Lübbers, J., and Schönfeld, J.,(2018). Recent saltmarsh foraminiferal assemblages from Iceland. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
This study reports for the first time boreal to subarctic intertidal foraminiferal assemblages from saltmarshes at Borgarnes and Faskrudsfjördur on Iceland. The composition of living and dead foraminiferal assemblages was investigated along transects from the tidal flat to the highest reach of halophytic plants. The foraminiferal assemblages from Borgarnes showed 18 species in the total foraminiferal assemblage of which only 7 species were recorded in the living fauna. The assemblages were dominated by agglutinated taxa, whereas 3 calcareous species were recorded, of which only Haynesina orbicularis was found in the living fauna. The distribution limit of calcifying species corresponds to the lower boundary of the lower saltmarsh vegetation zone. Furthermore, calcareous tests showed many features of dissolution, which is an indication of a carbonate corrosive environment. The species forming the dead assemblages were mainly derived from the ambient intertidal areas and were displaced by tidal currents into the saltmarsh. The foraminiferal assemblages from Faskrudsfjördur showed two species, of which only one species was recorded in the living fauna. The assemblage was dominated by the agglutinated foraminifer Trochaminita irregularis. The foraminiferal species recorded on Iceland were the same as commonly found elsewhere in Europa. Since no species was found which is endemic to North America, Iceland is considered part of the European bio province. The foraminiferal could have been immigrated to Iceland from Europe through warm water currents, migratory birds or marine traffic since the last Ice Age.