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Authors: Aiello, Giuseppe* 
Amato, Vincenzo* 
Barra, Diana* 
Caporaso, Lucia* 
Caruso, Tonino* 
Giaccio, Biagio* 
Parisi, Roberta* 
Rossi, Amedeo* 
Title: Late Quaternary benthic foraminiferal and ostracod response to palaeoenvironmental changes in a Mediterranean coastal area, Port of Salerno, Tyrrhenian Sea
Journal: Regional Studies in Marine Science 
Series/Report no.: /40 (2020)
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.rsma.2020.101498
Keywords: Campania region (Italy)
Late quaternary
Benthic foraminifera
Anthropogenic impact
Abstract: The Late Quaternary benthic foraminiferal and ostracod assemblages from two continuous cores drilled in the Port of Salerno were studied to define their relationship with geochemical characteristics of the sediments and with the palaeoenvironmental evolution. The succession, ranging from Late Pleistocene to the 20th century, recorded the transition from a marine coastal environment under natural conditions to a depositional context affected by anthropogenic influence. In the lower part of the sequence, ecological and sedimentary changes were linked to sea-level changes due to Late Quaternary climatic phases, as well as to volcanic events such as the Campanian Ignimbrite eruption, represented by levels with high metal (Fe, Mn, Pb, Zn) concentrations, possibly leading to low pH phases. Later human activities, such as the construction of harbour facilities in the 18th century and the industrial development in the 19th century, influenced environmental variations, as shown in the upper part of the succession. High levels of heavy metal concentrations (Co, Cu, Fe, Pb, V) recorded in layers deposited in the 1800s suggest the presence of a pollution event which could be linked to manufacturing activities and might have occurred during the first part of the 19th century. Calcareous meiofaunal assemblages showed high diversity values, probably due to the occurrence of "rare short lived" species in an unstable environment. Assemblages were dominated by the foraminiferal species Ammonia aberdoveyensis and Haynesina depressula, and by the ostracods Pontocythere turbida and Semicytherura sulcata, which are considered as possibly stress-tolerant species.
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