04 Oct 2022
04 Oct 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

BENFEP, a quantitative database of BENthic Foraminifera from surface sediments of the Eastern Pacific

Paula Diz1, Víctor González-Guitián1,2, Rita González-Villanueva1, Aida Ovejero3, and Iván Hernández-Almeida4 Paula Diz et al.
  • 1Centro de Investigación Mariña, Universidade de Vigo, XM1, 36310 Vigo, España
  • 2Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas, CSIC, Eduardo Cabello 6, 36208 Vigo, España
  • 3Cátedra UNESCO en Desarrollo Litoral Sostenible, Universidade de Vigo, 36310 Vigo, España
  • 4Geological Institute, ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland

Abstract. Foraminifera are important components of the ocean benthos and play a major role in ocean biogeochemistry and ecosystems functioning. Generating ecological baselines for ocean monitoring or biogeographical distributions requires a reference dataset of recent census data. Besides, the information from their modern biogeography can be used to interpret past environmental changes on the sea-floor. In this study, we provide the first comprehensive quantitative BENthic Foraminifera database from surface sediments of the Eastern Pacific (BENFEP). Through the collation of archival census data and its homogenization according to the most recent taxonomic standards, we are able to provide a database with 3093 sediment samples, corresponding to 2572 georeferenced stations of wide geographical coverage (60º N and 54º S) and water depths (0–7642 m). The quantitative data includes living, dead, and living and dead assemblages obtained from 47 published and unpublished documents. As well as describing the data collection and subsequent harmonization steps, we provide summarized information of metadata variables, examples of species distribution, potential applications of the database and recommendations for data archiving and publication of benthic foraminiferal data. The database is enriched with meaningful metadata for accessible data management and exploration with R and geospatial software. BENFEP will be upgraded with new records. We complement BENFEP with an additional database integrating metadata and stations geolocation of benthic foraminiferal studies dearth of quantitative data (BENFEPqual).

Paula Diz et al.

Status: open (until 29 Nov 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2022-324', Lukas Jonkers, 18 Oct 2022 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2022-324', Anonymous Referee #2, 23 Oct 2022 reply
  • RC3: 'Comment on essd-2022-324', Ellen Thomas, 06 Nov 2022 reply
  • RC4: 'Review for “BENFEP, a quantitative database of BENthic Foraminifera from surface sediments of the Eastern Pacific”', Anonymous Referee #4, 16 Nov 2022 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC4', Paula Diz, 18 Nov 2022 reply

Paula Diz et al.


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Short summary
Foraminifera are important components of the ocean benthos and marine sediments. Determining their recent geographic distribution is highly relevant for improving our understanding of the recent and past ocean benthic ecosystem and establishing adequate conservation strategies. We contribute to this knowledge by generating an open-access database of previously documented quantitative census of benthic foraminifera species from surface sediments of the Eastern Pacific (BENFEP).