Abstract

In 219 papers published over 130 years, 1,241 species of Recent benthic foraminifera were recorded from 968 localities on the Atlantic continental margin of North America and in the Gulf of Mexico. On the Atlantic continental margin, 876 species were recorded and in the Gulf of Mexico, 848; 483 species (39% of 1,241) occur in both areas. On the Atlantic continental margin, 149 species occur at 4% or more of 542 localities, and in the Gulf of Mexico 295 species occur at 4% or more of 426 localities; 71 of these species (19% of 373) commonly occur in both areas. These comparisons show that the two areas differ fundamentally in faunal composition.

Cluster analysis of presence or absence distributional data (live and dead foraminifera) delimited seven large provinces on the Atlantic continental margin and four provinces in the Gulf of Mexico. Atlantic continental margin: (a) Northern Coastal Province, (b) Northern Shelf Province, (c) Northern Outer Shelf and Slope Province, (d) Northern Slope and Rise Province, (e) Southern Shelf Province, (f) Southern Slope Province, (g) Bahaman Province. Gulf of Mexico: (a) Coastal Province, (b) Inner Shelf Province, (c) Outer Shelf Province, (d) Slope and Abyssal Plain Province.

Bottom-water mass and provincial patterns show good spatial correlation on the Atlantic continental margin and in the Gulf of Mexico.

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