Coccoliths in Pleistocene-Holocene nannofossil assemblages

W. C. Dudley, J. C. Duplessy, P. L. Blackwelder, L. E. Brand, R. R.L. Guillard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Marine palaeotemperature studies are increasingly using oxygen isotope analyses of the minute calcium carbonate structures produced by a group of marine phytoplankton, the coccolithophores1-6. To provide a sound experimental basis for palaeotemperature calculations using the isotopic data from analyses of coccoliths, we have grown coccolithophores in laboratory batch culture in controlled environmental conditions, and determined the oxygen isotopic compositions of the coccoliths produced at known temperatures. The results reported here indicate that the oxygen isotopic composition of the coccoliths of all the species studied is strongly temperature dependent. A 'vital effect' was observed in all the species, with the isotopic values of different culture samples falling into two definite groups containing separate taxa. The difference in vital effect between different species suggests that calcification processes may vary among different taxa and indicates that a re-evaluation of coccolith oxygen isotope palaeoclimatic interpretations may be in order.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-223
Number of pages2
Issue number5762
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Coccoliths in Pleistocene-Holocene nannofossil assemblages'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this