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Live benthic foraminiferal faunas from the Bay of Biscay: faunal density, composition, and microhabitats

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Fontanier, C. , Jorissen, F. J. , Licari, L. , Alexandre, A. , Anschutz, P. and Carbonel, P. (2002): Live benthic foraminiferal faunas from the Bay of Biscay: faunal density, composition, and microhabitats , Deep-sea research i, 49 , pp. 751-785 .
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Abstract:

In the meso-oligotrophic Bay of Biscay, a diminishing downward organic matter flux with depth is accompanied by an important decrease of the liveforaminiferal density. Although bottom water oxygenation is not directly influenced by organic matter input, the oxygenation of interstitial waters andthe primary redox fronts do change in response to variations of the organic matter flux. The occurrence of deep and intermediate infaunal taxa can belinked to fundamental redox fronts and putative associated bacterial consortia. Our data are in agreement with the TROX-model, which explains thebenthic foraminiferal microhabitat as a function of organic flux and benthic ecosystem oxygenation. Both the depth of the principle redox fronts and themicrohabitat of deep infaunal species show important increases with depth. At the deepest oligotrophic stations, deep infaunal faunas become relativelypoor. Therefore, the exported flux of organic matter appears to be the main parameter controlling the composition and the vertical distribution of benthicforaminiferal faunas below the sediment-water interface. The oxygenation of pore waters plays only a minor role. A species-level adaptation of theTROX-model is presented for the Bay of Biscay.Keywords: Live benthic foraminifera; Exported organic matter flux; Redox conditions; Microhabitat

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