Foraminiferal single chamber analyses of heavy metals as a tool for monitoring permanent and short term anthropogenic footprints

Danna Titelboim, Aleksey Sadekov, Orit Hyams-Kaphzan, Ahuva Almogi-Labin, Barak Herut, Michal Kucera, Sigal Abramovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to establish environmentally sustainable industries there is a need for high-resolution temporal and spatial monitoring of heavy metal pollutants even at low concentrations before they become hazardous for local ecosystems. Here we present single chamber records of Cu, Zn and Pb in shells of two benthic foraminifera species with different shell types from two shallow coastal stations in Israel: An area adjacent to an electrical power plant and desalination factory (Hadera) and an industrially free nature reserve (Nachsholim). Records of both foraminifera species show elevated metal concentrations in Hadera clearly identifying the footprint of the local industrial facilities. Moreover, short-term events of elevated Cu and Pb concentrations were detected by single chamber analyses. This study demonstrates the potential of using heavy metals anomalies in foraminiferal single chambers as a tool for detecting the industrial footprint of coastal facilities as well as short term events of elevated heavy metals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
StatePublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful for the technical help provided by Yaron Gartner, Erez Hagai, and Elad Israeli from the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research (IOLR); we also thank Gily Merkado and Nurit Neumark for their assistance in the fieldwork. This study represents part of a PhD thesis of the senior author, Danna Titelboim at the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. We acknowledge funding by the Israel Science Foundation grant No. 587/2013 and support provided to Danna Titelboim by the Rieger foundation and by the Mediterranean Sea Research Center of Israel.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Benthic foraminifera
  • Bio-monitoring
  • Industrial footprint
  • Metals pollution
  • Shell geochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution


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