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Gulf of mexico

Michael G Reuscher, Jeffrey G Baguley, Nathan Conrad-Forrest, Cynthia Cooksey, Jeffrey L Hyland, Christopher Lewis, Paul A Montagna, Robert W Ricker, Melissa Rohal, Travis Washburn
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred in spring and summer 2010 in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Research cruises in 2010 (approximately 2-3 months after the well had been capped), 2011, and 2014 were conducted to determine the initial and subsequent effects of the oil spill on deep-sea soft-bottom infauna. A total of 34 stations were sampled from two zones: 20 stations in the "impact" zone versus 14 stations in the "non-impact" zone. Chemical contaminants were significantly different between the two zones...
2017: PloS One
Maxim Rubin-Blum, Chakkiath Paul Antony, Christian Borowski, Lizbeth Sayavedra, Thomas Pape, Heiko Sahling, Gerhard Bohrmann, Manuel Kleiner, Molly C Redmond, David L Valentine, Nicole Dubilier
Cycloclasticus bacteria are ubiquitous in oil-rich regions of the ocean and are known for their ability to degrade polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In this study, we describe Cycloclasticus that have established a symbiosis with Bathymodiolus heckerae mussels and poecilosclerid sponges from asphalt-rich, deep-sea oil seeps at Campeche Knolls in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Genomic and transcriptomic analyses revealed that, in contrast to all previously known Cycloclasticus, the symbiotic Cycloclasticus appears to lack the genes needed for PAH degradation...
June 19, 2017: Nature Microbiology
Eduardo Morteo, Axayácatl Rocha-Olivares, Rodrigo Morteo, David W Weller
Geographic variation in external morphology is thought to reflect an interplay between genotype and the environment. Morphological variation has been well-described for a number of cetacean species, including the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). In this study we analyzed dorsal fin morphometric variation in coastal bottlenose dolphins to search for geographic patterns at different spatial scales. A total of 533 dorsal fin images from 19 available photo-identification catalogs across the three Mexican oceanic regions (Pacific Ocean n = 6, Gulf of California n = 6 and, Gulf of Mexico n = 7) were used in the analysis...
2017: PeerJ
Sarra E Hinshaw, Corianne Tatariw, Nikaela Flournoy, Alice Kleinhuizen, Caitlin Bailey Taylor, Patricia Sobecky, Behzad Mortazavi
Salt marshes play a key role in removing excess anthropogenic nitrogen (N) loads to nearshore marine ecosystems through sediment microbial processes such as denitrification. However, in the Gulf of Mexico the loss of marsh vegetation due to human-driven disturbances such as sea level rise and oil spills can potentially reduce marsh capacity for N removal. In order to investigate the effect of vegetation loss on ecosystem N removal, we contrasted denitrification capacity in marsh and subtidal sediments impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill using a combination of (29)N2 and (30)N2 production (isotope pairing), denitrification potential measurements (acetylene block), and quantitative PCR (qPCR) of functional genes in the denitrification pathway...
June 15, 2017: Environmental Science & Technology
Z Jack Tseng, Adolfo Pacheco-Castro, Oscar Carranza-Castañeda, José Jorge Aranda-Gómez, Xiaoming Wang, Hilda Troncoso
The North American fossil otter Enhydritherium terraenovae is thought to be partially convergent in ecological niche with the living sea otter Enhydra lutris, both having low-crowned crushing teeth and a close association with marine environments. Fossil records of Enhydritherium are found in mostly marginal marine deposits in California and Florida; despite presence of very rich records of fossil terrestrial mammals in contemporaneous localities inland, no Enhydritherium fossils are hitherto known in interior North America...
June 2017: Biology Letters
Timothy J Rowell, David A Demer, Octavio Aburto-Oropeza, Juan José Cota-Nieto, John R Hyde, Brad E Erisman
Sound produced by fish spawning aggregations (FSAs) permits the use of passive acoustic methods to identify the timing and location of spawning. However, difficulties in relating sound levels to abundance have impeded the use of passive acoustics to conduct quantitative assessments of biomass. Here we show that models of measured fish sound production versus independently measured fish density can be generated to estimate abundance and biomass from sound levels at FSAs. We compared sound levels produced by spawning Gulf Corvina (Cynoscion othonopterus) with simultaneous measurements of density from active acoustic surveys in the Colorado River Delta, Mexico...
June 13, 2017: Scientific Reports
Martin V Sørensen, Stephen C Landers
A new kinorhynch species, Paracentrophyes sanchezae n. sp., is described from the Gulf of Mexico. The new species is distinguished from its congeners by its relatively low number of perispinal setae. In addition to the new species, the existence of one undescribed species of Paracentrophyes in the Gulf of Mexico is also reported. This undescribed species has very short lateral terminal spines, and the number of perispinal setae is lower than in any other known species of Paracentrophyes. Diagnostic notes are provided for this unnamed species, but the available material is too limited to provide a formal description...
March 9, 2017: Zootaxa
Carter R Gilbert, Richard L Mayden, Steven L Powers
For many years the North American cyprinid fish Macrhybopsis aestivalis (common name: Speckled Chub) was regarded as a single widespread and morphologically variable species, occurring in rivers throughout much of the Mississippi Valley and geographically adjacent eastern Gulf slope drainages, west to the Rio Grande basin in Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. Eisenhour (1997) completed a morphological study of western populations of the Speckled Chub, the results of which appeared thereafter in published form (Eisenhour 1999, 2004)...
March 30, 2017: Zootaxa
Lydia Babcock-Adams, Jeffrey P Chanton, Samantha B Joye, Patricia M Medeiros
In April of 2010, the Macondo well blowout in the northern Gulf of Mexico resulted in an unprecedented release of oil into the water column at a depth of approximately 1500 m. A time series of surface and subsurface sediment samples were collected to the northwest of the well from 2010 to 2013 for molecular biomarker and bulk carbon isotopic analyses. While no clear trend was observed in subsurface sediments, surface sediments (0-3 cm) showed a clear pattern with total concentrations of n-alkanes, unresolved complex mixture (UCM), and petroleum biomarkers (terpanes, hopanes, steranes) increasing from May to September 2010, peaking in late November 2010, and strongly decreasing in the subsequent years...
June 9, 2017: Environmental Pollution
Lin Qi, Chuanmin Hu, Brian B Barnes, Zhongping Lee
In summer 2014, a toxic Karenia brevis bloom (red tide) occurred in the NE Gulf of Mexico, during which vertical migration of K. brevis has been observed from glider measurements. The current study shows that satellite observations from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) can capture changes in surface reflectance and chlorophyll concentration occurring within 2h, which may be attributed this K. brevis vertical migration. The argument is supported by earlier glider measurements in the same bloom, by the dramatic changes in the VIIRS-derived surface chlorophyll, and by the consistency between the short-term reflectance changes and those reported earlier from field-measured K...
June 2017: Harmful Algae
Cristina R Perez, John K Moye, Dave Cacela, Karen M Dean, Chris A Pritsos
In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill released 134 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico making it the largest oil spill in US history. The three month oil spill left tens of thousands of birds dead; however, the fate of tens of thousands of other migratory birds that were affected but did not immediately die is unknown. We used the homing pigeon as a surrogate species for migratory birds to investigate the effects of a single external oiling event on the flight performance of birds. Data from GPS data loggers revealed that lightly oiled pigeons took significantly longer to return home and spent more time stopped en route than unoiled birds...
June 5, 2017: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Delane C Kritsky, Stephen Bullard, Micah Bakenhaster, Rachel Scharer, Gregg Poulakis
Mycteronastes Kearn and Beverley-Burton, 1990 (Monogenoidea: Monocotylidae: Merizocotylinae) was resurrected from subjective synonymy with Merizocotyle Cerfontaine, 1894, and its diagnosis emended to include monocotylids with a haptor lacking a central loculus and having 5 peripheral (2 bilateral pairs and an unpaired anteromedial loculus), 1 interhamular, and 17 marginal loculi. The 3 species of Mycteronastes accepted herein are parasitic within the olfactory sacs of rays and sawfishes: Mycteronastes icopae (Beverley-Burton and Williams, 1989) Kearn and Beverley-Burton, 1990 (type species) from the giant shovelnose ray Glaucostegus typus (Anonymous [Bennett]) (Glaucostegidae) in the southwestern Pacific Ocean; Mycteronastes undulatae Kearn and Beverley-Burton, 1990 from the undulate ray Raja undulata Lacepède (Rajidae) in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean; and Mycteronastes caalusi n...
June 7, 2017: Journal of Parasitology
Elizabeth R Jones, Christopher J Martyniuk, Jeffrey M Morris, Michelle O Krasnec, Robert J Griffitt
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill caused the release of 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, followed by the application of 2.9 million L of the dispersant, Corexit™ to mitigate the spread of oil. The spill resulted in substantial shoreline oiling, potentially exposing coastal organisms to polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and dispersant contaminants. To investigate molecular effects in fish following exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of DWH oil and dispersants, we exposed adult sheepshead minnows (Cyprinodon variegatus) to two concentrations of high-energy water-accommodated fraction (HEWAF), chemically enhanced water-accommodated fraction (CEWAF) or Corexit 9500™ for 7 and 14days...
May 26, 2017: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part D, Genomics & Proteomics
Caroline L Poli, Autumn-Lynn Harrison, Adriana Vallarino, Patrick D Gerard, Patrick G R Jodice
During breeding, foraging marine birds are under biological, geographic, and temporal constraints. These contraints require foraging birds to efficiently process environmental cues derived from physical habitat features that occur at nested spatial scales. Mesoscale oceanography in particular may change rapidly within and between breeding seasons, and findings from well-studied systems that relate oceanography to seabird foraging may transfer poorly to regions with substantially different oceanographic conditions...
2017: PloS One
Alysha D Cypher, Joanna Consiglio, Brian Bagatto
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010 released a mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) into the Gulf of Mexico presenting a complex exposure regime for native species. Concurrently, the Gulf has experienced an increase in hypoxic events due to agricultural runoff from the Mississippi River outflow. This combination presents a unique physiological challenge to native species and a challenge for researchers. The purpose of this study was to determine how the cardiotoxic PAH, phenanthrene interacts with hypoxia to affect the cardiovascular system of larval zebrafish (Danio rerio)...
May 19, 2017: Chemosphere
Brian H Harriman, Phoebe Zito, David C Podgorski, Matthew A Tarr, Joseph M Suflita
While the biogeochemical forces influencing the weathering of spilled oil have been investigated for decades, the environmental fate and effects of "oxyhydrocarbons" in sand patties deposited on beaches are not well-known. We collected sand patties deposited in the swash zone on Gulf of Mexico beaches following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. When sand patties were exposed to simulated sunlight, a larger concentration of dissolved organic carbon was leached into seawater than the corresponding dark controls...
June 21, 2017: Environmental Science & Technology
Nicholas Hendren, Senthil Sukumar, Craig S Glazer
We present a case of Vibrio vulnificus septic shock and cellulitis in a patient with chronic liver disease that occurred after obtaining a leg tattoo with subsequent seawater exposure in the Gulf of Mexico. Initial suspicion for V. vulnificus was high and he was started on empiric doxycycline and ceftriaxone at admission. Blood and wound cultures grew oxidase positive and comma-shaped Gram-negative rods ultimately confirmed to be V. vulnificus. Despite aggressive initial treatment, the patient developed septic shock and died...
May 27, 2017: BMJ Case Reports
Isabel C Romero, Gerardo Toro-Farmer, Arne-R Diercks, Patrick Schwing, Frank Muller-Karger, Steven Murawski, David J Hollander
The blowout of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) drilling rig in 2010 released an unprecedented amount of oil at depth (1,500 m) into the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Sedimentary geochemical data from an extensive area (∼194,000 km(2)) was used to characterize the amount, chemical signature, distribution, and extent of the DWH oil deposited on the seafloor in 2010-2011 from coastal to deep-sea areas in the GoM. The analysis of numerous hydrocarbon compounds (N = 158) and sediment cores (N = 2,613) suggests that, 1...
May 20, 2017: Environmental Pollution
Wendy Escobedo-Hinojosa, Liliana Pardo-López
Little is known about the diversity of bacteria in the Southwestern Gulf of Mexico. The aim of the study illustrated in this perspective was to search for the presence of bacterial pathogens in this ecosystem, using metagenomic data recently generated by the Mexican research group known as the Gulf of Mexico Research Consortium. Several genera of bacteria annotated as pathogens were detected in water and sediment marine samples. As expected, native and ubiquitous pathogenic bacteria genera such as Burkolderia, Halomonas, Pseudomonas, Shewanella, and Vibrio were highly represented...
May 23, 2017: Pathogens and Disease
Stephan R Kolian, Paul W Sammarco, Scott A Porter
Scleractinian, octocoral, and antipatharian corals have colonized many of the offshore oil and gas platforms in the northern Gulf of Mexico. We surveyed 25 offshore oil and gas platforms for these cnidarians. Few to no corals were detected on inshore, shallow-water structures at <25 m depth; however, the abundance of corals increased, ranging from 14 to 194/m(2), on platforms in waters deeper ≥25 m. The most common coral encountered were Tubastraea coccinea (Scleractinia) and Telesto spp. (Octocorallia)...
May 19, 2017: Environmental Management
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