periodic en Anglais - 1980)

Document title

Destructive effects of oxygen starvation and ash falls on benthic life: a pilot study

Authors(s) and Affiliation(s)



A quantitative study on faunal density and faunal diversity was carried out on benthic foraminifers from 15 samples of two eastern Mediterranean deep-sea cores. Samples were taken beneath, within, and above three distinctive levels well correlatable for over 1000 km: (a) Sapropel S-5, late Pleistocene in age, correlative with marine isotopic stage 5e and with the Tyrrhenian transgression, with an interpolated age of 125,000 yr| (b) the "Ischia" tephra Y-5, the most widespread ash layer of the eastern Mediterranean, correlative with the transition from isotopic stages 3 to 2 and having an interpolated age of 35,000 yr| and (c) Sapropel S-1, Holocene in age, correlative with the Flandrian transgression, radiometrically dated at 8000 yr B.P. The most severe effects on benthic life were induced by stagnation (a). Deglaciation corresponding to Termination II was so rapid that the benthic assemblages could not adapt themselves to the too-rapidly decreasing oxygen levels and were entirely destroyed. More than 1000 yr after the termination of stagnant conditions no recolonization had yet started. The lesser disturbance was induced in the benthic community by the ash fall (b). The faunal destruction was ephemeral in duration and the colonizing population did not differ from that predating the ash fall. A progressive faunal change, with increasing abundance of taxa tolerant to low oxygen levels, was recorded beneath Sapropel S-1 (c). The recolonizing assemblage differs from the previously existing one, and is more similar to those recorded from the floor of the Mediterranean.


Article of periodic

published at : Quaternary research New York

Editor :

Millesime : 1980, vol. 13, no2 [pp. 230-241]

Bibliographic references : 43réf.



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