UK intertidal foraminiferal distributions: implications for sea-level studies

TitleUK intertidal foraminiferal distributions: implications for sea-level studies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsHorton BP, Edwards RJ, Lloyd JM
JournalMarine Micropaleontology
Date Published05/1999
KeywordsForaminifera, intertidal, multivariate, Sea level

Foraminiferal assemblages have been collected from ten intertidal study areas situated on the east, south and west coasts of the UK. The assemblages display a vertical zonation which indicates that the distribution of foraminifera in these intertidal environments is usually the direct function of altitude with the duration and frequency of intertidal exposure the most important factors. Multivariate analyses separate foraminiferal assemblages into two faunal zones: a high- and middle marsh zone consisting of differing abundances of Jadammina macrescensTrochammina inflata and Miliammina fusca; and a low-marsh and tidal flat zone dominated by calcareous foraminiferal species, notably Elphidium williamsoniHaynesina germanica and Quinqueloculina spp. These faunal zones are similar to those in other mid-latitude, cool temperate intertidal environments although there are spatial and temporal variations between areas. The altitudinal ranges of the faunal zones are employed to identify the vertical relationship of the local environment in which the assemblage accumulated to a reference tide level.