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Marine Environmental Research

Caitlin R Fong, Matthew Frias, Nicholas Goody, Sarah Joy Bittick, Rachel J Clausing, Peggy Fong
Herbivores balance resource requirements with predation risk, which can differ among landscapes; hence, landscape can shape these trade-offs, influencing herbivore distribution and behavior. While this paradigm has been well established on coral-dominated reefs, tropical reefs worldwide are shifting to algal dominance. If herbivores avoid algae due to higher risk and forage in coral, these algal states may be stabilized. However, if herbivores forage more in resource-rich algal states, this may promote coral recovery...
November 6, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Tifeng Wang, Shanying Tong, Nana Liu, Futian Li, Mark L Wells, Kunshan Gao
Ocean Acidification (OA) effects on marine plankton are most often considered in terms of inorganic carbon chemistry, but decreasing pH may influence other aspects of cellular metabolism. Here we present the effects of OA on the fatty acid (FA) content and composition of an artificial phytoplankton community (Phaeodactylum tricornutum, Thalassiosira weissflogii, and Emiliania huxleyi) in a fully replicated, ∼4 m(3) mesocosm study in subtropical coastal waters (Wuyuan Bay, China, 24.52°N, 117.18°E) at present day (400 μatm) and elevated (1000 μatm) pCO2 concentrations...
November 3, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Kiran Liversage, Kristiina Nurkse, Jonne Kotta, Leili Järv
Spatiotemporal environmental variation affects fish feeding behaviour and capacity for piscivorous control of prey populations, which is important for management when prey include invasive species causing ecosystem impacts. We assessed gut-contents of an important piscivore (European perch Perca fluviatilis) over two years, and analysed variables affecting initiation and amounts of feeding, focusing on an important invasive prey species, round goby (Neogobius melanostomus). We show that predation is primarily controlled by variation of physical and habitat characteristics surrounding perch...
November 2, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Nika Stagličić, Tanja Šegvić-Bubić, Pero Ugarković, Igor Talijančić, Iva Žužul, Vjekoslav Tičina, Leon Grubišić
The ecological effects of tuna fish farms are largely undocumented. This study confirmed their high capacity to attract surrounding wild fish. The aggregation effect persisted year round, without detectable seasonal differences. Farm impact was restricted to close proximity of the sea cages, and was more prominent over the bottom than in the water column strata. Tuna fish farms proved to be high energy trophic resources, as indicated by the enhanced fitness status of two focal species, bogue and seabream. Under abundant food supply, seabream appear to allocate the majority of energy reserves to gonad development...
November 1, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Noortje Dijkstra, Juho Junttila, Steffen Aagaard-Sørensen
Metal concentrations, sediment properties and benthic foraminiferal assemblages were investigated in sediment cores in the SW Barents Sea, to reconstruct environmental baselines and natural variability of Atlantic Water inflow since 1800 CE. Metal concentrations correspond to no effect levels and do not influence the foraminifera. Increased Hg and Pb was linked to inflow of Atlantic Water. The data set is considered to reflect the pre-impacted environmental baseline and range in natural variability of the study area...
October 28, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
M C Krautz, E Hernández-Miranda, R Veas, P Bocaz, P Riquelme, R A Quiñones
Non-predatory dead variability in zooplankton remains poorly quantified worldwide. Here, we make the first estimation of the percentage of dead organisms in coastal zooplankton communities in the Humboldt Current System (HCS) under in situ conditions. The study was conducted in four coastal sites of the southern HCS (between 36 and 37°S) over a period of one year. Percentages of dead organisms were based on the classification as live or dead of 158,220 holoplankton and 17,591 meroplankton individuals using neutral red staining technique...
October 28, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
O Tutar, L Marín-Guirao, J M Ruiz, G Procaccini
Seawater warming associated to the ongoing climate change threatens functioning and survival of keystone coastal benthic species such as seagrasses. Under elevated temperatures, the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is increased and plants must activate their antioxidant defense mechanisms to protect themselves from oxidative damage. Here we explore from a molecular perspective the ability of Mediterranean seagrasses to activate heat stress response mechanisms, with particular focus on antioxidants...
October 27, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Carlo Cattano, Antonio Calò, Antonio Di Franco, Roberto Firmamento, Federico Quattrocchi, Khalil Sdiri, Paolo Guidetti, Marco Milazzo
Fish behavioural effects under Ocean Acidification (OA) rely on changes expected to occur in brain function, which can be reversed by gabazine, a GABA-A antagonist. Here, using standard two-channel choice flume, we assessed OA effects on the predator recognition ability of both gabazine-treated and -untreated Symphodus ocellatus post-settlers living off CO2 seeps in the Mediterranean Sea. To estimate the post-settlers background predation risk we evaluated the density of their predator in the wild and through otolith aging techniques we assessed their post-settlement growth...
October 24, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
J E Sánchez-Moyano, I García-Asencio, I Donázar-Aramendía, J M Miró, C Megina, J C García-Gómez
The new biotic index BENFES (Benthic Families Ecological Status Index) for assessing the ecological status of soft-bottom communities based on presence/absence at the taxonomic family level, is described. BENFES was primarily developed for the communities from the Guadalquivir estuary (South-western Spain), but the aim of the present work was to evaluate the reliability and validity of this index for its application in the Water Framework Directive (WFD), especially as a preliminary and rapid assessment method for monitoring the ecological status of transitional and coastal waters...
October 24, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Mitchell A Ellison, M Drew Ferrier, Susan L Carney
Abiotic factors affect cnidarian-algal symbiosis and, if severe enough, can result in bleaching. Increased temperature and light are well characterized causes of bleaching, but other factors like salinity can also stress the holobiont. In cnidarian-dinoflagellate systems, the expression of host genes, including heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), changes due to thermal and light stress. In this experiment, we characterized to what extent salinity stress affects Hsp70 expression in the holobiont by simultaneously measuring host and symbiont Hsp70 expression in response to up to 8 h of hypo- and hypersaline conditions in the sea anemone Exaiptasia pallida and its intracellular symbiont Symbiodinium minutum...
October 23, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
C Marisa R Almeida, Tânia Oliveira, Izabela Reis, Carlos R Gomes, Ana P Mucha
Autochthonous bioaugmentation for metal phytoremediation is still little explored, particularly its application to estuarine salt marshes, but results obtained so far are promising. Nevertheless, understanding the behaviour of the microbial communities in the process of bioaugmentation and their role in improving metal phytoremediation is very important to fully validate the application of this biological technology. This study aimed to characterize the bacterial community dynamic associated with the application of autochthonous bioaugmentation in an experimentation which showed that Phragmites australis rhizosphere microorganisms could increase this salt marsh plant potential to phytoremediate Cu contaminated sediments...
October 16, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Baoyi Lv, Yuxue Cui, Wen Tian, Daolun Feng
This study aims to reveal the composition and influencing factors of bacterial communities in ballast tank sediments. Nine samples were collected and their 16S rRNA gene sequences were analyzed by high-throughput sequencing. The analysis results showed the Shannon index in ballast tank sediments was in the range of 5.27-6.35, which was significantly higher than that in ballast water. Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi and Proteobacteria were the dominant phyla and accounted for approximately 80% of all 16S rRNA gene sequences of the samples...
October 12, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
J J A Tortolero-Langarica, J P Carricart-Ganivet, A L Cupul-Magaña, A P Rodríguez-Troncoso
Historical coral growth assessed by sclerochronology records provides an environmental retrospective and future perspective on the maintenance of coral-reef ecosystems. Three growth parameters, extension rate, skeletal density, and calcification rate were evaluated over the past two decade's interval (1988-2013) in different gender of two massive corals Pavona gigantea and Porites panamensis. The species P. gigantea calcified two-times faster (0.84 ± 0.29 g cm(-2) yr(-1)) than P. panamensis (0.36 ± 0...
October 5, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Marta Di Carlo, Donato Giovannelli, Daniele Fattorini, Nadine Le Bris, Costantino Vetriani, Francesco Regoli
Hydrothermal vent systems are inhabited by dense benthic communities adapted to extreme conditions such as high temperature, hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and elevated fluxes of metals. In the present work, a wide range of trace elements (Ag, Al, As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, V and Zn) were measured in tissues of three tube dwelling annelids, Alvinella pompejana, Alvinella caudata and Riftia pachyptila, which colonize distinct habitats of the East Pacific Rise (EPR) at 2500 m depth. Metals concentrations in alvinellids were often 2-4 orders of magnitude higher than those commonly found in marine organisms, while much lower values were observed in the vestimentiferan polychaete...
October 5, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Ronald A Kastelein, Nancy Jennings, Aimée Kommeren, Lean Helder-Hoek, Jessica Schop
The foundations of offshore wind turbines are attached to the sea bed by percussion pile driving. Pile driving sounds may affect the behavior of fish. Acoustic dose-behavioral response relationships were determined for sea bass in a pool exposed for 20 min to pile driving sounds at seven mean received root-mean-square sound pressure levels [SPLrms; range: 130-166 dB re 1 μPa; single strike sound exposure level (SELss) range: 122-158; 6 dB steps]. Initial responses (sudden, short-lived changes in swimming speed and direction) and sustained responses (changes in school cohesion, swimming depth, and speed) were quantified...
August 31, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Shima Shamkhali Chenar, Zhiqiang Deng
This paper presents an artificial intelligence-based approach to identifying environmental indicators of oyster norovirus outbreaks in coastal waters. It was found that oyster norovirus outbreaks are generally linked to the extreme combination of antecedent environmental conditions characterized by low water temperature, low solar radiation, low gage height, low salinity, strong wind, and heavy precipitation. Among the six environmental indicators, the most important three indicators, including water temperature, solar radiation and gage height, are capable of explaining 77...
August 25, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Iacopo Bertocci, Fabio Badalamenti, Sabrina Lo Brutto, Barbara Mikac, Carlo Pipitone, Eugenia Schimmenti, Tomás Vega Fernández, Luigi Musco
Biogenic reefs, such as those produced by tube-dwelling polychaetes of the genus Sabellaria, are valuable marine habitats which are a focus of protection according to European legislation. The achievement of this goal is potentially hindered by the lack of essential empirical data, especially in the Mediterranean Sea. This study addresses some of the current knowledge gaps by quantifying and comparing multi-scale patterns of abundance and distribution of two habitat-forming species (Sabellaria alveolata and S...
August 24, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Laura Núñez-Pons, Iacopo Bertocci, Garen Baghdasarian
Warming oceans menace reef ecosystems by disrupting symbiosis between cnidarians and Symbiodinium zooxanthellae, thus triggering bleach episodes. Temperature fluctuations promote adjustments in physiological variables and symbiont composition, which can cause stress responses, but can also yield adaptation if fitter host-symbiont homeostasis are achieved. To understand such processes manipulative studies are required, but many reef-building cnidarians pose limitations to experimental prospects. We exposed Exaiptasia anemones to Gradual Thermal Stress (GTS) and Heat Shock (HS) exposures and monitored chlorophyll and symbiont dynamics to test the phenotypic plasticity of these photosynthetic holobionts...
August 24, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Virginia Echavarri-Bravo, Lynn Paterson, Thomas J Aspray, Joanne S Porter, Michael K Winson, Mark G J Hartl
Scarce information is available regarding the fate and toxicology of engineered silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in the marine environment, especially when compared to other environmental compartments. Hence, the antibacterial activity of the NM-300 AgNPs (OECD programme) and a household product containing colloidal AgNPs (Mesosilver) was investigated using marine bacteria, pure cultures and natural mixed populations (microcosm approach). Bacterial susceptibility to AgNPs was species-specific, with Gram negative bacteria being more resistant than the Gram positive species (NM-300 concentration used ranged between 0...
August 22, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Mey-Tal Gewing, Susanna López-Legentil, Noa Shenkar
Marine environments are constantly impacted by bioinvasions. Invasive ascidians (Chordata, Tunicata) are well-known for their ability to rapidly overgrow any available substrate. While the majority of studies have investigated the factors contributing to the successful establishment of ascidians on artificial substrates, the anthropogenic factors that contribute to such establishment on natural substrates have rarely been investigated. Here, we studied non-indigenous ascidians presence on natural substrate for the first time, using underwater field surveys at eight natural sites along the Israeli Mediterranean coast, in order to provide an analysis of factors assisting their establishment...
October 2017: Marine Environmental Research
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