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Marine Ecology

M Mayer-Pinto, K A Dafforn, A B Bugnot, T M Glasby, E L Johnston
Assessments of human impacts on natural habitats often focus on the abundance of component species, yet physiological and/or sub-lethal effects of stressors on functional attributes may be equally important to consider. Here we evaluated how artificial structures, an integral part of urbanisation in the marine environment, affects key functional properties of the habitat-forming kelp Ecklonia radiata. Given that stressors rarely occur in isolation, we assessed the effects of infrastructure across an urbanised estuary...
May 5, 2018: Marine Environmental Research
Anoop Alex, Agostinho Antunes
Bacteria belonging to the genus Pseudovibrio have been frequently found in association with a wide variety of marine eukaryotic invertebrate hosts, indicative of their versatile and symbiotic lifestyle. A recent comparison of the sponge-associated Pseudovibrio genomes has shed light on the mechanisms influencing a successful symbiotic association with sponges. In contrast, the genomic architecture of Pseudovibrio bacteria associated with other marine hosts has received less attention. Here, we performed genus-wide comparative analyses of 18 Pseudovibrio isolated from sponges, coral, tunicates, flatworm, and seawater...
2018: PloS One
Magdalena Bełdowska, Aleksandra Zgrundo, Justyna Kobos
Mercury is a neurotoxin, its main source in the human organism being fish and seafood. The first level in the marine food web is formed of planktonic and benthic photosynthetic microorganisms, which form a biofilm on the surface of the hard bottom (epilithon) or plants (epiphyton). They are carriers of nutritional as well as toxic substances and pass these on to subsequent levels of the trophic web. Their biomass is often dominated by diatoms. This was the basis for the presented study into Hg accumulation in epilithic, epiphytic and planktonic diatoms, which was carried out in 2012-2013 in the coastal zone of the Puck Lagoon and the Gulf of Gdańsk (southern Baltic)...
2018: Water, Air, and Soil Pollution
M Grazia Pennino, Marie-Christine Rufener, Mario J F Thomé-Souza, Adriana R Carvalho, Priscila F M Lopes, U Rashid Sumaila
Identifying vulnerable habitats is necessary to designing and prioritizing efficient marine protected areas (MPAs) to sustain the renewal of living marine resources. However, vulnerable habitats rarely become MPAs due to conflicting interests such as fishing. We propose a spatial framework to help researchers and managers determine optimal conservation areas in a multi-species fishery, while also considering the economic relevance these species may have in a given society, even in data poor situations. We first set different ecological criteria (i...
May 17, 2018: Scientific Reports
I Donázar-Aramendía, J E Sánchez-Moyano, I García-Asencio, J M Miró, C Megina, J C García-Gómez
This study assesses the effects of dredged material disposal in a recurrent marine dump near the Guadalquivir Estuary (south-western Spain). We compared the changes observed with two reference areas combining a classical ecological approach with new stable isotope techniques to analyse trophic structure. We detected permanent changes in the macrofaunal community structure as well as in the diversity and biotic indices applied, which showed higher values in the disposal area. The community in the marine dump had lost the natural temporal variations observed in the reference areas...
May 7, 2018: Marine Environmental Research
Martin Schebeck, Lukas Feldkirchner, Belen Marín, Susanne Krumböck, Hannes Schuler, Christian Stauffer
Heritable bacterial endosymbionts can alter the biology of numerous arthropods. They can influence the reproductive outcome of infected hosts, thus affecting the ecology and evolution of various arthropod species. The spruce bark beetle Pityogenes chalcographus (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) was reported to express partial, unidirectional crossing incompatibilities among certain European populations. Knowledge on the background of these findings is lacking; however, bacterial endosymbionts have been assumed to manipulate the reproduction of this beetle...
May 1, 2018: Journal of Insect Science
N Cuevas, M Martins, A P Rodrigo, C Martins, P M Costa
Motivated by biotechnological prospects, there is increasing evidence that we may just be scraping the tip of the iceberg of poisonous marine invertebrates, among which the Polychaeta are promising candidates for bioprospecting. Here we show that an inconspicuous phyllodocid uses toxins in its uncanny feeding strategy. The worm, a jawless active predator characterised by its bright green colour, preys on larger invertebrates (including conspecifics) by extracting tissue portions with its powerful proboscis through suction...
May 16, 2018: Scientific Reports
James W Morley, Rebecca L Selden, Robert J Latour, Thomas L Frölicher, Richard J Seagraves, Malin L Pinsky
Recent shifts in the geographic distribution of marine species have been linked to shifts in preferred thermal habitats. These shifts in distribution have already posed challenges for living marine resource management, and there is a strong need for projections of how species might be impacted by future changes in ocean temperatures during the 21st century. We modeled thermal habitat for 686 marine species in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans using long-term ecological survey data from the North American continental shelves...
2018: PloS One
Jackson W F Chu, Curtis Curkan, Verena Tunnicliffe
Global expansion of oxygen-deficient (hypoxic) waters will have detrimental effects on marine life in the Northeast Pacific Ocean (NEP) where some of the largest proportional losses in aerobic habitat are predicted to occur. However, few in situ studies have accounted for the high environmental variability in this region while including natural community-assembly dynamics. Here, we present results from a 14-month deployment of a benthic camera platform tethered to the VENUS cabled observatory in the seasonally hypoxic Saanich Inlet...
April 2018: Royal Society Open Science
Bing-Bing Li, Yuan-Yuan Cheng, Yang-Yang Fan, Dong-Feng Liu, Cai-Yun Fang, Chao Wu, Wen-Wei Li, Zong-Chuang Yang, Han-Qing Yu
Shewanella species have a diverse respiratory ability and wide distribution in environments and play an important role in bioremediation and the biogeochemical cycles of elements. Primers with more accuracy and broader coverage are required with consideration of the increasing number of Shewanella species and evaluation of their roles in various environments. In this work, a new primer set of 640F/815R was developed to quantify the abundance of Shewanella species in natural and engineered environments. In silico tools for primer evaluation, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and clone library results showed that 640F/815R had a higher specificity and coverage than the previous primers in quantitative analysis of Shewanella...
May 12, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Alexander Ereskovsky, Oleg A Kovtun, Konstantin K Pronin, Apostol Apostolov, Dirk Erpenbeck, Viatcheslav Ivanenko
Marine caves possess unique biocoenotic and ecological characteristics. Sessile benthic species such as sponges associated with cave habitats typically show a marked zonation from the cave entrance towards the end of the cave. We describe three semi-submerged karstic caves of 50 to 83 m length and 936 to 2,291 m3 volume from the poorly explored cavernicolous fauna of North-East Bulgaria. We surveyed sponge diversity and spatial variability. Eight demosponge species were identified based on morphological and molecular data, of which six are known from the adjacent open sea waters of the Black Sea...
2018: PeerJ
Hyewon Kim, Hugh W Ducklow, Doris Abele, Eduardo M Ruiz Barlett, Anita G J Buma, Michael P Meredith, Patrick D Rozema, Oscar M Schofield, Hugh J Venables, Irene R Schloss
The West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is a climatically sensitive region where periods of strong warming have caused significant changes in the marine ecosystem and food-web processes. Tight coupling between phytoplankton and higher trophic levels implies that the coastal WAP is a bottom-up controlled system, where changes in phytoplankton dynamics may largely impact other food-web components. Here, we analysed the inter-decadal time series of year-round chlorophyll- a (Chl) collected from three stations along the coastal WAP: Carlini Station at Potter Cove (PC) on King George Island, Palmer Station on Anvers Island and Rothera Station on Adelaide Island...
June 28, 2018: Philosophical Transactions. Series A, Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences
Oscar Schofield, Michael Brown, Josh Kohut, Schuyler Nardelli, Grace Saba, Nicole Waite, Hugh Ducklow
The West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) has experienced significant change over the last 50 years. Using a 24 year spatial time series collected by the Palmer Long Term Ecological Research programme, we assessed long-term patterns in the sea ice, upper mixed layer depth (MLD) and phytoplankton productivity. The number of sea ice days steadily declined from the 1980s until a recent reversal that began in 2008. Results show regional differences between the northern and southern regions sampled during regional ship surveys conducted each austral summer...
June 28, 2018: Philosophical Transactions. Series A, Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences
Nicolas Christian Ory, Camila Gallardo, Mark Lenz, Martin Thiel
Microplastics (<5 mm) have been found in many fish species, from most marine environments. However, the mechanisms underlying microplastic ingestion by fish are still unclear, although they are important to determine the pathway of microplastics along marine food webs. Here we conducted experiments in the laboratory to examine microplastic ingestion (capture and swallowing) and egestion by juveniles of the planktivorous palm ruff, Seriolella violacea (Centrolophidae). As expected, fish captured preferentially black microplastics, similar to food pellets, whereas microplastics of other colours (blue, translucent, and yellow) were mostly co-captured when floating close to food pellets...
May 11, 2018: Environmental Pollution
Huanxin Zhang, Xuexi Tang, Jiagen Shang, Xinyu Zhao, Tongfei Qu, Ying Wang
Naphthenic acids (NAs) account for 1-2% of crude oil and represent its main acidic component. However, the aquatoxic effects of NAs on marine phytoplankton and their ecological risks have remained largely unknown. Using the marine microalgae Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Platymonas helgolandica var. tsingtaoensis as the target, we studied the effects of NAs on their growth, cell morphology and physiological characteristics. The cell density decreased as the concentrations of NAs increased, indicating that they had an adverse effect on growth of the investigated algae in a concentration-dependent manner...
May 11, 2018: Environmental Pollution
Hoang Thi Thanh Thuy, Tu Thi Cam Loan, Trinh Hong Phuong
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are one of the most important classes of anthropogenic persistent organic contaminants in the marine environment. This review discusses a whole range of findings that address various aspects of the bioaccumulation of PAHs in two common marine biota (phytoplankton and bivalves) globally and especially for Can Gio coastal wetland, Vietnam. The published information and collected data on the bioconcentration and accumulation mechanisms of PAHs as well as implications for Can Gio coastal wetland are compiled for phytoplankton and bivalves...
May 12, 2018: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Yooeun Chae, Youn-Joo An
Plastic pollution in the environment is currently receiving worldwide attention. Improper dumping of disused or abandoned plastic wastes leads to contamination of the environment. In particular, the disposal of municipal wastewater effluent, sewage sludge landfill, and plastic mulch from agricultural activities is a serious issue and of major concern regarding soil pollution. Compared to plastic pollution in the marine and freshwater ecosystems, that in the soil ecosystem has been relatively neglected. In this study, we discussed plastic pollution in the soil environment and investigated research on the effects of plastic wastes, especially microplastics, on the soil ecosystem...
May 9, 2018: Environmental Pollution
Charles Bachy, Christina J Charlesworth, Amy M Chan, Jan F Finke, Chee-Hong Wong, Chia-Lin Wei, Sebastian Sudek, Maureen L Coleman, Curtis A Suttle, Alexandra Z Worden
Prasinophytes are widespread marine algae for which responses to nutrient limitation and viral infection are not well understood. We studied the picoprasinophyte, Micromonas pusilla, grown under phosphate-replete (0.65±0.07 d-1 ) and 10-fold lower (low)-phosphate (0.11±0.04 d-1 ) conditions, and infected by the phycodnavirus MpV-SP1. Expression of 17% of Micromonas genes in uninfected cells differed by >1.5-fold (q<0.01) between nutrient conditions, with genes for P-metabolism and the uniquely-enriched Sel1-like repeat (SLR) family having higher relative transcript abundances, while phospholipid-synthesis genes were lower in low-P than P-replete...
May 11, 2018: Environmental Microbiology
Jing Rui Dong, Bo Nian Shui, Cheng Ye Hu, Yu Yue Shui, Xiao DU, Kuo Tian
The studies about the niche and interspecific association in China were mainly focused on the plants, birds and marine animals, and seldom on fish. Based on the fishery resources survey in spring (May) and autumn (September) in 2015, the associations among major fish species in south coastal waters of Wenzhou were investigated. The methods including niche breadth, niche overlap, variance ratio (VR), Χ2 -test, association coefficient (AC), percentage of co-occurrence (PC) and point correlation coefficients (Ф) were used...
May 18, 2017: Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao, the Journal of Applied Ecology
Xiao Long Yang, Chao Jie Yang, Cheng Ye Hu, Xiu Mei Zhang
The relationship between the distribution of halobios and environmental variables has been a focus of present research in marine ecology. Species distribution models (SDMs) have been widely employed to predict the distribution patterns and potential habitat suitability assessments of marine species and provide an efficient approach for marine biodiversity conservation, invasive species prevention, and fishery management. SDMs mainly include habitat suitability index models, mechanism models, and statistical models...
June 18, 2017: Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao, the Journal of Applied Ecology
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