Living benthic foraminifera around the unique Umm al Maradim Island (Kuwait)
The present investigation focuses on the unique Island of Umm al Maradim that represents the largest and southernmost coral island in Kuwait. Thirty-seven stations around the Island were sampled for living benthic foraminiferal analyses. Relatively high values of diversity for both total and living assemblages, 101 and 96 species, respectively, have been documented. These figures are sensibly higher than those documented in most of the previous studies around Kuwait territorial waters. Porcelaneous test in terms of abundance dominates the foraminiferal assemblages followed by hyaline tests and only a minor part of the assemblages was represented by agglutinated foraminifera. The high dominance of porcelaneous tests might be explained by the peculiar physiographic setting and the presence of coral reef around the Island. Very low foraminiferal abundances were associated with shallower environments like subtidal zone around the island, whereas higher values were found at deeper and more distal stations. Planispiral morphotypes were found dominant at the more shallow-proximal stations whereas milioline morphotypes dominated at intermediate depth and trochospiral morphotypes were more abundant at greater water depth. This paper contributes towards the documentation of benthic foraminiferal diversity in Kuwait as well as in the Arabian Gulf.
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