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Volume 37, issue 1 | Copyright
J. Micropalaeontol., 37, 153-166, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 11 Jan 2018

Research article | 11 Jan 2018

The functional significance of the spinose keel structure of benthic foraminifera: inferences from Miliolina cristata Millett, 1898 (Miliolida) from northeast Romania

Simina Dumitriţa Dumitriu1, Zofia Dubicka2, and Viorel Ionesi1 Simina Dumitriţa Dumitriu et al.
  • 1Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Department of Geology, Carol I Blvd., 20A, 700505, Iaşi, Romania
  • 2University of Warsaw, Faculty of Geology, Al. Żwirki i Wigury 93, 02-089, Warsaw, Poland

Abstract. The paper presents Miocene (lower Sarmatian) benthic foraminifera from the FH3P1 Rădăuţi Core section from the northwestern part of the Moldavian Platform, Romania. Based on foraminiferal assemblages we infer sediments were deposited in shallow-water, including marine-marginal environments, of varying salinities from brackish to normal marine with some short and rather small sea-level changes. Moreover, we describe for the first time in the Moldavian Platform a very rare species, Miliolina cristata Millett, which presents a characteristic spinose keel. Based on a detailed study of the test morphology and its variability, observed in picked material as well as in thin sections, we discuss some palaeoecological aspects of these foraminifera. M. cristata probably does not constitute a distinctive species, but it is more probable that some miliolid taxa developed such an exoskeletal feature in response to new environmental conditions, such as more turbulent water. Accordingly, our study would support the thesis that one of the functions of the benthic foraminiferal spines is to stabilize foraminiferal tests found in sandy substrates from high-energy environments.

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