Scientia Marina, Vol 73, No 2 (2009)

Recent sea-level changes in the southern Bay of Biscay: transfer function reconstructions from salt-marshes compared with instrumental data

Eduardo Leorri
Facultade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa , Portugal

Alejandro Cearreta
Facultad de Ciencia y Tecnología, Universidad del País Vasco/EHU , Spain


In order to assess the accuracy and regional significance of salt-marsh reconstructions of former sea level based on foraminiferal transfer functions, we compared the calibration of the foraminiferal assemblages of two salt-marsh cores from two estuaries using the regional transfer function constructed for the southern Bay of Biscay. The foraminifera-based reconstructions were placed into a temporal framework using 137Cs, heavy metal concentrations, and 210Pb-derived sediment accumulation rates. The resulting relative sea-level (RSL) curves were compared with the nearest tide-gauge data (Santander). The two RSL trends from core sediments show excellent agreement and are in very good agreement with instrumental data, providing a regional relative sea-level rise of 1.9 mm yr-1 for the 20th century.


marsh foraminifera, transfer function, <sup>137</sup>Cs, heavy metal concentrations, <sup>210</sup>Pb dating, sea level, Bay of Biscay.

Full Text:



Barnard, K.H. – 1914. Contributions to the crustacean fauna of South Africa. 4.– A new species of Nebalia. Ann. S. Afr. Mus., 10: 443-446.

Citarella, G. – 1965. Sur une espèce indicatrice de pollution des eaux marines. Rev. Trav. Inst. Pêches Marit., 29: 179-182.

Dahl, E. – 1985. Crustacea Leptostraca, principles of taxonomy and a revision of European shelf species. Sarsia, 70: 135-165.

Dahl, E. – 1990. Records of Nebalia (Crustacea Leptostraca) from the Southern Hemispher—a critical review. Bull. Br. Mus. nat. Hist. (Zool.), 56: 73-91.

Escobar-Briones, E. and J.L. Villalobos-Hiriart. – 1995. Nebalia lagartensis (Leptostraca) a new species from the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Crustaceana, 68: 1-11.

Haney, T.A., R.R. Hessler and J.W. Martin. – 2001. Nebalia schizophthalma, a new species of leptostracan (Malacostraca) from deep waters off the east coast of the United States. J. Crustac. Biol., 21: 192-201. doi:10.1651/0278-0372(2001)021[0192:NSANSO]2.0.CO;2

Haney, T.A. and J.W. Martin. – 2000. Nebalia gerkenae, a new species of leptostracan (Crustacea: Malacostraca: Phyllocarida) from the Bennett Slough region of Monterey Bay, California. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash., 113: 996-1014.

Haney, T.A. and J.W. Martin. – 2004. A new genus and species of leptostracan (Crustacea: Malacostraca: Phyllocarida) from Guana Island, British Virgin Islands, and a review of leptostracan genera. J. Nat. Hist., 38: 447-469.

Haney, T.A. and J.W. Martin. – 2005. Nebalia kensleyi, a new species of leptostracan (Crustacea: Phyllocarida) from Tomales Bay, California. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash., 118: 3-20. doi:10.2988/0006-324X(2005)118[3:NKANSO]2.0.CO;2

Junoy, J. and J.M. Viéitez. – 1989. Cartografía de los sedimentos superficiales de la Ría de Foz (Lugo). Thalassas, 7: 9-19.

Kazmi, Q.B. and N.M. Tirmizi. – 1989. A new species of Nebalia from Pakistan (Leptostraca). Crustaceana, 56: 293-298. doi:10.1163/156854089X00266

Kensley, B. – 1976. The genus Nebalia in South and South West Africa (Crustacea, Leptostraca). Cimbebasia (A), 4: 155-162.

Koçak, C., J. Moreira and T. Katagan. – 2007. First occurrence of Nebalia straus Risso, 1827 (Phyllocarida, Leptostraca) in the Levantine Basin (eastern Mediterranean). Crustaceana, 80: 447-453. doi:10.1163/156854007780440911

Koçak, C. and T. Katagan. – 2006. A new record of Nebalia straus Risso, 1827 (Phyllocarida, Leptostraca) from the eastern Mediterranean. Crustaceana, 79: 319-325. doi:10.1163/156854006776759644

Lee, C.N. and B. Morton. – 2005. Demography of Nebalia sp. (Crustacea: Leptostraca) determined by carrion bait trapping in Lobster Bay, Cape d’Aguilar Marine Reserve, Hong Kong. Mar. Biol., 148: 149-157. doi:10.1007/s00227-005-0051-0

MacLeod, C.K., N.A. Moltschaniwskyj, C.M. Crawford and S.E. Forbes. – 2007. Biological recovery from organic enrichment: some systems cope better than others. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 342: 41-53. doi:10.3354/meps342041

Martin, J.W., E.W. Vetter and C.E. Cash-Clark. – 1996. Description, external morphology, and natural history observations of Nebalia hessleri, new species (Phyllocarida: Leptostraca), from Southern California, with a key to the extant families and genera of the Leptostraca. J. Crustac. Biol., 16: 347-372. doi:10.2307/1548892

Modlin, RF. – 1996. Contributions to the ecology of Paranebalia belizensis from the waters off Central Belize, Central America. J. Crustac. Biol., 16: 529-534. doi:10.2307/1548743

Moreira, J., E. Cacabelos and M. Domínguez. – 2003a. Nebalia troncosoi sp. nov., a new species of leptostracan (Crustacea: Phyllocarida: Leptostraca) from Galicia, Iberian Peninsula (north-east Atlantic). J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K., 83: 341-350. doi:10.1017/S0025315403007173h

Moreira, J., L. Gestoso and J.S. Troncoso. – 2003b. Two new species of Sarsinebalia (Crustacea, Leptostraca) from the Northeast Atlantic, with comments on the genus. Sarsia, 88: 189-209. doi:10.1080/00364820310001390

Moreira, J., C. Koçak and T. Katagan. – 2007. Nebalia kocatasi sp. nov., a new species of leptostracan (Crustacea, Phyllocarida) from Izmir Bay (Aegean Sea, eastern Mediterranean). J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K., 87: 1247-1254. doi:10.1017/S0025315407057487

Moreira, J., P. Quintas and J.S. Troncoso. – 2004. Sobre la presencia de Nebalia strausi Risso, 1826 (Crustacea, Leptostraca) en la península Ibérica. Bol. R. Soc. Esp. Hist. Nat. (Biol.), 99: 83-92.

Olesen, J. – 1999. A new species of Nebalia (Crustacea, Leptostraca) from Unguja Island (Zanzibar), Tanzania, East Africa, with a phylogenetic analysis of leptostracan genera. J. Nat. Hist., 33: 1789-1809. doi:10.1080/002229399299734

Rainer, S.F. and P. Unsworth. – 1991. Ecology and production of Nebalia sp. (Crustacea: Leptostraca) in a shallow-water seagrass community. Aust. J. Mar. Freshw. Res., 42: 53-68. doi:10.1071/MF9910053

Vetter, E.W. – 1996a. Enrichment experiments and infaunal population cycles on a Southern California sand plain: response of the leptostracan Nebalia daytoni and other infauna. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 137: 83-93. doi:10.3354/meps137083

Vetter, E.W. – 1996b. Secondary production of a Southern California Nebalia (Crustacea: Leptostraca). Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 137: 95-101. doi:10.3354/meps137095

Vetter, E.W. – 1996c. Life-history patterns of two Southern California Nebalia species (Crustacea: Leptostraca): the failure of form to predict function. Mar. Biol., 127: 131-141. doi:10.1007/BF00993653

Vetter, E.W. – 1996d. Nebalia daytoni n. sp. a leptostracan from southern California (Phyllocarida). Crustaceana, 69: 379-386. doi:10.1163/156854096X00970

Wägele, J.W. – 1983. Nebalia marerubri, sp. nov. aus dem Roten Meer (Crustacea: Phyllocarida: Leptostraca). J. Nat. Hist., 17: 127-138. doi:10.1080/00222938300770111

Walker-Smith, G.K. – 1998. A review of Nebaliella (Crustacea: Leptostraca) with the description of a new species from the continental slope of southeastern Australia. Mem. Mus. Vict., 57: 39-56

Copyright (c) 2009 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Contact us

Technical support