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Studies of shallow-water benthonic Foraminifera are under way currently at Eniwetok Atoll in the equatorial Pacific and on the Antarctic Peninsula utilizing scuba gear for direct observation of natural situations and laboratory experimentation. On the atoll, species are distributed by microhabitat without regard for depth (to at least 150 ft), whereas in Antarctica, the benthic Foraminifera do not select specific microhabitats. Instead they are zoned according to depth, mostly in association with changing macrofaunal and floral changes. Because of ice abrasion in the Antarctic, few or no Foraminifera live between the intertidal zone and 18 ft in depth. Below that, a zone characterized by large kelps, sponges, tunicates, and brachiopods contains many Foraminifera, and at 120 ft the ass ciation is dominated by large glass sponges with about 25 species of Foraminifera.
Heavy predation on Foraminifera takes place on the atoll by fish and grazing invertebrates; in Antarctica, Foraminifera are fed on mostly by invertebrates. There are at least 3 nutritive strategies in reef Foraminifera, although they seem to feed largely on bacteria in Antarctica. Like some tropical species, some Antarctic ones seem to live a long time (years) before reproducing.
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