Articles | Volume 37, issue 2
Research article
25 Sep 2018
Research article |  | 25 Sep 2018

Factors affecting consistency and accuracy in identifying modern macroperforate planktonic foraminifera

Isabel S. Fenton, Ulrike Baranowski, Flavia Boscolo-Galazzo, Hannah Cheales, Lyndsey Fox, David J. King, Christina Larkin, Marcin Latas, Diederik Liebrand, C. Giles Miller, Katrina Nilsson-Kerr, Emanuela Piga, Hazel Pugh, Serginio Remmelzwaal, Zoe A. Roseby, Yvonne M. Smith, Stephen Stukins, Ben Taylor, Adam Woodhouse, Savannah Worne, Paul N. Pearson, Christopher R. Poole, Bridget S. Wade, and Andy Purvis

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Cited articles

Al-Sabouni, N., Kučera, M., and Schmidt, D. N.: Vertical niche separation control of diversity and size disparity in planktonic foraminifera, Mar. Micropaleontol., 63, 75–90,, 2007. 
Al-Sabouni, N., Fenton, I. S., Telford, R. J., and Kučera, M.: Reproducibility of species recognition in modern planktonic foraminifera and its implications for analyses of community structure, J. Micropalaeontol., in review, 2018. 
André, A., Weiner, A., Quillévéré, F., Aurahs, R., Morard, R., Douady, C. J., de Garidel-Thoron, T., Escarguel, G., de Vargas, C., and Kučera, M.: The cryptic and the apparent reversed: Lack of genetic differentiation within the morphologically diverse plexus of the planktonic foraminifer Globigerinoides sacculifer, Paleobiology, 39, 21–39,, 2013. 
Aurahs, R., Treis, Y., Darling, K. F., and Kučera, M.: A revised taxonomic and phylogenetic concept for the planktonic foraminifer species Globigerinoides ruber based on molecular and morphometric evidence, Mar. Micropaleontol., 79, 1–14,, 2011. 
Aze, T., Ezard, T. H. G., Purvis, A., Coxall, H. K., Stewart, D. R. M., Wade, B. S., and Pearson, P. N.: A phylogeny of Cenozoic macroperforate planktonic foraminifera from fossil data, Biol. Rev., 86, 900–927,, 2011. 
Short summary
In this study we investigate consistency in species-level identifications and whether disagreements are predictable. Twenty-three scientists identified a set of 100 planktonic foraminifera, noting their confidence in each identification. The median accuracy of students was 57 %; 79 % for experienced researchers. Where they were confident in the identifications, the values are 75 % and 93 %, respectively. Accuracy was significantly higher if the students had been taught how to identify species.