Submitted as: development and technical paper
22 Aug 2022
Submitted as: development and technical paper | 22 Aug 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

ForamEcoGENIE 2.0: Incorporating symbiosis and spine traits into a trait-based global planktic foraminifera model

Rui Ying1, Fanny M. Monteiro2, Jamie D. Wilson1, and Daniela N. Schmidt1 Rui Ying et al.
  • 1School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1RJ, UK
  • 2School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1SS, UK

Abstract. Planktic foraminifera are major marine calcifiers in the modern ocean regulating the marine inorganic carbon pump and generating marine fossil archives of past climate change. Some planktic foraminifera evolved spine and symbiosis, increasing functional trait diversity and expanded their ecological niches. Here we incorporate symbiosis and spine traits into the ForamEcoGENIE model, a trait-based model focusing on functional trait rather than individual species, to enable us to study the importance of foraminifera biodiversity in the palaeoceanographic environment. We calibrated the modelled new traits using Latin Hypercube Sampling. We identified the best model run from an ensemble of 1200 runs compared with observations from global core-top, sediment trap, and plankton nets. The model successfully captures the global distribution and seasonal variation of the 4 major functional groups including dominance of the symbiont-obligate type in subtropical gyres and the symbiont-barren type in the productive subpolar oceans. The carbon export rate is correctly predicted for spinose foraminifera, but the model overestimates the global mean biomass of each group by 8 times and global export rate of non-spinose foraminifera by 4 times. Both the observational bias and the model's limitation in linking biomass to export production likely contributes to the discrepancy. Our model approximates a 3.05 g m-2 yr-1 global mean foraminifer-derived calcite flux and 1.1 Gt yr-1 total calcite export, account for 19 % of the global pelagic marine calcite budget within the lower range of modern calcite estimates. The calcite export is mostly derived from the symbiont-barren non-spinose group (39 %) and the symbiont-obligate spinose group (13 %). Our model overcomes the lack of biodiversity in previous version and offers the potential to explore foraminifera ecology dynamics and its impact on biogeochemistry in modern, future and paleogeographic environments.

Rui Ying et al.

Status: open (until 02 Nov 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CEC1: 'Comment on gmd-2022-177', Astrid Kerkweg, 19 Sep 2022 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on CEC1', Rui Ying, 19 Sep 2022 reply

Rui Ying et al.


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Short summary
Planktic foraminifera are marine calcifying zooplankton and their shell are widely used as to measure past temperature and productivity. Here we developed ForamECOGENIE model to simulate the four subgroups of this organism. We found the relative abundance distribution agrees with core top data and carbon flux is comparable to sediment trap observation. This model provides opportunity to study foraminifera ecology in any geological time.