Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-56
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-56

  29 Mar 2021

29 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Atypical, high-diversity assemblages of foraminifera in a mangrove estuary from Northern Brazil

Nisan Sariaslan and Martin R. Langer Nisan Sariaslan and Martin R. Langer
  • Institute für Geowissenschaften, Paläontologie, Universität Bonn, Bonn, 53115, Germany

Abstract. Mangrove forests are extremely productive ecosystems, sources and sinks of organic carbon, and provide essential services both to the marine environment and people. We have studied the composition and species richness of modern benthic foraminiferal assemblages from mangrove swamps along the Mamanguape River in Paraíba, northern Brazil. Sampling points for foraminifera were selected to acquire information on the composition of foraminiferal assemblages from dense mangrove stands collected along a river transect. Almost 100 species of benthic foraminifera were identified within the shallow mangrove habitats. The large number of identified mangrove taxa is the highest recorded so far for true mangrove habitats. The high species richness rivals shallow-water assemblages recorded from nearby offshore and reef environments and indicates that a particularly large number of species is capable to grow and flourish under conditions of multiple stressors. Numerical analysis of the faunal assemblages shows that specific taxa, which were previously known to be uncommon in mangrove environments, are abundant in the Mamanguape River estuary. The atypical foraminiferal fauna found in the Mamanguape River Estuary resembles shallow-water offshore assemblages, is characterized by high percent abundances of perforate and miliolid taxa and contains only a very few of the otherwise typical and numerically abundant agglutinated mangrove taxa. The unusual structure of the assemblages recorded provide insight of what combination of environmental variables controls their composition and novel perspectives to reconstruct past mangrove environments. Distribution, diversity and species-specific analysis will provide guidance on the use of Brazilian mangrove foraminifera as indicators for the strength of tidal activity, pollution and anoxia in coastal waters and sea-level reconstructions.

Nisan Sariaslan and Martin R. Langer

Status: open (until 10 May 2021)

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Nisan Sariaslan and Martin R. Langer

Nisan Sariaslan and Martin R. Langer

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Short summary
Analyses of foraminiferal assemblages from the Mamanguape mangrove estuary (Northern Brazil) revealed highly diverse, particularly species-rich and structurally complex biotas. The atypical fauna resembles shallow water offshore assemblages and are interpreted to be the result of highly saline ocean waters penetrating deep into the estuary. The findings contrast with previous studies, have implications for the fossil record and provide novel perspectives to reconstruct mangrove environments.
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