Extant benthic Foraminifera from two bays along the SW coast of South Africa, with a comment about their use as indicators of pollution
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The results of the multivariate analyses suggest that most of the variation in the composition of the samples was of an intra-sample nature, illustrating large scale patchiness in foraminiferal distribution. There were, however, definite differences between communities around Robben Island and in St Helena Bay, and least variation was found between the control and pipeline sites, and between the stations of each site. When the trace metal concentrations and the percentage nitrogen increased, the richness, diversity and abundance of foraminifera tended to decrease. Sediment grain size positively affected abundance but negatively affected diversity and richness. In both areas mean grain size did not, however, appear to play a very large role in influencing diversity. Cadmium, copper, chromium, the percentage nitrogen and the mean grain size were identified as the most important variables influencing the community structure by the BIOENV BEST routine in PRIMER. The trace metals and percentage nitrogen only had negative effects on the diversity and abundance as well as on the abundance of the dominant genera, whereas the mean grain size had variable effects.