実験古生物学的手法による古海洋環境指標の確立-総括と展望- Experimental Paleontology : An Effective Approach for Screening and Establishing Biological Proxies of Paleoceanography--Review and Perspective
To analyze oceanic paleoenvironmental histories, paleoceanography has used various biological proxies such as characteristic species, molecular bio-markers, chemical components and others. Much of paleoceanographic information originates from skeletal remains and/or chemical compounds of marine organisms. Accordingly, we are always faced with the biological problem of so-called "vital effects". Experimental paleontology is a research method to determine relationships between organisms and their biotic and / or abiotic environments through well-controlled culture experiments. This is one of the best ways to shed light into the "vital effect" black box.<BR>In this article, I review previous studies which have tried to solve paleontological problems through culture experiments using foraminifera. There are three different scales of experimental methods. First is a culture in a petri dish. This method is advantageous to observe the relation between individuals and environmental factors. Second is micro-and mesocosm experiments which tried to reconstruct a part of the marine ecosystem in laboratory. With this method one can examine interactions between organisms and biotic and/or abiotic factors. Third is <I>in situ</I> experiment in the sea using submersibles or benthic landers. These methods play the role of finding clues about, or proving the nature of, currentbiological proxies of paleoceanography. I strongly invite young scientists to work with experimental cultures for the better understanding biological proxies in paleoceanography. Several suggestions for future studies are also proposed in the text.