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Checklist of benthic foraminifera (class Foraminifera: d’Orbigny 1826; phylum Granuloreticulosa) from Saros Bay, northern Aegean Sea: a biodiversity hotspot

June 27, 2014

Calcareous and agglutinated benthic foraminiferal diversity was investigated in the central Northern Aegean Sea. A total of 18 samples were collected along a neritic to mid-bathyal transect in Saros Bay at water depths ranging from 15 to 500 m. This study reveals a very highly diversified benthic foraminiferal fauna composed of 267 species belonging to 115 genera. Benthic foraminiferal taxa varied along the depth transect, and it is possible to recognise benthic foraminiferal assemblages typical for different bathymetric ranges. An inner–middle neritic assemblages (ca. <100 m depth), outer neritic assemblages (ca. 100–200 m), and upper bathyal assemblages (200–500 m) are defined. On the basis of the available foraminiferal literature on the Aegean Sea coupled with our data from Saros Bay, a very high number of foraminiferal species is estimated to occur in this basin. A total of 799 species belonging to 276 genera, 93 families and 43 superfamilies have been recorded in the Aegean Sea. These values are remarkably higher than those documented in previous foraminiferal studies carried out in different parts of the Mediterranean Sea. Although the determination of the total foraminiferal diversity in the Mediterranean Sea remains a difficult task, we speculate that this number may be in excess of 1,000.

Frontalini F, Kaminski MA, Mikellidou I, Armynot du Châtelet E, in press: Checklist of benthic foraminifera (class Foraminifera: d’Orbigny 1826; phylum Granuloreticulosa) from Saros Bay, northern Aegean Sea: a biodiversity hotspot, Marine Biodiversity, doi:10.1007/s12526-014-0238-z. Article (subscription required).

 

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