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Shallow marine benthic communities around Antarctica show high levels of endemism, gigantism, slow growth, longevity and late maturity, as well as adaptive radiations that have generated considerable biodiversity in some taxa. The deeper parts of the Southern Ocean exhibit some unique environmental features, including a very deep continental shelf and a(More)
Despite its often featureless appearance, the deep-ocean floor includes some of the most diverse habitats on Earth. However, the accurate assessment of global deep-sea diversity is impeded by a paucity of data on the geographical ranges of bottom-dwelling species, particularly at the genetic level. Here, we present molecular evidence for exceptionally wide(More)
Benthic foraminifera are unicellular eukaryotes found abundantly in many types of marine sediments. Many species survive and possibly reproduce in anoxic habitats, but sustainable anaerobic metabolism has not been previously described. Here we demonstrate that the foraminifer Globobulimina pseudospinescens accumulates intracellular nitrate stores and that(More)
Benthic foraminifers inhabit a wide range of aquatic environments including open marine, brackish, and freshwater environments. Here we show that several different and diverse foraminiferal groups (miliolids, rotaliids, textulariids) and Gromia, another taxon also belonging to Rhizaria, accumulate and respire nitrates through denitrification. The widespread(More)
The measurement of species diversity represents a powerful tool for assessing the impacts of human activities on marine ecosystems. Traditionally, the impact of fish farming on the coastal environment is evaluated by monitoring the dynamics of macrobenthic infaunal populations. However, taxonomic sorting and morphology-based identification of the(More)
Fossil Foraminifera appear in the Early Cambrian, at about the same time as the first skeletonized metazoans. However, due to the inadequate preservation of early unilocular (single-chambered) foraminiferal tests and difficulties in their identification, the evolution of early foraminifers is poorly understood. By using molecular data from a wide range of(More)
Komokiaceans are testate agglutinated protists, extremely diverse and abundant in the deep sea. About 40 species are described and share the same main morphological feature: a test consisting of narrow branching tubules forming a complex system. In some species, the interstices between the tubules are filled by sediment, creating a mudball structure.(More)
Monothalamous (single-chambered) foraminifers are a major component of the benthic meiofauna in high latitude regions. Several morphologically similar species are common in the Arctic and Antarctic. However, it is uncertain whether these morphospecies are genetically identical, or whether their accurate identification is compromised by a lack of distinctive(More)