pforams@mikrotax - Introduction
This site has now grown into a major reference source for the taxonomy of planktonic foraminifera. These beautiful microfossils are a key tool in modern geological research widely used in biostratigraphy, palaeoceanography and study of evolutionary pattern and process. Consequently they are used by a diverse set of students, academic researchers and industrial geologists all of whom need data on their taxonomy, identification, and geological ranges. The site is not aimed at any particular set of users but to act as a central reference source accesible to anyone interested in the group.
The site has essentially been created by combining data from previous databases and syntheses - especially the Chronos database - and migrating it into a database system - mikrotax - initially created for the Nannotax website. The project to do this has been funded by a UK Natural Environment Research council grant to Profs. Bridget Wade and Paul Bown of University College London.
Paul Bown, Brian Huber, Bridget Wade, Jeremy Young
A few features of the site
- Browsable interface - the site is arranged taxonomically but with lots of representative images and links on all pages so you can easily browse it.
- Neptune database - occurrence data from the Neptune database is used to provide plots of frequency of occurrence of all taxa. From the Tools menu you can make customs plot of this data as range charts, space-time plots and distribution plots.
- Taxonomic search - swift search by taxon name is available from the top and bottom of every page.
- Advanced search - alternatively complex searches can be set up based on any combination of morphological features, geological age, taxonomy, etc.
- Time control - you can select a time interval of interest (e.g. Albian) and taxa occurring in that interval will be highlighted.
- Range charts and Evolutionary trees - on pages for genera and families a diagram appears at the bottom of the page showing the ranges of the subtaxa and their evolutionary relations. Customised plots of various kinds can also be drawn from the range charts page.
- References - there is a searchable bibliography of ca. 1900 references. Where PDFs are availsble in the public domain copies are linked to the bibliography.
- User comments - there are comments boxes on every page and a forum page for broader questions or comments. Please use these!
- User guide - it is quite a large site so we recommend taking a look at this guide as well as browsing.
Coverage to date and plans
Cenozoic (630 taxa, 2700 images)
- Extant and Neogene - limited coverage. The taxonomy follows Brummer & Kucera (2014, 2015) and Aze et al. (2011). Other content is mainly from Kennett & Srinivisan (1983) with modifications and corrections.
- Oligocene - comprehensive and up to date coverage using content from the Atlas of Oligocene Planktonic Foraminifera (Wade et al. 2018) produced by the Paleogene Planktonic Foraminiferal Working Group.
- Eocene - rather comprehensive and up to date coverage, using content from the Atlas of Eocene Planktonic Foraminifera (Pearson et al. 2006), as prepared between 1997 and 2006 by members of the Eocene Working Group
- Paleocene - rather comprehensive and up to date coverage, using content from the Atlas of Paleocene Planktonic Foraminifera (Olsson et al. 1999), as prepared between 1987 and 1996 by members of the Paleocene Planktonic Foraminiferal Working Group
Mesozoic (600 taxa, 1500 images)
Extensive content derived from the Chronos online database developed by the Mesozoic Planktonic Foraminiferal Working Group. Work on this part of the database is under active development by the working group, lead by Brian Huber and Maria Rose Petrizzo. Please contact them if you would like to assist.
Catalog (2600 taxa, 6000 images)
- This is a separate database of original descriptions and type-specimen illustrations. Much content has been transfered from the Chronos database (including many new images of type-specimens and translations of original descriptions) and additional content is being added.
Aze, T.; Ezard, T.H.G.; Purvis, A.; Coxall, H.K.; Stewart, D.R.M.; Wade, B.S. & Pearson, P.N.P., (2011). A phylogeny of Cenozoic macroperforate planktonic foraminifera from fossil data. Biological Reviews, 86: 900-927.
Brummer, G.J.A. & Kucera, M., (2014). SCOR/ICBP 138 taxonomy and key to species of modern planktonic foraminfera v2.1. Chart distributed at TMS FNG meeting Texel, The Netherlands, June 2014: 1.
Brummer, G.J.A. & Kucera, M., (2015). Taxonomy of extant planktonic foraminifera, SCOR/IGBP WG138; August 2015. In: Sprero, H. and Kucera, M. (Editors), SCOR/IGBP Working Group 138: Planktonic Foraminifera and Ocean Changes. Final Workshop & Short Course on Culturing Planktonic Foraminifera. California, pp. 8.
Kennett, J.P. & Srinivasan, M.S., (1983). Neogene Planktonic Foraminifera. Hutchinson Ross Publishing Co., Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, 1-265 pp.
Olsson, R.K.; Hemleben, C.; Berggren, W.A. & Huber, B.T., (1999). Atlas of Paleocene Planktonic Foraminifera. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology, 85: 1-252 pp.
Pearson, P.N.; Olsson, R.K.; Huber, B.T.; Hemleben, C. & Berggren, W.A., (2006). Atlas of Eocene planktonic foraminifera. Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research Special Publication, 41: 1-507.
Wade, B.S.; Olsson, R.K.; Pearson, P.N.; Huber, B.T. & Berggren, W.A., (2018). Atlas of Oligocene Planktonic Foraminifera. Cushman Foundation Special Pulbication, 46, 524 pp.