The modern Sea of Okhotsk and the high-latitude glacial ocean share similar radiolarian faunas suggesting they also share environmental similarities. This sea favors deep- (> 200 m) over shallow-living species as evidenced by collections of sediment traps set at 258 and 1061 m in the central part of the Sea. Of the twelve dominant polycystine radiolarian species, four live above and eight below 258 m. The shallow-living species' productivity maxima coincide with spring and fall phytoplankton blooms while deep-living species' annual production, nearly twice that of the shallow-living species, is concentrated in fall. Previous workers have shown that summer plankton tows collect higher concentrations of polycystine Radiolaria below than above 200 m and that Radiolaria, fish and zooplankton have unusual concentration maxima between 200 and 500 m. The paucity of Radiolaria and other consumers above 200 m coincides with an upper (0-150 m) cold (-1.5degreesC to 1.5degreesC), low salinity layer while higher concentrations below 200m occur within warmer saltier water. This unusual biological structure must produce a lower ratio of shallow (<200m) to deep carbon remineralization than elsewhere in the world ocean.Deep-living radiolarian species, similar to those of the modern Sea of Okhotsk, dominate glacial high-latitude deep-sea sediments. If the hydrographic and biological structures that produced these glacial faunas were like those of the modern Sea of Okhotsk, then glacial high-latitude oceans would have differed from today's in at least two respects. Surface waters were less saline and more stable enhancing the spread of winter sea ice. This stability, combined with a deepening of nutrient regeneration, reduced surface water nutrients contributing to a reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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