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Large benthic symbiotic foraminifera biodiversity as means of propagules distribution

By Patricia Beck Eichler-Barker

Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte

Aquaculture & Marine Biology

Published: Mar 27, 2023 | pg. no: 24

Abstract: The study indicates that both multivariate analyses and the FORAM index (FI) are dependable tools for evaluating water quality and reef health on coral reefs. The occurrence of foraminifera in reef areas is influenced by factors such as hydrodynamics and reworking processes. The abundance of smaller and stress-tolerant foraminifera, and the absence of symbiont-bearing taxa, suggesting unfavorable conditions for foraminifera in both the Pirangi and Maracajaú reef areas. Cluster analysis reveals distinct patterns of grouping sites among stations, which could be related to differences in ecological indices. Sites are categorized based on their potential for reef growth after a stress event. The presence of sand availability, CaCO3, silt, and clay are key factors affecting the occurrence of heterotrophic and stress-tolerant foraminifera. In Maracajau, total organic matter also contributes to the occurrence of these genera. The FORAM index indicates that the water quality in Pirangi is unsuitable for coral reef growth, while Maracajau has sites that are conducive to reef growth. However, some individual sites in Maracajau are unsuitable for coral survival after a stressful event. The number of foraminifera individuals is low in areas close to tourist sites, while non-reef areas have no individuals. Opportunistic species are dominant in coastal stations where people walk on reefs. Based on an analysis of past, present, and future biodiversity, the study proposes the establishment of permanent conservation areas to manage the Pirangi Marine National Park in Brazil. The Pirangi area has the lowest indices of diversity and environmental stability, with opportunistic species dominating and a dearth of symbiotic foraminifera with algae. Coarse and sand fractions are the critical factors controlling the environment, while depositional energy plays a crucial role in sediment and foraminifera transport and deposition. The establishment of a conservation area is necessary to rehabilitate and preserve the marine environment of the reefs as a source of propagules.

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