Benthic Foraminifera in Eastern Bahrain: Relationships With Local Pollution Sources
Muhammad Arslan1, Michael A. Kaminski1, Amjad Khalil2, Muhammad Ilyas3, Bassam S. Tawabini1
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1Geosciences Department, College of Petroleum Engineering and Geosciences,
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals,
PO Box 701, Dhahran, 31261, Saudi Arabia
2Life Sciences Department, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals,
PO Box 701, Dhahran, 31261, Saudi Arabia
3Research Institute, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals,
Dhahran, 31261, Saudi Arabia
Submission date: 2016-11-13
Final revision date: 2016-12-29
Acceptance date: 2016-12-29
Online publication date: 2017-05-15
Publication date: 2017-05-26
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2017;26(3):969-984
This preliminary study tracks the response of living benthic foraminifera at a polluted site in eastern Bahrain, with the aim to determine the effects of recent anthropogenic pollution on their distribution patterns and morphological deformities. The boat harbor in Askar, Bahrain is subjected to pollution by nutrients, organic matter, and hydrocarbons. Foraminiferal density is found to be higher at the polluted site compared with a nearby unpolluted site, suggesting a possible higher amount of available nutrients for the benthic foraminifera. Seven taxonomical groups were recognized in the polluted transect, including Ammonia, Glabratellina, Murrayinella, Elphidium, Brizalina, miliolids, and peneroplids. By comparing the foraminiferal assemblages with a nearby unpolluted transect, the genus Murrayinella appeared to be a dominant and pervasive taxon, as it was able to proliferate in the organically polluted environment. The results are contradictory to previously published findings on modern foraminiferal assemblages in the Arabian Gulf, as Murrayinella is rarely reported. However, the population of miliolids was drastically reduced at the polluted site due to high organic matter pollution, which might support the sensitive nature of this taxonomic group. In any case, the miliolids can be considered as a pollution proxy for future biomonitoring studies in the region.
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