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FORAMINIFERAL ECOLOGY AND MARINE GEOLOGY,
SCRIPPS INSTITUTION OF OCEANOGRAPHY LA JOLLA CA
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Knowledge of foraminiferal ecology is largely based on natural distributions. Distinctive benthonic faunas characterize the following marine marshes, upper lagoons, lower lagoons, barrier sand islands, the nearshore turbulent zone, inner continental shelf, outer continental shelf, upper continental slope, lower continental slope and deep sea. Sizes of living benthonic populations standing crop are summarized for various environments these are an indication of the total organic production. Very large standing crops occur off rivers, in hypersaline lagoons and in areas of coastal upwelling. Large standing crops of Foraminifera have few species and specimens of small size. Use of living-total ratios of Foraminifera as a measure of rate of sediment deposition has indicated little modern deposition in may continental shelf areas. Planktonic Foraminifera characterize different offshore, oceanic water masses and can be used to identify such water masses. One of the most important problems for future study is quantitative measurement of features of marine environments which affect distributions of organisms. This should be supplemented by ecological laboratory experiments based on the results. Author
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