Foraminifera in the sediments of the Beagle Channel
Foraminifera, a group of unicellular organisms, are commonly used as bioindicators in paleoenvironmental studies. Unfortunately, their distribution in many key areas is poorly understood. One such region is southern Patagonia, which is a subject to unstable conditions due to the migration of the southern westerly wind belt and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The work based on the material collected in 2013 describes the distribution of foraminifera in the sediments of the Beagle Channel and its tributary fjords. Unusually for similar areas, there are no assemblages typical of habitats proximal to glacier fronts that are under strong environmental pressure.
Figure: Ready-to-go Van Veen grab, which we used to collect seafloor sediments in the fjords of Patagonia. Foraminiferal images not to scale.