New late Cenozoic acritarchs: evolution, palaeoecology and correlation potential in high latitude oceans

2014-04-09T10:25:47Z (GMT) by Stijn De Schepper Martin J. Head
<div><p>Acritarchs have received limited attention in palynological studies of the Cenozoic, although they have much potential both for refining Neogene and Quaternary stratigraphy, especially in mid- and high northern latitudes, and developing palaeoceanographical reconstructions. Here we formally describe and document the stratigraphical and palaeotemperature ranges (from foraminiferal Mg/Ca) of four new acritarch species: <i>Cymatiosphaera</i>? <i>aegirii</i> sp. nov., <i>Cymatiosphaera</i>? <i>fensomei</i> sp. nov., <i>Cymatiosphaera</i>? <i>icenorum</i> sp. nov. and <i>Lavradosphaera canalis</i> sp. nov. In reviewing the stratigraphical distributions of all species of the genus <i>Lavradosphaera</i> De Schepper & Head, 2008, we demonstrate their correlation potential between the North Atlantic and Bering Sea in the Pliocene. Additionally, <i>Lavradosphaera lucifer</i> De Schepper & Head, 2008 and <i>Lavradosphaera canalis</i> sp. nov., while not themselves overlapping stratigraphically, have morphological intermediates that do partially overlap and may represent an evolutionary trend consequent upon climate cooling in the Late Pliocene. Finally, we show that the highest abundances of the acritarchs presented here were living in the eastern North Atlantic, in surface-water temperatures not very different from today.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank"></a></p></div>