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Marine Environmental Research

Isabel Fuentes-Santos, Uxío Labarta, Kristina Arranz, Mª José Fernández-Reiriz
Understanding biological processes, such as growth, is crucial to development management and sustainability plans for bivalve populations. Von Bertalanffy and Gompertz models have been commonly used to fit bivalve growth. These models assume that individual growth is only determined by size, overlooking the effects of environmental and intrinsic conditions on growth patterns. The comparison between classical models and nonparametric GAM (generalized additive models) fits conducted in this work shows that the latter provide a more realistic approach of mussel growth measured in terms of shell length, and dry weight of hard and soft tissues...
March 18, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Tyler R Pickering, Luke A Poirier, Timothy J Barrett, Shawn McKenna, Jeff Davidson, Pedro A Quijón
Non-indigenous green crabs (Carcinus maenas) are emerging as important predators of autogenic engineers like American oysters (Crassostrea virginica) throughout the eastern seaboard of Canada and the United States. To document the spreading distribution of green crabs, we carried out surveys in seven sites of Prince Edward Island during three fall seasons. To assess the potential impact of green crabs on oyster mortality in relation to predator and prey size, we conducted multiple predator-prey manipulations in the field and laboratory...
March 12, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Brittany N Blomberg, Benoit Lebreton, Terence A Palmer, Gaël Guillou, Jennifer Beseres Pollack, Paul A Montagna
As ecosystem engineers, oysters create and maintain structured habitat and can influence trophodynamics and benthic-pelagic coupling in the surrounding landscape. The physical reef structure and associated biotic parameters can affect the availability of food resources for oysters. Oysters and potential composite food sources - suspended particulate organic matter (SPOM) and surface sediment organic matter (SSOM) - were assessed using a dual stable isotope (δ(13)C, δ(15)N) approach at three reef types (natural, restored, and unconsolidated) seasonally for two years to determine if changes in physical and/or biotic parameters affected the relative availability and/or use of food resources by oysters...
March 11, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Patcharaporn Manakul, Saranya Peerakietkhajorn, Tomoaki Matsuura, Yasuhiko Kato, Hajime Watanabe
The crustacean zooplankton Daphnia magna has been widely used for chemical toxicity tests. Although abiotic factors have been well documented in ecotoxicological test protocols, biotic factors that may affect the sensitivity to chemical compounds remain limited. Recently, we identified symbiotic bacteria that are critical for the growth and reproduction of D. magna. The presence of symbiotic bacteria on Daphnia raised the question as to whether these bacteria have a positive or negative effect on toxicity tests...
March 6, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Lílian Nogueira, Danielle Ferraz Mello, Rafael Trevisan, Danielly Garcia, Daiane da Silva Acosta, Alcir Luiz Dafre, Eduardo Alves de Almeida
This study investigated the effects of hypoxia on oxidative stress response and immune function in mussels Perna perna exposed to air for 6, 12, 24 and 48 h. In air-exposed mussels, the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione reductase (GR) activities were lower in gill tissues (24-48 h) and digestive gland (12 h), while the glutathione peroxidase and GR activities were increased in the digestive gland (48 h). In both tissues, aerial exposure promoted a rapid (6 h) and persistent (up to 48 h) increase of glutathione levels...
February 24, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Blanca Figuerola, David K A Barnes, Paul Brickle, Paul E Brewin
There are a number of remote archipelagos distributed between 45 and 60 °S. The biota of these islands provide useful information to describe and understand patterns in biodiversity and biogeography as well as potential impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems. They are in key locations either side of the Polar Front but also have limited influence from human activities. Here we investigate one taxon, bryozoans, on South Atlantic shelf habitats of the Falkland (FI) and the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia (SG)...
February 21, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Charlie M Phelps, Mary C Boyce, Megan J Huggett
Three species of macroalgae (Ecklonia radiata, Sargassum linearifolium, and Laurencia brongniartii) were subjected to future climate change conditions, tested directly for changes in their physiology and chemical ecology, and used in feeding assays with local herbivores to identify the indirect effects of climatic stressors on subsequent levels of herbivory. Each alga had distinct physical and chemical responses to the changes in environmental conditions. In high temperature conditions, S. linearifolium exhibited high levels of bleaching and low maximum quantum yield...
February 21, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
M Muñoz, A Reul, M Vargas-Yáñez, F Plaza, B Bautista, M C García-Martínez, F Moya, M-L Gómez-Moreno, J A Fernandes, V Rodríguez
Marine Spatial Planning is usually based on benthic georeferenced information or GPS tracked human activities, whereas the pelagic ecosystem is often ignored because of scarce and limited surface information. However, the 3-D pelagic ecosystem plays a key role connecting all the other ecosystems by physical (currents) and biological (migration) processes. According to remote sensing the Garrucha Canyon is oligotrophic, but 3-D sampling reveals subsurface upwelling, and converts it into the richest area around the Cape of Gata...
February 21, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Marc Uyà, Elena Maggi, Giovanna Mori, Caterina Nuccio, Paul E Gribben, Fabio Bulleri
Nutrient enrichment of coastal waters can enhance the invasibility and regrowth of non-native species. The invasive alga Caulerpa cylindracea has two distinct phases: a well-studied fast-growing summer phase, and a winter latent phase. To investigate the effects of nutrient enrichment on the regrowth of the seaweed after the winter resting-phase, a manipulative experiment was carried out in intertidal rockpools in the North-western Mediterranean. Nutrients were supplied under different temporal regimes: press (constant release from January to May), winter pulse (January to March) and spring pulse (March to May)...
February 20, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Shawna A Foo, Maria Byrne
In marine invertebrates, the environmental history of the mother can influence fecundity and egg size. Acclimation of females in climate change stressors, increased temperature and low pH, results in a decrease in egg number and size in many taxa, with the exception of cephalopods, where eggs increase in size. With respect to spawned eggs, near future levels of ocean acidification can interfere with the egg's block to polyspermy and intracellular pH. Reduction of the extracellular egg jelly coat seen in low pH conditions has implications for impaired egg function and fertilization...
February 17, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Jennifer L Sweatman, Craig A Layman, James W Fourqurean
Habitat fragmentation impacts ecosystem functioning in many ways, including reducing the availability of suitable habitat for animals and altering resource dynamics. Fragmentation in seagrass ecosystems caused by propeller scarring is a major source of habitat loss, but little is known about how scars impact ecosystem functioning. Propeller scars were simulated in seagrass beds of Abaco, Bahamas, to explore potential impacts. To determine if plant-herbivore interactions were altered by fragmentation, amphipod grazers were excluded from half the experimental plots, and epiphyte biomass and community composition were compared between grazer control and exclusion plots...
February 11, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Nina Marn, S A L M Kooijman, Marko Jusup, Tarzan Legović, Tin Klanjšček
Loggerhead turtle is an endangered sea turtle species with a migratory lifestyle and worldwide distribution, experiencing markedly different habitats throughout its lifetime. Environmental conditions, especially food availability and temperature, constrain the acquisition and the use of available energy, thus affecting physiological processes such as growth, maturation, and reproduction. These physiological processes at the population level determine survival, fecundity, and ultimately the population growth rate-a key indicator of the success of conservation efforts...
February 3, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
R van Hal, A B Griffioen, O A van Keeken
The number of offshore wind farms (OWF) is increasing to meet the demands for renewable energy. The piles and hard substrate surrounding these piles creates new habitat for species with preference to hard substrates. We studied the impact of this hard substrate on the fish community in a Dutch OWF in the sandy southern North Sea, which had been in operation for five years. Multi-mesh gillnets were placed near the OWF structures on the hard substrate protection revetments and on the sandy bottom in the middle of the farm...
January 31, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
S G Bolam, C Garcia, J Eggleton, A J Kenny, L Buhl-Mortensen, G Gonzalez-Mirelis, T van Kooten, G Dinesen, J Hansen, J G Hiddink, M Sciberras, C Smith, N Papadopoulou, A Gumus, G Van Hoey, O R Eigaard, F Bastardie, A D Rijnsdorp
There is an implicit requirement under contemporary policy drivers to understand the characteristics of benthic communities under anthropogenically-unimpacted scenarios. We used a trait-based approach on a large dataset from across the European shelf to determine how functional characteristics of unimpacted benthic assemblages vary between different sedimentary habitats. Assemblages in deep, muddy environments unaffected by anthropogenic disturbance show increased proportions of downward conveyors and surface deposit-feeders, while burrowing, diffusive mixing, scavenging and predation traits assume greater numerical proportions in shallower habitats...
January 23, 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Chiara Lombardi, Paul D Taylor, Silvia Cocito, Camilla Bertolini, Piero Calosi
Many aquatic animals grow into colonies of repeated, genetically identical, modules (zooids). Zooid interconnections enable colonies to behave as integrated functional units, while plastic responses to environmental changes may affect individual zooids. Plasticity includes the variable partitioning of resources to sexual reproduction, colony growth and maintenance. Maintenance often involves regeneration, which is also a routine part of the life history in some organisms, such as bryozoans. Here we investigate changes in regenerative capacity in the encrusting bryozoan Cryptosula pallasiana when cultured at different seawater pCO2 levels...
April 2017: Marine Environmental Research
R S K Barnes
Work in temperate New Zealand has concluded that seaward fringes of Avicennia pneumatophores (P) form an 'important ecological transitional environment' between seagrass (Z) and mangrove (M), supporting intermediate macrofaunal numbers and biodiversity (Alfaro, 2006). This study re-examined that hypothesis in subtropical Moreton Bay, Queensland, and investigated its dependence on the nature of the lower-shore habitat; i.e. whether seagrass or sandflat (S). Adjacent macrobenthic assemblages across 45 m deep Z:P:M and S:P:M interfaces were compared uni- and multivariately and via various assemblage metrics...
April 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Loredana Stabili, Lucia Rizzo, Graziano Pizzolante, Pietro Alifano, Simonetta Fraschetti
Understanding the mechanisms underlying the complex seaweed-bacteria associations in nature may provide information on the fitness of an invasive host. This may require the use of different approaches. In this study, we employed, for the first time, the Biolog system-Ecoplates™ to analyze the functional diversity of the culturable fraction of the bacterial assemblages associated with the surface of Caulerpa cylindracea, the invasive seaweed of the Mediterranean Sea. Seaweed samples were collected at five sites across the basin...
April 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Xinguo Zhao, Wei Shi, Yu Han, Saixi Liu, Cheng Guo, Wandong Fu, Xueliang Chai, Guangxu Liu
Oceanic uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere has significantly reduced surface seawater pH and altered the carbonate chemistry within, leading to global Ocean Acidification (OA). The blood clam, Tegillarca granosa, is an economically and ecologically significant marine bivalve that is widely distributed along the coastal and estuarine areas of Asia. To investigate the physiological responses to OA, blood clams were exposed to ambient and three reduced seawater pH levels (8.1, 7.8, 7.6 and 7.4) for 40 days, respectively...
April 2017: Marine Environmental Research
L Bray, D Kassis, J M Hall-Spencer
There are plans to start building offshore marine renewable energy devices throughout the Mediterranean and the Adriatic has been identified as a key location for wind farm developments. The development of offshore wind farms in the area would provide hard substrata for the settlement of sessile benthos. Since the seafloor of the Adriatic is predominantly sedimentary this may alter the larval connectivity of benthic populations in the region. Here, we simulated the release of larvae from benthic populations along the coasts of the Adriatic Sea using coupled bio-physical models and investigated the effect of pelagic larval duration on dispersal...
April 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Marco J Cabrerizo, Presentación Carrillo, Virginia E Villafañe, E Walter Helbling
Global change is associated to the increase in temperature (T), nutrient inputs (Nut) and solar radiation in the water column. To address their joint impact on the net community production [NCP], respiration [CR] and PSII performance (ΦPSII) of coastal phytoplankton communities from the South Atlantic Ocean over a seasonal succession, we performed a factorial design. For this, we used a 2 × 2 × 2 matrix set-up, with and without UVR, ambient and enriched nutrients, and in situ T and in situ T + 3 °C...
April 2017: Marine Environmental Research
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