|Bernhard, J. M., Buck, K. R., Barry, J. P., Monterey Bay cold-seep biota: Assemblages, abundance, and ultrastructure of living foraminifera , Deep-Sea Research I, 48: 2233-2249, 2001|
Although there is a growing body of evidence indicating benthic foraminifera inhabit hydrocarbon and cold seep environments, biochemical and ultrastructural data on seep foraminiferal communities are not available. Therefore, sediments collected from cold seeps in Monterey Bay, California (900-1000 m), were examined for the presence of live benthic foraminifera. Results from three independent methods (ATP assay, ultrastructural analysis, rose Bengal staining) indicate that certain species inhabit the Clam Flat and Clam Field seeps.
Abundances in our seep samples were lower than in comparable non-seep sites, although not atypical for these bathyal depths. Of 38 species represented at these two seep sites by cytoplasm-containing specimens, only Spiroplectammina biformis was restricted to the seep environment. However, because S. biformis is also known from non-seep sites in other areas, it should not be considered as endemic to seeps. Ultrastructural studies show abundant peroxisomes in seep specimens, which may allow inhabitation of such environments. One specimen of Uvigerina peregrina had prokaryotes nestled in test pores, suggesting that bacteria may play a role in the survival of foraminifera in this seep environment.