Contribution of Soft-shelled Monothalamous Taxa to Foraminiferal Assemblages in the Adriatic Sea

Anna Sabbatini,

Maria Pia Nardelli,

Caterina Morigi,

Alessandra Negri


Monothalamous foraminifera with organic and agglutinated test walls (‘‘allogromiids’’ sensu lato) deserve attention because of their importance in deep-sea and shallow-water soft-bottom communities and their crucial phylogenetic position at the base of the foraminiferal evolutionary tree. However, our knowledge of the biodiversity and ecology of monothalamous foraminifera is very incomplete and geographically patchy. Here, we present a short review based on the available data on monothalamous, soft-walled foraminiferal taxa from the Adriatic Sea in response to several environmental parameters (i.e., organic matter, oxygen, grain size, depth). The main results of the studies provide evidence of the importance of these foraminiferal taxa in this shallow, temperate latitude area;they represent a start for the identification of soft-shelled monothalamous morphotypes that could be potential bioindicators of environments influenced by inputs of fresh waters, increasing eutrophication and consequent fluctuations in bottom-water oxygenation. The contribution of this soft-shelled component to living benthic foraminiferal assemblages appears not negligible and excluding it from foraminiferal studies can potentially lead to a loss of ecological information. The study, therefore, provide an atlas of the Adriatic soft-shelled foraminiferal taxa in order to 1) encourage the species-level description, if possible, or alternatively a basic morphotype characterization, 2) facilitate future comparisons of taxa from similar settings, 3) promote their potential use in future biomonitoring investigations together with the hard-shelled foraminifera.

Słowa kluczowe: Soft-shelled foraminifera, Allogromiids, shallow water setting, Adriatic Sea, bioindicator

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