We studied the deep-sea benthic foraminiferal fauna from core NGC108 (36°36.85′N, 158°20.90′E; 645 cm long, recovered from 3,390 m water depth) collected from the Shatsky Rise in the central northwestern Pacific Ocean, to determine the relationship between benthic foraminifera and paleoproductivity in the transitional zone between the subtropical Kuroshio Extension and the subarctic current over the last 187 kyr. Cassidulina reniforme, Eilohedra levicula, and Epistominella exigua were the most abundant species. The relative abundance of C. reniforme was positively correlated with biogenic opal and organic carbon contents, which are proxies for paleoproductivity. The relative abundance of E. exigua was negatively correlated with biogenic opal and organic carbon contents, and the relative abundance of E. levicula had no correlation with biogenic opal and organic carbon contents. We conclude that C. reniforme and E. exigua are indicative of high and low productivity, respectively. The high relative abundances of C. reniforme reflect high paleoproductivity during glacial periods [oxygen isotope stages (OISs) 6, 3, and 2], indicating a southward advance of the Subarctic Front during global cooling. The high relative abundances of E. exigua reflect low paleoproductivity during the interglacial and postglacial periods (OISs 5 and 1). Faunal changes in the deep-sea benthic foraminifera on the Shatsky Rise suggest a direct response to orbital-scale paleoproductivity changes.
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Vol. 22 • No. 4