Regional generalisations about the relationships between the environment and foraminifera along the SW Cape coast, South Africa

12 Jul 2016

Factors influencing the composition of shallow water benthic foraminifera along the SW coast of South Africa at two locations (Table Bay, TB; St Helena Bay, SHB) ?200 km from each other were examined. Small taxa dominated in both locations; living assemblages from SHB (28 species, Ammonia parkinsoniana dominant) differed from TB (34 species, Elphidium articulatum dominant). Environmental parameters were similar in both areas. Patchiness in assemblage structure was pronounced, differences between pipeline and non-pipeline sites within locations were evident in environmental parameters. Diversity was significantly correlated with grain size, the nitrogen and heavy metal content (especially Cd). These data represent the first for extant benthic Foraminifera from the southern Benguela upwelling area and is the first attempt at using foraminifera as indicators of pollution in this region. The data stressed the need for more than one sampling location to better understand the factors influencing foraminiferal assemblages in any regional context.