Response of Shallow Water Benthic Foraminifera to a 13C-Labeled Food Pulse in the Laboratory

  • V. N. Linshy
  • Rajiv Nigam
  • Petra Heinz
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


In recent years, stable isotope techniques have been applied successfully directly on the sea floor to follow the fate of carbon in the marine carbon cycle. Feeding experiments using 13C-labeled food enable the tracking of ingested tracer material in the cytoplasm of foraminifera to study phytodetrital carbon uptake in situ. Here we introduce first results of a 13C-labeled food pulse in the laboratory. Benthic foraminiferal species Ammonia tepida and Bolivina variabilis were studied to analyze their response. Marked green algae Dunaliella tertiolecta were added at the beginning of the experiment and the foraminiferal reaction was followed for 42 days. In order to assess the uptake of labeled material with time, foraminiferal specimens were subsampled at 2, 7, 21, and 42 days and analyzed for their carbon signals. Culture conditions (T, salinity, O2) were monitored and kept stable during time. Both species showed fast and strong ingestion of the added food material after 2 days, followed by a decreasing isotopic signal in the biomass with time. Additionally, the isotopic signals in the overlying water of the experimental dishes and in the foraminiferal tests were measured, but these values were difficult to interpret.


Total Organic Carbon Content Isotopic Signal Benthic Foraminifera Total Organic Carbon Content Content Carbon Isotope Ratio 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Emmanuelle Geslin and her coworkers from the Laboratoire d`Etude des Bio-indicateurs Actuels et Fossiles (BIAF), University of Angers, France as well as our colleague Annekatrin Enge for the great support during sample collection in the field. Thanks a lot to our collegue Roman Marten for all his help when picking the foraminifera. We are very grateful to Ulrich Struck from the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin for analyzing all our isotopic samples and his helpful advice concerning cleaning foraminiferal tests. Authors LVN and RN thank the director of NIO, Goa for the necessary support; LVN specially thank UGC-DAAD for facilitating the visit to Germany and the Department of Science and Technology for the financial support in the form of Fast Track young scientist fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Micropaleontology LaboratoryNational Institute of Oceanography, CSIRDona PaulaIndia
  2. 2.Department of PalaeontologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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