Rendiconti Lincei. Scienze Fisiche e Naturali

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 559–570 | Cite as

Live benthic foraminifera from the Volturno River mouth (central Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy)

  • Luciana FerraroEmail author
  • Sergio Bonomo
  • Ines Alberico
  • Antonio Cascella
  • Laura Giordano
  • Fabrizio Lirer
  • Mattia Vallefuoco
Changes and Crises in the Mediterranean Sea


Living benthic foraminiferal assemblages were investigated at 22 marine stations in front of the Volturno River mouth (Gulf of Gaeta, central Tyrrhenian Sea), during 3-years survey (2012–2014). The results were compared with the oceanographic data recorded at the same sites, to highlight the ecology of the main dominant species and the relationship between the community structures and the environmental variables (turbidity, dissolved oxygen content, salinity, temperature, and runoff). The living assemblage, analyzed in the top 1 cm of sea floor, was characterized by three dominant species (Ammonia tepida, Bulimina elongata, and Rectuvigerina phlegeri) during all the sampling periods. Correlation analysis identified turbidity, runoff, and oxygen as the main environmental factors influencing living foraminiferal assemblages. Ammonia tepida and Rectuvigerina phlegeri showed opportunistic behaviour in response to turbidity, oxygen, and salinity values. No significant correlation was recorded between Bulimina elongata and the environmental parameters, testifying the capability of this species to adapt to different environmental conditions. The occurrence and distribution of these species provided useful information about coastal dynamics and sediment transport, and our results confirmed them as reliable proxies of coastal water column turbidity and Volturno river basin runoff.


Benthic foraminifera Beam transmission Oxygen Runoff Gulf of Gaeta Tyrrhenian Sea 



The research was carried out in the frame of the PONa3_00363 I-AMICA Project (High technology infrastructure for the Climate Environmental Integrated Monitoring;, Development Objective OR4.4—Study and monitoring of the interface processes between the biosphere, hydrosphere, and functionality of coastal ecosystems. The authors are grateful to the Captains and the crews of the R/V “Urania” and “Astrea”. Many thanks also to reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istituto per l’Ambiente Marino Costiero, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Calata Porta di Massa, Interno Porto di NapoliNaplesItaly
  2. 2.Istituto di Biomedicina ed Immunologia Molecolare “Alberto Monroy” (IBIM), Consiglio Nazionale delle RicerchePalermoItaly
  3. 3.Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e VulcanologiaPisaItaly

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