Foraminifera as Environmental Condition Indicators in Todos os Santos Bay (Bahia, Brazil)


The environmental quality of the marine area close to the Landulpho Alves Oil Refinery situated in Todosos Santos Bay (Bahia, Brazil) was assessed by statistical methods on foraminiferal assemblages, with species tolerant to low continental influence such as Ammonia tepida, Elphidium excavatum, Pseudononion atlanticum and Quinqueloculina spp., and to high organic matter such as Buliminella elegantissima and Bulimina marginata. We have found that Bolivina pulchella, Pseudononion atlanticum, Fursenkoina pontoni, Buliminella elegantissima, Bolivina striatula, Bulimina marginata, Quinqueloculina spp., Ammonia tepida, and Elphidium excavatum are opportunistic and tolerant to high levels of accumulated organic matter, and are associated to stations 6, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25, located mainly in the southern, outermost part of the Bay.

Share and Cite:

Eichler, P. , Rodrigues, A. , Pereira, E. , Eichler, B. , Kahn, A. and Vital, H. (2015) Foraminifera as Environmental Condition Indicators in Todos os Santos Bay (Bahia, Brazil). Open Journal of Ecology, 5, 326-342. doi: 10.4236/oje.2015.57027.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Murray, J.W. (1991) Ecology and Palaeoecology of Benthic Foraminifera. Logman Scientific & Technical, London, 1-397.
[2] Alve, E. (1991) Benthic Foraminifera in Sediment Cores Reflecting Heavy Metal Pollution in Sorfjord, Western Norway. Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 21, 1-19.
[3] Alve, E. (1995) Benthic Foraminiferal Responses to Estuarine Pollution: A Review. Journal of Paleontology, 25, 190-204.
[4] Zaninetti, L., Bronnimann, P., Beurlen, G. and Moura, J.A. (1977) La mangrove de Guaratiba et la Baie de Sepetiba, Etat de Rio de Janeiro, Brésil: Foraminifères et écologie. Archives Science Geneve, 30, 161-178.
[5] Bronnimann, P. (1978) Recent Benthonic Foraminifera from Brazil-Morphology and Ecology: Part 3. Notes on Asterothrochammina Bermuda and Seiglie. Notes du laboratoire de Paléontologie, Univ. de Gèneve, 3, 1-8.
[6] Bronnimann, P. (1979) Recent Benthonic Foraminifera from Brazil-Morphology and Ecology: Part 4. Trochaminids from the Campos Shelf with Description of Paratrochammina n. gen. Paleontologische Zeitschrifft, Stuttgart, 63, 5-25.
[7] Bronnimann, P. (1980) Recent Benthonic Foraminifera from Brazil-Morphology and Ecology: Part 5. Primitive Agglutinated Foraminifera from the Campos and Bahia Shelf. Paleontologische Zeitschrifft, Stuttgart, 64, 67-89.
[8] Bronnimann, P. and Beurlen, G. (1977) Recent Benthonic Foraminifera from Brazil-Morphology and Ecology. Part 1. Polystommininae, New Subfamily. The Trochaminidae and Description of Polystomamminina planulata (Mikhale Vitali), from the Campos Shelf. Archives des Sciences Gèneve, 30, 77-90.
[9] Bronnimann, P. and Beurlen, G. (1977b) Recent Benthonic Foraminifera from Brazil-Morphology and Ecology. Parts 2 and 3. Cribostomoides Cushman and Haplophragmoides Cushman from the Campos Shelf. 4. Trochammina brasilienses. Bronnimann and Beurlen, n sp. From the Campos Shelf. Archives des Sciences Gèneve, 30, 243-262.
[10] Bronnimann, P. and Dias-Britto, D. (1982) New Lituolacea (Protista, Foraminiferida) from Shallow Waters of the Brazilian Shelf. Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 12, 13-23.
[11] Eichler, B.B., Debenay, J.P., Bonetti, C. and Duleba, W. (1995) Répartition des foraminifères benthiques dans la zone sud-ouest du système estuarien-lagunaire d’Iguape-Cananéia (Brésil). Boletim do Instituto Oceanografico, 43, 1-17.
[12] Eichler, B.B., Cardoso, P.B.P.K., Souza, S.H.M.E., Furtado, V.V. and Eichler, P.P.B. (2009) Foraminíferos como indicadores biológicos de massas de agua. In: Pires-Vanin, A.M.S., Org., Oceanografia de um ecossistema subtropical Sao Paulo, Editora Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, 368-379.
[13] Duleba, W. and Debenay, J.P. (2003) Hydrodynamic Circulation in the Estuaries of Estacao Ecológica Juréia-Itatins, Brazil, Inferred from Foraminifera and Thecamoebian Assemblages. Journal of Foraminifera Research, 33, 62-93.
[14] Eichler, P.P.B., Eichler, B.B., Miranda, L.B., Pereira, E.R.M., Kfouri, P.B.P., Pimenta, F.M., Bérgamo, A.L. and Vilela, C.G. (2003) Benthic Foraminiferal Response to Variations in Temperature, Salinity, Dissolved Oxygen and Organic Carbon, in the Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Anuario do Instituto de Geociências, 26, 36-51.
[15] Resig, J.M. (1960) Foraminiferal Ecology around Oceans Outfalls off Southern California. In: Pearson, P.A., Ed., Waste Disposal in the Marine Environment, Pergamon Press, London, 104-121.
[16] Watkins, J.G. (1961) Foraminiferal Ecology around the Orange County, California, Ocean Sewer Outfall. Micropaleontology, 7, 199-206.
[17] Henriquez, J.G., Barichivich, J.C.V. and Mera, J.G.V. (1978) Foraminíferos bentonicos recientes como indicadores de contaminacion litoral en canal Tenglo (41° 30’ S; 72° 59’ W) Chile. Seminario para optar al titulo de Ingeniero de Ejecución en Agricultura, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, 1-115.
[18] Setty, A. and Nigam, R. (1982) Foraminiferal Assemblages & Organic Carbon Relationship in Benthic Marine Ecosystem of Western Indian Continental Shelf. Indian Journal of Marine Science, 11, 225-232.
[19] Sharifi, A.R., Croundance, W. and Austin, R.L. (1991) Benthic Foraminiferids as Pollution Indicators in Southampton Water, Southern England, UK. Journal of Micropaleontology, 10, 109-113.
[20] Yanko, V., Arnold, A. and Parker, W. (2003) Effects of Marine Pollution on Benthic Foraminifera. In: Sen Gupta, B.K., Ed., Modern Foraminifera, Part II, Kluwer Academic Publishers, New York, 217-235.
[21] du Chatelet, E.A., Debenay, J.-P. and Soulard, R. (2004) Foraminiferal Proxies for Pollution Monitoring in Moderately Polluted Harbors. Environmental Pollution, 127, 27-40.
[22] Bergin, F., Kucuksezgin, F., Uluturhan, E., Barut, I.F., Meric, E., Avsar, N. and Nazik, A. (2006) The Response of Benthic Foraminifera and Ostracoda to Heavy Metal Pollution in Gulf of Izmir (Eastern Aegean Sea). Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 66, 368-386.
[23] Eichler-Coelho, P., Duleba, W., Eichler, B.B. and Coelho, C. (1996) Influência do rompimento da barragem do Valo Grande (Iguape, SP), nas associacoes de foraminiferos e tecamebas. Revista Pesquisas, 23, 35-39.
[24] Eichler-Coelho, P., Duleba, W., Eichler B.B. and Coelho, C. (1997) Determinacao do impacto ecológico do Valo Grande (Iguape, SP), a partir das associacoes de foraminiferos e tecamebas. Revista Brasileira de Biologia, 57, 463-477.
[25] Eichler, P.P.B., Eichler, B.B., Pimenta, F.M., Pereira, E. da R.M. and Vital, H. (2014) Evaluation of Environmental and Ecological Effects Due to the Accident in an Oil Pipe from Petrobras in Guanabara Bay, RJ, Brazil. Open Journal of Marine Science, 4, 298-315.
[26] Vilela, C.G., Batista, D.S., Batista-Neto, J.A., Crapez, M. and Mcallister, J.J. (2004) Benthic Foraminifera Distribution in High Polluted Sediments from Niterói Harbor (Guanabara Bay), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Anais Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 76, 161-171.
[27] dos Santos, P.T., Vilela, C.G., Neto, J.A.B., Sanjinés, A.E.S., Sanjinés, A.E.S., Aldana, Y.C.P. and Pugira, M. da S. (2007) Analise multivariada de dados ecológicos da baía de Guanabara-RJ, com base em foraminíferos bentonicos. Anuario do Instuto de Geociências, 30, 101-108.
[28] Eichler, P.P.B., Eichler, B.B., Sen Gupta, B. and Rodrigues, A.R. (2012) Foraminifera as Indicators of Marine Pollutant Contamination on the Inner Continental Shelf of Southern Brazil. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 64, 22-30.
[29] PETROBRAS/FUNDESPA (2003) Diagnóstico Ambiental Marinho da Area de Influência da Refinaria Landulpho Alves Mataripe (DAMARLAM). Relatório Final, Sao Paulo, 1-30.
[30] PETROBRAS/FUSP (2005) Programa de Monitoramento Ambiental do Ecossistema Estuarino na Area de Influência da Refinaria Landulpho Alves (PROMARLAM). Relatório Final, Sao Paulo, 1-33.
[31] GDB, Governo do Estado da Bahia (2000) Saneamento ambiental da Baia de Todos os Santos. Diagnóstico da qualidade das aguas da BTS (Estudos preliminares, fontes de poluicao, legislacao e metodologia). Report, Salvador.
[32] Venturini, N. and Tommasi, L.R. (2004) Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Changes in the Trophic Structure of Polychaete Assemblages in Sediments of Todos os Santos Bay, Northeastern, Brazil. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 48, 97-107.
[33] Castro Filho, B.M., Miranda, L.B. and Miyao, S.Y. (1987) Condicoes hidrograficas na plataforma continental ao largo de Ubatuba: Variacoes sazonais e em média escala. Boletim do Instituto Oceanografico, 35, 135-151.
[34] Harvell, C.D., Kim, K., Burkholder, J.M., Colwell, R.R., Epstein, P.R., Grimes, D.J., Hofmann, E.E., et al. (1999) Emerging Marine Diseases—Climate Links and Anthropogenic Factors. Science, 285, 1505-1510.
[35] Muniz, P., Danulat, E., Yannicelli, B., Alonso, J.G., Medina, G. and Bicego, M. (2004) Assessment of Contamination by Heavy Metals and Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Sediments of Montevideo Harbour (Uruguay). Environment International, 29, 1019-1028.
[36] Tavares, T.M., Roch, V.C., Porte, C., Barceló, D. and Albaigés, J. (1988) Application of the Mussel Watch Concept in Studies of Hydrocarbons, PCBs and DDT in the Brazilian Bay of Todos os Santos (Bahia). Marine Pollution Bulletin, 19, 575-578.
[37] Boltovskoy, E. and Wright, R. (1976) Recent Foraminifera. Junk, The Hague, 515 p.
[38] Newman, M.C. (1995) Quantitative Methods in Aquatic Ecotoxicology. Lewis Publisher, Boca Raton.
[39] Zar, J.H. (1984) Biostatistical Analysis. 2nd Edition, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, 718 p.
[40] Clarke, K.R. and Warwick, R.M. (1994) Changes in Marine Communities: An Approach to Statistical Analyses and Interpretation. Natural Environment Research Council, Plymouth.
[41] Sen Gupta, B.K., Turner, R.E. and Rabalais, N.N. (1996) Seasonal Oxygen Depletion in Continental Shelf Waters of Louisiana: Historical Record of Benthic Foraminifers. Geology, 24, 227-230.<0227:SODICS>2.3.CO;2
[42] Baptista-Neto, J.A., Silva, M.A. and Figueiredo Jr., A.G. (1996) Padrao de distribuicao de sedimentos na Enseada de Jurujuba (Baía de Guanabara, RJ, Brasil). Revista Brasileira de Geofísica, 14, 51-57.
[43] Eichler, P.P.B., Billups, K. and Velez, C.C. (2010) Investigating Faunal and Geochemical Methods for Tracing Salinity in an Atlantic Coastal Lagoon, Delaware, USA. Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 40, 14-33.
[44] Yanko, V., Kronfeld, J. and Flexer, A. (1994) Response of Benthic Foraminifera to Various Pollution Sources: Implications for Pollution Monitoring. Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 24, 1-17.
[45] Duleba, W., Debenay, J.P. and Sousa, S.H.M. (2004) Caracterizacao ambiental dos estuarios dos Rios Guarau e Una, a partir de analises sedimentológicas e das associacoes de foraminíferos e tecamebas. In: Marques, O. and Duleba, W., Eds., Estacao Ecológica Juréia-Itatins-Ambiente Físico, Flora e Fauna, Editora Holos, Sao Paulo.
[46] Sen Gupta, B.K. and Machian-Castillo, M.L. (1992) Benthic Foraminifera on the Northern in Oxygen-Poor Habitats. Marine Micropaleontology, 20, 183-201.
[47] Sen Gupta, B.K. (1999) Systematics of Modern Foraminifera. In: Sen Gupta, B.K., Ed., Modern Foraminifera, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 7-36.
[48] Eichler, P.P.B., Eichler, B.B., Miranda, L.B. and Rodrigues, A.R. (2007) Modern Foraminiferal Facies in a Subtropical Estuarine Channel, Bertioga, Sao Paulo, BRAZIL. Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 37, 234-247.
[49] Rabalais, N.N. and Turner, R.E. (2001) Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: Description, Causes and Change. In: Rabalais, N.N. and Turner, R.E., Eds., Coastal Hypoxia: Consequences for Living Resources and Ecosystems, Coastal and Estuarine Studies 58, American Geophysical Union, Washington DC, 1-36.
[50] Phleger, F.B. (1970) Foraminiferal Populations and Marine Marsh Processes. Limnology and Oceanography, 15, 522-534.
[51] Debenay, J.P., Eichler, B.B., Guillou, J.-J., Eichler-Coelho, P., Coelho, C. and Porto-Filho, E. (1997) Comportement des peuplements de foraminifères et comparaison avec l’avifaune dans une lagune fortement stratifiée: La Lagoa da Conceicao (S.C., Brésil). Revue Paléobiologie, 16, 55-75.
[52] Pereira, E.R., Eichler, P.P.B. and Eichler, B.B. (2004) Foraminifera as Proxies in Environmental Diagnostic in Guanabara Bay, RJ. Journal of Coastal Research, 39, 1395-1398.
[53] Odum, E.P. (1988) Fundamentos da Ecologia. 4th Edition, Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisboa, 1-927.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.