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Benthic foraminifera from polluted marine environment of Sulaibikhat Bay (Kuwait)

  • A. Z. Al-Zamel
  • M. A. Al-Sarawi
  • S. R. KhaderEmail author
  • I. A. Al-Rifaiy
Article

Abstract

Quantitative analyses of recent benthic foraminiferal assemblages (living and dead) were carried out on the surface sediments of Sulaibikhat Bay. Marked contrast in foraminiferal assemblages between the shallow tidal mudflats and the deep tidal channel and their relation to the extent of pollution were observed. Cluster analysis of quantitative data on the distribution of foraminiferal tests revealed three assemblages that depend mainly on the intensity of pollution; (1) a highly polluted tidal flat assemblage, (2) normal (or less polluted) mud flat assemblage and, (3) tidal channel and subtidal assemblage. The highly polluted assemblage characterized by a drop in species densities (<100 tests/20 cm3 sediment) but with high average diversity (5.8 Yule–Simpson Index). The microfauna of the less polluted flat displays relatively lower diversity (4.6) but high density of tests (47.2% of the total picked tests). The most abundant species of this assemblage is Ammonia tepida, displays its maximum density in this assemblage. Ammonia tepida drops in density from 17.12% to 3.07% in the polluted assemblage. Tidal channel foraminiferal assemblages should normally display lower diversities than those of tidal flats, because tidal current in the channels tend to wash away most nutrient materials. However, this is not the case of the present study area which could be due to environmental setting of the Sulaibikhat Bay in which tidal currents bring in exceptionally high amounts of nutrients from Shatt Al-Arab Estuary and in which the tidal flats are strongly and adversely polluted.

Keywords

Foraminifera Kuwait Pollution Sulaibikhat Bay Tidal flat 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Z. Al-Zamel
    • 1
  • M. A. Al-Sarawi
    • 1
  • S. R. Khader
    • 1
    Email author
  • I. A. Al-Rifaiy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth & Environmental SciencesFaculty of Science, Kuwait UniversitySafatKuwait

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