Supplementary Material: Surface Sediment Samples From Early Age of Seafloor Exploration Can Provide a Late 19th Century Baseline of the Marine Environment

Ocean-floor sediment samples collected up to 150 years ago represent an important historical archive to benchmark global changes in the seafloor environment, such as species' range shifts and pollution trends. Such benchmarking requires that the historical sediment samples represent the state of the environment at-or shortly before the time of collection. However, early oceanographic expeditions sampled the ocean floor using devices like the sounding tube or a dredge, which potentially disturb the sediment surface and recover a mix of Holocene (surface) and deeper, Pleistocene sediments. Here we use climate-sensitive microfossils as a fast biometric method to assess if historical seafloor samples contain a mixture of modern and glacial sediments. Our assessment is based on comparing the composition of planktonic foraminifera (PF) assemblages in historical samples with Holocene and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) global reference datasets. We show that eight out of the nine historical samples contain PF assemblages more similar to the Holocene than to the LGM PF assemblages, but the comparisons are only significant when there is a high local species' temporal turnover (from the LGM to the Holocene). When analysing temporal turnover globally, we show that upwelling and temperate regions had greatest species turnover, which are areas where our methodology would be most diagnostic. Our results suggest that sediment samples from historical collections can provide a baseline of the state of marine ecosystems in the late nineteenth century, and thus be used to assess ocean global change trends.

Related materials:

Rillo MC, Kucera M, Ezard THG and Miller CG (2019) Surface Sediment Samples From Early Age of Seafloor Exploration Can Provide a Late 19th Century Baseline of the Marine Environment. Front. Mar. Sci. 5:517. doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2018.00517

Marina Costa Rillo (2016). Dataset: Henry Buckley Collection of Planktonic Foraminifera. Natural History Museum Data Portal (data.nhm.ac.uk). https://doi.org/10.5519/0035055

Data and Resources

Cite this as

Marina Costa Rillo, Michal Kucera, Thomas H. G. Ezard, C. Giles Miller (2019). Dataset: Supplementary Material: Surface Sediment Samples From Early Age of Seafloor Exploration Can Provide a Late 19th Century Baseline of the Marine Environment. Natural History Museum Data Portal (data.nhm.ac.uk). https://doi.org/10.5519/0001936

Retrieved: 00:04 25 May 2019 (GMT)

Additional Info

Field Value
Author(s) Marina Costa Rillo, Michal Kucera, Thomas H. G. Ezard, C. Giles Miller
Affiliation Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton, University of Southampton; Department of Earth Sciences, Natural History Museum, London; MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen
Contributors MR is funded by the Graduate School of the National Oceanography Centre Southampton and DAAD Research Grants for Doctoral Candidates 2016/17 (no. 57210260). TE is funded by NERC Advanced Research Fellowship NE/J018163/1.
Temporal extent 21,000 years to present
Update frequency Never
Dataset category Research
Last updated April 25, 2019
Last resource update March 29, 2019 (code)
Created January 2, 2019
License Creative Commons Attribution