Abstract

Rose Bengal stained foraminifera from box cores, collected in the southern Adriatic Sea along a transect ranging from 146 to 1,200 m water depth, have been studied. Total numbers of supposedly deposit-feeding foraminifera decrease in a fairly regular manner with increasing water depth and distance from land, probably as a consequence of a decreasing flux of organic matter. Suspension-feeding astrorhizid taxa have an irregular distribution, apparently not related to water depth. Highest numbers of stained foraminifera are invariably found at the sediment surface, whereas numbers decrease exponentially deeper in the sediment. Although most species have maximum densities near the sediment surface, a few of the rarer species are concentrated at deeper levels in the sediment. The vertical distribution patterns of a number of common species are variable with depth along the transect, apparently determined by several different environmental parameters.

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