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Recognition and Macroevolutionary Significance of Photosymbiosis in Molluscs, Corals, and Foraminifera

  • Richard D. Norris (a1)

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Symbiotic relationships are common between algae and diverse lineages of corals, planktic foraminifera, benthic foraminifera, and bivalves as well as in many other groups that do not leave an extensive fossil record. Ancient photosymbioses can be inferred using various lines of inference including the morphology of the host, its habitat, rates of calcification, (which tend to be high in many photosymbiotic taxa), and the geochemistry of the host's shell. This survey shows that stable isotopes are reliable means of identification of photosymbioses in corals and planktic foraminifera, but are far less reliable in benthic foraminifera and bivalves. Organisms that increase their symbiont density proportionate to their own growth display a steep rise in shell δ13C, while organisms whose own growth exceeds that of their symbiont population display a far smaller effect on shell δ13C.

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Recognition and Macroevolutionary Significance of Photosymbiosis in Molluscs, Corals, and Foraminifera

  • Richard D. Norris (a1)

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