Michal Kucera

Michal Kucera
Universität Bremen | Uni Bremen · MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences

Professor

About

522
Publications
100,895
Reads
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11,022
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2012 - present
Universität Bremen
April 2012 - present
MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences
Position
  • Professor (Full)
December 2004 - March 2012
University of Tuebingen

Publications

Publications (522)
Article
Full-text available
The ocean—the Earth’s largest ecosystem—is increasingly affected by anthropogenic climate change1,2. Large and globally consistent shifts have been detected in species phenology, range extension and community composition in marine ecosystems3–5. However, despite evidence for ongoing change, it remains unknown whether marine ecosystems have entered...
Article
Full-text available
Significance We discovered that the tropical oceanic diversity depression is not a recent phenomenon nor very deep time in origin by using a comprehensive global dataset of the calcified shells of planktonic foraminifers, abundant unicellular organisms in the world's oceans, which are exceptionally well preserved in marine sediments as fossils. The...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding of marine sediments has revealed large amounts of sequences assigned to planktonic taxa. How this planktonic eDNA is delivered on the seafloor and preserved in the sediment is not well understood. We address these questions by comparing metabarcoding and microfossil foraminifera assemblages in sediment cores t...
Article
Full-text available
The Fram Strait plays a crucial role in regulating the heat and sea-ice dynamics in the Arctic. In response to the ongoing global warming, the marine biota of this Arctic gateway is experiencing significant changes with increasing advection of Atlantic species. The footprint of this “Atlantification” has been identified in isolated observations acr...
Article
Full-text available
Applications of fossil shells of planktonic foraminifera to decipher past environmental change and plankton evolution require a robust operational taxonomy. In this respect, extant planktonic foraminifera provide an opportunity for benchmarking the dominantly morphological species concepts and classification of the group by considering ecological,...
Article
Full-text available
The Last Interglacial (~129,000–116,000 years ago) is the most recent geologic period with a warmer-than-present climate. Proxy-based temperature reconstructions from this interval can help contextualize natural climate variability in our currently warming world, especially if they can define changes on decadal timescales. Here, we established a ~4...
Article
Full-text available
Planktonic Foraminifera are ubiquitous marine protozoa inhabiting the upper ocean. During life, they secrete calcareous shells, which accumulate in marine sediments, providing a geological record of past spatial and temporal changes in their community structure. As a result, they provide the opportunity to analyze both current and historical patter...
Preprint
Marine plankton is an important component of the global carbon cycle. Whereas the production and seafloor export of organic carbon produced by the plankton, the biological pump, has received much attention, the long-term variability in plankton calcification, controlling the carbonate counter pump, remains less well understood. Yet, it has been sho...
Preprint
Full-text available
With ongoing warming and sea ice loss, the Arctic Ocean and its marginal seas will likely become more hospitable to pelagic calcifiers, resulting in modifications of the regional carbonate cycle and the composition of the seafloor sediment. A substantial part of the pelagic carbonate production in the Arctic is due to the calcification of the domin...
Article
Full-text available
Individual foraminifera analysis (IFA) holds promise to reconstruct seasonal to interannual oceanographic variability. Even though planktonic foraminifera are reliable recorders of environmental conditions on a population level, whether they also are on the level of individuals is unknown. Yet, one of the main assumptions underlying IFA is that eac...
Article
Full-text available
Planktonic foraminifera are a prolific and diverse group of Rhizaria, inhabiting the upper water column in all marine habitats. In the course of their evolution, different clades of the foraminifera colonized the plankton, making the fossil and extant planktonic foraminifera an ecological group rather than a clade with a single monophyletic origin....
Article
Full-text available
Metabarcoding has become the workhorse of community ecology. Sequencing a taxonomically informative DNA fragment from environmental samples gives fast access to community composition across taxonomic groups, but it relies on the assumption that the number of sequences for each taxon correlates with its abundance in the sampled community. However, g...
Article
Full-text available
It has long been assumed that the population dynamics of planktonic foraminifera is characterised by synchronous reproduction associated with ontogenetic vertical migration. However, due to contradictory observations, this concept became controversial, and subsequent studies provided evidence both in favour and against these phenomena. Here we pres...
Article
Global warming permits range expansions of tropical marine species into mid‐latitude habitats, where they are, however, faced with cold winter temperatures. Therefore, tolerance to cold temperatures may be the key adaptation controlling zonal range expansion in tropical marine species. Here we investigated the molecular and physiological response t...
Article
Full-text available
Planktonic foraminifera precipitate calcite shells, which after the death of the organisms are exported to the seafloor. Globally, the resulting calcite flux constitutes up to half of the pelagic calcite flux. Given their importance for the marine calcite budget and for the carbonate counter pump, which counteracts the biological pump in terms of o...
Article
Rising sea surface temperatures and extreme heat waves are affecting symbiont-bearing tropical calcifiers such as corals and Large Benthic Foraminifera (LBF). In many ecosystems, parallel to warming, global change unleashes a host of additional changes to the marine environment, and the combined effect of such multiple stressors may be far greater...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Fram Strait plays a crucial role in regulating the heat and sea-ice dynamics in the Arctic. In response to the ongoing global warming, the marine biota of this Arctic gateway is experiencing significant changes with increasing advection of Atlantic species. The footprint of this 'Atlantification' has been identified in isolated observations acr...
Preprint
Full-text available
It has long been assumed that the population dynamics of planktonic foraminifera is characterised by synchronous reproduction associated with ontogenetic vertical migration. However, due to contradictory observations, this concept became controversial and subsequent studies provided evidence both in favor and against these phenomena. Here we presen...
Preprint
Full-text available
Individual foraminifera analysis (IFA) holds promise to reconstruct seasonal to interannual oceanographic variability. Even though planktonic foraminifera are reliable recorders of environmental conditions on a population level, whether they also are on the level of individuals is unknown. Yet, one of the main assumptions underlying IFA is that eac...
Article
Full-text available
Marine zooplankton time series are crucial to understand the dynamics of pelagic ecosystems. However, most observational time series are only a few decades long, which limits our understanding of long-term zooplankton dynamics, renders attribution of observed trends to global change ambiguous, and hampers prediction of future response to environmen...
Article
Full-text available
The middle Miocene climate transition ∼ 14 Ma marks a fundamental step towards the current “ice-house” climate, with a ∼ 1 ‰ δ18O increase and a ∼ 1 ‰ transient δ13C rise in the deep ocean, indicating rapid expansion of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet associated with a change in the operation of the global carbon cycle. The variation of atmospheric CO...
Article
Full-text available
Isotopic and trace-element signals in the calcite shells of the planktonic foraminifera Neogloboquadrina pachyderma represent key proxies to reconstruct past climatic conditions in northern high latitudes. A correct interpretation of these chemical signals requires knowledge of the habitat and trophic interactions of the species. Direct observation...
Article
Full-text available
The establishment of sustainable coastal industries requires better temporal and spatial monitoring of heavy metal (HM) pollutants, even at low concentrations and during pulse-release events, before their accumulation becomes hazardous for local ecosystems or for the use of seawater in desalination (for drinking water). Foraminifera, unicellular ma...
Data
Porosity in planktonic foraminifers (the proportion of the shell surface covered by pores) is a conspicuous quantitative trait, well preserved in fossil shells and implicated as a source of environmental information. Despite its potential, the functional importance of porosity remains poorly understood. It is likely that pores are important in gas...
Article
Full-text available
Coccolithophores contribute significantly to marine primary productivity and play a unique role in ocean biogeochemistry by using carbon for photosynthesis (soft-tissue pump) and for calcification (carbonate counter pump). Despite the importance of including coccolithophores in Earth system models to allow better predictions of the climate system's...
Article
Full-text available
To understand ecosystem responses to anthropogenic global change, a prevailing framework is the definition of threshold levels of pressure, above which response magnitudes and their variances increase disproportionately. However, we lack systematic quantitative evidence as to whether empirical data allow definition of such thresholds. Here, we summ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Isotopic and trace-element signals in the calcite shells of the planktonic foraminifera Neogloboquadrina pachyderma represent key proxies to reconstruct past climatic conditions in northern high latitudes. A correct interpretation of these chemical signals requires knowledge of the habitat and trophic interactions of the species. Direct observation...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract The size structure of plankton communities is an important determinant of their functions in marine ecosystems. However, few studies have quantified how organism size varies within species across biogeographical scales. Here, we investigate how planktonic foraminifera, a ubiquitous zooplankton group, vary in size across the tropical and su...
Article
Full-text available
Temperature appears to be the best predictor of species composition of planktonic foraminifera communities, making it possible to use their fossil assemblages to reconstruct sea surface temperature (SST) variation in the past. However, the role of other environmental factors potentially modulating the spatial and vertical distribution of planktonic...
Article
Full-text available
Chemical signatures in the calcite of shells of polar and subpolar planktonic foraminifera have been frequently used to trace and quantify past meltwater discharge events. This approach assumes that the foraminifera can tolerate low salinity under extended periods. To obtain a first experimental constraint on salinity tolerance of Subarctic foramin...
Article
Full-text available
The middle Miocene climate transition ~14 Ma marks a fundamental step towards the current "icehouse" climate, with a ~1 ‰ δ 18 O increase and a ~1 ‰ transient δ 13 C rise in the deep ocean, indicating rapid expansion of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet associated with a change in the operation of the global carbon cycle. The variation of atmospheric CO...
Article
Full-text available
Foraminifera are single-celled eukaryotes (protists) of large ecological importance, as well as environmental and paleoenvironmental indicators and biostratigraphic tools. In addition, they are capable of surviving in anoxic marine environments where they represent a major component of the benthic community. However, the cellular adaptations of For...
Article
Full-text available
Direct observations of marine ecosystems are inherently limited in their temporal scope. Yet, ongoing global anthropogenic change urgently requires improved understanding of long-term baselines, greater insight into the relationship between climate and biodiversity, and knowledge of the evolutionary consequences of our actions. Sediment cores can p...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the role of dispersal and adaptation in the evolutionary history of marine species is essential for predicting their response to changing conditions. We analyzed patterns of genetic differentiation in the key tropical calcifying species of large benthic foraminifera Amphistegina lobifera to reveal the evolutionary processes responsibl...
Article
Full-text available
Palaeoclimate data hold the unique promise of providing a long-term perspective on climate change and as such can serve as an important benchmark for climate models. However, palaeoclimate data have generally been archived with insufficient standardisation and metadata to allow for transparent and consistent uncertainty assessment in an automated w...
Article
Porosity in planktonic foraminifers (the proportion of the shell surface covered by pores) is a conspicuous quantitative trait, well preserved in fossil shells and implicated as a source of environmental information. Despite its potential, the functional importance of porosity remains poorly understood. It is likely that pores are important in gas...
Preprint
Full-text available
Foraminifera are single-celled eukaryotes (protists) of large ecological importance, as well as environmental and paleoenvironmental indicators and biostratigraphic tools. In addition, they are capable of surviving in anoxic marine environments where they represent a major component of the benthic community. However, the cellular adaptations of For...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity dynamics comprise evolutionary and ecological changes on multiple temporal scales from millions of years to decades, but they are often interpreted within a single time frame. Planktonic foraminifera communities offer a unique opportunity for analysing the dynamics of marine biodiversity over different temporal scales. Our study aims t...
Data
The state of a population of planktic foraminifers at a certain time reflects multiple processes in the upper ocean, including environmental conditions to which the population was exposed during its growth, the age of the cohorts, and spatiotemporal patchiness. We carried out depth-stratified (0-60, 60-100 m) replicated sampling off Puerto Rico in...
Preprint
Full-text available
Palaeoclimate data hold the unique promise of providing a long-term perspective on climate change and as such can serve as an important benchmark for climate models. However, palaeoclimate data have generally been archived with insufficient standardisation and metadata to allow for transparent and consistent uncertainty assessment in an automated w...
Article
Full-text available
The state of a population of planktic foraminifers at a certain time reflects multiple processes in the upper ocean, including environmental conditions to which the population was exposed during its growth, the age of the cohorts, and spatiotemporal patchiness. We carried out depth-stratified (0–60, 60–100 m) replicated sampling off Puerto Rico in...
Article
Full-text available
The planktonic foraminifera genus Globigerinoides provides a prime example of a species-rich genus in which genetic and morphological divergence are uncorrelated. To shed light on the evolutionary processes that lead to the present-day diversity of Globigerinoides, we investigated the genetic, ecological and morphological divergence of its constitu...
Article
Dinoflagellate cyst (=dinocyst) assemblages are widely used for the reconstruction of multiple oceanographic variables through the application of transfer functions. There is evidence that the number and kind of variables driving compositional changes in dinocyst assemblages vary regionally and that the selection of driving factors and the evaluati...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. Coccolithophores contribute significantly to the marine primary productivity and play a unique role in ocean biogeochemistry by using carbon for photosynthesis (biological pump) and also for calcification (carbonate pump). Despite the importance of including coccolithophores in global climate models to allow better predictions of the clim...
Data
Unless they adapt, populations facing persistent stress are threatened by extinction. Theoretically, populations facing stress can react by either disruption (increasing trait variation and potentially generating new traits) or stabilization (decreasing trait variation). In the short term, stabilization is more economical, because it quickly transf...
Article
Full-text available
Unless they adapt, populations facing persistent stress are threatened by extinction. Theoretically , populations facing stress can react by either disruption (increasing trait variation and potentially generating new traits) or stabilization (decreasing trait variation). In the short term, stabilization is more economical, because it quickly trans...
Preprint
Full-text available
Temperature appears to be the best predictor of species composition of planktonic foraminifera communities, making it possible to use their fossil assemblages to reconstruct sea surface temperature (SST) variation in the past. However, the role of other environmental factors potentially modulating the spatial and vertical distribution of planktonic...
Article
Full-text available
Neogloboquadrina pachyderma is the dominant planktonic foraminifera species in the polar regions. In the northern high-latitude ocean, it makes up more than 90 % of the total assemblages, making it the dominant pelagic calcifier and carrier of paleoceanographic proxies. To assess the reaction of this species to a future shaped by climate change and...