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Estuaries

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 1107–1120 | Cite as

Ecological transitions indicated by foraminiferal assemblages in paralic environments

  • Jean-Pierre Debenay
  • Jean-Jacques Guillou
Article

Abstract

The foraminiferal assemblages of about 1,500 samples collected worldwide in various types of paralic environments, supplemented by selected published data, led to the determination of several species assemblages typical of paralic subenvironments. These assemblages are shown on a series of models, giving a view of the response of foraminifera to a variety of gradients in different situations. Given the proposed models, it should be possible to go to a new environment, and based on the assemblage found, determine the average characteristics of the paralic subenvironment. Three main biotic trends are evident from oceanic to continental end members, and are related to marine-to-freshwater transition where freshwater input is sufficient or marine-to-hypersaline water in inverse estuaries; to marine-to-confined water transition in choked tropical and Mediterranean lagoons; and to water-to-land transition from shallow subtidal zones up to marshes in all kinds of environments. On the basis of these results, a ternary diagram is proposed, where paralic environments can be plotted according to their dominant characteristic.

Keywords

Foraminifera Freshwater Input Ternary Diagram Water Transition Foraminiferal Assemblage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Estuarine Research Federation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculté des SciencesLaboratoire Géologie, EA2644Angers CedexFrance
  2. 2.LÉBIMîle d'YeuFrance
  3. 3.Faculté des SciencesLaboratoire Géologie, EA2644 “Bio-indicateurs actuels et fossiles des environnements côtiers et paraliques”Nantes Cedex 3France

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