, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 27–35 | Cite as

Modern benthic foraminifera on Banco Chinchorro, Quintana Roo, Mexico

  • Eberhard GischlerEmail author
  • Andrea Möder
Original Article


Benthic foraminiferal assemblages may be used as environmental indicators on Banco Chinchorro, an isolated carbonate platform off the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Seventy-seven species from 44 genera were identified in 14 surface sediment samples, which were collected along an E–W windward-to-leeward transect across the platform. A total of 15,493 foraminiferal tests (max. 1,200 tests per sample) were investigated and served as the basis of this study. As many taxa range throughout several platform zones, assemblages are better environmental indicators as compared to individual species. Four foraminiferal assemblages were identified using statistical methods including (1) a Homotrema assemblage, which occurs at the windward platform margin, (2) an Archaias-Homotrema assemblage which is found on the leeward margin and on platform interior coral patch reefs, (3) a Quinqueloculininae-Archaias-Rosalina assemblage of the western platform, and (4) an Archaias-Quinqueloculininae assemblage characteristic of the eastern platform interior. Environmental factors which influence variation in foraminiferal distribution and diversity on Banco Chinchorro include exposure to waves and currents and substrate (plant and algal growth). Sediment transport does not play a major role in Banco Chinchorro based on the observation that there are only limited amounts of taxa found outside their typical habitats, and, that mean grain-size and sorting of foraminiferal tests do not exhibit clear patterns.


Reef Mexico Chinchorro Foraminifera Holocene 



We are grateful to Chevron Overseas Petroleum, especially T. Lomando, who graciously financed the expedition to Banco Chinchorro. H. Legarre assisted during sediment sampling. G. Garcia and J. Perez helped with the difficult task of exporting the samples. I. Hauser, K. Heinrich, U. Scheitel, and S. Schultz gave helpful advice during the study. W. Schiller assisted during SEM sessions. We thank the editor A. Freiwald for his thoughtful comments that improved this paper.

Supplementary material

10347_2008_162_MOESM1_ESM.xls (150 kb)
Electronic supplementary material (XLS 150 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für GeowissenschaftenJohann Wolfgang Goethe-UniversitätFrankfurt am MainGermany

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