he Paleogene was punctuated by perturbations of the global carbon cycle, many associated with transient global warming events (hyperthermals). The Dan-C2 event (~160 kyr after Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary; K/Pg) was the oldest of these eccentricity-linked carbon cycle disturbances (ELCD). In contrast to other hyperthermals, the Dan-C2 event was not characterised by bottom water warming, and surface water warming probably was not global. Benthic foraminiferal assemblages across Dan-C2 at SE Atlantic Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 1262 are diverse and strongly dominated by calcareous species. Epifaunal and infaunal morphogroups are equally abundant, suggesting meso-oligotrophic seafloor conditions. Assemblages decreased in diversity gradually before Dan-C2, and Nuttallides truempyi decreased in relative abundance while Stensioeina beccariiformis and the agglutinant Spiroplectammina spectabilis increased, suggesting enhanced food supply to the seafloor. Benthic foraminifera were not highly affected by the Dan-C2 event. An increase in relative abundance of the opportunistic species Bulimina kugleri and Seabrookia cretacea after Dan-C2 points to a change in the type of organic matter arriving at the seafloor. These changes may have been caused by ongoing environmental and/or evolutionary instability following K/Pg mass extinction of oceanic plankton. Variability in composition of pelagic ecosystems, thus the type and/or amount of food arriving at the seafloor, may have been caused by the gradual recovery of pelagic ecosystems after that extinction, possibly affected by warming and pH changes due to Deccan volcanism.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
- Benthic foraminifera
- K/Pg extinction
- Plankton evolution