Temporal trends in live foraminiferal assemblages near a pollution outfall on the Levant shelf

Roni Tadir, Chaim Benjamini, Ahuva Almogi-Labin, Orit Hyams-Kaphzan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Long and short term effects of activated sewage sludge input on live benthic foraminiferal assemblages of the shallow shelf off Palmachim, Israel were examined at three stations along the eutrophic gradient. Over ten years from 2003 to 2012, foraminiferal abundance decreased dramatically by > 50% in all stations. In 2012, new species were found near the discharge point, relative abundance of the dominant species decreased and in-sediment depth increased. In the remote stations the dominant species failed to bloom seasonally. Each year, dispersion of sludge was accompanied by intense current activity, aeration, and periodic local sediment transport, reintroducing species from nearby. Storm frequency was notably high in 2012. The decrease in numbers over time despite seasonal amelioration indicates that the constant OM input is a permanent source of environmental stress. Aside from this stress, natural variability, changes in Nile input, or a hidden impact of long-term climate change may play a role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-60
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • Anthropogenic eutrophication
  • Eastern Mediterranean
  • Living benthic foraminifera
  • Organic carbon
  • Sewage sludge
  • Storm dispersal


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