Atypical, high-diversity assemblages of foraminifera in a mangrove estuary in northern Brazil.

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Date: July 7, 2021
From: Biogeosciences(Vol. 18, Issue 13)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 299 words

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Abstract :

Mangrove forests are extremely productive ecosystems, are sources and sinks of organic carbon, and provide essential services both to the marine environment and people. We have studied the composition and species richness of modern benthic foraminiferal assemblages from mangrove swamps along the Mamanguape River in Paraíba, northern Brazil. Sampling points for foraminifera were selected to acquire information on the composition of foraminiferal assemblages from dense mangrove stands collected along a river transect. Almost 100 species of benthic foraminifera were identified within the shallow mangrove habitats. The large number of identified mangrove taxa is the highest recorded so far for true mangrove habitats. The high species richness rivals shallow-water assemblages recorded from nearby offshore and reef environments and indicates that a particularly large number of species is capable of growing and flourishing under multiple stressor conditions. Numerical analysis of the faunal assemblages shows that specific taxa, which were previously known to be uncommon in mangrove environments, are abundant in the Mamanguape River estuary. The atypical foraminiferal fauna found in the Mamanguape River estuary resembles shallow-water offshore assemblages, is characterized by high percent abundances of perforate and miliolid taxa, and contains only very few of the otherwise typical and numerically abundant agglutinated mangrove taxa. The unusual structure of the assemblages recorded provides insight into what combination of environmental variables controls their composition and novel perspectives to reconstruct past mangrove environments. Distribution, diversity, and species-specific analysis will provide guidance on the use of Brazilian mangrove foraminifera as indicators for the strength of tidal activity, pollution, and anoxia in coastal waters and sea-level reconstructions.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A667733595