ATLAS OF SHALLOW-WATER TROPICAL BENTHIC FORAMINIFERA FROM MOOREA (SOCIETY ISLANDS, FRENCH POLYNESIA)
Published:August 31, 2020
Olugbenga T. Fajemila, Martin R. Langer, Jere H. Lipps, 2020. "ATLAS OF SHALLOW-WATER TROPICAL BENTHIC FORAMINIFERA FROM MOOREA (SOCIETY ISLANDS, FRENCH POLYNESIA)", ATLAS OF SHALLOW-WATER TROPICAL BENTHIC FORAMINIFERA FROM MOOREA (SOCIETY ISLANDS, FRENCH POLYNESIA), Olugbenga T. Fajemila, Martin R. Langer, Jere H. Lipps
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This paper describes and illustrates the foraminifera from Moorea, French Polynesia. Moorea, a high volcanic island in the south-central Pacific Ocean, is situated east of the tropical marine diversity hotspot in the Coral Triangle. It is significant as a recipient and redistributor of biotas by equatorial currents. The region thus represents a key area and stepping stone for transpacific faunal exchange, yet the foraminiferal fauna of Moorea has not been documented completely. We have conducted a comprehensive island-wide survey on modern, shallow-water benthic foraminifera to document the diversity, structure and composition of faunal assemblages from barrier reef, fringing reef, lagoon and bay inlet, and marsh and mangrove habitats. Here we present a fully illustrated atlas of benthic foraminifera from these shallow water habitats on Moorea and document patterns of species richness and spatial distribution. A total of 515 taxa were recorded, a number that almost triples previous species counts. The foraminiferal species are systematically described and illustrated on 33 plates by high-resolution scanning electron microscopy images.
Coral reef calcifiers face an uncertain future due to global warming, pollution and coastal development. Foraminifera are prolific producers of reef carbonates, contribute significantly to the reef carbonate budget and are excellent indicators of water quality and reef health. The taxa described in this atlas originate from samples collected in 1992 at depths between 1 and 40 meters and provide a baseline for future studies of environmental change. The large number of species identified also provides a means to assess similarities among biogeographic regions across the Pacific Ocean. This is the first complete survey and documentation of benthic reef foraminifera from Moorea, Society Islands.