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Epibathyal ostracodes from the Florida-Hatteras slope, the Blake Plateau and the Straits of Florida were studied to determine the relationship of numerous genera and species to bottom-water environmental conditions such as dissolved oxygen and bottom-water temperatures. From a total of 100 samples, 44 samples evenly distributed between 200 and 1100 m water depth and having an average of 325 specimens were examined in detail. Using occurrence data from the adjacent continental shelf, carapace preservation, Rose Bengal staining and population data, indigenous death assemblages were distinguished from transported or reworked fossil specimens. The percent of transported specimens varied as follows: Blake Plateau < 1%; Straits of Florida 10-60%; Florida-Hatteras slope 1-15%. Indigenous death assemblages contained between 10 and 61 species per sample, averaging 33.3 species. Krithe, Argilloecia and Pseudocythere occur in > 90% of the samples and usually constitute 10 to 30% of each. Trachyleberidea, Bairdoppilata, Saida, Paranesidea, Ambocythere, Bythocypris, Cytherella, Bradleya, Henryhowella, and Polycopidae occur in 45 to 80% of the samples in varying percentages. The upper depth limits of 39 taxa occur at or just below the thermocline suggesting a relationship to temperature. Australoecia, Quasibuntonia, Cytheropteron, Ruggieriella, Saida, Ambocythere, Trachyleberidea, Macrocypris, Krithe, "Thalassocythere", and Cytherella are most common or restricted to the O2 minimum zone. Conversely, Anchistrocheles, Bradleya, Henryhowella, and Rockallia are most common below 750 m in well oxygenated water with temperatures below 8??C. The results show that: (1) ostracodes display a narrow depth zonation controlled by dissolved oxygen and water temperature; (2) species diversity is very high for a bathyal zone; (3) ostracodes can be used to identify the source of sediment that has been transported downslope; and (4) some taxa are useful in recognizing low oxygenated water in Cenozoic deposits. ?? 1983.
Additional Publication Details
Bathyal ostracodes from the Florida-Hatteras slope, the Straits of Florida, and the Blake Plateau