As a result of their location at the boundary between marine and continental domains, marine caves are affected by wide spatial and seasonal environmental changes. Only recently have benthic foraminifera been recognized as reliable indicators for the ecological zonation of these environments. The present study is focused on two marine caves of the Orosei Gulf, Sardinia, Italy: Bue Marino and Bel Torrente. It investigates the spatial and seasonal variability of benthic foraminiferal assemblages relative to sediment grain size and water parameters (temperature, salinity, pH, and dissolved oxygen) collected during two campaigns in August 2014 and April 2015. The results from 2014 have been partially published. Based on a comparison of the results of the two campaigns, the considerable reduction of foraminiferal abundance in Bel Torrente was deduced to occur because of the strong freshwater flows occurring during the rainy season; in Bue Marino, the less severe water flow allowed the identification of both living and dead foraminifera, although strongly reduced in number. These identifications allowed benthic foraminifera to be used to define the ecological zonation. Entrance, confluence, and transitional ecozones were identified in Bue Marino cave on the basis of species abundance. The second ecozone, not recognized in 2014, was correlated with plant debris at the confluence of the two cave branches. The other two ecozones, which are characterized by the faunal shift from hyaline- to agglutinated-prevalent assemblages, were attributed to the gradient of abiotic parameters detected from the outer to the inner portions of the cave. In both campaigns the same ecozones were recognized in terms of species composition, with exceptions being found to different extents as a result of seasonal variability. As the distribution of foraminiferal ecozones is conditioned by a decreasing gradient of marine influence, long-term monitoring may be regarded as a promising tool for future studies on sea-level change.

Benthic foraminifera as proxies of marine influence in the Orosei marine caves, Sardinia, Italy / Romano, E.; Bergamin, L.; Di Bella, L.; Frezza, V.; Marassich, A.; Pierfranceschi, G.; Provenzani, C.. - In: AQUATIC CONSERVATION-MARINE AND FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS. - ISSN 1052-7613. - (2020), pp. 1-16. [10.1002/aqc.3288]

Benthic foraminifera as proxies of marine influence in the Orosei marine caves, Sardinia, Italy

Di Bella L.
;
Frezza V.;
2020

Abstract

As a result of their location at the boundary between marine and continental domains, marine caves are affected by wide spatial and seasonal environmental changes. Only recently have benthic foraminifera been recognized as reliable indicators for the ecological zonation of these environments. The present study is focused on two marine caves of the Orosei Gulf, Sardinia, Italy: Bue Marino and Bel Torrente. It investigates the spatial and seasonal variability of benthic foraminiferal assemblages relative to sediment grain size and water parameters (temperature, salinity, pH, and dissolved oxygen) collected during two campaigns in August 2014 and April 2015. The results from 2014 have been partially published. Based on a comparison of the results of the two campaigns, the considerable reduction of foraminiferal abundance in Bel Torrente was deduced to occur because of the strong freshwater flows occurring during the rainy season; in Bue Marino, the less severe water flow allowed the identification of both living and dead foraminifera, although strongly reduced in number. These identifications allowed benthic foraminifera to be used to define the ecological zonation. Entrance, confluence, and transitional ecozones were identified in Bue Marino cave on the basis of species abundance. The second ecozone, not recognized in 2014, was correlated with plant debris at the confluence of the two cave branches. The other two ecozones, which are characterized by the faunal shift from hyaline- to agglutinated-prevalent assemblages, were attributed to the gradient of abiotic parameters detected from the outer to the inner portions of the cave. In both campaigns the same ecozones were recognized in terms of species composition, with exceptions being found to different extents as a result of seasonal variability. As the distribution of foraminiferal ecozones is conditioned by a decreasing gradient of marine influence, long-term monitoring may be regarded as a promising tool for future studies on sea-level change.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1359301
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