Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
BENTHIC FORAMINIFERA OF THE GEORGIA CONTINENTAL SHELF
Benthic foraminifera that live in shelf environments are useful indicators of environmental conditions; certain benthic assemblages indicate water depth, temperature, and salinity conditions during life. In 2004, four sediment samples were taken from a nearshore (depth 15 m) to offshore (depth 32 m) transect on the continental shelf of Georgia, where distance from shore and water depth increased, grain size went from coarse sand with larger shell fragments to coarse medium sand with few shell fragments; these samples were processed for foraminifera, and a statistical analysis will be performed on the different species assemblages present in each sample. The upper three centimeters were analyzed and three hundred specimens were selected at random from each sample and separated onto slides based on whether they were alive or dead at the time of collection. Specimens will be identified and tallied, then divided by the total number collected to determine the representative percentage of each species at each location. A comparative analysis will be conducted to compare the differences between the living and dead taxa as well as to indicate any changes that occur from station to station to determine if foraminifera populations are changing. Dominant genera in the four samples include Gavelinopsis, Eoeponidella, Quinqueloculina, and Elphidium. These genera are present throughout the living and dead assemblages, indicative of a homogenous mixing of sediment.