Dinoflagellate cysts are useful for reconstructing upper water conditions. For adequate reconstructions detailed information is required about the relationship between modern day environmental conditions and the geographic distribution of cysts in sediments. This Atlas summarises the modern global distribution of 71 organic-walled dinoflagellate cyst species. The synthesis is based on the integration of literature sources together with data of 2405 globally distributed surface sediment samples that have been prepared with a comparable methodology and taxonomy. The distribution patterns of individual cyst species are being compared with environmental factors that are known to influence dinoflagellate growth, gamete production, encystment, excystment and preservation of their organic-walled cysts: surface water temperature, salinity, nitrate, phosphate, chlorophyll a concentrations and bottom water oxygen concentrations. Graphs are provided for every species depicting the relationship between seasonal and annual variations of these parameters and the relative abundance of the species. Results have been compared with previously published records; an overview of the ecological significance as well as information about the seasonal production of each individual species is presented.The relationship between the cyst distribution and variation in the aforementioned environmental parameters was analysed by performing a canonical correspondence analysis. All tested variables showed a positive relationship on the 99% confidence level. Sea-surface temperature represents the parameter corresponding to the largest amount of variance within the dataset (40%) followed by nitrate, salinity, phosphate and bottom-water oxygen concentration, which correspond to 34%, 33%, 25% and 24% of the variance, respectively. Characterisations of selected environments as well as a discussion about how these factors could have influenced the final cyst yield in sediments are included.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the German Science Foundation (DFG) for providing the financial support for the Centre of Excellence MARUM, the international graduate college EUROPROX and the SPP 1158 project “PROPAC” in which frame a major part of the scientific activities leading to this Atlas have been carried out. We furthermore thank the DFG for the financial support of the Heisenberg stipendium “Biogeomolecules” of G. Versteegh.
- Dinoflagellate cysts
- Geographic distribution
- Modern environment