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    Review of 'The Geographic, Environmental and Phylogenetic Evolution of the Alveolinoidea from the Cretaceous to the Present Day.'

    The Geographic, Environmental and Phylogenetic Evolution of the Alveolinoidea from the Cretaceous to the Present Day.Crossref
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    The Geographic, Environmental and Phylogenetic Evolution of the Alveolinoidea from the Cretaceous to the Present Day.

    The superfamily Alveolinoidea is a member of the Order Miliolida, and is comprised of three main families, the Alveolinidae, the Fabulariidae and the Rhapydioninidae. They are examples of Larger Benthic Foraminifera (LBF), which are single cell organisms with specific characteristic endoskeletons. Alveolinoids are found globally from the Cretaceous to present day and are very important biostratigraphic index fossils in shallow-marine carbonates. They are often associated with significant hydrocarbon reservoirs, and exhibit provincialism with characteristic genera often confined to one of the American, Tethyan or Indo-Pacific provinces. Previously, the systematic study of the global interrelationship between the various alveolinoid lineages has not been possible because of the absence of biostratigraphic correlation between the geographically scattered assemblages, and the scarcity of described material from the Indo-Pacific province. Here we use the literature and new material from the Americas, the French Alps, Iran, Tibet, India and SE Asia, coupled with the use the planktonic foraminiferal zonal (PZ) correlation scheme to put forward, for the very first time, a comprehensive, global, systematic analysis of the biostratigraphic, phylogenetic and palaeogeographic evolution of the alveolinoids. The alveolinoids originated in the Cretaceous in the Tethyan province. During a global sea-level low-stand, a westward migration of some alveolinoids species to the Americas occurred in this period, a behaviour also seen in previous studies of contemporaneous orbitolinid LBF. After the K-P event, which saw the extinction of all Cretaceous alveolinoids, rare new forms of alveolinoids evolved again, first in the Americas and later independently in Tethys. As found in previous studies of rotalid LBF, sea-level low-stands in the Paleocene also allowed some alveolinoid forms to migrate, but this time in an eastward direction from the Americas to Tethys, and from Tethys on to the Indo-Pacific. Alveolinoids still exist today ( Borelis and Alveolinella ), the former of which is cosmopolitan, while the latter is restricted to the Indo-Pacific province. Throughout their phylogenetic history alveolinoids characteristically exhibit convergent evolution, with the repeated re-occurrence of certain morphological features. Understanding this propensity to homoplasy is essential in understanding and constructing the phylogenetic relationships within the alveolinoid superfamily.

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      This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com.

      Ecology,The Environment,Climate,Foraminifera, alveolinoids, Cretaceous, Paleogene, Neogene, Holocene, biostratigraphy, phylogeny, palaeoenvironment, palaeogeographic distribution, extinctions, sea-level changes.

      Review text

      This article has been reviewed by Johann Hohenegger

      The article on Alveolinoids by Marcelle K. BouDagher-Fadel and Geoffrey D. Price continues their former works on larger benthic foraminifera in a very comprehensive manner. The outstanding knowledge of published articles about this group of larger, symbiont-bearing Foraminifera allows a comprehensive view about mutual phylogenetic relations between the three families Alveolinidae, Rhapidioninidae and Fabulariidae. These families are solely based on morphological characters, which determines the generic status of the different morphologically (not biologically) determined genera. Therefore, the stratigraphic gap between Cretaceous and Paleogene representatives within the same morphological genera (e.g. in the Periloculina-Lacazina lineage) will be explained by canalizing strongly the possibilities of genetic alterations leading to identical morphospecies starting from a ‘simple’ forerunner. The second and more common explanation for similar forms at different stratigraphic levels is by homoplasy, again canalizing the pathways in genetic alterations, but not in the strict form as explained above. Therefore, differences in the outer and inner morphology between Cretaceous and Paleogene genera explains this separation.

      The important point based on these morphological differences is the environmental and paleogeographic aspect of these induced phylogenetic lineages based on sea-level stands, where low stands has led to migrations across oceans and high stands create different ecological niches in the oceans, where differentiations within genera occur. Four transatlantic migrations based on low sea level stands can be found from the Mid-Cretaceous to the end of Cretaceous (Fig. 11), especially from the East to the West, while one migration based on low sea-level stands can be found in the Paleogene. The migration from the Tethys Ocean to the Indo-Pacific is caused by the connections between these oceans in the Paleogene and the following disconnection in the Neogene due to tectonic events. This explains the today distributions of the two genera Borelis and Alveolinella, where the first can be found in shallow waters of the whole tropical Indo-Pacific, possibly spread by the open Inter-American gateway to the Caribbean, while Alveolinella is restricted to the tropical East Indian and West Pacific Ocean.
      All distribution are coincident with the directions of the paleo-currents.

      Summing up, this is a well-written paper, where the reader can clearly understand the intensions of the authors. We have to keep in mind, that this are the opinions of the authors. Some specialists will not agree with some interpretations, but this does not impair the value of this paper. Published in this form, it is great information and shows possible interpretations of the phylogeny in this remarkable group of organisms, especially by the interruption of phylogenetic lines and the restart from primitive forms to extremely similar high evolved forms.


      Dear Johann

      Thank you so much for taking the time to reviewing our paper and thank you for all your positive comments.


      2021-01-04 11:29 UTC

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