The Distribution Of Contemporary Saltmarsh Foraminifera In A Macrotidal Estuary: An Assessment Of Their Viability For Sea-Level Studies | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2157-7625

Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography
Open Access

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Research Article

The Distribution Of Contemporary Saltmarsh Foraminifera In A Macrotidal Estuary: An Assessment Of Their Viability For Sea-Level Studies

Hayley Mills1*, Jason Kirby2, Simon Holgate3, and Andrew Plater1

1School of Environmental Sciences, Department of Geography, University of Liverpool, Roxby Building, Liverpool, Merseyside L69 7ZT, UK

2School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Department of Geography, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L3 3AF, UK

3National Oceanography Centre, Joseph Proudman Building, 6 Brownlow Street, Liverpool, Merseyside L3 5DA, UK

*Corresponding Author:
Hayley Mills
British Oceanographic Data Centre
Joseph Proudman Building
6 Brownlow Street, Liverpool
L3 5DA, UK
Tel: +44-0-151 7954974
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: June 24, 2013; Accepted date: July 24, 2013; Published date: July 26, 2013

Citation: Mills H, Kirby J, Holgate S, Plater A (2013) The Distribution of Contemporary Saltmarsh Foraminifera in a Macrotidal Estuary: an Assessment of Their Viability for Sea-Level Studies. J Ecosys Ecograph 3:131. doi:10.4172/2157-7625.1000131

Copyright: © 2013 Mills H, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and and source are credited.


An analysis of dead benthic foraminiferal assemblages and associated environmental variables is presented to establish the controls on species distribution and zonation on two macrotidal saltmarshes in the Mersey estuary with the aim of evaluating the use of foraminifera in reconstructing past sea levels. The combined results from five contemporary transects from two sites illustrate that where there is a sufficient elevational range, foraminifera distribution and zonation shows a good relationship with altitude, with a high-to-middle marsh zone characterised by Haplophragmoides wilberti , Jadammina macrescens, and Miliammina fusca, and a low marsh zone composed of similar agglutinated species with calcareous species including Brizalina spp., Elphidium spp., and Haynesina spp. Cluster analysis and partial Redundancy Analysis (pRDA) reveals that the elevational control decreases with respect to other environmental variable inter-correlations when the sampling elevation range is reduced. It is proposed that this is a key issue for macrotidal environments when the contemporary sampling range represents a small proportion of the spring tidal range (i.e. <10%). Limiting the contemporary dataset to agglutinated species only, a tidal level transfer function can be obtained which offers acceptable predictability and precision (r2jack = 0.79, RMSEPjack = 0.13 m) for the reconstruction of past sea level.