Each sample will only be roughly characterized in respect to what it may tell us. It is not intended to produce a detailed scientific paper, but rather give a broad and illustrative overview, what foraminiferal samples may tell us. Thus only a single page with an illustration is made per sample. For deeper insights at least one literature-source is given, which may be a used as a starting point for deeper investigations.
The recent samples are presented as indicators of special environmental conditions. Where applicable the samples are catagorized into eastern or western Mediterranean fauna with reference made to the according genera.
The fossil samples are used to illustrate the geological setting during the lifetime of its fauna. Conclusions on environmental conditions, water depth and the stratigraphical positioning are made only if possible and the space allows.
It is assumed that all samples fairly represent the sediment they are taken from, which may be seen as too simple. The basis of scientific papers are many samples taken from one area, while here the conclusions are most often based only on a single sample.
Conclusions drawn on water-depth (x-axis) are based on its correlation to the percentage of planktonic foraminifera (y-axis) of a dead assemblage in the sediment. Studies carried out in different parts of recent oceans led to the curve shown in the grafic below. The dotted line reflects the result for continental margins subject to upwellings.
from BELLIER et al. 2010 page 32.
Living conditions and food supply get worse with rising depth, darkness and pressure. Benthic foraminifers thus prefer the relatively shallow waters of continental platforms. In contrast planktonic foraminifera require stable physico-chemical conditions and dislike influx from land masses causing instable conditions on the shelf.