The seagrass skeletal assemblage from modern to fossil and from tropical to temperate: Insight from Maldivian and Mediterranean examples

Show simple item record Brandano, M. Tomassetti, L. Mateu-Vicens, G. Gaglianone, G. 2020-02-12T12:05:15Z
dc.description.abstract [eng] Seagrasses are marine angiosperms that form extensive submarine meadows in the photic zone where carbonate producing biota dwell as epiphytes on the leaves or as infaunal forms, and act as prolific carbonate sediment factories. Because seagrasses have a low preservation potential and records of exceptionally well‐preserved and plant material from marine settings are rare, these palaeoenvironments are difficult to identify in the rock record. Consequently, sedimentological and palaeontological proxies are the main indicators of the presence of seagrass‐dominated ecosystems. This work investigates the skeletal assemblage of Modern (Maldivian and western Mediterranean) and fossil (Eocene; Apula and Oman carbonate platforms and Oligocene; Malta platform) seagrass examples to characterize the skeletal assemblage of modern and fossil seagrasses. Two main types of grains, calcareous algae and foraminifera, constitute around 50% of the bioclastic sediment in both tropical Maldivian and temperate Mediterranean scenarios. However, in the tropical setting they are represented by green algae (Halimeda), while in the Mediterranean they are represented by corallinacean red algae. In contrast, in the Eocene examples, the foraminifera are the most conspicuous group and the green algae are also abundant. The opposite occurs in the Maltese Chattian, which is dominated by coralline algae (mean 42%), although the foraminifera are still abundant. It is suggested to use the term foralgal to identify the seagrass skeletal assemblage. To discriminate between red algae and green algae dominance, the introduction of the prefixes 'GA' (green algae) and 'RA' (red algae) is proposed. The investigated examples provide evidence that the green algae-foralgal assemblage is typical of tropical, not excessively dense seagrass meadows, characterized by a well‐illuminated substrate to support the development and calcification of the Halimeda thallus. Contrarily, the red algae‐foralgal assemblage is typical of high density tropical to subtropical seagrass meadows which create very dense oligophotic conditions on the sea floor or in temperate settings where Halimeda cannot calcify.
dc.format application/pdf
dc.relation.isformatof Versió postprint del document publicat a:
dc.relation.ispartof Sedimentology, 2019, vol. 66, num. 6, p. 2268-2296
dc.rights (c) Brandano, M. et al., 2019
dc.subject.classification 57 - Biologia
dc.subject.classification 548/549 - Ciències mineralògiques
dc.subject.other 57 - Biological sciences in general
dc.subject.other 548/549 - Mineralogical sciences. Crystallography. Mineralogy
dc.title The seagrass skeletal assemblage from modern to fossil and from tropical to temperate: Insight from Maldivian and Mediterranean examples
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/acceptedVersion 2020-02-12T12:05:16Z info:eu-repo/date/embargoEnd/2026-12-31
dc.embargo 2026-12-31
dc.rights.accessRights info:eu-repo/semantics/embargoedAccess

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