Foraminifera are single-celled organisms that evolve rapidly through time and are sensitive to depositional setting. They are used to determine the ages of marine sedimentary sections, paleobathymetry, and other information related to the depositional setting of sedimentary rocks. For this reason foraminifera have become a major biostratigraphic tool used for the interpretation of the earth's sedimentary section.
Both living and fossil foraminifera are inhabitants of oceans. They are extremely abundant in most marine sediments and in many different depositional settings. Their habitat ranges from marine to brackish settings, even freshwater. They are used to distinguish near shore to the deep sea settings or from near surface to the ocean floor associations. Some foraminifera live in oligotrophic
reef settings and are associated with cyanobacteria. Foraminifera generate approximately 43 million tons of calcium carbonate
per year and play a key role in the formation
of reefs (Langer et al., 1997).
Archibald, J. M., Longet, D., Pawlowski, J. & Keeling, P. J. (2003). A novel polyubiquitin structure in Cercozoa and Foraminifera: evidence for a new eukaryotic supergroup. Mol Biol Evol 20: 62–66.
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Langer, MR., 1997. Global carbonate and carbon dioxide production: the role of reef foraminifera. Journal of Foraminiferal Research 27 (4): 271-277
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Longet, D, Archibald, JM, Keeling, PJ, and Pawlowski, J, 2003. Foraminifera and Cercozoa share a common origin according to RNA polymerase II phylogenies. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (2003), 53, 1735–1739
Pawlowski, J., Bolivar, I., Guiard-Maf?a, J. & Gouy, M. ,1994. Phylogenetic position of the Foraminifera inferred from LSU rRNA gene sequences. Mol Biol Evol 11: 929–938.
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For further details see the pages of Dr. Marcelle K. BouDagher-Fadel of the University College of London University College of London - MIRACLE