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Improving the paleoceanographic proxy tool kit – On the biogeography and ecology of the sea ice-associated species Fragilariopsis oceanica, Fragilariopsis reginae-jahniae and Fossula arctica in the northern North Atlantic

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kaarina Weckstrom, Emeritus Professor Steve Juggins



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2020 The AuthorsA long-term perspective is essential for understanding environmental change. To be able to access the past, environmental archives such as marine and lake sediments that store information in the form of diverse proxy records are used. Whilst many analytical techniques exist to extract the information stored in these proxy records, the critical assessment and refinement of current methods in addition to developing new methods is crucial to improving our understanding. This study aims to improve our knowledge on diatom species used for reconstructing ocean surface conditions, especially temperature and sea ice variability over time. We define the distribution and the relationship to sea surface temperature (SST) and sea ice concentrations (SIC) of the species Fragilariopsis oceanica, Fragilariopsis reginae-jahniae and Fossula arctica using diatom training sets from the northern North Atlantic. We further assess the effect of separating these species compared to grouping them under F. oceanica, as has been done in the past. Our results suggest that while these three species share similarities such as the preference for stratified waters induced by sea ice or glacier meltwater, they also exhibit heterogeneous distributions across the northern North Atlantic, with individual optima for SST and SIC. This also affects quantitative reconstructions based on our data, resulting in lower SST and higher SIC estimates when the species are separated in the surface sediment and down-core diatom assemblages.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Weckstrom K, Roche BR, Miettinen A, Krawczyk D, Limoges A, Juggins S, Ribeiro S, Heikkila M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Marine Micropaleontology

Year: 2020

Volume: 157

Print publication date: 01/05/2020

Online publication date: 19/03/2020

Acceptance date: 18/03/2020

Date deposited: 15/04/2020

ISSN (print): 0377-8398

ISSN (electronic): 1872-6186

Publisher: Elsevier B.V.


DOI: 10.1016/j.marmicro.2020.101860


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Funder referenceFunder name
Academy of Finland (Project 307282)
Grønlands Forskningsråd and Greenland Institute of Natural Resources for funding the project ‘Sea ice during Holocene’