Survival of benthic foraminifera under hypoxic conditions: Results of an experimental study using the CellTracker Green method

Research areas:
Year:
2009
Authors:
Journal:
Marine Pollution Bulletin
Volume:
59
Number:
8-12
Pages:
336 - 351
Month:
2009
Abstract:
We present results of an experimental study, in which benthic foraminiferal faunas have been kept under strongly hypoxic conditions. Sixteen short sediment cores from a 35 m deep site in the Adriatic Sea were incubated for a maximum of 69 days. Some of the cores were air-bubbled and remained well oxygenated throughout the experiment. The other cores were bubbled with nitrogen; the overlying waters of these cores became strongly hypoxic, whereas the sediment remained virtually without oxygen. Live foraminifera have been inventoried with the CellTracker Green method. Our results show that all dominant taxa survive strongly hypoxic conditions. Nouria polymorphinoides and Nonionella turgida show a clear tendency to move to the sediment surface in the nitrogen-bubbled cores, whereas Bulimina spp. and Eggerella scabra do not show such a migrational response. We suggest that this is a response to the concentration of nutritional resources at the sediment{\textendash}water interface.