Description of Foraminiferal Assemblages within Hood Canal, Puget Sound, WA.
Sorenson, Adrienne M.D.
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This study investigates the assemblages of benthic foraminifera present within Hood Canal, WA, and uses assemblage measures and linear regressions to detect meaningful relationships between foraminifera and environmental conditions. Hood Canal experiences many local environmental stressors such as seasonal eutrophication and hypoxia cycles, impacts from historical saw mills, a large naval base, and legacy polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon input from creosote treated pilings throughout its many smaller embayments. Shallow areas closer in proximity to historical mill sites and the Bangor Trident Naval base generally have lower foraminiferal health measures such as assemblage density, diversity, and species richness. Areas within the southern portion of Hood Canal which experience seasonal hypoxia did not display a detectable negative effect on foraminiferal populations. Generally, assemblages throughout Hood Canal indicate a complex and stressful benthic environment for foraminifera.