RECENT BENTHIC FORAMINIFERAL ASSEMBLAGES FROM HOOD CANAL, PUGET SOUND, WASHINGTON STATE
Initial findings indicate that there is great heterogeneity in assemblages throughout Hood Canal, both geographically and temporally. Five geographical sub-regions were identified and samples were used that spanned the time period from 1985 to 2016. Even with high heterogeneity, there are noteworthy trends. There is a relatively high species diversity compared with the other Puget Sound embayments, and the same taxa are usually present. The calcareous species, Buliminella elegantissima is found throughout the canal, and is a large portion of populations in four of the sub-regions. Agglutinated taxa are most common in the southernmost part where the water is deep, has a high water residency time, and is influenced by influx from the Skokomish River. Dabob Bay, the location of much of Hood Canals’ industrialization, has the lowest density of foraminifera overall indicating unfavorable conditions. This area also has the highest percentage of Trochammina species in Hood Canal. At the terminus of Hood Canal, Lynch Cove is shallow, muddy, and highly susceptible to hypoxic conditions. It also has the lowest percentage of agglutinated species, the highest rate of dissolution of calcareous shells, and the highest species richness.