Science.gov

Sample records for estuarine ecosystems

  1. Estuarine Total Ecosystem Metabolism

    EPA Science Inventory

    Total ecosystem metabolism (TEM), both as discrete measurements and as a theoretical concept, has an important history in ecosystem ecology, particularly in estuaries. Some of the earliest ecological studies were developed to determine how energy flowed through an ecosystem and w...

  2. Simulation modeling of estuarine ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, R. W.

    1980-01-01

    A simulation model has been developed of Galveston Bay, Texas ecosystem. Secondary productivity measured by harvestable species (such as shrimp and fish) is evaluated in terms of man-related and controllable factors, such as quantity and quality of inlet fresh-water and pollutants. This simulation model used information from an existing physical parameters model as well as pertinent biological measurements obtained by conventional sampling techniques. Predicted results from the model compared favorably with those from comparable investigations. In addition, this paper will discuss remotely sensed and conventional measurements in the framework of prospective models that may be used to study estuarine processes and ecosystem productivity.

  3. Detrital diversity influences estuarine ecosystem performance.

    PubMed

    Kelaher, Brendan P; Bishop, Melanie J; Potts, Jaimie; Scanes, Peter; Skilbeck, Greg

    2013-06-01

    Global losses of seagrasses and mangroves, eutrophication-driven increases in ephemeral algae, and macrophyte invasions have impacted estuarine detrital resources. To understand the implications of these changes on benthic ecosystem processes, we tested the hypotheses that detrital source richness, mix identity, and biomass influence benthic primary production, metabolism, and nutrient fluxes. On an estuarine muddy sandflat, we manipulated the availability of eight detrital sources, including mangrove, seagrass, and invasive and native algal species that have undergone substantial changes in distribution. Mixes of these detrital sources were randomly assigned to one of 12 treatments and dried detrital material was added to seventy-two 0.25 m(2) plots (n = 6 plots). The treatments included combinations of either two or four detrital sources and high (60 g) or low (40 g) levels of enrichments. After 2 months, the dark, light, and net uptake of NH4 (+) , dissolved inorganic nitrogen, and the dark efflux of dissolved organic nitrogen were each significantly influenced by the identity of detrital mixes, rather than detrital source richness or biomass. However, gross and net primary productivity, average oxygen flux, and net NOX and dissolved inorganic phosphorous fluxes were significantly greater in treatments with low than with high detrital source richness. These results demonstrate that changes in detrital source richness and mix identity may be important drivers of estuarine ecosystem performance. Continued impacts to estuarine macrophytes may, therefore, further alter detritus-fueled productivity and processes in estuaries. Specific tests that address predicted future changes to detrital resources are required to determine the consequences of this significant environmental problem. PMID:23505131

  4. Salt Marsh--Estuarine Ecosystem: A Liquid Asset

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steever, E. Zell

    1977-01-01

    A comprehensive description of the salt marsh-estuarine ecosystem is provided. Topics discussed include: the general geologic history and formation of this ecosystem; physical and chemical parameters; variety; primary productivity; tidal zones; kind, sizes and abundance of vegetation; and the environmental factors influencing vegetation. (BT)

  5. DISTRIBUTION OF MIREX IN AN EXPERIMENTAL ESTUARINE ECOSYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    Distribution of mirex in various compartments of an experimental estuarine ecosystem was determined. Uptake occurred from mirex concentrations in the water that averaged 0.061 plus or minus 0.031 micrograms/liter. Accumulation occurred to the highest degree in the hepato-pancreas...

  6. Managing bay and estuarine ecosystems for multiple services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Needles, Lisa A.; Lester, Sarah E.; Ambrose, Richard; Andren, Anders; Beyeler, Marc; Connor, Michael S.; Eckman, James E.; Costa-Pierce, Barry A.; Gaines, Steven D.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Lenihan, Junter S.; Parrish, Julia; Peterson, Mark S.; Scaroni, Amy E.; Weis, Judith S.; Wendt, Dean E.

    2013-01-01

    Managers are moving from a model of managing individual sectors, human activities, or ecosystem services to an ecosystem-based management (EBM) approach which attempts to balance the range of services provided by ecosystems. Applying EBM is often difficult due to inherent tradeoffs in managing for different services. This challenge particularly holds for estuarine systems, which have been heavily altered in most regions and are often subject to intense management interventions. Estuarine managers can often choose among a range of management tactics to enhance a particular service; although some management actions will result in strong tradeoffs, others may enhance multiple services simultaneously. Management of estuarine ecosystems could be improved by distinguishing between optimal management actions for enhancing multiple services and those that have severe tradeoffs. This requires a framework that evaluates tradeoff scenarios and identifies management actions likely to benefit multiple services. We created a management action-services matrix as a first step towards assessing tradeoffs and providing managers with a decision support tool. We found that management actions that restored or enhanced natural vegetation (e.g., salt marsh and mangroves) and some shellfish (particularly oysters and oyster reef habitat) benefited multiple services. In contrast, management actions such as desalination, salt pond creation, sand mining, and large container shipping had large net negative effects on several of the other services considered in the matrix. Our framework provides resource managers a simple way to inform EBM decisions and can also be used as a first step in more sophisticated approaches that model service delivery.

  7. Contrasting tropical estuarine ecosystem functioning and stability: A comparative study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villanueva, Maria Ching

    2015-03-01

    A comparative study of the Sine-saloum (Senegal) and Gambia (The Gambia) estuaries was performed based on trophic model outputs that describe the system structure and functioning. These trophic models were constructed such as to differentiate main energetic flows in the systems and express how climate change may have impacted ecosystem resilience to change. Estuarine fish assemblages are highly resilient despite exposure to vast hydrodynamic variations and stress. Coupled with strong anthropogenic-driven stresses such as fisheries and climate change, ecosystems may undergo severe regime shifts that may weaken their resilience and stability. Taxonomically related and morphologically similar species do not necessarily play similar ecological roles in these two ecosystems. Biomass and production in the Sine-saloum are concentrated at trophic levels (TLs) 2 and 3, while for the Gambia, both are concentrated at TL3. Higher TL biomasses in Gambia compared to Sine-Saloum may be explained by the latter ecosystem being characterized by inverse hypersalinity. Higher TL of production in Sine-Saloum is due to higher exploitations compared to Gambia where fishing activities are still less developed. High production and consumption rates of some groups in both ecosystems indicate high system productivity. Elevated productivity may be due to higher abundance of juvenile fishes in most groups that utilize the latter as refuge and/or nursery zones. Both ecosystems are phytoplankton-driven. Differences in group trophic and ecological roles are mainly due to adaptive responses of these species to seasonal and long-term climate and anthropogenic stressors. System indicators suggest different levels of ecosystem resilience and stability as a function of biodiversity. Relevance of other observations on ecosystem functioning and indicators in relation to perturbation is discussed.

  8. Biomonitoring of metal contamination in estuarine ecosystem using seagrass.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Faridahanim; Azman, Shamila; Said, Mohd Ismid Mohd; Baloo, Lavania

    2015-01-01

    Metals concentrations (As, Cd, Cu, Hg and Pb) in seawater, sediment and the seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) were analysed at Pulai River estuary, Johor Straits, Malaysia. In this research, Enhalus acoroides was used in order to find it's efficiency in up taking metals with a role in phytoremediation. Seawater, sediment and Enhalus acoroides samples were collected, and data of Pearson's correlation coefficients were analysed using SPSS 16 software. Results show that lead levels were the highest metal content in Enhalus acoroides (202 ± 102 μg/gDW), seawater (268 ± 190 μg/L) and sediment (248 ± 218 μg/gDW), compared to other metals. There was a positive correlation for metal concentrations between Enhalus acoroides and sediment, but no correlation was found between Enhalus acoroides with seawater at estuarine area may be caused by inconsistent metal concentrations in seawater due to the influences of tidal changes and stormy waves. This indicates that Enhalus acoroides is a species possessing the capabilities to uptake metals from sediment, and suitable to act as both a phytoremediator and biomonitor in estuarine ecosystems due to sharp sensitivity to variation in the environment. PMID:26029376

  9. BIODEGRADATION AND GAS-EXCHANGE OF GASEOUS ALKANES IN MODEL ESTUARINE ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Gas exchange-biodegradation experiments conducted in model estuarine ecosystems indicate that the ease of degradation of gaseious normal alkanes increases with chain length. The behavior of gaseous perhalogenated alkanes can be explained by gas exchange alone with no degradation....

  10. Pressures, stresses, shocks and trends in estuarine ecosystems - An introduction and synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jennerjahn, Tim C.; Mitchell, Steve B.

    2013-09-01

    In times of strongly increasing human uses of coastal zones estuaries deserve and do gain more attention in science and the public because of their extraordinary character in terms of their environmental setting as well as their economic potential. Taking this into account the 50th Conference of the Estuarine Coastal Sciences Association was held in Venice, Italy, in June 2012 with the maxim 'Today's science for tomorrow's management'. As a result of the Conference this special issue of Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science focusses on 'Pressures, stresses, shocks and trends in estuarine ecosystems'. Here we identify the major hazards to estuarine ecosystems as belonging to three categories: human activities, climate change and extreme events; and we discuss the special issue contributions in this context. Moreover, studies of indicators of environmental change and larger scale assessments of estuarine ecosystems are also highlighted. There are examples providing scientific evidence for a 'successful' management in terms of ecosystem recovery. However, for today's and future management it appears mandatory to use the term 'successful' in the sense of being beneficial for the ecosystem as well as for the stakeholders. With this in mind, we discuss the future of, and challenges to, estuarine ecosystems in the light of the environmental change of the Anthropocene in a final section.

  11. Phytoplankton primary production in the world's estuarine-coastal ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cloern, James E.; Foster, S.Q.; Kleckner, A.E.

    2014-01-01

    Estuaries are biogeochemical hot spots because they receive large inputs of nutrients and organic carbon from land and oceans to support high rates of metabolism and primary production. We synthesize published rates of annual phytoplankton primary production (APPP) in marine ecosystems influenced by connectivity to land – estuaries, bays, lagoons, fjords and inland seas. Review of the scientific literature produced a compilation of 1148 values of APPP derived from monthly incubation assays to measure carbon assimilation or oxygen production. The median value of median APPP measurements in 131 ecosystems is 185 and the mean is 252 g C m−2 yr−1, but the range is large: from −105 (net pelagic production in the Scheldt Estuary) to 1890 g C m−2 yr−1 (net phytoplankton production in Tamagawa Estuary). APPP varies up to 10-fold within ecosystems and 5-fold from year to year (but we only found eight APPP series longer than a decade so our knowledge of decadal-scale variability is limited). We use studies of individual places to build a conceptual model that integrates the mechanisms generating this large variability: nutrient supply, light limitation by turbidity, grazing by consumers, and physical processes (river inflow, ocean exchange, and inputs of heat, light and wind energy). We consider method as another source of variability because the compilation includes values derived from widely differing protocols. A simulation model shows that different methods reported in the literature can yield up to 3-fold variability depending on incubation protocols and methods for integrating measured rates over time and depth. Although attempts have been made to upscale measures of estuarine-coastal APPP, the empirical record is inadequate for yielding reliable global estimates. The record is deficient in three ways. First, it is highly biased by the large number of measurements made in northern Europe (particularly the Baltic region) and North America. Of the 1148

  12. Phytoplankton primary production in the world's estuarine-coastal ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cloern, J. E.; Foster, S. Q.; Kleckner, A. E.

    2014-05-01

    Estuaries are biogeochemical hot spots because they receive large inputs of nutrients and organic carbon from land and oceans to support high rates of metabolism and primary production. We synthesize published rates of annual phytoplankton primary production (APPP) in marine ecosystems influenced by connectivity to land - estuaries, bays, lagoons, fjords and inland seas. Review of the scientific literature produced a compilation of 1148 values of APPP derived from monthly incubation assays to measure carbon assimilation or oxygen production. The median value of median APPP measurements in 131 ecosystems is 185 and the mean is 252 g C m-2 yr-1, but the range is large: from -105 (net pelagic production in the Scheldt Estuary) to 1890 g C m-2 yr-1 (net phytoplankton production in Tamagawa Estuary). APPP varies up to 10-fold within ecosystems and 5-fold from year to year (but we only found eight APPP series longer than a decade so our knowledge of decadal-scale variability is limited). We use studies of individual places to build a conceptual model that integrates the mechanisms generating this large variability: nutrient supply, light limitation by turbidity, grazing by consumers, and physical processes (river inflow, ocean exchange, and inputs of heat, light and wind energy). We consider method as another source of variability because the compilation includes values derived from widely differing protocols. A simulation model shows that different methods reported in the literature can yield up to 3-fold variability depending on incubation protocols and methods for integrating measured rates over time and depth. Although attempts have been made to upscale measures of estuarine-coastal APPP, the empirical record is inadequate for yielding reliable global estimates. The record is deficient in three ways. First, it is highly biased by the large number of measurements made in northern Europe (particularly the Baltic region) and North America. Of the 1148 reported values of

  13. Primary consumers enhance connectivity to marine and terrestrial ecosystems within estuarine food webs

    EPA Science Inventory

    The flux of organic matter (OM) across ecosystem boundaries can influence estuarine food web dynamics and productivity. However, this process is seldom investigated taking into account all the adjacent ecosystems (e.g. ocean, river, land) and different hydrological settings (i.e....

  14. DIEL FLUX OF DISSOLVED CARBOHYDRATE IN A SALT MARSH AND A SIMULATED ESTUARINE ECOSYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The concentrations of total dissolved carbohydrate (TCHO), monosaccharide (MCHO) and polysaccharide (PCHO) were followed over a total of ten diel cycles in a salt marsh and a 13 cu m seawater tank simulating an estuarine ecosystem. Their patterns are compared to those for total d...

  15. PARTITIONING OF NO. 2 FUEL OIL IN CONTROLLED ESTUARINE ECOSYSTEMS, SEDIMENTS AND SUSPENDED PARTICULATE MATTER

    EPA Science Inventory

    To investigate the transport and incorporation of water-borne oil to sediments, no. 2 fuel oil was added as a dispersion in semiweekly doses to three controlled estuarine ecosystems. Samples of suspended particulate matter and sediments were analyzed by gas chromatography for sat...

  16. Environmental metabarcoding reveals heterogeneous drivers of microbial eukaryote diversity in contrasting estuarine ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Lallias, Delphine; Hiddink, Jan G; Fonseca, Vera G; Gaspar, John M; Sung, Way; Neill, Simon P; Barnes, Natalie; Ferrero, Tim; Hall, Neil; Lambshead, P John D; Packer, Margaret; Thomas, W Kelley; Creer, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Assessing how natural environmental drivers affect biodiversity underpins our understanding of the relationships between complex biotic and ecological factors in natural ecosystems. Of all ecosystems, anthropogenically important estuaries represent a ‘melting pot' of environmental stressors, typified by extreme salinity variations and associated biological complexity. Although existing models attempt to predict macroorganismal diversity over estuarine salinity gradients, attempts to model microbial biodiversity are limited for eukaryotes. Although diatoms commonly feature as bioindicator species, additional microbial eukaryotes represent a huge resource for assessing ecosystem health. Of these, meiofaunal communities may represent the optimal compromise between functional diversity that can be assessed using morphology and phenotype–environment interactions as compared with smaller life fractions. Here, using 454 Roche sequencing of the 18S nSSU barcode we investigate which of the local natural drivers are most strongly associated with microbial metazoan and sampled protist diversity across the full salinity gradient of the estuarine ecosystem. In order to investigate potential variation at the ecosystem scale, we compare two geographically proximate estuaries (Thames and Mersey, UK) with contrasting histories of anthropogenic stress. The data show that although community turnover is likely to be predictable, taxa are likely to respond to different environmental drivers and, in particular, hydrodynamics, salinity range and granulometry, according to varied life-history characteristics. At the ecosystem level, communities exhibited patterns of estuary-specific similarity within different salinity range habitats, highlighting the environmental sequencing biomonitoring potential of meiofauna, dispersal effects or both. PMID:25423027

  17. Environmental metabarcoding reveals heterogeneous drivers of microbial eukaryote diversity in contrasting estuarine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lallias, Delphine; Hiddink, Jan G; Fonseca, Vera G; Gaspar, John M; Sung, Way; Neill, Simon P; Barnes, Natalie; Ferrero, Tim; Hall, Neil; Lambshead, P John D; Packer, Margaret; Thomas, W Kelley; Creer, Simon

    2015-05-01

    Assessing how natural environmental drivers affect biodiversity underpins our understanding of the relationships between complex biotic and ecological factors in natural ecosystems. Of all ecosystems, anthropogenically important estuaries represent a 'melting pot' of environmental stressors, typified by extreme salinity variations and associated biological complexity. Although existing models attempt to predict macroorganismal diversity over estuarine salinity gradients, attempts to model microbial biodiversity are limited for eukaryotes. Although diatoms commonly feature as bioindicator species, additional microbial eukaryotes represent a huge resource for assessing ecosystem health. Of these, meiofaunal communities may represent the optimal compromise between functional diversity that can be assessed using morphology and phenotype-environment interactions as compared with smaller life fractions. Here, using 454 Roche sequencing of the 18S nSSU barcode we investigate which of the local natural drivers are most strongly associated with microbial metazoan and sampled protist diversity across the full salinity gradient of the estuarine ecosystem. In order to investigate potential variation at the ecosystem scale, we compare two geographically proximate estuaries (Thames and Mersey, UK) with contrasting histories of anthropogenic stress. The data show that although community turnover is likely to be predictable, taxa are likely to respond to different environmental drivers and, in particular, hydrodynamics, salinity range and granulometry, according to varied life-history characteristics. At the ecosystem level, communities exhibited patterns of estuary-specific similarity within different salinity range habitats, highlighting the environmental sequencing biomonitoring potential of meiofauna, dispersal effects or both. PMID:25423027

  18. An introduced Asian parasite threatens northeastern Pacific estuarine ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We test a prevalent assumption in marine ecology that species are native to where they are found until contrary evidence appears. The native assumption significantly biases interpretations of marine community and ecosystem dynamics if it results in oversight of critically important introduced specie...

  19. A Linked Physical and Biological Framework to Assess Biogeochemical Dynamics in a Shallow Estuarine Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buzzelli, C. P.; Wetzel, R. L.; Meyers, M. B.

    1999-12-01

    The littoral zone of Chesapeake Bay contains a mosaic of shallow vegetated and nonvegetated habitats with biotic components that are sensitive to changes in biological and physical driving factors. Static and dynamic modelling frameworks provide an integrative way to study complex hydrodynamic and biogeochemical processes in linked estuarine habitats. In this study we describe a spatial simulation model developed and calibrated relative to a specific littoral zone, estuarine ecosystem. The model consisted of four distinct habitats that contained phytoplankton, sediment microalgae, Zostera marina (eelgrass), and Spartina alterniflora. There was tidal exchange of phytoplankton, particulate and dissolved organic carbon and dissolved inorganic nitrogen between the littoral zone ecosystem and the offshore channel. Physical exchange and biogeochemical transformations within the habitats determined water column concentrations in each habitat. Predicted subtidal water column concentrations and Z. marina and S. alterniflora biomass were within the variability of validation data and the predicted annual rates of net primary production were similar to measured rates. Phytoplankton accounted for 17%, sediment microalgae 46%, the Z. marina community 24% and S. alterniflora 13% of the annual littoral zone primary production. The linked habitat model provided insights into producer, habitat and ecosystem carbon and nitrogen properties that might not have been evident with stand-alone models. Although it was an intra-ecosystem sink for particulate carbon, the seagrass habitat was a DOC source and responsible for over 30% of the littoral zone carbon and nitrogen primary production. The model predicted that the Goodwin Islands littoral zone was a sink of channel derived POC, but a source of DOC to the surrounding estuary. The framework created in this study of estuarine ecosystem dynamics is applicable to many different aquatic systems over a range of spatial and temporal scales.

  20. Will a rising sea sink some estuarine wetland ecosystems?

    PubMed

    Grenfell, S E; Callaway, R M; Grenfell, M C; Bertelli, C M; Mendzil, A F; Tew, I

    2016-06-01

    Sea-level rise associated with climate change presents a major challenge to plant diversity and ecosystem service provision in coastal wetlands. In this study, we investigate the effect of sea-level rise on benthos, vegetation, and ecosystem diversity in a tidal wetland in west Wales, the UK. Present relationships between plant communities and environmental variables were investigated through 50 plots at which vegetation (species and coverage), hydrological (surface or groundwater depth, conductivity) and soil (matrix chroma, presence or absence of mottles, organic content, particle size) data were collected. Benthic communities were sampled at intervals along a continuum from saline to freshwater. To ascertain future changes to the wetlands' hydrology, a GIS-based empirical model was developed. Using a LiDAR derived land surface, the relative effect of peat accumulation and rising sea levels were modelled over 200 years to determine how frequently portions of the wetland will be inundated by mean sea level, mean high water spring and mean high water neap conditions. The model takes into account changing extents of peat accumulation as hydrological conditions alter. Model results show that changes to the wetland hydrology will initially be slow. However, changes in frequency and extent of inundation reach a tipping point 125 to 175 years from 2010 due to the extremely low slope of the wetland. From then onwards, large portions of the wetland become flooded at every flood tide and saltwater intrusion becomes more common. This will result in a reduction in marsh biodiversity with plant communities switching toward less diverse and occasionally monospecific communities that are more salt tolerant. While the loss of tidal freshwater wetland is in line with global predictions, simulations suggest that in the Teifi marshes the loss will be slow at first, but then rapid. While there will be a decrease in biodiversity, the model indicated that at least for one ecosystem

  1. Linking terrestrial and estuarine ecosystems: Organic matter sources supporting the high secondary production of a non-indigenous bivalve

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Asian clam Corbicula fluminea is one of the most pervasive species in freshwater ecosystems. Our objective was to characterize the trophic interactions of C. fluminea in the Minho river estuary (NW-Iberian Peninsula, Europe), an estuarine ecosystem in which C. fluminea presen...

  2. Climate warming and estuarine and marine coastal ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Kennedy, V.S.

    1994-12-31

    Estuaries are physically controlled, resilient coastal ecosystems harboring environmentally tolerant species in diluted seawater. Marine coastal systems are less stressed physically and contain some environmentally less tolerant species. Both systems are biologically productive and economically significant. Because of their complex structure and function, it is difficult to predict accurately the effects of climate change, but some broad generalizations can be made. If climate warming occurs, it will raise sea-level, heat shallow waters, and modify precipitation, wind, and water circulation patterns. Rapid sea-level rise could cause the loss of salt marshes, mangrove swamps, and coral reefs, thus diminishing the ecological roles of these highly productive systems. Warmer waters could eliminate heat-sensitive species from part of their geographical range while allowing heat-tolerant species to expand their range, depending on their ability to disperse. Most thermally influenced losses of species will probably only be local, but changed distributions may lead to changed community function. It is more difficult to predict the effects of modified precipitation, wind, and water circulation patterns, but changes could affect organisms dependent on such patterns for food production (e.g., in upwelling regions) or for retention in estuaries. Aquacultural and fishery-related enterprises would be affected negatively in some regions and positively in others. 73 refs.

  3. Biogeochemical processes driving mercury cycling in estuarine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schartup, A. T.

    2015-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a naturally occurring element that has been enriched in the environment through human activities, particularly in the coastal zone. Bioaccumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) in marine fishposes health risks for fish-consuming populations and is a worldwide health concern. A broader understanding of major environmental processes controlling Hg cycling and MeHg production and bioaccumulation in estuaries is therefore needed. Recent fieldwork and modeling show diverse sources of MeHg production in estuaries. We present geochemical modeling results for Hg and MeHg acrossmultiple estuaries with contrasting physical, chemical and biological characteristics. We report new measurements of water column and sediment mercury speciation and methylation data from the subarctic (Lake Melville, Labrador Canada) and temperate latitudes (Long Island Sound, Delaware Bay, Chesapeake Bay). We find that benthic sediment is a relatively small source of MeHg to the water column in all systems. Water column methylation drives MeHg levels in Lake Melville, whereas in more impacted shallow systems such as Chesapeake Bay and Long Island Sound, external inputs and sediment resuspension are more dominant. All systems are a net source of MeHg to the ocean through tidal exchange. In light of these inter-system differences, we will evaluate timescales of coastal ecosystem responses to changes in Hg loading that can help predict potential responses to future perturbations.

  4. Estimates of natural salinity and hydrology in a subtropical estuarine ecosystem: implications for Greater Everglades restoration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marshall, Frank E.; Wingard, Georgiana L.; Pitts, Patrick A.

    2014-01-01

    Disruption of the natural patterns of freshwater flow into estuarine ecosystems occurred in many locations around the world beginning in the twentieth century. To effectively restore these systems, establishing a pre-alteration perspective allows managers to develop science-based restoration targets for salinity and hydrology. This paper describes a process to develop targets based on natural hydrologic functions by coupling paleoecology and regression models using the subtropical Greater Everglades Ecosystem as an example. Paleoecological investigations characterize the circa 1900 CE (pre-alteration) salinity regime in Florida Bay based on molluscan remains in sediment cores. These paleosalinity estimates are converted into time series estimates of paleo-based salinity, stage, and flow using numeric and statistical models. Model outputs are weighted using the mean square error statistic and then combined. Results indicate that, in the absence of water management, salinity in Florida Bay would be about 3 to 9 salinity units lower than current conditions. To achieve this target, upstream freshwater levels must be about 0.25 m higher than indicated by recent observed data, with increased flow inputs to Florida Bay between 2.1 and 3.7 times existing flows. This flow deficit is comparable to the average volume of water currently being diverted from the Everglades ecosystem by water management. The products (paleo-based Florida Bay salinity and upstream hydrology) provide estimates of pre-alteration hydrology and salinity that represent target restoration conditions. This method can be applied to any estuarine ecosystem with available paleoecologic data and empirical and/or model-based hydrologic data.

  5. Multitrophic functional diversity predicts ecosystem functioning in experimental assemblages of estuarine consumers.

    PubMed

    Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Duffy, J Emmett

    2015-11-01

    The use of functional traits to explain how biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning has attracted intense interest, yet few studies have a priori altered functional diversity, especially in multitrophic communities. Here, we manipulated multivariate functional diversity of estuarine grazers and predators within multiple levels of species richness to test how species richness and functional diversity predicted ecosystem functioning in a multitrophic food web. Community functional diversity was a better predictor than species richness for the majority of ecosystem properties, based on generalized linear mixed-effects models. Combining inferences from eight traits into a single multivariate index increased prediction accuracy of these models relative to any individual trait. Structural equation modeling revealed that functional diversity of both grazers and predators was important in driving final biomass within trophic levels, with stronger effects observed for predators. We also show that different species drove different ecosystem responses, with evidence for both sampling effects and complementarity. Our study extends experimental investigations of functional trait diversity to a multilevel food web, and demonstrates that functional diversity can be more accurate and effective than species richness in predicting community biomass in a food web context. PMID:27070016

  6. Seagrass sediments reveal the long-term deterioration of an estuarine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Serrano, Oscar; Lavery, Paul; Masque, Pere; Inostroza, Karina; Bongiovanni, James; Duarte, Carlos

    2016-04-01

    The study of a Posidonia australis sediment archive has provided a record of ecosystem dynamics and processes over the last 600 years in Oyster Harbour (SW Australia). Ecosystem shifts are a widespread phenomenon in coastal areas, and this study identifies baseline conditions and the time-course of ecological change (cycles, trends, resilience and thresholds of ecosystem change) under environmental stress in seagrass-dominated ecosystem. The shifts in the concentrations of chemical elements, carbonates, sediments <0.125 mm and stable carbon isotope signatures (δ(13) C) of the organic matter were detected between 1850s and 1920s, whereas the shift detected in P concentration occurred several decades later (1960s). The first degradation phase (1850s-1950s) follows the onset of European settlement in Australia and was characterized by a strong increase in sediment accumulation rates and fine-grained particles, driven primarily by enhanced run-off due to land clearance and agriculture in the catchment. About 80% of total seagrass area at Oyster Harbour was lost during the second phase of environmental degradation (1960s until present). The sharp increase in P concentration and the increasing contribution of algae and terrestrial inputs into the sedimentary organic matter pool around 1960s provides compelling evidence of the documented eutrophication of the estuary and the subsequent loss of seagrass meadows. The results presented demonstrate the power of seagrass sedimentary archives to reconstruct the trajectories of anthropogenic pressures on estuarine ecosystem and the associated regime shifts, which can be used to improve the capacity of scientists and environmental managers to understand, predict and better manage ecological change in these ecosystems. PMID:26818637

  7. Classification for Estuarine Ecosystems: A Review and Comparison of Selected Classification Schemes

    EPA Science Inventory

    Estuarine scientists have devoted considerable effort to classifying coastal, estuarine and marine environments and their watersheds, for a variety of purposes. These classifications group systems with similarities – most often in physical and hydrodynamic properties – in order ...

  8. Soil organic carbon stocks in estuarine and marine mangrove ecosystems are driven by nutrient colimitation of P and N.

    PubMed

    Weiss, Christian; Weiss, Joanna; Boy, Jens; Iskandar, Issi; Mikutta, Robert; Guggenberger, Georg

    2016-07-01

    Mangroves play an important role in carbon sequestration, but soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks differ between marine and estuarine mangroves, suggesting differing processes and drivers of SOC accumulation. Here, we compared undegraded and degraded marine and estuarine mangroves in a regional approach across the Indonesian archipelago for their SOC stocks and evaluated possible drivers imposed by nutrient limitations along the land-to-sea gradients. SOC stocks in natural marine mangroves (271-572 Mg ha(-1) m(-1)) were much higher than under estuarine mangroves (100-315 Mg ha(-1) m(-1)) with a further decrease caused by degradation to 80-132 Mg ha(-1) m(-1). Soils differed in C/N ratio (marine: 29-64; estuarine: 9-28), δ (15)N (marine: -0.6 to 0.7‰; estuarine: 2.5 to 7.2‰), and plant-available P (marine: 2.3-6.3 mg kg(-1); estuarine: 0.16-1.8 mg kg(-1)). We found N and P supply of sea-oriented mangroves primarily met by dominating symbiotic N2 fixation from air and P import from sea, while mangroves on the landward gradient increasingly covered their demand in N and P from allochthonous sources and SOM recycling. Pioneer plants favored by degradation further increased nutrient recycling from soil resulting in smaller SOC stocks in the topsoil. These processes explained the differences in SOC stocks along the land-to-sea gradient in each mangrove type as well as the SOC stock differences observed between estuarine and marine mangrove ecosystems. This first large-scale evaluation of drivers of SOC stocks under mangroves thus suggests a continuum in mangrove functioning across scales and ecotypes and additionally provides viable proxies for carbon stock estimations in PES or REDD schemes. PMID:27547332

  9. Joint Ecosystem Modeling (JEM) ecological model documentation volume 1: Estuarine prey fish biomass availability v1.0.0

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Romañach, Stephanie S.; Conzelmann, Craig; Daugherty, Adam; Lorenz, Jerome L.; Hunnicutt, Christina; Mazzotti, Frank J.

    2011-01-01

    Estuarine fish serve as an important prey base in the Greater Everglades ecosystem for key fauna such as wading birds, crocodiles, alligators, and piscivorous fishes. Human-made changes to freshwater flow across the Greater Everglades have resulted in less freshwater flow into the fringing estuaries and coasts. These changes in freshwater input have altered salinity patterns and negatively affected primary production of the estuarine fish prey base. Planned restoration projects should affect salinity and water depth both spatially and temporally and result in an increase in appropriate water conditions in areas occupied by estuarine fish. To assist in restoration planning, an ecological model of estuarine prey fish biomass availability was developed as an evaluation tool to aid in the determination of acceptable ranges of salinity and water depth. Comparisons of model output to field data indicate that the model accurately predicts prey biomass in the estuarine regions of the model domain. This model can be used to compare alternative restoration plans and select those that provide suitable conditions.

  10. Developing a salinity-based approach for the evaluation of DIN removal rate in estuarine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hong, Yiguo; Wang, Shuailong; Xu, Xiang-Rong; Wu, Jiapeng; Liu, Ling; Yue, Weizhong; Wu, Meilin; Wang, Youshao

    2015-10-01

    Estuaries play an important role in the removal of overloading nitrogen to relieve the eutrophic pressure of coastal seawater. However, the exact amount of nitrogen removed in estuarine ecosystems is difficult to be estimated because of the complex dynamic mixing process between riverine water and coastal seawater. In this study, a new method was developed to calculate the removal rate of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) in estuarine waters attributed to the mixing process and was based on the assumption that relative salinity can serve as an indicator of the degree of mixing. This assumption was supported by the experimental results that demonstrated a linear regression relationship between DIN decline and salinity increase Thus, the decreased amount of DIN in mixing waters attributed to the dilution effect could be determined with the salinity as an index. With this model, the DIN removal rate in both Chesapeake Bay and Pearl River Estuary were defined. As predicted, our analysis demonstrated that the DIN removal rate increased gradually from upstream to downstream in both studied estuaries with obvious seasonable variation pattern: high in warm seasons and low in cold seasons. The practical application of this method might be affected by multiple factors, including the geographic landform of estuaries, initial estuaries DIN concentration, the DIN concentration in seawater, DIN importing from tributaries, sewage discharge and hydrodynamic mixing. Therefore, the results supported the hypothesis that estuaries have a strong capability to remove the nitrogen inputted from human activities, especially in warm season and therefore should play an important role in regulating the balance of global nitrogen biogeochemical cycle. PMID:25957975

  11. Biological indicators of changes in water quality and habitats of the coastal and estuarine areas of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem; Chapter 11

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wachnicka, Anna; Wingard, Georgiana L.

    2015-01-01

    This chapter summarizes the application of various biological indicators to studying the anthropogenic and natural changes in water quality and habitats that have occurred in the coastal and estuarine areas of the Greater Everglades ecosystem.

  12. The effect of physical drivers on ecosystem indices derived from ecological network analysis: Comparison across estuarine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niquil, Nathalie; Chaumillon, Eric; Johnson, Galen A.; Bertin, Xavier; Grami, Boutheina; David, Valérie; Bacher, Cédric; Asmus, Harald; Baird, Daniel; Asmus, Ragnhild

    2012-08-01

    The structure and function of estuarine food webs change in response to both natural and anthropogenic stresses. The construction of quantitative food webs and their analysis by means of Ecological Network Analysis provides outputs that have been used in many studies to assess system development, stress, robustness, resilience and maturity. Here we attempt to relate to the physical characteristics of the environment, ecosystem indices derived from Ecological Network Analysis. Ten models of food webs were gathered, across a selection of soft-bottom estuaries representative of a large morphological and hydrodynamic diversity, from wave-dominated to mixed energy tide-dominated systems. The selection allowed the comparison of their derived Ecological Network Analysis indices, because of similarities of accuracy in the representation of detritus and bacteria, and because models took into account all trophic levels up to top-predators. In order to obtain comparable physical characteristics, global models were used for a homogeneous description of tide and tidal prisms. Spearman correlations, hierarchical ascendant clustering and Redundancy Analysis were applied to examine the relationship between Ecological Network Analysis indices and physical characteristics. The set of four physical variables selected (catchment area, tidal range at neap tide, index of tide-wave domination and latitude in absolute value) explained 67% of the structure of the Ecological Network Analysis indices. This implies that the physical forcing related to climate, hydrodynamics and morphology is essential for determining the ecological emergent properties of the food web. In the European policy context of determining the 'good ecological status' of coastal ecosystems, it implies that the use of Ecological Network Analysis indices for basing the determination of operational indicators should be done, taking into account this context of a strong influence of physical factors.

  13. Perspectives on the microbial carbon pump with special reference to microbial respiration and ecosystem efficiency in large estuarine systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dang, H.; Jiao, N.

    2014-07-01

    Although respiration-based oxidation of reduced carbon releases CO2 into the environment, it provides an ecosystem with the metabolic energy for essential biogeochemical processes, including the newly proposed microbial carbon pump (MCP). The efficiency of MCP in heterotrophic microorganisms is related to the mechanisms of energy transduction employed and hence is related to the form of respiration utilized. Anaerobic organisms typically have lower efficiencies of energy transduction and hence lower efficiencies of energy-dependent carbon transformation. This leads to a lower MCP efficiency on a per-cell basis. Substantial input of terrigenous nutrients and organic matter into estuarine ecosystems typically results in elevated heterotrophic respiration that rapidly consumes dissolved oxygen, potentially producing hypoxic and anoxic zones in the water column. The lowered availability of dissolved oxygen and the excessive supply of nutrients such as nitrate from river discharge lead to enhanced anaerobic respiration processes such as denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium. Thus, some nutrients may be consumed through anaerobic heterotrophs, instead of being utilized by phytoplankton for autotrophic carbon fixation. In this manner, eutrophied estuarine ecosystems become largely fueled by anaerobic respiratory pathways and their efficiency is less due to lowered ecosystem productivity when compared to healthy and balanced estuarine ecosystems. This situation may have a negative impact on the ecological function and efficiency of the MCP which depends on the supply of both organic carbon and metabolic energy. This review presents our current understanding of the MCP mechanisms from the view point of ecosystem energy transduction efficiency, which has not been discussed in previous literature.

  14. Seasonal Prevalence of Enteropathogenic Vibrio and Their Phages in the Riverine Estuarine Ecosystem of South Bengal

    PubMed Central

    Mookerjee, Subham; Batabyal, Prasenjit; Sarkar, Madhumanti Halder; Palit, Anup

    2015-01-01

    Diarrheal disease remains an unsolved problem in developing countries. The emergence of new etiological agents (non-cholera vibrios) is a major cause of concern for health planners. We attempted to unveil the seasonal dynamics of entero-pathogenic Vibrios in Gangetic riverine-estuarine ecosystem. 120 surface water samples were collected for a period of one year from 3 sampling sites on the Hooghly river. Five enteropathogenic Vibrio species, V. cholerae (35%), V. parahaemolyticus (22.5%), V. mimicus (19.1%), V. alginolyticus (15.8%) and V. vulnificus (11.6%), were present in the water samples. The vibriophages, V. vulnificus ɸ (17.5%), V. alginolyticus ɸ (17.5%), V. parahaemolyticus ɸ (10%), V. cholerae non-O1/O139 ɸ (26.6%) and V. mimicus ɸ (9.1%), were also detected in these samples. The highest number of Vibrios were noted in the monsoon (20–34°C), and to a lesser extent, in the summer (24–36°C) seasons. Samples positive for phages for any of the identified Vibrio species were mostly devoid of that particular bacterial organism and vice versa. The detection of toxin genes and resistance to β-lactam antibiotics in some environmental enteropathogenic Vibrio species in the aquatic niches is a significant outcome. This finding is instrumental in the south Bengal diarrhoeal incidence. PMID:26340543

  15. Nutrient dynamics in tropical rivers, estuarine-lagoons, and coastal ecosystems along the eastern Hainan Island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, R. H.; Liu, S. M.; Li, Y. W.; Zhang, G. L.; Ren, J. L.; Zhang, J.

    2013-06-01

    Nutrient dynamics were studied along the eastern Hainan Island based on field observations during 2006-2009, to understand nutrient biogeochemical processes and to have an overview of human perturbations on coastal ecosystems in this tropical region. The concentrations of nutrients in the rivers had seasonal variations enriched with dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN). High riverine concentrations of nitrate were mainly originated from agricultural fertilizer input. The ratios of DIN : PO43- ranged from 37 to 1063, suggesting preferential PO43- relative to nitrogen in the rivers. The areal yields of dissolved silicate (DSi) varied from 76 to 448 × 103 mol km-2 yr-1 due to erosion over the drainage area, inducing high levels of DSi among worldwide tropical systems. Aquaculture ponds contained high concentrations of NH4+ (up to 157 μM) and DON (up to 130 μM). Particulate phosphorus concentrations (0.5 ∼1.4 μM) were in lower level comparied with estuaries around the world. Particulate silicate levels in rivers and lagoons were lower than global average level. Nutrient biogeochemistry in coastal areas were affected by human activities (e.g. aquaculture, agriculture), as well as natural events such as typhoon. Nutrient concentrations were low because open sea water dispersed land-derived nutrients. Nutrient budgets were built based on a steady-state box model, which showed that riverine fluxes would be magnified by estuarine processes (e.g. regeneration, desorption) in the Wenchanghe/Wenjiaohe Estuary, Wanquan River estuary, and the Laoyehai Lagoon except in the Xiaohai Lagoon. Riverine and groundwater input were the major sources of nutrients to the Xiaohai Lagoon and the Laiyehai Lagoon, respectively. Riverine input and aquaculture effluent were the major sources of nutrients to the eastern coastal of Hainan Island. Nutrient inputs to the coastal ecosystem can be increased by typhoon-induced runoff of rainwater, and phytoplankton bloom in the sea would be

  16. Review: phytoplankton primary production in the world's estuarine-coastal ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cloern, J. E.; Foster, S. Q.; Kleckner, A. E.

    2013-11-01

    Estuaries are biogeochemical hot spots because they receive large inputs of nutrients and organic carbon from land and oceans to support high rates of metabolism and primary production. We synthesize published rates of annual phytoplankton primary production (APPP) in marine ecosystems influenced by connectivity to land - estuaries, bays, lagoons, fjords and inland seas. Review of the scientific literature produced a compilation of 1148 values of APPP derived from monthly incubation assays to measure carbon assimilation or oxygen production. The median value of median APPP measurements in 131 ecosystems is 185 and the mean is 252 g C m-2 yr-1, but the range is large: from -105 (net pelagic production in the Scheldt Estuary) to 1890 g C m-2 yr-1 (net phytoplankton production in Tamagawa Estuary). APPP varies up to 10-fold within ecosystems and 5-fold from year-to-year (but we only found 8 APPP series longer than a decade so our knowledge of decadal-scale variability is limited). We use studies of individual places to build a conceptual model that integrates the mechanisms generating this large variability: nutrient supply, light limitation by turbidity, grazing by consumers, and physical processes (river inflow, ocean exchange, and inputs of heat, light and wind energy). We consider method as another source of variability because the compilation includes values derived from widely differing protocols. A simulation model shows that different methods can yield up to 3-fold variability depending on incubation protocols and methods for integrating measured rates over time and depth. Although attempts have been made to upscale measures of estuarine-coastal APPP, the empirical record is inadequate for yielding reliable global estimates. The record is deficient in three ways. First, it is highly biased by the large number of measurements made in northern Europe (particularly the Baltic region) and North America. Of the 1148 reported values of APPP, 958 come from sites

  17. Estuarine science and decision-support tools to restore Puget Sound delta and estuarine ecosystems: The Skagit River Delta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grossman, E. E.; Rosenbauer, R. J.; Takesue, R. K.; Gelfenbaum, G.; Reisenbichler, R.; Paulson, A.; Sexton, N. R.; Labiosa, B.; Beamer, E. M.; Hood, G.; Wyllie-Echeverria, S.

    2006-12-01

    Historic land use, ongoing resource extraction, and population expansion throughout Puget Sound have scientists and managers rapidly seeking effective restoration strategies to recover salmon (a cultural icon, as well as, a host of other endangered species and threatened habitats. Of principal concern is the reduction of salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) and diminished carrying capacity of critical habitat in deltaic regions. Delta habitats, essential to salmon survival, have lost 70 to 80 % area since ~1850 and are now adjusting to a new suite of environmental changes associated with land use practices, including wetland restoration, and regional climate change. The USGS Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound Project, in collaboration with partners from the Skagit River System Cooperative, University of Washington, and other federal, state, and local agencies, is integrating geologic, biologic, hydrologic, and socioeconomic information to quantify changes in the distribution and function of deltaic-estuarine nearshore habitats and better predict "possible futures". We are combining detailed geologic and geochemical analyses of sedimentary environments, plant biomarkers (n-alkanes, PAHs, fatty-acids, and sterols), and compound-specific isotopes to estimate historic habitat coverage, eelgrass (Zostera marina) abundance and modern characteristics of nutrient cycling. Hydrologic and sediment transport processes are being measured to characterize physical processes shaping modern habitats including sediment transport and freshwater mixing that control the temporal and spatial pattern of substrate and water column conditions available as habitat. We are using geophysical, remote sensing, and modeling techniques to determine large-scale coastal morphologic and land-use change and characterize how alteration of physical, hydrologic, and biogeochemical processes influence the dynamics of freshwater mixing, and sediment and nutrient transport in the nearshore. To assist restoration

  18. Human activities and climate variability drive fast-paced change across the world's estuarine-coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Cloern, James E; Abreu, Paulo C; Carstensen, Jacob; Chauvaud, Laurent; Elmgren, Ragnar; Grall, Jacques; Greening, Holly; Johansson, John Olov Roger; Kahru, Mati; Sherwood, Edward T; Xu, Jie; Yin, Kedong

    2016-02-01

    Time series of environmental measurements are essential for detecting, measuring and understanding changes in the Earth system and its biological communities. Observational series have accumulated over the past 2-5 decades from measurements across the world's estuaries, bays, lagoons, inland seas and shelf waters influenced by runoff. We synthesize information contained in these time series to develop a global view of changes occurring in marine systems influenced by connectivity to land. Our review is organized around four themes: (i) human activities as drivers of change; (ii) variability of the climate system as a driver of change; (iii) successes, disappointments and challenges of managing change at the sea-land interface; and (iv) discoveries made from observations over time. Multidecadal time series reveal that many of the world's estuarine-coastal ecosystems are in a continuing state of change, and the pace of change is faster than we could have imagined a decade ago. Some have been transformed into novel ecosystems with habitats, biogeochemistry and biological communities outside the natural range of variability. Change takes many forms including linear and nonlinear trends, abrupt state changes and oscillations. The challenge of managing change is daunting in the coastal zone where diverse human pressures are concentrated and intersect with different responses to climate variability over land and over ocean basins. The pace of change in estuarine-coastal ecosystems will likely accelerate as the human population and economies continue to grow and as global climate change accelerates. Wise stewardship of the resources upon which we depend is critically dependent upon a continuing flow of information from observations to measure, understand and anticipate future changes along the world's coastlines. PMID:26242490

  19. Drivers of change in estuarine-coastal ecosystems: Discoveries from four decades of study in San Francisco Bay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cloern, J.E.; Jassby, A.D.

    2012-01-01

    Poised at the interface of rivers, ocean, atmosphere and dense human settlement, estuaries are driven by a large array of natural and anthropogenic forces. San Francisco Bay exemplifies the fast-paced change occurring in many of the world's estuaries, bays and inland seas in response to these diverse forces. We use observations from this particularly well-studied estuary to illustrate responses to six drivers that are common agents of change where land and sea meet: water consumption and diversion; human modification of sediment supply; introduction of non-native species; sewage input; environmental policy; and climate shifts. In San Francisco Bay, responses to these drivers include, respectively, shifts in the timing and extent of freshwater inflow and salinity intrusion; decreasing turbidity; restructuring of plankton communities; nutrient enrichment; elimination of hypoxia and reduced metal contamination of biota; and food web changes that decrease resistance of the estuary to nutrient pollution. Detection of these changes and discovery of their causes through environmental monitoring have been essential for establishing and measuring outcomes of environmental policies that aim to maintain high water quality and sustain services provided by estuarine-coastal ecosystems. The wide range of variability time scales and the multiplicity of interacting drivers place heavy demands on estuarine monitoring programs. But the San Francisco Bay case study illustrates why the imperative for monitoring has never been greater.

  20. Drivers of change in estuarine-coastal ecosystems: Discoveries from four decades of study in San Francisco Bay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cloern, James E.; Jassby, Alan D.

    2012-12-01

    Poised at the interface of rivers, ocean, atmosphere and dense human settlement, estuaries are driven by a large array of natural and anthropogenic forces. San Francisco Bay exemplifies the fast-paced change occurring in many of the world's estuaries, bays, and inland seas in response to these diverse forces. We use observations from this particularly well-studied estuary to illustrate responses to six drivers that are common agents of change where land and sea meet: water consumption and diversion, human modification of sediment supply, introduction of nonnative species, sewage input, environmental policy, and climate shifts. In San Francisco Bay, responses to these drivers include, respectively, shifts in the timing and extent of freshwater inflow and salinity intrusion, decreasing turbidity, restructuring of plankton communities, nutrient enrichment, elimination of hypoxia and reduced metal contamination of biota, and food web changes that decrease resistance of the estuary to nutrient pollution. Detection of these changes and discovery of their causes through environmental monitoring have been essential for establishing and measuring outcomes of environmental policies that aim to maintain high water quality and sustain services provided by estuarine-coastal ecosystems. The many time scales of variability and the multiplicity of interacting drivers place heavy demands on estuarine monitoring programs, but the San Francisco Bay case study illustrates why the imperative for monitoring has never been greater.

  1. Peracarid assemblages of Zostera meadows in an estuarine ecosystem (O Grove inlet, NW Iberian Peninsula): spatial distribution and seasonal variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esquete, Patricia; Moreira, Juan; Troncoso, Jesús S.

    2011-12-01

    The Galician rias are singular and complex estuarine systems of great economic importance. Seagrasses are key elements of the ecosystem and favor the maintenance of high species diversity in benthic communities. Nevertheless, the ecological role of seagrass meadows in the Galician rias has been only partially assessed. Peracarid crustaceans are an important component of soft-bottom faunas and have great importance for the structure of benthic assemblages. In this work, species diversity, patterns of distribution and seasonal fluctuations of peracarids (Crustacea, Peracarida) are studied in estuarine sediments colonized by two species of Zostera ( Z. marina and Z. noltii) at the O Grove inlet (Ría de Arousa, Galicia, NW Iberian Peninsula). The spatial distribution of peracarid assemblages was characterized by high numerical dominances due to a few species, particularly tanaidaceans. The temporal study at a Z. marina meadow showed a strongly seasonal pattern defined by great fluctuations of the amphipod population, the latter being the dominant group in abundance and number of species. The highest numbers of species and individuals were observed in September, with minimum values in March. Analyses pointed out a high correlation among the granulometric features of the studied bottoms and the faunistic attributes. Nevertheless, the presence of the seagrasses should influence in a major way the hydrodynamic and sedimentary features of the habitat and utterly the spatial and temporal patterns observed in the peracarid assemblage in the O Grove inlet.

  2. Seasonality, hydrology and life history in a Jurassic ecosystem: isotopic evidence from the Great Estuarine Group of Scotland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patterson, W. P.; Oakley, J. R.

    2008-12-01

    A multi-isotope study was conducted to characterize the Jurassic ecosystem of the Great Estuarine Group (GEG) of the Inner Hebrides, Scotland. The GEG has long yielded exceptionally well-preserved aragonitic remains of vertebrate and invertebrate fauna. The group includes sediment that accumulated in water ranging from fresh (S permil = 0) to marginal marine, on the basis of macroinvertebrate and microinvertebrate fossil assemblages as well as isotope data. Oxygen isotope values and temperatures derived in this study correspond to the meteorologic and hydrologic parameters of a mid-latitude maritime climate with low seasonality, a mean annual temperature of 23°C, and abundant precipitation. In a previous study of whole otoliths, it was suggested that fish were migrating to and from the restricted GEG lagoon. Indeed, micromilling of fish otoliths reveals an isotope record of an ecosystem rich in species of fish with distinctive behaviors. Several species originate in freshwater environments, migrating to marine water during ontogeny (anadromy) whereas other species emerge in marine waters to ultimately migrate into fresh water (catadromy) presumably for reproductive reasons. Micromilled mollusks provide details of isotope variability that record temperature and precipitation fluctuation throughout the year. Estuarine water oxygen isotope values are calculated to range from -5 to -2 permil VSMOW, with the fresh water endmember estimated to be -6 permil VSMOW. This range is similar to that observed in modern low-latitude fresh water dominated estuaries. Stable isotope values obtained in this study represent the most ancient quantitative fish life history stable isotope data including fish paleodiet, paleoecology, and migratory behavior to date.

  3. ASSESSMENT OF RISK REDUCTION STRATEGIES FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF AGRICULTURAL NONPOINT SOURCE PESTICIDE RUNOFF IN ESTUARINE ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Agricultural nonpoint source (NPS) runoff may result in significant discharges of pesticides, suspended sediments, and fertilizers into estuarine habitats adjacent to agricultural areas or downstream from agricultural watersheds. Exposure of estuarine fin fish and shellfish to to...

  4. Biogeochemical studies of technetium in marine and estuarine ecosystems. Progress report, 1 July 1979-30 June 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Beasley, T. M.

    1980-01-01

    Progress is reported in research dealing with the biogeochemical behavior of technetium in marine and estuarine ecosystems. Studies were planned to elaborate the biokinetic behavior of Tc as TcO/sub 4//sup -/ in selected marine and estuarine organisms and to determine the affinity of TcO/sub 4//sup -/ for different marine sediments under oxygenated conditions. It is concluded that concentration factors for TcO/sub 4//sup -/ in bivalve molluscs (oysters and mussels) do not exceed 2 when calculated for whole animals and when uptake is directly from water. Direct uptake from water by limpets (archeogastropod) are very much lower than have been reported for red abalone (archeogastropod). Whole body concentration factors for TcO/sub 4//sup -/ in the plaice, Pleuronectes platessa, where uptake is directly from labeled seawater, do not exceed 10 at equilibrium. Both the lobster, Homarus gammaris and the polychaete, Nereis diversicolor appear to concentrate Tc efficiently from water labelled intially with TcO/sub 4//sup -/. Both plaice and rays (Raja clavata) fed /sup 95m/Tc labeled Nereis show an initial rapid loss of the isotope for approximately five days. Thereafter, loss is much reduced. Shrimp (Palaemon elegans), Cragnon sp.) and Crab (Cancer pagurus) show concentration factors similar to plaice (C.F. is less than 10). Isopods, however, have concentration factors of only 3 following four weeks exposure to labeled seawater. Uptake of TcO/sub 4//sup -/ by phytoplankton is extremely low, which precludes experiments in which TcO/sub 4//sup -/ labeled phytoplankton can be fed to either bivalve molluscs or microzooplankton. Sediment distribution coefficients for TcO/sub 4//sup -/ are essentially zero and are independent of sediment type in well oxygenated seawater. Experiments to date have shown that it is not possible to make generalizations concerning the bioavailability of TcO/sub 4//sup -/ to marine organisms.

  5. Integrated Approaches to Estuarine Use and Protection: Tampa Bay Ecosystem Services Case Study.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Tampa Bay region faces projected stress from climate change, contaminants, nutrients, and of human development on a natural ecosystem that is valued (economically, aesthetically and culturally) in its present state. With fast-paced population increases, conversion and develop...

  6. Detecting Subtle Shifts in Ecosystem Functioning in a Dynamic Estuarine Environment.

    PubMed

    Pratt, Daniel R; Lohrer, Andrew M; Thrush, Simon F; Hewitt, Judi E; Townsend, Michael; Cartner, Katie; Pilditch, Conrad A; Harris, Rachel J; van Colen, Carl; Rodil, Iván F

    2015-01-01

    Identifying the effects of stressors before they impact ecosystem functioning can be challenging in dynamic, heterogeneous 'real-world' ecosystems. In aquatic systems, for example, reductions in water clarity can limit the light available for photosynthesis, with knock-on consequences for secondary consumers, though in naturally turbid wave-swept estuaries, detecting the effects of elevated turbidity can be difficult. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of shading on ecosystem functions mediated by sandflat primary producers (microphytobenthos) and deep-dwelling surface-feeding macrofauna (Macomona liliana; Bivalvia, Veneroida, Tellinidae). Shade cloths (which reduced incident light intensity by ~80%) were deployed on an exposed, intertidal sandflat to experimentally stress the microphytobenthic community associated with the sediment surface. After 13 weeks, sediment properties, macrofauna and fluxes of oxygen and inorganic nutrients across the sediment-water interface were measured. A multivariate metric of ecosystem function (MF) was generated by combining flux-based response variables, and distance-based linear models were used to determine shifts in the drivers of ecosystem function between non-shaded and shaded plots. No significant differences in MF or in the constituent ecosystem function variables were detected between the shaded and non-shaded plots. However, shading reduced the total explained variation in MF (from 64% in non-shaded plots to 15% in shaded plots) and affected the relative influence of M. liliana and other explanatory variables on MF. This suggests that although shade stress may shift the drivers of ecosystem functioning (consistent with earlier investigations of shading effects on sandflat interaction networks), ecosystem functions appear to have a degree of resilience to those changes. PMID:26214854

  7. Detecting Subtle Shifts in Ecosystem Functioning in a Dynamic Estuarine Environment

    PubMed Central

    Pratt, Daniel R.; Lohrer, Andrew M.; Thrush, Simon F.; Hewitt, Judi E.; Townsend, Michael; Cartner, Katie; Pilditch, Conrad A.; Harris, Rachel J.; van Colen, Carl; Rodil, Iván F.

    2015-01-01

    Identifying the effects of stressors before they impact ecosystem functioning can be challenging in dynamic, heterogeneous ‘real-world’ ecosystems. In aquatic systems, for example, reductions in water clarity can limit the light available for photosynthesis, with knock-on consequences for secondary consumers, though in naturally turbid wave-swept estuaries, detecting the effects of elevated turbidity can be difficult. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of shading on ecosystem functions mediated by sandflat primary producers (microphytobenthos) and deep-dwelling surface-feeding macrofauna (Macomona liliana; Bivalvia, Veneroida, Tellinidae). Shade cloths (which reduced incident light intensity by ~80%) were deployed on an exposed, intertidal sandflat to experimentally stress the microphytobenthic community associated with the sediment surface. After 13 weeks, sediment properties, macrofauna and fluxes of oxygen and inorganic nutrients across the sediment-water interface were measured. A multivariate metric of ecosystem function (MF) was generated by combining flux-based response variables, and distance-based linear models were used to determine shifts in the drivers of ecosystem function between non-shaded and shaded plots. No significant differences in MF or in the constituent ecosystem function variables were detected between the shaded and non-shaded plots. However, shading reduced the total explained variation in MF (from 64% in non-shaded plots to 15% in shaded plots) and affected the relative influence of M. liliana and other explanatory variables on MF. This suggests that although shade stress may shift the drivers of ecosystem functioning (consistent with earlier investigations of shading effects on sandflat interaction networks), ecosystem functions appear to have a degree of resilience to those changes. PMID:26214854

  8. An Integrated Mercury Monitoring Program for Temperate Estuarine and Marine Ecosystems on the North American Atlantic Coast

    PubMed Central

    Evers, David C.; Mason, Robert P.; Kamman, Neil C.; Chen, Celia Y.; Bogomolni, Andrea L.; Taylor, David L.; Hammerschmidt, Chad R.; Jones, Stephen H.; Burgess, Neil M.; Munney, Kenneth; Parsons, Katharine C.

    2008-01-01

    During the past century, anthropogenic activities have altered the distribution of mercury (Hg) on the earth’s surface. The impacts of such alterations to the natural cycle of Hg can be minimized through coordinated management, policy decisions, and legislative regulations. An ability to quantitatively measure environmental Hg loadings and spatiotemporal trends of their fate in the environment is critical for science-based decision making. Here, we outline a Hg monitoring program for temperate estuarine and marine ecosystems on the Atlantic Coast of North America. This framework follows a similar, previously developed plan for freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems in the United States. Methylmercury (MeHg) is the toxicologically relevant form of Hg, and its ability to bioaccumulate in organisms and biomagnify in food webs depends on numerous biological and physicochemical factors that affect its production, transport, and fate. Therefore, multiple indicators are needed to fully characterize potential changes of Hg loadings in the environment and MeHg bioaccumulation through the different marine food webs. In addition to a description of how to monitor environmental Hg loads for air, sediment, and water, we outline a species-specific matrix of biotic indicators that include shellfish and other invertebrates, fish, birds and mammals. Such a Hg monitoring template is applicable to coastal areas across the Northern Hemisphere and is transferable to arctic and tropical marine ecosystems. We believe that a comprehensive approach provides an ability to best detect spatiotemporal Hg trends for both human and ecological health, and concurrently identify food webs and species at greatest risk to MeHg toxicity. PMID:19294469

  9. Diet shifts and population dynamics of estuarine foraminifera during ecosystem recovery after experimentally induced hypoxia crises

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brouwer, G. M.; Duijnstee, I. A. P.; Hazeleger, J. H.; Rossi, F.; Lourens, L. J.; Middelburg, J. J.; Wolthers, M.

    2016-03-01

    This study shows foraminiferal dynamics after experimentally induced hypoxia within the wider context of ecosystem recovery. 13C-labeled bicarbonate and glucose were added to the sediments to examine foraminiferal diet shifts during ecosystem recovery and test-size measurements were used to deduce population dynamics. Hypoxia-treated and undisturbed patches were compared to distinguish natural (seasonal) fluctuations from hypoxia-induced responses. The effect of timing of disturbance and duration of recovery were investigated. The foraminiferal diets and population dynamics showed higher fluctuations in the recovering patches compared to the controls. The foraminiferal diet and population structure of Haynesina germanica and Ammonia beccarii responded differentially and generally inversely to progressive stages of ecosystem recovery. Tracer inferred diet estimates in April and June and the two distinctly visible cohorts in the test-size distribution, discussed to reflect reproduction in June, strongly suggest that the ample availability of diatoms during the first month of ecosystem recovery after the winter hypoxia was likely profitable to A. beccarii. Enhanced reproduction itself was strongly linked to the subsequent dietary shift to bacteria. The distribution of the test dimensions of H. germanica indicated that this species had less fluctuation in population structure during ecosystem recovery but possibly reproduced in response to the induced winter hypoxia. Bacteria seemed to consistently contribute more to the diet of H. germanica than diatoms. For the diet and test-size distribution of both species, the timing of disturbance seemed to have a higher impact than the duration of the subsequent recovery period.

  10. Spatial distributions of grass shrimp (Palaemonetes pugio) populations in southeastern estuarine ecosystems influenced by urbanization

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, G.; Daugomah, J.; Devane, J.; Porter, D.; Edwards, D.

    1995-12-31

    Urbanization of coastal regions has resulted in the increased discharge of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons trace metals and habitat changes/modifications in adjacent upland areas which may affect grass shrimp populations. A study was conducted comparing larval abundance and adult grass shrimp biomass, abundance, size structure and sex ratios in an urbanized estuary, Murrells Inlet with pristine North Inlet, a NOAA national estuarine research reserve and sanctuary site. A total of 60 sites were sampled during the peak of grass shrimp abundance and compared in terms of spatial distributions and other relevant ancillary information. Factors such as sediment contaminant levels, physico-chemical parameters and land-use habitat modification were statistically compared using a Geographical Information Processing (GIP) techniques and appropriate spatial statistical methods. GIP results indicated similar levels of larval abundance in both estuaries and identified specific nursery ground regions in both estuaries. Adult grass shrimp abundances were greatly reduced in urban areas and grass shrimp desert regions were identified. These areas were correlated with regions having high levels of chemical contaminants and greatest physical disturbances. The mortality rate between larval and adult stages was much higher in urban areas suggesting that urbanization had a profound impact on grass shrimp.

  11. MICROBIAL COMMUNITY DIVERSITY AND CARBON UTILIZATION IN ESTUARINE ECOSYSTEMS OF SOUTHEASTERN U.S.A.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Estuaries are very dynamic ecosystems with regard to the transport and transformation of organic matter. Detrital organic matter is abundant in most estuaries, however, the dynamics of detritus utilization is not well understood. Two questions that remain unanswered are the sou...

  12. Relationship between N : P : Si ratio and phytoplankton community composition in a tropical estuarine mangrove ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choudhury, A. K.; Bhadury, P.

    2015-02-01

    The present work aims at understanding the importance of Brzezinski-Redfield ratio (modified Redfield ratio) as a determinant of natural phytoplankton community composition in a mangrove ecosystem. Even though this ecoregion has been reported to be mostly eutrophic, localised and anthropogenic influences often result in habitat variability especially with regard to nutrient concentrations at different parts of this ecosystem. Phytoplankton, an important sentinel in aquatic ecosystems may respond differently to such alterations in habitat thereby bringing about significant changes in the community composition. Results show that even though habitat variability does exist at our study area and varied on a spatial and temporal scale, the nutrient concentrations were intricately balanced that never became limited and complemented well with the concept of modified Redfield ratio. However, an integrative approach to study phytoplankton community involving microscopy and rbcL clone library and sequencing approach revealed that it was the functional traits of individual phytoplankton taxa that determined the phytoplankton community composition rather than the nutrient concentrations of the study area. Hence we conclude that the recent concept of functional traits and elemental stoichiometry does not remain restricted to controlled environment of experimental studies only but occur in natural mangrove habitat.

  13. Restoring Resiliency: Case Studies from Pacific Northwest Estuarine Eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) Ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Thom, Ronald M.; Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Vavrinec, John; Borde, Amy B.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of many ecological restoration projects is to establish an ecosystem with fully developed structure and function that exhibits resistance to and resilience from disturbances. Coastal restoration projects in the Pacific Northwest provide opportunities to understand what is required to restore the resilience of eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) populations. Factors influencing resilience observed in three case studies of eelgrass restoration include minimum viable population, adaptations of transplant populations, and natural and anthropogenic disturbances at restoration sites. The evaluation of resiliency depends on selecting appropriate monitoring metrics and the frequency and duration of monitoring. Eelgrass area, cover and shoot density provide useful and reliable metrics for quantifying resilience of restored meadows. Further, five years of monitoring of these metrics provides data that can reasonably predict the long-term viability of a planted plot. Eelgrass appears to be a resilient ecosystem in general, though one that data suggest may exhibit tipping points brought about by compounded environmental conditions outside of its tolerance ranges. Explicit inclusion of resilience in the planning and practice of habitat restoration may reduce uncertainties and improve the performance of restored systems by increasing buffering capacity, nurturing sources of renewal (e.g., seeds and rhizomes), and managing for habitat forming and maintaining processes (e.g., sediment dynamics) at multiple scales.

  14. Sedimentary Environment Influences the Effect of an Infaunal Suspension Feeding Bivalve on Estuarine Ecosystem Function

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Hannah F. E.; Pilditch, Conrad A.; Bruesewitz, Denise A.; Lohrer, Andrew M.

    2011-01-01

    The suspension feeding bivalve Austrovenus stutchburyi is a key species on intertidal sandflats in New Zealand, affecting the appearance and functioning of these systems, but is susceptible to several environmental stressors including sedimentation. Previous studies into the effect of this species on ecosystem function have been restricted in space and time, limiting our ability to infer the effect of habitat change on functioning. We examined the effect of Austrovenus on benthic primary production and nutrient dynamics at two sites, one sandy, the other composed of muddy-sand to determine whether sedimentary environment alters this key species' role. At each site we established large (16 m2) plots of two types, Austrovenus addition and removal. In winter and summer we deployed light and dark benthic chambers to quantify oxygen and nutrient fluxes and measured sediment denitrification enzyme activity to assess denitrification potential. Rates of gross primary production (GPP) and ammonium uptake were significantly increased when Austrovenus was added, relative to removed, at the sandy site (GPP, 1.5 times greater in winter and summer; ammonium uptake, 8 times greater in summer; 3-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA), p<0.05). Denitrification potential was also elevated in Austrovenus addition plots at the sandy site in summer (by 1.6 times, p<0.1). In contrast, there was no effect of Austrovenus treatment on any of these variables at the muddy-sand site, and overall rates tended to be lower at the muddy-sand site, relative to the sandy site (e.g. GPP was 2.1 to 3.4 times lower in winter and summer, respectively, p<0.001). Our results suggest that the positive effects of Austrovenus on system productivity and denitrification potential is limited at a muddy-sand site compared to a sandy site, and reveal the importance of considering sedimentary environment when examining the effect of key species on ecosystem function. PMID:22046446

  15. Phytoplankton Diversity and Community Composition along the Estuarine Gradient of a Temperate Macrotidal Ecosystem: Combined Morphological and Molecular Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Bazin, Pauline; Jouenne, Fabien; Friedl, Thomas; Deton-Cabanillas, Anne-Flore; Le Roy, Bertrand; Véron, Benoît

    2014-01-01

    Microscopical and molecular analyses were used to investigate the diversity and spatial community structure of spring phytoplankton all along the estuarine gradient in a macrotidal ecosystem, the Baie des Veys (eastern English Channel). Taxa distribution at high tide in the water column appeared to be mainly driven by the tidal force which superimposed on the natural salinity gradient, resulting in a two-layer flow within the channel. Lowest taxa richness and abundance were found in the bay where Teleaulax-like cryptophytes dominated. A shift in species composition occurred towards the mouth of the river, with the diatom Asterionellopsis glacialis dramatically accumulating in the bottom waters of the upstream brackish reach. Small thalassiosiroid diatoms dominated the upper layer river community, where taxa richness was higher. Through the construction of partial 18S rDNA clone libraries, the microeukaryotic diversity was further explored for three samples selected along the surface salinity gradient (freshwater - brackish - marine). Clone libraries revealed a high diversity among heterotrophic and/or small-sized protists which were undetected by microscopy. Among them, a rich variety of Chrysophyceae and other lineages (e.g. novel marine stramenopiles) are reported here for the first time in this transition area. However, conventional microscopy remains more efficient in revealing the high diversity of phototrophic taxa, low in abundances but morphologically distinct, that is overlooked by the molecular approach. The differences between microscopical and molecular analyses and their limitations are discussed here, pointing out the complementarities of both approaches, for a thorough phytoplankton community description. PMID:24718653

  16. Rapid toxicity assessment of sediments from estuarine ecosystems: A new tandem in vitro testing approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, B.T.; Long, E.R.

    1998-01-01

    Microtox?? and Mutatox?? were used to evaluate the acute toxicity and genotoxicity, respectively, of organic sediment extracts from Pensacola Bay and St. Andrew Bay, two estuaries that cover about 273 and 127 km2, respectively, along the Gulf coast of Florida, USA. The sensitivity and selectivity of these two bioluminescent toxicity assays were demonstrated in validation studies with over 50 pesticides, genotoxins, and industrial pollutants, both as single compounds and in complex mixtures. The 50% effective concentration (EC50) values of insecticides, petroleum products, and polychlorinated biphenyls determined by Microtox all tended to group around the mean EC50 value of 1.2 (0.8) mg/L. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon sensitivity of Mutatox was in general similar to that reported in the Ames test. Surficial sediment samples were collected, extracted with dichloromethane, evaporated and concentrated under nitrogen, dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide, assayed for acute toxicity and genotoxicity, and compared with reference sediments. Samples with low EC50 values, and determined to be genotoxic, were detected in Massalina Bayou, Watson Bayou, East Bay, and St. Andrew Bay-East in St. Andrew Bay as well as Bayou Grande, Bayou Chico, and Bayou Texar in Pensacola Bay. An overview of these data sets analyzed by Spearman rank correlation showed a significant correlation between acute toxicity and genotoxicity (p < 0.05). Microtox and Mutatox in tandem was a sensitive, cost-effective, and rapid (<24 h) screening tool that identified troublesome areas of pollution and assessed the potential sediment toxicity of lipophilic contaminants in aquatic ecosystems.

  17. Estuarine ecosystem response to three large-scale Mississippi River flood diversion events.

    PubMed

    Roy, Eric D; White, John R; Smith, Emily A; Bargu, Sibel; Li, Chunyan

    2013-08-01

    Large inflows of nitrogen (N)-rich freshwater to estuaries can lead to expressions of eutrophication including harmful algal blooms of cyanobacteria (CyanoHABs). Lake Pontchartrain is a large, oligohaline estuary that occasionally receives episodic diversions of N-rich Mississippi River water via the Bonnet Carré Spillway to alleviate flood threats to New Orleans, LA. The extreme flood stage of the Lower Mississippi River in May 2011 prompted the tenth opening of the spillway since 1937. The 2011 opening occurred later in the season than the previous two lower discharge events (1997 and 2008) and was characterized by dissolved inorganic N loads 1.7 and 2.6 times greater than the 1997 and 2008 events, respectively. Rapid depletion of riverine nitrate (21 days) occurred post-spillway closure in 2011 with no associated CyanoHAB and was followed by an internal pulse of phosphorus (P) from sediments to restore N-limitation. Our analysis of recent spillway openings indicates that there is not a simple stimulus-response relationship between N loading and CyanoHAB formation. We investigate the systemic causal relationships that determine ecosystem response to these nutrient-rich freshwater inflows and highlight several important parameters including: external N loading, timing, magnitude, plume hydrodynamics, nutrient molar ratios, internal P loading, weather, and northern tributary discharge. Our results suggest that the turbulent, fluctuating environment and nutrient composition during diversions does not favor CyanoHAB formation and that the immense size and timing of the 2011 diversion may have resulted in near complete post-diversion CyanoHAB suppression by hydraulic flushing. PMID:23685135

  18. 15 CFR 921.3 - National Estuarine Research Reserve System biogeographic classification scheme and estuarine...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE OCEAN AND COASTAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT NATIONAL ESTUARINE... chosen to reflect regional differences and to include a variety of ecosystem types. A...

  19. Effects of Bottom-up and Top-down Controls and Climate Change on Estuarine Macrophyte Communities and the Ecosystem Services they Provide

    EPA Science Inventory

    Macrophytes provide important estuarine benthic habitats and support a significant portion of estuarine productivity. The composition and characteristics of these benthic communities are regulated bottom-up by resource availability and from the top-down by herbivory and predation...

  20. Spatial shifts in food sources for macrozoobenthos in an estuarine ecosystem: Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doi, Hideyuki; Matsumasa, Masatoshi; Toya, Terumasa; Satoh, Nobuya; Mizota, Chitoshi; Maki, Yonosuke; Kikuchi, Eisuke

    2005-08-01

    Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ( δ13C and δ15N, respectively) analyses were made on estuarine macrozoobenthos in order to examine the relationships between their feeding habits (feeding mode and food selectivity) and the spatial shifts in food sources from upstream to downstream in an estuary. The δ13C values of two ocypodid crabs were similar to those of benthic diatoms, indicating that they use their specialized mouth parts to selectively feed on benthic diatoms. The δ13C values of a gastropod and another ocypodid crab at the site furthest downstream were higher than values at an upstream site, suggesting that these unselective deposit feeders shift from feeding mainly on benthic diatoms downstream to feeding on sediment organic matter (SOM) upstream. The δ13C values of deposit feeding polychaetes were not significantly different among sampling sites, indicating that they feed mainly on SOM at all sites. These results show that species- and site-specific feeding habits must be considered when evaluating the roles of macrozoobenthos in regulating estuarine material flows.

  1. Non-Linear Interactions Determine the Impact of Sea-Level Rise on Estuarine Benthic Biodiversity and Ecosystem Processes

    PubMed Central

    Yamanaka, Tsuyuko; Raffaelli, David; White, Piran C. L.

    2013-01-01

    Sea-level rise induced by climate change may have significant impacts on the ecosystem functions and ecosystem services provided by intertidal sediment ecosystems. Accelerated sea-level rise is expected to lead to steeper beach slopes, coarser particle sizes and increased wave exposure, with consequent impacts on intertidal ecosystems. We examined the relationships between abundance, biomass, and community metabolism of benthic fauna with beach slope, particle size and exposure, using samples across a range of conditions from three different locations in the UK, to determine the significance of sediment particle size beach slope and wave exposure in affecting benthic fauna and ecosystem function in different ecological contexts. Our results show that abundance, biomass and oxygen consumption of intertidal macrofauna and meiofauna are affected significantly by interactions among sediment particle size, beach slope and wave exposure. For macrofauna on less sloping beaches, the effect of these physical constraints is mediated by the local context, although for meiofauna and for macrofauna on intermediate and steeper beaches, the effects of physical constraints dominate. Steeper beach slopes, coarser particle sizes and increased wave exposure generally result in decreases in abundance, biomass and oxygen consumption, but these relationships are complex and non-linear. Sea-level rise is likely to lead to changes in ecosystem structure with generally negative impacts on ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. However, the impacts of sea-level rise will also be affected by local ecological context, especially for less sloping beaches. PMID:23861863

  2. Isotopic distribution of carbon from sewage sludge and eutrophication in the sediments and food web of estuarine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Gearing, P.J.; Gearing, J.N.; Maughan, J.T.; Oviatt, C.A. )

    1991-02-01

    Stable isotope ratios ({delta}{sup 13}C) from samples of water, sediments, and biota traced the behavior of organic carbon for 3 summer months in estuarine mesocosms (three controls, three with added sewage sludge, three with added inorganic nutrients). Isotope ratios proved to be a useful quantitative tracer for sewage carbon as well as for the fresh phytoplanktonic carbon produced during nutrient fertilization. Sewage sludge sedimented within hours of its addition, and approximately 50% remained in sediments after 99 days. The sludge was not inert, but was biologically oxidized at rates similar to those of phytoplankton carbon. Its residence time in the water column was too short for uptake by zooplankton, but it was readily assimilated by some benthic organisms. Fresh phytoplanktonic carbon from nutrient-induced blooms was isotopically heavy and thus distinguishable from old primary production (fixed before the experiment). It flowed through the pelagic and benthic food webs more extensively and more uniformly than did sludge carbon.

  3. Building Capacity for Collaborative Decisions, Resilient Ecosystems, and Sustainable Practices: Water, Land, Communtiy and People in Estuarine Watersheds

    EPA Science Inventory

    Population growth, urban expansion, and the warming climate have and will continue to stress our coastal ecosystems. Decisions on how and when to respond with stewardship, adaptation, and mitigation are made by individuals, municipalities, states, and agencies. These decisions ...

  4. Distribution of butyltin compounds in Brazil's southern and southeastern estuarine ecosystems: assessment of spatial scale and compartments.

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Dayana Moscardi; Turra, Alexander; de Marchi, Mary Rosa Rodrigues; Montone, Rosalinda Carmela

    2016-08-01

    Butyltin compounds (BTs), including tributyltin (TBT) and its degradation products, dibutyltin and monobutyltin, have been found in a diversity of aquatic systems and causing toxic effects in target and nontarget organisms. They enter in coastal systems through different sources (as antifouling paints, industrial effluents, etc.) where they interact with biotic and abiotic components, and their distribution is commonly determined by the morphological and hydrodynamic conditions of the coastal systems. In this study, we discuss the contamination by BTs on a spatial scale (eight estuaries with three subareas each) and in different compartments of the estuaries (sediments, suspended particulate matter (SPM), and estuarine catfish tissues (liver and gills). Lower concentrations of BTs were found in the sediments (n.d. to 338 ng g(-1)) in comparison to studies before a ban of TBT in antifouling paints was enacted, mostly indicating an old input or preservation related with sediment properties and composition. For SPM samples (n.d. to 175 ng L(-1)) as well as in fish tissues (n.d. to 1426 ng g(-1)), the presence of these compounds was frequent, especially in the fish due to their movement throughout the estuaries and the potential to assess point sources of BTs. These results indicate that BTs persist in the environment, with variation in amounts between investigated estuaries and even at locations inside the same estuary, because of ideal preservation conditions, transport to remote areas, and input from different sources. PMID:27151240

  5. Human activities and climate variability drive fast-paced change across the world's estuarine-coastal ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cloern, James E.; Abreu, Paulo C.; Carstensen, Jacob; Chauvaud, Laurent; Elmgren, Ragnar; Grall, Jacques; Greening, Holly; Johansson, John O.R.; Kahru, Mati; Sherwood, Edward T.; Xu, Jie; Yin, Kedong

    2016-01-01

    Time series of environmental measurements are essential for detecting, measuring and understanding changes in the Earth system and its biological communities. Observational series have accumulated over the past 2–5 decades from measurements across the world's estuaries, bays, lagoons, inland seas and shelf waters influenced by runoff. We synthesize information contained in these time series to develop a global view of changes occurring in marine systems influenced by connectivity to land. Our review is organized around four themes: (i) human activities as drivers of change; (ii) variability of the climate system as a driver of change; (iii) successes, disappointments and challenges of managing change at the sea-land interface; and (iv) discoveries made from observations over time. Multidecadal time series reveal that many of the world's estuarine–coastal ecosystems are in a continuing state of change, and the pace of change is faster than we could have imagined a decade ago. Some have been transformed into novel ecosystems with habitats, biogeochemistry and biological communities outside the natural range of variability. Change takes many forms including linear and nonlinear trends, abrupt state changes and oscillations. The challenge of managing change is daunting in the coastal zone where diverse human pressures are concentrated and intersect with different responses to climate variability over land and over ocean basins. The pace of change in estuarine–coastal ecosystems will likely accelerate as the human population and economies continue to grow and as global climate change accelerates. Wise stewardship of the resources upon which we depend is critically dependent upon a continuing flow of information from observations to measure, understand and anticipate future changes along the world's coastlines.

  6. Developing best-practice Bayesian Belief Networks in ecological risk assessments for freshwater and estuarine ecosystems: a quantitative review.

    PubMed

    McDonald, K S; Ryder, D S; Tighe, M

    2015-05-01

    Bayesian Belief Networks (BBNs) are being increasingly used to develop a range of predictive models and risk assessments for ecological systems. Ecological BBNs can be applied to complex catchment and water quality issues, integrating multiple spatial and temporal variables within social, economic and environmental decision making processes. This paper reviews the essential components required for ecologists to design a best-practice predictive BBN in an ecological risk assessment (ERA) framework for aquatic ecosystems, outlining: (1) how to create a BBN for an aquatic ERA?; (2) what are the challenges for aquatic ecologists in adopting the best-practice applications of BBNs to ERAs?; and (3) how can BBNs in ERAs influence the science/management interface into the future? The aims of this paper are achieved using three approaches. The first is to demonstrate the best-practice development of BBNs in aquatic sciences using a simple nutrient model. The second is to discuss the limitations and challenges aquatic ecologists encounter when applying BBNs to ERAs. The third is to provide a framework for integrating best-practice BBNs into ERAs and the management of aquatic ecosystems. A quantitative review of the application and development of BBNs in aquatic science from 2002 to 2014 was conducted to identify areas where continued best-practice development is required. We outline a best-practice framework for the integration of BBNs into ERAs and study of complex aquatic systems. PMID:25733196

  7. A Holistic Approach to the Conservation and Propagation of Freshwater, Brackish and Estuarine Bivalves for Ecosystem Services.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kreeger, D.

    2005-05-01

    Shellfish restoration is increasingly valued in estuaries such as Chesapeake Bay where oyster populations are known to function as living biofilters, performing critical ecosystem services. Less studied are the services rendered by other suspension-feeding bivalves that reside in fringing marshes around these estuaries, in brackish and freshwater tidal portions, and in freshwater tributaries. The potential benefits contributed by other native bivalves will be discussed with two case studies from the Delaware basin. These are the ribbed mussel (Geukensia demissa ), which is abundant in brackish and marine tidal marshes, and the unionid mussel (Elliptio complanata ), which is abundant in many rivers of the system. Ribbed mussels are abundant enough to filter a large portion of the tidal prism flushing marshes, facilitating the role that these systems play as a sink for suspended solids and nutrients. Similarly, data from the lower Brandywine River suggests that a vestigial community of freshwater unionids remains sufficiently abundant to have a measurable beneficial effect on water quality by removing more than 25 metric tons of suspended particulates per year. Hence, the conservation and propagation of freshwater unionids can yield benefits that extend beyond current interest that is focused on protecting their biodiversity. Future efforts to protect or reclaim water quality and ecosystem integrity may benefit by a basin-wide, holistic approach that promotes integrated "biofiltration services" by native bivalves living from the headwaters to the coastal shelf.

  8. Comparative Analysis of Reproductive Traits in Black-Chinned Tilapia Females from Various Coastal Marine, Estuarine and Freshwater Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Kantoussan, Justin; Ndiaye, Papa; Thiaw, Omar Thiom; Albaret, Jean-Jacques

    2012-01-01

    The black-chinned tilapia Sarotherodon melanotheron is a marine teleost characterised by an extreme euryhalinity. However, beyond a certain threshold at very high salinity, the species exhibits impaired growth and precocious reproduction. In this study, the relationships between reproductive parameters, environmental salinity and condition factor were investigated in wild populations of this species that were sampled in two consecutive years (2003 and 2004) from three locations in Senegal with different salinities: Guiers lake (freshwater, 0 psu), Hann bay (seawater, 37 psu) and Saloum estuary (hypersaline water, 66–127 psu). The highest absolute fecundity and spawning weight were recorded in seawater by comparison to either freshwater or hypersaline water whereas the poorest condition factors were observed in the most saline sampling site. These results reflect higher resource allocation to the reproduction due to the lowest costs of adaptation to salinity in seawater (the natural environment of this species) rather than differences in food resources at sites and/or efficiency at foraging and prey availability. Fecundities, oocyte size as well as spawning weight were consistent from year to year. However, the relative fecundity in the Saloum estuary varied significantly between the dry and rainy raisons with higher values in the wet season, which seems to reflect seasonal variations in environmental salinity. Such a reproductive tactic of producing large amounts of eggs in the rainy season when the salinity in the estuary was lower, would give the fry a better chance at survival and therefore assures a high larval recruitment. An inverse correlation was found between relative fecundity and oocyte size at the two extreme salinity locations, indicating that S. melanotheron has different reproductive strategies in these ecosystems. The adaptive significance of these two reproductive modes is discussed in regard to the heavy osmotic constraint imposed by extreme

  9. Analyses of phosphorus and nitrogen cyclings in the estuarine ecosystem of Hiroshima Bay by a pelagic and benthic coupled model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kittiwanich, J.; Yamamoto, T.; Kawaguchi, O.; Hashimoto, T.

    2007-10-01

    A pelagic and benthic coupled model expressing both phosphorus and nitrogen cyclings in the ecosystem of Hiroshima Bay, Japan was developed to investigate the fate and transportation of these elements and their annual budgets. The Bay was divided into eight (8) boxes, wherein two (2) areas ran horizontally and four (4) layers vertically. The model consists of equations representing all the concerned physical and biological processes. The results revealed that internal regeneration of materials is an important source of bio-available nutrients for phytoplankton growth. The study indicated that Hiroshima Bay's sediment functions as source of dissolved phosphorus and nitrogen for phytoplankton in the pelagic system, which is supported by calculated results indicating that the releasing rates of dissolved phosphorus and nitrogen from the sediment exceeded 100% of TP and TN loadings in the southern area. As for the northern area which is known to have significant loading via the river, the releasing rates were found to be up to 56% of TP and TN loadings. With regards to the denitrification process, the results revealed that 48% and 37% of NO 3- produced by nitrification was denitrified in the northern and southern areas, respectively. More than 10% of the total nitrogen loaded to the northern area of Hiroshima Bay was estimated to be denitrified. A similar trend was also found in the southern area where the figure was more than 14%. Such findings suggested that the process taking place in the sediment is an important natural purification mechanism that helps remove nitrogen from land. Whereas, almost all phosphorus in the sediment is remineralized, it subsequently goes back to the pelagic system and is repeatedly utilized for the growth of phytoplankton. The model used, therefore, provides a basis and tool to describe the dynamics of phosphorus and nitrogen cyclings in Hiroshima Bay.

  10. Human mediated transport determines the non-native distribution of a dispersal limited estuarine invertebrate

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sessile invertebrates are common invaders of estuarine ecosystems. To expand their non-native ranges, these invasive taxa must contend with the geographically and ecologically discontinuous nature of estuarine habitats, in many cases without the benefit of highly dispersed larval...

  11. SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL VARIABILITY AND DRIVERS OF NET ECOSYSTEM METABOLISM IN WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO ESTUARIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Net ecosystem metabolism (NEM) is becoming a commonly used ecological indicator of estuarine ecosystem metabolic rates. Estuarine ecosystem processes are spatially and temporally variable, but the corresponding variability in NEM has not been properly assessed. Spatial and temp...

  12. Coupled Pollen, Spore, and Macrofossil Hudson River Marsh Paleoecological Analysis with X-Ray Fluorescence Elemental Analysis to Study Estuarine Ecosystem Response to Anthropogenic and Climatic Changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sritrairat, S.; Peteet, D. M.; Kenna, T. C.; Chillrud, S. N.; Kurdyla, D.; Guilderson, T.

    2007-12-01

    Stockport Flats (41.3N, 73.8W) and Tivoli North Bay (42.0N, 73.9W) are the two northernmost Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve freshwater tidal marshes in New York. Our paleoecological records based on pollen, spores, macrofossils, and loss-on-ignition (LOI) of marsh sediment cores at these two sites suggest significant local and regional anthropogenic changes and climatic variability, including the Medieval Warming Period. We implement the use of a field portable X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (Innov-X, USA) as an independent proxy to provide more information about chronology, watershed land-use changes, and estuarine processes. Over the last 200 years, there is a pronounced decrease in organic matter, a shift in vegetation, and an increase in invasive species such as Phragmites australis, Lythrum salicaria, and Typha angustifolia. Coupling of more traditional chronological measurements, such as Ambrosia pollen rise and radiometric dating (C-14, Cs-137, and Pb-210), with heavy metals profiles (Pb, Cr, Cu, and Zn) using the XRF unit provides additional time horizon markers, as these metals have distinct peaks in the 1960s and toward the present. Dates from the XRF profiles near the top of the core help to confirm the timing and rate of vegetation changes, especially the spreading of the invasive species. Discrete metal peaks using the XRF help to quickly determine the degree of disturbances and resolution of the cores as analysis of Cs-137 profile is much slower. Sediment proxies, including Ca, K, Ti/S, and Fe/S increase while Sr and Zr decrease toward the top of the core, probably representing higher erosion from land-use changes concurrent with lithologic shifts, LOI decline, and invasive species expansion. Sulfur concentration increases many orders of magnitude especially in the Stockport core and may be a good proxy of salinity, an indicator of drought and seawater rise. This information is valuable to compare with the vegetation changes to

  13. Electrochemical speciation of dissolved Cu, Pb and Zn in an estuarine ecosystem (Ria de Vigo, NW Spain): comparison between data treatment methods.

    PubMed

    Durán, Iria; Nieto, Oscar

    2011-09-30

    The total concentration and chemical speciation of Cu, Pb and Zn were determined by square wave anodic stripping voltammetry (SWASV) in the Ría de Vigo, an estuarine area located in NW Spain. Surface and bottom waters from 6 locations were collected in two seasons during 3 years. The total Pb was below 1 nM, and Cu and Zn concentrations, ranged from 3 to 44 nM and from 9 to 300 nM respectively. A gradient from sampling points located in the port of Vigo to external areas was observed. The speciation of the metals (ligand concentration and apparent complex formation constant K') was calculated using several methods: The Langmuir and Scatchard linear fits for one and two ligands, the Lorenzo non-linear fit for one ligand and Langmuir non-linear fit for two ligands. The capability of the different methods to achieve reliable results have been discussed and Langmuir linear fit as well as Lorenzo non-linear fit are the most suitable. Cu presented the highest ligand concentrations, followed by Zn and Pb, while mean log K' values fell in the range 5-9 (± 0.6) for all metals and samples. The adjustment of the data treatment methods used to calculate the speciation parameters was found to vary depending on the extent of complexation and on whether one or two ligands needed to be considered. PMID:21872034

  14. EXPECTED EFFECTS OF RESIDUAL CHLORINE AND NITROGEN IN SEWAGE EFFLUENT ON THE ESTUARINE ECOSYSTEM OF GREENWICH COVE, RI: AN ENERGY SYSTEMS AND RISK ASSESSMENT OF EFFECTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Physical, toxicological, and energy systems modeling were combined to make estimates of likely ecosystem-level effects due to residual chlorine in sewage effluent. The energy systems model also allowed us to make estimates of the effects of nutrient loading on the estuary both se...

  15. Slow death for a swamp forest: Implications of salinity, infrastructure and their interactions for ecosystems in transition along North Carolina's estuarine coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moody, A.; Emanuel, R. E.

    2015-12-01

    Freshwater-dependent ecosystems of coastal North Carolina have been altered by humans over many centuries, mainly by draining these ecosystems to facilitate forestry and farming operations. In recent decades the quickening pace of sea level rise and infrequent but large coastal storms have exposed these ecosystems to additional pressures associated with the intrusion of brackish and salty water. Infrastructure, including roadbeds, levees, and other water management structures add additional complexity to this system by acting as either exacerbating or mitigating factors depending on time and location. This study investigates the dynamics of surface water and salinity in a critically stressed, freshwater swamp forest at Goose Creek State Park in coastal North Carolina. We evaluate temporal patterns of surface water elevation and salinity following a major inundation event (Hurricane Irene, 2011) at locations both upstream and downstream of an earthen roadbed that bisects the wetland. Results suggest that climatic conditions together with poor drainage through the roadbed caused harmful salinity levels to persist in the wetland for nearly a year following the hurricane, yet the potential also exists for the roadbed to protect the wetland from less extreme exposures to saltwater. This case study illustrates one facet of a complex, coupled natural-human system that is currently being reshaped by climate change. The work has implications for larger efforts to understand and assess the vulnerability of low-lying coastal regions to sea level rise and the preceding salinization.

  16. An Evidence-Based Evaluation of the Cumulative Effects of Tidal Freshwater and Estuarine Ecosystem Restoration on Endangered Juvenile Salmon in the Columbia River: Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Johnson, Gary E.; Thom, Ronald M.; Borde, Amy B.; Woodley, Christa M.; Weitkamp, Laurie A.; Buenau, Kate E.; Kropp, Roy K.

    2013-12-01

    The listing of 13 salmon and steelhead stocks in the Columbia River basin (hereafter collectively referred to as “salmon”) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, has stimulated tidal wetland restoration in the lower 235 kilometers of the Columbia River and estuary for juvenile salmon habitat functions. The purpose of the research reported herein was to evaluate the effect on listed salmon of the restoration effort currently being conducted under the auspices of the federal Columbia Estuary Ecosystem Restoration Program (CEERP). Linking changes in the quality and landscape pattern of tidal wetlands in the lower Columbia River and estuary (LCRE) to salmon recovery is a complex problem because of the characteristics of the ecosystem, the salmon, the restoration actions, and available sampling technologies. Therefore, we designed an evidence-based approach to develop, synthesize, and evaluate information to determine early-stage (~10 years) outcomes of the CEERP. We developed an ecosystem conceptual model and from that, a primary hypothesis that habitat restoration activities in the LCRE have a cumulative beneficial effect on juvenile salmon. There are two necessary conditions of the hypothesis: • habitat-based indicators of ecosystem controlling factors, processes, and structures show positive effects from restoration actions, and • fish-based indicators of ecosystem processes and functions show positive effects from restoration actions and habitats undergoing restoration. Our evidence-based approach to evaluate the primary hypothesis incorporated seven lines of evidence, most of which are drawn from the LCRE. The lines of evidence are spatial and temporal synergies, cumulative net ecosystem improvement, estuary-wide meta-analysis, offsite benefits to juvenile salmon, landscape condition evaluation, and evidence-based scoring of global literature. The general methods we used to develop information for the lines of evidence included field

  17. Combining remote sensing and eddy covariance data to monitor the gross primary production of an estuarine wetland ecosystem in East China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Mingquan; Muhammad, Shakir; Chen, Fang; Niu, Zheng; Wang, Changyao

    2015-04-01

    Wetland ecosystems are very important for ecological diversity and have a strong ability to sequester carbon. Through comparisons with field measured eddy covariance data, we evaluated the relationships between the light use efficiency (LUE) index and the enhanced vegetation index (EVI), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and land surface temperature (LST). Consequently, we have proposed a new model for the estimation of gross primary production (GPP) for wetland ecosystems using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) products, including these vegetation indices, LST and the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR) absorbed by the active vegetation. This model was developed and validated for a study site on Chongming Island, Shanghai, China. Our results show that photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) was highly correlated with the LST, with a coefficient of determination (R(2)) of 0.59 (p < 0.001). Vegetation indices, such as EVI, NDVI and LST, were highly correlated with LUE. We found that the product of vegetation indices (VIs) and a modified form of LST (Te) can be used to estimate LUE, with an R(2) of 0.82 (P < 0.0001) and an RMSE of 0.054 kg C per mol PAR. This new model can provide reliable estimates of GPP (R(2) of 0.87 and RMSE of 0.009 kg C m(-2) 8 d(-1) (P < 0.0001)). PMID:25797359

  18. Valuing the non-market benefits of estuarine ecosystem services in a river basin context: Testing sensitivity to scope and scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinto, R.; Brouwer, R.; Patrício, J.; Abreu, P.; Marta-Pedroso, C.; Baeta, A.; Franco, J. N.; Domingos, T.; Marques, J. C.

    2016-02-01

    A large scale contingent valuation survey is conducted among residents in one of the largest river basins in Portugal to estimate the non-market benefits of the ecosystem services associated with implementation of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). Statistical tests of public willingness to pay's sensitivity to scope and scale are carried out. Decreasing marginal willingness to pay (WTP) is found when asking respondents to value two water quality improvement scenarios (within sample comparison), from current moderate water quality conditions to good and subsequently excellent ecological status. However, insensitivity to scale is found when asking half of the respondents to value water quality improvements in the estuary only and the other half in the whole basin (between sample comparison). Although respondents living outside the river basin value water quality improvements significantly less than respondents inside the basin, no spatial heterogeneity can be detected within the basin between upstream and downstream residents. This finding has important implications for spatial aggregation procedures across the population of beneficiaries living in the river basin to estimate its total economic value based on public WTP for the implementation of the WFD.

  19. Climate and anthropogenic factors influencing an estuarine ecosystem from NW Iberia: new high resolution multiproxy analyses from San Simón Bay (Ría de Vigo)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muñoz Sobrino, Castor; García-Moreiras, Iria; Castro, Yoel; Martínez Carreño, Natalia; de Blas, Esther; Fernandez Rodríguez, Carlos; Judd, Alan; García-Gil, Soledad

    2014-06-01

    to a reinforcement of the Easter Atlantic (EA) pattern; and also that the intertidal/supratidal ecosystems inside San Simón Bay may have extended further in the past, at least towards the end of the 5th century, and between ca 1050-1350 AD and ca 1450-1750 AD. A number of local historical references are consistent with our palaeoecological data and so support the chronology proposed as well as many of the environmental changes reconstructed. This good agreement will help in the interpretation of other analogous sequences extending back in time.

  20. Long-term variations in dissolved silicate, nitrogen, and phosphorus flux from the Yangtze River into the East China Sea and impacts on estuarine ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Maotian; Xu, Kaiqin; Watanabe, Masataka; Chen, Zhongyuan

    2007-01-01

    tends to be dominant species of the red tides off the Yangtze estuary. The number of big dams in the Yangtze River basin will double in the next 30-50 years. This will significantly influence the variations of nutrient fluxes in the river basin and estuary, in relation to health management of river-coast ecosystem.

  1. Estuarine Food Webs

    EPA Science Inventory

    Estuaries provide habitat for abundant plants, animals and micro-organisms, ranging from microscopic plankton (bacteria, yeasts, algae, protozoa) to larger benthic and pelagic organisms (seagrass, clams, crabs, sea trout, pelicans and dolphins). Estuarine biota can be characteri...

  2. A CONCEPTUAL MODEL FOR MULTI-SCALAR ASSESSMENTS OF ESTUARINE ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    A conceptual model was developed that relates an estuarine system's anthropogenic inputs to it's ecological integrity. Ecological integrity is operationally defined as an emergent property of an ecosystem that exists when the structural components are complete and the functional ...

  3. Estuarine Food for Thought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    M�ller-Solger, A. B.; M�ller-Navarra, D. B.

    2002-12-01

    Recent research in animal and human nutrition has shown the importance of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) such as the n-3 LC-PUFA eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These LC-PUFA are needed for healthy development and functioning of the nervous and vascular systems. De novo synthesis or elongation to LC-PUFA in animals is inefficient at best; thus sufficient amounts of these PUFA must be supplied by food sources. Algae, especially diatoms, dinoflagellates, and cryptophytes, are the quantitatively most important producers of EPA and DHA. These types of algae often dominate estuarine producer communities. The upper San Francisco Estuary is no exception, and we found its LC-PUFA-rich phytoplankton biomass, but not the quantitatively prevalent terrestrial plant detritus, to be highly predictive of zooplankton (Daphnia) growth. In contrast, in freshwater lakes dominated by relatively LC-PUFA-poor phytoplankton, EPA, not total phytoplankton biomass, best predicted Daphnia growth. The commonly high abundance of LC-PUFA-rich algae in estuaries may help explain the high trophic efficiencies in these systems and resulting high consumer production. Moreover, LC-PUFA-rich estuarine food resources may also provide essential nutrition and associated health and evolutionary benefits to land-dwelling consumers of such foods, including humans. Ensuring LC-PUFA-rich, uncontaminated estuarine production is thus an important goal for estuarine restoration and a convincing argument for estuarine conservation.

  4. Field Study Manual to Freshwater and Estuarine Habitats.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Georgia State Dept. of Education, Atlanta.

    This field studies manual, developed by biology students in the 1971 Georgia Governor's Honors Program, was designed for collection of data pertinent to freshwater and estuarine habitats. In addition to the various methods of sampling the ecosystem and for quantification of the data, instructions for dividing the field study into three logical…

  5. Ecohydraulics and Estuarine Wetland Rehabilitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez, J. F.; Howe, A.; Saintilan, N.; Spencer, J.

    2004-12-01

    The hydraulics or water flow in wetlands is known to be a key factor influencing ecosystem development in estuarine wetland environments. The relationship is indirect, with the hydraulics of wetlands influencing a host of factors including soil salinity, waterlogging, sediment transport, sediment chemistry, vegetation dispersal and growth and nutrient availability and cycling. The relationship is also not one way, with the hydraulics of wetlands being influenced by plant and animal activity. Understanding these complex interactions is fundamental for the adequate management of estuarine wetlands. Listed as a Wetland of International Importance under the 1971 Ramsar Convention, the Hunter River estuary is regarded as the most significant site for migratory shorebirds in New South Wales, Australia. Over the past 20 years, the number of migratory shorebirds in the estuary has sharply declined from 8,000 to 4,000 approx. Alteration of bird habitat is believed to be one of the reasons for this alarming trend. In 2004 we started a three-year program to investigate the links between hydraulics, sediment, benthic invertebrates, vegetation and migratory shorebird habitat in the estuary. During the first year we have focused on a highly disturbed part of the Hunter estuary wetlands located on Ash Island. The area is one of the major roosting sites in the estuary and is characterized by a complex hydraulic regime due to a restricted tidal interchange with the Hunter River and the presence of infrastructure for the maintenance of power lines (i.e., roads, bridges, culverts). Salt marshes, mudflat and mangroves are the dominant vegetation types. The monitoring program includes measurements of water levels, salinity, discharge, velocity, turbulence, sediment transport and deposition, plant species and density, soil composition and benthic invertebrates coordinated with observations of bird habitat utilization on a number of locations throughout the wetland and for different flow

  6. Marine and Estuarine Pollution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reish, Donald J.

    1978-01-01

    Presents a literature review of the effects of various pollutants on marine and estuarine organisms, covering publications of 1976-77. This review includes: (1) effects of pesticides, dredging, dumping, sludge, and petroleum hydrocarbons; and (2) diseases and tissue abnormalities. A list of 441 references is also presented. (HM)

  7. Challenging paradigms in estuarine ecology and management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliott, M.; Whitfield, A. K.

    2011-10-01

    For many years, estuarine science has been the 'poor relation' in aquatic research - freshwater scientists ignored estuaries as they tended to get confused by salt and tides, and marine scientists were more preoccupied by large open systems. Estuaries were merely regarded by each group as either river mouths or sea inlets respectively. For the past four decades, however, estuaries (and other transitional waters) have been regarded as being ecosystems in their own right. Although often not termed as such, this has led to paradigms being generated to summarise estuarine structure and functioning and which relate to both the natural science and management of these systems. This paper defines, details and affirms these paradigms that can be grouped into those covering firstly the science (definitions, scales, linkages, productivity, tolerances and variability) and secondly the management (pressures, valuation, health and services) of estuaries. The more 'science' orientated paradigms incorporate the development and types of ecotones, the nature of stressed and variable systems (with specific reference to resilience and redundancy), the relationship between generalists and specialists produced by environmental tolerance, the relevance of scale in relation to functioning and connectivity, the sources of production and degree of productivity, the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning and the stress-subsidy debates. The more 'management' targeted paradigms include the development and effects of exogenic unmanaged pressures and endogenic managed pressures, the perception of health and the ability to manage estuaries (related to internal and external influences), and the influence of all of these on the production of ecosystem services and societal benefits.

  8. Remediation of Estuarine Barrages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worrall, F.; Lamping, J.; Wright, J.

    2003-04-01

    Estuarine barrages have become a popular component of urban regeneration in the UK. However, a range of problems have been identified with the construction and operation of barrages, including: excess sediment build up; low oxygen conditions and eutrophication. This project has examined 3 strategies for the remediation of estuarine barrages: use of aerators; flushing of the impoundment by lock management; and use of boom/skirt technologies. The results show that: flushing of the barrage is ineffective; and that boom/skirt technologies could be successful in stratified impoundments. Aerators were shown to give significant increases in dissolved oxygen levels and field studies were able to delimit times when aeration would be effective. The study has shown that most problems experienced by the barrage are the result of inputs to the barrage rather than caused by the internal processes of the barrage itself and as such esturies must be managed as part of the catchment as a whole.

  9. Mapping estuarine distributions of the non-indigenous Japanese Eelgrass Zostera japonica using Color Infrared Aerial Photography

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation describes a technique for mapping distributions of the nonindigenous Japanese eelgrass Zostera japonica in estuarine ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. The relatively broad distribution of this intertidal plant, often on very soft substrate, makes classical g...

  10. A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF NUTRIENT LOADING, NUTRIENT RETENTION AND NET ECOSYSTEM METABOLISM IN THREE TIDAL RIVER ESTUARIES DIFFERING PREDOMINATELY BY THEIR WATERSHED LAND USE TYPES.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract and oral presentation for the Estuarine Research Federation Conference.

    Estuarine retention of watershed nutrient loads, system-wide nutrient biogeochemical fluxes, and net ecosystem metabolism (NEM) were determined in three estuaries exhibiting differing magnitud...

  11. Estuarine and lagoon biodiversity and their natural goods and services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basset, A.; Elliott, M.; West, R. J.; Wilson, J. G.

    2013-11-01

    Assessing and monitoring ecosystem quality status and service provision of aquatic ecosystems is an increasingly important area of scientific, socio-economical and political interest. Contributions from two related meetings organized by the Estuarine & Coastal Sciences Association (ECSA) and the Euro-Mediterranean Lagoon Federation (EUROMEDLAG) address this area of interest in estuaries and lagoons, dominant types of transitional waters, by an integration of holistic and reductionistic approaches. In this context, we synthesise the key points raised by the contributions given at the two meetings to emphasise that transitional waters have emergent properties, which support their classification as an aquatic realm different from both freshwater and marine ones. They provide crucial ecosystem services, such as food provision and support for nutrient cycling, whose value and underlying mechanisms have been addressed with particular reference to estuarine ecosystems. The experimental studies show the mechanistic relationships and the responses of ecosystem functions and biodiversity to contrasting/changing environmental conditions with human activities as key drivers affecting both biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service provision.

  12. Estuarine 'collaboratories:' regional and global perspectives (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baptista, A. M.; Needoba, J. A.; Davis, M.; Leinen, M.

    2013-12-01

    There is an urgent need to anticipate and manage environmental changes in estuaries, as these critical ecosystems provide services that are essential for regional and global sustainability. Collaboratively designed and operated estuarine observation and prediction systems are progressively enabling long-term and high-resolution characterizations of estuarine variability and function, thus providing a powerful foundation for stewardship activities. The benefits of these 'collaboratories' have been demonstrated regionally in various estuaries, and their broader scale potential is being explored through an emerging national and international initiative. The first part of this presentation will address the lessons learned from SATURN (http://www.stccmop.org), a mature multi-institutional 'collaboratory' for the Columbia River estuary. SATURN innovatively integrates sensors, models, flows of information, and communities of practice. This integration has fueled advances in understanding and prediction of the estuary as a complex and highly variable bioreactor, subject to shifts from global climate change and from evolving regional uses. Our focus will be on describing the aspects of the design and practice that make SATURN transformative as a scientific and management-support tool at a regional scale. The second part of the presentation will address the translation of lessons learned from and beyond SATURN into requirements for a global network of estuarine observation and prediction systems. 'Our Global Estuary' is an initiative designed to create and use such a network, to maximize the aggregate potential of estuaries as sentinels and key players in global sustainability. We will report on the main recommendations of the first planning workshop for this initiative, which will take place on October 2013.

  13. DIAGNOSING CAUSES OF IMPAIRMENT IN COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Engle, Virginia D. and Stephen J. Jordan. In press. Diagnosing Causes of Impairment in Coastal Ecosystems (Abstract). To be presented at the SETAC Fourth World Congress, 14-18 November 2004, Portland, OR. 1 p. (ERL,GB R1008).

    Estuarine and coastal ecosystems are challenge...

  14. Impact of estuarine pollution on birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blus, L.J.; Wiemeyer, Stanley N.; Kerwin, J.A.; Stendell, R.C.; Ohlendorf, H.M.; Stickel, L.F.

    1977-01-01

    Pollution of estuaries affects bird populations indirectly through changes in habitat and food supply. The multi-factor pollution of Chesapeake Bay has resulted in diminution of submerged aquatic plants and consequent change in food habits of the canvasback duck. Although dredge-spoil operations can improve wildlife habitat, they often result in its demise. Pollution of estuaries also affects birds directly, through chemical toxication, which may result in outright mortality or in reproductive impairment. Lead from industrial sources and roadways enters the estuaries and is accumulated in tissues of birds. Lead pellets deposited in estuaries as a result of hunting are consumed by ducks with sufficient frequency .to result m large annual die-offs from lead poisoning. Fish in certain areas, usually near industrial sources, may contain levels of mercury high enough to be hazardous to birds that consume them. Other heavy metals are present in estuarine birds, but their significance is poorly known. Oil exerts lethal or sublethal effects on birds by oiling their feathers, oiling eggs and young by contaminated parents, and by ingestion of oil-contaminated food. Organochlorine chemicals, of both agricultural and industrial origin, travel through the food chains and reach harmful levels in susceptible species of birds in certain estuarine ecosystems. Both outright mortality and reproductive impairment have occurred.

  15. 15 CFR 921.3 - National Estuarine Research Reserve System biogeographic classification scheme and estuarine...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... biogeographic classification scheme and estuarine typologies. (a) National Estuarine Research Reserves are... biogeographic classification scheme is used to ensure that the National Estuarine Research Reserve System... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false National Estuarine Research...

  16. Comparative analysis of chemical and microbial profiles in estuarine sediments sampled from Kanto and Tohoku regions in Japan.

    PubMed

    Asakura, Taiga; Date, Yasuhiro; Kikuchi, Jun

    2014-06-01

    Estuarine environments accumulate large quantities of organic matter from land masses adjoining the sea, and this is consumed as part of the detritus cycle. These environments are rich in biodiversity, and their ecosystem services greatly benefit humans. However, the estuarine environments have complicated aqueous ecosystems, thus the comprehensive evaluation of biotic interactions and stability is difficult using conventional hypothesis-driven approaches. In this study, we describe the advancement of an evaluation strategy for characterizing and visualizing the interactions and relationships among the microorganisms and chemicals in sediment ecosystems of estuarine environments by a combination of organic matter and elemental profiling as well as microbial profiling. We also report our findings from a comparative analysis of estuarine and coastal environmental samples collected from the Kanto and Tsunami-affected Tohoku regions in Japan. The microbial-gated correlation deployed from the coefficient of microbiota from the correlation matrix and network analysis was able to visualize and summarize the different relationships among the microbial communities, sediment organic matter, and element profiles based on geographical differences in Kanto and Tohoku regions. We demonstrated remarkable estuarine eutrophication in the Kanto region based on abundant sediment polypeptide signals and water nitrogen ions catabolized by microbiota. Therefore, we propose that this data-driven approach is a powerful method for analyzing, visualizing, and evaluating complex metabolic dynamics and networks in sediment microbial ecosystems and can be applied to other environmental ecosystems, such as deep sea sediments and agronomic and forest soils. PMID:24889864

  17. The role of nutrient loading and eutrophication in estuarine ecology.

    PubMed Central

    Pinckney, J L; Paerl, H W; Tester, P; Richardson, T L

    2001-01-01

    Eutrophication is a process that can be defined as an increase in the rate of supply of organic matter (OM) to an ecosystem. We provide a general overview of the major features driving estuarine eutrophication and outline some of the consequences of that process. The main chemical constituent of OM is carbon (C), and therefore rates of eutrophication are expressed in units of C per area per unit time. OM occurs in both particulate and dissolved forms. Allochthonous OM originates outside the estuary, whereas autochthonous OM is generated within the system, mostly by primary producers or by benthic regeneration of OM. The supply rates of limiting nutrients regulate phytoplankton productivity that contributes to inputs of autochthonous OM. The trophic status of an estuary is often based on eutrophication rates and can be categorized as oligotrophic (<100 g C m(-2) y(-1), mesotrophic (100-300 g C m(-2) y(-1), eutrophic (300-500 g C m(-2) y(-1), or hypertrophic (>500 g C m(-2) y(-1). Ecosystem responses to eutrophication depend on both export rates (flushing, microbially mediated losses through respiration, and denitrification) and recycling/regeneration rates within the estuary. The mitigation of the effects of eutrophication involves the regulation of inorganic nutrient (primarily N and P) inputs into receiving waters. Appropriately scaled and parameterized nutrient and hydrologic controls are the only realistic options for controlling phytoplankton blooms, algal toxicity, and other symptoms of eutrophication in estuarine ecosystems. PMID:11677178

  18. Halogen Radicals Promote the Photodegradation of Microcystins in Estuarine Systems.

    PubMed

    Parker, Kimberly M; Reichwaldt, Elke S; Ghadouani, Anas; Mitch, William A

    2016-08-16

    The transport of microcystin, a hepatotoxin produced by cyanobacteria (e.g., Microcystis aeruginosa), to estuaries can adversely affect estuarine and coastal ecosystems. We evaluated whether halogen radicals (i.e., reactive halogen species (RHS)) could significantly contribute to microcystin photodegradation during transport within estuaries. Experiments in synthetic and natural water samples demonstrated that the presence of seawater halides increased quantum yields for microcystin indirect photodegradation by factors of 3-6. Additional experiments indicated that photoproduced RHS were responsible for this effect. Despite the fact that dissolved organic matter (DOM) concentrations decreased in more saline waters, the calculated photochemical half-life of microcystin decreased 6-fold with increasing salinity along a freshwater-estuarine transect due to the halide-associated increase in quantum yield. Modeling of microcystin photodegradation along this transect indicated that the time scale for RHS-mediated microcystin photodegradation is comparable to the time scale of transport. Microcystin concentrations decline by ∼98% along the transect when considering photodegradation by RHS, but only by ∼54% if this pathway were ignored. These results suggest the importance of considering RHS-mediated photodegradation in future models of microcystin fate in freshwater-estuarine systems. PMID:27447196

  19. Methylmercury production in estuarine sediments: role of organic matter

    PubMed Central

    Schartup, Amina T.; Mason, Robert P.; Balcom, Prentiss H.; Hollweg, Terill A.; Chen, Celia Y.

    2013-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) affects wildlife and human health mainly through marine fish consumption. In marine systems, MeHg is formed from inorganic mercury (HgII) species primarily in sediments then accumulates and biomagnifies in the food web. Most of the fish consumed in the US are from estuarine and marine systems highlighting the importance of understanding MeHg formation in these productive regions. Sediment organic matter has been shown to limit mercury methylation in estuarine ecosystems, as a result it is often described as the primary control over MeHg production. In this paper, we explore the role of organic matter by looking at the effects of its changing sediment concentrations on the methylation rates across multiple estuaries. We measured sedimentary MeHg production at eleven estuarine sites that were selected for their contrasting biogeochemical characteristics, mercury (Hg) content, and location in the Northeastern US (ME, NH, CT, NY, and NJ). Sedimentary total Hg concentrations ranged across five orders of magnitude, increasing in concentration from the pristine, sandy sediments of Wells (ME), to industrially contaminated areas like Portsmouth (NH) and Hackensack (NJ). We find that methylation rates are the highest at locations with high Hg content (relative to carbon), and that organic matter does not hinder mercury methylation in estuaries. PMID:23194318

  20. ECOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO POLLUTION ABATEMENT: A FRAMEWORK FOR MEASUREMENT AND ASSESSMENT FOR COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological Responses to Pollution Abatement: A Framework for Measurement and Assessment for Coastal Ecosystems (Abstract). To be presented at the 16th Biennial Conference of the Estuarine Research Foundation, ERF 2001: An Estuarine Odyssey, 4-8 November 2001, St. Pete Beach, FL. ...

  1. Coevolution of hydraulic, soil and vegetation processes in estuarine wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trivisonno, Franco; Rodriguez, Jose F.; Riccardi, Gerardo; Saco, Patricia; Stenta, Hernan

    2014-05-01

    Estuarine wetlands of south eastern Australia, typically display a vegetation zonation with a sequence mudflats - mangrove forest - saltmarsh plains from the seaward margin and up the topographic gradient. Estuarine wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, providing unique habitats for fish and many terrestrial species. They also have a carbon sequestration capacity that surpasess terrestrial forest. Estuarine wetlands respond to sea-level rise by vertical accretion and horizontal landward migration, in order to maintain their position in the tidal frame. In situations in which buffer areas for landward migration are not available, saltmarsh can be lost due to mangrove encroachment. As a result of mangrove invasion associated in part with raising estuary water levels and urbanisation, coastal saltmarsh in parts of south-eastern Australia has been declared an endangered ecological community. Predicting estuarine wetlands response to sea-level rise requires modelling the coevolving dynamics of water flow, soil and vegetation. This paper presents preliminary results of our recently developed numerical model for wetland dynamics in wetlands of the Hunter estuary of NSW. The model simulates continuous tidal inflow into the wetland, and accounts for the effect of varying vegetation types on flow resistance. Coevolution effects appear as vegetation types are updated based on their preference to prevailing hydrodynamic conditions. The model also considers that accretion values vary with vegetation type. Simulations are driven using local information collected over several years, which includes estuary water levels, accretion rates, soil carbon content, flow resistance and vegetation preference to hydraulic conditions. Model results predict further saltmarsh loss under current conditions of moderate increase of estuary water levels.

  2. 75 FR 59696 - National Estuarine Research Reserve System

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-28

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Estuarine Research Reserve System AGENCY... Approval and Availability of Revised Management Plans for the following National Estuarine Research... management plans of the Arraigns Bay, RI National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Tijuana River,...

  3. 75 FR 49887 - National Estuarine Research Reserve System

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-16

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Estuarine Research Reserve System AGENCY... Period for Revised Management Plans for the following National Estuarine Research Reserves: Narragansett... management plans of the Narragansett Bay, RI National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Tijuana, CA...

  4. An assessment of landscape characteristics affecting estuarine nitrogen loading in an urban watershed.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaojun

    2012-02-01

    Exploring the quantitative association between landscape characteristics and the ecological conditions of receiving waters has recently become an emerging area for eco-environmental research. While the landscape-water relationship research has largely targeted on inland aquatic systems, there has been an increasing need to develop methods and techniques that can better work with coastal and estuarine ecosystems. In this paper, we present a geospatial approach to examine the quantitative relationship between landscape characteristics and estuarine nitrogen loading in an urban watershed. The case study site is in the Pensacola estuarine drainage area, home of the city of Pensacola, Florida, USA, where vigorous urban sprawling has prompted growing concerns on the estuarine ecological health. Central to this research is a remote sensor image that has been used to extract land use/cover information and derive landscape metrics. Several significant landscape metrics are selected and spatially linked with the nitrogen loading data for the Pensacola bay area. Landscape metrics and nitrogen loading are summarized by equal overland flow-length rings, and their association is examined by using multivariate statistical analysis. And a stepwise model-building protocol is used for regression designs to help identify significant variables that can explain much of the variance in the nitrogen loading dataset. It is found that using landscape composition or spatial configuration alone can explain most of the nitrogen loading variability. Of all the regression models using metrics derived from a single land use/cover class as the independent variables, the one from the low density urban gives the highest adjusted R-square score, suggesting the impact of the watershed-wide urban sprawl upon this sensitive estuarine ecosystem. Measures towards the reduction of non-point source pollution from urban development are necessary in the area to protect the Pensacola bay ecosystem and its

  5. EMERGY ANALYSIS OF THE COBSCOOK BAY ECOSYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    A naturally eutrophic, estuarine ecosystem has developed in Cobscook Bay over the past three to four thousand years under the influence of six meter tides and rich flows of nitrogen from the deep waters of the Gulf of Maine. In this paper, measurements of primary production and...

  6. INDICATORS OF ECOSYSTEM INTEGRITY FOR ESTUARIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Jordan, Stephen J. and Lisa M. Smith. In press. Indicators of Ecosystem Integrity for Estuaries. In: Proceedings of the Estuarine Indicators Workshop, 29-31 October 2003, Sanibel Island, FL. Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, Sanibel, FL. 23 p. (ERL,GB 1194).

    Ideal ...

  7. Small estuarine fishes feed on large trematode cercariae: Lab and field investigations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kaplan, A.T.; Rebhal, S.; Lafferty, K.D.; Kuris, A.M.

    2009-01-01

    In aquatic ecosystems, dense populations of snails can shed millions of digenean trematode cercariae every day. These short-lived, free-living larvae are rich in energy and present a potential resource for consumers. We investigated whether estuarine fishes eat cercariae shed by trematodes of the estuarine snail Cerithidea californica. In aquaria we presented cercariae from 10 native trematode species to 6 species of native estuarine fishes. Many of these fishes readily engorged on cercariae. To determine if fishes ate cercariae in the field, we collected the most common fish species, Fundulus parvipinnis (California killifish), from shallow water on rising tides when snails shed cercariae. Of 61 killifish, 3 had recognizable cercariae in their gut. Because cercariae are common in this estuary, they could be frequent sources of energy for small fishes. In turn, predation on cercariae by fishes (and other predators) could also reduce the transmission success of trematodes. ?? 2009 American Society of Parasitologists.

  8. Ecotoxicology of bromoacetic acid on estuarine phytoplankton.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Ana R; Richardson, Tammi L; Pinckney, James L

    2015-11-01

    Bromoacetic acid is formed when effluent containing chlorine residuals react with humics in natural waters containing bromide. The objective of this research was to quantify the effects of bromoacetic acid on estuarine phytoplankton as a proxy for ecosystem productivity. Bioassays were used to measure the EC50 for growth in cultured species and natural marine communities. Growth inhibition was estimated by changes in chlorophyll a concentrations measured by fluorometry and HPLC. The EC50s for cultured Thalassiosira pseudonana were 194 mg L(-1), 240 mg L(-1) for Dunaliella tertiolecta and 209 mg L(-1) for Rhodomonas salina. Natural phytoplankton communities were more sensitive to contamination with an EC50 of 80 mg L(-1). Discriminant analysis suggested that bromoacetic acid additions cause an alteration of phytoplankton community structure with implications for higher trophic levels. A two-fold EC50 decrease in mixed natural phytoplankton populations affirms the importance of field confirmation for establishing water quality criteria. PMID:26247379

  9. Ecosystem services provided by Pacific NW estuaries: State of knowledge - March 3, 2011

    EPA Science Inventory

    Coastal regions in the United States are rapidly developing areas, with increasing urbanization and growing populations. Estuarine and nearshore coastal marine waters provide valuable ecosystem services to resident and transient human communities. In the Pacific Northwest (PNW) ...

  10. Stability and change in estuarine biofilm bacterial community diversity.

    PubMed

    Moss, Joseph A; Nocker, Andreas; Lepo, Joe E; Snyder, Richard A

    2006-09-01

    Biofouling communities contribute significantly to aquatic ecosystem productivity and biogeochemical cycling. Our knowledge of the distribution, composition, and activities of these microbially dominated communities is limited compared to other components of estuarine ecosystems. This study investigated the temporal stability and change of the dominant phylogenetic groups of the domain Bacteria in estuarine biofilm communities. Glass slides were deployed monthly over 1 year for 7-day incubations during peak tidal periods in East Sabine Bay, Fla. Community profiling was achieved by using 16S rRNA genes and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) of 16S rRNA genes in combination with ribotyping, cloning, and sequencing to evaluate diversity and to identify dominant microorganisms. Bacterial community profiles from biofilms grown near the benthos showed distinct periods of constancy within winter and summer sampling periods. Similar periods of stability were also seen in T-RFLP patterns from floating biofilms. Alternating dominance of phylogenetic groups between seasons appeared to be associated with seasonal changes in temperature, nutrient availability, and light. The community structure appeared to be stable during these periods despite changes in salinity and in dissolved oxygen. PMID:16957182

  11. Contribution of intra-estuarine tributaries to estuarine sediment budget

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemoine, M.; Deloffre, J.; Lafite, R.; Le Hir, P.; Oberle, K.; Petit, F.

    2012-04-01

    This study aims to quantify the sedimentary fluxes between the Seine estuary and an intra-estuarine tributary: the Risle river, located close to the Seine turbidity maximum (TM). Four key areas are monitored from the upstream river to the confluence. Water level, current speed, Suspended Solid Concentration (SSC) and salinity are continuously monitored at high-frequency during one hydrological cycle. This dataset allows to (i) identify the hydrodynamics and sedimentary forcing parameters including their spatial and temporal variability (from event to seasonal scale) and (ii) establish the sedimentary fluxes. It appears that the Risle river behaviour is similar to a macrotidal estuary. The hydrodynamics in the upstream part is mainly controlled by the river discharge that reflects the watershed inputs. The sedimentary fluxes are thus also controlled by the discharge in the order of 25,000 tons.years-1. In the downstream part, the tide is the main hydrodynamics forcing parameter (maximum current speed ~ 2.5m.s-1). The intertidal mudflats (44,000m2), only localised in this part, are subjected to erosion (10,000 tons.years-1). Erosion process is generally sudden and intense, with destabilization and removal of pluri-metric muddy blocks. This area is also characterized by the presence of a TM whom resuspended volume ranges between 5,000 tons (neap tide) and 25,000 tons (spring tide) which represents between 2 and 10 % of the Seine TM volume. During ebb, the Risle river plume contributes to locally increase the SSC in the Seine estuary, while during flood, particules from the Seine estuary are trapped in the river. Thus, exchanges between the Seine TM and a tributary located near this sedimentary stock are significant. This study was conducted during a period of low discharge with low intensity flood. In the Seine estuary, the TM average position is partially controlled by pluri-annual cycles. Besides this phenomenon is poorly examined in literature, the estuarine

  12. Foraging ecology of sanderlings Calidris alba wintering in estuarine and non-estuarine intertidal areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lourenço, Pedro M.; Alves, José A.; Catry, Teresa; Granadeiro, José P.

    2015-10-01

    Outside the breeding season, most shorebirds use either estuarine or non-estuarine intertidal areas as foraging grounds. The sanderling Calidris alba is mostly associated with coastal sandy beaches, a habitat which is currently at risk worldwide due to increasing coastal erosion, but may also use estuarine sites as alternative foraging areas. We aimed to compare the trophic conditions for sanderlings wintering in estuarine and non-estuarine sites within and around the Tejo estuary, Portugal, where these two alternative wintering options are available within a relatively small spatial scale. To achieve this, we analysed sanderling diet, prey availability, foraging behaviour, and time and energy budgets in the different substrates available in estuarine and non-estuarine sites. In terms of biomass, the most important sanderling prey in the estuarine sites were siphons of the bivalve Scrobicularia plana, polychaetes, staphylinids and the gastropod Hydrobia ulvae. In non-estuarine sites the main prey were polychaetes, the bivalve Donax trunculus and chironomid larvae. Both food availability and energetic intake rates were higher on estuarine sites, and sanderlings spent a higher proportion of time foraging on non-estuarine sites. In the estuary, sanderlings foraged in muddy-sand substrate whenever it was available, achieving higher intake rates than in sandy substrates. In the non-estuarine sites they used both sandy and rocky substrates throughout the tidal cycle but had higher intakes rates in sandy substrate. Estuarine sites seem to offer better foraging conditions for wintering sanderlings than non-estuarine sites. However, sanderlings only use muddy-sand and sandy substrates, which represent a small proportion of the intertidal area of the estuary. The extent of these substrates and the current sanderling density in the estuary suggest it is unlikely that the estuary could provide alternative wintering habitat for sanderlings if they face habitat loss and

  13. A Biological Condition Gradient Model for Historical Assessment of Estuarine Habitat Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shumchenia, Emily J.; Pelletier, Marguerite C.; Cicchetti, Giancarlo; Davies, Susan; Pesch, Carol E.; Deacutis, Christopher F.; Pryor, Margherita

    2015-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems are affected by ever-increasing natural and human pressures. Because the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics unique to estuarine ecosystems control the ways that biological resources respond to ecosystem stressors, we present a flexible and adaptable biological assessment method for estuaries. The biological condition gradient (BCG) is a scientific framework of biological response to increasing anthropogenic stress that is comprehensive and ecosystem based and evaluates environmental conditions and the status of ecosystem services in order to identify, communicate, and prioritize management action. Using existing data, we constructed the first estuarine BCG framework that examines changes in habitat structure through time. Working in a New England (U.S.) estuary with a long history of human influence, we developed an approach to define a reference level, which we described as a "minimally disturbed" range of conditions for the ecosystem, anchored by observations before 1850 AD. Like many estuaries in the U.S., the relative importance of environmental stressors changed over time, but even qualitative descriptions of the biological indicators' status provided useful information for defining condition levels. This BCG demonstrated that stressors rarely acted alone and that declines in one biological indicator influenced the declines of others. By documenting the biological responses to cumulative stressors, the BCG inherently suggests an ecosystem-based approach to management. Additionally, the BCG process initiates thinking over long time scales and can be used to inspire scientists, managers, and the public toward environmental action.

  14. 75 FR 4349 - National Estuarine Reserve System

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-01-27

    ...The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service, publishes this notice to re-open the solicitation period for the National Estuarine Research Reserve Land Acquisition and Construction Program FY10 to provide National Estuarine Research Reserve lead State agencies or designated universities in coastal States the opportunity to submit proposals for...

  15. Fish community-based measures of estuarine ecological quality and pressure-impact relationships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fonseca, Vanessa F.; Vasconcelos, Rita P.; Gamito, Rita; Pasquaud, Stéphanie; Gonçalves, Catarina I.; Costa, José L.; Costa, Maria J.; Cabral, Henrique N.

    2013-12-01

    Community-based responses of fish fauna to anthropogenic pressures have been extensively used to assess the ecological quality of estuarine ecosystems. Several methodologies have been developed recently combining metrics reflecting community structure and function. A fish community facing significant environmental disturbances will be characterized by a simplified structure, with lower diversity and complexity. However, estuaries are naturally dynamic ecosystems exposed to numerous human pressures, making it difficult to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic-induced changes to the biological community. In the present work, the variability of several fish metrics was assessed in relation to different pressures in estuarine sites. The response of a multimetric index (Estuarine Fish Assessment Index) was also analysed. Overall, fish metrics and the multimetric index signalled anthropogenic stress, particularly environmental chemical pollution. The fish assemblage associated with this type of pressure was characterized by lower species diversity, lower number of functional guilds, lower abundance of marine migrants and of piscivorous individuals, and higher abundance of estuarine resident species. A decreased ecological quality status, based on the EFAI, was also determined for sites associated with this pressure group. Ultimately, the definition of each pressure groups favoured a stressor-specific analysis, evidencing pressure patterns and accounting for multiple factors in a highly dynamic environment.

  16. Ecoengineering with Ecohydrology: Successes and failures in estuarine restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliott, Michael; Mander, Lucas; Mazik, Krysia; Simenstad, Charles; Valesini, Fiona; Whitfield, Alan; Wolanski, Eric

    2016-07-01

    Ecological Engineering (or Ecoengineering) is increasingly used in estuaries to re-create and restore ecosystems degraded by human activities, including reduced water flow or land poldered for agricultural use. Here we focus on ecosystem recolonization by the biota and their functioning and we separate Type A Ecoengineering where the physico-chemical structure is modified on the basis that ecological structure and functioning will then follow, and Type B Ecoengineering where the biota are engineered directly such as through restocking or replanting. Modifying the physical system to create and restore natural processes and habitats relies on successfully applying Ecohydrology, where suitable physical conditions, especially hydrography and sedimentology, are created to recover estuarine ecology by natural or human-mediated colonisation of primary producers and consumers, or habitat creation. This successional process then allows wading birds and fish to reoccupy the rehabilitated areas, thus restoring the natural food web and recreating nursery areas for aquatic biota. We describe Ecohydrology principles applied during Ecoengineering restoration projects in Europe, Australia, Asia, South Africa and North America. These show some successful and sustainable approaches but also others that were less than successful and not sustainable despite the best of intentions (and which may even have harmed the ecology). Some schemes may be 'good for the ecologists', as conservationists consider it successful that at least some habitat was created, albeit in the short-term, but arguably did little for the overall ecology of the area in space or time. We indicate the trade-offs between the short- and long-term value of restored and created ecosystems, the success at developing natural structure and functioning in disturbed estuaries, the role of this in estuarine and wetland management, and the costs and benefits of Ecoengineering to the socio-ecological system. These global case

  17. 15 CFR 921.51 - Estuarine research guidelines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... MANAGEMENT NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE SYSTEM REGULATIONS Special Research Projects § 921.51 Estuarine research guidelines. (a) Research within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System shall be... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Estuarine research guidelines....

  18. 15 CFR 921.51 - Estuarine research guidelines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... MANAGEMENT NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE SYSTEM REGULATIONS Special Research Projects § 921.51 Estuarine research guidelines. (a) Research within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System shall be... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Estuarine research guidelines....

  19. 15 CFR 921.51 - Estuarine research guidelines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... MANAGEMENT NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE SYSTEM REGULATIONS Special Research Projects § 921.51 Estuarine research guidelines. (a) Research within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System shall be... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Estuarine research guidelines....

  20. 15 CFR 921.51 - Estuarine research guidelines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... MANAGEMENT NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE SYSTEM REGULATIONS Special Research Projects § 921.51 Estuarine research guidelines. (a) Research within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System shall be... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Estuarine research guidelines....

  1. 15 CFR 921.51 - Estuarine research guidelines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... MANAGEMENT NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE SYSTEM REGULATIONS Special Research Projects § 921.51 Estuarine research guidelines. (a) Research within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System shall be... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Estuarine research guidelines....

  2. A POLYCHLORINATED DIBENZOFURAN AND RELATED COMPOUNDS IN AN ESTUARINE ECOSYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    A 2,4,8-trichlorodibenzofuran, a tetrachlorodiphenyl ether, and a trichlorodiphenyl ether have been identified in samples of edible marine organisms and suspended particulate material obtained from Narragansett Bay, RI. Rapid declines in the concentrations of these compounds with...

  3. Repeating patterns of virioplankton production within an estuarine ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Winget, Danielle M.; Helton, Rebekah R.; Williamson, Kurt E.; Bench, Shellie R.; Williamson, Shannon J.; Wommack, K. Eric

    2011-01-01

    The Chesapeake Bay, a seasonally variable temperate estuary, provides a natural laboratory for examining the fluctuations and impacts of viral lysis on aquatic microorganisms. Viral abundance (VA) and viral production (VP) were monitored in the Chesapeake Bay over 4 1/2 annual cycles, producing a unique, long-term, interannual study of virioplankton production. High and dynamic VP rates, averaging 7.9 × 106 viruses per mL per h, indicate that viral lysis impacts a significant fraction of microorganisms in the Chesapeake. Viral-mediated bacterial mortality, VA, VP, and organic carbon release all displayed similar interannual and seasonal trends with higher values in 2003 and 2006 than in 2004 and 2005 and peaks in early spring and summer. Surprisingly, higher rates of viral lysis occurred in winter, resulting in a magnified effect of viral lysis on bacterioplankton during times of reduced productivity. Viral lysis directly impacted the organic carbon pool, contributing on average 76 μg of C per L per d, an amount capable of sustaining ∼55% of Chesapeake Bay bacterial production. The observed repeating interannual patterns of VP and lysis are likely interlinked with seasonal cycles of host abundance and diversity, which are in turn driven by annual cycles in environmental conditions, emphasizing the complex interplay of seasonality and microbial ecology in the Chesapeake Bay. PMID:21709214

  4. Downwelling wind, tides, and estuarine plume dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhigang; Ma, Ronghua; Huang, Mingfen; Chen, Changsheng; Chen, Yong; Xie, Congbin; Beardsley, Robert C.

    2016-06-01

    The estuarine plume dynamics under a downwelling-favorable wind condition were examined in the windy dry season of the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) using the PRE primitive-equation Finite-Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM). The wind and tide-driven estuarine circulation had a significant influence on the plume dynamics on both local and remote scales. Specifically, the local effect of downwelling-favorable winds on the plume was similar to the theoretical descriptions of coastal plumes, narrowing the plume width, and setting up a vertically uniform downstream current at the plume edge. Tides tended to reduce these plume responses through local turbulent mixing and advection from upstream regions, resulting in an adjustment of the isohalines in the plume and a weakening of the vertically uniform downstream current. The remote effect of downwelling-favorable winds on the plume was due to the wind-induced estuarine sea surface height (SSH), which strengthened the estuarine circulation and enhanced the plume transport accordingly. Associated with these processes, tide-induced mixing tended to weaken the SSH gradient and thus the estuarine circulation over a remote influence scale. Overall, the typical features of downwelling-favorable wind-driven estuarine plumes revealed in this study enhanced our understanding of the estuarine plume dynamics under downwelling-favorable wind conditions.

  5. Pathobiology of marine and estuarine organisms

    SciTech Connect

    Couch, J.A.; Fournie, J.W.

    1992-12-01

    The book is an up-to-date compendium of scientific findings related to diseases of marine and estuarine organisms. The information was presented at the Gulf Breeze Symposium on Marine and Estuarine Disease Research sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) held in October 1990 on Pensacola Beach, Florida. Authors review the state-of-the-science and recommend research for future studies of the impact of xenobiotics and other anthropogenic stress factors on disease processes in marine and estuarine organisms.

  6. Storm-induced changes in coastal geomorphology control estuarine secondary productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filgueira, Ramón; Guyondet, Thomas; Comeau, Luc A.; Grant, Jon

    2014-01-01

    Estuarine ecosystems are highly sensitive not only to projected effects of climate change such as ocean warming, acidification, and sea-level rise but also to the incidence of nor'easter storms and hurricanes. The effects of storms and hurricanes can be extreme, with immediate impact on coastal geomorphology and water circulation, which is integral to estuarine function and consequently to provision of ecosystem services. In this article, we present the results of a natural estuarine-scale experiment on the effects of changes in coastal geomorphology on hydrodynamics and aquaculture production. A bay in Prince Edward Island, Canada, was altered when a nor'easter storm eroded a second tidal inlet through a barrier island. Previous field and modeling studies allowed a comparison of prestorm and post-storm circulation, food limitation by cultured mussels, and aquaculture harvest. Dramatic increases in mussel production occurred in the year following the opening of the new inlet. Model studies showed that post-storm circulation reduced food limitation for cultured mussels, allowing greater growth. Climate change is expected to have severe effects on the delivery of marine ecosystem services to human populations by changing the underlying physical-biological coupling inherent to their functioning.

  7. Effects of thiamphenicol on nitrate reduction and N2O release in estuarine and coastal sediments.

    PubMed

    Yin, Guoyu; Hou, Lijun; Liu, Min; Zheng, Yanling; Li, Xiaofei; Lin, Xianbiao; Gao, Juan; Jiang, Xiaofen

    2016-07-01

    Nitrate overload is an important driver of water pollution in most estuarine and coastal ecosystems, and thus nitrate reduction processes have attracted considerable attention. Antibiotics contamination is also an emerging environmental problem in estuarine and coastal regions as a result of growing production and usage of antibiotics. However, the effects of antibiotics on nitrate reduction remain unclear in these aquatic ecosystems. In this study, continuous-flow experiments were conducted to examine the effects of thiamphenicol (TAP, a common chloramphenicol antibiotic) on nitrate reduction and greenhouse gas N2O release. Functional genes involved in nitrogen transformation were also quantified to explore the microbial mechanisms of the TAP influence. Production of N2 were observed to be inhibited by TAP treatment, which implied the inhibition effect of TAP on nitrate reduction processes. As intermediate products of nitrogen transformation processes, nitrite and N2O were observed to accumulate during the incubation. Different TAP inhibition effects on related functional genes may be the microbial mechanism for the changes of nutrient fluxes, N2 fluxes and N2O release rates. These results indicate that the antibiotics residues in estuarine and coastal ecosystems may contribute to nitrate retention and N2O release, which could be a major factor responsible for eutrophication and greenhouse effects. PMID:27105162

  8. Size matters: The contribution of mega-infauna to the food webs and ecosystem services of an Oregon estuary - ESA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background/Questions/Methods Large-bodied invertebrates (bivalves, polychaetes, burrowing shrimps) are common to infaunal communities of NE Pacific estuaries, but their contribution to estuarine community structure, function and ecosystem services is poorly understood because ...

  9. Assessing estuarine quality: A cost-effective in situ assay with amphipods.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Haro, Monica; Acevedo, Pelayo; Pais-Costa, Antónia Juliana; Taggart, Mark A; Martins, Irene; Ribeiro, Rui; Marques, João Carlos

    2016-05-01

    In situ assays based on feeding depression can be powerful ecotoxicological tools that can link physiological organism-level responses to population and/or community-level effects. Amphipods are traditional target species for toxicity tests due to their high sensitivity to contaminants, availability in the field and ease of handling. However, cost-effective in situ assays based on feeding depression are not yet available for amphipods that inhabit estuarine ecosystems. The aim of this work was to assess a short-term in situ assay based on postexposure feeding rates on easily quantifiable food items with an estuarine amphipod. Experiments were carried out under laboratory conditions using juvenile Echinogammarus marinus as the target individual. When 60 Artemia franciscana nauplii (as prey) were provided per individual for a period of 30 min in dark conditions, feeding rates could be easily quantified. As an endpoint, postexposure feeding inhibition in E. marinus was more sensitive to cadmium contamination than mortality. Assay calibration under field conditions demonstrated the relevance of sediment particle size in explaining individual feeding rates in uncontaminated water bodies. An evaluation of the 48-h in situ bioassay based on postexposure feeding rates indicated that it is able to discriminate between unpolluted and polluted estuarine sites. Using the harmonized protocol described here, the in situ postexposure feeding assay with E. marinus was found to be a potentially useful, cost-effective tool for assessing estuarine sediment and water quality. PMID:26874320

  10. Mechanisms driving estuarine water quality: A 3D biogeochemical model for informed management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wild-Allen, Karen; Skerratt, Jenny; Whitehead, Jason; Rizwi, Farhan; Parslow, John

    2013-12-01

    Estuaries are amongst the most productive marine ecosystems of the world but are also some of the most degraded due to coastal urban development. Sparse sampling of complex interactions between estuarine physics, sediment transport, chemistry, and biology limits understanding of the processes controlling estuarine water quality and confounds active management. We use a 3D coupled hydrodynamic, sediment and biogeochemical model to identify the key mechanisms driving fine-scale fluctuations in water quality in a temperate micro-tidal salt wedge estuary [Derwent Estuary, Tasmania]. Model results are dynamically consistent with relatively sparse monitoring data collected over a seasonal cycle and are considered to be a plausible hypothesis of sub-monitoring scale processes occurring in the estuary. The model shows enhanced mixing of nutrients across the pycnocline downstream of the salt wedge front that supports a persistent phytoplankton bloom. The length and flow regime of the estuary results in nutrient recycling and retention in the estuarine circulation driving a decline in bottom water dissolved oxygen in the mid- and upper-reaches. A budget analysis of modelled nitrogen suggests high levels of denitrification are critical to the maintenance of existing water quality. Active estuarine management focused on the improvement of bottom water dissolved oxygen for ecological health reasons must either concurrently reduce anthropogenic nitrogen loads or be sure to maintain high levels of microbial denitrification for net water quality improvement.

  11. Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification — Concept and application

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simenstad, Charles A.; Burke, Jennifer L.; O'Connor, Jim E.; Cannon, Charles; Heatwole, Danelle W.; Ramirez, Mary F.; Waite, Ian R.; Counihan, Timothy D.; Jones, Krista L.

    2011-01-01

    This document describes the concept, organization, and application of a hierarchical ecosystem classification that integrates saline and tidal freshwater reaches of estuaries in order to characterize the ecosystems of large flood plain rivers that are strongly influenced by riverine and estuarine hydrology. We illustrate the classification by applying it to the Columbia River estuary (Oregon-Washington, USA), a system that extends about 233 river kilometers (rkm) inland from the Pacific Ocean. More than three-quarters of this length is tidal freshwater. The Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification ("Classification") is based on six hierarchical levels, progressing from the coarsest, regional scale to the finest, localized scale: (1) Ecosystem Province; (2) Ecoregion; (3) Hydrogeomorphic Reach; (4) Ecosystem Complex; (5) Geomorphic Catena; and (6) Primary Cover Class. We define and map Levels 1-3 for the entire Columbia River estuary with existing geospatial datasets, and provide examples of Levels 4-6 for one hydrogeomorphic reach. In particular, three levels of the Classification capture the scales and categories of ecosystem structure and processes that are most tractable to estuarine research, monitoring, and management. These three levels are the (1) eight hydrogeomorphic reaches that embody the formative geologic and tectonic processes that created the existing estuarine landscape and encompass the influence of the resulting physiography on interactions between fluvial and tidal hydrology and geomorphology across 230 kilometers (km) of estuary, (2) more than 15 ecosystem complexes composed of broad landforms created predominantly by geologic processes during the Holocene, and (3) more than 25 geomorphic catenae embedded within ecosystem complexes that represent distinct geomorphic landforms, structures, ecosystems, and habitats, and components of the estuarine landscape most likely to change over short time periods.

  12. Trophic relationships in an estuarine environment: A quantitative fatty acid analysis signature approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magnone, Larisa; Bessonart, Martin; Gadea, Juan; Salhi, María

    2015-12-01

    In order to better understand the functioning of aquatic environments, it is necessary to obtain accurate diet estimations in food webs. Their description should incorporate information about energy flow and the relative importance of trophic pathways. Fatty acids have been extensively used in qualitative studies on trophic relationships in food webs. Recently a new method to estimate quantitatively single predator diet has been developed. In this study, a model of aquatic food web through quantitative fatty acid signature analysis was generated to identify the trophic interactions among the species in the Rocha Lagoon. The biological sampling over two consecutive annual periods was comprehensive enough to identify all functional groups in the aquatic food web (except birds and mammals). Heleobia australis seemed to play a central role in this estuarine ecosystem. As both, a grazer and a prey to several other species, probably H. australis is transferring a great amount of energy to upper trophic levels. Most of the species at Rocha Lagoon have a wide range of prey items in their diet reflecting a complex food web, which is characteristic of extremely dynamic environment as estuarine ecosystems. QFASA is a model in tracing and quantitative estimate trophic pathways among species in an estuarine food web. The results obtained in the present work are a valuable contribution in the understanding of trophic relationships in Rocha Lagoon.

  13. EFFECTS OF PENTACHLOROPHENOL ON DEVELOPMENT OF ESTUARINE COMMUNITIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Pentachlorophenol affected the composition of communities of estuarine organisms developed in sand from planktonic larvae in estuarine water that flowed through ten control aquaria and ten aquaria per exposure concentration averaging 7, 76, or 622 micrograms/liter. Annelids, arth...

  14. Measuring the acute toxicity of estuarine sediments

    SciTech Connect

    DeWitt, T.H.; Swartz, R.C.; Lanberson, J.O.

    1989-01-01

    Estuarine sediments frequently are repositories and sources of anthropogenic contaminants. Toxicity is one method of assessing the environmental quality of sediments, yet because of the extreme range of salinities that characterize estuaries few infaunal organisms have both the physiological tolerance and sensitivity to chemical contaminants to serve in estuarine sediment toxicity tests. The study describes research on the estuarine burrowing amphipod, Eohaustorius estuarius Bosworth, 1973, whose survival was >95% in control sediments across a 2 to 28% salinity range over 10-d periods. E. estuarius also was acutely sensitive to low sediment concentrations of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, fluoranthene (LC50 approximately = 10.6 mg/kg), and its sensitivity to fluoranthene was not affected by salinity. E. estuarius was almost as sensitive as Rhepoxynius abronius to fluoranthene and to field-collected sediments from Puget Sound urban and industrial bays. E. estuarius was also more tolerant of very fine, uncontaminated sediments than R. abronius. Furthermore, E. estuarius was more sensitive to sediments spiked with fluoranthene than the freshwater amphipod, Hyalella azteca. E. estuarius, and possibly other estuarine haustoriid species, appears to be an excellent candidate for testing the acute toxicity if estuarine and marine sediments.

  15. EVALUATION AND EMERGY ANALYSIS OF THE COBSCOOK BAY ECOSYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    A naturally eutrophic, estuarine ecosystem with many unique features has developed in Cobscook Bay over the past four thousand years under the influence of six meter tides and rich flows of nitrogen from the deep waters of the Gulf of Maine. In this paper measurements of primary ...

  16. Climate Change, Precipitation and Impacts on an Estuarine Refuge from Disease

    PubMed Central

    Levinton, Jeffrey; Doall, Michael; Ralston, David; Starke, Adam; Allam, Bassem

    2011-01-01

    Background Oysters play important roles in estuarine ecosystems but have suffered recently due to overfishing, pollution, and habitat loss. A tradeoff between growth rate and disease prevalence as a function of salinity makes the estuarine salinity transition of special concern for oyster survival and restoration. Estuarine salinity varies with discharge, so increases or decreases in precipitation with climate change may shift regions of low salinity and disease refuge away from optimal oyster bottom habitat, negatively impacting reproduction and survival. Temperature is an additional factor for oyster survival, and recent temperature increases have increased vulnerability to disease in higher salinity regions. Methodology/Principal Findings We examined growth, reproduction, and survival of oysters in the New York Harbor-Hudson River region, focusing on a low-salinity refuge in the estuary. Observations were during two years when rainfall was above average and comparable to projected future increases in precipitation in the region and a past period of about 15 years with high precipitation. We found a clear tradeoff between oyster growth and vulnerability to disease. Oysters survived well when exposed to intermediate salinities during two summers (2008, 2010) with moderate discharge conditions. However, increased precipitation and discharge in 2009 reduced salinities in the region with suitable benthic habitat, greatly increasing oyster mortality. To evaluate the estuarine conditions over longer periods, we applied a numerical model of the Hudson to simulate salinities over the past century. Model results suggest that much of the region with suitable benthic habitat that historically had been a low salinity refuge region may be vulnerable to higher mortality under projected increases in precipitation and discharge. Conclusions/Significance Predicted increases in precipitation in the northeastern United States due to climate change may lower salinities past

  17. Estuarine Biogeochemical Dynamics of Nutrients and Organic Carbon in the Columbia River: Observing Transformations Using a Biogeochemical Sensor Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Needoba, J. A.; Peterson, T. D.; Riseman, S.; Wilkin, M.; Baptista, A. M.

    2015-12-01

    The Columbia River estuary is an ecosystem dominated by both a large river discharge and strong tidal forcing that creates fast currents, intense and variable physical stratification, low water residence times, and large gradients in salinity, temperature and water quality across the river to ocean boundary. Assessing ecosystem function and biogeochemical cycling in this environment is hampered by the inherent variability in both temporal and spatial timescales. In recent years the NSF Science and Technology Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction has established a comprehensive in situ observation network that spans the estuarine gradient and captures variability associated with tides, diel cycles, episodic events, and seasonal changes in the river and ocean end-members. Here we describe the major patterns of variability in nitrate, orthophosphate, fluorescent dissolved organic carbon and related variables that demonstrate the dominant physical forcing and the biogeochemical hotspots within the ecosystem. These hotspots include intertidal lateral bays, the tidal freshwater river, and the estuarine turbidity maxima. Improved understanding of the role of these estuarine hotspots has informed ecosystem stewardship activities related to juvenile salmon survival, hypoxia, and food web structure.

  18. 76 FR 40338 - National Estuarine Research Reserve System

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-08

    ...The Estuarine Reserves Division, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce has approved the ACE Basin, SC National Estuarine Research Reserve and Old Woman Creek, OH National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan Revisions. The revised management plan for the ACE Basin, SC......

  19. 78 FR 26617 - National Estuarine Research Reserve System

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-05-07

    ...Notice is hereby given that the Estuarine Reserves Division, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce is announcing a thirty day public comment period for the Grand Bay, Mississippi National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan and the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve......

  20. Modelling the effect of hydrological change on estuarine health: An Australian Perspective. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruce, L. C.; Adiyanti, S.; Ruibal, A. L.; Hipsey, M. R.

    2013-12-01

    Estuaries provide an important role in the filtering and transformation of carbon and nutrients from coastal catchments into the marine environment. Global trends including climate change, increased population, industrialization and agriculture have led to the rapid deterioration of estuarine ecosystems across the world. Within the Australian context, a particular concern is how changes to hydrological regimes, due to both water diversions and climate variability, are contributing to increased stress and consequent decline in estuarine health. In this study we report the modeling output of five Australian estuaries, each with different hydrological regimes and alternative management issues relating to altered hydrology: 1) The Yarra River estuary is a highly urbanized system, also receiving agriculturally derived nutrients, where the concern is the role of periodic hypoxia in reducing the assimilation capacity of nitrogen and thus increased risk of algal blooms forming in the coastal environment; 2) The upper Swan River estuary in Western Australia, which experiences persistent anoxia and hypoxia brought about by reduced flows has led to the commissioning of several oxygenation plants to alleviate stress on biodiversity and overall estuarine health; 3) The health of the Caboolture estuary in Queensland has deteriorated in the past decade with the aim of model development to quantify the various sources of surface and groundwater derived nutrients; 4) The construction of an additional channel to increase flushing in the Peel Harvey estuary in Western Australia was designed to control persistent harmful algal blooms; and 5) The Lower River Murray estuary experienced a prolonged drought that led to the development of acid sulfate soils and acid drainage deteriorating water quality. For these applications we applied 3-D hydrodynamic-biogeochemical models to determine underlying relationships between altered flow regimes, increased temperatures and the response of

  1. Size matters: The contribution of mega-infauna to the food webs and ecosystem services of an Oregon estuary - 9-30-12

    EPA Science Inventory

    Large-bodied invertebrates (bivalves, polychaetes, burrowing shrimps) are common to infaunal communities of NE Pacific estuaries, but their contribution to estuarine community structure, function and ecosystem services is poorly understood because they are difficult to sample and...

  2. Estuarine Oceanography. CEGS Programs Publication Number 18.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, F. F.

    Estuarine Oceanography is one in a series of single-topic problem modules intended for use in undergraduate and earth science courses. Designed for those interested in coastal oceanography or limnology, the module is structured as a laboratory supplement for undergraduate college classes but should be useful at all levels. The module has two…

  3. DIBUTYLPHTHALATE DEGRADATION IN ESTUARINE AND FRESHWATER SITES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Biotic and abiotic degradation of di-n-butylphthalate (DBP) in water and sediment/water systems from six different sites was investigated under laboratory conditions. Water and underlying sediment were collected from freshwater and estuarine sites in Florida, Mississippi, and Lou...

  4. EFFECT OF DIFLUBENZURON ON AN ESTUARINE CRUSTACEAN

    EPA Science Inventory

    Data are reported for tests exposing a small, estuarine crustacean, Mysidopsis bahia, to diflubenzuron (Dimilin, TH-6040, (1-(4-chlorophenyl)-3-(2,6-difluorobenzoyl)urea)) in flowing seawater. Tests were conducted in intermittent flows from a diluter or continuous flowing water i...

  5. Spatial analysis of the trophic interactions between two juvenile fish species and their preys along a coastal-estuarine gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopp, Dorothée; Le Bris, Hervé; Grimaud, Lucille; Nérot, Caroline; Brind'Amour, Anik

    2013-08-01

    Coastal and estuarine systems provide nursery grounds for many marine fish species. Their productivity has been correlated with terrigeneous inputs entering the coastal-estuarine benthic food web, thereby favouring the establishment of fish juveniles. Studies in these ecosystems often describe the nursery as a single large habitat without verifying nor considering the presence of contiguous habitats. Our study aimed at identifying different habitats based on macrozoobenthic communities and morpho-sedimentary characteristics and assessing the trophic interactions between fish juveniles and their benthic preys within these habitats. It included 43 sampling sites covering 5 habitats in which we described taxonomically and quantitatively the invertebrates and fish communities with stable isotopes and gut contents. It suggested that the benthic common sole Solea solea displayed feeding plasticity at the population level, separating the juveniles (G0) from the older fish (G1) into different "feeding sub-populations". Size-based feeding plasticity was also observable in the spatial occupancy of that species in the studied bay. The demersal pouting, Trisopterus luscus, equally used the different habitats but displayed low feeding plasticity across and inside each habitat. Stable isotopes proved to be powerful tools to study the spatial distribution of trophic interactions in complex ecosystems like the bay of Vilaine and to define optimal habitats for fish that use the coastal-estuarine ecosystem as nursery grounds.

  6. Ecosystem Jenga!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Umphlett, Natalie; Brosius, Tierney; Laungani, Ramesh; Rousseau, Joe; Leslie-Pelecky, Diandra L.

    2009-01-01

    To give students a tangible model of an ecosystem and have them experience what could happen if a component of that ecosystem were removed; the authors developed a hands-on, inquiry-based activity that visually demonstrates the concept of a delicately balanced ecosystem through a modification of the popular game Jenga. This activity can be…

  7. Ecosystem Journalism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Amy; Mahlin, Kathryn

    2005-01-01

    If the organisms in a prairie ecosystem created a newspaper, what would it look like? What important news topics of the ecosystem would the organisms want to discuss? Imaginative and enthusiastic third-grade students were busy pondering these questions as they tried their hands at "ecosystem journalism." The class had recently completed a study of…

  8. Shifts in the community structure and activity of anaerobic ammonium oxidation bacteria along an estuarine salinity gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Yanling; Jiang, Xiaofen; Hou, Lijun; Liu, Min; Lin, Xianbiao; Gao, Juan; Li, Xiaofei; Yin, Guoyu; Yu, Chendi; Wang, Rong

    2016-06-01

    Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) is a major microbial pathway for nitrogen (N) removal in estuarine and coastal environments. However, understanding of anammox bacterial dynamics and associations with anammox activity remains scarce along estuarine salinity gradient. In this study, the diversity, abundance, and activity of anammox bacteria, and their potential contributions to total N2 production in the sediments along the salinity gradient (0.1-33.8) of the Yangtze estuarine and coastal zone, were studied using 16S rRNA gene clone library, quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay, and isotope-tracing technique. Phylogenetic analysis showed a significant change in anammox bacterial community structure along the salinity gradient (P < 0.01), with the dominant genus shifting from Brocadia in the freshwater region to Scalindua in the open ocean. Anammox bacterial abundance ranged from 3.67 × 105 to 8.22 × 107 copies 16S rRNA gene g-1 and related significantly with salinity (P < 0.05). The anammox activity varied between 0.08 and 6.46 nmol N g-1 h-1 and related closely with anammox bacterial abundance (P < 0.01). Contributions of anammox activity to total N loss were highly variable along the salinity gradient, ranging from 5 to 77% and were significantly negatively correlated with salinity (P < 0.01). Sediment organic matter was also recognized as an important factor in controlling the relative role of anammox to total N2 production in the Yangtze estuarine and coastal zone. Overall, our data demonstrated a biogeographical distribution of anammox bacterial diversity, abundance, and activity along the estuarine salinity gradient and suggested that salinity is a major environmental control on anammox process in the estuarine and coastal ecosystems.

  9. Trophic Dynamics of Filter Feeding Bivalves in the Yangtze Estuarine Intertidal Marsh: Stable Isotope and Fatty Acid Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Sikai; Jin, Binsong; Qin, Haiming; Sheng, Qiang; Wu, Jihua

    2015-01-01

    Benthic bivalves are important links between primary production and consumers, and are essential intermediates in the flow of energy through estuarine systems. However, information on the diet of filter feeding bivalves in estuarine ecosystems is uncertain, as estuarine waters contain particulate matter from a range of sources and as bivalves are opportunistic feeders. We surveyed bivalves at different distances from the creek mouth at the Yangtze estuarine marsh in winter and summer, and analyzed trophic dynamics using stable isotope (SI) and fatty acid (FA) techniques. Different bivalve species had different spatial distributions in the estuary. Glauconome chinensis mainly occurred in marshes near the creek mouth, while Sinonovacula constricta preferred the creek. Differences were found in the diets of different species. S. constricta consumed more diatoms and bacteria than G. chinensis, while G. chinensis assimilated more macrophyte material. FA markers showed that plants contributed the most (38.86 ± 4.25%) to particular organic matter (POM) in summer, while diatoms contributed the most (12.68 ± 1.17%) during winter. Diatoms made the largest contribution to the diet of S. constricta in both summer (24.73 ± 0.44%) and winter (25.51 ± 0.59%), and plants contributed no more than 4%. This inconsistency indicates seasonal changes in food availability and the active feeding habits of the bivalve. Similar FA profiles for S. constricta indicated that the bivalve had a similar diet composition at different sites, while different δ13C results suggested the diet was derived from different carbon sources (C4 plant Spartina alterniflora and C3 plant Phragmites australis and Scirpus mariqueter) at different sites. Species-specific and temporal and/or spatial variability in bivalve feeding may affect their ecological functions in intertidal marshes, which should be considered in the study of food webs and material flows in estuarine ecosystems. PMID:26261984

  10. Trophic functioning of the St. Lucia estuarine lake during a drought phase assessed using stable isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Govender, Natasha; Smit, Albertus J.; Perissinotto, Renzo

    2011-06-01

    The St. Lucia Estuary is Africa's largest estuarine system and is currently experiencing the stress of prolonged freshwater deprivation, manifested by extremely low water levels and hypersalinity. These unprecedented conditions have raised questions regarding the trophic functioning of the ecosystem. Despite the substantial amount of research previously undertaken within this system, no studies of food web structure and function have yet been documented. This study therefore aimed to examine the food web structure of the St. Lucia estuary system through the use of carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis. Analysis of carbon isotope ratios indicates that benthic carbon sources are most utilised at sites with low water levels and generally higher salinity (Catalina Bay, Charter's Creek). Conversely, the estuarine region of the mouth and Narrows, with its elevated water levels and lower salinity, still sustains a viable pelagic food web. Analysis of δ15N ratios indicates that the number of trophic transfers (food chain length) might be related to water levels. Overall, the study provides a greater understanding of the ecological processes of this complex estuarine lake, which may allow for future comparisons of trophic functioning under drought and normal/wet conditions to be made.

  11. Human effects on estuarine shoreline decadal evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rilo, A.; Freire, P.; Ceia, R.; Mendes, R. N.; Catalão, J.; Taborda, R.

    2012-04-01

    Due to their sheltered conditions and natural resources, estuaries were always attractive to human activities (industrial, agriculture, residential and recreation). Consequently, the complex interactions between anthropogenic and natural drivers increase estuarine shoreline vulnerability to climate changes impacts. The environmental sustainability of these systems depends on a fragile balance between societal development and natural values that can be further disturbed by climate change effects. This challenging task for scientific community, managers and stakeholders can only be accomplished with interdisplinary approaches. In this context, it seems clear that estuarine management plans should incorporate the concept of change into the planning of policy decisions since these natural dynamic areas are often under human pressure and are recognized as sensitive to climate change effects. Therefore, the knowledge about historical evolution of estuarine shoreline is important to provide new insights on the spatial and temporal dimensions of estuarine change. This paper aims to present and discuss shoreline changes due to human intervention in Tagus estuary, located on the west coast of Portugal. Detailed margins cartography, in a 550m fringe (drawn inland from the highest astronomical tide line), was performed based on 2007 orthophotos (spatial resolution of 0.5 m) analysis. Several classification categories were considered, as urbanized areas, industrial, port and airport facilities, agriculture spaces, green areas and natural zones. The estuarine bed (area bellow the highest astronomical tide line) was also mapped (including human occupation, natural habitats, morpho-sedimentary units) based on the geographic information above and LANSAT 7 TM+ images using image processing techniques. Aerial photographs dated from 1944, 1946, 1948, 1955 and 1958 were analyzed for a set of pilot zones in order to fully understand the decadal shoreline change. Estuarine bed presents

  12. Mechanistic models as a transferable framework for projecting effects of habitat change on production and delivery of ecosystem services

    EPA Science Inventory

    Drawing a link between habitat change and the production and delivery of ecosystem services is a priority in coastal estuarine ecosystems. Mechanistic modeling tools are highly functional for exploring this link because they allow for the synthesis of multiple ecological and beh...

  13. Partitioning of trace elements in contaminated estuarine sediments: the role of environmental settings.

    PubMed

    Shaike, Mohmmad M; Nath, Bibhash; Birch, Gavin F

    2014-12-01

    Estuarine sedimentary environments safeguard aquatic ecosystem health by attenuating and transforming catchment-derived contaminants. Currently these environments are under severe stress from trace element contamination due to urbanization. Sediments of Sydney estuary (Australia) are highly elevated in a range of metals due to a long period of intense urbanization and industrialization, which has had a considerable influence on coastal ecosystem health and functioning. A three-stage sequential procedure following Bureau Communautaire de Référence (Community Bureau of Reference-BCR) technique was applied to sediments collected from Sydney estuary to determine their quality, elemental partitioning and ecosystem risk in three human-impacted environmental settings (i.e., mangrove-dominated, stormwater-dominated and industrial-dominated sites) and a control site in this coastal ecosystem. In all three environmental settings, Pb and Zn concentrations exceeded Australian Interim Sediment Quality Guidelines-High (ISQG-High) values and were mostly associated with the reducible and acid soluble fractions, respectively. Copper and Cr also exceeded ISQG-High values (especially in the industrial-dominated site), however the majority of these metals were associated with the oxidizable fraction. Arsenic and Ni concentrations were mostly below ISQG-High values (except one of the stormwater-dominated sites) and were associated with the residual fraction. These results suggest that the most easily mobilized metal was Zn followed by Pb and these metals together presented a risk to estuarine ecosystems in the three selected environmental settings. However, these metals are not always the most abundant in tissue of mangroves, oysters or prawns suggesting other mechanisms are important in a complex uptake process. PMID:25265026

  14. Bioactivity of Benthic and Picoplanktonic Estuarine Cyanobacteria on Growth of Photoautotrophs: Inhibition versus Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Lopes, Viviana R.; Vasconcelos, Vitor M.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding potential biochemical interactions and effects among cyanobacteria and other organisms is one of the main keys to a better knowledge of microbial population structuring and dynamics. In this study, the effects of cyanobacteria from benthos and plankton of estuaries on other cyanobacteria and green algae growth were evaluated. To understand how the estuarine cyanobacteria might influence the dynamics of phytoplankton, experiments were carried out with the freshwater species Microcystis aeruginosa and Chlorella sp., and the marine Synechocystis salina and Nannochloropsis sp. exposed to aqueous and organic (70% methanol) crude extracts of cyanobacteria for 96 h. The most pronounced effect observed was the growth stimulation. Growth inhibition was also observed for S. salina and M. aeruginosa target-species at the highest and lowest concentrations of cyanobacterial extracts. The methanolic crude extract of Phormidium cf. chalybeum LEGE06078 was effective against S. salina growth in a concentration-dependent manner after 96 h-exposure. All of the cyanobacterial isolates showed some bioactivity on the target-species growth, i.e., inhibitory or stimulating effects. These results indicate that the analyzed cyanobacterial isolates can potentially contribute to blooms’ proliferation of other cyanobacteria and to the abnormal growth of green algae disturbing the dynamic of estuarine phytoplankton communities. Since estuaries are transitional ecosystems, the benthic and picoplanktonic estuarine cyanobacteria can change both freshwater and marine phytoplankton succession, competition and bloom formation. Furthermore, a potential biotechnological application of these isolates as a tool to control cyanobacteria and microalgae proliferation can be feasible. This work is the first on the subject of growth responses of photoautotrophs to cyanobacteria from Atlantic estuarine environments. PMID:21673889

  15. 75 FR 69399 - Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-12

    ... National Estuarine Research Reserves AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office... Chesapeake Bay (Maryland) National Estuarine Research Reserves. The Coastal Zone Management Program... terms of financial assistance awards funded under the CZMA. The National Estuarine Research...

  16. 76 FR 14376 - Evaluation of State Coastal Management Programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-16

    ... National Estuarine Research Reserves AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office... its intent to evaluate the performance of the ACE Basin (South Carolina) National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Georgia Coastal Management Program. The National Estuarine Research Reserve...

  17. Estuarine turbidity, flushing, salinity, and circulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pritchard, D. W.

    1972-01-01

    The effects of estuarine turbidity, flushing, salinity, and circulation on the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay are discussed. The sources of fresh water, the variations in salinity, and the circulation patterns created by temperature and salinity changes are analyzed. The application of remote sensors for long term observation of water temperatures is described. The sources of sediment and the biological effects resulting from increased sediments and siltation are identified.

  18. Toxic pressure of herbicides on microalgae in Dutch estuarine and coastal waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Booij, Petra; Sjollema, Sascha B.; van der Geest, Harm G.; Leonards, Pim E. G.; Lamoree, Marja H.; de Voogt, W. Pim; Admiraal, Wim; Laane, Remi W. P. M.; Vethaak, A. Dick

    2015-08-01

    For several decades now, there has been an increase in the sources and types of chemicals in estuarine and coastal waters as a consequence of anthropogenic activities. This has led to considerable concern about the effects of these chemicals on the marine food chain. The fact is that estuarine and coastal waters are the most productive ecosystems with high primary production by microalgae. The toxic pressure of specific phytotoxic chemicals now poses a major threat to these ecosystems. In a previous study, six herbicides (atrazine, diuron, irgarol, isoproturon, terbutryn and terbutylazine) were identified as the main contaminants affecting photosynthesis in marine microalgae. The purpose of this study is to investigate the toxic pressure of these herbicides in the Dutch estuarine and coastal waters in relation to the effective photosystem II efficiency (ΦPSII) in microalgae. Temporal and spatial variations in the concentrations of these herbicides were analyzed based on monitoring data. Additionally, a field study was carried out in which chemical analysis of water was performed and also a toxicity assessment using the Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM) fluorometry assay that measures ΦPSII. The toxic pressure on ΦPSII in microalgae has decreased with 55-82% from 2003 to 2012, with the Western Scheldt estuary showing the highest toxic pressure. By combining toxicity data from the PAM assay with chemical analysis of herbicide concentrations, we have identified diuron and terbutylazine as the main contributors to the toxic pressure on microalgae. Although direct effects are not expected, the toxic pressure is close to the 10% effect level in the PAM assay. A compliance check with the current environmental legislation of the European Union revealed that the quality standards are not sufficient to protect marine microalgae.

  19. Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification Ecosystem Complex

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cannon, Charles M.; Ramirez, Mary F.; Heatwole, Danelle W.; Burke, Jennifer L.; Simenstad, Charles A.; O'Connor, Jim E.; Marcoe, Keith Marcoe

    2012-01-01

    Estuarine ecosystems are controlled by a variety of processes that operate at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Understanding the hierarchical nature of these processes will aid in prioritization of restoration efforts. This hierarchical Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification (henceforth "Classification") of the Columbia River estuary is a spatial database of the tidally-influenced reaches of the lower Columbia River, the tidally affected parts of its tributaries, and the landforms that make up their floodplains for the 230 kilometers between the Pacific Ocean and Bonneville Dam. This work is a collaborative effort between University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (henceforth "UW"), U.S. Geological Survey (henceforth "USGS"), and the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership (henceforth "EP"). Consideration of geomorphologic processes will improve the understanding of controlling physical factors that drive ecosystem evolution along the tidal Columbia River. The Classification is organized around six hierarchical levels, progressing from the coarsest, regional scale to the finest, localized scale: (1) Ecosystem Province; (2) Ecoregion; (3) Hydrogeomorphic Reach; (4) Ecosystem Complex; (5) Geomorphic Catena; and (6) Primary Cover Class. For Levels 4 and 5, we mapped landforms within the Holocene floodplain primarily by visual interpretation of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) topography supplemented with aerial photographs, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soils data, and historical maps. Mapped landforms are classified as to their current geomorphic function, the inferred process regime that formed them, and anthropogenic modification. Channels were classified primarily by a set of depth-based rules and geometric relationships. Classification Level 5 floodplain landforms ("geomorphic catenae") were further classified based on multivariate analysis of land-cover within the mapped landform area and attributed as "sub

  20. Effects of sulfamethazine on denitrification and the associated N2O release in estuarine and coastal sediments.

    PubMed

    Hou, Lijun; Yin, Guoyu; Liu, Min; Zhou, Junliang; Zheng, Yanling; Gao, Juan; Zong, Haibo; Yang, Yi; Gao, Lei; Tong, Chunfu

    2015-01-01

    Denitrification is an important pathway of nitrogen removal and nitrous oxide (N2O) production in estuarine and coastal ecosystems, and plays a significant role in counteracting aquatic eutrophication induced by excessive nitrogen loads. Estuarine and coastal environments also suffer from increasing antibiotic contamination because of the growing production and usage of antibiotics. In this study, sediment slurry incubation experiments were conducted to determine the influence of sulfamethazine (SMT, a sulphonamide antibiotic) on denitrification and the associated N2O production. Genes important for denitrification and antibiotic resistance were quantified to investigate the microbial physiological mechanisms underlying SMT's effects on denitrification. SMT was observed to significantly inhibit denitrification rates, but increasing concentrations of SMT enhanced N2O release rates. The negative exponential relationships between denitrifying gene abundances and SMT concentrations showed that SMT reduced denitrification rates by restricting the growth of denitrifying bacteria, although the presence of the antibiotic resistance gene was detected during the incubation period. These results imply that the wide occurrence of residual antibiotics in estuarine and coastal ecosystems may influence eutrophication control, greenhouse effects, and atmospheric ozone depletion by inhibiting denitrification and stimulating the release of N2O. PMID:25525860

  1. AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS,

    EPA Science Inventory

    Aquatic ecosystems are a vital part of the urban water cycle (and of urban areas more broadly), and, if healthy, provide a range of goods and services valued by humans (Meyer 1997). For example, aquatic ecosystems (e.g., rivers, lakes, wetlands) provide potable water, food resou...

  2. Adventures in holistic ecosystem modelling: the cumberland basin ecosystem model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, D. C.; Keizer, P. D.; Daborn, G. R.; Schwinghamer, P.; Silvert, W. L.

    A holistic ecosystem model has been developed for the Cumberland Basin, a turbid macrotidal estuary at the head of Canada's Bay of Fundy. The model was constructed as a group exercise involving several dozen scientists. Philosophy of approach and methods were patterned after the BOEDE Ems-Dollard modelling project. The model is one-dimensional, has 3 compartments and 3 boundaries, and is composed of 3 separate submodels (physical, pelagic and benthic). The 28 biological state variables cover the complete estuarine ecosystem and represent broad functional groups of organisms based on trophic relationships. Although still under development and not yet validated, the model has been verified and has reached the stage where most state variables provide reasonable output. The modelling process has stimulated interdisciplinary discussion, identified important data gaps and produced a quantitative tool which can be used to examine ecological hypotheses and determine critical environmental processes. As a result, Canadian scientists have a much better understanding of the Cumberland Basin ecosystem and are better able to provide competent advice on environmental management.

  3. Coastal and Estuarine Waters: Light Behavior. Coastal and Estuarine Waters: Optical Sensors and Remote Sensing.

    EPA Science Inventory

    This article summarizes the use of remote sensing techniques and technology to monitor coastal and estuarine waters. These waters are rich in mineral particles stirred up from the seabed by tides and waves and dissolved organic matter transported by rivers. The majority of the li...

  4. OVERVIEW OF GIS APPLICATIONS IN ESTUARINE MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT RESEARCH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Geographic information systems (GIS) tools are now considered integral in estuarine monitoring and assessment research. A synopsis is presented of our estuarine applications of GIS in the Northeast region of the U.S. The applications discussed cover sample site selection, support...

  5. 78 FR 50038 - National Estuarine Research Reserve System

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-16

    ...Notice is hereby given that the Estuarine Reserves Division, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce is announcing a thirty day public comment period for the Wells, Maine National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan revision. Pursuant to 15 CFR Section 921.33(c), the revised......

  6. EFFECT OF BARITE (BASO4) ON DEVELOPMENT OF ESTUARINE COMMUNITIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Barite (BaSO4), the primary component of oil drilling muds, affected the composition of estuarine communities developed from planktonic larvae in aquaria containing sand and flowing estuarine water. Aquaria contained: sand only; a mixture (by volume) of 1 part barite and 10 parts...

  7. 78 FR 53732 - National Estuarine Research Reserve System

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-30

    ...Notice is hereby given that the Estuarine Reserves Division, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce approves the Grand Bay, Mississippi and the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Plan Revisions. The revised management plans outline the administrative structure;......

  8. 76 FR 16620 - National Estuarine Research Reserve System

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-24

    ...Notice is hereby given that the Estuarine Reserves Division, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce is announcing a thirty-day comment period for the revised management plans and boundary amendments of the ACE Basin, SC National Estuarine Research Reserve and Old Woman Creek,......

  9. Applications of remote sensing to estuarine management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Munday, J. C., Jr.; Gordon, H. H.; Hennigar, H. F.

    1977-01-01

    Remote sensing was used in the resolution of estuarine problems facing federal and Virginia governmental agencies. A prototype Elizabeth River Surface Circulation Atlas was produced from photogrammetry to aid in oil spill cleanup and source identification. Aerial photo analysis twice led to selection of alternative plans for dredging and spoil disposal which minimized marsh damage. Marsh loss due to a mud wave from a highway dyke was measured on sequential aerial photographs. An historical aerial photographic sequence gave basis to a potential Commonwealth of Virginia legal claim to accreting and migrating coastal islands.

  10. A Simulation Model for Studying Effects of Pollution and Freshwater Inflow on Secondary Productivity in an Ecosystem. Ph.D. Thesis - North Carolina State Univ.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, R. W.

    1974-01-01

    A mathematical model of an ecosystem is developed. Secondary productivity is evaluated in terms of man related and controllable factors. Information from an existing physical parameters model is used as well as pertinent biological measurements. Predictive information of value to estuarine management is presented. Biological, chemical, and physical parameters measured in order to develop models of ecosystems are identified.

  11. Habitat and Recreational Fishing Opportunity in Tampa Bay: Linking Ecological and Ecosystem Services to Human Beneficiaries

    EPA Science Inventory

    Estimating value of estuarine habitat to human beneficiaries requires that we understand how habitat alteration impacts function through both production and delivery of ecosystem goods and services (EGS). Here we expand on the habitat valuation technique of Bell (1997) with an es...

  12. Effects of light reduction on food webs and associated ecosystem services of Yaquina Bay

    EPA Science Inventory

    Reduced water clarity can affect estuarine primary production but little is known of its subsequent effects to consumer guilds or ecosystem services. We investigated those effects using inverse analysis of modeled food webs of the lower (polyhaline) and upper (mesohaline) reache...

  13. MONITORING REGIONAL-SCALE HYDROLOGIC PROCESSES IN THE SOUTH FLORIDA ECOSYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The overall goal of the research project is to develop new approaches to monitor and predict hydrologic processes in the South Florida ecosystem. The processes to be studied include: (1) the patterns of overland surface flow and freshwater estuarine inflow in southwestern Florida...

  14. Estimating flood exceedance probabilities in estuarine regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westra, Seth; Leonard, Michael

    2016-04-01

    Flood events in estuarine regions can arise from the interaction of extreme rainfall and storm surge. Determining flood level exceedance probabilities in these regions is complicated by the dependence of these processes for extreme events. A comprehensive study of tide and rainfall gauges along the Australian coastline was conducted to determine the dependence of these extremes using a bivariate logistic threshold-excess model. The dependence strength is shown to vary as a function of distance over many hundreds of kilometres indicating that the dependence arises due to synoptic scale meteorological forcings. It is also shown to vary as a function of storm burst duration, time lag between the extreme rainfall and the storm surge event. The dependence estimates are then used with a bivariate design variable method to determine flood risk in estuarine regions for a number of case studies. Aspects of the method demonstrated in the case studies include, the resolution and range of the hydraulic response table, fitting of probability distributions, computational efficiency, uncertainty, potential variation in marginal distributions due to climate change, and application to two dimensional output from hydraulic models. Case studies are located on the Swan River (Western Australia), Nambucca River and Hawkesbury Nepean River (New South Wales).

  15. Assessment of the impact of increased solar ultraviolet radiation upon marine ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vandyke, H.

    1977-01-01

    Specifically, the study has addressed the following: (1) potential for irreversible damage to the productivity, structure and/or functioning of a model estuarine ecosystem by increased UV-B radiation or ecosystems highly stable or amenable to adaptive change, and (2) the sensitivity of key community components (the primary producers, consumers, and decomposers) to increased UV-B radiation. Three areas of study were examined during the past year: (1) a continuation of the study utilizing the two seminatural ecosystem chambers, (2) a pilot study utilizing three flow-through ecosystem tanks enclosed in a small, outdoor greenhouse, and (3) sensitivity studies of representative primary producers and consumers.

  16. Assessment of the impact of increased solar ultraviolet radiation upon marine ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vandyke, H.; Worrest, R. C.

    1976-01-01

    Data was provided to assess the potential impact upon marine ecosystems if space shuttle operations contribute to a reduction of the stratospheric ozone layer. The potential for irreversible damage to the productivity, structure and/or functioning of a model estuarine ecosystem by increased UV-B radiation was established. The sensitivity of key community components (the primary producers) to increased UV-B radiation was delineated.

  17. Effects of Salinity on Oil Spill Dispersant Toxicity in Estuarine Organisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eckmann, C. A.

    2015-12-01

    Chemical dispersants can be a useful tool to mitigate oil spills, but the potential risks to sensitive estuarine species should be carefully considered. To improve the decision making process, more information is needed regarding the effects of oil spill dispersants on the health of coastal ecosystems under variable environmental conditions such as salinity. The two oil dispersants used in this study were Corexit ® 9500 and Finasol ® OSR 52. Corexit ® 9500 was the primary dispersant used during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill event, while Finasol® OSR 52 is another dispersant approved for oil spill response in the U.S., yet considerably less is known regarding its toxicity to estuarine species. The grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio, was used as a model estuarine species. It is a euryhaline species that tolerates salinities from brackish to full strength seawater. Adult and larval life stages were tested with each dispersant at three salinities, 5ppt, 20ppt, and 30ppt. Median acute lethal toxicity thresholds were calculated. Lipid peroxidation assays were conducted on surviving shrimp to investigate sublethal effects. The toxicity of both dispersants was significantly influenced by salinity, with greatest toxicity observed at the lowest salinity tested. Larval shrimp were significantly more sensitive than adult shrimp to both dispersants, and both life stages were significantly more sensitive to Finasol than to Corexit. Furthermore, significant sublethal effects were seen at higher concentrations of both dispersants compared to the control. These data will enable environmental managers to make informed decisions regarding dispersant use in future oil spills.

  18. Mapping invasive wetland plants in the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve using quickbird satellite imagery

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laba, M.; Downs, R.; Smith, S.; Welsh, S.; Neider, C.; White, S.; Richmond, M.; Philpot, W.; Baveye, P.

    2008-01-01

    The National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) program is a nationally coordinated research and monitoring program that identifies and tracks changes in ecological resources of representative estuarine ecosystems and coastal watersheds. In recent years, attention has focused on using high spatial and spectral resolution satellite imagery to map and monitor wetland plant communities in the NERRs, particularly invasive plant species. The utility of this technology for that purpose has yet to be assessed in detail. To that end, a specific high spatial resolution satellite imagery, QuickBird, was used to map plant communities and monitor invasive plants within the Hudson River NERR (HRNERR). The HRNERR contains four diverse tidal wetlands (Stockport Flats, Tivoli Bays, Iona Island, and Piermont), each with unique water chemistry (i.e., brackish, oligotrophic and fresh) and, consequently, unique assemblages of plant communities, including three invasive plants (Trapa natans, Phragmites australis, and Lythrum salicaria). A maximum-likelihood classification was used to produce 20-class land cover maps for each of the four marshes within the HRNERR. Conventional contingency tables and a fuzzy set analysis served as a basis for an accuracy assessment of these maps. The overall accuracies, as assessed by the contingency tables, were 73.6%, 68.4%, 67.9%, and 64.9% for Tivoli Bays, Stockport Flats, Piermont, and Iona Island, respectively. Fuzzy assessment tables lead to higher estimates of map accuracies of 83%, 75%, 76%, and 76%, respectively. In general, the open water/tidal channel class was the most accurately mapped class and Scirpus sp. was the least accurately mapped. These encouraging accuracies suggest that high-resolution satellite imagery offers significant potential for the mapping of invasive plant species in estuarine environments. ?? 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Sponge-rhodolith interactions in a subtropical estuarine system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ávila, Enrique; Riosmena-Rodríguez, Rafael; Hinojosa-Arango, Gustavo

    2013-06-01

    The interactions between sponges and red macroalgae have been widely documented in tropical and subtropical environments worldwide, and many of them have been documented as mutualistic associations. Sponges, however, have also been frequently described as part of the associated fauna of rhodolith habitats (aggregations of free-living non-geniculated coralline macroalgae). Nonetheless, the types of interaction they establish as well as the role of sponges in these habitats remain unknown. In this study, the associations between sponges and rhodoliths were investigated in an estuarine ecosystem of the Mexican Pacific based on qualitative and quantitative data. A total of 13 sponge species were identified in five newly discovered rhodolith beds dominated by the non-geniculate coralline macroalga Lithophyllum margaritae. The sponge assemblages were strongly restricted to rhodolith habitats. The best predictor of sponge abundance (from 5.1 to 51.7 ind m-2) and species richness (from 2.6 to 6.1 sponge species m-2) was the rhodolith density rather than other population descriptors assessed (e.g., average size, branch density and sphericity). The identified sponges included a variety of forms: massive (46 %), encrusting (23 %), excavating (15 %), cushion-shape (8 %) and digitate (8 %). Moreover, more than 50 % of sponge species recorded (mainly massive and encrusting forms) were frequently found overgrowing and binding rhodoliths. Halichondria cf. semitubulosa and Mycale cecilia were the most common binding agents; these species bind an average of 3.1 and 6.6 rhodoliths per sponge individual, respectively. These findings reveal the importance of rhodoliths as habitat forming species, since these seaweed beds notably increased the substrate complexity in soft bottom environments. In addition, the relatively high abundance of sponges and their capability to bind rhodoliths suggest that these associated organisms could have an important contribution to rhodolith bed stability.

  20. Resistance among wild invertebrate populations to recurrent estuarine acidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amaral, Valter; Cabral, Henrique N.; Bishop, Melanie J.

    2011-07-01

    Acid sulphate soils (ASS), which occur on floodplains worldwide, pose a significant threat to estuarine ecosystems. In laboratory and field experiments, naïve calcifying organisms that are exposed for even short periods (1-2 mo) to runoff from ASS suffer 80% mortality and slowed growth. Based on these observations we expected that sampling of wild oyster, gastropod and crab populations at sites close to and away from drains discharging ASS runoff would reveal more depauperate populations, of sparser and smaller-sized individuals at the more acidified sites. Sampling within three estuaries of New South Wales, Australia, confirmed that the oyster Saccostrea glomerata and gastropods (primarily Bembicium auratum) were less abundant at ASS-affected than reference sites. Nevertheless, crab abundances did not differ between the acidified and reference sites and impacts to bivalves and gastropods were far smaller than predicted. Although at ASS-affected sites gastropod populations were dominated by smaller individuals than at reference sites, oyster populations were skewed towards larger individuals. Even at ASS-affected sites, oyster and gastropod abundances were within the range encountered in estuaries that are not influenced by ASS runoff. Behaviour, long-term physiological acclimation or genetic selection may be responsible for differences in the responses of wild and naïve macroinvertebrates to acidification. Alternatively, wild populations may exhibit some recovery between the rainfall events that transport ASS runoff into estuaries, despite the persistently lower pH near outflow drains. Irrespective, this study suggests that at the population level, calcifying organisms display a certain degree of natural resistance to recurrent disturbance from ASS runoff.

  1. Determination of fish trophic levels in an estuarine system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasquaud, S.; Pillet, M.; David, V.; Sautour, B.; Elie, P.

    2010-01-01

    The concept of trophic level is particularly relevant in order to improve knowledge of the structure and the functioning of an ecosystem. A precise estimation of fish trophic levels based on nitrogen isotopic signatures in environments as complex and fluctuant as estuaries requires a good description of the pelagic and benthic trophic chains and a knowledge of organic matter sources at the bottom. In this study these points are considered in the case of the Gironde estuary (south west France, Europe). To obtain a good picture of the food web, fish stomach content analyses and a bibliographic synthesis of the prey feeding ecology were carried out. Fish trophic levels were calculated from these results and δ 15N data. The feeding link investigation enabled us to identify qualitatively and quantitatively the different preys consumed by each fish group studied, to distinguish the prey feeding on benthos from those feeding on pelagos and to characterize the different nutritive pools at the base of the system. Among the species studied, only Liza ramada and the flatfish ( Platichthys flesus and Solea solea) depend mainly on benthic trophic compartments. All the other fish groups depend on several trophic (benthic and/or pelagic) sources. These results enabled us to correct the calculation of fish trophic levels which are coherent with their feeding ecology data obtained from the nitrogen isotopic integrative period. The present work shows that trophic positions are linked with the feeding ecology of fish species and vary according to individual size. Ecological data also allow the correction of the isotopic data by eliminating absurd results and showing the complementarity of the two methods. This work is the first to consider source variability in the fish food web. This is an indispensable step for trophic studies in a dynamic environment. The investigation of matter fluxes and recycling processes at the food web base would provide a useful improvement in future

  2. Environmental predictors of estuarine fish landings along a temperate coastline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saintilan, Neil; Wen, Li

    2012-11-01

    The regulation of freshwater flow into estuaries has been identified as a potential threat to estuarine ecosystem structure and function, and the productivity of fisheries in particular. Correlative studies are one means by which associations between freshwater inputs and commercial landings have been identified. The study compared monthly landings of five species of finfish and two species of crustacean with monthly and 6-month running means of river discharge, climatic variables (temperature and rainfall) and the area of vegetated habitat (saltmarsh, mangrove and seagrass) for 11 temperate estuaries on the NSW coast. The monthly climatic and discharge record covered a 10-year period (1997-2007). High river discharge and rainfall were associated with higher catches of flathead (Platycephalus spp.) and Mullet (Mugil spp.), a result consistent with subtropical estuaries to the north. We found no relationships between landings and river discharge for any of the other species, which included school prawns (Metapenaeus macleayi). Temporal variability at a monthly time-step was more consistently associated with variation in temperature, reflecting seasonal variation in activity, and possibly fishing effort. Landings of several species showed strong habitat relationships, with greater seagrass area consistently associated with higher catches of blue swimmer crab (Portunis pelagicus), and intertidal wetlands (mangrove and saltmarsh) with mud crab (Scylla serrata), school prawns, flathead, and mullet (Mugil spp.), a result consistent with habitat-scale surveys. The results draw into question the efficacy of dam releases as stimulants of fisheries productivity in the region, although the effects of flow on juvenile populations and catadromous species were not studied.

  3. Overview of integrative tools and methods in assessing ecological integrity in estuarine and coastal systems worldwide.

    PubMed

    Borja, Angel; Bricker, Suzanne B; Dauer, Daniel M; Demetriades, Nicolette T; Ferreira, João G; Forbes, Anthony T; Hutchings, Pat; Jia, Xiaoping; Kenchington, Richard; Carlos Marques, João; Zhu, Changbo

    2008-09-01

    In recent years, several sets of legislation worldwide (Oceans Act in USA, Australia or Canada; Water Framework Directive or Marine Strategy in Europe, National Water Act in South Africa, etc.) have been developed in order to address ecological quality or integrity, within estuarine and coastal systems. Most such legislation seeks to define quality in an integrative way, by using several biological elements, together with physico-chemical and pollution elements. Such an approach allows assessment of ecological status at the ecosystem level ('ecosystem approach' or 'holistic approach' methodologies), rather than at species level (e.g. mussel biomonitoring or Mussel Watch) or just at chemical level (i.e. quality objectives) alone. Increasing attention has been paid to the development of tools for different physico-chemical or biological (phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthos, algae, phanerogams, fishes) elements of the ecosystems. However, few methodologies integrate all the elements into a single evaluation of a water body. The need for such integrative tools to assess ecosystem quality is very important, both from a scientific and stakeholder point of view. Politicians and managers need information from simple and pragmatic, but scientifically sound methodologies, in order to show to society the evolution of a zone (estuary, coastal area, etc.), taking into account human pressures or recovery processes. These approaches include: (i) multidisciplinarity, inherent in the teams involved in their implementation; (ii) integration of biotic and abiotic factors; (iii) accurate and validated methods in determining ecological integrity; and (iv) adequate indicators to follow the evolution of the monitored ecosystems. While some countries increasingly use the establishment of marine parks to conserve marine biodiversity and ecological integrity, there is awareness (e.g. in Australia) that conservation and management of marine ecosystems cannot be restricted to Marine Protected

  4. Size, sex and individual-level behaviour drive intrapopulation variation in cross-ecosystem foraging of a top-predator.

    PubMed

    Nifong, James C; Layman, Craig A; Silliman, Brian R

    2015-01-01

    Large-bodied, top-predators are often highly mobile, with the potential to provide important linkages between spatially distinct food webs. What biological factors contribute to variation in cross-ecosystem movements, however, have rarely been examined. Here, we investigated how ontogeny (body size), sex and individual-level behaviour impacts intrapopulation variation in cross-ecosystem foraging (i.e. between freshwater and marine systems), by the top-predator Alligator mississippiensis. Field surveys revealed A. mississippiensis uses marine ecosystems regularly and are abundant in estuarine tidal creeks (from 0·3 to 6·3 individuals per km of creek, n = 45 surveys). Alligator mississippiensis captured in marine/estuarine habitats were significantly larger than individuals captured in freshwater and intermediate habitats. Stomach content analysis (SCA) showed that small juveniles consumed marine/estuarine prey less frequently (6·7% of individuals) than did large juveniles (57·8%), subadult (73%), and adult (78%) size classes. Isotopic mixing model analysis (SIAR) also suggests substantial variation in use of marine/estuarine prey resources with differences among and within size classes between sexes and individuals (range of median estimates for marine/estuarine diet contribution = 0·05-0·76). These results demonstrate the importance of intrapopulation characteristics (body size, sex and individual specialization) as key determinants of the strength of predator-driven ecosystem connectivity resulting from cross-ecosystem foraging behaviours. Understanding the factors, which contribute to variation in cross-ecosystem foraging behaviours, will improve our predictive understanding of the effects of top-predators on community structure and ecosystem function. PMID:25327480

  5. Numerical noise in ocean and estuarine models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walters, R.; Carey, G.F.

    1984-01-01

    Approximate methods for solving the shallow water equations may lead to solutions exhibiting large fictitious, numerically-induced oscillations. The analysis of the discrete dispersion relation and modal solutions of small wavelengths provides a powerful technique for assessing the sensitivity of alternative numerical schemes to irregular data which may lead to such oscillatory numerical noise. For those schemes where phase speed vanishes at a finite wavenumber or there are multiple roots for wavenumber, oscillation modes can exist which are uncoupled from the dynamics of the problem. The discrete modal analysis approach is used here to identify two classes of spurious oscillation modes associated respectively with the two different asymptotic limits corresponding to estuarine and large scale ocean models. The analysis provides further insight into recent numerical results for models which include large spatial scales and Coriolis acceleration. ?? 1984.

  6. Sediment measurement in estuarine and coastal areas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shelley, P. E.

    1976-01-01

    A survey of uses of estuarine and coastal areas is given. Problems associated with these uses are discussed, and data needs for intelligent management of these valuable areas are outlined. Suspended sediment measurements are seen to be one of the greatest needs. To help understand the complexity of the problem, a brief discussion of sediment mechanics is given, including sediment sources, characteristics, and transport. The impact of sediment mechanics on its direct measurement (sampling and analysis) is indicated, along with recommendations for directly obtaining representative data. Indirect measurement of suspended sediment by remote sensors is discussed both theoretically and in the light of some recent experiences. The need for an integrated, multidisciplinary program to solve the problem of quantitatively measuring suspended sediment with remote sensors is stressed, and several important considerations of such a program and benefits to be derived therefrom are briefly addressed.

  7. Linking DNRA community structure and activity in a shallow lagoonal estuarine system

    PubMed Central

    Song, Bongkeun; Lisa, Jessica A.; Tobias, Craig R.

    2014-01-01

    Dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) and denitrification are two nitrate respiration pathways in the microbial nitrogen cycle. Diversity and abundance of denitrifying bacteria have been extensively examined in various ecosystems. However, studies on DNRA bacterial diversity are limited, and the linkage between the structure and activity of DNRA communities has yet to be discovered. We examined the composition, diversity, abundance, and activities of DNRA communities at five sites along a salinity gradient in the New River Estuary, North Carolina, USA, a shallow temporal/lagoonal estuarine system. Sediment slurry incubation experiments with 15N-nitrate were conducted to measure potential DNRA rates, while the abundance of DNRA communities was calculated using quantitative PCR of nrfA genes encoding cytochrome C nitrite reductase, commonly found in DNRA bacteria. A pyrosequencing method targeting nrfA genes was developed using an Ion Torrent sequencer to examine the diversity and composition of DNRA communities within the estuarine sediment community. We found higher levels of nrfA gene abundance and DNRA activities in sediments with higher percent organic content. Pyrosequencing analysis of nrfA genes revealed spatial variation of DNRA communities along the salinity gradient of the New River Estuary. Percent abundance of dominant populations was found to have significant influence on overall activities of DNRA communities. Abundance of dominant DNRA bacteria and organic carbon availability are important regulators of DNRA activities in the eutrophic New River Estuary. PMID:25232351

  8. Maps showing textural characteristics of benthic sediments in the Corpus Christi Bay estuarine system, south Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shideler, Gerald L.; Stelting, Charles E.; McGowen, Joseph H.

    1981-01-01

    Corpus Christi Bay is a heavily used estuary on the south Texas coast in the northwest Gulf of Mexico (fig. 1).  The Bay is stressed by diverse activities which could substantially affect its ecosystem.  Such activities include shipping, resource production (oil, gas, and construction aggregate), commercial and sport fishing, and recreation.  Shipping activities alone have had a substantial impact on the bay.  For example, the past maintenance of navigation channels has required extensive dredging and spoil disposal within the estuarine system.  Numerous subaqueous spoil disposal sites and subaerial spoil banks are present throughout the bay (fig. 1), and the selection of future spoil disposal sites is becoming a critical local problem.  As activities in the bay increase, the need for effective environmental management becomes increasingly important, and effective management necessitates a good understanding of the bay's physical characteristics.  The objective of this study is to provide detailed information about the textural composition of bottom sediments within the estuarine system, information which could be used in making environmental-management decisions.  Visual descriptions of bottom sediments in Corpus Christi Bay and adjacent areas have been presented by McGowen and Morton (1979).  Additionally, a study of the textures of sediments on the Inner Continental Shelf adjacent to the bay has been presented by Shideler and Berryhill (1977).

  9. Genetically Diverse Clostridium difficile Strains Harboring Abundant Prophages in an Estuarine Environment

    PubMed Central

    Hargreaves, K. R.; Colvin, H. V.; Patel, K. V.; Clokie, J. J. P.

    2013-01-01

    Clostridium difficile is the leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrheal disease in health care settings across the world. Despite its pathogenic capacity, it can be carried asymptomatically and has been found in terrestrial and marine ecosystems outside hospital environments. Little is known about these environmental strains, and few studies have been conducted on estuarine systems. Although prophage abundance and diversity are known to occur within clinical strains, prophage carriage within environmental strains of C. difficile has not previously been explored. In this study, we isolated C. difficile from sites sampled in two consecutive years in an English estuarine system. Isolates were characterized by PCR ribotype, antibiotic resistance, and motility. The prevalence and diversity of prophages were detected by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and a phage-specific PCR assay. We show that a dynamic and diverse population of C. difficile exists within these sediments and that it includes isolates of ribotypes which are associated with severe clinical infections and those which are more frequently isolated from outside the hospital environment. Prophage carriage was found to be high (75%), demonstrating that phages play a role in the biology of these strains. PMID:23913427

  10. Reconstructing early 17th century estuarine drought conditions from Jamestown oysters

    PubMed Central

    Harding, Juliana M.; Spero, Howard J.; Mann, Roger; Herbert, Gregory S.; Sliko, Jennifer L.

    2010-01-01

    Oysters (Crassostrea virginica) were a central component of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem in 1607 when European settlers established Jamestown, VA, the first permanent English settlement in North America. These estuarine bivalves were an important food resource during the early years of the James Fort (Jamestown) settlement while the colonists were struggling to survive in the face of inadequate supplies and a severe regional drought. Although oyster shells were discarded as trash after the oysters were eaten, the environmental and ecological data recorded in the bivalve geochemistry during shell deposition remain intact over centuries, thereby providing a unique window into conditions during the earliest Jamestown years. We compare oxygen isotope data from these 17th century oyster shells with modern shells to quantify and contrast estuarine salinity, season of oyster collection, and shell provenance during Jamestown colonization (1609–1616) and the 21st century. Data show that oysters were collected during an extended drought between fall 1611 and summer 1612. The drought shifted the 14 psu isohaline above Jamestown Island, facilitating individual oyster growth and extension of oyster habitat upriver toward the colony, thereby enhancing local oyster food resources. Data from distinct well layers suggest that the colonists also obtained oysters from reefs near Chesapeake Bay to augment oyster resources near Jamestown Island. The oyster shell season of harvest reconstructions suggest that these data come from either a 1611 well with a very short useful period or an undocumented older well abandoned by late 1611. PMID:20534581

  11. Spatial patterns of distribution and the influence of seasonal and abiotic factors on demersal ichthyofauna in an estuarine tropical bay.

    PubMed

    da Silva, D R; Paranhos, R; Vianna, M

    2016-07-01

    This study focused on the influence of local-scale environmental factors on key metrics of fish community structure and function at Guanabara Bay, an estuarine system that differs from all other south-western Atlantic estuaries due to the influence of an annual low-intensity upwelling event during late spring and summer, between November and March, when a warm rainy climate prevails. The spatial patterns of the bottom temperature and salinity were more heterogeneous during the rainy season than the dry season, being linked to total precipitation and seasonal oceanographic events. The study identified 130 species and 45 families, placing Guanabara Bay as one of the most species-rich tropical estuarine ecosystems, far exceeding 22 other Brazilian estuaries. These results, in addition to characteristics such as a relatively well-preserved mangrove forest, high productivity and favourable conditions for the growth and reproduction of estuarine species, indicate that Guanabara Bay plays a central role in supporting large populations of fishes, including commercially important species. PMID:27401484

  12. Bathymetric effects on estuarine plume dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Jungwoo; Valle-Levinson, Arnoldo

    2013-04-01

    influence of bathymetry on an estuary plume at an estuary-shelf transition is studied with a three-dimensional ocean circulation model. To understand the response of the plume to bathymetry, several types of estuarine shapes and shelf geometries were adopted in this numerical study. The channel's shape and its width-to-depth aspect ratio affected the fate of the plume by determining flow characteristics inside the estuary. Moreover, the bathymetry of the shelf such as the shelf slope and the direction of a submarine channel defined the plume characteristics on the shelf. An estuarine channel with a triangular cross section generated relatively stronger exchange flows at midestuary than a rectangular cross section, which resulted in a larger surface plume over the shelf. The extension of the submarine channel onto the shelf favored increased plume water transport out to the shelf, a result of reduced frictional effects on the shelf. The orientation of the submarine channel changed the direction of the plume over the shelf, with no additional external forces. Two fronts developed at the edges of the submarine channel because of enhanced lateral shears in the flow. When the estuary was relatively wide compared to the internal Rossby radius (Kelvin number Ke ≥ 5), or when the relative strength of the freshwater discharge compared to the estuary width was weak (Rossby number Ro ≤ 0.05), the coastal plume did not expand up-shelf. In fact, results indicated that freshwater up-shelf transport in a coastal current, moving against Coriolis' accelerations, was proportional to Ro.

  13. Range Ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    After more than two hundred years, grazing remains California’s most extensive land use. The ‘Range Ecosystems’ chapter in the ‘Ecosystems of California’ sourcebook provides an integrated picture of the biophysical, social, and economic aspects of lands grazed by livestock in the state. Grazing mana...

  14. LANDSAT ESTUARINE WATER QUALITY ASSESSMENT OF SILVICULTURE AND DREDGING ACTIVITIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    This report describes the application of Landsat multispectral scanning to estuarine water quality, with specific reference to dredging and silviculture practices. Water quality data collected biweekly since 1972 in the Apalachicola, Bay, Florida, by Florida State University, and...

  15. RESPONSES OF EXPERIMENTAL ESTUARINE COMMUNITIES TO CONTINUOUS CHLORINATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The effects of continuous chlorination (as NaOCl) on estuarine benthic organisms were investigated with plankton-derived experimental communities. Twelve consecutive studies were conducted, each of which consisted of approximately 60 days colonization periods from flowing estuari...

  16. Relating watershed nutrient loads to satellite derived estuarine water quality

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nutrient enhanced phytoplankton production is a cause of degraded estuarine water quality. Yet, relationships between watershed nutrient loads and the spatial and temporal scales of phytoplankton blooms and subsequent water quality impairments remain unquantified for most systems...

  17. 76 FR 2083 - National Estuarine Research Reserve System

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-12

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Estuarine Research Reserve System AGENCY..., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of Public... Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S....

  18. 78 FR 75548 - National Estuarine Research Reserve System

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-12-12

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Estuarine Research Reserve System AGENCY..., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce ACTION: Notice of Approval of..., National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of...

  19. Progress and Challenges in Coupled Hydrodynamic-Ecological Estuarine Modeling

    EPA Science Inventory

    Numerical modeling has emerged over the last several decades as a widely accepted tool for investigations in environmental sciences. In estuarine research, hydrodynamic and ecological models have moved along parallel tracks with regard to complexity, refinement, computational po...

  20. SPECIES INTERACTIONS BETWEEN ESTUARINE DETRITIVORES: INHIBITION OR FACILITATION?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Native Hawaiian estuarine detritivores; the prawn Macrobrachium grandimanus, and the neritid gastropod Neritina vespertina, were maintained in flow-through microcosms with conditioned leaves from two riparian tree species, Hau (Hibiscus tiliaceus) and guava (Psidium guajava). Th...

  1. Connecting fishery sustainability to estuarine habitats and nutrient loading

    EPA Science Inventory

    The production of several important fishery species depends on critical estuarine habitats, including seagrasses and salt marshes. Relatively simple models can be constructed to relate fishery productivity to the extent and distribution of these habitats by linking fishery-depend...

  2. Evidence for enhanced mercury reactivity in response to estuarine mixing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rolfhus, Kristofer R.; Lamborg, Carl H.; Fitzgerald, William F.; Balcom, Prentiss H.

    2003-11-01

    Bioaccumulation of methylmercury in coastal U.S. fisheries has led to the issuance of numerous fish consumption advisories, and yet little is known about the processes that make Hg species chemically labile in coastal and estuarine systems. This study examined the role of estuarine mixing in formation of labile Hg complexes (reactive Hg) from relatively refractory Hg-organic associations in river water and characterized the behavior and distribution of Hg species in the Connecticut River estuary during three distinct collection periods. Results indicate that while total Hg partitioning and concentrations remained fairly constant with increasing salinity, the fraction present as reactive Hg concentrations increased, primarily in the particulate phase. Mixing experiments using both natural and prepared waters indicate that riverine organic ligands rapidly scavenge reactive Hg from natural waters on timescales of minutes to hours, while samples free of riverine influence remained much more "reactive." Modeling of the estuarine system suggests that elevated concentrations of chloride and dilution of the dominant organic ligand associated with estuarine mixing enhance reactive Hg and predict a bulk log formation constant for the binding ligand of approximately 21. Analysis of Hg0 production from Hg(II)-spiked, incubated estuarine samples supports the speciation data as higher reactive Hg concentrations and Hg0 production rates were observed in the more saline samples. These results suggest that estuarine mixing may exacerbate Hg methylation, evasion, and bioaccumulation in some systems by promoting the formation of Hg species that are readily labile.

  3. VARIATIONS IN THE SPECTRAL PROPERTIES OF FRESHWATER AND ESTUARINE CDOM CAUSED BY PARTITIONING ONTO RIVER AND ESTUARINE SEDIMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The optical properties and geochemical cycling of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) are altered by its sorption to freshwater and estuarine sediments. Measured partition coefficients (Kp) of Satilla River (Georgia) and Cape Fear River estuary (North Carolina) CDOM ran...

  4. Low mercury levels in marine fish from estuarine and coastal environments in southern China.

    PubMed

    Pan, Ke; Chan, Heidi; Tam, Yin Ki; Wang, Wen-Xiong

    2014-02-01

    This study is the first comprehensive evaluation of total Hg and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in wild marine fish from an estuarine and a coastal ecosystem in southern China. A total of 571 fish from 54 different species were examined. Our results showed that the Hg levels were generally low in the fish, and the Hg levels were below 30 ng g(-1) (wet weight) for 82% of the samples, which may be related to the reduced size of the fish and altered food web structure due to overfishing. Decreased coastal wetland coverage and different carbon sources may be responsible for the habitat-specific Hg concentrations. The degree of biomagnification was relatively low in the two systems. PMID:24292441

  5. Responses of estuarine nematodes to an increase in nutrient supply: an in situ continuous addition experiment.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, R C; Nascimento-Junior, A B; Santos, P J P; Botter-Carvalho, M L; Pinto, T K

    2015-01-15

    An experiment was carried out on an estuarine mudflat to assess impacts of inorganic nutrients used to fertilize sugar-cane fields on the surrounding aquatic ecosystem, through changes in the nematode community structure. During 118 days, nine quadrats each 4m(2) were sampled six times after the beginning of fertilizer addition. The fertilizer was introduced weekly in six areas, at two different concentrations (low and high doses), and three areas were used as control. The introduction of nutrients modified key nematode community descriptors. In general, the nematodes were negatively affected over the study period. However, Comesa, Metachromadora, Metalinhomoeus, Spirinia and Terschellingia were considered tolerant, and other genera showed different degrees of sensitivity. Nutrient input also affect the availability and quality of food, changing the nematode trophic structure. The use of inorganic fertilizer should be evaluated with care because of the potential for damage to biological communities of coastal aquatic systems. PMID:25499965

  6. Buffer zones promoting oligotrophication in golf course runoffs: fiddler crabs as estuarine health indicators.

    PubMed

    George, R Y; Bodnar, G; Gerlach, S L; Nelson, R M

    2001-01-01

    Nitrogen pollution above a threshold level induces a eutrophication process in coastal creek ecosystems and consequently impacts on the water quality. The remedy for this scenario is the introduction of methods to enhance oligotrophication by means of constructed wetlands and buffer zones. This paper discusses new data on nitrogen flux and population changes in the primary consumers in the Bradley Creek ecosystem, adjacent to the Duck Haven Golf Course in southeastern North Carolina. In 1998-99, over different seasons, density distribution of the field populations of the fiddler crab Uca minax, was monitored as an indicator of environmental health. A control site at Whiskey Creek, adjacent to the University Center for Marine Sciences, was monitored in the same period since this site is not influenced by any golf course nutrient flux. The results pointed out that threshold level for optimum population density in Spartina grandiflora salt marsh is 0.1 mg/L of nitrates. A dense crab population, adjacent to the golf course with a buffer zone, was indicative of restoration of the estuarine ecosystem. A model, involving the use of constructed wetlands for oligotrophication, is being prepared on the basis of studies conducted by the University of South Alabama for a stormwater wetland constructed adjacent to the university's golf course. PMID:11804155

  7. The Abundance and Activity of Nitrate-Reducing Microbial Populations in Estuarine Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardarelli, E.; Francis, C. A.

    2014-12-01

    Estuaries are productive ecosystems that ameliorate nutrient and metal contaminants from surficial water supplies. At the intersection of terrestrial and aquatic environments, estuarine sediments host major microbially-mediated geochemical transformations. These include denitrification (the conversion of nitrate to nitrous oxide and/or dinitrogen) and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA). Denitrification has historically been seen as the predominant nitrate attenuation process and functions as an effective sink for nitrate. DNRA has previously been believed to be a minor nitrate reduction process and transforms nitrate within the ecosystem to ammonium, a more biologically available N species. Recent studies have compared the two processes in coastal environments and determined fluctuating environmental conditions may suppress denitrification, supporting an increased role for DNRA in the N cycle. Nitrate availability and salinity are factors thought to influence the membership of the microbial communities present, and the nitrate reduction process that predominates. The aim of this study is to investigate how nitrate concentration and salinity alter the transcript abundances of N cycling functional gene markers for denitrification (nirK, nirS) and DNRA (nrfA) in estuarine sediments at the mouth of the hypernutrified Old Salinas River, CA. Short-term whole core incubations amended with artificial freshwater/artificial seawater (2 psu, 35 psu) and with varying NO3- concentrations (200mM, 2000mM) were conducted to assess the activity as well as the abundance of the nitrate-reducing microbial populations present. Gene expression of nirK, nirS, and nrfA at the conclusion of the incubations was quantified using reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). High abundances of nirK, nirS, and nrfA under particular conditions coupled with the resulting geochemical data ultimately provides insight onto how the aforementioned factors

  8. The influence of the Kennebec River discharge on estuarine and reverse estuarine flow in eastern Casco Bay, Gulf of Maine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolovick, M.; Laine, E.; Roesler, C.; Teegarden, G.

    2008-12-01

    Harpswell Sound and the New Meadows estuary are narrow coastal embayments on the eastern side of Casco Bay, in the Gulf of Maine. Hourly oceanographic data was collected at both locations, including ADCP profiles of current velocity vs. depth. It was found that net circulation in both inlets displays both estuarine and inverse estuarine characteristics at various times. During periods of low discharge from the neighboring Kennebec River there is little connection between the two inlets, with New Meadows developing a three- layered circulation regime and Harpswell Sound having periods of negligible net flow punctuated by brief wind-driven events. However, when the discharge of the Kennebec River is high both inlets experience considerable freshening of surface water with corresponding increases in vertical stratification. In addition both inlets act in concert, experiencing near-simultaneous alternation between estuarine and inverse estuarine current regimes of relatively high strength. It is hypothesized that this coordinated reverse estuarine flow is caused by the passage of the leading edge of a bolus of fresher Kennebec discharge past the entrances of the inlets. Water flowing down the sloping surface of this bolus is deflected by the Coriolis force, running into the inlets at the surface and triggering a compensating outflow at depth. Conversely, coordinated estuarine flow is caused by the passage of the trailing edge of the bolus past the entrances, causing the sea surface slope to switch direction.

  9. Passive acoustic threat detection in estuarine environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borowski, Brian; Sutin, Alexander; Roh, Heui-Seol; Bunin, Barry

    2008-04-01

    The Maritime Security Laboratory (MSL) at Stevens Institute of Technology supports research in a range of areas relevant to harbor security, including passive acoustic detection of underwater threats. The difficulties in using passive detection in an urban estuarine environment include intensive and highly irregular ambient noise and the complexity of sound propagation in shallow water. MSL conducted a set of tests in the Hudson River near Manhattan in order to measure the main parameters defining the detection distance of a threat: source level of a scuba diver, transmission loss of acoustic signals, and ambient noise. The source level of the diver was measured by comparing the diver's sound with a reference signal from a calibrated emitter placed on his path. Transmission loss was measured by comparing noise levels of passing ships at various points along their routes, where their distance from the hydrophone was calculated with the help of cameras and custom software. The ambient noise in the Hudson River was recorded under varying environmental conditions and amounts of water traffic. The passive sonar equation was then applied to estimate the range of detection. Estimations were done for a subset of the recorded noise levels, and we demonstrated how variations in the noise level, attenuation, and the diver's source level influence the effective range of detection. Finally, we provided analytic estimates of how an array improves upon the detection distance calculated by a single hydrophone.

  10. Estuarine ecology of phenanthrene-degrading bacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guerin, William F.; Jones, Galen E.

    1989-08-01

    Phenanthrene degrading bacteria were ubiquitously distributed in waters and sediments of the Great Bay Estuary, NH, as determined using a 14C-phenanthrene mineralization assay. Similar activities were observed in water samples collected in March and June when these were incubated at 18 °C even though ambient water temperatures were 1-4 °C and 10-22 °C, respectively. This observation indicated the constant presence of a mesophilic phenanthrene-degrading bacterial population in the estuary. Among water samples, the highest biodegradation activities were associated with samples collected downstream from a dredging operation which introduced high concentrations of coal tar PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) into the Cocheco River, and in areas receiving PAH from pleasure and commercial boating activities. Mid-estuarine maxima in biodegradation activity during both sampling trips suggested adaptation of the microbial flora to the salinities prevailing in the low turnover, high residence time portion of the Estuary at the time of sampling. Despite the hydrophobicity of phenanthrene, no correlation between biodegradation rates and particulate matter concentrations were observed. Similarly, concentrations of nutrients and dissolved and particulate organic matter correlated poorly with biodegradation rates. Better agreements between 14C-phenanthrene mineralization potentials and plate counts on a phenanthrene/toluene agar (PTA) medium were observed. Phenanthrene biodegradative activities and numbers of culturable bacteria growing on PTA were governed by the degree of previous exposure to PAH.

  11. Estuarine nitrifiers: New players, patterns and processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernhard, Anne E.; Bollmann, Annette

    2010-06-01

    Ever since the first descriptions of ammonia-oxidizing Bacteria by Winogradsky in the late 1800s, the metabolic capability of aerobic ammonia oxidation has been restricted to a phylogenetically narrow group of bacteria. However, the recent discovery of ammonia-oxidizing Archaea has forced microbiologists and ecologists to re-evaluate long-held paradigms and the role of niche partitioning between bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. Much of the current research has been conducted in open ocean or terrestrial systems, where community patterns of archaeal and bacterial ammonia oxidizers are highly congruent. Studies of archaeal and bacterial ammonia oxidizers in estuarine systems, however, present a very different picture, with highly variable patterns of archaeal and bacterial ammonia oxidizer abundances. Although salinity is often identified as an important factor regulating abundance, distribution, and diversity of both archaeal and bacterial ammonia oxidizers, the data suggest that the variability in the observed patterns is likely not due to a simple salinity effect. Here we review current knowledge of ammonia oxidizers in estuaries and propose that because of their steep physico-chemical gradients, estuaries may serve as important natural laboratories in which to investigate the relationships between archaeal and bacterial ammonia oxidizers.

  12. Composition of estuarine colloidal material: organic components

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sigleo, A.C.; Hoering, T.C.; Helz, G.R.

    1982-01-01

    Colloidal material in the size range 1.2 nm to 0.4 ??m was isolated by ultrafiltration from Chesapeake Bay and Patuxent River waters (U.S.A.). Temperature controlled, stepwise pyrolysis of the freeze-dried material, followed by gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analyses of the volatile products indicates that the primary organic components of this polymer are carbohydrates and peptides. The major pyrolysis products at the 450??C step are acetic acid, furaldehydes, furoic acid, furanmethanol, diones and lactones characteristic of carbohydrate thermal decomposition. Pyrroles, pyridines, amides and indole (protein derivatives) become more prevalent and dominate the product yield at the 600??C pyrolysis step. Olefins and saturated hydrocarbons, originating from fatty acids, are present only in minor amounts. These results are consistent with the composition of Chesapeake phytoplankton (approximately 50% protein, 30% carbohydrate, 10% lipid and 10% nucleotides by dry weight). The pyrolysis of a cultured phytoplankton and natural particulate samples produced similar oxygen and nitrogencontaining compounds, although the proportions of some components differ relative to the colloidal fraction. There were no lignin derivatives indicative of terrestrial plant detritus in any of these samples. The data suggest that aquatic microorganisms, rather than terrestrial plants, are the dominant source of colloidal organic material in these river and estuarine surface waters. ?? 1982.

  13. The Role of Heterotrophic Microbial Communities in Estuarine C Budgets and the Biogeochemical C Cycle with Implications for Global Warming: Research Opportunities and Challenges.

    PubMed

    Anderson, O Roger

    2016-05-01

    Estuaries are among the most productive and economically important marine ecosystems at the land-ocean interface and contribute significantly to exchange of CO2 with the atmosphere. Estuarine microbial communities are major links in the biogeochemical C cycle and flow of C in food webs from primary producers to higher consumers. Considerable attention has been given to bacteria and autotrophic eukaryotes in estuarine ecosystems, but less research has been devoted to the role of heterotrophic eukaryotic microbes. Current research is reviewed here on the role of heterotrophic eukaryotic microbes in C biogeochemistry and ecology of estuaries, with particular attention to C budgets, trophodynamics, and the metabolic fate of C in microbial communities. Some attention is given to the importance of these processes in climate change and global warming, especially in relation to sources and sinks of atmospheric CO2 , while also documenting the current paucity of research on the role of eukaryotic microbes that contribute to this larger question of C biogeochemistry and the environment. Some recommendations are made for future directions of research and opportunities of applying newer technologies and analytical approaches to a more refined analysis of the role of C in estuarine microbial community processes and the biogeochemical C cycle. PMID:26507684

  14. Influence of organic carbon on estuarine benthic infauna of the US west coast

    EPA Science Inventory

    Total organic carbon (TOC) is often used as an indicator of eutrophication in estuarine environments. However, the determination of biologically relevant sediment TOC criteria to indicate estuarine condition is complicated by the relationship between TOC and grain size. Both va...

  15. Influence of organic carbon on estuarine benthic infauna of the US west coast - March 3, 2011

    EPA Science Inventory

    Total organic carbon (TOC) is often used as an indicator of eutrophication in estuarine environments. However, the determination of biologically relevant sediment TOC criteria to indicate estuarine condition is complicated by the relationship between TOC and grain size. Both va...

  16. ALBEMARLE-PAMLICO ESTUARINE STUDY CCMP

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Albemarle-Pamlico estuary forms a complex and dynamic ecosystem which provides an invaluable bounty of natural resources. The sounds, rivers, creeks, wetlands, and terrestrial areas in the watershed of the system support a variety of uses. We depend on the system to supply fo...

  17. [Vaginal ecosystem].

    PubMed

    Kovachev, S

    2011-01-01

    Vaginal flora plays an important role in preventing genital and urinary tract infections in women. In fact every little movement of obligate and/or facultative vaginal micro flora over the normal limits for this ecosystem causes vaginal disbacteriosis. Vaginal disbacteriosis is a risk condition which can cause infection. Thus an accurate understanding of the composition and ecology of the ecosystem is important to understanding the etiology of urogenital diseases. The aim of this review is to update knowledge about vaginal micro biota, the Lactobacillus species that dominate normal vaginal flora and the way they suppressed infectivity and/or proliferation of pathogenic bacteria. A Medline (Pub med) and medical literature search from 1990-2010 for relevant articles was performed and the most informative articles were selected. Lactic acid bacteria determinate the most of defense mechanisms of women vagina by concurrent adhesion, producing lactic acid, antimicrobial products, hydrogen peroxide and by local interactions with the innate and cell-mediated immune systems and plasminogen-plasmin system. All this mechanisms promotes the stability of the normal vaginal micro flora. Every Lactobacillus species play a different role in host--defense vaginal system. The presence of different Lactobacillus species with the normal vaginal micro flora is a major determinant to the stability of this micro flora and for urogenital health. PMID:21916315

  18. Estuarine Phytoplankton Monitoring to Meet Undergraduate and Faculty Research Objectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pride, C. J.; Wilson, J. J.; Butterbaugh, T.

    2004-12-01

    Phytoplankton monitoring is being used at Savannah State University to provide research experience for all upper-level marine science majors, to provide in-depth senior research projects, to engage lower-level students in marine science activities beyond the classroom, and to collect baseline data for faculty research proposals. The framework is built around a commitment to maintain a tidal creek monitoring site for larger phytoplankton (diatoms and dinoflagellates >20 microns) as part of the Southeast Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (SEPMN). Field supplies and on-going training are supported by SEPMN. Marine science majors monitor a series of Wilmington River estuary sites as part of a group research project in an upper-level course offered each spring. The group research assignment includes the writing of a full research report with citations from the primary literature and peer review of drafts. A few students are encouraged to pursue their senior research project in this field and maintain sampling over the remainder of the year. They have freedom to design their own project in the broader context of eutrophication, high frequency temporal variability, seasonality, drought/flood cycles, comparisons between estuaries of differing river discharge or extension of sampling offshore. Senior researchers help to train freshmen/sophomore field assistants to insure consistency in the monitoring from one year to the next. Student data from the Wilmington River estuary cover the greatest portion of an annual cycle. Diatoms far outnumbered dinoflagellates at all estuarine sampling locations under both winter and summer conditions. There is a seasonal transition in this estuary from dominance of Asterionella sp. in February to Chaetoceros sp. in June. Chaetoceros sp. were also dominant in the lower Savannah River estuary in June. Dominance of diatoms in these estuaries rather than dinoflagellates is a sign of a relatively healthy ecosystem. These diatoms, however, did

  19. 15 CFR 921.52 - Promotion and coordination of estuarine research.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... AND COASTAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE SYSTEM REGULATIONS Special Research Projects § 921.52 Promotion and coordination of estuarine research. (a) NOAA will promote and... estuarine research. 921.52 Section 921.52 Commerce and Foreign Trade Regulations Relating to Commerce...

  20. 15 CFR 921.52 - Promotion and coordination of estuarine research.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... AND COASTAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE SYSTEM REGULATIONS Special Research Projects § 921.52 Promotion and coordination of estuarine research. (a) NOAA will promote and... estuarine research. 921.52 Section 921.52 Commerce and Foreign Trade Regulations Relating to Commerce...

  1. 15 CFR 921.52 - Promotion and coordination of estuarine research.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... AND COASTAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE SYSTEM REGULATIONS Special Research Projects § 921.52 Promotion and coordination of estuarine research. (a) NOAA will promote and... estuarine research. 921.52 Section 921.52 Commerce and Foreign Trade Regulations Relating to Commerce...

  2. 15 CFR 921.52 - Promotion and coordination of estuarine research.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... AND COASTAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE SYSTEM REGULATIONS Special Research Projects § 921.52 Promotion and coordination of estuarine research. (a) NOAA will promote and... estuarine research. 921.52 Section 921.52 Commerce and Foreign Trade Regulations Relating to Commerce...

  3. 15 CFR 921.52 - Promotion and coordination of estuarine research.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... AND COASTAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE SYSTEM REGULATIONS Special Research Projects § 921.52 Promotion and coordination of estuarine research. (a) NOAA will promote and... estuarine research. 921.52 Section 921.52 Commerce and Foreign Trade Regulations Relating to Commerce...

  4. Cumulative Impact of Marinas on Estuarine Water Quality

    PubMed

    McAllister; Overton; Brill

    1996-05-01

    The purpose of this work is to present a modeling approach for assessing and managing the cumulative impact of marinas on estuarine systems. In doing so, both a water-quality model and a planning and management model are developed. The water-quality model predicts biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and fecal coliform (FC) loadings from marina sources in a hypothetical North Carolina estuary. By running the water-quality model repeatedly with varied loading input, impact coefficients are determined. These impact coefficients are used in the planning and management model, the output of which gives the sizes and locations of marinas in the estuarine system such that dissolved oxygen (DO) and FC water-quality standards are maintained.Five different estuarine development scenarios are considered. Each scenario is evaluated with respect to both maximum and uniform land development constraints. In addition, two alternative fecal coliform standards are used with each of the development options. PMID:8661609

  5. Estuarine acidification and minimum buffer zone—A conceptual study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xinping; Cai, Wei-Jun

    2013-10-01

    This study uses a simulation method to explore how estuarine pH is affected by mixing between river water, anthropogenic CO2 enriched seawater, and by respiration. Three rivers with different levels of weathering products (Amazon, Mississippi, and St. Johns) are selected for this simulation. The results indicate that estuaries that receive low to moderate levels of weathering products (Amazon and St. Johns) exhibit a maximum pH decrease in the midsalinity region as a result of anthropogenic CO2 intrusion. This maximum pH decrease coincides with a previously unrecognized mid-salinity minimum buffer zone (MBZ). In addition, water column oxygen consumption can further depress pH for all simulated estuaries. We suggest that recognition of the estuarine MBZs may be important for studying estuarine calcifying organisms and pH-sensitive biogeochemical processes.

  6. Estuarine circulation in the Taranto Seas.

    PubMed

    Pascalis, Francesca De; Petrizzo, Antonio; Ghezzo, Michol; Lorenzetti, Giuliano; Manfè, Giorgia; Alabiso, Giorgio; Zaggia, Luca

    2016-07-01

    The Taranto basin is a shallow water marine system in the South of Italy characterized by the presence of a lagoon environment together with a semi-enclosed bay connected to the Ionian Sea. This marine system experienced over the last few decades strong biochemical pollution and environmental degradation, and it is considered a hotspot study site for economic, ecological and scientific reasons. The aim of this study was to examine, on an annual temporal scale and with high spatial resolution, the main hydrodynamical processes and transport scales of the system by means of a 3D finite element numerical model application, adopting the most realistic forcing available. The model allowed us to assess the role played by baroclinic terms in the basin circulation, describing its estuarine nature. In particular, the main features of water circulation, salinity and temperature distribution, water renewal time and bottom stress were investigated. Our results allowed us to equate this system dynamic to that of a weakly stratified estuary, identifying the main driving sources of this mechanism. The vertical stratification over the whole year was proved to be stable, leading to a dual circulation flowing out on the surface, mainly through Porta Napoli channel, and inflowing on the bottom mainly through Navigabile channel. This process was responsible also for the renewal time faster on the bottom of the Mar Piccolo basin than the surface. Due to the great importance of the Taranto basin for what concerns sediment pollution, also the effect of currents in terms of bottom stress was investigated, leading to the conclusion that only in the inlets area the values of bottom stress can be high enough to cause erosion. PMID:26408109

  7. Living shorelines can enhance the nursery role of threatened estuarine habitats.

    PubMed

    Gittman, Rachel K; Peterson, Charles H; Currin, Carolyn A; Fodrie, F Joel; Piehler, Michael F; Bruno, John F

    2016-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems provide numerous services, such as nutrient cycling, climate change amelioration, and habitat provision for commercially valuable organisms. Ecosystem functions and processes are modified by human activities locally and globally, with degradation of coastal ecosystems by development and climate change occurring at unprecedented rates. The demand for coastal defense strategies against storms and sea-level rise has increased with human population growth and development along coastlines world-wide, even while that population growth has reduced natural buffering of shorelines. Shoreline hardening, a common coastal defense strategy that includes the use of seawalls and bulkheads (vertical walls constructed of concrete, wood, vinyl, or steel), is resulting in a "coastal squeeze" on estuarine habitats. In contrast to hardening, living shorelines, which range from vegetation plantings to a combination of hard structures and plantings, can be deployed to restore or enhance multiple ecosystem services normally delivered by naturally vegetated shores. Although hundreds of living shoreline projects have been implemented in the United States alone, few studies have evaluated their effectiveness in sustaining or enhancing ecosystem services relative to naturally vegetated shorelines and hardened shorelines. We quantified the effectiveness of (1) sills with landward marsh (a type of living shoreline that combines marsh plantings with an offshore low-profile breakwater), (2) natural salt marsh shorelines (control marshes), and (3) unvegetated bulkheaded shores in providing habitat for fish and crustaceans (nekton). Sills supported higher abundances and species diversity of fishes than unvegetated habitat adjacent to bulkheads, and even control marshes. Sills also supported higher cover of filter-feeding bivalves (a food resource and refuge habitat for nekton) than bulkheads or control marshes. These ecosystem-service enhancements were detected on shores with

  8. Great Lakes rivermouth ecosystems: scientific synthesis and management implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, James H.; Trebitz, Anett S.; Steinman, Alan D.; Wiley, Michael J.; Carlson Mazur, Martha; Pebbles, Victoria; Braun, Heather A.; Seelbach, Paul W.

    2013-01-01

    At the interface of the Great Lakes and their tributary rivers lies the rivermouths, a class of aquatic ecosystem where lake and lotic processes mix and distinct features emerge. Many rivermouths are the focal point of both human interaction with the Great Lakes and human impacts to the lakes; many cities, ports, and beaches are located in rivermouth ecosystems, and these human pressures often degrade key ecological functions that rivermouths provide. Despite their ecological uniqueness and apparent economic importance, there has been relatively little research on these ecosystems as a class relative to studies on upstream rivers or the open-lake waters. Here we present a synthesis of current knowledge about ecosystem structure and function in Great Lakes rivermouths based on studies in both Laurentian rivermouths, coastal wetlands, and marine estuarine systems. A conceptual model is presented that establishes a common semantic framework for discussing the characteristic spatial features of rivermouths. This model then is used to conceptually link ecosystem structure and function to ecological services provided by rivermouths. This synthesis helps identify the critical gaps in understanding rivermouth ecology. Specifically, additional information is needed on how rivermouths collectively influence the Great Lakes ecosystem, how human alterations influence rivermouth functions, and how ecosystem services provided by rivermouths can be managed to benefit the surrounding socioeconomic networks.

  9. Biogeochemical classification of South Florida's estuarine and coastal waters.

    PubMed

    Briceño, Henry O; Boyer, Joseph N; Castro, Joffre; Harlem, Peter

    2013-10-15

    South Florida's watersheds have endured a century of urban and agricultural development and disruption of their hydrology. Spatial characterization of South Florida's estuarine and coastal waters is important to Everglades' restoration programs. We applied Factor Analysis and Hierarchical Clustering of water quality data in tandem to characterize and spatially subdivide South Florida's coastal and estuarine waters. Segmentation rendered forty-four biogeochemically distinct water bodies whose spatial distribution is closely linked to geomorphology, circulation, benthic community pattern, and to water management. This segmentation has been adopted with minor changes by federal and state environmental agencies to derive numeric nutrient criteria. PMID:23968989

  10. Remote sensing of estuarine fronts and their effects on pollutants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klemas, V. (Principal Investigator); Polis, D. F.

    1975-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Imagery from LANDSAT 1 and 2 proved valuable in determining the location, type, and extent of estuarine fronts under different tidal conditions. Neither ships nor aircraft alone could provide as complete, synoptic, and repetitive an overview as did the satellites. Since estuarine fronts influence the movement of oil slicks and dispersion of other pollutants, cleanup operations depending on real time use of oil slick movement prediction models will benefit not only from aircraft tracking the actual slicks but also from real time satellite observations of surface currents and the location of frontal systems.

  11. ECOSYSTEM HEALTH: ENERGY INDICATORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    1. Ecosystem Health and Ecological Integrity
    2. Historical Background on Ecosystem Health
    3. Energy Systems Analysis, Health and Emergy
    4. Energy and Ecosystems
    5. Direct Measures of Ecosystem Health
    6. Indirect Measures of Ecosystem Health

  12. Estuarine and Tidal Freshwater Habitat Cover Types Along the Lower Columbia River Estuary Determined from Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) Imagery, Technical Report 2003.

    SciTech Connect

    Garono, Ralph; Robinson, Rob

    2003-10-01

    Developing an understanding of the distribution and changes in estuarine and tidal floodplain ecosystems is critical to the management of biological resources in the lower Columbia River. Columbia River plants, fish, and wildlife require specific physicochemical and ecological conditions to sustain their populations. As habitats are degraded or lost, this capability is altered, often irretrievably; those species that cannot adapt are lost from the ecosystem. The Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership (Estuary Partnership) completed a comprehensive ecosystem protection and enhancement plan for the lower Columbia River and estuary in 1999 (Jerrick, 1999). The plan identified habitat loss and modification as a critical threat to the integrity of the lower Columbia River ecosystem and called for a habitat inventory as a key first step in its long term restoration efforts. In 2000, the Estuary Partnership initiated a multiphase project to produce a spatial data set describing the current location and distribution of estuarine and tidal freshwater habitat cover types along the lower Columbia River from the river mouth to the Bonneville Dam using a consistent methodology and data sources (Fig. 1). The first phase of the project was the development of a broadbrush description of the estuarine and tidal freshwater habitat cover classes for the entire study area ({approx}146 river miles) using Landsat 7 ETM+ satellite imagery. Phase II of the project entailed analysis of the classified satellite imagery from Phase I. Analysis of change in landcover and a summary of the spatial relationships between cover types are part of Phase II. Phase III of the project included the classification of the high resolution hyperspectral imagery collected in 2000 and 2001 for key focal areas within the larger study area. Finally, Phase IV consists of this final report that presents results from refining the Landsat ETM+ classification and provides recommendations for future actions

  13. Comparative metabolomic and ionomic approach for abundant fishes in estuarine environments of Japan

    PubMed Central

    Yoshida, Seiji; Date, Yasuhiro; Akama, Makiko; Kikuchi, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Environmental metabolomics or ionomics is widely used to characterize the effects of environmental stressors on the health of aquatic organisms. However, most studies have focused on liver and muscle tissues of fish, and little is known about how the other organs are affected by environmental perturbations and effects such as metal pollutants or eutrophication. We examined the metabolic and mineral profiles of three kinds of abundant fishes in estuarine ecosystem, yellowfin goby, urohaze-goby, and juvenile Japanese seabass sampled from Tsurumi River estuary, Japan. Multivariate analyses, including nuclear magnetic resonance-based metabolomics and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry-based ionomics approaches, revealed that the profiles were clustered according to differences among body tissues rather than differences in body size, sex, and species. The metabolic and mineral profiles of the muscle and fin tissues, respectively, suggest that these tissues are most appropriate for evaluating environmental perturbations. Such analyses will be highly useful in evaluating the environmental variation and diversity in aquatic ecosystems. PMID:25387575

  14. Ecosystem services in urban water investment.

    PubMed

    Kandulu, John M; Connor, Jeffery D; MacDonald, Darla Hatton

    2014-12-01

    Increasingly, water agencies and utilities have an obligation to consider the broad environmental impacts associated with investments. To aid in understanding water cycle interdependencies when making urban water supply investment decisions, an ecosystem services typology was augmented with the concept of integrated water resources management. This framework is applied to stormwater harvesting in a case study catchment in Adelaide, South Australia. Results show that this methodological framework can effectively facilitate systematic consideration and quantitative assessment of broad environmental impacts of water supply investments. Five ecosystem service impacts were quantified including provision of 1) urban recreational amenity, 2) regulation of coastal water quality, 3) salinity, 4) greenhouse gas emissions, and 5) support of estuarine habitats. This study shows that ignoring broad environmental impacts can underestimate ecosystem service benefits of water supply investments by a value of up to A$1.36/kL, or three times the cost of operating and maintenance of stormwater harvesting. Rigorous assessment of the public welfare impacts of water infrastructure investments is required to guide long-term optimal water supply investment decisions. Numerous challenges remain in the quantification of broad environmental impacts of a water supply investment including a lack of peer-reviewed studies of environmental impacts, aggregation of incommensurable impacts, potential for double-counting errors, uncertainties in available impact estimates, and how to determine the most suitable quantification technique. PMID:24992048

  15. Assessment of the trophic status of four coastal lagoons and one estuarine delta, eastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Cotovicz Junior, Luiz Carlos; Brandini, Nilva; Knoppers, Bastiaan Adriaan; Mizerkowski, Byanka Damian; Sterza, José Mauro; Ovalle, Alvaro Ramon Coelho; Medeiros, Paulo Ricardo Petter

    2013-04-01

    Anthropogenic eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems continues to be one of the major environmental issues worldwide and also of Brazil. Over the last five decades, several approaches have been proposed to discern the trophic state and the natural and cultural processes involved in eutrophication, including the multi-parameter Assessment of Estuarine Trophic Status (ASSETS) index model. This study applies ASSETS to four Brazilian lagoons (Mundaú, Manguaba, Guarapina, and Piratininga) and one estuarine delta (Paraíba do Sul River), set along the eastern Brazilian coast. The model combines three indices based on the pressure-state-response (PSR) approach to rank the trophic status and forecast the potential eutrophication of a system, to which a final ASSETS grade is established. The lagoons were classified as being eutrophic and highly susceptible to eutrophication, due primarily to their longer residence times but also their high nutrient input index. ASSETS classified the estuary of the Paraíba do Sul river with a low to moderate trophic state (e.g., largely mesotrophic) and low susceptibility to eutrophication. Its nutrient input index was high, but the natural high dilution and flushing potential driven by river flow mitigated the susceptibility to eutrophication. Eutrophication forecasting provided more favorable trends for the Mundaú and Manguaba lagoons and the Paraíba do Sul estuary, in view of the larger investments in wastewater treatment and remediation plans. The final ASSETS ranking system established the lagoons of Mundaú as "moderate," Manguaba as "bad," Guarapina as "poor," and Piratininga as "bad," whereas the Paraíba do Sul River Estuary was "good." PMID:22821328

  16. Habitat- and bay-scale connectivity of sympatric fishes in an estuarine nursery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dance, Michael A.; Rooker, Jay R.

    2015-12-01

    Acoustic telemetry was used to examine habitat- and bay-scale connectivity for co-occurring juvenile fishes, southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) and red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), at two spatial scales in a model estuarine seascape. An acoustic positioning system was deployed to examine habitat-scale (ca. 1 m-1 km) movement, while a larger gridded array was deployed to examine bay-scale movement (ca. 1-20 km). Both species exhibited greater use of edge habitat and seagrass beds at the habitat scale; however, rates of movement within habitats varied between species. Southern flounder movement (mean = 4.0 m min-1) increased with decreasing habitat complexity (seagrass to bare sand) and increasing temperature, while red drum rate of movement (mean = 8.4 m min-1) was not significantly affected by environmental factors at the habitat scale, indicating the use of different foraging strategies (i.e. ambush vs. active). Bay-scale distribution was influenced by physicochemical conditions and seascape composition, with both species found most frequently in areas with high seagrass coverage and relative close proximity to tidal creeks and connective channels. Response to environmental variables often differed between species and the probability of bay-scale movement (>1 km) for southern flounder was greatest on days with narrow tidal ranges (<0.4 m) and higher temperatures (>17 °C), while the probability of bay-scale movement for red drum increased in response to decreasing salinity and lower temperatures (<16 °C). Species-specific variation in movement patterns within and across habitat types observed here at both the habitat and bay scale suggest sympatric species employ different strategies to partition resources within estuarine nursery areas and highlight the importance of multi-species assessments for improving our understanding of habitat value and ecosystem function.

  17. Habitat Mapping and Classification of the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve using AISA Hyperspectral Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rose, K.

    2012-12-01

    Habitat mapping and classification provides essential information for land use planning and ecosystem research, monitoring and management. At the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GRDNERR), Mississippi, habitat characterization of the Grand Bay watershed will also be used to develop a decision-support tool for the NERR's managers and state and local partners. Grand Bay NERR habitat units were identified using a combination of remotely sensed imagery, aerial photography and elevation data. Airborne Imaging Spectrometer for Applications (AISA) hyperspectral data, acquired 5 and 6 May 2010, was analyzed and classified using ENVI v4.8 and v5.0 software. The AISA system was configured to return 63 bands of digital imagery data with a spectral range of 400 to 970 nm (VNIR), spectral resolution (bandwidth) at 8.76 nm, and 1 m spatial resolution. Minimum Noise Fraction (MNF) and Inverse Minimum Noise Fraction were applied to the data prior to using Spectral Angle Mapper ([SAM] supervised) and ISODATA (unsupervised) classification techniques. The resulting class image was exported to ArcGIS 10.0 and visually inspected and compared with the original imagery as well as auxiliary datasets to assist in the attribution of habitat characteristics to the spectral classes, including: National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) aerial photography, Jackson County, MS, 2010; USFWS National Wetlands Inventory, 2007; an existing GRDNERR habitat map (2004), SAV (2009) and salt panne (2002-2003) GIS produced by GRDNERR; and USACE lidar topo-bathymetry, 2005. A field survey to validate the map's accuracy will take place during the 2012 summer season. ENVI's Random Sample generator was used to generate GIS points for a ground-truth survey. The broad range of coastal estuarine habitats and geomorphological features- many of which are transitional and vulnerable to environmental stressors- that have been identified within the GRDNERR point to the value of the Reserve for

  18. Phytoplankton blooms in estuarine and coastal waters: seasonal patterns and key species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carstensen, Jacob; Klais, Riina; Cloern, James E.

    2015-01-01

    Phytoplankton blooms are dynamic phenomena of great importance to the functioning of estuarine and coastal ecosystems. We analysed a unique (large) collection of phytoplankton monitoring data covering 86 coastal sites distributed over eight regions in North America and Europe, with the aim of investigating common patterns in the seasonal timing and species composition of the blooms. The spring bloom was the most common seasonal pattern across all regions, typically occurring early (February–March) at lower latitudes and later (April–May) at higher latitudes. Bloom frequency, defined as the probability of unusually high biomass, ranged from 5 to 35% between sites and followed no consistent patterns across gradients of latitude, temperature, salinity, water depth, stratification, tidal amplitude or nutrient concentrations. Blooms were mostly dominated by a single species, typically diatoms (58% of the blooms) and dinoflagellates (19%). Diatom-dominated spring blooms were a common feature in most systems, although dinoflagellate spring blooms were also observed in the Baltic Sea. Blooms dominated by chlorophytes and cyanobacteria were only common in low salinity waters and occurred mostly at higher temperatures. Key bloom species across the eight regions included the diatoms Cerataulina pelagica and Dactyliosolen fragilissimus and dinoflagellates Heterocapsa triquetra and Prorocentrum cordatum. Other frequent bloom-forming taxa were diatom genera Chaetoceros, Coscinodiscus, Skeletonema, and Thalassiosira. Our meta-analysis shows that these 86 estuarine-coastal sites function as diatom-producing systems, the timing of that production varies widely, and that bloom frequency is not associated with environmental factors measured in monitoring programs. We end with a perspective on the limitations of conclusions derived from meta-analyses of phytoplankton time series, and the grand challenges remaining to understand the wide range of bloom patterns and

  19. Evaluation of the utility of water quality based indicators of estuarine lagoon condition in NSW, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scanes, Peter; Coade, Geoff; Doherty, Maria; Hill, Ross

    2007-08-01

    Environmental indicators must have a predictable relationship with stressors to be of value in ecological assessments. We evaluated the information provided by commonly implemented monitoring indicators as a means of assessing of the level of ecological impact experienced by coastal lagoons in New South Wales, Australia. Existing data for environmental variables in coastal lagoons were correlated with independent estimates of catchment disturbance. There were few relationships between the monitoring variables (particularly water chemistry) and nutrient loads and catchment land use. Data from NSW catchments and lagoons were compared to analogous data from published northern hemisphere studies and it was clear that stressor variables were up to one to two orders of magnitude smaller in NSW, potentially explaining the lack of relationships with recognised indicators. Our study has highlighted the importance of using a range of indicators to assess trends in ecological condition of an estuarine ecosystem, particularly where stressor levels are not great. Using water quality as the sole means of determining lagoon condition was simply inadequate in NSW lagoons. We recommended that ecological outcome indicators such as algal abundance (macro and micro) and turbidity were most likely to show interpretable patterns at low to moderate nitrogen loadings (<40 kg Ha -1 yr -1) and that these should form the basis of estuarine trend monitoring in NSW lagoons. The demonstrated value of seagrass and macroalgal monitoring in estuaries with moderate to high nutrient loadings suggests that these indicators should not be overlooked when planning monitoring programs, recognising, however, they will not have strong discrimination at lower catchment loadings.

  20. Tungsten-molybdenum fractionation in estuarine environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohajerin, T. Jade; Helz, George R.; Johannesson, Karen H.

    2016-03-01

    Dissolved tungsten (W) and molybdenum (Mo) concentrations were measured in surface waters and sediment pore waters of Terrebonne Bay, a shallow estuary in the Mississippi River delta, to investigate the biogeochemical processes that fractionate these Group 6 elements relative to one another during transit from weathering to sedimentary environments. Although many of the chemical properties of W and Mo are similar, the two elements behave autonomously, and the fractionation mechanisms are only partly understood. In sulfidic pore waters, dissolved Mo is depleted relative to river water-seawater mixtures, whereas dissolved W is >10-fold enriched. Reductive dissolution of poorly crystalline phases like ferrihydrite, which is a preferential host of W relative to Mo in grain coatings on river-borne particles, can explain the dissolved W enrichment. Dissolved W becomes increasingly enriched as H2S(aq) rises above about 60 μM due to transformation of WO42- to thiotungstates as well as to additional reductive dissolution of phases that host W. In contrast, as rising sulfide transforms MoO42- to thiomolybdates in pore waters, dissolved Mo is suppressed, probably owing to equilibration with an Fe-Mo-S phase. This putative phase appears to control the aqueous ion product, Q = [Fe2+][MoS42-]0.6 [H2S0]0.4/[H+]0.8, at a value of 10-7.78. Concentrations of dissolved W and Mo in pore waters bear no relation to concentrations in surface waters of the same salinity. In surface waters, dissolved Mo is nearly conserved in the estuarine mixing zone. Dissolved W appears also to be conserved except for several cases where W may have been enhanced by exchange with underlying, W-rich pore waters. With increasing salinity, the molar Mo/W ratio rises from about 10 to about 1000 in surface waters whereas it is mostly <10 in underlying pore waters and in highly sulfidic pore waters is mostly near 1. Differences in two chemical properties may account for this fractionation of Mo with respect to

  1. Tidal influence on subtropical estuarine methane emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sturm, Katrin; Grinham, Alistair; Werner, Ursula; Yuan, Zhiguo

    2014-05-01

    . Although dissolved methane surface water concentrations were highest in the upper reaches of the estuary, experiencing the lowest tidal currents, fluxes measured using chambers were lower relative to middle and lower reaches. This supports the tidal study findings as higher tidal currents were experienced in the middle and lower reaches. The dominant driver behind estuarine methane water-air fluxes in this system was tidal current speed. Future studies need to take into account flux rates during both transition and slack tide periods to quantify total flux rates.

  2. Astronomical Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neuenschwander, D. E.; Finkenbinder, L. R.

    2004-05-01

    Just as quetzals and jaguars require specific ecological habitats to survive, so too must planets occupy a tightly constrained astronomical habitat to support life as we know it. With this theme in mind we relate the transferable features of our elementary astronomy course, "The Astronomical Basis of Life on Earth." Over the last five years, in a team-taught course that features a spring break field trip to Costa Rica, we have introduced astronomy through "astronomical ecosystems," emphasizing astronomical constraints on the prospects for life on Earth. Life requires energy, chemical elements, and long timescales, and we emphasize how cosmological, astrophysical, and geological realities, through stabilities and catastrophes, create and eliminate niches for biological life. The linkage between astronomy and biology gets immediate and personal: for example, studies in solar energy production are followed by hikes in the forest to examine the light-gathering strategies of photosynthetic organisms; a lesson on tides is conducted while standing up to our necks in one on a Pacific beach. Further linkages between astronomy and the human timescale concerns of biological diversity, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability are natural and direct. Our experience of teaching "astronomy as habitat" strongly influences our "Astronomy 101" course in Oklahoma as well. This "inverted astrobiology" seems to transform our student's outlook, from the universe being something "out there" into something "we're in!" We thank the SNU Science Alumni support group "The Catalysts," and the SNU Quetzal Education and Research Center, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, for their support.

  3. TOXICOLOGICAL STUDIES IN TROPICAL ECOSYSTEMS: AN ECOTOXICOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT OF PESTICIDE RUNOFF IN SOUTH FLORIDA ESTUARINE ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    A multi-year study in the C-111 canal and associated sites in Florida Bay was undertaken in order to determine the potential contaminant risk that exists in South Florida. After examining extensive surface water data, as well as sediment, tissue, and semi-permeable membrane devic...

  4. Monitoring nekton as a bioindicator in shallow estuarine habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Raposa, K.B.; Roman, C.T.; Heltshe, J.F.

    2003-01-01

    Long-term monitoring of estuarine nekton has many practical and ecological benefits but efforts are hampered by a lack of standardized sampling procedures. This study provides a rationale for monitoring nekton in shallow (< 1 m), temperate, estuarine habitats and addresses some important issues that arise when developing monitoring protocols. Sampling in seagrass and salt marsh habitats is emphasized due to the susceptibility of each habitat to anthropogenic stress and to the abundant and rich nekton assemblages that each habitat supports. Extensive sampling with quantitative enclosure traps that estimate nekton density is suggested. These gears have a high capture efficiency in most habitats and are small enough (e.g., 1 m(2)) to permit sampling in specific microhabitats. Other aspects of nekton monitoring are discussed, including spatial and temporal sampling considerations, station selection, sample size estimation, and data collection and analysis. Developing and initiating long-term nekton monitoring programs will help evaluate natural and human-induced changes in estuarine nekton over time and advance our understanding of the interactions between nekton and the dynamic estuarine environment.

  5. EFFECTS OF HALOGENATED ORGANIC COMPOUNDS ON PHOTOSYNTHESIS IN ESTUARINE PHYTOPLANKTON

    EPA Science Inventory

    Chlorine oxidants (chlorine gas, sodium hypochlorite, and calcium hypochlorite) are used as biocides to control fouling in seawater cooled power generating plants and to kill pathogens in sewage effluents entering estuarine waters. The effects of chlorinated by-products on estuar...

  6. UPTAKE AND TOXICITY OF TOXAPHENE IN SEVERAL ESTUARINE ORGANISMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The organochlorine insecticide, toxaphene, was tested in flow-through bioassays to evaluate its toxicity to estuarine organisms. The organisms tested and their respective 96-hr LC50s (based on measured concentrations) are: pink shrimp (Penaeus duorarum), 1.4 micrograms/L; grass s...

  7. ACUTE TOXICITY AND BIOCONCENTRATION OF ENDOSULFAN-EXPOSED ESTUARINE ANIMALS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Acute (96-h) flow-through toxicity tests with endosulfan (Thiodan) were conducted with several estuarine animals. The test species and their 96-h lethal concentration for 50 percent of the organisms (LC50) values were: pink shrimp (Penaeus duorarum), 0.04 micrograms/litre; grass ...

  8. CADMIUM TOXICITY TO THREE SPECIES OF ESTUARINE INVERTEBRATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Three species of estuarine invertebrates, Palaemonetes pugio (grass shrimp), Pagurus longicarpus (hermit crab) and Argopecten irradians (bay scallop), were exposed to Cd in flowing seawater at concentrations of 0.06, 0.12, 0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 mg/litre. Incipient LC50 values of 0.53...

  9. EFFECTS OF SEVIN ON DEVELOPMENT OF EXPERIMENTAL ESTUARINE COMMUNITIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The composition of animal communities developing from planktonic larvae in aquariums containing sand and flowing estuarine water was altered in the presence of the carbamate insecticide Sevin (carbaryl). Treatments were control and concentrations of Sevin that averaged 1.1, 11.1,...

  10. HALOCARBON PRODUCTION FROM OXIDATIVE BIOCIDES IN ESTUARINE WATERS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The formation of halo-organic compounds by chlorination of estuarine waters has been investigated under both laboratory and field conditions. Haloforms are readily generated in the laboratory with chlorine doses of 1 to 10 mg/l, the range employed by many coastal power plants. At...