APPLICATION OF BENTHIC FORAMINIFERA IN POLLUTION ASSESSMENT AT MISKAN ISLAND AND AL-KHIRAN COASTLINE, KUWAIT
Keywords:Benthic Foraminifera, Biodiversity, Environment, Heavy Metals, Kuwait Pollution.
The biodiversity of benthic foraminifera around the coral communities and the concentration of heavy elements (e.g., Mn, Fe, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, Cd, and Co) in Miskan Island and Al-Khiran coastline of Kuwait are used as an ecological indicator for the environmental and anthropogenic stresses occurred from February 2018 to February 2019. The study resulted in identifying 19 families, 6 orders, 29 genera, and 94 species. Using R-mode cluster analysis results in four assemblages and using Q-mode principal component analysis (PCA) distinguished three groups depending on the deep. The three main assemblages refer to different depths, Group A from 20 cm to 1 m depth; Group B from 1.5 to 2 m depth, Group C from 6 to 8 m depth. Al-Khiran coastline is characterized by anoxic conditions, confirmed by the existence of pyrite. Additionally, high water turbidity because of anthropogenic effects. The low number of benthic foraminifera on Miskan Island is due to the dissolution and calcification of foraminifera shells. The Island characterized by freshwater runoff from Iraq meets saltwater in the gulf, affecting the salinity. The turbidity is caused by sediment runoff and eutrophication. Both sites were considered relatively unpolluted compared with the nearest Iranian coast. However, the relatively high potentially toxic elements in some locations are due to the semi-restricted geographic characteristic and high anthropogenic activity. There is no clear abnormality in the identified species showing normal aperture, coiling, shape, and size.