Abstract

Benthic foraminiferal faunas from the shelf and upper continental slope of the Celtic Sea (NE Atlantic) show a rich variety of Trochamminidae species. We recognized 31 taxa, of which 18 could be determined to species level. These 18 species comprise about 9% of all species of the family Trochamminidae that are described from Recent sediments worldwide. For species determination and generic classification, we used existing taxonomic concepts and assessed their applicability. Besides the morphology of the test and internal structures, different apertural features play a fundamental role in the systematic subdivision of the Trochamminidae. The position of the aperture controls the chamber arrangement and, therefore, the final shape of the test. However, we found no relationship between the apertural features and shape of the chambers as well as between apertural features and mode of life. Using apertural features for a sound taxonomic designation of our specimens proves difficult, because apertures are often obscured. Further, combined morphological and molecular-phylogenetic studies are required to constrain the taxonomic relevance of apertural characteristics.

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