The holocene ostracods of the Agulhas Bank, South Africa : their classification, distribution and ecology

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

An analysis of the Holocene ostracod fauna of the Agulhas Bank has been carried out on seventy-three surficial sediment samples. Sixty-six species of Ostracoda have been recorded, of which fifty-nine species are accounted for in forty genera and the remaining seven species are of indeterminate classification. The species are described and their distribution and ecology is given. An. analysis of the sedimentology, as well as an oceanographic analysis of the bottom water on the Agulhas Bank, has provided environmental parameters for each sediment sample location, enabling relationships to be described between ostracod faunas and environmental conditions. Quantitative factor analysis has been carried out on the twenty-four most abundant species, generating seven factor associations relating ostracod assemblages to a set of environmental parameters. The independent variables analyzed were the temperature, salinity and dissolved-oxygen content of the bottom water, as well as the sand content of the sediment. Contour maps of these variables have been drawn up using SADCO data for the oceanographic variables, and the sediment samples to calculate the sand content. The overall oceanography of the Agulhas Bank has been analyzed by relating the environmental parameters generated at each location to the water masses present on the shelf, and to the oceanic currents affecting them. Finally, the seven factor associations generated have been related directly to the substrate types, the water masses, and the currents present on the Agulhas Bank.

Bibliography: pages 69-77.