The effect of thermal pollution on benthic foraminiferal assemblages in the Mediterranean shoreface adjacent to Hadera power plant (Israel)

Ruthie Nina Arieli, Ahuva Almogi-Labin, Sigal Abramovich, Barak Herut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

The thermal pollution patch of Hadera power plant was used as a natural laboratory to evaluate the potential long-term effects of rise in Eastern Mediterranean SST on living benthic foraminifera. Their sensitivity to environmental changes makes foraminifera ideal for this study. Ten monthly sampling campaigns were performed in four stations located along a temperature gradient up to 10 °C from the discharge site of heated seawater to a control station. The SST along this transect varied between 25/18 °C in winter and 36/31 °C in summer. A significant negative correlation was found between SST in all stations and benthic foraminiferal abundance, species richness and diversity. The total foraminiferal abundance and species richness was particularly low at the thermally polluted stations especially during summer when SST exceeded 30 °C, but also throughout the entire year. This indicates that thermal pollution has a detrimental effect on benthic foraminifera, irrelevant to the natural seasonal changes in SST.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1002-1012
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume62
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2011

Keywords

  • East Mediterranean
  • Living benthic foraminifera
  • SST
  • Species richness
  • Thermal pollution

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