Science.gov

Sample records for affect marine ecosystems

  1. Marine mammals' influence on ecosystem processes affecting fisheries in the Barents Sea is trivial.

    PubMed

    Corkeron, Peter J

    2009-04-23

    Some interpretations of ecosystem-based fishery management include culling marine mammals as an integral component. The current Norwegian policy on marine mammal management is one example. Scientific support for this policy includes the Scenario Barents Sea (SBS) models. These modelled interactions between cod, Gadus morhua, herring, Clupea harengus, capelin, Mallotus villosus and northern minke whales, Balaenoptera acutorostrata. Adding harp seals Phoca groenlandica into this top-down modelling approach resulted in unrealistic model outputs. Another set of models of the Barents Sea fish-fisheries system focused on interactions within and between the three fish populations, fisheries and climate. These model key processes of the system successfully. Continuing calls to support the SBS models despite their failure suggest a belief that marine mammal predation must be a problem for fisheries. The best available scientific evidence provides no justification for marine mammal culls as a primary component of an ecosystem-based approach to managing the fisheries of the Barents Sea. PMID:19126534

  2. Ecotoxicology of tropical marine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Peters, E.C.; Gassman, N.J.; Firman, J.C.; Richmond, R.H.; Power, E.A.

    1997-01-01

    The negative effects of chemical contaminants on tropical marine ecosystems are of increasing concern as human populations expand adjacent to these communities. Watershed streams and ground water carry a variety of chemicals from agricultural, industrial, and domestic activities, while winds and currents transport pollutants from atmospheric and oceanic sources to these coastal ecosystems. The implications of the limited information available on impacts of chemical stressors on mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs are discussed in the context of ecosystem management and ecological risk assessment. Three classes of pollutants have received attention: heavy metals, petroleum, and synthetic organics. Heavy metals have been detected in all three ecosystems, causing physiological stress, reduced reproductive success, and outright mortality in associated invertebrates and fishes. Oil spills have been responsible for the destruction of entire coastal shallow-water communities, with recovery requiring years. Herbicides are particularly detrimental to mangroves and seagrasses and adversely affect the animal-algal symbioses in corals. Pesticides interfere with chemical cues responsible for key biological processes, including reproduction and recruitment of a variety of organisms. Information is lacking with regard to long-term recovery, indicator species, and biomarkers for tropical communities. Critical areas that are beginning to be addressed include the development of appropriate benchmarks for risk assessment, baseline monitoring criteria, and effective management strategies to protect tropical marine ecosystems in the face of mounting anthropogenic disturbance.

  3. Fronts in Large Marine Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belkin, Igor M.; Cornillon, Peter C.; Sherman, Kenneth

    2009-04-01

    Oceanic fronts shape marine ecosystems; therefore front mapping and characterization are among the most important aspects of physical oceanography. Here we report on the first global remote sensing survey of fronts in the Large Marine Ecosystems (LME). This survey is based on a unique frontal data archive assembled at the University of Rhode Island. Thermal fronts were automatically derived with the edge detection algorithm of Cayula and Cornillon (1992, 1995, 1996) from 12 years of twice-daily, global, 9-km resolution satellite sea surface temperature (SST) fields to produce synoptic (nearly instantaneous) frontal maps, and to compute the long-term mean frequency of occurrence of SST fronts and their gradients. These synoptic and long-term maps were used to identify major quasi-stationary fronts and to derive provisional frontal distribution maps for all LMEs. Since SST fronts are typically collocated with fronts in other water properties such as salinity, density and chlorophyll, digital frontal paths from SST frontal maps can be used in studies of physical-biological correlations at fronts. Frontal patterns in several exemplary LMEs are described and compared, including those for: the East and West Bering Sea LMEs, Sea of Okhotsk LME, East China Sea LME, Yellow Sea LME, North Sea LME, East and West Greenland Shelf LMEs, Newfoundland-Labrador Shelf LME, Northeast and Southeast US Continental Shelf LMEs, Gulf of Mexico LME, and Patagonian Shelf LME. Seasonal evolution of frontal patterns in major upwelling zones reveals an order-of-magnitude growth of frontal scales from summer to winter. A classification of LMEs with regard to the origin and physics of their respective dominant fronts is presented. The proposed classification lends itself to comparative studies of frontal ecosystems.

  4. Combining modeling and observations to better understand marine ecosystem dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curchitser, Enrique N.; Rose, Kenneth A.; Ito, Shin-ichi; Peck, Myron A.; Kishi, Michio J.

    2015-11-01

    The linkage between climate-scale variability and the dynamics of marine ecosystems has been the subject of increasing research. From global estimates and predictions of primary productivity to the dynamics of near-shore fish populations, the concept of environmental drivers affecting marine ecosystems is often used. Despite significant correlations between the environment and various aspects of the ecosystem, cause-and-effect relationships between climate and biology remain, in most cases, elusive. Additionally, in ecosystems experiencing high human activities (e.g., coastal development) or generating high commercial or recreational value (e.g., fisheries), understanding the ecosystem dynamics becomes more complicated by the need to consider humans as dynamic members of the ecosystem.

  5. Spatial patterns and predictors of trophic control in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Boyce, Daniel G; Frank, Kenneth T; Worm, Boris; Leggett, William C

    2015-10-01

    A key question in ecology is under which conditions ecosystem structure tends to be controlled by resource availability vs. consumer pressure. Several hypotheses derived from theory, experiments and observational field studies have been advanced, yet a unified explanation remains elusive. Here, we identify common predictors of trophic control in a synthetic analysis of 52 observational field studies conducted within marine ecosystems across the Northern Hemisphere and published between 1951 and 2014. Spatial regression analysis of 45 candidate variables revealed temperature to be the dominant predictor, with unimodal effects on trophic control operating both directly (r(2) = 0.32; P < 0.0001) and indirectly through influences on turnover rate and quality of primary production, biodiversity and omnivory. These findings indicate that temperature is an overarching determinant of the trophic dynamics of marine ecosystems, and that variation in ocean temperature will affect the trophic structure of marine ecosystems through both direct and indirect mechanisms. PMID:26252155

  6. Marine regime shifts: drivers and impacts on ecosystems services

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, J.; Yletyinen, J.; Biggs, R.; Blenckner, T.; Peterson, G.

    2015-01-01

    Marine ecosystems can experience regime shifts, in which they shift from being organized around one set of mutually reinforcing structures and processes to another. Anthropogenic global change has broadly increased a wide variety of processes that can drive regime shifts. To assess the vulnerability of marine ecosystems to such shifts and their potential consequences, we reviewed the scientific literature for 13 types of marine regime shifts and used networks to conduct an analysis of co-occurrence of drivers and ecosystem service impacts. We found that regime shifts are caused by multiple drivers and have multiple consequences that co-occur in a non-random pattern. Drivers related to food production, climate change and coastal development are the most common co-occurring causes of regime shifts, while cultural services, biodiversity and primary production are the most common cluster of ecosystem services affected. These clusters prioritize sets of drivers for management and highlight the need for coordinated actions across multiple drivers and scales to reduce the risk of marine regime shifts. Managerial strategies are likely to fail if they only address well-understood or data-rich variables, and international cooperation and polycentric institutions will be critical to implement and coordinate action across the scales at which different drivers operate. By better understanding these underlying patterns, we hope to inform the development of managerial strategies to reduce the risk of high-impact marine regime shifts, especially for areas of the world where data are not available or monitoring programmes are not in place.

  7. Emergent Properties Delineate Marine Ecosystem Perturbation and Recovery.

    PubMed

    Link, Jason S; Pranovi, Fabio; Libralato, Simone; Coll, Marta; Christensen, Villy; Solidoro, Cosimo; Fulton, Elizabeth A

    2015-11-01

    Whether there are common and emergent patterns from marine ecosystems remains an important question because marine ecosystems provide billions of dollars of ecosystem services to the global community, but face many perturbations with significant consequences. Here, we develop cumulative trophic patterns for marine ecosystems, featuring sigmoidal cumulative biomass (cumB)-trophic level (TL) and 'hockey-stick' production (cumP)-cumB curves. The patterns have a trophodynamic theoretical basis and capitalize on emergent, fundamental, and invariant features of marine ecosystems. These patterns have strong global support, being observed in over 120 marine ecosystems. Parameters from these curves elucidate the direction and magnitude of marine ecosystem perturbation or recovery; if biomass and productivity can be monitored effectively over time, such relations may prove to be broadly useful. Curve parameters are proposed as possible ecosystem thresholds, perhaps to better manage the marine ecosystems of the world. PMID:26456382

  8. Marine ecosystem responses to Cenozoic global change.

    PubMed

    Norris, R D; Turner, S Kirtland; Hull, P M; Ridgwell, A

    2013-08-01

    The future impacts of anthropogenic global change on marine ecosystems are highly uncertain, but insights can be gained from past intervals of high atmospheric carbon dioxide partial pressure. The long-term geological record reveals an early Cenozoic warm climate that supported smaller polar ecosystems, few coral-algal reefs, expanded shallow-water platforms, longer food chains with less energy for top predators, and a less oxygenated ocean than today. The closest analogs for our likely future are climate transients, 10,000 to 200,000 years in duration, that occurred during the long early Cenozoic interval of elevated warmth. Although the future ocean will begin to resemble the past greenhouse world, it will retain elements of the present "icehouse" world long into the future. Changing temperatures and ocean acidification, together with rising sea level and shifts in ocean productivity, will keep marine ecosystems in a state of continuous change for 100,000 years. PMID:23908226

  9. Constructing an Eocene Marine Ecosystem Sensitivity Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'haenens, S.; Bornemann, A.; Speijer, R. P.; Hull, P. M.

    2014-12-01

    A key question in the face of current global environmental change is how marine ecosystems will respond and evolve in the future. To answer this, we first need to understand the relationship between environmental and ecosystem change - i.e., the ecosystem sensitivity. Addressing this question requires understanding of how biota respond to (a succession of) sudden environmental perturbations of varying sizes and durations in varying background conditions (i.e., climatic, oceanographic, biotic). Here, we compare new and published data from the Early to Middle Eocene greenhouse world to understand the sensitivity of marine ecosystems to background environmental change and hyperthermal events. This work focuses on the early Paleogene, because it is considered to be a good analog for a future high CO2 world. Newly generated high-resolution multiproxy datasets based on northern Atlantic DSDP Leg 48 and IODP Leg 342 material will allow us to compare the marine ecosystem responses (including bentho-pelagic systems) to abiotic drivers across climatic disruptions of differing magnitude. Initial results of a benthic foraminiferal community comparison including the PETM and ETM2 hyperthermals in the northeastern Atlantic DSDP sites 401 and 5501 suggest that benthic ecosystem sensitivity may actually be non-linearly linked to background climate states as reflected by a range of geochemical proxies (XRF, TOC, CaCO3, grain sizes, XRD clay mineralogy and foraminiferal δ18O, δ13C, Mg/Ca)2,3, in contrast to planktic communities4. Testing the type of scaling across different taxa, communities, initial background conditions and time scales may be the first big step to disentangle the often synergistic effects of environmental change on ecosystems5. References: 1D'haenens et al., 2012, in prep. 2Bornemann et al., 2014, EPSL 3D'haenens et al., 2014, PA 4Gibbs et al., 2012, Biogeosc. 5 Norris et al., 2013, Science

  10. Ash in fire affected ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Paulo; Jordan, Antonio; Cerda, Artemi; Martin, Deborah

    2015-04-01

    Ash in fire affected ecosystems Ash lefts an important footprint in the ecosystems and has a key role in the immediate period after the fire (Bodi et al., 2014; Pereira et al., 2015). It is an important source of nutrients for plant recover (Pereira et al., 2014a), protects soil from erosion and controls soil hydrological process as runoff, infiltration and water repellency (Cerda and Doerr, 2008; Bodi et al., 2012, Pereira et al., 2014b). Despite the recognition of ash impact and contribution to ecosystems recuperation, it is assumed that we still have little knowledge about the implications of ash in fire affected areas. Regarding this situation we wanted to improve our knowledge in this field and understand the state of the research about fire ash around world. The special issue about "The role of ash in fire affected ecosystems" currently in publication in CATENA born from the necessity of joint efforts, identify research gaps, and discuss future cooperation in this interdisciplinary field. This is the first special issue about fire ash in the international literature. In total it will be published 10 papers focused in different aspects of the impacts of ash in fire affected ecosystems from several parts of the world: • Fire reconstruction using charcoal particles (Burjachs and Espositio, in press) • Ash slurries impact on rheological properties of Runoff (Burns and Gabet, in press) • Methods to analyse ash conductivity and sorbtivity in the laboratory and in the field (Balfour et al., in press) • Termogravimetric and hydrological properties of ash (Dlapa et al. in press) • Effects of ash cover in water infiltration (Leon et al., in press) • Impact of ash in volcanic soils (Dorta Almenar et al., in press; Escuday et al., in press) • Ash PAH and Chemical extracts (Silva et al., in press) • Microbiology (Barreiro et al., in press; Lombao et al., in press) We believe that this special issue will contribute importantly to the better understanding of

  11. Ash in fire affected ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Paulo; Jordan, Antonio; Cerda, Artemi; Martin, Deborah

    2015-04-01

    Ash in fire affected ecosystems Ash lefts an important footprint in the ecosystems and has a key role in the immediate period after the fire (Bodi et al., 2014; Pereira et al., 2015). It is an important source of nutrients for plant recover (Pereira et al., 2014a), protects soil from erosion and controls soil hydrological process as runoff, infiltration and water repellency (Cerda and Doerr, 2008; Bodi et al., 2012, Pereira et al., 2014b). Despite the recognition of ash impact and contribution to ecosystems recuperation, it is assumed that we still have little knowledge about the implications of ash in fire affected areas. Regarding this situation we wanted to improve our knowledge in this field and understand the state of the research about fire ash around world. The special issue about "The role of ash in fire affected ecosystems" currently in publication in CATENA born from the necessity of joint efforts, identify research gaps, and discuss future cooperation in this interdisciplinary field. This is the first special issue about fire ash in the international literature. In total it will be published 10 papers focused in different aspects of the impacts of ash in fire affected ecosystems from several parts of the world: • Fire reconstruction using charcoal particles (Burjachs and Espositio, in press) • Ash slurries impact on rheological properties of Runoff (Burns and Gabet, in press) • Methods to analyse ash conductivity and sorbtivity in the laboratory and in the field (Balfour et al., in press) • Termogravimetric and hydrological properties of ash (Dlapa et al. in press) • Effects of ash cover in water infiltration (Leon et al., in press) • Impact of ash in volcanic soils (Dorta Almenar et al., in press; Escuday et al., in press) • Ash PAH and Chemical extracts (Silva et al., in press) • Microbiology (Barreiro et al., in press; Lombao et al., in press) We believe that this special issue will contribute importantly to the better understanding of

  12. Marine Chemical Ecology: Chemical Signals and Cues Structure Marine Populations, Communities, and Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Hay, Mark E.

    2012-01-01

    Chemical cues constitute much of the language of life in the sea. Our understanding of biotic interactions and their effects on marine ecosystems will advance more rapidly if this language is studied and understood. Here, I review how chemical cues regulate critical aspects of the behavior of marine organisms from bacteria to phytoplankton to benthic invertebrates and water column fishes. These chemically mediated interactions strongly affect population structure, community organization, and ecosystem function. Chemical cues determine foraging strategies, feeding choices, commensal associations, selection of mates and habitats, competitive interactions, and transfer of energy and nutrients within and among ecosystems. In numerous cases, the indirect effects of chemical signals on behavior have as much or more effect on community structure and function as the direct effects of consumers and pathogens. Chemical cues are critical for understanding marine systems, but their omnipresence and impact are inadequately recognized. PMID:21141035

  13. Marine Chemical Ecology: Chemical Signals and Cues Structure Marine Populations, Communities, and Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hay, Mark E.

    2009-01-01

    Chemical cues constitute much of the language of life in the sea. Our understanding of biotic interactions and their effects on marine ecosystems will advance more rapidly if this language is studied and understood. Here, I review how chemical cues regulate critical aspects of the behavior of marine organisms from bacteria to phytoplankton to benthic invertebrates and water column fishes. These chemically mediated interactions strongly affect population structure, community organization, and ecosystem function. Chemical cues determine foraging strategies, feeding choices, commensal associations, selection of mates and habitats, competitive interactions, and transfer of energy and nutrients within and among ecosystems. In numerous cases, the indirect effects of chemical signals on behavior have as much or more effect on community structure and function as the direct effects of consumers and pathogens. Chemical cues are critical for understanding marine systems, but their omnipresence and impact are inadequately recognized.

  14. Marine pelagic ecosystems: the west Antarctic Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Ducklow, Hugh W; Baker, Karen; Martinson, Douglas G; Quetin, Langdon B; Ross, Robin M; Smith, Raymond C; Stammerjohn, Sharon E; Vernet, Maria; Fraser, William

    2007-01-29

    The marine ecosystem of the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) extends from the Bellingshausen Sea to the northern tip of the peninsula and from the mostly glaciated coast across the continental shelf to the shelf break in the west. The glacially sculpted coastline along the peninsula is highly convoluted and characterized by deep embayments that are often interconnected by channels that facilitate transport of heat and nutrients into the shelf domain. The ecosystem is divided into three subregions, the continental slope, shelf and coastal regions, each with unique ocean dynamics, water mass and biological distributions. The WAP shelf lies within the Antarctic Sea Ice Zone (SIZ) and like other SIZs, the WAP system is very productive, supporting large stocks of marine mammals, birds and the Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba. Ecosystem dynamics is dominated by the seasonal and interannual variation in sea ice extent and retreat. The Antarctic Peninsula is one among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, having experienced a 2 degrees C increase in the annual mean temperature and a 6 degrees C rise in the mean winter temperature since 1950. Delivery of heat from the Antarctic Circumpolar Current has increased significantly in the past decade, sufficient to drive to a 0.6 degrees C warming of the upper 300 m of shelf water. In the past 50 years and continuing in the twenty-first century, the warm, moist maritime climate of the northern WAP has been migrating south, displacing the once dominant cold, dry continental Antarctic climate and causing multi-level responses in the marine ecosystem. Ecosystem responses to the regional warming include increased heat transport, decreased sea ice extent and duration, local declines in icedependent Adélie penguins, increase in ice-tolerant gentoo and chinstrap penguins, alterations in phytoplankton and zooplankton community composition and changes in krill recruitment, abundance and availability to predators. The climate

  15. Marine pelagic ecosystems: the West Antarctic Peninsula

    PubMed Central

    Ducklow, Hugh W; Baker, Karen; Martinson, Douglas G; Quetin, Langdon B; Ross, Robin M; Smith, Raymond C; Stammerjohn, Sharon E; Vernet, Maria; Fraser, William

    2006-01-01

    The marine ecosystem of the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) extends from the Bellingshausen Sea to the northern tip of the peninsula and from the mostly glaciated coast across the continental shelf to the shelf break in the west. The glacially sculpted coastline along the peninsula is highly convoluted and characterized by deep embayments that are often interconnected by channels that facilitate transport of heat and nutrients into the shelf domain. The ecosystem is divided into three subregions, the continental slope, shelf and coastal regions, each with unique ocean dynamics, water mass and biological distributions. The WAP shelf lies within the Antarctic Sea Ice Zone (SIZ) and like other SIZs, the WAP system is very productive, supporting large stocks of marine mammals, birds and the Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba. Ecosystem dynamics is dominated by the seasonal and interannual variation in sea ice extent and retreat. The Antarctic Peninsula is one among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, having experienced a 2°C increase in the annual mean temperature and a 6°C rise in the mean winter temperature since 1950. Delivery of heat from the Antarctic Circumpolar Current has increased significantly in the past decade, sufficient to drive to a 0.6°C warming of the upper 300 m of shelf water. In the past 50 years and continuing in the twenty-first century, the warm, moist maritime climate of the northern WAP has been migrating south, displacing the once dominant cold, dry continental Antarctic climate and causing multi-level responses in the marine ecosystem. Ecosystem responses to the regional warming include increased heat transport, decreased sea ice extent and duration, local declines in ice-dependent Adélie penguins, increase in ice-tolerant gentoo and chinstrap penguins, alterations in phytoplankton and zooplankton community composition and changes in krill recruitment, abundance and availability to predators. The climate/ecological gradients

  16. Variability and management of large marine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Sherman, K.; Alexander, L.

    1986-01-01

    Large marine ecosystems (LMEs) are being subjected to increasing stress from industrial and urban wastes, aerosol contaminants, and heavy exploitation of renewable resources. Recent studies suggest that the population structure of LMEs can be altered by these factors, resulting in a negative economic impact. Ecosystem perturbations have been documented from the Bering Sea to the Antarctic, from the Gulf of Thailand to the El Nino region off the Peruvian coast. This bood is a review of effective means for measuring changes in populations and productivity, physical-chemical environments, and management options for LMEs. LMEs are treated holistically as regional management units, bringing together fragmented efforts to optimize ocean resources. Strategies for measuring natural variability are examined against a background of anthropogenically induced pollution and over-exploitation.

  17. Climate Change Impacts on Marine Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doney, Scott C.; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Emmett Duffy, J.; Barry, James P.; Chan, Francis; English, Chad A.; Galindo, Heather M.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Hollowed, Anne B.; Knowlton, Nancy; Polovina, Jeffrey; Rabalais, Nancy N.; Sydeman, William J.; Talley, Lynne D.

    2012-01-01

    In marine ecosystems, rising atmospheric CO2 and climate change are associated with concurrent shifts in temperature, circulation, stratification, nutrient input, oxygen content, and ocean acidification, with potentially wide-ranging biological effects. Population-level shifts are occurring because of physiological intolerance to new environments, altered dispersal patterns, and changes in species interactions. Together with local climate-driven invasion and extinction, these processes result in altered community structure and diversity, including possible emergence of novel ecosystems. Impacts are particularly striking for the poles and the tropics, because of the sensitivity of polar ecosystems to sea-ice retreat and poleward species migrations as well as the sensitivity of coral-algal symbiosis to minor increases in temperature. Midlatitude upwelling systems, like the California Current, exhibit strong linkages between climate and species distributions, phenology, and demography. Aggregated effects may modify energy and material flows as well as biogeochemical cycles, eventually impacting the overall ecosystem functioning and services upon which people and societies depend.

  18. Climate projections for selected large marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Muyin; Overland, James E.; Bond, Nicholas A.

    2010-02-01

    In preparation for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) modeling centers from around the world carried out sets of global climate simulations under various emission scenarios with a total of 23 coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models. We evaluated the models' 20th century hindcasts of selected variables relevant to several large marine ecosystems and examined 21st century projections by a subset of these models under the A1B (middle range) emission scenario. In general we find that a subset (about half) of the models are able to simulate large-scale aspects of the historical observations reasonably well, which provides some confidence in their application for projections of ocean conditions into the future. Over the North Pacific by the mid-21st century, the warming due to the trend in wintertime sea surface temperature (SST) will be 1°-1.5 °C, which is as large as the amplitude of the major mode of variability, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). For areas northwest of the Hawaiian Islands, these models projected a steady increase of 1.2 °C in summer SST over the period from 2000 to 2050. For the Bering and Barents seas, a subset of models selected on the basis of their ability to simulate sea-ice area in late 20th century yield an average decrease in sea-ice coverage of 43% and 36%, respectively, by the decade centered on 2050 with a reasonable degree of consistency. On the other hand, model simulations of coastal upwelling for the California, Canary and Humboldt Currents, and of bottom temperatures in the Barents Sea, feature a relatively large degree of uncertainty. These results illustrate that 21st century projections for marine ecosystems in certain regions using present-generation climate models require additional analysis.

  19. Upgrading Marine Ecosystem Restoration Using Ecological‐Social Concepts

    PubMed Central

    Abelson, Avigdor; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Reed, Daniel C.; Orth, Robert J.; Kendrick, Gary A.; Beck, Michael W.; Belmaker, Jonathan; Krause, Gesche; Edgar, Graham J.; Airoldi, Laura; Brokovich, Eran; France, Robert; Shashar, Nadav; de Blaeij, Arianne; Stambler, Noga; Salameh, Pierre; Shechter, Mordechai; Nelson, Peter A.

    2015-01-01

    Conservation and environmental management are principal countermeasures to the degradation of marine ecosystems and their services. However, in many cases, current practices are insufficient to reverse ecosystem declines. We suggest that restoration ecology, the science underlying the concepts and tools needed to restore ecosystems, must be recognized as an integral element for marine conservation and environmental management. Marine restoration ecology is a young scientific discipline, often with gaps between its application and the supporting science. Bridging these gaps is essential to using restoration as an effective management tool and reversing the decline of marine ecosystems and their services. Ecological restoration should address objectives that include improved ecosystem services, and it therefore should encompass social–ecological elements rather than focusing solely on ecological parameters. We recommend using existing management frameworks to identify clear restoration targets, to apply quantitative tools for assessment, and to make the re-establishment of ecosystem services a criterion for success. PMID:26977115

  20. Microbial Dysbiosis: Rethinking Disease in Marine Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Egan, Suhelen; Gardiner, Melissa

    2016-01-01

    With growing environmental pressures placed on our marine habitats there is concern that the prevalence and severity of diseases affecting marine organisms will increase. Yet relative to terrestrial systems, we know little about the underlying causes of many of these diseases. Moreover, factors such as saprophytic colonizers and a lack of baseline data on healthy individuals make it difficult to accurately assess the role of specific microbial pathogens in disease states. Emerging evidence in the field of medicine suggests that a growing number of human diseases result from a microbiome imbalance (or dysbiosis), questioning the traditional view of a singular pathogenic agent. Here we discuss the possibility that many diseases seen in marine systems are, similarly, the result of microbial dysbiosis and the rise of opportunistic or polymicrobial infections. Thus, understanding and managing disease in the future will require us to also rethink definitions of disease and pathogenesis for marine systems. We suggest that a targeted, multidisciplinary approach that addresses the questions of microbial symbiosis in both healthy and diseased states, and at that the level of the holobiont, will be key to progress in this area. PMID:27446031

  1. Biomass yields and geography of large marine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Sherman, K.; Alexander, L.M.

    1989-01-01

    Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) regions with unique hydrographic regimes, submarine topography, productivity, and trophically dependent populations. Over the past several decades, some populations of organisms within LMEs have increased and others declined amidst a background of natural environmental perturbation, disposal of urban wastes, aerosol contamination, spills of petrogenic hydrocarbons, overexploitation of fisheries resources, and growing evidence of global changes in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone. The paper presented at the symposium, with appropriate revision based on peer- review, are given in this volume. Participants were encouraged to synthesize scattered information on biological, physical, and chemical processes affecting decadal fluctuations in biomass yields for LMEs including the Huanghai (Yellow) Sea, Kuroshio Current, Oyashio Current, Gulf of Thailand, and the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem around the Pacific basin, and for the Barents Sea, Gulf of Mexico, the Iberian coastal and Benguela Current ecosystems around the margins of the Atlantic. Participants also provided the results of studies of the geographic extent and boundaries of LMEs and the legal basis for the management of marine resources within LMEs.

  2. The developing framework of marine ecotoxicology: Pollutants as a variable in marine ecosystems?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Luoma, Samuel N.

    1996-01-01

    Marine ecosystems include a subset in which at least some interrelated geochemical, biochemical, physiological, population and community characteristics are changed by pollutants. Moderate contamination is relatively widespread in coastal and estuarine ecosystems, so the subset of ecosystems with at least some processes affected could be relatively large. Pollutant influences have changed and will probably continue to change on time scales of decades. Biological exposures and dose in such ecosystems are species-specific and determined by how the species is exposed to different environmental media and the geochemistry of individual pollutants within those media. Bioaccumulation models offer significant promise for interpreting such exposures. Biological responses to pollutants need to be more directly linked to exposure and dose. At the level of the individual this might be improved by better understanding relationships between tissue concentrations of pollutants and responses to pollutants. Multi-discipline field and laboratory studies combined with advanced understanding of some basic processes have reduced the ambiguities in interpreting a few physiological/organismic responses to pollutants in nature. Recognition of pollutant-induced patterns in population responses could lead to similar advances. A rational framework for ecotoxicology is developing, but its further advance is dependent upon better integration of ecotoxicology with basic marine ecology and biology.

  3. How Does Climate Change Affect the Bering Sea Ecosystem?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigler, Michael F.; Harvey, H. Rodger; Ashjian, Carin J.; Lomas, Michael W.; Napp, Jeffrey M.; Stabeno, Phyllis J.; Van Pelt, Thomas I.

    2010-11-01

    The Bering Sea is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world, sustaining nearly half of U.S. annual commercial fish catches and providing food and cultural value to thousands of coastal and island residents. Fish and crab are abundant in the Bering Sea; whales, seals, and seabirds migrate there every year. In winter, the topography, latitude, atmosphere, and ocean circulation combine to produce a sea ice advance in the Bering Sea unmatched elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere, and in spring the retreating ice; longer daylight hours; and nutrient-rich, deep-ocean waters forced up onto the broad continental shelf result in intense marine productivity (Figure 1). This seasonal ice cover is a major driver of Bering Sea ecology, making this ecosystem particularly sensitive to changes in climate. Predicted changes in ice cover in the coming decades have intensified concern about the future of this economically and culturally important region. In response, the North Pacific Research Board (NPRB) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) entered into a partnership in 2007 to support the Bering Sea Project, a comprehensive $52 million investigation to understand how climate change is affecting the Bering Sea ecosystem, ranging from lower trophic levels (e.g., plankton) to fish, seabirds, marine mammals, and, ultimately, humans. The project integrates two research programs, the NSF Bering Ecosystem Study (BEST) and the NPRB Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (BSIERP), with substantial in-kind contributions from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  4. Draft Genome Sequences of Gammaproteobacterial Methanotrophs Isolated from Marine Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Flynn, James D; Hirayama, Hisako; Sakai, Yasuyoshi; Dunfield, Peter F; Klotz, Martin G; Knief, Claudia; Op den Camp, Huub J M; Jetten, Mike S M; Khmelenina, Valentina N; Trotsenko, Yuri A; Murrell, J Colin; Semrau, Jeremy D; Svenning, Mette M; Stein, Lisa Y; Kyrpides, Nikos; Shapiro, Nicole; Woyke, Tanja; Bringel, Françoise; Vuilleumier, Stéphane; DiSpirito, Alan A; Kalyuzhnaya, Marina G

    2016-01-01

    The genome sequences of Methylobacter marinus A45, Methylobacter sp. strain BBA5.1, and Methylomarinum vadi IT-4 were obtained. These aerobic methanotrophs are typical members of coastal and hydrothermal vent marine ecosystems. PMID:26798114

  5. Draft Genome Sequences of Gammaproteobacterial Methanotrophs Isolated from Marine Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Flynn, James D.; Hirayama, Hisako; Sakai, Yasuyoshi; Dunfield, Peter F.; Knief, Claudia; Op den Camp, Huub J. M.; Jetten, Mike S. M.; Khmelenina, Valentina N.; Trotsenko, Yuri A.; Murrell, J. Colin; Semrau, Jeremy D.; Svenning, Mette M.; Stein, Lisa Y.; Kyrpides, Nikos; Shapiro, Nicole; Woyke, Tanja; Bringel, Françoise; Vuilleumier, Stéphane; DiSpirito, Alan A.

    2016-01-01

    The genome sequences of Methylobacter marinus A45, Methylobacter sp. strain BBA5.1, and Methylomarinum vadi IT-4 were obtained. These aerobic methanotrophs are typical members of coastal and hydrothermal vent marine ecosystems. PMID:26798114

  6. Interactions of aquaculture, marine coastal ecosystems, and near-shore waters: A bibliography. Bibliographies and literature of agriculture (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Hanfman, D.T.; Coleman, D.E.; Tibbitt, S.J.

    1991-01-01

    The bibliography contains selected literature citations on the interactions of aquaculture and marine coastal ecosystems. The focus is on aquaculture effluents and their impact on marine coastal ecosystems and waterways as well as the impact of pollutants on aquaculture development. Factors affecting these issues include domestic and industrial wastes, thermal discharges, acid rain, heavy metals, oil spills, and microbial contamination of marine waters and aquatic species. Coastal zone management, environmenal impact of aquaculture, and water quality issues are also included in the bibliography.

  7. Several scales of biodiversity affect ecosystem multifunctionality.

    PubMed

    Pasari, Jae R; Levi, Taal; Zavaleta, Erika S; Tilman, David

    2013-06-18

    Society values landscapes that reliably provide many ecosystem functions. As the study of ecosystem functioning expands to include more locations, time spans, and functions, the functional importance of individual species is becoming more apparent. However, the functional importance of individual species does not necessarily translate to the functional importance of biodiversity measured in whole communities of interacting species. Furthermore, ecological diversity at scales larger than neighborhood species richness could also influence the provision of multiple functions over extended time scales. We created experimental landscapes based on whole communities from the world's longest running biodiversity-functioning field experiment to investigate how local species richness (α diversity), distinctness among communities (β diversity), and larger scale species richness (γ diversity) affected eight ecosystem functions over 10 y. Using both threshold-based and unique multifunctionality metrics, we found that α diversity had strong positive effects on most individual functions and multifunctionality, and that positive effects of β and γ diversity emerged only when multiple functions were considered simultaneously. Higher β diversity also reduced the variability in multifunctionality. Thus, in addition to conserving important species, maintaining ecosystem multifunctionality will require diverse landscape mosaics of diverse communities. PMID:23733963

  8. Transnational corporations as 'keystone actors' in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Österblom, Henrik; Jouffray, Jean-Baptiste; Folke, Carl; Crona, Beatrice; Troell, Max; Merrie, Andrew; Rockström, Johan

    2015-01-01

    Keystone species have a disproportionate influence on the structure and function of ecosystems. Here we analyze whether a keystone-like pattern can be observed in the relationship between transnational corporations and marine ecosystems globally. We show how thirteen corporations control 11-16% of the global marine catch (9-13 million tons) and 19-40% of the largest and most valuable stocks, including species that play important roles in their respective ecosystem. They dominate all segments of seafood production, operate through an extensive global network of subsidiaries and are profoundly involved in fisheries and aquaculture decision-making. Based on our findings, we define these companies as keystone actors of the Anthropocene. The phenomenon of keystone actors represents an increasingly important feature of the human-dominated world. Sustainable leadership by keystone actors could result in cascading effects throughout the entire seafood industry and enable a critical transition towards improved management of marine living resources and ecosystems. PMID:26017777

  9. Transnational Corporations as ‘Keystone Actors’ in Marine Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Österblom, Henrik; Jouffray, Jean-Baptiste; Folke, Carl; Crona, Beatrice; Troell, Max; Merrie, Andrew; Rockström, Johan

    2015-01-01

    Keystone species have a disproportionate influence on the structure and function of ecosystems. Here we analyze whether a keystone-like pattern can be observed in the relationship between transnational corporations and marine ecosystems globally. We show how thirteen corporations control 11-16% of the global marine catch (9-13 million tons) and 19-40% of the largest and most valuable stocks, including species that play important roles in their respective ecosystem. They dominate all segments of seafood production, operate through an extensive global network of subsidiaries and are profoundly involved in fisheries and aquaculture decision-making. Based on our findings, we define these companies as keystone actors of the Anthropocene. The phenomenon of keystone actors represents an increasingly important feature of the human-dominated world. Sustainable leadership by keystone actors could result in cascading effects throughout the entire seafood industry and enable a critical transition towards improved management of marine living resources and ecosystems. PMID:26017777

  10. Embedding ecosystem services into the Marine Strategy Framework Directive: Illustrated by eutrophication in the North Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Higgins, T. G.; Gilbert, A. J.

    2014-03-01

    The introduction of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) with its focus on an Ecosystem Approach places an emphasis on the human dimensions of environmental problems. Human activities may be the source of marine degradation, but may also be adversely affected should degradation compromise the provision of ecosystem services. The MSFD marks a shift away from management aiming to restore past, undegraded states toward management for Good Environmental Status (GEnS) based on delivery of marine goods and services. An example relating ecosystem services to criteria for Good Environmental Status is presented for eutrophication, a long recognised problem in many parts of Europe's seas and specifically targeted by descriptors for GEnS. Taking the North Sea as a case study the relationships between the eutrophication criteria of the MSFD and final and intermediate marine ecosystem services are examined. Ecosystem services are valued, where possible in monetary terms, in order to illustrate how eutrophication affects human welfare (economic externalities) through its multiple effects on ecosystem services.

  11. Variability in biomass yields of large marine ecosystems (LMEs) during climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Sherman, K. )

    1993-06-01

    Results of ecosystem studies relating to variations in biomass yields are examined in relation to principle driving forces including climate change, coastal pollution, habitat degradation, and overexploitation of living marine resources. Among the ecosystems compared with regard to the different prime driving forces, affecting sustainability of biomass yields, are the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Barents Sea, Kuroshio Current, California Current, Great Barrier Reef, Gulf of Mexico, Yellow Sea, Icelandic Shelf, and Northeast US Shelf ecosystems. The designation and management of large marine ecosystems (LMEs) is, at present, an evolving scientific and geopolitical process. Sufficient progress has been made to allow for useful comparisons among different processes influencing large-scale changes in the biomass yields of LMEs. The most severely impacted LMEs are off the coasts of the continents.

  12. 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.

  13. Comparing marine and terrestrial ecosystems: Implications for the design of coastal marine reserves

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carr, M.H.; Neigel, J.E.; Estes, J.A.; Andelman, S.; Warner, R.R.; Largier, J. L.

    2003-01-01

    Concepts and theory for the design and application of terrestrial reserves is based on our understanding of environmental, ecological, and evolutionary processes responsible for biological diversity and sustainability of terrestrial ecosystems and how humans have influenced these processes. How well this terrestrial-based theory can be applied toward the design and application of reserves in the coastal marine environment depends, in part, on the degree of similarity between these systems. Several marked differences in ecological and evolutionary processes exist between marine and terrestrial ecosystems as ramifications of fundamental differences in their physical environments (i.e., the relative prevalence of air and water) and contemporary patterns of human impacts. Most notably, the great extent and rate of dispersal of nutrients, materials, holoplanktonic organisms, and reproductive propagules of benthic organisms expand scales of connectivity among near-shore communities and ecosystems. Consequently, the "openness" of marine populations, communities, and ecosystems probably has marked influences on their spatial, genetic, and trophic structures and dynamics in ways experienced by only some terrestrial species. Such differences appear to be particularly significant for the kinds of organisms most exploited and targeted for protection in coastal marine ecosystems (fishes and macroinvertebrates). These and other differences imply some unique design criteria and application of reserves in the marine environment. In explaining the implications of these differences for marine reserve design and application, we identify many of the environmental and ecological processes and design criteria necessary for consideration in the development of the analytical approaches developed elsewhere in this Special Issue.

  14. Effects of acidification on olfactory-mediated behaviour in freshwater and marine ecosystems: a synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Leduc, Antoine O. H. C.; Munday, Philip L.; Brown, Grant E.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.

    2013-01-01

    For many aquatic organisms, olfactory-mediated behaviour is essential to the maintenance of numerous fitness-enhancing activities, including foraging, reproduction and predator avoidance. Studies in both freshwater and marine ecosystems have demonstrated significant impacts of anthropogenic acidification on olfactory abilities of fish and macroinvertebrates, leading to impaired behavioural responses, with potentially far-reaching consequences to population dynamics and community structure. Whereas the ecological impacts of impaired olfactory-mediated behaviour may be similar between freshwater and marine ecosystems, the underlying mechanisms are quite distinct. In acidified freshwater, molecular change to chemical cues along with reduced olfaction sensitivity appear to be the primary causes of olfactory-mediated behavioural impairment. By contrast, experiments simulating future ocean acidification suggest that interference of high CO2 with brain neurotransmitter function is the primary cause for olfactory-mediated behavioural impairment in fish. Different physico-chemical characteristics between marine and freshwater systems are probably responsible for these distinct mechanisms of impairment, which, under globally rising CO2 levels, may lead to strikingly different consequences to olfaction. While fluctuations in pH may occur in both freshwater and marine ecosystems, marine habitat will remain alkaline despite future ocean acidification caused by globally rising CO2 levels. In this synthesis, we argue that ecosystem-specific mechanisms affecting olfaction need to be considered for effective management and conservation practices. PMID:23980246

  15. Effects of acidification on olfactory-mediated behaviour in freshwater and marine ecosystems: a synthesis.

    PubMed

    Leduc, Antoine O H C; Munday, Philip L; Brown, Grant E; Ferrari, Maud C O

    2013-01-01

    For many aquatic organisms, olfactory-mediated behaviour is essential to the maintenance of numerous fitness-enhancing activities, including foraging, reproduction and predator avoidance. Studies in both freshwater and marine ecosystems have demonstrated significant impacts of anthropogenic acidification on olfactory abilities of fish and macroinvertebrates, leading to impaired behavioural responses, with potentially far-reaching consequences to population dynamics and community structure. Whereas the ecological impacts of impaired olfactory-mediated behaviour may be similar between freshwater and marine ecosystems, the underlying mechanisms are quite distinct. In acidified freshwater, molecular change to chemical cues along with reduced olfaction sensitivity appear to be the primary causes of olfactory-mediated behavioural impairment. By contrast, experiments simulating future ocean acidification suggest that interference of high CO2 with brain neurotransmitter function is the primary cause for olfactory-mediated behavioural impairment in fish. Different physico-chemical characteristics between marine and freshwater systems are probably responsible for these distinct mechanisms of impairment, which, under globally rising CO2 levels, may lead to strikingly different consequences to olfaction. While fluctuations in pH may occur in both freshwater and marine ecosystems, marine habitat will remain alkaline despite future ocean acidification caused by globally rising CO2 levels. In this synthesis, we argue that ecosystem-specific mechanisms affecting olfaction need to be considered for effective management and conservation practices. PMID:23980246

  16. The effects of pollution on marine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1987-01-01

    The long-term program for pollution monitoring and research in the mediterranean sea (MED POL--PHASE II), which is the scientific/technical component of the mediterranean action plan, is basically divided into two groups of activities, namely monitoring and research. The research component is divided into twelve topics one of which is concerned with the ecosystem modifications in areas influenced by pollutants.

  17. An integrated approach to manage coastal ecosystems and prevent marine pollution effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marcelli, Marco; Bonamano, Simone; Carli, Filippo Maria; Giovacchini, Monica; Madonia, Alice; Mancini, Emanuele; Molino, Chiara; Piermattei, Viviana; Manfredi Frattarelli, Francesco

    2016-04-01

    This work focuses an integrated approach based on Sea-Use-Map (SUM), backed by a permanent monitoring system (C-CEMS-Civitavecchia Coastal Environmental Monitoring System). This tool supports the management of the marine coastal area, contributing substantially to ecosystem benefits evaluation and to minimize pollution impacts. Within the Blue Growth strategy, the protection of marine ecosystems is considered a priority for the sustainable growth of marine and maritime sectors. To face this issue, the European MSP and MSFD directives (2014/89/EU; 2008/56/EC) strongly promote the adoption of an ecosystem-based approach, paying particular attention to the support of monitoring networks that use L-TER (long-term ecological research) observations and integrate multi-disciplinary data sets. Although not largely used in Europe yet, the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI), developed in 1979 by NOAA (and promoted by IMO in 2010), can be considered an excellent example of ecosystem-based approach to reduce the environmental consequences of an oil spill event in a coastal area. SUM is an ecosystem oriented cartographic tool specifically designed to support the sustainable management of the coastal areas, such as the selection of the best sites for the introduction of new uses or the identification of the coastal areas subjected to potential impacts. It also enables a rapid evaluation of the benefits produced by marine areas as well as of their anthropogenic disturbance. SUM integrates C-CEMS dataset, geomorphological and ecological features and knowledge on the coastal and maritime space uses. The SUM appliance allowed to obtain relevant operational results in the Civitavecchia coastal area (Latium, Italy), characterized by high variability of marine and coastal environments, historical heritage and affected by the presence of a big harbour, relevant industrial infrastructures, and touristic features. In particular, the valuation of marine ecosystem services based on

  18. Squid as nutrient vectors linking Southwest Atlantic marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arkhipkin, Alexander I.

    2013-10-01

    Long-term investigations of three abundant nektonic squid species from the Southwest Atlantic, Illex argentinus, Doryteuthis gahi and Onykia ingens, permitted to estimate important population parameters including individual growth rates, duration of ontogenetic phases and mortalities. Using production model, the productivity of squid populations at different phases of their life cycle was assessed and the amount of biomass they convey between marine ecosystems as a result of their ontogenetic migrations was quantified. It was found that squid are major nutrient vectors and play a key role as transient 'biological pumps' linking spatially distinct marine ecosystems. I. argentinus has the largest impact in all three ecosystems it encounters due to its high abundance and productivity. The variable nature of squid populations increases the vulnerability of these biological conveyers to overfishing and environmental change. Failure of these critical biological pathways may induce irreversible long-term consequences for biodiversity, resource abundance and spatial availability in the world ocean.

  19. Eutrophication of freshwater and marine ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Val H.; Joye, Samantha B.; Howarth, Robert W.

    2006-01-01

    Initial understanding of the links between nutrients and aquatic productivity originated in Europe in the early 1900s, and our knowledge base has expanded greatly during the past 40 yr. This explosion of eutrophication-related research has made it unequivocally clear that a comprehensive strategy to prevent excessive amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus from entering our waterways is needed to protect our lakes, rivers, and coasts from water quality deterioration. However, despite these very significant advances, cultural eutrophication remains one of the foremost problems for protecting our valuable surface water resources. The papers in this special issue provide a valuable cross section and synthesis of our current understanding of both freshwater and marine eutrophication science. They also serve to identify gaps in our knowledge and will help to guide future research.

  20. Modelling marine ecosystems as a discipline in Earth Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nihoul, Jacques C. J.

    1998-07-01

    Faced with the imperatives of sustainable development, Earth Science must open to the study of ecosystems and their interactions with a multiscale geophysical environment. The indispensable development of interdisciplinary Earth Science models requires that the crafts and skills of physicists, chemists and biologists merge and cross-fertilize, with often a long way to go for each discipline to win over the others. This paper contains the reflections, queries and suggestions of a marine hydrodynamicist trying to develop coupled physical, chemical and biological marine models and negotiating admittance in the Biogeochemistry Club.

  1. Merging Marine Ecosystem Models and Genomics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coles, V.; Hood, R. R.; Stukel, M. R.; Moran, M. A.; Paul, J. H.; Satinsky, B.; Zielinski, B.; Yager, P. L.

    2015-12-01

    oceanography. One of the grand challenges of oceanography is to develop model techniques to more effectively incorporate genomic information. As one approach, we developed an ecosystem model whose community is determined by randomly assigning functional genes to build each organism's "DNA". Microbes are assigned a size that sets their baseline environmental responses using allometric response cuves. These responses are modified by the costs and benefits conferred by each gene in an organism's genome. The microbes are embedded in a general circulation model where environmental conditions shape the emergent population. This model is used to explore whether organisms constructed from randomized combinations of metabolic capability alone can self-organize to create realistic oceanic biogeochemical gradients. Realistic community size spectra and chlorophyll-a concentrations emerge in the model. The model is run repeatedly with randomly-generated microbial communities and each time realistic gradients in community size spectra, chlorophyll-a, and forms of nitrogen develop. This supports the hypothesis that the metabolic potential of a community rather than the realized species composition is the primary factor setting vertical and horizontal environmental gradients. Vertical distributions of nitrogen and transcripts for genes involved in nitrification are broadly consistent with observations. Modeled gene and transcript abundance for nitrogen cycling and processing of land-derived organic material match observations along the extreme gradients in the Amazon River plume, and they help to explain the factors controlling observed variability.

  2. Ocean acidification and its potential effects on marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Guinotte, John M; Fabry, Victoria J

    2008-01-01

    Ocean acidification is rapidly changing the carbonate system of the world oceans. Past mass extinction events have been linked to ocean acidification, and the current rate of change in seawater chemistry is unprecedented. Evidence suggests that these changes will have significant consequences for marine taxa, particularly those that build skeletons, shells, and tests of biogenic calcium carbonate. Potential changes in species distributions and abundances could propagate through multiple trophic levels of marine food webs, though research into the long-term ecosystem impacts of ocean acidification is in its infancy. This review attempts to provide a general synthesis of known and/or hypothesized biological and ecosystem responses to increasing ocean acidification. Marine taxa covered in this review include tropical reef-building corals, cold-water corals, crustose coralline algae, Halimeda, benthic mollusks, echinoderms, coccolithophores, foraminifera, pteropods, seagrasses, jellyfishes, and fishes. The risk of irreversible ecosystem changes due to ocean acidification should enlighten the ongoing CO(2) emissions debate and make it clear that the human dependence on fossil fuels must end quickly. Political will and significant large-scale investment in clean-energy technologies are essential if we are to avoid the most damaging effects of human-induced climate change, including ocean acidification. PMID:18566099

  3. Human activities change marine ecosystems by altering predation risk.

    PubMed

    Madin, Elizabeth M P; Dill, Lawrence M; Ridlon, April D; Heithaus, Michael R; Warner, Robert R

    2016-01-01

    In ocean ecosystems, many of the changes in predation risk - both increases and decreases - are human-induced. These changes are occurring at scales ranging from global to local and across variable temporal scales. Indirect, risk-based effects of human activity are known to be important in structuring some terrestrial ecosystems, but these impacts have largely been neglected in oceans. Here, we synthesize existing literature and data to explore multiple lines of evidence that collectively suggest diverse human activities are changing marine ecosystems, including carbon storage capacity, in myriad ways by altering predation risk. We provide novel, compelling evidence that at least one key human activity, overfishing, can lead to distinct, cascading risk effects in natural ecosystems whose magnitude exceeds that of presumed lethal effects and may account for previously unexplained findings. We further discuss the conservation implications of human-caused indirect risk effects. Finally, we provide a predictive framework for when human alterations of risk in oceans should lead to cascading effects and outline a prospectus for future research. Given the speed and extent with which human activities are altering marine risk landscapes, it is crucial that conservation and management policy considers the indirect effects of these activities in order to increase the likelihood of success and avoid unfortunate surprises. PMID:26448058

  4. Manatees as sentinels of marine ecosystem health: are they the 2000-pound canaries?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bonde, R.K.; Aguirre, A.A.; Powell, J.

    2004-01-01

    The order Sirenia is represented by three species of manatees and one species of dugong distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the world and considered vulnerable to extinction. The sentinel species concept is useful to identify indicators of the environment and may reflect the quality of health in marine ecosystems. The single species approach to evaluate ecological health may provide a series of “snap shots” of environmental changes to determine if animal, human, or ecosystem health may be affected. Under this concept, marine vertebrates may be good integrators of changes over space and time, and excellent sentinels of ecosystem health. Based on their life history, manatees may or may not be ideal sentinels, as they are robust, long-lived species and appear remarkably resilient to natural disease and the effects of human-related injury and trauma. These characteristics might be the result of an efficient and responsive immune system compared to other marine mammals. Although relatively immune to infectious agents, manatees face other potentially serious threats, including epizootic diseases and pollution while in large aggregations. Manatees can serve as excellent sentinels of harmful algal blooms due to their high sensitivity, specifically to brevetoxicosis, which has caused at least two major die-offs in recent times. Threats to manatees worldwide, such as illegal hunting and boat collisions, are increasing. Habitat is being lost at an alarming rate and the full effects of uncontrolled human population growth on the species are unknown. The manatee may serve as a sentinel species, prognosticating the deleterious effects of unhealthy marine and aquatic ecosystems on humans. We have identified a number of critical research needs and opportunities for transdisciplinary collaboration that could help advance the use of the sentinel species concept in marine ecosystem health and monitoring of disease emergence using our knowledge on these magnificent

  5. Organization of marine phenology data in support of planning and conservation in ocean and coastal ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, Kathryn A.; Fornwall, Mark D.; Weltzin, Jake F.; Griffis, R.B.

    2014-01-01

    Among the many effects of climate change is its influence on the phenology of biota. In marine and coastal ecosystems, phenological shifts have been documented for multiple life forms; however, biological data related to marine species' phenology remain difficult to access and is under-used. We conducted an assessment of potential sources of biological data for marine species and their availability for use in phenological analyses and assessments. Our evaluations showed that data potentially related to understanding marine species' phenology are available through online resources of governmental, academic, and non-governmental organizations, but appropriate datasets are often difficult to discover and access, presenting opportunities for scientific infrastructure improvement. The developing Federal Marine Data Architecture when fully implemented will improve data flow and standardization for marine data within major federal repositories and provide an archival repository for collaborating academic and public data contributors. Another opportunity, largely untapped, is the engagement of citizen scientists in standardized collection of marine phenology data and contribution of these data to established data flows. Use of metadata with marine phenology related keywords could improve discovery and access to appropriate datasets. When data originators choose to self-publish, publication of research datasets with a digital object identifier, linked to metadata, will also improve subsequent discovery and access. Phenological changes in the marine environment will affect human economics, food systems, and recreation. No one source of data will be sufficient to understand these changes. The collective attention of marine data collectors is needed—whether with an agency, an educational institution, or a citizen scientist group—toward adopting the data management processes and standards needed to ensure availability of sufficient and useable marine data to understand

  6. Interdependency of tropical marine ecosystems in response to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saunders, Megan I.; Leon, Javier X.; Callaghan, David P.; Roelfsema, Chris M.; Hamylton, Sarah; Brown, Christopher J.; Baldock, Tom; Golshani, Aliasghar; Phinn, Stuart R.; Lovelock, Catherine E.; Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Woodroffe, Colin D.; Mumby, Peter J.

    2014-08-01

    Ecosystems are linked within landscapes by the physical and biological processes they mediate. In such connected landscapes, the response of one ecosystem to climate change could have profound consequences for neighbouring systems. Here, we report the first quantitative predictions of interdependencies between ecosystems in response to climate change. In shallow tropical marine ecosystems, coral reefs shelter lagoons from incoming waves, allowing seagrass meadows to thrive. Deepening water over coral reefs from sea-level rise results in larger, more energetic waves traversing the reef into the lagoon, potentially generating hostile conditions for seagrass. However, growth of coral reef such that the relative water depth is maintained could mitigate negative effects of sea-level rise on seagrass. Parameterizing physical and biological models for Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, we find negative effects of sea-level rise on seagrass before the middle of this century given reasonable rates of reef growth. Rates of vertical carbonate accretion typical of modern reef flats (up to 3 mm yr-1) will probably be insufficient to maintain suitable conditions for reef lagoon seagrass under moderate to high greenhouse gas emissions scenarios by 2100. Accounting for interdependencies in ecosystem responses to climate change is challenging, but failure to do so results in inaccurate predictions of habitat extent in the future.

  7. Resilience and stability of a pelagic marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Lindegren, Martin; Checkley, David M; Ohman, Mark D; Koslow, J Anthony; Goericke, Ralf

    2016-01-13

    The accelerating loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services worldwide has accentuated a long-standing debate on the role of diversity in stabilizing ecological communities and has given rise to a field of research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF). Although broad consensus has been reached regarding the positive BEF relationship, a number of important challenges remain unanswered. These primarily concern the underlying mechanisms by which diversity increases resilience and community stability, particularly the relative importance of statistical averaging and functional complementarity. Our understanding of these mechanisms relies heavily on theoretical and experimental studies, yet the degree to which theory adequately explains the dynamics and stability of natural ecosystems is largely unknown, especially in marine ecosystems. Using modelling and a unique 60-year dataset covering multiple trophic levels, we show that the pronounced multi-decadal variability of the Southern California Current System (SCCS) does not represent fundamental changes in ecosystem functioning, but a linear response to key environmental drivers channelled through bottom-up and physical control. Furthermore, we show strong temporal asynchrony between key species or functional groups within multiple trophic levels caused by opposite responses to these drivers. We argue that functional complementarity is the primary mechanism reducing community variability and promoting resilience and stability in the SCCS. PMID:26763697

  8. Perceptions of Rule-Breaking Related to Marine Ecosystem Health

    PubMed Central

    Slater, Matthew J.; Mgaya, Yunus D.; Stead, Selina M.

    2014-01-01

    Finding effective solutions to manage marine resources is high on political and conservation agendas worldwide. This is made more urgent by the rate of increase in the human population and concomitant resource pressures in coastal areas. This paper links empirical socio-economic data about perceptions of marine resource health to the breaking of marine management rules, using fisheries as a case study. The relationship between perceived rule-breaking (non-compliance with regulations controlling fishing) and perceived health of inshore marine environments was investigated through face-to-face interviews with 299 heads of households in three Tanzanian coastal communities in November and December 2011. Awareness of rules controlling fishing activity was high among all respondents. Fishers were able to describe more specific rules controlling fishing practices than non-fishers (t = 3.5, df = 297, p<0.01). Perceived breaking of fishing regulations was reported by nearly half of all respondents, saying “some” (32% of responses) or “most” (15% of responses) people break fishing rules. Ordinal regression modelling revealed a significant linkage (z = −3.44, p<0.001) in the relationship between respondents' perceptions of deteriorating marine health and their perception of increased rule-breaking. In this paper, inferences from an empirical study are used to identify and argue the potential for using perceptions of ecosystem health and level of rule-breaking as a means to guide management measures. When considering different management options (e.g. Marine Protected Areas), policy makers are advised to take account of and utilise likely egoistic or altruistic decision-making factors used by fishers to determine their marine activities. PMID:24586558

  9. The role of large marine vertebrates in the assessment of the quality of pelagic marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Fossi, Maria Cristina; Casini, Silvia; Caliani, Ilaria; Panti, Cristina; Marsili, Letizia; Viarengo, Aldo; Giangreco, Roberto; Notarbartolo di Sciara, Giuseppe; Serena, Fabrizio; Ouerghi, Atef; Depledge, Michael H

    2012-06-01

    The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy has been developed and is being implemented, with the objective to deliver "Good Environmental Status" by 2020. A pragmatic way forward has been achieved through the development of 11 "qualitative descriptors". In an attempt to identify gaps in MSFD, regarding the data on large marine vertebrates, the SETAC--Italian Branch organised a workshop in Siena (IT). Particular attention was paid to the qualitative descriptors 8 (contaminants and pollution effects) and 10 (marine litter). The specific remit was to discuss the potential use of large marine vertebrates (from large pelagic fish, sea turtles, sea birds and cetaceans) in determining the environmental status of pelagic marine ecosystems. During the workshop it emerged that large pelagic fish may be especially useful for monitoring short- to medium-term changes in pelagic ecosystems, while cetaceans provided a more integrated view over the long-term. A theme that strongly emerged was the broad recognition that biomarkers offer real potential for the determination of good ecological status detecting the "undesirable biological effects" (indicator for descriptor 8). PMID:22494853

  10. Adaptive classification of marine ecosystems: Identifying biologically meaningful regions in the marine environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregr, Edward J.; Bodtker, Karin M.

    2007-03-01

    The move to ecosystem-based management of marine fisheries and endangered species would be greatly facilitated by a quantitative method for identifying marine ecosystems that captures temporal dynamics at meso-scale (10s or 100s of kilometers) resolutions. Understanding the dynamics of ecosystem boundaries, which may differ according to the species of interest or the management objectives, is a fundamental challenge of ecosystem-based management. We present an adaptive ecosystem classification that begins to address these challenges. To demonstrate the approach, we quantitatively bounded distinct, biologically meaningful marine regions in the North Pacific Ocean based on physical oceanography. We identified the regions by applying image classification algorithms to a comprehensive description of the ocean's surface, derived from an oceanographic circulation model. Our resulting maps illustrate 15 distinct marine regions. The size and location of these regions related well to previously described water masses in the North Pacific. We investigated seasonal and long-term changes in the pattern of regions and their boundaries by dividing the oceanographic data into four seasons and two 10-year time periods, one on either side of the 1976-1977 North Pacific Ocean climate regime shift. We compared our results for each season across the regime shift and for sequential seasons within regimes using the Kappa Index of Agreement and the index of Average Mutual Information. Seasonal patterns were more similar between regimes than from one season to the next within a regime, while the magnitude of seasonal transitions appeared to differ before and after the regime shift. We assessed the biological relevance of the identified regions using seasonal maps derived from remotely sensed chlorophyll- a concentrations ([chl-a]). We used Kruskal-Wallis and Wilcoxon rank sum tests to evaluate the correspondence between the [chl-a] maps and our post-regime shift regions. There was a

  11. Sources of uncertainties in 21st century projections of marine ecosystem drivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Froelicher, T. L.; Rodgers, K. B.; Stock, C. A.; Cheung, W. W. L.

    2015-12-01

    Marine ecosystems are increasingly stressed by human-induced climate change affecting their physical and biogeochemical environment. At present, future projections of marine ecosystem drivers are inherently uncertain, complicating assessments of climate change impacts. Here we evaluate the relative importance of specific sources of uncertainties in projections of marine ecosystem drivers (warming, acidification, nutrient availability and declining oxygen levels) as a function of prediction lead-time and spatial scales. We show that the uncertainty in century-scale global and regional surface pH projections is dominated by scenario uncertainty, highlighting the critical importance of policy decisions on carbon emissions. In contrast, uncertainty in century-scale sea surface temperature projections in polar regions, oxygen levels in low oxygen waters, and regional nutrient availability is dominated by model uncertainty, underscoring that overcoming deficiencies in scientific understanding and improved process representation in Earth system models are critical for making more robust predictions. For smaller spatial and temporal scales, uncertainty associated with internal variability also constitutes an important source of uncertainty, suggesting irreducible uncertainty inherent in these projections. We also show that changes in the combined multiple ecosystem drivers emerges from the noise in 44% of the ocean in the next decade and in 57% of the ocean by the end of the century following a high carbon emissions scenario. Changes in pH and sea surface temperature can be reduced substantially and rapidly with aggressive carbon emissions mitigation, but only marginally for oxygen and net primary productivity. The broader scientific implications, including downscaling of Earth system model output for large marine ecosystem regions and for impact assessment models, will also be discussed.

  12. Large-scale marine ecosystem change and the conservation of marine mammals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Shea, T.J.; Odell, D.K.

    2008-01-01

    Papers in this Special Feature stem from a symposium on large-scale ecosystem change and the conservation of marine mammals convened at the 86th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists in June 2006. Major changes are occurring in multiple aspects of the marine environment at unprecedented rates, within the life spans of some individual marine mammals. Drivers of change include shifts in climate, acoustic pollution, disturbances to trophic structure, fisheries interactions, harmful algal blooms, and environmental contaminants. This Special Feature provides an in-depth examination of 3 issues that are particularly troublesome. The 1st article notes the huge spatial and temporal scales of change to which marine mammals are showing ecological responses, and how these species can function as sentinels of such change. The 2nd paper describes the serious problems arising from conflicts with fisheries, and the 3rd contribution reviews the growing issues associated with underwater noise. ?? 2008 American Society of Mammalogists.

  13. Regularity underlies erratic population abundances in marine ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jie; Cornelius, Sean P.; Janssen, John; Gray, Kimberly A.; Motter, Adilson E.

    2015-01-01

    The abundance of a species' population in an ecosystem is rarely stationary, often exhibiting large fluctuations over time. Using historical data on marine species, we show that the year-to-year fluctuations of population growth rate obey a well-defined double-exponential (Laplace) distribution. This striking regularity allows us to devise a stochastic model despite seemingly irregular variations in population abundances. The model identifies the effect of reduced growth at low population density as a key factor missed in current approaches of population variability analysis and without which extinction risks are severely underestimated. The model also allows us to separate the effect of demographic stochasticity and show that single-species growth rates are dominantly determined by stochasticity common to all species. This dominance—and the implications it has for interspecies correlations, including co-extinctions—emphasizes the need for ecosystem-level management approaches to reduce the extinction risk of the individual species themselves. PMID:25972438

  14. Marine reserves help coastal ecosystems cope with extreme weather.

    PubMed

    Olds, Andrew D; Pitt, Kylie A; Maxwell, Paul S; Babcock, Russell C; Rissik, David; Connolly, Rod M

    2014-10-01

    Natural ecosystems have experienced widespread degradation due to human activities. Consequently, enhancing resilience has become a primary objective for conservation. Nature reserves are a favored management tool, but we need clearer empirical tests of whether they can impart resilience. Catastrophic flooding in early 2011 impacted coastal ecosystems across eastern Australia. We demonstrate that marine reserves enhanced the capacity of coral reefs to withstand flood impacts. Reserve reefs resisted the impact of perturbation, whilst fished reefs did not. Changes on fished reefs were correlated with the magnitude of flood impact, whereas variation on reserve reefs was related to ecological variables. Herbivory and coral recruitment are critical ecological processes that underpin reef resilience, and were greater in reserves and further enhanced on reserve reefs near mangroves. The capacity of reserves to mitigate external disturbances and promote ecological resilience will be critical to resisting an increased frequency of climate-related disturbance. PMID:24849111

  15. Climate-driven regime shift of a temperate marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Wernberg, Thomas; Bennett, Scott; Babcock, Russell C; de Bettignies, Thibaut; Cure, Katherine; Depczynski, Martial; Dufois, Francois; Fromont, Jane; Fulton, Christopher J; Hovey, Renae K; Harvey, Euan S; Holmes, Thomas H; Kendrick, Gary A; Radford, Ben; Santana-Garcon, Julia; Saunders, Benjamin J; Smale, Dan A; Thomsen, Mads S; Tuckett, Chenae A; Tuya, Fernando; Vanderklift, Mathew A; Wilson, Shaun

    2016-07-01

    Ecosystem reconfigurations arising from climate-driven changes in species distributions are expected to have profound ecological, social, and economic implications. Here we reveal a rapid climate-driven regime shift of Australian temperate reef communities, which lost their defining kelp forests and became dominated by persistent seaweed turfs. After decades of ocean warming, extreme marine heat waves forced a 100-kilometer range contraction of extensive kelp forests and saw temperate species replaced by seaweeds, invertebrates, corals, and fishes characteristic of subtropical and tropical waters. This community-wide tropicalization fundamentally altered key ecological processes, suppressing the recovery of kelp forests. PMID:27387951

  16. THE RESPONSE OF MARINE ECOSYSTEMS TO CLIMATE VARIABILITY ASSOCIATED WITH THE NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    A strong association is documented between variability of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and changes in various trophic levels of the marine ecosystems of the North Atlantic. Examples are presented for phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthos, fish, marine diseases, whales and s...

  17. Plant ecology. Anthropogenic environmental changes affect ecosystem stability via biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Yann; Tilman, David; Isbell, Forest; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Reich, Peter B

    2015-04-17

    Human-driven environmental changes may simultaneously affect the biodiversity, productivity, and stability of Earth's ecosystems, but there is no consensus on the causal relationships linking these variables. Data from 12 multiyear experiments that manipulate important anthropogenic drivers, including plant diversity, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, fire, herbivory, and water, show that each driver influences ecosystem productivity. However, the stability of ecosystem productivity is only changed by those drivers that alter biodiversity, with a given decrease in plant species numbers leading to a quantitatively similar decrease in ecosystem stability regardless of which driver caused the biodiversity loss. These results suggest that changes in biodiversity caused by drivers of environmental change may be a major factor determining how global environmental changes affect ecosystem stability. PMID:25883357

  18. Marine ecosystem regime shifts: challenges and opportunities for ecosystem-based management

    PubMed Central

    Levin, Phillip S.; Möllmann, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Regime shifts have been observed in marine ecosystems around the globe. These phenomena can result in dramatic changes in the provision of ecosystem services to coastal communities. Accounting for regime shifts in management clearly requires integrative, ecosystem-based management (EBM) approaches. EBM has emerged as an accepted paradigm for ocean management worldwide, yet, despite the rapid and intense development of EBM theory, implementation has languished, and many implemented or proposed EBM schemes largely ignore the special characteristics of regime shifts. Here, we first explore key aspects of regime shifts that are of critical importance to EBM, and then suggest how regime shifts can be better incorporated into EBM using the concept of integrated ecosystem assessment (IEA). An IEA uses approaches that determine the likelihood that ecological or socio-economic properties of systems will move beyond or return to acceptable bounds as defined by resource managers and policy makers. We suggest an approach for implementing IEAs for cases of regime shifts where the objectives are either avoiding an undesired state or returning to a desired condition. We discuss the suitability and short-comings of methods summarizing the status of ecosystem components, screening and prioritizing potential risks, and evaluating alternative management strategies. IEAs are evolving as an EBM approach that can address regime shifts; however, advances in statistical, analytical and simulation modelling are needed before IEAs can robustly inform tactical management in systems characterized by regime shifts.

  19. An integrated view of gamma radiation effects on marine fauna: from molecules to ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Won, Eun-Ji; Dahms, Hans-U; Kumar, K Suresh; Shin, Kyung-Hoon; Lee, Jae-Seong

    2015-11-01

    Accidental release of nuclides into the ocean is causing health risks to marine organisms and humans. All life forms are susceptible to gamma radiation with a high variation, depending on various physical factors such as dose, mode, and time of exposure and various biological factors such as species, vitality, age, and gender. Differences in sensitivity of gamma radiation are also associated with different efficiencies of mechanisms related to protection and repair systems. Gamma radiation may also affect various other integration levels: from gene, protein, cells and organs, population, and communities, disturbing the energy flow of food webs that will ultimately affect the structure and functioning of ecosystems. Depending on exposure levels, gamma radiation induces damages on growth and reproduction in various organisms such as zooplankton, benthos, and fish in aquatic ecosystems. In this paper, harmful effects of gamma-irradiated aquatic organisms are described and the potential of marine copepods in assessing the risk of gamma radiation is discussed with respect to physiological adverse effects that even affect the ecosystem level. PMID:25382502

  20. Seasonality in marine ecosystems: Peruvian seabirds, anchovy, and oceanographic conditions.

    PubMed

    Passuni, Giannina; Barbraud, Christophe; Chaigneau, Alexis; Demarcq, Hervé; Ledesma, Jesus; Bertrand, Arnaud; Castillo, Ramiro; Perea, Angel; Mori, Julio; Viblanc, Vincent A; Torres-MaitaA, Jose; Bertrand, Sophie

    2016-01-01

    In fluctuating environments, matching breeding timing to periods of high resource availability is crucial for the fitness of many vertebrate species, and may have major consequences on population health. Yet, our understanding of the proximate environmental cues driving seasonal breeding is limited. This is particularly the case in marine ecosystems, where key environmental factors and prey abundance and availability are seldom quantified. The Northern Humboldt Current System (NHCS) is a highly productive, low-latitude ecosystem of moderate seasonality. In this ecosystem, three tropical seabird species (the Guanay Cormorant Phalacrocorax bougainvillii, the Peruvian Booby Sula variegata, and the Peruvian Pelican Pelecanus thagus) live in sympatry and prey almost exclusively on anchovy, Engraulis ringens. From January 2003 to December 2012, we monitored 31 breeding sites along the Peruvian coast to investigate the breeding cycle of these species. We tested for relationships between breeding timing, oceanographic conditions, and prey availability using occupancy models. We found that all three seabird species exhibited seasonal breeding patterns, with marked interspecific differences. Whereas breeding mainly started during the austral winter/early spring and ended in summer/early fall, this pattern was stronger in boobies and pelicans than in cormorants. Breeding onset mainly occurred when upwelling was intense but ecosystem productivity was below its annual maxima, and when anchovy were less available and in poor physiological condition. Conversely, the abundance and availability of anchovy improved during chick rearing and peaked around the time of fledging. These results suggest that breeding timing is adjusted so that fledging may occur under optimal environmental conditions, rather than being constrained by nutritional requirements during egg laying. Adjusting breeding time so that fledglings meet optimal conditions at independence is unique compared with other

  1. Natural variability of marine ecosystems inferred from a coupled climate to ecosystem simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Mézo, Priscilla; Lefort, Stelly; Séférian, Roland; Aumont, Olivier; Maury, Olivier; Murtugudde, Raghu; Bopp, Laurent

    2016-01-01

    This modeling study analyzes the simulated natural variability of pelagic ecosystems in the North Atlantic and North Pacific. Our model system includes a global Earth System Model (IPSL-CM5A-LR), the biogeochemical model PISCES and the ecosystem model APECOSM that simulates upper trophic level organisms using a size-based approach and three interactive pelagic communities (epipelagic, migratory and mesopelagic). Analyzing an idealized (e.g., no anthropogenic forcing) 300-yr long pre-industrial simulation, we find that low and high frequency variability is dominant for the large and small organisms, respectively. Our model shows that the size-range exhibiting the largest variability at a given frequency, defined as the resonant range, also depends on the community. At a given frequency, the resonant range of the epipelagic community includes larger organisms than that of the migratory community and similarly, the latter includes larger organisms than the resonant range of the mesopelagic community. This study shows that the simulated temporal variability of marine pelagic organisms' abundance is not only influenced by natural climate fluctuations but also by the structure of the pelagic community. As a consequence, the size- and community-dependent response of marine ecosystems to climate variability could impact the sustainability of fisheries in a warming world.

  2. Spatial factors affecting statistical power in testing marine fauna displacement.

    PubMed

    Pérez Lapeña, B; Wijnberg, K M; Stein, A; Hulscher, S J M H

    2011-10-01

    Impacts of offshore wind farms on marine fauna are largely unknown. Therefore, one commonly adheres to the precautionary principle, which states that one shall take action to avoid potentially damaging impacts on marine ecosystems, even when full scientific certainty is lacking. We implement this principle by means of a statistical power analysis including spatial factors. Implementation is based on geostatistical simulations, accommodating for zero-inflation in species data. We investigate scenarios in which an impact assessment still has to be carried out. Our results show that the environmental conditions at the time of the survey is the most influential factor on power. This is followed by survey effort and species abundance in the reference situation. Spatial dependence in species numbers at local scales affects power, but its effect is smaller for the scenarios investigated. Our findings can be used to improve effectiveness of the economical investment for monitoring surveys. In addition, unnecessary extra survey effort, and related costs, can be avoided when spatial dependence in species abundance is present and no improvement on power is achieved. PMID:22073657

  3. Marine Phytophthora species can hamper conservation and restoration of vegetated coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Govers, Laura L; Man In 't Veld, Willem A; Meffert, Johan P; Bouma, Tjeerd J; van Rijswick, Patricia C J; Heusinkveld, Jannes H T; Orth, Robert J; van Katwijk, Marieke M; van der Heide, Tjisse

    2016-08-31

    Phytophthora species are potent pathogens that can devastate terrestrial plants, causing billions of dollars of damage yearly to agricultural crops and harming fragile ecosystems worldwide. Yet, virtually nothing is known about the distribution and pathogenicity of their marine relatives. This is surprising, as marine plants form vital habitats in coastal zones worldwide (i.e. mangrove forests, salt marshes, seagrass beds), and disease may be an important bottleneck for the conservation and restoration of these rapidly declining ecosystems. We are the first to report on widespread infection of Phytophthora and Halophytophthora species on a common seagrass species, Zostera marina (eelgrass), across the northern Atlantic and Mediterranean. In addition, we tested the effects of Halophytophthora sp. Zostera and Phytophthora gemini on Z. marina seed germination in a full-factorial laboratory experiment under various environmental conditions. Results suggest that Phytophthora species are widespread as we found these oomycetes in eelgrass beds in six countries across the North Atlantic and Mediterranean. Infection by Halophytophthora sp. Zostera, P. gemini, or both, strongly affected sexual reproduction by reducing seed germination sixfold. Our findings have important implications for seagrass ecology, because these putative pathogens probably negatively affect ecosystem functioning, as well as current restoration and conservation efforts. PMID:27559058

  4. Biomanipulation: a tool in marine ecosystem management and restoration?

    PubMed

    Lindegren, Martin; Möllmann, Christian; Hansson, Lars-Anders

    2010-12-01

    Widespread losses of production and conservation values make large-scale ecosystem restoration increasingly urgent. Ecological restoration by means of biomanipulation, i.e., by fishing out planktivores to reduce the predation pressure on herbivorous zooplankton, has proved to be an effective tool in restoring degraded lakes and coastal ecosystems. Whether biomanipulation may prove a useful restoration method in open and structurally complex marine ecosystems is, however, still unknown. To promote a recovery of the collapsed stock of Eastern Baltic cod (Gadus morhua), large-scale biomanipulation of sprat (Sprattus sprattus), the main planktivore in the Baltic Sea, has been suggested as a possible management approach. We study the effect of biomanipulation on sprat using a statistical food-web model, which integrates internal interactions between the main fish species of the Central Baltic Sea, with external forcing through commercial fishing, zooplankton, and climate. By running multiple, stochastic simulations of reductions in sprat spawning stock biomass (SSB) only minor increases in cod SSB were detected, none of which brought the cod significantly above ecologically safe levels. On the contrary, reductions in cod fishing mortality and/or improved climatic conditions would promote a significant recovery of the stock. By this we demonstrate that an ecosystem-scale biomanipulation, with the main focus of reinstating the dominance of cod in the Baltic Sea may likely be ecologically ineffective, operationally difficult, and costly. We argue that reducing exploitation pressure on Eastern Baltic cod to ecologically sound levels is a far more appealing management strategy in promoting a long-term recovery and a sustainable fishery of the stock. PMID:21265454

  5. MAREDAT: towards a world atlas of MARine Ecosystem DATa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buitenhuis, E. T.; Vogt, M.; Moriarty, R.; Bednaršek, N.; Doney, S. C.; Leblanc, K.; Le Quéré, C.; Luo, Y.-W.; O'Brien, C.; O'Brien, T.; Peloquin, J.; Schiebel, R.; Swan, C.

    2013-07-01

    We present a summary of biomass data for 11 plankton functional types (PFTs) plus phytoplankton pigment data, compiled as part of the MARine Ecosystem biomass DATa (MAREDAT) initiative. The goal of the MAREDAT initiative is to provide, in due course, global gridded data products with coverage of all planktic components of the global ocean ecosystem. This special issue is the first step towards achieving this. The PFTs presented here include picophytoplankton, diazotrophs, coccolithophores, Phaeocystis, diatoms, picoheterotrophs, microzooplankton, foraminifers, mesozooplankton, pteropods and macrozooplankton. All variables have been gridded onto a World Ocean Atlas (WOA) grid (1° × 1° × 33 vertical levels × monthly climatologies). The results show that abundance is much better constrained than their carbon content/elemental composition, and coastal seas and other high productivity regions have much better coverage than the much larger volumes where biomass is relatively low. The data show that (1) the global total heterotrophic biomass (2.0-4.6 Pg C) is at least as high as the total autotrophic biomass (0.5-2.4 Pg C excluding nanophytoplankton and autotrophic dinoflagellates); (2) the biomass of zooplankton calcifiers (0.03-0.67 Pg C) is substantially higher than that of coccolithophores (0.001-0.03 Pg C); (3) patchiness of biomass distribution increases with organism size; and (4) although zooplankton biomass measurements below 200 m are rare, the limited measurements available suggest that Bacteria and Archaea are not the only important heterotrophs in the deep sea. More data will be needed to characterise ocean ecosystem functioning and associated biogeochemistry in the Southern Hemisphere and below 200 m. Future efforts to understand marine ecosystem composition and functioning will be helped both by further archiving of historical data and future sampling at new locations. Microzooplankton database:

  6. Evaluating Threats in Multinational Marine Ecosystems: A Coast Salish First Nations and Tribal Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Gaydos, Joseph K.; Thixton, Sofie; Donatuto, Jamie

    2015-01-01

    unlikely. Impacts are likely to occur in 23 to 28% of the possible pressure/species scenarios and are possible in another 15 to 28% additional pressure/species interactions. While it is not clear which impacts will be additive, synergistic, or potentially antagonistic, studies that manipulate multiple stressors in marine ecosystems suggest that threats associated with these six projects are likely to have an overall additive or even synergistic interaction and therefore impact species of major cultural importance to the Coast Salish, an important concept that would be lost by merely evaluating each project independently. Failure to address multiple impacts will affect the Coast Salish and the 7 million other people that also depend on this ecosystem. These findings show the value of evaluating multiple threats, and ultimately conducting risk assessments at the scale of ecosystems and highlight the serious need for managers of multinational ecosystems to actively collaborate on evaluating threats, assessing risk, and managing resources. PMID:26691860

  7. A novel approach to model exposure of coastal-marine ecosystems to riverine flood plumes based on remote sensing techniques.

    PubMed

    Álvarez-Romero, Jorge G; Devlin, Michelle; Teixeira da Silva, Eduardo; Petus, Caroline; Ban, Natalie C; Pressey, Robert L; Kool, Johnathan; Roberts, Jason J; Cerdeira-Estrada, Sergio; Wenger, Amelia S; Brodie, Jon

    2013-04-15

    Increased loads of land-based pollutants are a major threat to coastal-marine ecosystems. Identifying the affected marine areas and the scale of influence on ecosystems is critical to assess the impacts of degraded water quality and to inform planning for catchment management and marine conservation. Studies using remotely-sensed data have contributed to our understanding of the occurrence and influence of river plumes, and to our ability to assess exposure of marine ecosystems to land-based pollutants. However, refinement of plume modeling techniques is required to improve risk assessments. We developed a novel, complementary, approach to model exposure of coastal-marine ecosystems to land-based pollutants. We used supervised classification of MODIS-Aqua true-color satellite imagery to map the extent of plumes and to qualitatively assess the dispersal of pollutants in plumes. We used the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), the world's largest coral reef system, to test our approach. We combined frequency of plume occurrence with spatially distributed loads (based on a cost-distance function) to create maps of exposure to suspended sediment and dissolved inorganic nitrogen. We then compared annual exposure maps (2007-2011) to assess inter-annual variability in the exposure of coral reefs and seagrass beds to these pollutants. We found this method useful to map plumes and qualitatively assess exposure to land-based pollutants. We observed inter-annual variation in exposure of ecosystems to pollutants in the GBR, stressing the need to incorporate a temporal component into plume exposure/risk models. Our study contributes to our understanding of plume spatial-temporal dynamics of the GBR and offers a method that can also be applied to monitor exposure of coastal-marine ecosystems to plumes and explore their ecological influences. PMID:23500022

  8. Effects of Ocean Ecosystem on Marine Aerosol-Cloud Interaction

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Meskhidze, Nicholas; Nenes, Athanasios

    2010-01-01

    Using smore » atellite data for the surface ocean, aerosol optical depth (AOD), and cloud microphysical parameters, we show that statistically significant positive correlations exist between ocean ecosystem productivity, the abundance of submicron aerosols, and cloud microphysical properties over different parts of the remote oceans. The correlation coefficient for remotely sensed surface chlorophyll a concentration ([Chl- a ]) and liquid cloud effective radii over productive areas of the oceans varies between − 0.2 and − 0.6 . Special attention is given to identifying (and addressing) problems from correlation analysis used in the previous studies that can lead to erroneous conclusions. A new approach (using the difference between retrieved AOD and predicted sea salt aerosol optical depth, AOD diff ) is developed to explore causal links between ocean physical and biological systems and the abundance of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) in the remote marine atmosphere. We have found that over multiple time periods, 550 nm AOD diff (sensitive to accumulation mode aerosol, which is the prime contributor to CCN) correlates well with [Chl- a ] over the productive waters of the Southern Ocean. Since [Chl- a ] can be used as a proxy of ocean biological productivity, our analysis demonstrates the role of ocean ecology in contributing CCN, thus shaping the microphysical properties of low-level marine clouds.« less

  9. Ediacaran Marine Redox Heterogeneity and Early Animal Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chao; Planavsky, Noah J.; Shi, Wei; Zhang, Zihu; Zhou, Chuanming; Cheng, Meng; Tarhan, Lidya G.; Luo, Genming; Xie, Shucheng

    2015-01-01

    Oxygenation has widely been viewed as a major factor driving the emergence and diversification of animals. However, links between early animal evolution and shifts in surface oxygen levels have largely been limited to extrapolation of paleoredox conditions reconstructed from unfossiliferous strata to settings in which contemporaneous fossils were preserved. Herein, we present a multi-proxy paleoredox study of late Ediacaran (ca. 560-551 Ma) shales hosting the Miaohe Konservat-Lagerstätte of South China and, for comparison, equivalent non-fossil-bearing shales at adjacent sections. For the fossiliferous strata at Miaohe there is geochemical evidence for anoxic conditions, but paleontological evidence for at least episodically oxic conditions. An oxygen-stressed environment is consistent with the low diversity and simple morphology of Miaohe Biota macrofossils. However, there is no evidence for euxinic (anoxic and sulphidic) conditions for the fossiliferous strata at Miaohe, in contrast to adjacent unfossiliferous sections. Our results indicate that Ediacaran marine redox chemistry was highly heterogeneous, even at the kilometre-scale. Therefore, our study provides direct—rather than inferred—evidence that anoxia played a role in shaping a landmark Ediacaran ecosystem. If the anoxic conditions characteristic of the studied sections were widespread in the late Neoproterozoic, environmental stress would have hindered the development of complex ecosystems. PMID:26597559

  10. Ediacaran Marine Redox Heterogeneity and Early Animal Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chao; Planavsky, Noah J.; Shi, Wei; Zhang, Zihu; Zhou, Chuanming; Cheng, Meng; Tarhan, Lidya G.; Luo, Genming; Xie, Shucheng

    2015-11-01

    Oxygenation has widely been viewed as a major factor driving the emergence and diversification of animals. However, links between early animal evolution and shifts in surface oxygen levels have largely been limited to extrapolation of paleoredox conditions reconstructed from unfossiliferous strata to settings in which contemporaneous fossils were preserved. Herein, we present a multi-proxy paleoredox study of late Ediacaran (ca. 560-551 Ma) shales hosting the Miaohe Konservat-Lagerstätte of South China and, for comparison, equivalent non-fossil-bearing shales at adjacent sections. For the fossiliferous strata at Miaohe there is geochemical evidence for anoxic conditions, but paleontological evidence for at least episodically oxic conditions. An oxygen-stressed environment is consistent with the low diversity and simple morphology of Miaohe Biota macrofossils. However, there is no evidence for euxinic (anoxic and sulphidic) conditions for the fossiliferous strata at Miaohe, in contrast to adjacent unfossiliferous sections. Our results indicate that Ediacaran marine redox chemistry was highly heterogeneous, even at the kilometre-scale. Therefore, our study provides direct—rather than inferred—evidence that anoxia played a role in shaping a landmark Ediacaran ecosystem. If the anoxic conditions characteristic of the studied sections were widespread in the late Neoproterozoic, environmental stress would have hindered the development of complex ecosystems.

  11. Functional consequences of realistic biodiversity changes in a marine ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Bracken, Matthew E. S.; Friberg, Sara E.; Gonzalez-Dorantes, Cirse A.; Williams, Susan L.

    2008-01-01

    Declines in biodiversity have prompted concern over the consequences of species loss for the goods and services provided by natural ecosystems. However, relatively few studies have evaluated the functional consequences of realistic, nonrandom changes in biodiversity. Instead, most designs have used randomly selected assemblages from a local species pool to construct diversity gradients. It is therefore difficult, based on current evidence, to predict the functional consequences of realistic declines in biodiversity. In this study, we used tide pool microcosms to demonstrate that the effects of real-world changes in biodiversity may be very different from those of random diversity changes. Specifically, we measured the relationship between the diversity of a seaweed assemblage and its ability to use nitrogen, a key limiting nutrient in nearshore marine systems. We quantified nitrogen uptake using both experimental and model seaweed assemblages and found that natural increases in diversity resulted in enhanced rates of nitrogen use, whereas random diversity changes had no effect on nitrogen uptake. Our results suggest that understanding the real-world consequences of declining biodiversity will require addressing changes in species performance along natural diversity gradients and understanding the relationships between species' susceptibility to loss and their contributions to ecosystem functioning. PMID:18195375

  12. Marine Mammal Impacts in Exploited Ecosystems: Would Large Scale Culling Benefit Fisheries?

    PubMed Central

    Morissette, Lyne; Christensen, Villy; Pauly, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Competition between marine mammals and fisheries for marine resources—whether real or perceived—has become a major issue for several countries and in international fora. We examined trophic interactions between marine mammals and fisheries based on a resource overlap index, using seven Ecopath models including marine mammal groups. On a global scale, most food consumed by marine mammals consisted of prey types that were not the main target of fisheries. For each ecosystem, the primary production required (PPR) to sustain marine mammals was less than half the PPR to sustain fisheries catches. We also developed an index representing the mean trophic level of marine mammal's consumption (TLQ) and compared it with the mean trophic level of fisheries' catches (TLC). Our results showed that overall TLQ was lower than TLC (2.88 versus 3.42). As fisheries increasingly exploit lower-trophic level species, the competition with marine mammals may become more important. We used mixed trophic impact analysis to evaluate indirect trophic effects of marine mammals, and in some cases found beneficial effects on some prey. Finally, we assessed the change in the trophic structure of an ecosystem after a simulated extirpation of marine mammal populations. We found that this lead to alterations in the structure of the ecosystems, and that there was no clear and direct relationship between marine mammals' predation and the potential catch by fisheries. Indeed, total biomass, with no marine mammals in the ecosystem, generally remained surprisingly similar, or even decreased for some species. PMID:22970153

  13. Modelling marine community responses to climate-driven species redistribution to guide monitoring and adaptive ecosystem-based management.

    PubMed

    Marzloff, Martin Pierre; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Hamon, Katell G; Hoshino, Eriko; Jennings, Sarah; van Putten, Ingrid E; Pecl, Gretta T

    2016-07-01

    As a consequence of global climate-driven changes, marine ecosystems are experiencing polewards redistributions of species - or range shifts - across taxa and throughout latitudes worldwide. Research on these range shifts largely focuses on understanding and predicting changes in the distribution of individual species. The ecological effects of marine range shifts on ecosystem structure and functioning, as well as human coastal communities, can be large, yet remain difficult to anticipate and manage. Here, we use qualitative modelling of system feedback to understand the cumulative impacts of multiple species shifts in south-eastern Australia, a global hotspot for ocean warming. We identify range-shifting species that can induce trophic cascades and affect ecosystem dynamics and productivity, and evaluate the potential effectiveness of alternative management interventions to mitigate these impacts. Our results suggest that the negative ecological impacts of multiple simultaneous range shifts generally add up. Thus, implementing whole-of-ecosystem management strategies and regular monitoring of range-shifting species of ecological concern are necessary to effectively intervene against undesirable consequences of marine range shifts at the regional scale. Our study illustrates how modelling system feedback with only limited qualitative information about ecosystem structure and range-shifting species can predict ecological consequences of multiple co-occurring range shifts, guide ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change and help prioritise future research and monitoring. PMID:26990671

  14. High-resolution modeling of a marine ecosystem using the FRESCO hydroecological model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zalesny, V. B.; Tamsalu, R.

    2009-02-01

    The FRESCO (Finnish Russian Estonian Cooperation) mathematical model describing a marine hydroecosystem is presented. The methodology of the numerical solution is based on the method of multicomponent splitting into physical and biological processes, spatial coordinates, etc. The model is used for the reproduction of physical and biological processes proceeding in the Baltic Sea. Numerical experiments are performed with different spatial resolutions for four marine basins that are enclosed into one another: the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Finland, the Tallinn-Helsinki water area, and Tallinn Bay. Physical processes are described by the equations of nonhydrostatic dynamics, including the k-ω parametrization of turbulence. Biological processes are described by the three-dimensional equations of an aquatic ecosystem with the use of a size-dependent parametrization of biochemical reactions. The main goal of this study is to illustrate the efficiency of the developed numerical technique and to demonstrate the importance of a high spatial resolution for water basins that have complex bottom topography, such as the Baltic Sea. Detailed information about the atmospheric forcing, bottom topography, and coastline is very important for the description of coastal dynamics and specific features of a marine ecosystem. Experiments show that the spatial inhomogeneity of hydroecosystem fields is caused by the combined effect of upwelling, turbulent mixing, surface-wave breaking, and temperature variations, which affect biochemical reactions.

  15. Multiple stressors, nonlinear effects and the implications of climate change impacts on marine coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hewitt, Judi E; Ellis, Joanne I; Thrush, Simon F

    2016-08-01

    Global climate change will undoubtedly be a pressure on coastal marine ecosystems, affecting not only species distributions and physiology but also ecosystem functioning. In the coastal zone, the environmental variables that may drive ecological responses to climate change include temperature, wave energy, upwelling events and freshwater inputs, and all act and interact at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. To date, we have a poor understanding of how climate-related environmental changes may affect coastal marine ecosystems or which environmental variables are likely to produce priority effects. Here we use time series data (17 years) of coastal benthic macrofauna to investigate responses to a range of climate-influenced variables including sea-surface temperature, southern oscillation indices (SOI, Z4), wind-wave exposure, freshwater inputs and rainfall. We investigate responses from the abundances of individual species to abundances of functional traits and test whether species that are near the edge of their tolerance to another stressor (in this case sedimentation) may exhibit stronger responses. The responses we observed were all nonlinear and some exhibited thresholds. While temperature was most frequently an important predictor, wave exposure and ENSO-related variables were also frequently important and most ecological variables responded to interactions between environmental variables. There were also indications that species sensitive to another stressor responded more strongly to weaker climate-related environmental change at the stressed site than the unstressed site. The observed interactions between climate variables, effects on key species or functional traits, and synergistic effects of additional anthropogenic stressors have important implications for understanding and predicting the ecological consequences of climate change to coastal ecosystems. PMID:26648483

  16. The Elusive Baseline of Marine Disease: Are Diseases in Ocean Ecosystems Increasing?

    PubMed Central

    2004-01-01

    Disease outbreaks alter the structure and function of marine ecosystems, directly affecting vertebrates (mammals, turtles, fish), invertebrates (corals, crustaceans, echinoderms), and plants (seagrasses). Previous studies suggest a recent increase in marine disease. However, lack of baseline data in most communities prevents a direct test of this hypothesis. We developed a proxy to evaluate a prediction of the increasing disease hypothesis: the proportion of scientific publications reporting disease increased in recent decades. This represents, to our knowledge, the first quantitative use of normalized trends in the literature to investigate an ecological hypothesis. We searched a literature database for reports of parasites and disease (hereafter “disease”) in nine marine taxonomic groups from 1970 to 2001. Reports, normalized for research effort, increased in turtles, corals, mammals, urchins, and molluscs. No significant trends were detected for seagrasses, decapods, or sharks/rays (though disease occurred in these groups). Counter to the prediction, disease reports decreased in fishes. Formulating effective resource management policy requires understanding the basis and timing of marine disease events. Why disease outbreaks increased in some groups but not in others should be a priority for future investigation. The increase in several groups lends urgency to understanding disease dynamics, particularly since few viable options currently exist to mitigate disease in the oceans. PMID:15094816

  17. Effects of ocean acidification on temperate coastal marine ecosystems and fisheries in the northeast Pacific.

    PubMed

    Haigh, Rowan; Ianson, Debby; Holt, Carrie A; Neate, Holly E; Edwards, Andrew M

    2015-01-01

    As the oceans absorb anthropogenic CO2 they become more acidic, a problem termed ocean acidification (OA). Since this increase in CO2 is occurring rapidly, OA may have profound implications for marine ecosystems. In the temperate northeast Pacific, fisheries play key economic and cultural roles and provide significant employment, especially in rural areas. In British Columbia (BC), sport (recreational) fishing generates more income than commercial fishing (including the expanding aquaculture industry). Salmon (fished recreationally and farmed) and Pacific Halibut are responsible for the majority of fishery-related income. This region naturally has relatively acidic (low pH) waters due to ocean circulation, and so may be particularly vulnerable to OA. We have analyzed available data to provide a current description of the marine ecosystem, focusing on vertical distributions of commercially harvested groups in BC in the context of local carbon and pH conditions. We then evaluated the potential impact of OA on this temperate marine system using currently available studies. Our results highlight significant knowledge gaps. Above trophic levels 2-3 (where most local fishery-income is generated), little is known about the direct impact of OA, and more importantly about the combined impact of multi-stressors, like temperature, that are also changing as our climate changes. There is evidence that OA may have indirect negative impacts on finfish through changes at lower trophic levels and in habitats. In particular, OA may lead to increased fish-killing algal blooms that can affect the lucrative salmon aquaculture industry. On the other hand, some species of locally farmed shellfish have been well-studied and exhibit significant negative direct impacts associated with OA, especially at the larval stage. We summarize the direct and indirect impacts of OA on all groups of marine organisms in this region and provide conclusions, ordered by immediacy and certainty. PMID

  18. Effects of Ocean Acidification on Temperate Coastal Marine Ecosystems and Fisheries in the Northeast Pacific

    PubMed Central

    Haigh, Rowan; Ianson, Debby; Holt, Carrie A.; Neate, Holly E.; Edwards, Andrew M.

    2015-01-01

    As the oceans absorb anthropogenic CO2 they become more acidic, a problem termed ocean acidification (OA). Since this increase in CO2 is occurring rapidly, OA may have profound implications for marine ecosystems. In the temperate northeast Pacific, fisheries play key economic and cultural roles and provide significant employment, especially in rural areas. In British Columbia (BC), sport (recreational) fishing generates more income than commercial fishing (including the expanding aquaculture industry). Salmon (fished recreationally and farmed) and Pacific Halibut are responsible for the majority of fishery-related income. This region naturally has relatively acidic (low pH) waters due to ocean circulation, and so may be particularly vulnerable to OA. We have analyzed available data to provide a current description of the marine ecosystem, focusing on vertical distributions of commercially harvested groups in BC in the context of local carbon and pH conditions. We then evaluated the potential impact of OA on this temperate marine system using currently available studies. Our results highlight significant knowledge gaps. Above trophic levels 2–3 (where most local fishery-income is generated), little is known about the direct impact of OA, and more importantly about the combined impact of multi-stressors, like temperature, that are also changing as our climate changes. There is evidence that OA may have indirect negative impacts on finfish through changes at lower trophic levels and in habitats. In particular, OA may lead to increased fish-killing algal blooms that can affect the lucrative salmon aquaculture industry. On the other hand, some species of locally farmed shellfish have been well-studied and exhibit significant negative direct impacts associated with OA, especially at the larval stage. We summarize the direct and indirect impacts of OA on all groups of marine organisms in this region and provide conclusions, ordered by immediacy and certainty. PMID

  19. Persistence of chlorinated hydrocarbon contamination in a California marine ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Young, D.R.; Gossett, R.W.; Heesen, T.C.

    1989-01-01

    Despite major reductions in the dominant DDT and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) input off Los Angeles (California, U.S.A.) in the early 1970s, the levels of these pollutants decreased only slightly from 1972 to 1975 both in surficial bottom sediments and in a flatfish bioindicator (Dover sole, Microstomus pacificus) collected near the submarine outfall. Concentrations of these pollutants in the soft tissues of the mussel Mytilus californianus, collected intertidally well inshore of the highly contaminated bottom sediments, followed much more closely the decreases in the outfall discharges. These observations suggest that contaminated sediments on the seafloor were the principal (although not necessarily direct) cause of the relatively high and persistent concentrations of DDT and PCB residues in tissues. The study indicated that residues of the higher-molecular-weight chlorinated hydrocarbons, such as DDT and PCB, can be highly persistent once released to coastal marine ecosystems and that their accumulation in surficial bottom sediments is the most likely cause of this persistence observed in the biota of the discharge zone.

  20. Meeting report: Methylmercury in marine ecosystems--from sources to seafood consumers.

    PubMed

    Chen, Celia Y; Serrell, Nancy; Evers, David C; Fleishman, Bethany J; Lambert, Kathleen F; Weiss, Jeri; Mason, Robert P; Bank, Michael S

    2008-12-01

    Mercury and other contaminants in coastal and open-ocean ecosystems are an issue of great concern globally and in the United States, where consumption of marine fish and shellfish is a major route of human exposure to methylmercury (MeHg). A recent National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences-Superfund Basic Research Program workshop titled "Fate and Bioavailability of Mercury in Aquatic Ecosystems and Effects on Human Exposure," convened by the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Research Program on 15-16 November 2006 in Durham, New Hampshire, brought together human health experts, marine scientists, and ecotoxicologists to encourage cross-disciplinary discussion between ecosystem and human health scientists and to articulate research and monitoring priorities to better understand how marine food webs have become contaminated with MeHg. Although human health effects of Hg contamination were a major theme, the workshop also explored effects on marine biota. The workgroup focused on three major topics: a) the biogeochemical cycling of Hg in marine ecosystems, b) the trophic transfer and bioaccumulation of MeHg in marine food webs, and c) human exposure to Hg from marine fish and shellfish consumption. The group concluded that current understanding of Hg in marine ecosystems across a range of habitats, chemical conditions, and ocean basins is severely data limited. An integrated research and monitoring program is needed to link the processes and mechanisms of MeHg production, bioaccumulation, and transfer with MeHg exposure in humans. PMID:19079724

  1. UV EFFECTS ON MARINE AND AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS. IN: PHOTOBIOLOGY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Authors present a review of the literature dealing with UV effects on marine and aquatic ecosystems. Topic headings include Direct Effects, Interactive Effects, Indirect Effects, Response Variability, and The Future.

  2. A probabilistic process model for pelagic marine ecosystems informed by Bayesian inverse analysis

    EPA Science Inventory

    Marine ecosystems are complex systems with multiple pathways that produce feedback cycles, which may lead to unanticipated effects. Models abstract this complexity and allow us to predict, understand, and hypothesize. In ecological models, however, the paucity of empirical data...

  3. Ocean-Atmosphere Coupling associated with Typhoons/ Hurricane and their impacts on marine ecosystem (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, D. L.

    2010-12-01

    DanLing TANG South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences,Guangzhou, China Phone (86) 13924282728; Fax/Tel: (86) 020 89023203 (off), 020 89023191 (Lab),Email,lingzistdl@126.com, Typhoon / hurricane activities and their impacts on environments have been strengthening in both intensity and spatial coverage, along with global changes in the past several decades; however, our knowledge about impact of typhoon on the marine ecosystem is very scarce. We have conducted a series studies in the South China Sea (SCS), investigating phytoplankton, sea surface temperature (SST), fishery data and related factors before, during, and after typhoon. Satellite remote sensing and in situ observation data obtained from research cruise were applied. Our study showed that typhoon can support nutrients to surface phytoplankton by inducing upwelling and vertical mixing, and typhoon rain can also nourish marine phytoplankton; both typhoon winds and rain can enhance production of marine phytoplankton. Slow-moving typhoon induced phytoplankton blooms of higher Chlorophyll-a (Chl-a), the strong typhoon induced phytoplankton blooms of a large area. We conservatively estimate that typhoon periods may account for 3.5% of the annual primary production in the oligotrophic SCS. It indicated that one typhoon may induce transport of nutrient-rich water from depth and from the coast to offshore regions, nourishing phytoplankton biomass. More observations confirmed that typhoon can induce cold eddy, and cold eddy can support eddy-shape phytoplankton bloom by upwelling. We have suggested a new index to evaluate typhoon impact on marine ecosystem and environment. This is the first time to report moving eddies and eddy-shape phytoplankton blooms associated with tropical cyclone, the relationship among tropical cyclone, cold eddy upwelling and eddy-shape phytoplankton bloom may give some viewpoint on the tropical cyclone's affection on the mesoscale circulation. Those studies may

  4. Changes in Marine Environments and Responses of Ecosystem Dynamics in the East Asian Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogawa, Hiroshi; Saito, Hiroaki; Ju, Se-Jong

    2014-02-01

    At an international symposium on the marine systems of the Pacific region of East Asia, scientists concluded that changes in the ocean environment are having a significant effect on biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems and, consequently, on humans and the food supply. The meeting, the 6th China-Japan-Korea (CJK) Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research symposium, was held in Japan at the University of Tokyo.

  5. Biogeochemistry of Hypersaline Springs Supporting a Mid-Continent Marine Ecosystem: An Analogue for Martian Springs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grasby, Stephen E.; Londry, Kathleen L.

    2007-08-01

    Hypersaline springs that host unique mid-continent marine ecosystems were examined in central Manitoba, Canada. The springs originate from a reflux of glacial meltwater that intrudes into underlying bedrock and dissolved buried salt beds. Two spring types were distinguished based both on flow rate and geochemistry. High flow springs (greater than 10 L/s) hosted extensive marine microbial mats, which were dominated by algae but also included diverse microbes. These varied somewhat between springs as indicated by changes in profiles of fatty acid methyl esters. Culture studies confirmed the presence of sulfate-reducing bacteria in sediments at the high flow sites. In contrast, low flow springs were affected by solar evaporation, increasing salinity, and temperature. These low flow springs behaved more like closed nutrient-limited systems and did not support microbial mats. Direct comparison of the high and low flow springs revealed interesting implications for the potential to record biosignatures in the rock record. High flow springs have abundant, well-developed microbial mats, which desiccate and are cemented along the edges of the spring pools; however, the high mass flux overwhelms any geochemical signature of microbial activity. In contrast, the nutrient-limited low flow sites develop strong geochemical signatures of sulfate reduction, even in the absence of microbial mats, due to less dilution with the lower flows. Geochemical and physical evidence for life did not correlate with the abundance of microbial life but, rather, with the extent to which the biological system formed a closed ecosystem.

  6. How will increases in rainfall intensity affect semiarid ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siteur, Koen; Eppinga, Maarten B.; Karssenberg, Derek; Baudena, Mara; Bierkens, Marc F. P.; Rietkerk, Max

    2014-07-01

    Model studies suggest that semiarid ecosystems with patterned vegetation can respond in a nonlinear way to climate change. This means that gradual changes can result in a rapid transition to a desertified state. Previous model studies focused on the response of patterned semiarid ecosystems to changes in mean annual rainfall. The intensity of rain events, however, is projected to change as well in the coming decades. In this paper, we study the effect of changes in rainfall intensity on the functioning of patterned semiarid ecosystems with a spatially explicit model that captures rainwater partitioning and runoff-runon processes with simple event-based process descriptions. Analytical and numerical analyses of the model revealed that rainfall intensity is a key parameter in explaining patterning of vegetation in semiarid ecosystems as low mean rainfall intensities do not allow for vegetation patterning to occur. Surprisingly, we found that, for a constant annual rainfall rate, both an increase and a decrease in mean rainfall intensity can trigger desertification. An increase negatively affects productivity as a greater fraction of the rainwater is lost as runoff. This can result in a shift to a bare desert state only if the mean rainfall intensity exceeds the infiltration capacity of bare soil. On the other hand, a decrease in mean rainfall intensity leads to an increased fraction of rainwater infiltrating in bare soils, remaining unavailable to plants. Our findings suggest that considering rainfall intensity as a variable may help in assessing the proximity to regime shifts in patterned semiarid ecosystems and that monitoring losses of resource through runoff and bare soil infiltration could be used to determine ecosystem resilience.

  7. Archaeology Meets Marine Ecology: The Antiquity of Maritime Cultures and Human Impacts on Marine Fisheries and Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erlandson, Jon M.; Rick, Torben C.

    2010-01-01

    Interdisciplinary study of coastal archaeological sites provides a wealth of information on the ecology and evolution of ancient marine animal populations, the structure of past marine ecosystems, and the history of human impacts on coastal fisheries. In this paper, we review recent methodological developments in the archaeology and historical ecology of coastal regions around the world. Using two case studies, we examine (a) a deep history of anthropogenic effects on the marine ecosystems of California's Channel Islands through the past 12,000 years and (b) geographic variation in the effects of human fishing on Pacific Island peoples who spread through Oceania during the late Holocene. These case studies—the first focused on hunter-gatherers, the second on maritime horticulturalists—provide evidence for shifting baselines and timelines, documenting a much deeper anthropogenic influence on many coastal ecosystems and fisheries than considered by most ecologists, conservation biologists, and fisheries managers.

  8. Marine mammal strandings and environmental changes: a 15-year study in the St. Lawrence ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Truchon, Marie-Hélène; Measures, Lena; L'Hérault, Vincent; Brêthes, Jean-Claude; Galbraith, Peter S; Harvey, Michel; Lessard, Sylvie; Starr, Michel; Lecomte, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the effects of climatic variability on marine mammals is challenging due to the complexity of ecological interactions. We used general linear models to analyze a 15-year database documenting marine mammal strandings (1994-2008; n = 1,193) and nine environmental parameters known to affect marine mammal survival, from regional (sea ice) to continental scales (North Atlantic Oscillation, NAO). Stranding events were more frequent during summer and fall than other seasons, and have increased since 1994. Poor ice conditions observed during the same period may have affected marine mammals either directly, by modulating the availability of habitat for feeding and breeding activities, or indirectly, through changes in water conditions and marine productivity (krill abundance). For most species (75%, n = 6 species), a low volume of ice was correlated with increasing frequency of stranding events (e.g. R(2)adj = 0.59, hooded seal, Cystophora cristata). This likely led to an increase in seal mortality during the breeding period, but also to increase habitat availability for seasonal migratory cetaceans using ice-free areas during winter. We also detected a high frequency of stranding events for mysticete species (minke whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and resident species (beluga, Delphinapterus leucas), correlated with low krill abundance since 1994. Positive NAO indices were positively correlated with high frequencies of stranding events for resident and seasonal migratory cetaceans, as well as rare species (R(2)adj = 0.53, 0.81 and 0.34, respectively). This contrasts with seal mass stranding numbers, which were negatively correlated with a positive NAO index. In addition, an unusual multiple species mortality event (n = 114, 62% of total annual mortality) in 2008 was caused by a harmful algal bloom. Our findings provide an empirical baseline in understanding marine mammal survival when faced with climatic variability. This is a promising

  9. Marine Mammal Strandings and Environmental Changes: A 15-Year Study in the St. Lawrence Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Truchon, Marie-Hélène; Measures, Lena; L’Hérault, Vincent; Brêthes, Jean-Claude; Galbraith, Peter S.; Harvey, Michel; Lessard, Sylvie; Starr, Michel; Lecomte, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the effects of climatic variability on marine mammals is challenging due to the complexity of ecological interactions. We used general linear models to analyze a 15-year database documenting marine mammal strandings (1994–2008; n = 1,193) and nine environmental parameters known to affect marine mammal survival, from regional (sea ice) to continental scales (North Atlantic Oscillation, NAO). Stranding events were more frequent during summer and fall than other seasons, and have increased since 1994. Poor ice conditions observed during the same period may have affected marine mammals either directly, by modulating the availability of habitat for feeding and breeding activities, or indirectly, through changes in water conditions and marine productivity (krill abundance). For most species (75%, n = 6 species), a low volume of ice was correlated with increasing frequency of stranding events (e.g. R2adj = 0.59, hooded seal, Cystophora cristata). This likely led to an increase in seal mortality during the breeding period, but also to increase habitat availability for seasonal migratory cetaceans using ice-free areas during winter. We also detected a high frequency of stranding events for mysticete species (minke whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and resident species (beluga, Delphinapterus leucas), correlated with low krill abundance since 1994. Positive NAO indices were positively correlated with high frequencies of stranding events for resident and seasonal migratory cetaceans, as well as rare species (R2adj = 0.53, 0.81 and 0.34, respectively). This contrasts with seal mass stranding numbers, which were negatively correlated with a positive NAO index. In addition, an unusual multiple species mortality event (n = 114, 62% of total annual mortality) in 2008 was caused by a harmful algal bloom. Our findings provide an empirical baseline in understanding marine mammal survival when faced with climatic variability. This is a promising

  10. Persistent natural acidification drives major distribution shifts in marine benthic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Linares, C; Vidal, M; Canals, M; Kersting, D K; Amblas, D; Aspillaga, E; Cebrián, E; Delgado-Huertas, A; Díaz, D; Garrabou, J; Hereu, B; Navarro, L; Teixidó, N; Ballesteros, E

    2015-11-01

    Ocean acidification is receiving increasing attention because of its potential to affect marine ecosystems. Rare CO2 vents offer a unique opportunity to investigate the response of benthic ecosystems to acidification. However, the benthic habitats investigated so far are mainly found at very shallow water (less than or equal to 5 m depth) and therefore are not representative of the broad range of continental shelf habitats. Here, we show that a decrease from pH 8.1 to 7.9 observed in a CO2 vent system at 40 m depth leads to a dramatic shift in highly diverse and structurally complex habitats. Forests of the kelp Laminaria rodriguezii usually found at larger depths (greater than 65 m) replace the otherwise dominant habitats (i.e. coralligenous outcrops and rhodolith beds), which are mainly characterized by calcifying organisms. Only the aragonite-calcifying algae are able to survive in acidified waters, while high-magnesium-calcite organisms are almost completely absent. Although a long-term survey of the venting area would be necessary to fully understand the effects of the variability of pH and other carbonate parameters over the structure and functioning of the investigated mesophotic habitats, our results suggest that in addition of significant changes at species level, moderate ocean acidification may entail major shifts in the distribution and dominance of key benthic ecosystems at regional scale, which could have broad ecological and socio-economic implications. PMID:26511045

  11. Marine Toxins Potently Affecting Neurotransmitter Release

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meunier, Frédéric A.; Mattei, César; Molgó, Jordi

    Synapses are specialised structures where interneuronal communication takes place. Not only brain function is absolutely dependent on synaptic activity, but also most of our organs are intimately controlled by synaptic activity. Synapses re therefore an ideal target to act upon and poisonous species have evolved fascinating neurotoxins capable of shutting down neuronal communication by blocking or activating essential components of the synapse. By hijacking key proteins of the communication machinery, neurotoxins are therefore extremely valuable tools that have, in turn, greatly helped our understanding of synaptic biology. Moreover, analysis and understanding of the molecular strategy used by certain neurotoxins has allowed the design of entirely new classes of drugs acting on specific targets with high selectivity and efficacy. This chapter will discuss the different classes of marine neurotoxins, their effects on neurotransmitter release and how they act to incapacitate key steps in the process leading to synaptic vesicle fusion.

  12. Benthic Marine Cyanobacterial Mat Ecosystems: Biogeochemistry and Biomarkers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Cyanobacterial mats are complete ecosystems that can include processes of primary production, diagenesis and lithification. Light sustains oxygenic photosynthesis, which in turn provides energy, organic matter and oxygen to the community. Due to both absorption and scattering phenomena, incident light is transformed with depth in the mat, both in intensity and spectral composition. Mobile photo synthesizers optimize their position with respect to this light gradient. When photosynthesis ceases at night, the upper layers of the mat become reduced and sulfidic. Counteracting gradients of oxygen and sulfide combine to provide daily-contrasting environments separated on a scale of a few mm. The functional complexity of mats, coupled with the highly proximal and ordered spatial arrangement of biota, offers the potential for a staggering number of interactions. At a minimum, the products of each functional group of microorganisms affect the other groups both positively and negatively. For example, cyanobacteria generate organic matter (potential substrates) but also oxygen (a toxin for many anaerobes). Anaerobic activity recycles nutrients to the photosynthesizers but also generates potentially toxic sulfide. The combination of benefits and hazards of light, oxygen and sulfide promotes the allocation of the various essential mat processes between light and dark periods, and to various depths in the mat. Observations of mats have produced numerous surprises. For example, obligately anaerobic processes can occur in the presence of abundant oxygen, highly reduced gases are produced in the presence of abundant sulfate, meiofauna thrive at high sulfide concentrations, and the mats' constituent populations respond to environmental changes in complex ways. While photosynthetic bacteria dominate the biomass and productivity of the mat, nonphotosynthetic, anaerobic processes constitute the ultimate biological filter on the ecosystem's emergent biosignatures, including those

  13. Large-scale climatic anomalies affect marine predator foraging behaviour and demography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bost, Charles A.; Cotté, Cedric; Terray, Pascal; Barbraud, Christophe; Bon, Cécile; Delord, Karine; Gimenez, Olivier; Handrich, Yves; Naito, Yasuhiko; Guinet, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-10-01

    Determining the links between the behavioural and population responses of wild species to environmental variations is critical for understanding the impact of climate variability on ecosystems. Using long-term data sets, we show how large-scale climatic anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere affect the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a key marine predator, the king penguin. When large-scale subtropical dipole events occur simultaneously in both subtropical Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans, they generate tropical anomalies that shift the foraging zone southward. Consequently the distances that penguins foraged from the colony and their feeding depths increased and the population size decreased. This represents an example of a robust and fast impact of large-scale climatic anomalies affecting a marine predator through changes in its at-sea behaviour and demography, despite lack of information on prey availability. Our results highlight a possible behavioural mechanism through which climate variability may affect population processes.

  14. Large-scale climatic anomalies affect marine predator foraging behaviour and demography

    PubMed Central

    Bost, Charles A.; Cotté, Cedric; Terray, Pascal; Barbraud, Christophe; Bon, Cécile; Delord, Karine; Gimenez, Olivier; Handrich, Yves; Naito, Yasuhiko; Guinet, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-01

    Determining the links between the behavioural and population responses of wild species to environmental variations is critical for understanding the impact of climate variability on ecosystems. Using long-term data sets, we show how large-scale climatic anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere affect the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a key marine predator, the king penguin. When large-scale subtropical dipole events occur simultaneously in both subtropical Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans, they generate tropical anomalies that shift the foraging zone southward. Consequently the distances that penguins foraged from the colony and their feeding depths increased and the population size decreased. This represents an example of a robust and fast impact of large-scale climatic anomalies affecting a marine predator through changes in its at-sea behaviour and demography, despite lack of information on prey availability. Our results highlight a possible behavioural mechanism through which climate variability may affect population processes. PMID:26506134

  15. Large-scale climatic anomalies affect marine predator foraging behaviour and demography.

    PubMed

    Bost, Charles A; Cotté, Cedric; Terray, Pascal; Barbraud, Christophe; Bon, Cécile; Delord, Karine; Gimenez, Olivier; Handrich, Yves; Naito, Yasuhiko; Guinet, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-01

    Determining the links between the behavioural and population responses of wild species to environmental variations is critical for understanding the impact of climate variability on ecosystems. Using long-term data sets, we show how large-scale climatic anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere affect the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a key marine predator, the king penguin. When large-scale subtropical dipole events occur simultaneously in both subtropical Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans, they generate tropical anomalies that shift the foraging zone southward. Consequently the distances that penguins foraged from the colony and their feeding depths increased and the population size decreased. This represents an example of a robust and fast impact of large-scale climatic anomalies affecting a marine predator through changes in its at-sea behaviour and demography, despite lack of information on prey availability. Our results highlight a possible behavioural mechanism through which climate variability may affect population processes. PMID:26506134

  16. Effectiveness of marine protected areas in managing the drivers of ecosystem change: a case of Mnazi Bay Marine Park, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Machumu, Milali Ernest; Yakupitiyage, Amararatne

    2013-04-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are being promoted in Tanzania to mitigate the drivers of ecosystem change such as overfishing and other anthropogenic impacts on marine resources. The effectiveness of MPAs in managing those drivers was assessed in three ecological zones, seafront, mangrove, and riverine of Mnazi Bay Marine Park, using Participatory Community Analysis techniques, questionnaire survey, checklist and fishery resource assessment methods. Eleven major drivers of ecosystem change were identified. Resource dependence had a major effect in all ecological zones of the park. The results indicated that the park's legislations/regulations, management procedures, and conservation efforts are reasonably effective in managing its resources. The positive signs accrued from conservation efforts have been realized by the communities in terms of increased catch/income, awareness and compliance. However, some natural and anthropogenic drivers continued to threaten the park's sustainability. Furthermore, implementation of resource use and benefit sharing mechanisms still remained a considerable challenge to be addressed. PMID:23307198

  17. Cumulative human impacts on Mediterranean and Black Sea marine ecosystems: assessing current pressures and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Micheli, Fiorenza; Halpern, Benjamin S; Walbridge, Shaun; Ciriaco, Saul; Ferretti, Francesco; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Lewison, Rebecca; Nykjaer, Leo; Rosenberg, Andrew A

    2013-01-01

    Management of marine ecosystems requires spatial information on current impacts. In several marine regions, including the Mediterranean and Black Sea, legal mandates and agreements to implement ecosystem-based management and spatial plans provide new opportunities to balance uses and protection of marine ecosystems. Analyses of the intensity and distribution of cumulative impacts of human activities directly connected to the ecological goals of these policy efforts are critically needed. Quantification and mapping of the cumulative impact of 22 drivers to 17 marine ecosystems reveals that 20% of the entire basin and 60-99% of the territorial waters of EU member states are heavily impacted, with high human impact occurring in all ecoregions and territorial waters. Less than 1% of these regions are relatively unaffected. This high impact results from multiple drivers, rather than one individual use or stressor, with climatic drivers (increasing temperature and UV, and acidification), demersal fishing, ship traffic, and, in coastal areas, pollution from land accounting for a majority of cumulative impacts. These results show that coordinated management of key areas and activities could significantly improve the condition of these marine ecosystems. PMID:24324585

  18. Cumulative Human Impacts on Mediterranean and Black Sea Marine Ecosystems: Assessing Current Pressures and Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Micheli, Fiorenza; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Walbridge, Shaun; Ciriaco, Saul; Ferretti, Francesco; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Lewison, Rebecca; Nykjaer, Leo; Rosenberg, Andrew A.

    2013-01-01

    Management of marine ecosystems requires spatial information on current impacts. In several marine regions, including the Mediterranean and Black Sea, legal mandates and agreements to implement ecosystem-based management and spatial plans provide new opportunities to balance uses and protection of marine ecosystems. Analyses of the intensity and distribution of cumulative impacts of human activities directly connected to the ecological goals of these policy efforts are critically needed. Quantification and mapping of the cumulative impact of 22 drivers to 17 marine ecosystems reveals that 20% of the entire basin and 60–99% of the territorial waters of EU member states are heavily impacted, with high human impact occurring in all ecoregions and territorial waters. Less than 1% of these regions are relatively unaffected. This high impact results from multiple drivers, rather than one individual use or stressor, with climatic drivers (increasing temperature and UV, and acidification), demersal fishing, ship traffic, and, in coastal areas, pollution from land accounting for a majority of cumulative impacts. These results show that coordinated management of key areas and activities could significantly improve the condition of these marine ecosystems. PMID:24324585

  19. Interplay between top-down, bottom-up, and wasp-waist control in marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, George L.; McKinnell, Skip

    2006-02-01

    In October 2004, the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) sponsored a symposium to consider “ Mechanisms that regulate North Pacific ecosystems: Bottom up, top down, or something else?” It sought to examine how marine populations, particularly the upper-trophic-level species, are regulated and to understand how energy flows through marine ecosystems. This introductory essay examines aspects of control mechanisms in pelagic marine ecosystems and some of the issues discussed during the symposium and in the 11 papers that were selected for this special issue. At global scales, the greatest biomass of fishes, seabirds and marine mammals tends to occur in regions of the world ocean with high primary production, e.g., the sub-arctic seas and up-welling regions of continental shelves. These large-scale animal distribution patterns are driven by food availability, not the absence of predators. At regional scales however, it is likely that current predation or past predation events have shaped local distributions, at least in marine birds and pinnipeds. Wasp-waist control occurs when one of the intermediate trophic levels is dominated by a single species, as occurs with small pelagic fishes of the world’s up-welling zones. Processes in these ecosystems may have features that result in a switch from bottom-up to top-down control.

  20. Drivers and uncertainties of future global marine primary production in marine ecosystem models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laufkötter, C.; Vogt, M.; Gruber, N.; Aita-Noguchi, M.; Aumont, O.; Bopp, L.; Buitenhuis, E.; Doney, S. C.; Dunne, J.; Hashioka, T.; Hauck, J.; Hirata, T.; John, J.; Le Quéré, C.; Lima, I. D.; Nakano, H.; Seferian, R.; Totterdell, I.; Vichi, M.; Völker, C.

    2015-02-01

    Past model studies have projected a global decrease in marine net primary production (NPP) over the 21st century, but these studies focused on the multi-model mean and mostly ignored the large inter-model differences. Here, we analyze model simulated changes of NPP for the 21st century under IPCC's high emission scenario RCP8.5 using a suite of nine coupled carbon-climate Earth System Models with embedded marine ecosystem models with a focus on the spread between the different models and the underlying reasons. Globally, five out of the nine models show a decrease in NPP over the course of the 21st century, while three show no significant trend and one even simulates an increase. The largest model spread occurs in the low latitudes (between 30° S and 30° N), with individual models simulating relative changes between -25 and +40%. In this region, the inter-quartile range of the differences between the 2012-2031 average and the 2081-2100 average is up to 3 mol C m-2 yr-1. These large differences in future change mirror large differences in present day NPP. Of the seven models diagnosing a net decrease in NPP in the low latitudes, only three simulate this to be a consequence of the classical interpretation, i.e., a stronger nutrient limitation due to increased stratification and reduced upwelling. In the other four, warming-induced increases in phytoplankton growth outbalance the stronger nutrient limitation. However, temperature-driven increases in grazing and other loss processes cause a net decrease in phytoplankton biomass and reduces NPP despite higher growth rates. One model projects a strong increase in NPP in the low latitudes, caused by an intensification of the microbial loop, while the remaining model simulates changes of less than 0.5%. While there is more consistency in the modeled increase in NPP in the Southern Ocean, the regional inter-model range is also very substantial. In most models, this increase in NPP is driven by temperature, but is also

  1. Drivers and uncertainties of future global marine primary production in marine ecosystem models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laufkötter, C.; Vogt, M.; Gruber, N.; Aita-Noguchi, M.; Aumont, O.; Bopp, L.; Buitenhuis, E.; Doney, S. C.; Dunne, J.; Hashioka, T.; Hauck, J.; Hirata, T.; John, J.; Le Quéré, C.; Lima, I. D.; Nakano, H.; Seferian, R.; Totterdell, I.; Vichi, M.; Völker, C.

    2015-12-01

    Past model studies have projected a global decrease in marine net primary production (NPP) over the 21st century, but these studies focused on the multi-model mean rather than on the large inter-model differences. Here, we analyze model-simulated changes in NPP for the 21st century under IPCC's high-emission scenario RCP8.5. We use a suite of nine coupled carbon-climate Earth system models with embedded marine ecosystem models and focus on the spread between the different models and the underlying reasons. Globally, NPP decreases in five out of the nine models over the course of the 21st century, while three show no significant trend and one even simulates an increase. The largest model spread occurs in the low latitudes (between 30° S and 30° N), with individual models simulating relative changes between -25 and +40 %. Of the seven models diagnosing a net decrease in NPP in the low latitudes, only three simulate this to be a consequence of the classical interpretation, i.e., a stronger nutrient limitation due to increased stratification leading to reduced phytoplankton growth. In the other four, warming-induced increases in phytoplankton growth outbalance the stronger nutrient limitation. However, temperature-driven increases in grazing and other loss processes cause a net decrease in phytoplankton biomass and reduce NPP despite higher growth rates. One model projects a strong increase in NPP in the low latitudes, caused by an intensification of the microbial loop, while NPP in the remaining model changes by less than 0.5 %. While models consistently project increases NPP in the Southern Ocean, the regional inter-model range is also very substantial. In most models, this increase in NPP is driven by temperature, but it is also modulated by changes in light, macronutrients and iron as well as grazing. Overall, current projections of future changes in global marine NPP are subject to large uncertainties and necessitate a dedicated and sustained effort to improve

  2. Restoration of marine ecosystems following the end-Permian mass extinction: pattern and dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Z.

    2013-12-01

    Life came closest to complete annihilation during the end-Permian mass extinction (EPME). Pattern and cause of this great dying have long been disputed. Similarly, there is also some debate on the recovery rate and pattern of marine organisms in the aftermath of the EPME. Some clades recovered rapidly, within the first 1-3 Myr of the Triassic. For instance, foraminiferal recovery began 1 Myr into the Triassic and was not much affected by Early Triassic crises. Further, some earliest Triassic body and trace fossil assemblages are also more diverse than predicted. Others, ie. Brachiopods, corals etc., however, did not rebound until the Middle Triassic. In addition, although ammonoids recovered fast, reaching a higher diversity by the Smithian than in the Late Permian, much of this Early Triassic radiation was within a single group, the Ceratitina, and their morphological disparity did not expand until the end-Spathian. Here, I like to broaden the modern ecologic network model to explore the complete trophic structure of fossilized ecosystems during the Permian-Triassic transition as a means of assessing the recovery. During the Late Permian and Early Triassic, primary producers, forming the lowest trophic level, were microbes. The middle part of the food web comprises primary and meso-consumer trophic levels, the former dominated by microorganisms such as foraminifers, the latter by opportunistic communities (i.e. disaster taxa), benthic shelly communities, and reef-builders. They were often consumed by invertebrate and vertebrate predators, the top trophic level. Fossil record from South China shows that the post-extinction ecosystems were degraded to a low level and typified by primary producers or opportunistic consumers, which are represented by widespread microbialites or high-abundance, low-diversity communities. Except for some opportunists, primary consumers, namely foraminifers, rebounded in Smithian. Trace-makers recovered in Spathian, which also saw

  3. Quantifying Patterns of Change in Marine Ecosystem Response to Multiple Pressures

    PubMed Central

    Large, Scott I.; Fay, Gavin; Friedland, Kevin D.; Link, Jason S.

    2015-01-01

    The ability to understand and ultimately predict ecosystem response to multiple pressures is paramount to successfully implement ecosystem-based management. Thresholds shifts and nonlinear patterns in ecosystem responses can be used to determine reference points that identify levels of a pressure that may drastically alter ecosystem status, which can inform management action. However, quantifying ecosystem reference points has proven elusive due in large part to the multi-dimensional nature of both ecosystem pressures and ecosystem responses. We used ecological indicators, synthetic measures of ecosystem status and functioning, to enumerate important ecosystem attributes and to reduce the complexity of the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (NES LME). Random forests were used to quantify the importance of four environmental and four anthropogenic pressure variables to the value of ecological indicators, and to quantify shifts in aggregate ecological indicator response along pressure gradients. Anthropogenic pressure variables were critical defining features and were able to predict an average of 8-13% (up to 25-66% for individual ecological indicators) of the variation in ecological indicator values, whereas environmental pressures were able to predict an average of 1-5 % (up to 9-26% for individual ecological indicators) of ecological indicator variation. Each pressure variable predicted a different suite of ecological indicator’s variation and the shapes of ecological indicator responses along pressure gradients were generally nonlinear. Threshold shifts in ecosystem response to exploitation, the most important pressure variable, occurred when commercial landings were 20 and 60% of total surveyed biomass. Although present, threshold shifts in ecosystem response to environmental pressures were much less important, which suggests that anthropogenic pressures have significantly altered the ecosystem structure and functioning of the NES LME. Gradient response

  4. Megafauna of vulnerable marine ecosystems in French mediterranean submarine canyons: Spatial distribution and anthropogenic impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabri, M.-C.; Pedel, L.; Beuck, L.; Galgani, F.; Hebbeln, D.; Freiwald, A.

    2014-06-01

    Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VME) in the deep Mediterranean Sea have been identified by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean as consisting of communities of Scleractinia (Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata), Pennatulacea (Funiculina quadrangularis) and Alcyonacea (Isidella elongata). This paper deals with video data recorded in the heads of French Mediterranean canyons. Quantitative observations were extracted from 101 video films recorded during the MEDSEACAN cruise in 2009 (Aamp/Comex). Qualitative information was extracted from four other cruises (two Marum/Comex cruises in 2009 and 2011 and two Ifremer cruises in 1995 and 2010) to support the previous observations in the Cassidaigne and Lacaze-Duthiers canyons. All the species, fishing impacts and litter recognized in the video films recorded from 180 to 700 m depth were mapped using GIS. The abundances and distributions of benthic fishing resources (marketable fishes, Aristeidae, Octopodidae), Vulnerable Marine Species, trawling scars and litter of 17 canyons were calculated and compared, as was the open slope between the Stoechades and Toulon canyons. Funiculina quadrangularis was rarely observed, being confined for the most part to the Marti canyon and, I. elongata was abundant in three canyons (Bourcart, Marti, Petit-Rhône). These two cnidarians were encountered in relatively low abundances, and it may be that they have been swept away by repeated trawling. The Lacaze-Duthiers and Cassidaigne canyons comprised the highest densities and largest colony sizes of scleractinian cold-water corals, whose distribution was mapped in detail. These colonies were often seen to be entangled in fishing lines. The alcyonacean Callogorgia verticillata was observed to be highly abundant in the Bourcart canyon and less abundant in several other canyons. This alcyonacean was also severely affected by bottom fishing gears and is proposed as a Vulnerable Marine Species. Our studies on anthropogenic

  5. A holistic approach to marine eco-systems biology.

    PubMed

    Karsenti, Eric; Acinas, Silvia G; Bork, Peer; Bowler, Chris; De Vargas, Colomban; Raes, Jeroen; Sullivan, Matthew; Arendt, Detlev; Benzoni, Francesca; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Follows, Mick; Gorsky, Gaby; Hingamp, Pascal; Iudicone, Daniele; Jaillon, Olivier; Kandels-Lewis, Stefanie; Krzic, Uros; Not, Fabrice; Ogata, Hiroyuki; Pesant, Stéphane; Reynaud, Emmanuel Georges; Sardet, Christian; Sieracki, Michael E; Speich, Sabrina; Velayoudon, Didier; Weissenbach, Jean; Wincker, Patrick

    2011-10-01

    The structure, robustness, and dynamics of ocean plankton ecosystems remain poorly understood due to sampling, analysis, and computational limitations. The Tara Oceans consortium organizes expeditions to help fill this gap at the global level. PMID:22028628

  6. Effects of Trophic Skewing of Species Richness on Ecosystem Functioning in a Diverse Marine Community

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Pamela L.; Bruno, John F.

    2012-01-01

    Widespread overharvesting of top consumers of the world’s ecosystems has “skewed” food webs, in terms of biomass and species richness, towards a generally greater domination at lower trophic levels. This skewing is exacerbated in locations where exotic species are predominantly low-trophic level consumers such as benthic macrophytes, detritivores, and filter feeders. However, in some systems where numerous exotic predators have been added, sometimes purposefully as in many freshwater systems, food webs are skewed in the opposite direction toward consumer dominance. Little is known about how such modifications to food web topology, e.g., changes in the ratio of predator to prey species richness, affect ecosystem functioning. We experimentally measured the effects of trophic skew on production in an estuarine food web by manipulating ratios of species richness across three trophic levels in experimental mesocosms. After 24 days, increasing macroalgal richness promoted both plant biomass and grazer abundance, although the positive effect on plant biomass disappeared in the presence of grazers. The strongest trophic cascade on the experimentally stocked macroalgae emerged in communities with a greater ratio of prey to predator richness (bottom-rich food webs), while stronger cascades on the accumulation of naturally colonizing algae (primarily microalgae with some early successional macroalgae that recruited and grew in the mesocosms) generally emerged in communities with greater predator to prey richness (the more top-rich food webs). These results suggest that trophic skewing of species richness and overall changes in food web topology can influence marine community structure and food web dynamics in complex ways, emphasizing the need for multitrophic approaches to understand the consequences of marine extinctions and invasions. PMID:22693549

  7. Reviews and Syntheses: Ocean acidification and its potential impacts on marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mostofa, Khan M. G.; Liu, Cong-Qiang; Zhai, WeiDong; Minella, Marco; Vione, Davide; Gao, Kunshan; Minakata, Daisuke; Arakaki, Takemitsu; Yoshioka, Takahito; Hayakawa, Kazuhide; Konohira, Eiichi; Tanoue, Eiichiro; Akhand, Anirban; Chanda, Abhra; Wang, Baoli; Sakugawa, Hiroshi

    2016-03-01

    Ocean acidification, a complex phenomenon that lowers seawater pH, is the net outcome of several contributions. They include the dissolution of increasing atmospheric CO2 that adds up with dissolved inorganic carbon (dissolved CO2, H2CO3, HCO3-, and CO32-) generated upon mineralization of primary producers (PP) and dissolved organic matter (DOM). The aquatic processes leading to inorganic carbon are substantially affected by increased DOM and nutrients via terrestrial runoff, acidic rainfall, increased PP and algal blooms, nitrification, denitrification, sulfate reduction, global warming (GW), and by atmospheric CO2 itself through enhanced photosynthesis. They are consecutively associated with enhanced ocean acidification, hypoxia in acidified deeper seawater, pathogens, algal toxins, oxidative stress by reactive oxygen species, and thermal stress caused by longer stratification periods as an effect of GW. We discuss the mechanistic insights into the aforementioned processes and pH changes, with particular focus on processes taking place with different timescales (including the diurnal one) in surface and subsurface seawater. This review also discusses these collective influences to assess their potential detrimental effects to marine organisms, and of ecosystem processes and services. Our review of the effects operating in synergy with ocean acidification will provide a broad insight into the potential impact of acidification itself on biological processes. The foreseen danger to marine organisms by acidification is in fact expected to be amplified by several concurrent and interacting phenomena.

  8. Reviews and Syntheses: Ocean acidification and its potential impacts on marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mostofa, K. M. G.; Liu, C.-Q.; Zhai, W. D.; Minella, M.; Vione, D.; Gao, K.; Minakata, D.; Arakaki, T.; Yoshioka, T.; Hayakawa, K.; Konohira, E.; Tanoue, E.; Akhand, A.; Chanda, A.; Wang, B.; Sakugawa, H.

    2015-07-01

    Ocean acidification, a complex phenomenon that lowers seawater pH, is the net outcome of several contributions. They include the dissolution of increasing atmospheric CO2 that adds up with dissolved inorganic carbon (dissolved CO2, H2CO3, HCO3-, and CO32-) generated upon mineralization of primary producers (PP) and dissolved organic matter (DOM). The aquatic processes leading to inorganic carbon are substantially affected by increased DOM and nutrients via terrestrial runoff, acidic rainfall, increased PP and algal blooms, nitrification, denitrification, sulfate reduction, global warming (GW), and by atmospheric CO2 itself through enhanced photosynthesis. They are consecutively associated with enhanced ocean acidification, hypoxia in acidified deeper seawater, pathogens, algal toxins, oxidative stress by reactive oxygen species, and thermal stress caused by longer stratification periods as an effect of GW. We discuss the mechanistic insights into the aforementioned processes and pH changes, with particular focus on processes taking place with different time scales (including the diurnal one) in surface and subsurface seawater. This review also discusses these collective influences to assess their potential detrimental effects to marine organisms, and of ecosystem processes and services. Our review of the effects operating in synergy with ocean acidification will provide a broad insight into the potential impact of acidification itself on biological processes. The foreseen danger to marine organisms by acidification is in fact expected to be amplified by several concurrent and interacting phenomena.

  9. Climatic regime shifts and their impacts on marine ecosystem and fisheries resources in Korean waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Chang Ik; Lee, Jae Bong; Kim, Suam; Oh, Jai-Ho

    2000-10-01

    There were climatic regime shifts over the North Pacific in 1976 and 1988 which affected the dynamics of the marine ecosystem and fisheries resources in Korean waters. Precipitation in Korean waters showed a decadal scale climatic jump, especially of Ullungdo Island, reflecting the regime shift that occurred in the North Pacific. The variation was also detected in East Asian atmospheric systems. The Aleutian Low and North Pacific High Pressure Systems showed substantial changes in 1976 and around 1987-89. 1976 was an unusually warm year for Korea; mean sea surface temperature (SST) was higher than ‘normal’ and was accompanied by a northward shift in the thermal front. Post 1976, the volume transport of the Kuroshio Current increased and higher seawater and air temperatures persisted until 1988. Other shifts occurred after 1976 such as an increase in mixed layer depth (MLD) and biological changes in the ecosystem of Korean waters including decreases in spring primary production and an increase in autumn primary production. Primary production increased again after 1988, and was followed by a significant increase in zooplankton biomass after 1991. The 1976 regime shift was manifested by a decreased biomass and production of saury, but an increase in biomass and production of sardine and filefish in Korean waters. After 1988, recruitment, biomass, and production of sardine collapsed while those of mackerel substantially increased. Based on these observations, hypotheses on the relationship between the climate-driven oceanic changes and changes in fisheries resources were developed and are discussed.

  10. The role of sustained observations in tracking impacts of environmental change on marine biodiversity and ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Mieszkowska, N.; Sugden, H.; Firth, L. B.; Hawkins, S. J.

    2014-01-01

    Marine biodiversity currently faces unprecedented threats from multiple pressures arising from human activities. Global drivers such as climate change and ocean acidification interact with regional eutrophication, exploitation of commercial fish stocks and localized pressures including pollution, coastal development and the extraction of aggregates and fuel, causing alteration and degradation of habitats and communities. Segregating natural from anthropogenically induced change in marine ecosystems requires long-term, sustained observations of marine biota. In this review, we outline the history of biological recording in the coastal and shelf seas of the UK and Ireland and highlight where sustained observations have contributed new understanding of how anthropogenic activities have impacted on marine biodiversity. The contributions of sustained observations, from those collected at observatories, single station platforms and multiple-site programmes to the emergent field of multiple stressor impacts research, are discussed, along with implications for management and sustainable governance of marine resources in an era of unprecedented use of the marine environment. PMID:25157190

  11. Change in the Beaufort Sea ecosystem: Diverging trends in body condition and/or production in five marine vertebrate species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harwood, L. A.; Smith, T. G.; George, J. C.; Sandstrom, S. J.; Walkusz, W.; Divoky, G. J.

    2015-08-01

    Studies of the body condition of five marine vertebrate predators in the Beaufort Sea, conducted independently during the past 2-4 decades, suggest each has been affected by biophysical changes in the marine ecosystem. We summarize a temporal trend of increasing body condition in two species (bowhead whale subadults, Arctic char), in both cases influenced by the extent and persistence of annual sea ice. Three other species (ringed seal, beluga, black guillemot chicks), consumers with a dietary preference for Arctic cod, experienced declines in condition, growth and/or production during the same time period. The proximate causes of these observed changes remain unknown, but may reflect an upward trend in secondary productivity, and a concurrent downward trend in the availability of forage fishes, such as the preferred Arctic cod. To further our understanding of these apparent ecosystem shifts, we urge the use of multiple marine vertebrate species in the design of biophysical sampling studies to identify causes of these changes. Continued long-term, standardized monitoring of vertebrate body condition should be paired with concurrent direct (stomach contents) or indirect (isotopes, fatty acids) monitoring of diet, detailed study of movements and seasonal ranges to establish and refine baselines, and identification of critical habitats of the marine vertebrates being monitored. This would be coordinated with biophysical and oceanographic sampling, at spatial and temporal scales, and geographic locations, that are relevant to the home range, critical habitats and prey of the vertebrate indicator species showing changes in condition and related parameters.

  12. Ecosystem-based analysis of a marine protected area where fisheries and protected species coexist.

    PubMed

    Espinoza-Tenorio, Alejandro; Montaño-Moctezuma, Gabriela; Espejel, Ileana

    2010-04-01

    The Gulf of California Biosphere Reserve (UGC&CRDBR) is a Marine Protected Area that was established in 1993 with the aim of preserving biodiversity and remediating environmental impacts. Because remaining vigilant is hard and because regulatory measures are difficult to enforce, harvesting has been allowed to diminish poaching. Useful management strategies have not been implemented, however, and conflicts remain between conservation legislation and the fisheries. We developed a transdisciplinary methodological scheme (pressure-state-response, loop analysis, and Geographic Information System) that includes both protected species and fisheries modeled together in a spatially represented marine ecosystem. We analyzed the response of this marine ecosystem supposing that conservation strategies were successful and that the abundance of protected species had increased. The final aim of this study was to identify ecosystem-level management alternatives capable of diminishing the conflict between conservation measures and fisheries. This methodological integration aimed to understand the functioning of the UGC&CRDBR community as well as to identify implications of conservation strategies such as the recovery of protected species. Our results suggest research hypotheses related to key species that should be protected within the ecosystem, and they point out the importance of considering spatial management strategies. Counterintuitive findings underline the importance of understanding how the community responds to disturbances and the effect of indirect pathways on the abundance of ecosystem constituents. Insights from this research are valuable in defining policies in marine reserves where fisheries and protected species coexist. PMID:20204634

  13. Ecosystem-Based Analysis of a Marine Protected Area Where Fisheries and Protected Species Coexist

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Espinoza-Tenorio, Alejandro; Montaño-Moctezuma, Gabriela; Espejel, Ileana

    2010-04-01

    The Gulf of California Biosphere Reserve (UGC&CRDBR) is a Marine Protected Area that was established in 1993 with the aim of preserving biodiversity and remediating environmental impacts. Because remaining vigilant is hard and because regulatory measures are difficult to enforce, harvesting has been allowed to diminish poaching. Useful management strategies have not been implemented, however, and conflicts remain between conservation legislation and the fisheries. We developed a transdisciplinary methodological scheme (pressure-state-response, loop analysis, and Geographic Information System) that includes both protected species and fisheries modeled together in a spatially represented marine ecosystem. We analyzed the response of this marine ecosystem supposing that conservation strategies were successful and that the abundance of protected species had increased. The final aim of this study was to identify ecosystem-level management alternatives capable of diminishing the conflict between conservation measures and fisheries. This methodological integration aimed to understand the functioning of the UGC&CRDBR community as well as to identify implications of conservation strategies such as the recovery of protected species. Our results suggest research hypotheses related to key species that should be protected within the ecosystem, and they point out the importance of considering spatial management strategies. Counterintuitive findings underline the importance of understanding how the community responds to disturbances and the effect of indirect pathways on the abundance of ecosystem constituents. Insights from this research are valuable in defining policies in marine reserves where fisheries and protected species coexist.

  14. 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.

  15. Capturing optically important constituents and properties in a marine biogeochemical and ecosystem model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutkiewicz, S.; Hickman, A. E.; Jahn, O.; Gregg, W. W.; Mouw, C. B.; Follows, M. J.

    2015-02-01

    We present a numerical model of the ocean that couples a three-stream radiative transfer component with a marine biogeochemical-ecosystem in a dynamic three-dimensional physical framework. The radiative transfer component resolves spectral irradiance as it is absorbed and scattered within the water column. We explicitly include the effect of several optically important water constituents (the phytoplankton community, detrital particles, and coloured dissolved organic matter, CDOM). The model is evaluated against in situ observed and satellite derived products. In particular we compare to concurrently measured biogeochemical, ecosystem and optical data along a north-south transect of the Atlantic Ocean. The simulation captures the patterns and magnitudes of these data, and estimates surface upwelling irradiance analogous to that observed by ocean colour satellite instruments. We conduct a series of sensitivity experiments to demonstrate, globally, the relative importance of each of the water constituents, and the crucial feedbacks between the light field and the relative fitness of phytoplankton types, and the biogeochemistry of the ocean. CDOM has proportionally more importance at short wavelengths and in more productive waters, phytoplankton absorption is especially important at the deep chlorophyll a (Chl a) maximum, and absorption by water molecules is relatively most important in the highly oligotrophic gyres. Sensitivity experiments in which absorption by any of the optical constituents was increased led to a decrease in the size of the oligotrophic regions of the subtropical gyres: lateral nutrient supplies were enhanced as a result of decreasing high latitude productivity. Scattering does not as strongly affect the ecosystem and biogeochemistry fields within the water column but is important for setting the surface upwelling irradiance, and hence sea surface reflectance. Having a model capable of capturing bio-optical feedbacks will be important for

  16. Functional diversity of marine ecosystems after the Late Permian mass extinction event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, William J.; Twitchett, Richard J.

    2014-03-01

    The Late Permian mass extinction event about 252 million years ago was the most severe biotic crisis of the past 500 million years and occurred during an episode of global warming. The loss of around two-thirds of marine genera is thought to have had substantial ecological effects, but the overall impacts on the functioning of marine ecosystems and the pattern of marine recovery are uncertain. Here we analyse the fossil occurrences of all known benthic marine invertebrate genera from the Permian and Triassic periods, and assign each to a functional group based on their inferred lifestyle. We show that despite the selective extinction of 62-74% of these genera, all but one functional group persisted through the crisis, indicating that there was no significant loss of functional diversity at the global scale. In addition, only one new mode of life originated in the extinction aftermath. We suggest that Early Triassic marine ecosystems were not as ecologically depauperate as widely assumed. Functional diversity was, however, reduced in particular regions and habitats, such as tropical reefs; at these smaller scales, recovery varied spatially and temporally, probably driven by migration of surviving groups. We find that marine ecosystems did not return to their pre-extinction state, and by the Middle Triassic greater functional evenness is recorded, resulting from the radiation of previously subordinate groups such as motile, epifaunal grazers.

  17. Integration of Biogeochemistry and Marine Ecosystem Model in Mercator-Ocean Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El Moussaoui, Abdelali; Dombrowsky, Eric; Moulin, Cyril; Bopp, Laurent; Aumont, Olivier

    2010-05-01

    Accounting for ocean biogeochemistry and marine ecosystem dynamic is of strong interest in the context of Earth System modelling to better represent the marine component to the global atmospheric cycle of greenhouse gazes that influence climate as CO2. Furthermore, treating the ocean as a whole is also the way to address large anthropogenic impacts on marine systems as climate change, nutrients loading, acidification, and eventually overfishing and habitat destructuring. To forecast how interactions between marine biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems respond to and force global change, several efforts have been promoted on biogeochemical integration into operational Mercator Ocean systems. The aim of this work is to implement a marine biogeochemical and ecosystem component at global scale into the MERCATOR operational system, using first PSY3 analysis at 1/4° then PSY4 at 1/12°. Previous works have conducted successfully the integration of a multi-nutrient and multi-plankton biogeochemical model (PISCES, N5P2Z2D2 type) into MERCATOR system. This allowed the use of MERCATOR operational analyses to drive near real time forecast of marine primary production. Results will be shown and advances on biogeochemical model integration within Mercator Systems will be discussed.

  18. Changing Arctic ecosystems--research to understand and project changes in marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geiselman, Joy; DeGange, Anthony R.; Oakley, Karen; Derksen, Dirk; Whalen, Mary

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystems and their wildlife communities are not static; they change and evolve over time due to numerous intrinsic and extrinsic factors. A period of rapid change is occurring in the Arctic for which our current understanding of potential ecosystem and wildlife responses is limited. Changes to the physical environment include warming temperatures, diminishing sea ice, increasing coastal erosion, deteriorating permafrost, and changing water regimes. These changes influence biological communities and the ways in which human communities interact with them. Through the new initiative Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) strives to (1) understand the potential suite of wildlife population responses to these physical changes to inform key resource management decisions such as those related to the Endangered Species Act, and (2) provide unique insights into how Arctic ecosystems are responding under new stressors. Our studies examine how and why changes in the ice-dominated ecosystems of the Arctic are affecting wildlife and will provide a better foundation for understanding the degree and manner in which wildlife species respond and adapt to rapid environmental change. Changes to Arctic ecosystems will be felt broadly because the Arctic is a production zone for hundreds of species that migrate south for the winter. The CAE initiative includes three major research themes that span Arctic ice-dominated ecosystems and that are structured to identify and understand the linkages between physical processes, ecosystems, and wildlife populations. The USGS is applying knowledge-based modeling structures such as Bayesian Networks to integrate the work.

  19. Bridging marine ecosystem and biogeochemistry research: Lessons and recommendations from comparative studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salihoglu, B.; Neuer, S.; Painting, S.; Murtugudde, R.; Hofmann, E. E.; Steele, J. H.; Hood, R. R.; Legendre, L.; Lomas, M. W.; Wiggert, J. D.; Ito, S.; Lachkar, Z.; Hunt, G. L.; Drinkwater, K. F.; Sabine, C. L.

    2013-01-01

    There is growing interest in linking marine biogeochemistry with marine ecosystems research in response to the increasing need to understand and predict the effect of global change on the marine ecosystem. Such a holistic approach combines oceanographic and biogeochemical processes and information on organisms, ranging from microbes to higher-trophic-levels. Comparative studies offer a means to improve understanding of critical mechanisms that influence marine systems by showing differences in ecosystem response to changing ocean conditions. Comparing similar biomes that differ in a particular set of physical or biological characteristics can provide insight into the susceptibility of the key features of a system to perturbation. Also, comparative studies based on long-term observations at fixed time-series stations enable the evaluation of long-term changes in the physical and biological environment, such as those driven by climate patterns. Moreover, the comparative approach provides a feasible alternative to costly and complex research programs designed to provide detailed end-to-end evaluations of marine systems. Planned and unplanned perturbations allow the investigation of the sensitivity of ecosystems and their biogeochemical processes to change at different time and space scales. In well-studied regions where sufficient data are available, models can provide comprehensive syntheses, mechanistic insights and even predictions. We present examples of successful comparative studies that incorporate both biogeochemical and ecosystems aspects. A framework for a basic approach for comparative studies is proposed that considers the interactions between biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems. This approach is based on constructing a minimalistic observational framework grounded within a conceptual model.

  20. Mercury in Arctic Marine Ecosystems: Sources, Pathways, and Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Kirk, Jane L.; Lehnherr, Igor; Andersson, Maria; Braune, Birgit M.; Chan, Laurie; Dastoor, Ashu P.; Durnford, Dorothy; Gleason, Amber L.; Loseto, Lisa L.; Steffen, Alexandra; St. Louis, Vincent L.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury in the Arctic is an important environmental and human health issue. The reliance of Northern Peoples on traditional foods, such as marine mammals, for subsistence means that they are particularly at risk from mercury exposure. The cycling of mercury in Arctic marine systems is reviewed here, with emphasis placed on the key sources, pathways and processes which regulate mercury levels in marine food webs and ultimately the exposure of human populations to this contaminant. While many knowledge gaps exist limiting our ability to make strong conclusions, it appears that the long range transport of mercury from Asian emissions is an important source of atmospheric Hg to the Arctic and that mercury methylation resulting in monomethylmercury production (an organic form of mercury which is both toxic and bioaccumulated) in Arctic marine waters is the principal source of mercury incorporated into food webs. Mercury concentrations in biological organisms have increased since the onset of the industrial age and are controlled by a combination of abiotic factors (e.g., monomethylmercury supply), food web dynamics and structure, and animal behavior (e.g., habitat selection and feeding behavior). Finally, although some Northern Peoples have high mercury concentrations of mercury in their blood and hair, harvesting and consuming traditional foods has many nutritional, social, cultural and physical health benefits which must be considered in risk management and communication. PMID:23102902

  1. Climatic Change and Marine Ecosystems in the NE Pacific: A Holocene Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finney, B. P.; Addison, J. A.

    2006-12-01

    Historical records suggest strong responses of marine ecosystems to climatic change in the NE Pacific Ocean. The abundance of zooplankton, salmon and other marine organisms varied substantially during the 20th century, and appear to correlate with inter-decadal climate variability. To better understand marine ecosystem-climate linkages, proxy records from a variety of sources are being assembled and compared. Paleoceanographic changes are being reconstructed from sediment cores from the fjords and continental margin of the Gulf of Alaska, where the rapidly accumulating sediment can resolve environmental changes on annual to decadal timescales. Past sockeye salmon abundance is reconstructed by analyzing nitrogen stable isotopes in sediment cores from lakes where sockeye return to spawn. Paleoclimatic data is available for this region from studies of tree rings, lake sediments, ice cores and glacial advances. The changes in primary and secondary ocean production in this region indicate that climatic forcing has direct impacts on lower trophic levels, which subsequently affects salmon production probably through food availability a hypothesis that can be assessed through paleoenvironmental analyses. Preliminary multi-proxy data on ocean paleoproductivity indicates substantial variability during the Holocene over a range of timescales. Productivity appears to have generally increased during the Holocene, with relatively higher levels during the little ice age, and in the last few decades. Reconstructions of salmon abundance from a suite of lakes show generally similar patterns, consistent with the hypothesis that climate is an important driver of their abundance. Over the Holocene, shifts in salmon abundance far exceed the historical decadal-scale variability. Salmon abundance generally increased over the Holocene, punctuated by several abrupt steps, as well as multi-decadal variability. Salmon increased during neoglaciation (c.a. 3500 yr BP), and were consistently

  2. A comparison of biological trends from four marine ecosystems: Synchronies, differences, and commonalities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Link, Jason S.; Stockhausen, William T.; Skaret, Georg; Overholtz, William; Megrey, Bernard A.; Gjøsæter, Harald; Gaichas, Sarah; Dommasnes, Are; Falk-Petersen, Jannike; Kane, Joseph; Mueter, Franz J.; Friedland, Kevin D.; Hare, Jonathan A.

    2009-04-01

    Major features of four marine ecosystems were analyzed based on a broad range of fisheries-associated datasets and a suite of oceanographic surveys. The ecosystems analyzed included the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, the Norwegian/Barents Seas in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, and the eastern Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. We examined survey trends in major fish abundances, total system fish biomass, and zooplankton biomasses. We standardized each time series and examined trends and anomalies over time, using both time series and cross-correlational statistical methods. We compared dynamics of functionally analogous species from each of these four ecosystems. Major commonalities among ecosystems included a relatively stable amount of total fish biomass and the importance of large calanoid copepods, small pelagic fishes and gadids. Some of the changes in these components were synchronous across ecosystems. Major differences between ecosystems included gradients in the magnitude of total fish biomass, commercial fish biomass, and the timing of major detected events. This work demonstrates the value of comparative analysis across a wide range of marine ecosystems, suggestive of very few but none-the-less detectable common features across all northern hemisphere ocean systems.

  3. Mass Spectrometry-Based Metabolomics to Elucidate Functions in Marine Organisms and Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Goulitquer, Sophie; Potin, Philippe; Tonon, Thierry

    2012-01-01

    Marine systems are very diverse and recognized as being sources of a wide range of biomolecules. This review provides an overview of metabolite profiling based on mass spectrometry (MS) approaches in marine organisms and their environments, focusing on recent advances in the field. We also point out some of the technical challenges that need to be overcome in order to increase applications of metabolomics in marine systems, including extraction of chemical compounds from different matrices and data management. Metabolites being important links between genotype and phenotype, we describe added value provided by integration of data from metabolite profiling with other layers of omics, as well as their importance for the development of systems biology approaches in marine systems to study several biological processes, and to analyze interactions between organisms within communities. The growing importance of MS-based metabolomics in chemical ecology studies in marine ecosystems is also illustrated. PMID:22690147

  4. Utilizing Ecosystem Information to Improve Decision Support Systems for Marine Fisheries (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chavez, F.; Chai, F.; Chao, Y.; Wells, B.; Safari Team

    2010-12-01

    Successful ecological forecasting of fishery yields has eluded resource managers for decades. However, recent advances in observing systems, computational power and understanding of ecosystem function offer credible evidence that the variability of the ocean ecosystem and its impact on fishery yield can be forecast accurately enough and with enough lead time to be useful to society. Advances in space-based real time sensors, high performance computing, very high-resolution physical models, and robust ecosystem theory make possible operational forecasts of both fish availability and ecosystem health. Accurate and timely forecasts can provide the information needed to maintain the long-term sustainability of fish stocks and protect the ecosystem of which the fish are an integral part, while maximizing social and economic benefits and preventing wasteful overinvestment of economic resources. Here we review progress in improving the decision support systems by forecasting two marine fisheries: 1) the coastal Peru small pelagic fishery and 2) the central California salmon fishery.

  5. Modeling Complex Marine Ecosystems: An Investigation of Two Teaching Approaches with Fifth Graders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papaevripidou, M.; Constantinou, C. P.; Zacharia, Z. C.

    2007-01-01

    This study investigated acquisition and transfer of the modeling ability of fifth graders in various domains. Teaching interventions concentrated on the topic of marine ecosystems either through a modeling-based approach or a worksheet-based approach. A quasi-experimental (pre-post comparison study) design was used. The control group (n = 17)…

  6. Methylmercury in Marine Ecosystems: From Sources to Seafood Consumers -- A Work Group Report

    EPA Science Inventory

    Consumption of marine fish and shellfish is a major route of human exposure to methyl mercury. This paper is the result of a workshop by the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Research Program in November 2006 on "Fate and Bioavailability of Mercury in Aquatic Ecosystems and Effects on Human...

  7. Consequences of natural upwelling in oligotrophic marine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Walsh, J J

    1980-03-01

    One of the major environmental consequences of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) plans may be the artificial upwelling of nutrients to the surface waters of oligotrophic ecosystems. Within a 10 km/sup 2/ area, OTEC plants of 1000 MWe total capacity could upwell the same amount of nutrients as occurs naturally off Peru each day. The biological response to possible eutrophication by OTEC plants may not be similar to that within coastal upwelling ecosystems, however. Upwelling in offshore oceanic systems does not lead to increased primary production despite high nutrient content of the euphotic zone. Continuous grazing may not allow phytoplankton blooms to develop in oceanic upwelling systems to the proposed OTEC sites. At present this is a hypothesis to be tested before full evaluation of OTEC induced upwelling can be made.

  8. Enabling the Integrated Assessment of Large Marine Ecosystems: Informatics to the Forefront of Science-Based Decision Support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Stefano, M.; Fox, P. A.; Beaulieu, S. E.; Maffei, A. R.; West, P.; Hare, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    Integrated assessments of large marine ecosystems require the understanding of interactions between environmental, ecological, and socio-economic factors that affect production and utilization of marine natural resources. Assessing the functioning of complex coupled natural-human systems calls for collaboration between natural and social scientists across disciplinary and national boundaries. We are developing a platform to implement and sustain informatics solutions for these applications, providing interoperability among very diverse and heterogeneous data and information sources, as well as multi-disciplinary organizations and people. We have partnered with NOAA NMFS scientists to facilitate the deployment of an integrated ecosystem approach to management in the Northeast U.S. (NES) and California Current Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs). Our platform will facilitate the collaboration and knowledge sharing among NMFS natural and social scientists, promoting community participation in integrating data, models, and knowledge. Here, we present collaborative software tools developed to aid the production of the Ecosystem Status Report (ESR) for the NES LME. The ESR addresses the D-P-S portion of the DPSIR (Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response) management framework: reporting data, indicators, and information products for climate drivers, physical and human (fisheries) pressures, and ecosystem state (primary and secondary production and higher trophic levels). We are developing our tools in open-source software, with the main tool based on a web application capable of providing the ability to work on multiple data types from a variety of sources, providing an effective way to share the source code used to generate data products and associated metadata as well as track workflow provenance to allow in the reproducibility of a data product. Our platform retrieves data, conducts standard analyses, reports data quality and other standardized metadata, provides iterative

  9. Nutrient supply and mercury dynamics in marine ecosystems: A conceptual model

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Celia Y.; Hammerschmidt, Chad R.; Mason, Robert P.; Gilmour, Cynthia C.; Sunderland, Elsie M.; Greenfield, Ben K.; Buckman, Kate L.; Lamborg, Carl H.

    2013-01-01

    There is increasing interest and concern over the impacts of mercury (Hg) inputs to marine ecosystems. One of the challenges in assessing these effects is that the cycling and trophic transfer of Hg are strongly linked to other contaminants and disturbances. In addition to Hg, a major problem facing coastal waters is the impacts of elevated nutrient, particularly nitrogen (N), inputs. Increases in nutrient loading alter coastal ecosystems in ways that should change the transport, transformations and fate of Hg, including increases in fixation of organic carbon and deposition to sediments, decreases in the redox status of sediments and changes in fish habitat. In this paper we present a conceptual model which suggests that increases in loading of reactive N to marine ecosystems might alter Hg dynamics, decreasing bioavailabilty and trophic transfer. This conceptual model is most applicable to coastal waters, but may also be relevant to the pelagic ocean. We present information from case studies that both support and challenge this conceptual model, including marine observations across a nutrient gradient; results of a nutrient-trophic transfer Hg model for pelagic and coastal ecosystems; observations of Hg species, and nutrients from coastal sediments in the northeastern U.S.; and an analysis of fish Hg concentrations in estuaries under different nutrient loadings. These case studies suggest that changes in nutrient loading can impact Hg dynamics in coastal and open ocean ecosystems. Unfortunately none of the case studies is comprehensive; each only addresses a portion of the conceptual model and has limitations. Nevertheless, our conceptual model has important management implications. Many estuaries near developed areas are impaired due to elevated nutrient inputs. Widespread efforts are underway to control N loading and restore coastal ecosystem function. An unintended consequence of nutrient control measures could be to exacerbate problems associated with Hg

  10. Ecosystem service provision: an operational way for marine biodiversity conservation and management.

    PubMed

    Cognetti, Giuseppe; Maltagliati, Ferruccio

    2010-11-01

    Since no extensive conceptual framework has been developed on the issues of ecosystem service (ES) and service provider (SP) in the marine environment, we have made an attempt to apply these to the conservation and management of marine biodiversity. Within this context, an accurate individuation of SPs, namely the biological component of a given ecosystem that supports human activities is fundamental. SPs are the agents responsible for making the ES-based approach operational. The application of these concepts to the marine environment should be based on an model different to the terrestrial one. In the latter, the basic model envisages a matrix of a human-altered landscape with fragments of original biodiversity; conversely, in the marine environment the model provides fragments where human activities are carried out and the matrix is represented by the original biodiversity. We have identified three main classes of ES provision: in natural, disturbed and human-controlled environments. Economic valuation of marine ESs is an essential condition for making conservation strategies financially sustainable, as it may stimulate the perceived need for investing in protection and exploitation of marine resources. PMID:20933248

  11. Ecosystem productivity is associated with bacterial phylogenetic distance in surface marine waters.

    PubMed

    Galand, Pierre E; Salter, Ian; Kalenitchenko, Dimitri

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the link between community diversity and ecosystem function is a fundamental aspect of ecology. Systematic losses in biodiversity are widely acknowledged but the impact this may exert on ecosystem functioning remains ambiguous. There is growing evidence of a positive relationship between species richness and ecosystem productivity for terrestrial macro-organisms, but similar links for marine micro-organisms, which help drive global climate, are unclear. Community manipulation experiments show both positive and negative relationships for microbes. These previous studies rely, however, on artificial communities and any links between the full diversity of active bacterial communities in the environment, their phylogenetic relatedness and ecosystem function remain hitherto unexplored. Here, we test the hypothesis that productivity is associated with diversity in the metabolically active fraction of microbial communities. We show in natural assemblages of active bacteria that communities containing more distantly related members were associated with higher bacterial production. The positive phylogenetic diversity-productivity relationship was independent of community diversity calculated as the Shannon index. From our long-term (7-year) survey of surface marine bacterial communities, we also found that similarly, productive communities had greater phylogenetic similarity to each other, further suggesting that the traits of active bacteria are an important predictor of ecosystem productivity. Our findings demonstrate that the evolutionary history of the active fraction of a microbial community is critical for understanding their role in ecosystem functioning. PMID:26289961

  12. Matching biological traits to environmental conditions in marine benthic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bremner, J.; Rogers, S. I.; Frid, C. L. J.

    2006-05-01

    The effects of variability in environmental conditions on species composition in benthic ecosystems are well established, but relatively little is known about how environmental variability relates to ecosystem functioning. Benthic invertebrate assemblages are heavily involved in the maintenance of ecological processes and investigation of the biological characteristics (traits) expressed in these assemblages can provide information about some aspects of functioning. The aim of this study was to establish and explore relationships between environmental variability and biological traits expressed in megafauna assemblages in two UK regions. Patterns of trait composition were matched to environmental conditions and subsets of variables best describing these patterns determined. The nature of the relationships were subsequently examined at two separate scales, both between and within the regions studied. Over the whole area, some traits related to size, longevity, reproduction, mobility, flexibility, feeding method, sociability and living habit were negatively correlated with salinity, sea surface temperature, annual temperature range and the level of fishing effort, and positively associated with fish taxon richness and shell content of the substratum. Between the two regions, reductions in temperature range and shell content were associated with infrequent relative occurrences of short-lived, moderately mobile, flexible, solitary, opportunistic, permanent-burrow dwelling fauna and those exhibiting reproductive strategies based on benthic development. Relationships between some traits and environmental conditions diverged within the two regions, with increases in fishing effort and shell content of the substratum being associated with low frequencies of occurrence of moderately mobile and moderately to highly flexible fauna within one region, but high frequencies in the other. These changes in trait composition have implications for ecosystem processes, with, for

  13. Effects of near-future ocean acidification, fishing, and marine protection on a temperate coastal ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Cornwall, Christopher E; Eddy, Tyler D

    2015-02-01

    Understanding ecosystem responses to global and local anthropogenic impacts is paramount to predicting future ecosystem states. We used an ecosystem modeling approach to investigate the independent and cumulative effects of fishing, marine protection, and ocean acidification on a coastal ecosystem. To quantify the effects of ocean acidification at the ecosystem level, we used information from the peer-reviewed literature on the effects of ocean acidification. Using an Ecopath with Ecosim ecosystem model for the Wellington south coast, including the Taputeranga Marine Reserve (MR), New Zealand, we predicted ecosystem responses under 4 scenarios: ocean acidification + fishing; ocean acidification + MR (no fishing); no ocean acidification + fishing; no ocean acidification + MR for the year 2050. Fishing had a larger effect on trophic group biomasses and trophic structure than ocean acidification, whereas the effects of ocean acidification were only large in the absence of fishing. Mortality by fishing had large, negative effects on trophic group biomasses. These effects were similar regardless of the presence of ocean acidification. Ocean acidification was predicted to indirectly benefit certain species in the MR scenario. This was because lobster (Jasus edwardsii) only recovered to 58% of the MR biomass in the ocean acidification + MR scenario, a situation that benefited the trophic groups lobsters prey on. Most trophic groups responded antagonistically to the interactive effects of ocean acidification and marine protection (46%; reduced response); however, many groups responded synergistically (33%; amplified response). Conservation and fisheries management strategies need to account for the reduced recovery potential of some exploited species under ocean acidification, nonadditive interactions of multiple factors, and indirect responses of species to ocean acidification caused by declines in calcareous predators. PMID:25354555

  14. Relationships among fisheries exploitation, environmental conditions, and ecological indicators across a series of marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Caihong; Large, Scott; Knight, Ben; Richardson, Anthony J.; Bundy, Alida; Reygondeau, Gabriel; Boldt, Jennifer; van der Meeren, Gro I.; Torres, Maria A.; Sobrino, Ignacio; Auber, Arnaud; Travers-Trolet, Morgane; Piroddi, Chiara; Diallo, Ibrahima; Jouffre, Didier; Mendes, Hugo; Borges, Maria Fatima; Lynam, Christopher P.; Coll, Marta; Shannon, Lynne J.; Shin, Yunne-Jai

    2015-08-01

    Understanding how external pressures impact ecosystem structure and functioning is essential for ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management. We quantified the relative effects of fisheries exploitation and environmental conditions on ecological indicators derived from two different data sources, fisheries catch data (catch-based) and fisheries independent survey data (survey-based) for 12 marine ecosystems using a partial least squares path modeling approach (PLS-PM). We linked these ecological indicators to the total biomass of the ecosystem. Although the effects of exploitation and environmental conditions differed across the ecosystems, some general results can be drawn from the comparative approach. Interestingly, the PLS-PM analyses showed that survey-based indicators were less tightly associated with each other than the catch-based ones. The analyses also showed that the effects of environmental conditions on the ecological indicators were predominantly significant, and tended to be negative, suggesting that in the recent period, indicators accounted for changes in environmental conditions and the changes were more likely to be adverse. Total biomass was associated with fisheries exploitation and environmental conditions; however its association with the ecological indicators was weak across the ecosystems. Knowledge of the relative influence of exploitation and environmental pressures on the dynamics within exploited ecosystems will help us to move towards ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management. PLS-PM proved to be a useful approach to quantify the relative effects of fisheries exploitation and environmental conditions and suggest it could be used more widely in fisheries oceanography.

  15. Dealing with uncertainty in ecosystem models: The paradox of use for living marine resource management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Link, J. S.; Ihde, T. F.; Harvey, C. J.; Gaichas, S. K.; Field, J. C.; Brodziak, J. K. T.; Townsend, H. M.; Peterman, R. M.

    2012-09-01

    To better manage living marine resources (LMRs), it has become clear that ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) is a desired approach. To do EBFM, one of the key tools will be to use ecosystem models. To fully use ecosystem models and have their outputs adopted, there is an increasingly recognized need to address uncertainty associated with such modeling activities. Here we characterize uncertainty as applied to ecosystem models into six major factors, including: natural variability; observation error; inadequate communication among scientists, decision-makers and stakeholders; the structural complexity of the model(s) used; outcome uncertainty; and unclear management objectives. We then describe best practices to address each of these uncertainties as they particularly apply to ecosystem models being used in a LMR management context. We also present case studies to highlight examples of how these best practices have been implemented. Although we acknowledge that this work was compiled by ecosystem modelers in an LMR management context primarily for other ecosystem modelers, the principles and practices described herein are also germane for managers, stakeholders and other natural resource management communities. We conclude by emphasizing not only the need to address uncertainty in ecosystem models, but also the feasibility and benefits of doing so.

  16. Integrating the provision of ecosystem services and trawl fisheries for the management of the marine environment.

    PubMed

    Muntadas, Alba; de Juan, Silvia; Demestre, Montserrat

    2015-02-15

    The species interaction and their biological traits (BT) determine the function of benthic communities and, hence, the delivery of ecosystem services. Therefore, disturbance of benthic communities by trawling may compromise ecosystem service delivery, including fisheries' catches. In this work, we explore 1) the impact of trawling activities on benthic functional components (after the BTA approach) and 2) how trawling impact may affect the ecosystem services delivered by benthic communities. To this aim, we assessed the provision of ecosystem services by adopting the concept of Ecosystem Service Providers (ESP), i.e. ecological units that perform ecosystem functions that will ultimately deliver ecosystem services. We studied thirteen sites subjected to different levels of fishing effort in the Mediterranean. From a range of environmental variables included in the study, we found ESPs to be mainly affected by fishing effort and grain size. Our results suggested that habitat type has significant effects on the distribution of ESPs and this natural variability influences ESP response to trawling at a specific site. In order to summarize the complex relationships between human uses, ecosystem components and the demand for ecosystem services in trawling grounds, we adapted a DPSIR (Drivers-Pressures-State Change-Impact-Response) framework to the study area, emphasizing the role of society as Drivers of change and actors demanding management Responses. This integrative framework aims to inform managers about the interactions between all the elements involved in the management of trawling grounds, highlighting the need for an integrated approach in order to ensure ecosystem service provision. PMID:25433378

  17. Experimental confirmation of multiple community states in a marine ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Petraitis, Peter S.; Methratta, Elizabeth T.; Rhile, Erika C.; Vidargas, Nicholas A.; Dudgeon, Steve R.

    2009-01-01

    Small changes in environmental conditions can unexpectedly tip an ecosystem from one community type to another, and these often irreversible shifts have been observed in semi-arid grasslands, freshwater lakes and ponds, coral reefs, and kelp forests. A commonly accepted explanation is that these ecosystems contain multiple stable points, but experimental tests confirming multiple stable states have proven elusive. Here we present a novel approach and show that mussel beds and rockweed stands are multiple stable states on intertidal shores in the Gulf of Maine, USA. Using broad-scale observational data and long-term data from experimental clearings, we show that the removal of rockweed by winter ice scour can tip persistent rockweed stands to mussel beds. The observational data were analyzed with Anderson's discriminant analysis of principal coordinates, which provided an objective function to separate mussel beds from rockweed stands. The function was then applied to 55 experimental plots, which had been established in rockweed stands in 1996. Based on 2005 data, all uncleared controls and all but one of the small clearings were classified as rockweed stands; 37% of the large clearings were classified as mussel beds. Our results address the establishment of mussels versus rockweeds and complement rather than refute the current paradigm that mussel beds and rockweed stands, once established, are maintained by site-specific differences in strong consumer control. PMID:19399520

  18. [Values of marine ecosystem services in Sanggou Bay].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhao-hui; Lü, Ji-bin; Ye, Shu-feng; Zhu, Ming-yuan

    2007-11-01

    A valuation study was conducted in Sanggou Bay, a typical and intensive coastal aquaculture area in China Yellow Sea. The results showed that the total value of ecosystem services (VES) in Sanggou Bay was 6.07 x 10(8) Yen in 2003, with an average unit VES being 4.24 x 10(6) Yen x km(-2). Within the total VES, the provision services, regulation services, and culture services accounted for 51.29%, 17.34%, and 31.37%, respectively. Among the eight primary and secondary services valuated in Sanggou Bay, food provision services held the highest value (50.45%), followed by tourism and entertainment services (29.89%) and climate regulation services (9.18%). Harmful organism and disease control services have the lowest value (0.0017%). The aquaculture activities had greater contributions to the local social economy, environmental regulation, and social culture. Aquaculture activities, especially macro-algae farming, are of significance in maintaining and enhancing the ecosystem services. PMID:18260461

  19. Experimental confirmation of multiple community states in a marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Petraitis, Peter S; Methratta, Elizabeth T; Rhile, Erika C; Vidargas, Nicholas A; Dudgeon, Steve R

    2009-08-01

    Small changes in environmental conditions can unexpectedly tip an ecosystem from one community type to another, and these often irreversible shifts have been observed in semi-arid grasslands, freshwater lakes and ponds, coral reefs, and kelp forests. A commonly accepted explanation is that these ecosystems contain multiple stable points, but experimental tests confirming multiple stable states have proven elusive. Here we present a novel approach and show that mussel beds and rockweed stands are multiple stable states on intertidal shores in the Gulf of Maine, USA. Using broad-scale observational data and long-term data from experimental clearings, we show that the removal of rockweed by winter ice scour can tip persistent rockweed stands to mussel beds. The observational data were analyzed with Anderson's discriminant analysis of principal coordinates, which provided an objective function to separate mussel beds from rockweed stands. The function was then applied to 55 experimental plots, which had been established in rockweed stands in 1996. Based on 2005 data, all uncleared controls and all but one of the small clearings were classified as rockweed stands; 37% of the large clearings were classified as mussel beds. Our results address the establishment of mussels versus rockweeds and complement rather than refute the current paradigm that mussel beds and rockweed stands, once established, are maintained by site-specific differences in strong consumer control. PMID:19399520

  20. Sources, factors, mechanisms and possible solutions to pollutants in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Mostofa, Khan M G; Liu, Cong-Qiang; Vione, Davide; Gao, Kunshan; Ogawa, Hiroshi

    2013-11-01

    Algal toxins or red-tide toxins produced during algal blooms are naturally-derived toxic emerging contaminants (ECs) that may kill organisms, including humans, through contaminated fish or seafood. Other ECs produced either naturally or anthropogenically ultimately flow into marine waters. Pharmaceuticals are also an important pollution source, mostly due to overproduction and incorrect disposal. Ship breaking and recycle industries (SBRIs) can also release various pollutants and substantially deteriorate habitats and marine biodiversity. Overfishing is significantly increasing due to the global food crisis, caused by an increasing world population. Organic matter (OM) pollution and global warming (GW) are key factors that exacerbate these challenges (e.g. algal blooms), to which acidification in marine waters should be added as well. Sources, factors, mechanisms and possible remedial measures of these challenges to marine ecosystems are discussed, including their eventual impact on all forms of life including humans. PMID:23992682

  1. Tropical Marginal Seas: Priority Regions for Managing Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinnon, A. David; Williams, Alan; Young, Jock; Ceccarelli, Daniela; Dunstan, Piers; Brewin, Robert J. W.; Watson, Reg; Brinkman, Richard; Cappo, Mike; Duggan, Samantha; Kelley, Russell; Ridgway, Ken; Lindsay, Dhugal; Gledhill, Daniel; Hutton, Trevor; Richardson, Anthony J.

    2014-01-01

    Tropical marginal seas (TMSs) are natural subregions of tropical oceans containing biodiverse ecosystems with conspicuous, valued, and vulnerable biodiversity assets. They are focal points for global marine conservation because they occur in regions where human populations are rapidly expanding. Our review of 11 TMSs focuses on three key ecosystems - coral reefs and emergent atolls, deep benthic systems, and pelagic biomes - and synthesizes, illustrates, and contrasts knowledge of biodiversity, ecosystem function, interaction between adjacent habitats, and anthropogenic pressures. TMSs vary in the extent that they have been subject to human influence - from the nearly pristine Coral Sea to the heavily exploited South China and Caribbean Seas - but we predict that they will all be similarly complex to manage because most span multiple national jurisdictions. We conclude that developing a structured process to identify ecologically and biologically significant areas that uses a set of globally agreed criteria is a tractable first step toward effective multinational and transboundary ecosystem management of TMSs.

  2. Protecting marine biodiversity to preserve ecosystem functioning: A tribute to Carlo Heip

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herman, Peter; Warwick, Richard; Aller, Robert; Arvanitidis, Christos; Hewitt, Judi; Stal, Lucas; Vincx, Magda

    2015-04-01

    Carlo Heip was the highly respected Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Sea Research until his untimely death on 15 February 2013. As a tribute, the Journal wished to organize a special volume in his honour, the scope of which would provide an overview of the current state of affairs and the future outlook of marine biodiversity, a field of research to which Carlo made a major contribution. The volume places special emphasis on how marine biodiversity links to ecosystem functioning. Authors were invited to address such issues as: Which ecosystem functions are vulnerable to loss of biodiversity and how is the relation causally structured? How do trophic and non-trophic networks in ecosystems function and how do they depend on biodiversity? What is the role of spatial structuring for biodiversity? What is the role of biodiversity in biogeochemical fluxes at different scales? What are the new frontiers in the study of marine biodiversity and how can functional aspects be integrated in them? In this approach we wanted to cover a broad range of organisms reflecting Carlo's interests, the whole marine area from coastal systems to the deep sea, and spatial scales from single locations to worldwide databases.

  3. Oceanic periglacial in the evolution of the Arctic marine ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Matishov, G.G.

    1996-12-31

    A study of the Arctic marine and land environment and biota is connected with the analysis of the global climatic changes and the general history of Arctic and subarctic ecological systems. Ancient glaciation not only influenced the geomorphology of landscapes, physical and chemical properties of the ocean and its seas, but also caused the global change of the morphoclimatic zonality in the ocean as a whole. Submarine and subaqual hydrological, geomorphological and biological processes on the shelves of polar and temperate latitudes had intensified especially during the melting of continental glaciers. The study of the periglacial problem consists, as a whole, in the research of the geological and biological phenomena which take place in the pelagial and the benthal outside the ice sheets and are connected with them by causal, spatial and temporal relations.

  4. Bioinvasion: a paradigm shift from marine to inland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Jaiswal, Neeshma; Malhotra, Anshu; Malhotra, Sandeep K

    2016-06-01

    Anisakidosis is one of the most fearsome zoonotic food borne disease in aquaculture. The natural infections by anisakidoids or related variety in freshwater fish are not known, though sporadic experimental reports are available abroad (Butcher and Shamsi 2011). Invasive severity of anisakidoids in fish from Gangetic riverine ecosystems, i.e., in river Ganges at Fatehpur and Allahabad, as well as in river Yamuna at Allahabad, and molecular heterogeneity among these worms have been extensively investigated. The pathways of transmission of non-native alien species due to long distance migratory habits of Rita rita, man-made alterations including dredging in long stretches of the river bed of Ganges to facilitate ballast water transfer mechanism owing to the commercial ship movements between Haldia and Allahabad; and sudden water chemistry (salinity, hardness, alkalinity) alteration (due particularly to rainy period) oriented micro-fauna interchange are identified, and remedial measures suggested. PMID:27413303

  5. Climate change, coral reef ecosystems, and management options for marine protected areas.

    PubMed

    Keller, Brian D; Gleason, Daniel F; McLeod, Elizabeth; Woodley, Christa M; Airamé, Satie; Causey, Billy D; Friedlander, Alan M; Grober-Dunsmore, Rikki; Johnson, Johanna E; Miller, Steven L; Steneck, Robert S

    2009-12-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) provide place-based management of marine ecosystems through various degrees and types of protective actions. Habitats such as coral reefs are especially susceptible to degradation resulting from climate change, as evidenced by mass bleaching events over the past two decades. Marine ecosystems are being altered by direct effects of climate change including ocean warming, ocean acidification, rising sea level, changing circulation patterns, increasing severity of storms, and changing freshwater influxes. As impacts of climate change strengthen they may exacerbate effects of existing stressors and require new or modified management approaches; MPA networks are generally accepted as an improvement over individual MPAs to address multiple threats to the marine environment. While MPA networks are considered a potentially effective management approach for conserving marine biodiversity, they should be established in conjunction with other management strategies, such as fisheries regulations and reductions of nutrients and other forms of land-based pollution. Information about interactions between climate change and more "traditional" stressors is limited. MPA managers are faced with high levels of uncertainty about likely outcomes of management actions because climate change impacts have strong interactions with existing stressors, such as land-based sources of pollution, overfishing and destructive fishing practices, invasive species, and diseases. Management options include ameliorating existing stressors, protecting potentially resilient areas, developing networks of MPAs, and integrating climate change into MPA planning, management, and evaluation. PMID:19636605

  6. The Mar Piccolo of Taranto: an interesting marine ecosystem for the environmental problems studies.

    PubMed

    Cardellicchio, Nicola; Annicchiarico, Cristina; Di Leo, Antonella; Giandomenico, Santina; Spada, Lucia

    2016-07-01

    The National Project RITMARE (la Ricerca ITaliana per il MARE-Italian Research for the sea) started from 1 January 2012. It is one of the national research programs funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Research. RITMARE is coordinated by the National Research Council (CNR) and involves an integrated effort of most of the scientific community working on marine and maritime issues. Within the project, different marine study areas of strategic importance for the Mediterranean have been identified: Among these, the coastal area of Taranto (Ionian Sea, Southern Italy) was chosen for its different industry settlements and the relative impact on the marine environment. In particular, the research has been concentrated on the Mar Piccolo of Taranto, a complex marine ecosystem model important in terms of ecological, social, and economic activities for the presence also of extensive mussel farms. The site has been selected also because the Mar Piccolo area is a characteristic "on field" laboratory suitable to investigate release and diffusion mechanisms of contaminants, evaluate chemical-ecological risks towards the marine ecosystem and human health, and suggest and test potential remediation strategies for contaminated sediments. In this context, within the project RITMARE, a task force of researchers has contributed to elaboration a functioning conceptual model with a multidisciplinary approach useful to identify anthropogenic forcings, its impacts, and solutions of environmental remediation. This paper describes in brief some of the environmental issues related to the Mar Piccolo basin. PMID:26111753

  7. Climate Change, Coral Reef Ecosystems, and Management Options for Marine Protected Areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, Brian D.; Gleason, Daniel F.; McLeod, Elizabeth; Woodley, Christa M.; Airamé, Satie; Causey, Billy D.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Grober-Dunsmore, Rikki; Johnson, Johanna E.; Miller, Steven L.; Steneck, Robert S.

    2009-12-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) provide place-based management of marine ecosystems through various degrees and types of protective actions. Habitats such as coral reefs are especially susceptible to degradation resulting from climate change, as evidenced by mass bleaching events over the past two decades. Marine ecosystems are being altered by direct effects of climate change including ocean warming, ocean acidification, rising sea level, changing circulation patterns, increasing severity of storms, and changing freshwater influxes. As impacts of climate change strengthen they may exacerbate effects of existing stressors and require new or modified management approaches; MPA networks are generally accepted as an improvement over individual MPAs to address multiple threats to the marine environment. While MPA networks are considered a potentially effective management approach for conserving marine biodiversity, they should be established in conjunction with other management strategies, such as fisheries regulations and reductions of nutrients and other forms of land-based pollution. Information about interactions between climate change and more “traditional” stressors is limited. MPA managers are faced with high levels of uncertainty about likely outcomes of management actions because climate change impacts have strong interactions with existing stressors, such as land-based sources of pollution, overfishing and destructive fishing practices, invasive species, and diseases. Management options include ameliorating existing stressors, protecting potentially resilient areas, developing networks of MPAs, and integrating climate change into MPA planning, management, and evaluation.

  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. High abundances of cyanomyoviruses in marine ecosystems demonstrate ecological relevance.

    PubMed

    Matteson, Audrey R; Rowe, Janet M; Ponsero, Alise J; Pimentel, Tiana M; Boyd, Philip W; Wilhelm, Steven W

    2013-05-01

    The distribution of cyanomyoviruses was estimated using a quantitative PCR (qPCR) approach that targeted the g20 gene as a proxy for phage. Samples were collected spatially during a > 3000 km transect through the Sargasso Sea and temporally during a gyre-constrained phytoplankton bloom within the southern Pacific Ocean. Cyanomyovirus abundances were lower in the Sargasso Sea than in the southern Pacific Ocean, ranging from 2.75 × 10(3) to 5.15 × 10(4) mL(-1) and correlating with the abundance of their potential hosts (Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus). Cyanomyovirus abundance in the southern Pacific Ocean (east of New Zealand) followed Synechococcus host populations in the system: this included a decrease in g20 gene copies (from 4.3 × 10(5) to 9.6 × 10(3) mL(-1) ) following the demise of a Synechococcus bloom. When compared with direct counts of viruses, observations suggest that the cyanomyoviruses comprised 0.5 to >25% of the total virus community. We estimated daily lysis rates of 0.2-46% of the standing stock of Synechococcus in the Pacific Ocean compared with c. < 1.0% in the Sargasso Sea. In total, our observations confirm this family of viruses is abundant in marine systems and that they are an important source of cyanobacterial mortality. PMID:23240688

  10. Guiana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis) as marine ecosystem sentinels: ecotoxicology and emerging diseases.

    PubMed

    de Moura, Jailson Fulgencio; Hauser-Davis, Rachel Ann; Lemos, Leila; Emin-Lima, Renata; Siciliano, Salvatore

    2014-01-01

    Guiana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis) are small cetaceans that inhabit coastal regions down to a 50 m depth. As a coastally distributed species, they are exposed to a variety of human-induced risks that include passive fishing nets, persistent environmental pollution, and emerging diseases. As a top predatorS. guianensis occupies an important ecological niche in marine ecosystems. However, this niche also exposes this dolphin to extensive biomagnification of marine contaminants that may accumulate and be stored throughout their life of about 30 years.In this paper, we have compiled available data on the Guiana dolphin as regards its exposure to chemical pollutants, pathogenic microbes, infectious diseases, and injuries caused by interactions with passive fishing gears. Our analysis of the data shows that Guiana dolphins are particularly sensitive to environmental changes.Although the major mortal threat to dolphins results from contact with fishing other human-related activities in coastal zones also pose risks and need more attention.Such human-related risks include the presence of persistent toxicants in the marine environment, such as PCBs and PBDEs. Residues of these chemicals have been detected in Guiana dolphin's tissues at similar or higher levels that exist in cetaceans from other known polluted areas. Another risk encountered by this species is the non lethal injuries caused by fishing gear. Several incidents of this sort have occurred along the Brazilian coast with this species. When injuries are produced by interaction with fishing gear, the dorsal fin is the part of the dolphin anatomy that is more affected, commonly causing severe laceration or even total loss.The Guiana dolphins also face risks from infectious diseases. The major ones thus far identified include giardiasis, lobomycosis, toxoplasmosis, skin and skeletal lesions. Many bacterial pathogens from the family Aeromonadaceae and Vibrionaceae have been isolated from Guiana dolphins. Several

  11. Structurally complex habitats provided by Acropora palmata influence ecosystem processes on a reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemoine, N. P.; Valentine, J. F.

    2012-09-01

    The disappearance of Acropora palmata from reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) represents a significant loss in the amount of structurally complex habitat available for reef-associated species. The consequences of such a widespread loss of complex structure on ecosystem processes are still unclear. We sought to determine whether the disappearance of complex structure has adversely affected grazing and invertebrate predation rates on a shallow reef in the FKNMS. Surprisingly, we found grazing rates and invertebrate predation rates were lower in the structurally complex A. palmata branches than on the topographically simple degraded reefs. We attribute these results to high densities of aggressively territorial damselfish, Stegastes planifrons, living within A. palmata. Our study suggests the presence of agonistic damselfish can cause the realized spatial patterns of ecosystem processes to deviate from the expected patterns. Reef ecologists must therefore carefully consider the assemblage of associate fish communities when assessing how the mortality of A. palmata has affected coral reef ecosystem processes.

  12. Modeling the impact of watershed management policies on marine ecosystem services with application to Hood Canal, WA, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutherland, D. A.; Kim, C.; Marsik, M.; Spiridonov, G.; Toft, J.; Ruckelshaus, M.; Guerry, A.; Plummer, M.

    2011-12-01

    Humans obtain numerous benefits from marine ecosystems, including fish to eat; mitigation of storm damage; nutrient and water cycling and primary production; and cultural, aesthetic and recreational values. However, managing these benefits, or ecosystem services, in the marine world relies on an integrated approach that accounts for both marine and watershed activities. Here we present the results of a set of simple, physically-based, and spatially-explicit models that quantify the effects of terrestrial activities on marine ecosystem services. Specifically, we model the circulation and water quality of Hood Canal, WA, USA, a fjord system in Puget Sound where multiple human uses of the nearshore ecosystem (e.g., shellfish aquaculture, recreational Dungeness crab and shellfish harvest) can be compromised when water quality is poor (e.g., hypoxia, excessive non-point source pollution). Linked to the estuarine water quality model is a terrestrial hydrology model that simulates streamflow and nutrient loading, so land cover and climate changes in watersheds can be reflected in the marine environment. In addition, a shellfish aquaculture model is linked to the water quality model to test the sensitivity of the ecosystem service and its value to both terrestrial and marine activities. The modeling framework is general and will be publicly available, allowing easy comparisons of watershed impacts on marine ecosystem services across multiple scales and regions.

  13. Biological Invasions Impact Ecosystem Properties and can Affect Climate Predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez-Meler, M.; Matamala, R.; Cook, D. R.; Graham, S.; Fan, Z.; Gomez-Casanovas, N.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change models vary widely in their predictions of the effects of climate forcing, in part because of difficulties in assigning sources of uncertainties and in simulating changes in the carbon source/sink status and climate-carbon cycle feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems. We studied the impacts of vegetation and weather variations on carbon and energy fluxes at a restored tallgrass prairie in Illinois. The prairie was a strong carbon sink, despite a prolonged drought period and vegetation changes due to the presence of a non-native biennial plant. A model considering the combined effects of air temperature, precipitation, RH, incoming solar radiation, and vegetation was also developed and used to describe net ecosystem exchange for all years. The vegetation factor was represented in the model with summer albedo and/or NDVI. Results showed that the vegetation factor was more important than abiotic factors in describing changes in C and energy fluxes in ecosystems under disturbances. Changes from natives to a non-native forbs species had the strongest effect in reducing net ecosystem production and increasing sensible heat flux and albedo, which may result in positive feedbacks on warming. Here we show that non-native species invasions can alter the ecosystem sensitivity to climatic factors often construed in models.

  14. Impacts of discarded plastic bags on marine assemblages and ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Green, Dannielle Senga; Boots, Bas; Blockley, David James; Rocha, Carlos; Thompson, Richard

    2015-05-01

    The accumulation of plastic debris is a global environmental problem due to its durability, persistence, and abundance. Although effects of plastic debris on individual marine organisms, particularly mammals and birds, have been extensively documented (e.g., entanglement and choking), very little is known about effects on assemblages and consequences for ecosystem functioning. In Europe, around 40% of the plastic items produced are utilized as single-use packaging, which rapidly accumulate in waste management facilities and as litter in the environment. A range of biodegradable plastics have been developed with the aspiration of reducing the persistence of litter; however, their impacts on marine assemblages or ecosystem functioning have never been evaluated. A field experiment was conducted to assess the impact of conventional and biodegradable plastic carrier bags as litter on benthic macro- and meio-faunal assemblages and biogeochemical processes (primary productivity, redox condition, organic matter content, and pore-water nutrients) on an intertidal shore near Dublin, Ireland. After 9 weeks, the presence of either type of bag created anoxic conditions within the sediment along with reduced primary productivity and organic matter and significantly lower abundances of infaunal invertebrates. This indicates that both conventional and biodegradable bags can rapidly alter marine assemblages and the ecosystem services they provide. PMID:25822754

  15. Methylmercury in Marine Ecosystems: Spatial Patterns and Processes of Production, Bioaccumulation, and Biomagnification

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Celia; Amirbahman, Aria; Fisher, Nicholas; Harding, Gareth; Lamborg, Carl; Nacci, Diane; Taylor, David

    2008-01-01

    The spatial variation of MeHg production, bioaccumulation and biomagnification in marine food webs is poorly characterized but critical to understanding the links between sources and higher trophic levels such as fish that are ultimately vectors of human and wildlife exposure. This paper discusses both large and local scale processes controlling Hg supply, methylation, bioaccumulation and transfer in marine ecosystems. While global estimates of Hg supply suggest important open ocean reservoirs of MeHg, only coastal processes and food webs are known sources of MeHg production, bioaccumulation, and bioadvection. The patterns observed to date suggest that not all sources and biotic receptors are spatially linked and that physical and ecological processes are important in transferring MeHg from source regions to bioaccumulation in marine food webs and from lower to higher trophic levels. PMID:19015919

  16. Seabird diversity hotspot linked to ocean productivity in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Attrill, Martin J.; Becker, Peter H.; Egevang, Carsten; Furness, Robert W.; Grémillet, David; Kopp, Matthias; Lescroël, Amélie; Matthiopoulos, Jason; Peter, Hans-Ulrich; Phillips, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    Upwelling regions are highly productive habitats targeted by wide-ranging marine predators and industrial fisheries. In this study, we track the migratory movements of eight seabird species from across the Atlantic; quantify overlap with the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) and determine the habitat characteristics that drive this association. Our results indicate the CCLME is a biodiversity hotspot for migratory seabirds; all tracked species and more than 70% of individuals used this upwelling region. Relative species richness peaked in areas where sea surface temperature averaged between 15 and 20°C, and correlated positively with chlorophyll a, revealing the optimum conditions driving bottom-up trophic effects for seabirds. Marine vertebrates are not confined by international boundaries, making conservation challenging. However, by linking diversity to ocean productivity, our research reveals the significance of the CCLME for seabird populations from across the Atlantic, making it a priority for conservation action. PMID:27531154

  17. Seabird diversity hotspot linked to ocean productivity in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Grecian, W James; Witt, Matthew J; Attrill, Martin J; Bearhop, Stuart; Becker, Peter H; Egevang, Carsten; Furness, Robert W; Godley, Brendan J; González-Solís, Jacob; Grémillet, David; Kopp, Matthias; Lescroël, Amélie; Matthiopoulos, Jason; Patrick, Samantha C; Peter, Hans-Ulrich; Phillips, Richard A; Stenhouse, Iain J; Votier, Stephen C

    2016-08-01

    Upwelling regions are highly productive habitats targeted by wide-ranging marine predators and industrial fisheries. In this study, we track the migratory movements of eight seabird species from across the Atlantic; quantify overlap with the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) and determine the habitat characteristics that drive this association. Our results indicate the CCLME is a biodiversity hotspot for migratory seabirds; all tracked species and more than 70% of individuals used this upwelling region. Relative species richness peaked in areas where sea surface temperature averaged between 15 and 20°C, and correlated positively with chlorophyll a, revealing the optimum conditions driving bottom-up trophic effects for seabirds. Marine vertebrates are not confined by international boundaries, making conservation challenging. However, by linking diversity to ocean productivity, our research reveals the significance of the CCLME for seabird populations from across the Atlantic, making it a priority for conservation action. PMID:27531154

  18. The Large Marine Ecosystem Approach for 21st Century Ocean Health and International Sustainable Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Honey, K. T.

    2014-12-01

    The global coastal ocean and watersheds are divided into 66 Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs), which encompass regions from river basins, estuaries, and coasts to the seaward boundaries of continental shelves and margins of major currents. Approximately 80% of global fisheries catch comes from LME waters. Ecosystem goods and services from LMEs contribute an estimated US 18-25 trillion dollars annually to the global economy in market and non-market value. The critical importance of these large-scale systems, however, is threatened by human populations and pressures, including climate change. Fortunately, there is pragmatic reason for optimism. Interdisciplinary frameworks exist, such as the Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) approach for adaptive management that can integrate both nature-centric and human-centric views into ecosystem monitoring, assessment, and adaptive management practices for long-term sustainability. Originally proposed almost 30 years ago, the LME approach rests on five modules are: (i) productivity, (ii) fish and fisheries, (iii) pollution and ecosystem health, (iv) socioeconomics, and (v) governance for iterative adaptive management at a large, international scale of 200,000 km2 or greater. The Global Environment Facility (GEF), World Bank, and United Nations agencies recognize and support the LME approach—as evidenced by over 3.15 billion in financial assistance to date for LME projects. This year of 2014 is an exciting milestone in LME history, after 20 years of the United Nations and GEF organizations adopting LMEs as a unit for ecosystem-based approaches to management. The LME approach, however, is not perfect. Nor is it immutable. Similar to the adaptive management framework it propones, the LME approach itself must adapt to new and emerging 21st Century technologies, science, and realities. The LME approach must further consider socioeconomics and governance. Within the socioeconomics module alone, several trillion-dollar opportunities exist

  19. Ecosystem Warming Affects CO2 Flux in an Agricultural Soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Global warming seems likely based on present-day climate predictions. Our objective was to characterize and quantify the interactive effects of ecosystem warming (i.e., canopy temperature, TS), soil moisture content ('S) and microbial biomass (BM: bacteria, fungi) on the intra-row soil CO2 flux (FS)...

  20. Summertime CO2 fluxes and ecosystem respiration from marine animal colony tundra in maritime Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Renbin; Bao, Tao; Wang, Qing; Xu, Hua; Liu, Yashu

    2014-12-01

    Net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and ecosystem respiration (ER) were investigated at penguin, seal and skua colony tundra and the adjacent animal-lacking tundra sites in maritime Antarctica. Net CO2 fluxes showed a large difference between marine animal colonies and animal-lacking tundra sites. The mean NEE from penguin, seal and skua colony tundra sites ranged from -37.2 to 5.2 mg CO2 m-2 h-1, whereas animal-lacking tundra sites experienced a larger net gain of CO2 with the mean flux range from -85.6 to -23.9 mg CO2 m-2 h-1. Ecosystem respiration rates at penguin colony tundra sites (mean 201.3 ± 31.4 mg CO2 m-2 h-1) were significantly higher (P < 0.01) than those at penguin-lacking tundra sites (64.0-87.1 mg CO2 m-2 h-1). The gross photosynthesis (Pg) showed a consistent trend to ER with the highest mean Pg (219.7 ± 34.5 mg CO2 m-2 h-1) at penguin colony tundra sites. When all the data were combined from different types of tundra ecosystems, summertime tundra NEE showed a weak or strong positive correlation with air temperature, 0-10 cm soil temperature or precipitation. The NEE from marine animal colony and animal-lacking tundra was significantly positively correlated (P < 0.001) with soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN) contents and C:N ratios. The ER showed a significant exponential correlation (P < 0.01) with mean 0-15 cm soil temperature, and much higher Q10 value (9.97) was obtained compared with other terrestrial ecosystems, indicating greater temperature sensitivity of tundra ecosystem respiration. Our results indicate that marine animals and the deposition of their excreta might have an important effect on tundra CO2 exchanges and ecosystem respiration, and current climate warming will further decrease tundra CO2 sink in maritime Antarctica.

  1. Provenance for actionable data products and indicators in marine ecosystem assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beaulieu, S. E.; Maffei, A. R.; Fox, P. A.; West, P.; Di Stefano, M.; Hare, J. A.; Fogarty, M.

    2013-12-01

    Ecosystem-based management of Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) involves the sharing of data and information products among a diverse set of stakeholders - from environmental and fisheries scientists to policy makers, commercial entities, nonprofits, and the public. Often the data products that are shared have resulted from a number of processing steps and may also have involved the combination of a number of data sources. The traceability from an actionable data product or indicator back to its original data source(s) is important not just for trust and understanding of each final data product, but also to compare with similar data products produced by the different stakeholder groups. For a data product to be traceable, its provenance, i.e., lineage or history, must be recorded and preferably machine-readable. We are collaborating on a use case to develop a software framework for the bi-annual Ecosystem Status Report (ESR) for the U.S. Northeast Shelf LME. The ESR presents indicators of ecosystem status including climate forcing, primary and secondary production, anthropogenic factors, and integrated ecosystem measures. Our software framework retrieves data, conducts standard analyses, provides iterative and interactive visualization, and generates final graphics for the ESR. The specific process for each data and information product is updated in a metadata template, including data source, code versioning, attribution, and related contextual information suitable for traceability, repeatability, explanation, verification, and validation. Here we present the use of standard metadata for provenance for data products in the ESR, in particular the W3C provenance (PROV) family of specifications, including the PROV-O ontology which maps the PROV data model to RDF. We are also exploring extensions to PROV-O in development (e.g., PROV-ES for Earth Science Data Systems, D-PROV for workflow structure). To associate data products in the ESR to domain-specific ontologies we are

  2. Microbial processes in marine ecosystem models: state of the art and future prospective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polimene, L.; Butenschon, M.; Blackford, J.; Allen, I.

    2012-12-01

    Heterotrophic bacteria play a key role in the marine biogeochemistry being the main consumer of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and the main producer of carbon dioxide (CO2) by respiration. Quantifying the carbon and energy fluxes within bacteria (i.e. production, respiration, overflow metabolism etc.) is therefore crucial for the assessment of the global ocean carbon and nutrient cycles. Consequently, the description of bacteria dynamic in ecosystem models is a key (although challenging) issue which cannot be overlooked if we want to properly simulate the marine environment. We present an overview of the microbial processes described in the European Sea Regional Ecosystem Model (ERSEM), a state of the art biogeochemical model resolving carbon and nutrient cycles (N, P, Si and Fe) within the low trophic levels (up to mesozooplankton) of the marine ecosystem. The description of the theoretical assumptions and philosophy underpinning the ERSEM bacteria sub-model will be followed by the presentation of some case studies highlighting the relevance of resolving microbial processes in the simulation of ecosystem dynamics at a local scale. Recent results concerning the implementation of ERSEM on a global ocean domain will be also presented. This latter exercise includes a comparison between simulations carried out with the full bacteria sub-model and simulations carried out with an implicit parameterization of bacterial activity. The results strongly underline the importance of explicitly resolved bacteria in the simulation of global carbon fluxes. Finally, a summary of the future developments along with issues still open on the topic will be presented and discussed.

  3. Concepts and approaches for marine ecosystem research with reference to the tropics.

    PubMed

    Wolff, Matthias

    2002-06-01

    The present article gives an overview on the leading concepts and modelling approaches for marine ecosystems' research including (1) The trophodynamic theory of pelagic ecosystems, (2) Compartment/network models, (3) Mesocosm experiments and (4) Individual based modelling approaches and virtual ecosystems (VE). The main research questions addressed, as well as the potential and limits of each approach, are summarized and discussed and it is shown how the concept of ecosystem has changed over time. Aquatic biomass spectra (derived from the theory of pelagic ecosystems) can give insight into the trophic structure of different systems, and can show how organism sizes are distributed within the system and how different size groups participate in the system's metabolism and production. Compartment/network models allow for a more detailed description of the trophic structure of ecosystems and of the energy/biomass fluxes through the explicit modelling of P/B- and food consumption rates and biomasses for each system compartment. Moreover, system indices for a characterization and comparison with other systems can be obtained such as average trophic efficiency, energy throughput, and degree of connectivity, degree of maturity, and others. Recent dynamic extensions of trophic network models allow for exploring past and future impacts of fishing and environmental disturbances as well as to explore policies such as marine protected areas. Mesocosm experiments address a multitude of questions related to aquatic processes (i.e. primary production, grazing, predation, energy transfer between trophic levels etc.) and the behaviour of organisms (i.e. growth, migration, response to contaminants etc.) under semi-natural conditions. As processes within mesocosms often differ in rate and magnitude from those occurring in nature, mesocosms should be viewed as large in vitro experiments designed to test selected components of the ecosystem and not as an attempt to enclose a multitude of

  4. Impacts of extreme weather events on highly eutrophic marine ecosystem (Rogoznica Lake, Adriatic coast)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciglenečki, I.; Janeković, I.; Marguš, M.; Bura-Nakić, E.; Carić, M.; Ljubešić, Z.; Batistić, M.; Hrustić, E.; Dupčić, I.; Garić, R.

    2015-10-01

    Rogoznica Lake is highly eutrophic marine system located on the Eastern Adriatic coast (43°32‧N, 15°58‧E). Because of the relatively small size (10,276 m2) and depth (15 m) it experiences strong natural and indirect anthropogenic influences. Dynamics within the lake is characterized by the extreme and highly variable environmental conditions (seasonal variations in salinity and temperature, water stratification and mixing, redox and euxinic conditions, concentrations of nutrients) which significantly influence the biology inside the lake. Due to the high phytoplankton activity, the upper part of the water column is well oxygenated, while hypoxia/anoxia usually occurs in the bottom layers. Anoxic part of the water column is characterized with high concentrations of sulfide (up to 5 mM) and nutrients (NH4+ up to 315 μM; PO43- up to 53 μM; SiO44- up to 680 μM) indicating the pronounced remineralization of the allochthonous organic matter, produced in the surface waters. The mixolimnion varies significantly within a season feeling effects of the Adriatic atmospheric and ocean dynamics (temperature, wind, heat fluxes, rainfall) which all affect the vertical stability and possibly induce vertical mixing and/or turnover. Seasonal vertical mixing usually occurs during the autumn/winter upon the breakdown of the stratification, injecting oxygen-rich water from the surface into the deeper layers. Depending on the intensity and duration of the vertical dynamics (slower diffusion and/or faster turnover of the water layers) anoxic conditions could developed within the whole water column. Extreme weather events such as abrupt change in the air temperature accompanied with a strong wind and consequently heat flux are found to be a key triggering mechanism for the fast turnover, introducing a large amount of nutrients and sulfur species from deeper parts to the surface. Increased concentration of nutrients, especially ammonium, phosphate, and silicates persisting for

  5. The relevance of marine chemical ecology to plankton and ecosystem function: an emerging field.

    PubMed

    Ianora, Adrianna; Bentley, Matthew G; Caldwell, Gary S; Casotti, Raffaella; Cembella, Allan D; Engström-Öst, Jonna; Halsband, Claudia; Sonnenschein, Eva; Legrand, Catherine; Llewellyn, Carole A; Paldavičienë, Aistë; Pilkaityte, Renata; Pohnert, Georg; Razinkovas, Arturas; Romano, Giovanna; Tillmann, Urban; Vaiciute, Diana

    2011-01-01

    Marine chemical ecology comprises the study of the production and interaction of bioactive molecules affecting organism behavior and function. Here we focus on bioactive compounds and interactions associated with phytoplankton, particularly bloom-forming diatoms, prymnesiophytes and dinoflagellates. Planktonic bioactive metabolites are structurally and functionally diverse and some may have multiple simultaneous functions including roles in chemical defense (antipredator, allelopathic and antibacterial compounds), and/or cell-to-cell signaling (e.g., polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs) of diatoms). Among inducible chemical defenses in response to grazing, there is high species-specific variability in the effects on grazers, ranging from severe physical incapacitation and/or death to no apparent physiological response, depending on predator susceptibility and detoxification capability. Most bioactive compounds are present in very low concentrations, in both the producing organism and the surrounding aqueous medium. Furthermore, bioactivity may be subject to synergistic interactions with other natural and anthropogenic environmental toxicants. Most, if not all phycotoxins are classic secondary metabolites, but many other bioactive metabolites are simple molecules derived from primary metabolism (e.g., PUAs in diatoms, dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) in prymnesiophytes). Producing cells do not seem to suffer physiological impact due to their synthesis. Functional genome sequence data and gene expression analysis will provide insights into regulatory and metabolic pathways in producer organisms, as well as identification of mechanisms of action in target organisms. Understanding chemical ecological responses to environmental triggers and chemically-mediated species interactions will help define crucial chemical and molecular processes that help maintain biodiversity and ecosystem functionality. PMID:22131962

  6. The Relevance of Marine Chemical Ecology to Plankton and Ecosystem Function: An Emerging Field

    PubMed Central

    Ianora, Adrianna; Bentley, Matthew G.; Caldwell, Gary S.; Casotti, Raffaella; Cembella, Allan D.; Engström-Öst, Jonna; Halsband, Claudia; Sonnenschein, Eva; Legrand, Catherine; Llewellyn, Carole A.; Paldavičienë, Aistë; Pilkaityte, Renata; Pohnert, Georg; Razinkovas, Arturas; Romano, Giovanna; Tillmann, Urban; Vaiciute, Diana

    2011-01-01

    Marine chemical ecology comprises the study of the production and interaction of bioactive molecules affecting organism behavior and function. Here we focus on bioactive compounds and interactions associated with phytoplankton, particularly bloom-forming diatoms, prymnesiophytes and dinoflagellates. Planktonic bioactive metabolites are structurally and functionally diverse and some may have multiple simultaneous functions including roles in chemical defense (antipredator, allelopathic and antibacterial compounds), and/or cell-to-cell signaling (e.g., polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs) of diatoms). Among inducible chemical defenses in response to grazing, there is high species-specific variability in the effects on grazers, ranging from severe physical incapacitation and/or death to no apparent physiological response, depending on predator susceptibility and detoxification capability. Most bioactive compounds are present in very low concentrations, in both the producing organism and the surrounding aqueous medium. Furthermore, bioactivity may be subject to synergistic interactions with other natural and anthropogenic environmental toxicants. Most, if not all phycotoxins are classic secondary metabolites, but many other bioactive metabolites are simple molecules derived from primary metabolism (e.g., PUAs in diatoms, dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) in prymnesiophytes). Producing cells do not seem to suffer physiological impact due to their synthesis. Functional genome sequence data and gene expression analysis will provide insights into regulatory and metabolic pathways in producer organisms, as well as identification of mechanisms of action in target organisms. Understanding chemical ecological responses to environmental triggers and chemically-mediated species interactions will help define crucial chemical and molecular processes that help maintain biodiversity and ecosystem functionality. PMID:22131962

  7. Sessile and mobile components of a benthic ecosystem display mixed trends within a temperate marine reserve.

    PubMed

    Howarth, Leigh M; Pickup, Sarah E; Evans, Lowri E; Cross, Tim J; Hawkins, Julie P; Roberts, Callum M; Stewart, Bryce D

    2015-06-01

    Despite recent efforts to increase the global coverage of marine protected areas (MPAs), studies investigating the effectiveness of marine protected areas within temperate waters remain scarce. Furthermore, out of the few studies published on MPAs in temperate waters, the majority focus on specific ecological or fishery components rather than investigating the ecosystem as a whole. This study therefore investigated the dynamics of both benthic communities and fish populations within a recently established, fully protected marine reserve in Lamlash Bay, Isle of Arran, United Kingdom, over a four year period. A combination of photo and diver surveys revealed live maerl (Phymatolithon calcareum), macroalgae, sponges, hydroids, feather stars and eyelash worms (Myxicola infundibulum) to be significantly more abundant within the marine reserve than on surrounding fishing grounds. Likewise, the overall composition of epifaunal communities in and outside the reserve was significantly different. Both results are consistent with the hypothesis that protecting areas from fishing can encourage seafloor habitats to recover. In addition, the greater abundance of complex habitats within the reserve appeared to providing nursery habitat for juvenile cod (Gadus morhua) and scallops (Pecten maximus and Aequipecten opercularis). In contrast, there was little difference in the abundance of mobile benthic fauna, such as crabs and starfish, between the reserve and outside. Similarly, the use of baited underwater video cameras revealed no difference in the abundance and size of fish between the reserve and outside. Limited recovery of these ecosystem components may be due to the relatively small size (2.67 km(2)) and young age of the reserve (<5 years), both of which might have limited the extent of any benefits afforded to mobile fauna and fish communities. Overall, this study provides evidence that fully protected marine reserves can encourage seafloor habitats to recover, which in

  8. Biological invasions as a component of global change in stressed marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Occhipinti-Ambrogi, A; Savini, D

    2003-05-01

    Biological invasions in marine environment are the lesser known aspect of global change. However, recent events which occurred in the Mediterranean Sea demonstrate that they represent a serious ecological and economical menace leading to biodiversity loss, ecosystem unbalancing, fishery and tourism impairment. In this paper we review marine bioinvasions using examples taken from the Mediterranean/Black Sea region. Particular attention is given to the environmental status of the receiving area as a fundamental pre-requisite for the colonisation success of alien species. The spread of the tropical algae belonging to the genus Caulerpa in the northwestern basin of the Mediterranean Sea has been facilitated by pre-existing conditions of instability of the Posidonia oceanica endemic ecosystem in relation to stress of both natural and anthropogenic origin. Human interventions caused long-term modification in the Black Sea environment, preparing a fertile ground for mass bioinvasion of aquatic nuisance species which, in some cases, altered the original equilibrium of the entire basin. Finally, the Venice lagoon is presented as the third example of an environment subjected to high propagule pressure and anthropogenic forcing and bearing the higher "diversity" of non-indigenous species compared to the other Mediterranean lagoons. Stressed environments are easily colonised by alien species; understanding the links between human and natural disturbance and massive development of non-indigenous species will help prevent marine bioinvasions, that are already favoured by global oceanic trade. PMID:12735951

  9. High-throughput sequencing and morphology perform equally well for benthic monitoring of marine ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Lejzerowicz, Franck; Esling, Philippe; Pillet, Loïc; Wilding, Thomas A.; Black, Kenneth D.; Pawlowski, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Environmental diversity surveys are crucial for the bioassessment of anthropogenic impacts on marine ecosystems. Traditional benthic monitoring relying on morphotaxonomic inventories of macrofaunal communities is expensive, time-consuming and expertise-demanding. High-throughput sequencing of environmental DNA barcodes (metabarcoding) offers an alternative to describe biological communities. However, whether the metabarcoding approach meets the quality standards of benthic monitoring remains to be tested. Here, we compared morphological and eDNA/RNA-based inventories of metazoans from samples collected at 10 stations around a fish farm in Scotland, including near-cage and distant zones. For each of 5 replicate samples per station, we sequenced the V4 region of the 18S rRNA gene using the Illumina technology. After filtering, we obtained 841,766 metazoan sequences clustered in 163 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs). We assigned the OTUs by combining local BLAST searches with phylogenetic analyses. We calculated two commonly used indices: the Infaunal Trophic Index and the AZTI Marine Biotic Index. We found that the molecular data faithfully reflect the morphology-based indices and provides an equivalent assessment of the impact associated with fish farms activities. We advocate that future benthic monitoring should integrate metabarcoding as a rapid and accurate tool for the evaluation of the quality of marine benthic ecosystems. PMID:26355099

  10. The importance of within-system spatial variation in drivers of marine ecosystem regime shifts

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, J. A. D.; Casini, M.; Frank, K. T.; Möllmann, C.; Leggett, W. C.; Daskalov, G.

    2015-01-01

    Comparative analyses of the dynamics of exploited marine ecosystems have led to differing hypotheses regarding the primary causes of observed regime shifts, while many ecosystems have apparently not undergone regime shifts. These varied responses may be partly explained by the decade-old recognition that within-system spatial heterogeneity in key climate and anthropogenic drivers may be important, as recent theoretical examinations have concluded that spatial heterogeneity in environmental characteristics may diminish the tendency for regime shifts. Here, we synthesize recent, empirical within-system spatio-temporal analyses of some temperate and subarctic large marine ecosystems in which regime shifts have (and have not) occurred. Examples from the Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Bengula Current, North Sea, Barents Sea and Eastern Scotian Shelf reveal the largely neglected importance of considering spatial variability in key biotic and abiotic influences and species movements in the context of evaluating and predicting regime shifts. We highlight both the importance of understanding the scale-dependent spatial dynamics of climate influences and key predator–prey interactions to unravel the dynamics of regime shifts, and the utility of spatial downscaling of proposed mechanisms (as evident in the North Sea and Barents Sea) as a means of evaluating hypotheses originally derived from among-system comparisons.

  11. An extreme climatic event alters marine ecosystem structure in a global biodiversity hotspot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wernberg, Thomas; Smale, Dan A.; Tuya, Fernando; Thomsen, Mads S.; Langlois, Timothy J.; de Bettignies, Thibaut; Bennett, Scott; Rousseaux, Cecile S.

    2013-01-01

    Extreme climatic events, such as heat waves, are predicted to increase in frequency and magnitude as a consequence of global warming but their ecological effects are poorly understood, particularly in marine ecosystems. In early 2011, the marine ecosystems along the west coast of Australia--a global hotspot of biodiversity and endemism--experienced the highest-magnitude warming event on record. Sea temperatures soared to unprecedented levels and warming anomalies of 2-4°C persisted for more than ten weeks along >2,000km of coastline. We show that biodiversity patterns of temperate seaweeds, sessile invertebrates and demersal fish were significantly different after the warming event, which led to a reduction in the abundance of habitat-forming seaweeds and a subsequent shift in community structure towards a depauperate state and a tropicalization of fish communities. We conclude that extreme climatic events are key drivers of biodiversity patterns and that the frequency and intensity of such episodes have major implications for predictive models of species distribution and ecosystem structure, which are largely based on gradual warming trends.

  12. Deep-water longline fishing has reduced impact on Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Pham, Christopher K.; Diogo, Hugo; Menezes, Gui; Porteiro, Filipe; Braga-Henriques, Andreia; Vandeperre, Frederic; Morato, Telmo

    2014-01-01

    Bottom trawl fishing threatens deep-sea ecosystems, modifying the seafloor morphology and its physical properties, with dramatic consequences on benthic communities. Therefore, the future of deep-sea fishing relies on alternative techniques that maintain the health of deep-sea ecosystems and tolerate appropriate human uses of the marine environment. In this study, we demonstrate that deep-sea bottom longline fishing has little impact on vulnerable marine ecosystems, reducing bycatch of cold-water corals and limiting additional damage to benthic communities. We found that slow-growing vulnerable species are still common in areas subject to more than 20 years of longlining activity and estimate that one deep-sea bottom trawl will have a similar impact to 296–1,719 longlines, depending on the morphological complexity of the impacted species. Given the pronounced differences in the magnitude of disturbances coupled with its selectivity and low fuel consumption, we suggest that regulated deep-sea longlining can be an alternative to deep-sea bottom trawling. PMID:24776718

  13. Community history affects the predictability of microbial ecosystem development

    PubMed Central

    Pagaling, Eulyn; Strathdee, Fiona; Spears, Bryan M; Cates, Michael E; Allen, Rosalind J; Free, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Microbial communities mediate crucial biogeochemical, biomedical and biotechnological processes, yet our understanding of their assembly, and our ability to control its outcome, remain poor. Existing evidence presents conflicting views on whether microbial ecosystem assembly is predictable, or inherently unpredictable. We address this issue using a well-controlled laboratory model system, in which source microbial communities colonize a pristine environment to form complex, nutrient-cycling ecosystems. When the source communities colonize a novel environment, final community composition and function (as measured by redox potential) are unpredictable, although a signature of the community's previous history is maintained. However, when the source communities are pre-conditioned to their new habitat, community development is more reproducible. This situation contrasts with some studies of communities of macro-organisms, where strong selection under novel environmental conditions leads to reproducible community structure, whereas communities under weaker selection show more variability. Our results suggest that the microbial rare biosphere may have an important role in the predictability of microbial community development, and that pre-conditioning may help to reduce unpredictability in the design of microbial communities for biotechnological applications. PMID:23985743

  14. Evidence for climate-driven synchrony of marine and terrestrial ecosystems in northwest Australia.

    PubMed

    Ong, Joyce J L; Rountrey, Adam N; Zinke, Jens; Meeuwig, Jessica J; Grierson, Pauline F; O'Donnell, Alison J; Newman, Stephen J; Lough, Janice M; Trougan, Mélissa; Meekan, Mark G

    2016-08-01

    The effects of climate change are difficult to predict for many marine species because little is known of their response to climate variations in the past. However, long-term chronologies of growth, a variable that integrates multiple physical and biological factors, are now available for several marine taxa. These allow us to search for climate-driven synchrony in growth across multiple taxa and ecosystems, identifying the key processes driving biological responses at very large spatial scales. We hypothesized that in northwest (NW) Australia, a region that is predicted to be strongly influenced by climate change, the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon would be an important factor influencing the growth patterns of organisms in both marine and terrestrial environments. To test this idea, we analyzed existing growth chronologies of the marine fish Lutjanus argentimaculatus, the coral Porites spp. and the tree Callitris columellaris and developed a new chronology for another marine fish, Lethrinus nebulosus. Principal components analysis and linear model selection showed evidence of ENSO-driven synchrony in growth among all four taxa at interannual time scales, the first such result for the Southern Hemisphere. Rainfall, sea surface temperatures, and sea surface salinities, which are linked to the ENSO system, influenced the annual growth of fishes, trees, and corals. All four taxa had negative relationships with the Niño-4 index (a measure of ENSO status), with positive growth patterns occurring during strong La Niña years. This finding implies that future changes in the strength and frequency of ENSO events are likely to have major consequences for both marine and terrestrial taxa. Strong similarities in the growth patterns of fish and trees offer the possibility of using tree-ring chronologies, which span longer time periods than those of fish, to aid understanding of both historical and future responses of fish populations to climate variation

  15. Climate change. Six centuries of variability and extremes in a coupled marine-terrestrial ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Black, Bryan A; Sydeman, William J; Frank, David C; Griffin, Daniel; Stahle, David W; García-Reyes, Marisol; Rykaczewski, Ryan R; Bograd, Steven J; Peterson, William T

    2014-09-19

    Reported trends in the mean and variability of coastal upwelling in eastern boundary currents have raised concerns about the future of these highly productive and biodiverse marine ecosystems. However, the instrumental records on which these estimates are based are insufficiently long to determine whether such trends exceed preindustrial limits. In the California Current, a 576-year reconstruction of climate variables associated with winter upwelling indicates that variability increased over the latter 20th century to levels equaled only twice during the past 600 years. This modern trend in variance may be unique, because it appears to be driven by an unprecedented succession of extreme, downwelling-favorable, winter climate conditions that profoundly reduce productivity for marine predators of commercial and conservation interest. PMID:25237100

  16. Bubble Stripping as a Tool To Reduce High Dissolved CO2 in Coastal Marine Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Koweek, David A; Mucciarone, David A; Dunbar, Robert B

    2016-04-01

    High dissolved CO2 concentrations in coastal ecosystems are a common occurrence due to a combination of large ecosystem metabolism, shallow water, and long residence times. Many important coastal species may have adapted to this natural variability over time, but eutrophication and ocean acidification may be perturbing the water chemistry beyond the bounds of tolerance for these organisms. We are currently limited in our ability to deal with the geochemical changes unfolding in our coastal ocean. This study helps to address this deficit of solutions by introducing bubble stripping as a novel geochemical engineering approach to reducing high CO2 in coastal marine ecosystems. We use a process-based model to find that air/sea gas exchange rates within a bubbled system are 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than within a nonbubbled system. By coupling bubbling-enhanced ventilation to a coastal ecosystem metabolism model, we demonstrate that strategically timed bubble plumes can mitigate exposure to high CO2 under present-day conditions and that exposure mitigation is enhanced in the more acidic conditions predicted by the end of the century. We argue that shallow water CO2 bubble stripping should be considered among the growing list of engineering approaches intended to increase coastal resilience in a changing ocean. PMID:26988138

  17. Tropical marginal seas: priority regions for managing marine biodiversity and ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    McKinnon, A David; Williams, Alan; Young, Jock; Ceccarelli, Daniela; Dunstan, Piers; Brewin, Robert J W; Watson, Reg; Brinkman, Richard; Cappo, Mike; Duggan, Samantha; Kelley, Russell; Ridgway, Ken; Lindsay, Dhugal; Gledhill, Daniel; Hutton, Trevor; Richardson, Anthony J

    2014-01-01

    Tropical marginal seas (TMSs) are natural subregions of tropical oceans containing biodiverse ecosystems with conspicuous, valued, and vulnerable biodiversity assets. They are focal points for global marine conservation because they occur in regions where human populations are rapidly expanding. Our review of 11 TMSs focuses on three key ecosystems-coral reefs and emergent atolls, deep benthic systems, and pelagic biomes-and synthesizes, illustrates, and contrasts knowledge of biodiversity, ecosystem function, interaction between adjacent habitats, and anthropogenic pressures. TMSs vary in the extent that they have been subject to human influence-from the nearly pristine Coral Sea to the heavily exploited South China and Caribbean Seas-but we predict that they will all be similarly complex to manage because most span multiple national jurisdictions. We conclude that developing a structured process to identify ecologically and biologically significant areas that uses a set of globally agreed criteria is a tractable first step toward effective multinational and transboundary ecosystem management of TMSs. PMID:24128091

  18. Activation of the marine ecosystem model 3D CEMBS for the Baltic Sea in operational mode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dzierzbicka-Glowacka, Lidia; Jakacki, Jaromir; Janecki, Maciej; Nowicki, Artur

    2013-04-01

    The paper presents a new marine ecosystem model 3D CEMBS designed for the Baltic Sea. The ecosystem model is incorporated into the 3D POPCICE ocean-ice model. The Current Baltic Sea model is based on the Community Earth System Model (CESM from the National Center for Atmospheric Research) which was adapted for the Baltic Sea as a coupled sea-ice model. It consists of the Community Ice Code (CICE model, version 4.0) and the Parallel Ocean Program (version 2.1). The ecosystem model is a biological submodel of the 3D CEMBS. It consists of eleven mass conservation equations. There are eleven partial second-order differential equations of the diffusion type with the advective term for phytoplankton, zooplankton, nutrients, dissolved oxygen, and dissolved and particulate organic matter. This model is an effective tool for solving the problem of ecosystem bioproductivity. The model is forced by 48-hour atmospheric forecasts provided by the UM model from the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling of Warsaw University (ICM). The study was financially supported by the Polish State Committee of Scientific Research (grants: No N N305 111636, N N306 353239). The partial support for this study was also provided by the project Satellite Monitoring of the Baltic Sea Environment - SatBaltyk founded by European Union through European Regional Development Fund contract no. POIG 01.01.02-22-011/09. Calculations were carried out at the Academy Computer Centre in Gdańsk.

  19. The relation between productivity and species diversity in temperate-Arctic marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Witman, Jon D; Cusson, Mathieu; Archambault, Philippe; Pershing, Andrew J; Mieszkowska, Nova

    2008-11-01

    Energy variables, such as evapotranspiration, temperature, and productivity explain significant variation in the diversity of many groups of terrestrial plants and animals at local to global scales. Although the ocean represents the largest continuous habitat on earth with a vast spectrum of primary productivity and species richness, little is known about how productivity influences species diversity in marine systems. To search for general relationships between productivity and species richness in the ocean, we analyzed data from three different benthic marine ecosystems (epifaunal communities on subtidal rock walls, on navigation buoys in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Canadian Arctic macrobenthos) across local to continental spatial scales (<20 to >1000 km) using a standardized proxy for productivity, satellite-derived chlorophyll a. Theoretically, the form of the function between productivity and species richness is either monotonically increasing or decreasing, or curvilinear (hump- or U-shaped). We found three negative linear and three hump-shaped relationships between chlorophyll a and species richness out of 10 independent comparisons. Scale dependence was suggested by more prevalent diversity-productivity relationships at smaller (local, landscape) than larger (regional, continental) spatial scales. Differences in the form of the functions were more closely allied with community type than with scale, as negative linear functions were restricted to sessile epifauna while hump-shaped functions occurred in Arctic macrobenthos (mixed epifauna, infauna). In two of the data sets, (St. Lawrence epifauna and Arctic macrobenthos) significant effects of chlorophyll a co-varied with the effects of salinity, suggesting that environmental stress as well as productivity influences diversity in these marine systems. The co-varying effect of salinity may commonly arise in broad-scale studies of productivity and diversity in marine ecosystems when attempting to sample the

  20. Degradation of marine ecosystems and decline of fishery resources in marine protected areas in the US Virgin Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rogers, C.S.; Beets, J.

    2001-01-01

    The large number of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Caribbean (over 100) gives a misleading impression of the amount of protection the reefs and other marine resources in this region are receiving. This review synthesizes information on marine resources in two of the first MPAs established in the USA, namely Virgin Islands National Park (1962) and Buck Island Reef National Monument (1961), and provides compelling evidence that greater protection is needed, based on data from some of the longest running research projects on coral reefs, reef fish assemblages, and seagrass beds for the Caribbean. Most of the stresses affecting marine resources throughout the Caribbean (e.g. damage from boats, hurricanes and coral diseases) are also causing deterioration in these MPAs. Living coral cover has decreased and macroalgal cover has increased. Seagrass densities have decreased because of storms and anchor damage. Intensive fishing in the US Virgin Islands has caused loss of spawning aggregations and decreases in mean fish size and abundance. Groupers and snappers are far less abundant and herbivorous fishes comprise a greater proportion of samples than in the 1960s. Effects of intensive fishing are evident even within MPA boundaries. Although only traditional fishing with traps of 'conventional design' is allowed, commercial trap fishing is occurring. Visual samples of fishes inside and outside Virgin Islands National 'Park showed no significant differences in number of species, biomass, or mean size of fishes. Similarly, the number of fishes per trap was statistically similar inside and outside park waters. These MPAs have not been effective because an unprecedented combination of natural and human factors is assaulting the resources, some of the greatest damage is from stresses outside the control of park managers (e.g. hurricanes), and enforcement of the few regulations has been limited. Fully functioning MPAs which prohibit fishing and other extractive uses (e.g. no

  1. Ecosystem regime shifts have not affected growth and survivorship of eastern Beaufort Sea belugas.

    PubMed

    Luque, Sebastián P; Ferguson, Steven H

    2009-05-01

    Large-scale ocean-atmosphere physical dynamics can have profound impacts on the structure and organization of marine ecosystems. These changes have been termed "regime shifts", and five different episodes have been detected in the North Pacific Ocean, with concurrent changes also occurring in the Bering and Beaufort Seas. Belugas from the Eastern Beaufort Sea (EBS) use the Bering Sea during winter and the Beaufort Sea during summer, yet the potential effects of regime shifts on belugas have not been assessed. We investigated whether body size and survivorship of EBS belugas harvested in the Mackenzie River delta region between 1993 and 2003 have been affected by previous purported regime shifts in the North Pacific. Residuals from the relationship between body length and age were calculated and compared among belugas born between 1932 and 1989. Residual body size was not significantly related to birth year for any regime, nor to the age group individuals belonged to during any regime. The percentage deviation in number of belugas born in any given year that survived to be included in the hunt (survivorship) did not show any significant trend within or between regimes. Accounting for lags of 1-5 years did not reveal any evidence of delayed effects. Furthermore, neither population index was significantly related to changes in major climatic variables that precede regime shifts. Our results suggest that EBS beluga body size and survivorship have not been affected by the major regime shifts of the North Pacific and the adjacent Bering and Beaufort Seas. EBS belugas may have been able to modify their diet without compromising their growth and survivorship. Diet and reproductive analyses over large and small time scales can help understand the mechanisms enabling belugas to avoid significant growth and reproductive effects of past regime shifts. PMID:19229560

  2. Observations from Space: Marine Ecosystem and Environment Response to Typhoon/ Hurricanes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Danling; Yi, Sui

    Marine ecosystem is sensitive to environmental factors, including typhoon. Typhoon's activities have been strengthening in both intensity and spatial coverage in the past several decades, along with global changes; however, our knowledge about the impact of typhoons upon the marine ecosystem is very scarce. To understand how could typhoon/hurricane impact on marine ecosystem, we have conducted a series studies in the South China Sea, by using Satellite remote sensing and in situ observation data to investigate phytoplankton concentration, sea surface temperature (SST) and related factors before, during, and after typhoon. Results show that typhoon can induce large area of phytoplankton blooms with increases of Chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentrations and decrease of sea surface temperature (SST) about 4 oC. Analysis showed that typhoon can support nutrients to surface phytoplankton by upwelling and vertical mixing, and typhoon rain can also nourish marine phytoplankton. More observations confirmed that typhoon can induce cold eddy, and cold eddy can support eddy-shape phyto-plankton bloom by upwelling. Typhoon can also induce transport of nutrient-rich water from depth and from the coast to offshore regions, nourishing phytoplankton biomass. Comparative study show that slow-moving typhoon induced phytoplankton blooms of higher Chlorophyll-a (Chl-a), the strong typhoon induced phytoplankton blooms of a large area. Therefore, typhoons may have important contribution to the marine primary production. Those studies may help better understand the mechanism of typhoon impacts on marine ecosys-tem, and the role of typhoon in the global environmental changes. The series research were sup-ported by: NSFC (40976091, 40811140533) and GD NSF (8351030101000002); (2) CAS(kzcx2-yw-226 and LYQ200701); (3) The CAS/SAFEA International Partnership Program for Creative Research Teams (KZCX2-YW-T001). References: Tang, DanLing, H Kawamura, P Shi, W Takahashi, T Shimada, F. Sakaida, O

  3. Patterns and Variation in Benthic Biodiversity in a Large Marine Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Piacenza, Susan E; Barner, Allison K; Benkwitt, Cassandra E; Boersma, Kate S; Cerny-Chipman, Elizabeth B; Ingeman, Kurt E; Kindinger, Tye L; Lee, Jonathan D; Lindsley, Amy J; Reimer, Jessica N; Rowe, Jennifer C; Shen, Chenchen; Thompson, Kevin A; Thurman, Lindsey L; Heppell, Selina S

    2015-01-01

    While there is a persistent inverse relationship between latitude and species diversity across many taxa and ecosystems, deviations from this norm offer an opportunity to understand the conditions that contribute to large-scale diversity patterns. Marine systems, in particular, provide such an opportunity, as marine diversity does not always follow a strict latitudinal gradient, perhaps because several hypothesized drivers of the latitudinal diversity gradient are uncorrelated in marine systems. We used a large scale public monitoring dataset collected over an eight year period to examine benthic marine faunal biodiversity patterns for the continental shelf (55-183 m depth) and slope habitats (184-1280 m depth) off the US West Coast (47°20'N-32°40'N). We specifically asked whether marine biodiversity followed a strict latitudinal gradient, and if these latitudinal patterns varied across depth, in different benthic substrates, and over ecological time scales. Further, we subdivided our study area into three smaller regions to test whether coast-wide patterns of biodiversity held at regional scales, where local oceanographic processes tend to influence community structure and function. Overall, we found complex patterns of biodiversity on both the coast-wide and regional scales that differed by taxonomic group. Importantly, marine biodiversity was not always highest at low latitudes. We found that latitude, depth, substrate, and year were all important descriptors of fish and invertebrate diversity. Invertebrate richness and taxonomic diversity were highest at high latitudes and in deeper waters. Fish richness also increased with latitude, but exhibited a hump-shaped relationship with depth, increasing with depth up to the continental shelf break, ~200 m depth, and then decreasing in deeper waters. We found relationships between fish taxonomic and functional diversity and latitude, depth, substrate, and time at the regional scale, but not at the coast-wide scale

  4. Patterns and Variation in Benthic Biodiversity in a Large Marine Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jonathan D.

    2015-01-01

    While there is a persistent inverse relationship between latitude and species diversity across many taxa and ecosystems, deviations from this norm offer an opportunity to understand the conditions that contribute to large-scale diversity patterns. Marine systems, in particular, provide such an opportunity, as marine diversity does not always follow a strict latitudinal gradient, perhaps because several hypothesized drivers of the latitudinal diversity gradient are uncorrelated in marine systems. We used a large scale public monitoring dataset collected over an eight year period to examine benthic marine faunal biodiversity patterns for the continental shelf (55–183 m depth) and slope habitats (184–1280 m depth) off the US West Coast (47°20′N—32°40′N). We specifically asked whether marine biodiversity followed a strict latitudinal gradient, and if these latitudinal patterns varied across depth, in different benthic substrates, and over ecological time scales. Further, we subdivided our study area into three smaller regions to test whether coast-wide patterns of biodiversity held at regional scales, where local oceanographic processes tend to influence community structure and function. Overall, we found complex patterns of biodiversity on both the coast-wide and regional scales that differed by taxonomic group. Importantly, marine biodiversity was not always highest at low latitudes. We found that latitude, depth, substrate, and year were all important descriptors of fish and invertebrate diversity. Invertebrate richness and taxonomic diversity were highest at high latitudes and in deeper waters. Fish richness also increased with latitude, but exhibited a hump-shaped relationship with depth, increasing with depth up to the continental shelf break, ~200 m depth, and then decreasing in deeper waters. We found relationships between fish taxonomic and functional diversity and latitude, depth, substrate, and time at the regional scale, but not at the coast

  5. Towards end-to-end models for investigating the effects of climate and fishing in marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Travers, M.; Shin, Y.-J.; Jennings, S.; Cury, P.

    2007-12-01

    End-to-end models that represent ecosystem components from primary producers to top predators, linked through trophic interactions and affected by the abiotic environment, are expected to provide valuable tools for assessing the effects of climate change and fishing on ecosystem dynamics. Here, we review the main process-based approaches used for marine ecosystem modelling, focusing on the extent of the food web modelled, the forcing factors considered, the trophic processes represented, as well as the potential use and further development of the models. We consider models of a subset of the food web, models which represent the first attempts to couple low and high trophic levels, integrated models of the whole ecosystem, and size spectrum models. Comparisons within and among these groups of models highlight the preferential use of functional groups at low trophic levels and species at higher trophic levels and the different ways in which the models account for abiotic processes. The model comparisons also highlight the importance of choosing an appropriate spatial dimension for representing organism dynamics. Many of the reviewed models could be extended by adding components and by ensuring that the full life cycles of species components are represented, but end-to-end models should provide full coverage of ecosystem components, the integration of physical and biological processes at different scales and two-way interactions between ecosystem components. We suggest that this is best achieved by coupling models, but there are very few existing cases where the coupling supports true two-way interaction. The advantages of coupling models are that the extent of discretization and representation can be targeted to the part of the food web being considered, making their development time- and cost-effective. Processes such as predation can be coupled to allow the propagation of forcing factors effects up and down the food web. However, there needs to be a stronger focus

  6. Activities of bioprotection systems of marine organisms representative of coastal ecosystems in the Mediterranean Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Narbonne, J.F.; Garrigues, P.; Monod, J.L.; Lafaurie, M. )

    1988-09-01

    With a view to applying the biochemical tests under study to the monitoring of sea pollutants, they have created, together with a number of laboratories, the G.I.C.B.E.M. (Groupe Interface Chimie Biologie Ecosystemes Marins). The special characteristic of this program is to provide a global evaluation of the health of a marine ecosystem by studying in situ the correlations existing between the activity levels of bioprotection systems (biotransformation of organic pollutants, induction of metallothioneins) in coastal benthic organisms and the presence of potentially toxic molecules in the environment. A discerning selection of sampling sites in the Mediterranean exhibiting well-known pollution of various origins (heavy metals, HAP, PCB, lindane {hor ellipsis}) and at various degrees, should allow the determination of the bioprotection systems as well as of their activity levels. Thus, a global evaluation of the health of a given system and a quick warning as to the presence of potentially toxic substances in the environment will be made possible by applying a battery of suitable and simple tests on representative organisms.

  7. Climate and Demography Dictate the Strength of Predator-Prey Overlap in a Subarctic Marine Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Hunsicker, Mary E.; Ciannelli, Lorenzo; Bailey, Kevin M.; Zador, Stephani; Stige, Leif Christian

    2013-01-01

    There is growing evidence that climate and anthropogenic influences on marine ecosystems are largely manifested by changes in species spatial dynamics. However, less is known about how shifts in species distributions might alter predator-prey overlap and the dynamics of prey populations. We developed a general approach to quantify species spatial overlap and identify the biotic and abiotic variables that dictate the strength of overlap. We used this method to test the hypothesis that population abundance and temperature have a synergistic effect on the spatial overlap of arrowtooth flounder (predator) and juvenile Alaska walleye pollock (prey, age-1) in the eastern Bering Sea. Our analyses indicate that (1) flounder abundance and temperature are key variables dictating the strength of flounder and pollock overlap, (2) changes in the magnitude of overlap may be largely driven by density-dependent habitat selection of flounder, and (3) species overlap is negatively correlated to juvenile pollock recruitment when flounder biomass is high. Overall, our findings suggest that continued increases in flounder abundance coupled with the predicted long-term warming of ocean temperatures could have important implications for the predator-prey dynamics of arrowtooth flounder and juvenile pollock. The approach used in this study is valuable for identifying potential consequences of climate variability and exploitation on species spatial dynamics and interactions in many marine ecosystems. PMID:23824707

  8. Discussion of skill improvement in marine ecosystem dynamic models based on parameter optimization and skill assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Chengcheng; Shi, Honghua; Liu, Yongzhi; Li, Fen; Ding, Dewen

    2015-12-01

    Marine ecosystem dynamic models (MEDMs) are important tools for the simulation and prediction of marine ecosystems. This article summarizes the methods and strategies used for the improvement and assessment of MEDM skill, and it attempts to establish a technical framework to inspire further ideas concerning MEDM skill improvement. The skill of MEDMs can be improved by parameter optimization (PO), which is an important step in model calibration. An efficient approach to solve the problem of PO constrained by MEDMs is the global treatment of both sensitivity analysis and PO. Model validation is an essential step following PO, which validates the efficiency of model calibration by analyzing and estimating the goodness-of-fit of the optimized model. Additionally, by focusing on the degree of impact of various factors on model skill, model uncertainty analysis can supply model users with a quantitative assessment of model confidence. Research on MEDMs is ongoing; however, improvement in model skill still lacks global treatments and its assessment is not integrated. Thus, the predictive performance of MEDMs is not strong and model uncertainties lack quantitative descriptions, limiting their application. Therefore, a large number of case studies concerning model skill should be performed to promote the development of a scientific and normative technical framework for the improvement of MEDM skill.

  9. Discussion of skill improvement in marine ecosystem dynamic models based on parameter optimization and skill assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Chengcheng; Shi, Honghua; Liu, Yongzhi; Li, Fen; Ding, Dewen

    2016-07-01

    Marine ecosystem dynamic models (MEDMs) are important tools for the simulation and prediction of marine ecosystems. This article summarizes the methods and strategies used for the improvement and assessment of MEDM skill, and it attempts to establish a technical framework to inspire further ideas concerning MEDM skill improvement. The skill of MEDMs can be improved by parameter optimization (PO), which is an important step in model calibration. An efficient approach to solve the problem of PO constrained by MEDMs is the global treatment of both sensitivity analysis and PO. Model validation is an essential step following PO, which validates the efficiency of model calibration by analyzing and estimating the goodness-of-fit of the optimized model. Additionally, by focusing on the degree of impact of various factors on model skill, model uncertainty analysis can supply model users with a quantitative assessment of model confidence. Research on MEDMs is ongoing; however, improvement in model skill still lacks global treatments and its assessment is not integrated. Thus, the predictive performance of MEDMs is not strong and model uncertainties lack quantitative descriptions, limiting their application. Therefore, a large number of case studies concerning model skill should be performed to promote the development of a scientific and normative technical framework for the improvement of MEDM skill.

  10. An integrated modeling study of ocean circulation, the ocean carbon cycle, marine ecosystems, and climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Long

    The unifying theme of this study is to conduct an extensive exploration of various interactions between ocean circulation, the carbon cycle, marine ecosystems, and climate change using an earth system model of intermediate complexity, ISAM-2.5D (Integrated Science Assessment Model). First, through the simulation of radiocarbon (in terms of Delta14C) it is demonstrated that the inclusion of isopycnal diffusion and a parameterization of eddy-induced circulation in the ISAM-2.5D model yields the most realistic representation of ocean mixing and circulation. Secondly, I demonstrate the value of the simulation of multiple tracers, combined with a variety of observational data, in constraining the ISAM-2.5D model that has been constrained by the simulation of Delta14C. Through the simulation of ocean biogeochemical cycles and CFC-11 and the use of the updated observational data of bomb radiocarbon, I improve the Delta14C-constrained ISAM-2.5D model's performance in simulating ocean circulation and air-sea gas exchange, as well as its credibility in predicting oceanic carbon uptake. Third, I use the ISAM-2.5D model to assess the efficiency of direct carbon injection into the deep ocean with the influence of climate change. It is shown that the consideration of climate change enhances the retention time of injected carbon into the Atlantic Ocean as a result of weakened North Atlantic overturning circulation in a warming climate. However, the climatic effect is insignificant on the efficiency of carbon injection into the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Finally, I quantify that increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations would be mainly responsible for future ocean acidification, including lowering in ocean pH and sea water saturation state with respect to carbonate minerals. The consideration of climate change produces a second-order modification to projected ocean acidification. Therefore, in addition to its radiative effects on climate change, increased atmospheric CO2

  11. Climate change and the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Andrew; Murphy, Eugene J; Meredith, Michael P; King, John C; Peck, Lloyd S; Barnes, David K A; Smith, Raymond C

    2007-01-29

    The Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing one of the fastest rates of regional climate change on Earth, resulting in the collapse of ice shelves, the retreat of glaciers and the exposure of new terrestrial habitat. In the nearby oceanic system, winter sea ice in the Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas has decreased in extent by 10% per decade, and shortened in seasonal duration. Surface waters have warmed by more than 1 K since the 1950s, and the Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current has also warmed. Of the changes observed in the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region to date, alterations in winter sea ice dynamics are the most likely to have had a direct impact on the marine fauna, principally through shifts in the extent and timing of habitat for ice-associated biota. Warming of seawater at depths below ca 100 m has yet to reach the levels that are biologically significant. Continued warming, or a change in the frequency of the flooding of CDW onto the WAP continental shelf may, however, induce sublethal effects that influence ecological interactions and hence food-web operation. The best evidence for recent changes in the ecosystem may come from organisms which record aspects of their population dynamics in their skeleton (such as molluscs or brachiopods) or where ecological interactions are preserved (such as in encrusting biota of hard substrata). In addition, a southwards shift of marine isotherms may induce a parallel migration of some taxa similar to that observed on land. The complexity of the Southern Ocean food web and the nonlinear nature of many interactions mean that predictions based on short-term studies of a small number of species are likely to be misleading. PMID:17405211

  12. Climate change and the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula

    PubMed Central

    Clarke, Andrew; Murphy, Eugene J; Meredith, Michael P; King, John C; Peck, Lloyd S; Barnes, David K.A; Smith, Raymond C

    2006-01-01

    The Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing one of the fastest rates of regional climate change on Earth, resulting in the collapse of ice shelves, the retreat of glaciers and the exposure of new terrestrial habitat. In the nearby oceanic system, winter sea ice in the Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas has decreased in extent by 10% per decade, and shortened in seasonal duration. Surface waters have warmed by more than 1 K since the 1950s, and the Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current has also warmed. Of the changes observed in the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region to date, alterations in winter sea ice dynamics are the most likely to have had a direct impact on the marine fauna, principally through shifts in the extent and timing of habitat for ice-associated biota. Warming of seawater at depths below ca 100 m has yet to reach the levels that are biologically significant. Continued warming, or a change in the frequency of the flooding of CDW onto the WAP continental shelf may, however, induce sublethal effects that influence ecological interactions and hence food-web operation. The best evidence for recent changes in the ecosystem may come from organisms which record aspects of their population dynamics in their skeleton (such as molluscs or brachiopods) or where ecological interactions are preserved (such as in encrusting biota of hard substrata). In addition, a southwards shift of marine isotherms may induce a parallel migration of some taxa similar to that observed on land. The complexity of the Southern Ocean food web and the nonlinear nature of many interactions mean that predictions based on short-term studies of a small number of species are likely to be misleading. PMID:17405211

  13. Steep spatial gradients of volcanic and marine sulfur in Hawaiian rainfall and ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bern, Carleton R.; Chadwick, Oliver A.; Kendall, Carol; Pribil, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Sulfur, a nutrient required by terrestrial ecosystems, is likely to be regulated by atmospheric processes in well-drained, upland settings because of its low concentration in most bedrock and generally poor retention by inorganic reactions within soils. Environmental controls on sulfur sources in unpolluted ecosystems have seldom been investigated in detail, even though the possibility of sulfur limiting primary production is much greater where atmospheric deposition of anthropogenic sulfur is low. Here we measure sulfur isotopic compositions of soils, vegetation and bulk atmospheric deposition from the Hawaiian Islands for the purpose of tracing sources of ecosystem sulfur. Hawaiian lava has a mantle-derived sulfur isotopic composition (δ34S VCDT) of − 0.8‰. Bulk deposition on the island of Maui had a δ34S VCDT that varied temporally, spanned a range from + 8.2 to + 19.7‰, and reflected isotopic mixing from three sources: sea-salt (+ 21.1‰), marine biogenic emissions (+ 15.6‰), and volcanic emissions from active vents on Kilauea Volcano (+ 0.8‰). A straightforward, weathering-driven transition in ecosystem sulfur sources could be interpreted in the shift from relatively low (0.0 to + 2.7‰) to relatively high (+ 17.8 to + 19.3‰) soil δ34S values along a 0.3 to 4100 ka soil age-gradient, and similar patterns in associated vegetation. However, sub-kilometer scale spatial variation in soil sulfur isotopic composition was found along soil transects assumed by age and mass balance to be dominated by atmospheric sulfur inputs. Soil sulfur isotopic compositions ranged from + 8.1 to + 20.3‰ and generally decreased with increasing elevation (0–2000 m), distance from the coast (0–12 km), and annual rainfall (180–5000 mm). Such trends reflect the spatial variation in marine versus volcanic inputs from atmospheric deposition. Broadly, these results illustrate how the sources and magnitude of atmospheric deposition can exert controls

  14. Characterizing driver-response relationships in marine pelagic ecosystems for improved ocean management.

    PubMed

    Hunsicker, Mary E; Kappel, Carrie V; Selkoe, Kimberly A; Halpern, Benjamin S; Scarborough, Courtney; Mease, Lindley; Amrhein, Alisan

    2016-04-01

    Scientists and resource managers often use methods and tools that assume ecosystem components respond linearly to environmental drivers and human stressors. However, a growing body of literature demonstrates that many relationships are-non-linear, where small changes in a driver prompt a disproportionately large ecological response. We aim to provide a comprehensive assessment of the relationships between drivers and ecosystem components to identify where and when non-linearities are likely to occur. We focused our analyses on one of the best-studied marine systems, pelagic ecosystems, which allowed us to apply robust statistical techniques on a large pool of previously published studies. In this synthesis, we (1) conduct a wide literature review on single driver-response relationships in pelagic systems, (2) use statistical models to identify the degree of non-linearity in these relationships, and (3) assess whether general patterns exist in the strengths and shapes of non-linear relationships across drivers. Overall we found that non-linearities are common in pelagic ecosystems, comprising at least 52% of all driver-response relation- ships. This is likely an underestimate, as papers with higher quality data and analytical approaches reported non-linear relationships at a higher frequency (on average 11% more). Consequently, in the absence of evidence for a linear relationship, it is safer to assume a relationship is non-linear. Strong non-linearities can lead to greater ecological and socioeconomic consequences if they are unknown (and/or unanticipated), but if known they may provide clear thresholds to inform management targets. In pelagic systems, strongly non-linear relationships are often driven by climate and trophodynamic variables but are also associated with local stressors, such as overfishing and pollution, that can be more easily controlled by managers. Even when marine resource managers cannot influence ecosystem change, they can use information

  15. Effects of exotic fish farms on bird communities in lake and marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, Jaime E; Arriagada, Aldo M; Fontúrbel, Francisco E; Camus, Patricio A; Avila-Thieme, M Isidora

    2013-08-01

    Salmon farming is a widespread activity around the world, also known to promote diverse environmental effects on aquatic ecosystems. However, information regarding the impact of salmon farming on bird assemblages is notably scarce. We hypothesize that salmon farming, by providing food subsidies and physical structures to birds, will change their local community structure. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a seasonal monitoring of bird richness, abundance, and composition at paired salmon pen and control plots in two marine and two lake sites in southern Chile, from fall 2002 to summer 2004. Overall, salmon farming had no significant effects on species richness, but bird abundance was significantly and noticeably higher in salmon pens than in controls. Such aggregation was mainly accounted for by the trophic guilds of omnivores, diving piscivores, carrion eaters, and perching piscivores, but not by invertebrate feeders, herbivores, and surface feeders. Species composition was also significantly and persistently different between salmon pens and controls within each lake or marine locality. The patterns described above remained consistent across environment types and seasons indicating that salmon farming is changing the community structure of birds in both lake and marine habitats by promoting functional and aggregation responses, particularly by favoring species with broader niches. Such local patterns may thus anticipate potential threats from the ongoing expansion of the salmon industry to neighboring areas in Chile, resulting in regional changes of bird communities, toward a less diverse one and dominated by opportunistic, common, and generalist species such as gulls, vultures, and cormorants. PMID:23817947

  16. Offshore Texas and Louisiana marine ecosystems data synthesis. Volume 1: Executive Summary. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Phillips, N.W.; James, B.M.

    1988-11-01

    This study provided a synthesis of available environmental information for the continental shelf from the shallow sublittoral to a depth of 500 m for the area between Corpus Christi Bay, Texas and the Mississippi River Delta. Results of the study are given in three volumes: Executive Summary (Volume I), Synthesis Report (Volume II), and Annotated Bibliography (Volume III). The Synthesis Report consists of separate chapters devoted to marine geology, physical oceanography and meteorology, marine chemistry, marine biology, socioeconomics, and conceptual modeling of the area's major ecosystems with emphasis on the environmental effects of oil and gas operations. There is a summary of data gaps and information needs and suggestions for future field studies. The annotated bibliography, which contains 1,535 references, was compiled through a combination of computer searches, telephone contacts, library visits, and submissions from chapter authors. The bibliographic data set is presented in hard copy and on IBM-compatible floppy disks that have been indexed with a computer program (FYI 3000 Plus) to allow searching by author, date, topic and geographic keywords, or words in the title, source, or annotation.

  17. Marine Habitat Classification for Ecosystem-Based Management: A Proposed Hierarchical Framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guarinello, Marisa L.; Shumchenia, Emily J.; King, John W.

    2010-04-01

    Creating a habitat classification and mapping system for marine and coastal ecosystems is a daunting challenge due to the complex array of habitats that shift on various spatial and temporal scales. To meet this challenge, several countries have, or are developing, national classification systems and mapping protocols for marine habitats. To be effectively applied by scientists and managers it is essential that classification systems be comprehensive and incorporate pertinent physical, geological, biological, and anthropogenic habitat characteristics. Current systems tend to provide over-simplified conceptual structures that do not capture biological habitat complexity, marginalize anthropogenic features, and remain largely untested at finer scales. We propose a multi-scale hierarchical framework with a particular focus on finer scale habitat classification levels and conceptual schematics to guide habitat studies and management decisions. A case study using published data is included to compare the proposed framework with existing schemes. The example demonstrates how the proposed framework’s inclusion of user-defined variables, a combined top-down and bottom-up approach, and multi-scale hierarchical organization can facilitate examination of marine habitats and inform management decisions.

  18. Effects of exotic fish farms on bird communities in lake and marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez, Jaime E.; Arriagada, Aldo M.; Fontúrbel, Francisco E.; Camus, Patricio A.; Ávila-Thieme, M. Isidora

    2013-08-01

    Salmon farming is a widespread activity around the world, also known to promote diverse environmental effects on aquatic ecosystems. However, information regarding the impact of salmon farming on bird assemblages is notably scarce. We hypothesize that salmon farming, by providing food subsidies and physical structures to birds, will change their local community structure. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a seasonal monitoring of bird richness, abundance, and composition at paired salmon pen and control plots in two marine and two lake sites in southern Chile, from fall 2002 to summer 2004. Overall, salmon farming had no significant effects on species richness, but bird abundance was significantly and noticeably higher in salmon pens than in controls. Such aggregation was mainly accounted for by the trophic guilds of omnivores, diving piscivores, carrion eaters, and perching piscivores, but not by invertebrate feeders, herbivores, and surface feeders. Species composition was also significantly and persistently different between salmon pens and controls within each lake or marine locality. The patterns described above remained consistent across environment types and seasons indicating that salmon farming is changing the community structure of birds in both lake and marine habitats by promoting functional and aggregation responses, particularly by favoring species with broader niches. Such local patterns may thus anticipate potential threats from the ongoing expansion of the salmon industry to neighboring areas in Chile, resulting in regional changes of bird communities, toward a less diverse one and dominated by opportunistic, common, and generalist species such as gulls, vultures, and cormorants.

  19. Porting marine ecosystem model spin-up using transport matrices to GPUs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siewertsen, E.; Piwonski, J.; Slawig, T.

    2013-01-01

    We have ported an implementation of the spin-up for marine ecosystem models based on transport matrices to graphics processing units (GPUs). The original implementation was designed for distributed-memory architectures and uses the Portable, Extensible Toolkit for Scientific Computation (PETSc) library that is based on the Message Passing Interface (MPI) standard. The spin-up computes a steady seasonal cycle of ecosystem tracers with climatological ocean circulation data as forcing. Since the transport is linear with respect to the tracers, the resulting operator is represented by matrices. Each iteration of the spin-up involves two matrix-vector multiplications and the evaluation of the used biogeochemical model. The original code was written in C and Fortran. On the GPU, we use the Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) standard, a customized version of PETSc and a commercial CUDA Fortran compiler. We describe the extensions to PETSc and the modifications of the original C and Fortran codes that had to be done. Here we make use of freely available libraries for the GPU. We analyze the computational effort of the main parts of the spin-up for two exemplar ecosystem models and compare the overall computational time to those necessary on different CPUs. The results show that a consumer GPU can compete with a significant number of cluster CPUs without further code optimization.

  20. Biological modifiers of marine benthic seascapes: Their role as ecosystem engineers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meadows, Peter S.; Meadows, Azra; Murray, John M. H.

    2012-07-01

    Benthic organisms in marine ecosystems modify the environment on different spatial and temporal scales. These modifications, many of which are initially at a microscale, are likely to have large scale effects on benthic seascapes. This is especially so if the species are ecosystem engineers. Most species of infaunal and epifaunal invertebrates and macrophytes contribute at a geophysical or geochemical level. Microorganisms also play a key but currently neglected role. In the intertidal and immediately sublittoral zone, algae and seagrasses, and mussels in mussel beds have received considerable attention. A substantial fossil record also exists. Mathematical modelling of these systems is still in its infancy, although several sophisticated mathematical tools have been applied. The effects of bioturbation and of microorganisms have been less studied, and little is known about the activities of benthic organisms in the deep sea. This paper addresses all these effects, and places them in the context of large scale benthic seascapes and of the extensive literature on species defined as ecosystem engineers in the sea.

  1. Porting marine ecosystem model spin-up using transport matrices to GPUs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siewertsen, E.; Piwonski, J.; Slawig, T.

    2012-07-01

    We have ported an implementation of the spin-up for marine ecosystem models based on the "Transport Matrix Method" to graphics processing units (GPUs). The original implementation was designed for distributed-memory architectures and uses the PETSc library that is based on the "Message Passing Interface (MPI)" standard. The spin-up computes a steady seasonal cycle of the ecosystem tracers with climatological ocean circulation data as forcing. Since the transport is linear with respect to the tracers, the resulting operator is represented in so-called "transport matrices". Each iteration of the spin-up involves two matrix-vector multiplications and the evaluation of the used biogeochemical model. The original code was written in C and Fortran. On the GPU, we use the CUDA standard, a specialized version of the PETSc toolkit and a CUDA Fortran compiler. We describe the extensions to PETSc and the modifications of the original C and Fortran codes that had to be done. Here we make use of freely available libraries for the GPU. We analyze the computational effort of the main parts of the spin-up for two exemplary ecosystem models and compare the overall computational time to those necessary on different CPUs. The results show that a consumer GPU can beat a significant number of cluster CPUs without further code optimization.

  2. Sub-seabed CO2 Storage: Impact on Marine Ecosystems (ECO2) (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallmann, K. J.

    2013-12-01

    The European collaborative project ECO2 sets out to assess the environmental risks associated with storage of CO2 below the seabed (http://www.eco2-project.eu). It includes 28 partners from 7 European nations assessing the likelihood of leakage and impact of leakage on marine ecosystems. ECO2 studies the sedimentary cover and the overlying water column at active CO2 storage sites (Sleipner, Snøhvit) to look for any leakage pathways through the overburden and locate any seep sites at the seabed. High-resolution seismic data have been interpreted to feature a large number of vertical pipes and chimney structure cutting through parts of the sedimentary overburden at both storage sites. Formation waters are released through a 3 km long fracture 25 km north to the Sleipner platform while both natural gas and formation water are seeping through three abandoned wells located in the Sleipner area, as through many other old wells in the North Sea. The currently available data indicate that gases and fluids seeping at the seabed in the vicinity of the storage complex originate from the shallow overburden while CO2 stored at Sleipner and Snøhvit is fully retained in the storage formation. However, the observed geological features pose a number of important questions that are currently addressed by ECO2 via field work, data evaluation and numerical modelling: Are there any high permeability pathways for gas and fluid flow cutting through the overburden and linking the storage formation to the seep sites discovered at the seabed? Are seepage rates amplified by the ongoing storage operation at Sleipner? May CO2 stored at Sleipner and elsewhere ultimately leak through the overburden via seismic pipe and chimney structures, fractures and abandoned wells? CO2 release at the seabed was studied at three natural seep sites (Salt Dome Juist, Jan Mayen vent fields, Panarea) and via deliberate CO2 release experiments conducted in the vicinity of the Sleipner storage complex. The field

  3. Current Status and Future Prospects for the Assessment of Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Services: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Liquete, Camino; Piroddi, Chiara; Drakou, Evangelia G.; Gurney, Leigh; Katsanevakis, Stelios; Charef, Aymen; Egoh, Benis

    2013-01-01

    Background Research on ecosystem services has grown exponentially during the last decade. Most of the studies have focused on assessing and mapping terrestrial ecosystem services highlighting a knowledge gap on marine and coastal ecosystem services (MCES) and an urgent need to assess them. Methodology/Principal Findings We reviewed and summarized existing scientific literature related to MCES with the aim of extracting and classifying indicators used to assess and map them. We found 145 papers that specifically assessed marine and coastal ecosystem services from which we extracted 476 indicators. Food provision, in particular fisheries, was the most extensively analyzed MCES while water purification and coastal protection were the most frequently studied regulating and maintenance services. Also recreation and tourism under the cultural services was relatively well assessed. We highlight knowledge gaps regarding the availability of indicators that measure the capacity, flow or benefit derived from each ecosystem service. The majority of the case studies was found in mangroves and coastal wetlands and was mainly concentrated in Europe and North America. Our systematic review highlighted the need of an improved ecosystem service classification for marine and coastal systems, which is herein proposed with definitions and links to previous classifications. Conclusions/Significance This review summarizes the state of available information related to ecosystem services associated with marine and coastal ecosystems. The cataloging of MCES indicators and the integrated classification of MCES provided in this paper establish a background that can facilitate the planning and integration of future assessments. The final goal is to establish a consistent structure and populate it with information able to support the implementation of biodiversity conservation policies. PMID:23844080

  4. Modelling the interactions between DOM and bacteria in marine ecosystems: state of the art and future prospective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    polimene, Luca

    2014-05-01

    Marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) is the main source of carbon, nutrients and energy for marine prokaryotes, the most abundant life form in the oceans. Only a fraction of assimilated DOM is used by prokaryotes to synthesise new biomass (particulate organic matter, POM), while the rest is used for respiration or is excreted back into the environment as recalcitrant DOM (RDOM). The relative proportions of assimilated DOM that is distributed either to POM, respiration or RDOM is not constant but highly variable depending on the environmental conditions (e.g. nutrient availability, quality/quantity of DOM, temperature). This metabolic plasticity allows bacteria to shape the biogeochemistry of the surrounding waters by modulating three key carbon/energy fluxes fundamental for the functioning of the marine ecosystem: i) the transition from DOM to POM, ii) the remineralisation of carbon and nutrients, and iii) the transformation of labile DOM into recalcitrant DOM. The explicit representation of these processes (and their relative efficiency) in marine ecosystem models is a crucial (and challenging) issue which cannot be overlooked if we want to properly simulate marine biogeochemical cycles under present and climate changing conditions. This talk will provide an overview of how state of the art marine ecosystem models represent the interactions between DOM and bacteria, highlighting strengths and limits of the approaches currently used. A summary of future developments along with issues still open on the topic will also be presented and discussed.

  5. ERSEM 15.06: a generic model for marine biogeochemistry and the ecosystem dynamics of the lower trophic levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butenschön, Momme; Clark, James; Aldridge, John N.; Icarus Allen, Julian; Artioli, Yuri; Blackford, Jeremy; Bruggeman, Jorn; Cazenave, Pierre; Ciavatta, Stefano; Kay, Susan; Lessin, Gennadi; van Leeuwen, Sonja; van der Molen, Johan; de Mora, Lee; Polimene, Luca; Sailley, Sevrine; Stephens, Nicholas; Torres, Ricardo

    2016-04-01

    The European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM) is one of the most established ecosystem models for the lower trophic levels of the marine food web in the scientific literature. Since its original development in the early nineties it has evolved significantly from a coastal ecosystem model for the North Sea to a generic tool for ecosystem simulations from shelf seas to the global ocean. The current model release contains all essential elements for the pelagic and benthic parts of the marine ecosystem, including the microbial food web, the carbonate system, and calcification. Its distribution is accompanied by a testing framework enabling the analysis of individual parts of the model. Here we provide a detailed mathematical description of all ERSEM components along with case studies of mesocosm-type simulations, water column implementations, and a brief example of a full-scale application for the north-western European shelf. Validation against in situ data demonstrates the capability of the model to represent the marine ecosystem in contrasting environments.

  6. Including impacts of particulate emissions on marine ecosystems in life cycle assessment: the case of offshore oil and gas production.

    PubMed

    Veltman, Karin; Huijbregts, Mark A J; Rye, Henrik; Hertwich, Edgar G

    2011-10-01

    Life cycle assessment is increasingly used to assess the environmental performance of fossil energy systems. Two of the dominant emissions of offshore oil and gas production to the marine environment are the discharge of produced water and drilling waste. Although environmental impacts of produced water are predominantly due to chemical stressors, a major concern regarding drilling waste discharge is the potential physical impact due to particles. At present, impact indicators for particulate emissions are not yet available in life cycle assessment. Here, we develop characterization factors for 2 distinct impacts of particulate emissions: an increased turbidity zone in the water column and physical burial of benthic communities. The characterization factor for turbidity is developed analogous to characterization factors for toxic impacts, and ranges from 1.4 PAF (potentially affected fraction) · m(3) /d/kg(p) (kilogram particulate) to 7.0 x 10³ [corrected] for drilling mud particles discharged from the rig. The characterization factor for burial describes the volume of sediment that is impacted by particle deposition on the seafloor and equals 2.0 × 10(-1) PAF · m(3) /d/kg(p) for cutting particles. This characterization factor is quantified on the basis of initial deposition layer characteristics, such as height and surface area, the initial benthic response, and the recovery rate. We assessed the relevance of including particulate emissions in an impact assessment of offshore oil and gas production. Accordingly, the total impact on the water column and on the sediment was quantified based on emission data of produced water and drilling waste for all oil and gas fields on the Norwegian continental shelf in 2008. Our results show that cutting particles contribute substantially to the total impact of offshore oil and gas production on marine sediments, with a relative contribution of 55% and 31% on the regional and global scale, respectively. In contrast, the

  7. Hypoxia and acidification in ocean ecosystems: coupled dynamics and effects on marine life.

    PubMed

    Gobler, Christopher J; Baumann, Hannes

    2016-05-01

    There is increasing recognition that low dissolved oxygen (DO) and low pH conditions co-occur in many coastal and open ocean environments. Within temperate ecosystems, these conditions not only develop seasonally as temperatures rise and metabolic rates accelerate, but can also display strong diurnal variability, especially in shallow systems where photosynthetic rates ameliorate hypoxia and acidification by day. Despite the widespread, global co-occurrence of low pH and low DO and the likelihood that these conditions may negatively impact marine life, very few studies have actually assessed the extent to which the combination of both stressors elicits additive, synergistic or antagonistic effects in marine organisms. We review the evidence from published factorial experiments that used static and/or fluctuating pH and DO levels to examine different traits (e.g. survival, growth, metabolism), life stages and species across a broad taxonomic spectrum. Additive negative effects of combined low pH and low DO appear to be most common; however, synergistic negative effects have also been observed. Neither the occurrence nor the strength of these synergistic impacts is currently predictable, and therefore, the true threat of concurrent acidification and hypoxia to marine food webs and fisheries is still not fully understood. Addressing this knowledge gap will require an expansion of multi-stressor approaches in experimental and field studies, and the development of a predictive framework. In consideration of marine policy, we note that DO criteria in coastal waters have been developed without consideration of concurrent pH levels. Given the persistence of concurrent low pH-low DO conditions in estuaries and the increased mortality experienced by fish and bivalves under concurrent acidification and hypoxia compared with hypoxia alone, we conclude that such DO criteria may leave coastal fisheries more vulnerable to population reductions than previously anticipated. PMID

  8. Data Assimilation In A Marine Ecosystem Coupled To A Mixed Layer Model of The Upper Ocean.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magri, S.; Brasseur, P.; Lacroix, G.

    Data assimilation have been conducted in a one-dimensional, coupled physical ecosys- tem model of the upper ocean to characterize the observability properties of in situ and satellite observing systems. The assimilation method is based on the Singular Evolu- tive Extended Kalman (SEEK) filter, in which the error sub-space is decomposed into multivariate orthogonal functions of the system's variability. The coupled model simulates the primary production in a coastal zone of the Ligurian Sea, where oligotrophic conditions prevail. The ecosystem dynamics is represented by 12 interacting compartments expressed in nitrogen units. The coupling with a hydrodynamic model determines the physical constraints asso- ciated to the development of a seasonal mixed layer. The stratification of the water column, according to the computation of the vertical turbulent diffusivities, is a key parameter of the evolution of the marine ecosystem. The coupled system has been developed and validated on the basis of field data col- lected during the FRONTAL campains, between 1984 and 1988. As a first approach, twin experiments are performed to check the algorithmic imple- mentation of the SEEK filter, and to verify the statistical consistence of the assimila- tion scheme in non-linear regimes. Vertical temperature and salinity profiles have been assimilated to evaluate the impact of a better representation of the water column strat- ification on the primary production. Then, nitrate and chlorophyll-a profiles have been assimilated to try to control the ecosystem in spite of an imperfect physical model. Finally, physical and biological profiles of in situ data collected during the FRONTAL campains, will be used to reconstruct the seasonal evolution of the ecosystem.

  9. The Economic Value of Coastal Ecosystems in California

    EPA Science Inventory

    The status of marine ecosystems affects the well being of human societies. These ecosystems include but are not limited to estuaries, lagoons, reefs, and systems further offshore such as deep ocean vents. The coastal regions that connect terrestrial and marine ecosystems are of p...

  10. The northeast US application of ATLANTIS: A full system model exploring marine ecosystem dynamics in a living marine resource management context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Link, Jason S.; Fulton, Elizabeth A.; Gamble, Robert J.

    2010-10-01

    Understanding marine ecosystem dynamics is a key challenge and opportunity facing us. One of the ways we can continue to unravel and understand marine ecosystem dynamics is via ecosystem modeling. We used one such model, ATLANTIS, to help explore the dynamics of the Northeast United States (NEUS) Continental Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (LME). We have parameterized ATLANTIS for the NEUS LME by including major functional groups across a range of biota, the physiographic dynamics of the ecosystem, and the major fishing fleets. The objectives of this work were to describe the application of this ATLANTIS NEUS model; briefly highlight modeling skill; note areas for further improvement, data gaps, major lessons learned, and how our understanding of the ecosystem was enhanced as we executed the modeling process; and note how these model outputs could inform living marine resource management in this region. The preliminary results we show here describe outputs from a multivariate, multispecies, multifactorial modeling approach. Our modeling skill is reasonable, as determined by the fact that over 90% of our fleet effort estimates, nearly 80% of our functional group catches, and 100% of our main functional group biomasses were within limits of tolerance. Moreover, the general patterns and phenology of major events were replicated consistently, both in space and time across a broad suite of physical, chemical, biological and human factors. These include several taxa groups such as primary producers, zooplankton, benthos, fishes, marine mammals, as well as nutrients, landings, and fishing effort. Conversely, as expected, there were some groups or fleets that did exceed levels of tolerance. These were mostly invertebrate groups such as shrimp, squid or gelatinous zooplankton, groups which are notorious for being difficult to model. Yet the major taxa groups and main fishing fleets were all well within levels of tolerance. Thus, we assert that with the majority of all main

  11. The assessment of a global marine ecosystem model on the basis of emergent properties and ecosystem function: a case study with ERSEM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Mora, L.; Butenschön, M.; Allen, J. I.

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystem models are often assessed using quantitative metrics of absolute ecosystem state, but these model-data comparisons are disproportionately vulnerable to discrepancies in the location of important circulation features. An alternative method is to demonstrate the models capacity to represent ecosystem function; the emergence of a coherent natural relationship in a simulation indicates that the model may have an appropriate representation of the ecosystem functions that lead to the emergent relationship. Furthermore, as emergent properties are large-scale properties of the system, model validation with emergent properties is possible even when there is very little or no appropriate data for the region under study, or when the hydrodynamic component of the model differs significantly from that observed in nature at the same location and time.

    A selection of published meta-analyses are used to establish the validity of a complex marine ecosystem model and to demonstrate the power of validation with emergent properties. These relationships include the phytoplankton community structure, the ratio of carbon to chlorophyll in phytoplankton and particulate organic matter, the ratio of particulate organic carbon to particulate organic nitrogen and the stoichiometric balance of the ecosystem.

    These metrics can also inform aspects of the marine ecosystem model not available from traditional quantitative and qualitative methods. For instance, these emergent properties can be used to validate the design decisions of the model, such as the range of phytoplankton functional types and their behaviour, the stoichiometric flexibility with regards to each nutrient, and the choice of fixed or variable carbon to nitrogen ratios.

  12. Persistence of benz(a)anthracene degradation products in an enclosed marine ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Hinga, K.R.; Pilson, M.E.Q.

    1987-07-01

    Carbon-14-labeled benz(a)anthracene was introduced into an enclosed marine ecosystem that had planktonic primary production and a heterotrophic benthos. Benz(a)anthracene, labeled CO/sub 2/, and operationally defined fractions of labeled degradation products were followed in water and sediments for 202 days. The major fraction of intermediate degradation products was sufficiently water soluble so as not to be readily extractable with organic solvents and at the end was still slowly decaying to CO/sub 2/. Both the parent benz(a)anthracene and degradation products found in the sediment appear to become protected from further alteration after about 2 months and may persist indefinitely. 41 references, 4 figures.

  13. Megacities and large urban agglomerations in the coastal zone: interactions between atmosphere, land, and marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    von Glasow, Roland; Jickells, Tim D; Baklanov, Alexander; Carmichael, Gregory R; Church, Tom M; Gallardo, Laura; Hughes, Claire; Kanakidou, Maria; Liss, Peter S; Mee, Laurence; Raine, Robin; Ramachandran, Purvaja; Ramesh, R; Sundseth, Kyrre; Tsunogai, Urumu; Uematsu, Mitsuo; Zhu, Tong

    2013-02-01

    Megacities are not only important drivers for socio-economic development but also sources of environmental challenges. Many megacities and large urban agglomerations are located in the coastal zone where land, atmosphere, and ocean meet, posing multiple environmental challenges which we consider here. The atmospheric flow around megacities is complicated by urban heat island effects and topographic flows and sea breezes and influences air pollution and human health. The outflow of polluted air over the ocean perturbs biogeochemical processes. Contaminant inputs can damage downstream coastal zone ecosystem function and resources including fisheries, induce harmful algal blooms and feedback to the atmosphere via marine emissions. The scale of influence of megacities in the coastal zone is hundreds to thousands of kilometers in the atmosphere and tens to hundreds of kilometers in the ocean. We list research needs to further our understanding of coastal megacities with the ultimate aim to improve their environmental management. PMID:23076973

  14. Can tintinnids be used for discriminating water quality status in marine ecosystems?

    PubMed

    Feng, Meiping; Zhang, Wuchang; Wang, Weiding; Zhang, Guangtao; Xiao, Tian; Xu, Henglong

    2015-12-30

    Ciliated protozoa have many advantages in bioassessment of water quality. The ability of tintinnids for assessing water quality status was studied during a 7-yearcycle in Jiaozhou Bay of the Yellow Sea, northern China. The samples were collected monthly at four sites with a spatial gradient of environmental pollution. Environmental variables, e.g., temperature, salinity, chlorophyll a (Chl a), dissolved inorganic nitrogen, soluble reactive phosphate (SRP), and soluble active silicate (SRSi), were measured synchronously for comparison with biotic parameters. Results showed that: (1) tintinnid community structures represented significant differences among the four sampling sites; (2) spatial patterns of the tintinnid communities were significantly correlated with environmental variables, especially SRSi and nutrients; and (3) the community structural parameters and the five dominant species were significantly correlated with SRSi and nutrients. We suggested that tintinnids may be used as a potential bioindicator for discriminating water quality status in marine ecosystems. PMID:26530879

  15. Carbon exchange between ecosystems and atmosphere in the Czech Republic is affected by climate factors.

    PubMed

    Marek, Michal V; Janouš, Dalibor; Taufarová, Klára; Havránková, Kateřina; Pavelka, Marian; Kaplan, Věroslav; Marková, Irena

    2011-05-01

    By comparing five ecosystem types in the Czech Republic over several years, we recorded the highest carbon sequestration potential in an evergreen Norway spruce forest (100%) and an agroecosystem (65%), followed by European beech forest (25%) and a wetland ecosystem (20%). Because of a massive ecosystem respiration, the final carbon gain of the grassland was negative. Climate was shown to be an important factor of carbon uptake by ecosystems: by varying the growing season length (a 22-d longer season in 2005 than in 2007 increased carbon sink by 13%) or by the effect of short- term synoptic situations (e.g. summer hot and dry days reduced net carbon storage by 58% relative to hot and wet days). Carbon uptake is strongly affected by the ontogeny and a production strategy which is demonstrated by the comparison of seasonal course of carbon uptake between coniferous (Norway spruce) and deciduous (European beech) stands. PMID:21345558

  16. Kernel Density Surface Modelling as a Means to Identify Significant Concentrations of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem Indicators

    PubMed Central

    Kenchington, Ellen; Murillo, Francisco Javier; Lirette, Camille; Sacau, Mar; Koen-Alonso, Mariano; Kenny, Andrew; Ollerhead, Neil; Wareham, Vonda; Beazley, Lindsay

    2014-01-01

    The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 61/105, concerning sustainable fisheries in the marine ecosystem, calls for the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VME) from destructive fishing practices. Subsequently, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) produced guidelines for identification of VME indicator species/taxa to assist in the implementation of the resolution, but recommended the development of case-specific operational definitions for their application. We applied kernel density estimation (KDE) to research vessel trawl survey data from inside the fishing footprint of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Regulatory Area in the high seas of the northwest Atlantic to create biomass density surfaces for four VME indicator taxa: large-sized sponges, sea pens, small and large gorgonian corals. These VME indicator taxa were identified previously by NAFO using the fragility, life history characteristics and structural complexity criteria presented by FAO, along with an evaluation of their recovery trajectories. KDE, a non-parametric neighbour-based smoothing function, has been used previously in ecology to identify hotspots, that is, areas of relatively high biomass/abundance. We present a novel approach of examining relative changes in area under polygons created from encircling successive biomass categories on the KDE surface to identify “significant concentrations” of biomass, which we equate to VMEs. This allows identification of the VMEs from the broader distribution of the species in the study area. We provide independent assessments of the VMEs so identified using underwater images, benthic sampling with other gear types (dredges, cores), and/or published species distribution models of probability of occurrence, as available. For each VME indicator taxon we provide a brief review of their ecological function which will be important in future assessments of significant adverse impact on these habitats here and

  17. Uncovering the volatile nature of tropical coastal marine ecosystems in a changing world.

    PubMed

    Exton, Dan A; McGenity, Terry J; Steinke, Michael; Smith, David J; Suggett, David J

    2015-04-01

    Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), in particular dimethyl sulphide (DMS) and isoprene, have fundamental ecological, physiological and climatic roles. Our current understanding of these roles is almost exclusively established from terrestrial or oceanic environments but signifies a potentially major, but largely unknown, role for BVOCs in tropical coastal marine ecosystems. The tropical coast is a transition zone between the land and ocean, characterized by highly productive and biodiverse coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves, which house primary producers that are amongst the greatest emitters of BVOCs on the planet. Here, we synthesize our existing understanding of BVOC emissions to produce a novel conceptual framework of the tropical marine coast as a continuum from DMS-dominated reef producers to isoprene-dominated mangroves. We use existing and previously unpublished data to consider how current environmental conditions shape BVOC production across the tropical coastal continuum, and in turn how BVOCs can regulate environmental stress tolerance or species interactions via infochemical networks. We use this as a framework to discuss how existing predictions of future tropical coastal BVOC emissions, and the roles they play, are effectively restricted to present day 'baseline' trends of BVOC production across species and environmental conditions; as such, there remains a critical need to focus research efforts on BVOC responses to rapidly accelerating anthropogenic impacts at local and regional scales. We highlight the complete lack of current knowledge required to understand the future ecological functioning of these important systems, and to predict whether feedback mechanisms are likely to regulate or exacerbate current climate change scenarios through environmentally and ecologically mediated changes to BVOC budgets at the ecosystem level. PMID:25311223

  18. Kernel density surface modelling as a means to identify significant concentrations of vulnerable marine ecosystem indicators.

    PubMed

    Kenchington, Ellen; Murillo, Francisco Javier; Lirette, Camille; Sacau, Mar; Koen-Alonso, Mariano; Kenny, Andrew; Ollerhead, Neil; Wareham, Vonda; Beazley, Lindsay

    2014-01-01

    The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 61/105, concerning sustainable fisheries in the marine ecosystem, calls for the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VME) from destructive fishing practices. Subsequently, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) produced guidelines for identification of VME indicator species/taxa to assist in the implementation of the resolution, but recommended the development of case-specific operational definitions for their application. We applied kernel density estimation (KDE) to research vessel trawl survey data from inside the fishing footprint of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Regulatory Area in the high seas of the northwest Atlantic to create biomass density surfaces for four VME indicator taxa: large-sized sponges, sea pens, small and large gorgonian corals. These VME indicator taxa were identified previously by NAFO using the fragility, life history characteristics and structural complexity criteria presented by FAO, along with an evaluation of their recovery trajectories. KDE, a non-parametric neighbour-based smoothing function, has been used previously in ecology to identify hotspots, that is, areas of relatively high biomass/abundance. We present a novel approach of examining relative changes in area under polygons created from encircling successive biomass categories on the KDE surface to identify "significant concentrations" of biomass, which we equate to VMEs. This allows identification of the VMEs from the broader distribution of the species in the study area. We provide independent assessments of the VMEs so identified using underwater images, benthic sampling with other gear types (dredges, cores), and/or published species distribution models of probability of occurrence, as available. For each VME indicator taxon we provide a brief review of their ecological function which will be important in future assessments of significant adverse impact on these habitats here and elsewhere

  19. FATE OF OCEAN DUMPED ACID-IRON WASTE IN A MERL (MARINE ECOSYSTEMS RESEARCH LABORATORY) STRATIFIED MICROCOSM

    EPA Science Inventory

    Field studies have provided information on the short-term effects of acid-iron waste disposal at a deep water dumpsite off the coast of New Jersey. To assess the long-term effects of the acid-iron waste, an experiment was conducted at the MERL facility (Marine Ecosystems Research...

  20. Environmental response of upper trophic-level predators reveals a system change in an Antarctic marine ecosystem.

    PubMed Central

    Reid, K.; Croxall, J. P.

    2001-01-01

    Long-term changes in the physical environment in the Antarctic Peninsula region have significant potential for affecting populations of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), a keystone food web species. In order to investigate this, we analysed data on krill-eating predators at South Georgia from 1980 to 2000. Indices of population size and reproductive performance showed declines in all species and an increase in the frequency of years of low reproductive output. Changes in the population structure of krill and its relationship with reproductive performance suggested that the biomass of krill within the largest size class was sufficient to support predator demand in the 1980s but not in the 1990s. We suggest that the effects of underlying changes in the system on the krill population structure have been amplified by predator-induced mortality, resulting in breeding predators now regularly operating close to the limit of krill availability. Understanding how krill demography is affected by changes in physical environmental factors and by predator consumption and how, in turn, this influences predator performance and survival, is one of the keys to predicting future change in Antarctic marine ecosystems. PMID:11270434

  1. ERSEM 15.06: a generic model for marine biogeochemistry and the ecosystem dynamics of the lower trophic levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butenschön, M.; Clark, J.; Aldridge, J. N.; Allen, J. I.; Artioli, Y.; Blackford, J.; Bruggeman, J.; Cazenave, P.; Ciavatta, S.; Kay, S.; Lessin, G.; van Leeuwen, S.; van der Molen, J.; de Mora, L.; Polimene, L.; Sailley, S.; Stephens, N.; Torres, R.

    2015-08-01

    The ERSEM model is one of the most established ecosystem models for the lower trophic levels of the marine food-web in the scientific literature. Since its original development in the early nineties it has evolved significantly from a coastal ecosystem model for the North-Sea to a generic tool for ecosystem simulations from shelf seas to the global ocean. The current model release contains all essential elements for the pelagic and benthic part of the marine ecosystem, including the microbial food-web, the carbonate system and calcification. Its distribution is accompanied by a testing framework enabling the analysis of individual parts of the model. Here we provide a detailed mathematical description of all ERSEM components along with case-studies of mesocosm type simulations, water column implementations and a brief example of a full-scale application for the North-West European shelf. Validation against in situ data demonstrates the capability of the model to represent the marine ecosystem in contrasting environments.

  2. Marine spatial planning (MSP): a first step to ecosystem-based management (EBM) in the Wider Caribbean.

    PubMed

    Ogden, John C

    2010-10-01

    The rapid decline of coastal ecosystems of the Wider Caribbean is entering its fifth decade. Some of the best science documenting this decline and its causes has been done by the laboratories of the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean (AMLC). Alarmed at the trends, Caribbean conservation pioneers established marine protected areas (MPAs) which spread throughout the region. Unfortunately, many have little or no protection and are now known to be too small to be effective in sustaining coastal ecosystems. Marine spatial planning (MSP) holds much promise to encompass the large geographic scales of the ecological processes and human impacts that influence coastal ecosystems and adjacent lands. The AMLC, through the scientific expertise and the national political connections of its member institutions, is well-positioned to help implement a pilot project. MSP a first step in ecosystem-based management and has had considerable success elsewhere. It holds our best chance of sustaining human use and conserving the coral reefs and associated ecosystems. PMID:21299097

  3. Highly selective detection of oil spill polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons using molecularly imprinted polymers for marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Krupadam, Reddithota J; Nesterov, Evgueni E; Spivak, David A

    2014-06-15

    Im*plications due to oil spills on marine ecosystems have created a great interest toward developing more efficient and selective materials for oil spill toxins detection and remediation. This research paper highlights the application of highly efficient molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) adsorbents based on a newly developed functional crosslinker (N,O-bismethacryloyl ethanolamine, NOBE) for detection of highly toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in seawater. The binding capacity of MIP for oil spill toxin pyrene is 35 mg/g as compared to the value of 3.65 mg/g obtained using a non-imprinted polymer (NIP). The selectivity of all three high molecular weight PAHs (pyrene, chrysene and benzo[a]pyrene) on the NOBE-MIP shows an excellent selective binding with only 5.5% and 7% cross-reactivity for chrysene and benzo[a]pyrene, respectively. Not only is this particularly significant because the rebinding solvent is water, which is known to promote non-selective hydrophobic interactions; the binding remains comparable under salt-water conditions. These selective and high capacity adsorbents will find wide application in industrial and marine water monitoring/remediation. PMID:24759433

  4. Environmental controls on marine ecosystems during the early Toarcian extinction event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danise, Silvia; Twitchett, Richard J.

    2015-04-01

    The fossil record has the potential to provide valuable insights into species response to past climate change if paleontological data are combined with appropriate proxies of environmental change. In the early Toarcian (Early Jurassic, ˜183Ma ago) rapid warming coincided with a main perturbation in the carbon cycle, seal level rise, widespread deposition of organic-rich, black shales under anoxic conditions, increased weathering rates and a biotic crisis in the marine realm, with the extinction of approximately 5% of families and 26% of genera. Because of this complex suite of inter-linked environmental and oceanographic changes, a key challenge is to determine which of these were most influential in controlling specific aspects of extinction and ecological collapse. In this study we combine high resolution palaeontological and palaeoenvironmental data from the coastal sections of the Whitby Mudstone Formation in North Yorkshire, UK, to reconstruct how climate changes controlled the structure of benthic and nektonic communities through the event, over a time period of ˜1.7 Ma. We show that benthic and nektonic ecosystems became decoupled and were driven by different environmental variables. Although rapid warming has been invoked as the main trigger of this event, the palaeotemperature proxy was a poor predictor of marine community dynamics, and abiotic factors indirectly linked to temperature, such as change in seawater dissolved oxygen concentration and nutrient inputs, were more important.

  5. Hidden persistence of salinity and productivity gradients shaping pelagic diversity in highly dynamic marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hidalgo, M; Reglero, P; Álvarez-Berastegui, D; Torres, A P; Álvarez, I; Rodriguez, J M; Carbonell, A; Balbín, R; Alemany, F

    2015-03-01

    While large-scale patterns of pelagic marine diversity are generally well described, they remain elusive at regional-scale given the high temporal and spatial dynamics of biological and local oceanographic processes. We here evaluated whether the main drivers of pelagic diversity can be more pervasive than expected at regional scale, using a meroplankton community of a frontal system in the Western Mediterranean. We evidence that regional biodiversity in a highly dynamic ecosystem can be summarized attending to both static (bathymetric) and ephemeral (biological and hydrographical) environmental axes of seascape. This pattern can be observed irrespectively of the regional hydroclimatic scenario with distance to coast, salinity gradient and chlorophyll a concentration being the main and recurrent drivers. By contrast, their effect is overridden in common analyses given that different non-linear effects are buffered between years of contrasting scenarios, emerging the influence of secondary effects on diversity. We conclude that community studies may reveal hidden persistent processes when they take into account different functional effects related to hydroclimatic variability. A better understanding of regional dynamics of the pelagic realm will improve our capability to forecast future responses of plankton communities as well as impacts of climate change on marine biodiversity. PMID:25617678

  6. Bioremediation in marine ecosystems: a computational study combining ecological modeling and flux balance analysis

    PubMed Central

    Taffi, Marianna; Paoletti, Nicola; Angione, Claudio; Pucciarelli, Sandra; Marini, Mauro; Liò, Pietro

    2014-01-01

    The pressure to search effective bioremediation methodologies for contaminated ecosystems has led to the large-scale identification of microbial species and metabolic degradation pathways. However, minor attention has been paid to the study of bioremediation in marine food webs and to the definition of integrated strategies for reducing bioaccumulation in species. We propose a novel computational framework for analysing the multiscale effects of bioremediation at the ecosystem level, based on coupling food web bioaccumulation models and metabolic models of degrading bacteria. The combination of techniques from synthetic biology and ecological network analysis allows the specification of arbitrary scenarios of contaminant removal and the evaluation of strategies based on natural or synthetic microbial strains. In this study, we derive a bioaccumulation model of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the Adriatic food web, and we extend a metabolic reconstruction of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 (iJN746) with the aerobic pathway of PCBs degradation. We assess the effectiveness of different bioremediation scenarios in reducing PCBs concentration in species and we study indices of species centrality to measure their importance in the contaminant diffusion via feeding links. The analysis of the Adriatic sea case study suggests that our framework could represent a practical tool in the design of effective remediation strategies, providing at the same time insights into the ecological role of microbial communities within food webs. PMID:25309577

  7. Decline of the marine ecosystem caused by a reduction in the Atlantic overturning circulation.

    PubMed

    Schmittner, Andreas

    2005-03-31

    Reorganizations of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation were associated with large and abrupt climatic changes in the North Atlantic region during the last glacial period. Projections with climate models suggest that similar reorganizations may also occur in response to anthropogenic global warming. Here I use ensemble simulations with a coupled climate-ecosystem model of intermediate complexity to investigate the possible consequences of such disturbances to the marine ecosystem. In the simulations, a disruption of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation leads to a collapse of the North Atlantic plankton stocks to less than half of their initial biomass, owing to rapid shoaling of winter mixed layers and their associated separation from the deep ocean nutrient reservoir. Globally integrated export production declines by more than 20 per cent owing to reduced upwelling of nutrient-rich deep water and gradual depletion of upper ocean nutrient concentrations. These model results are consistent with the available high-resolution palaeorecord, and suggest that global ocean productivity is sensitive to changes in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. PMID:15800620

  8. Relationship between carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios for lower trophic ecosystem in marine environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aita, M. N.; Ishii, R.; Tadokoro, K.; Smith, S. L.; Wada, E.

    2012-12-01

    To examine the relationship between carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios (δ13C and δ15N) along food chains, we analyzed using the data from the Oyashio waters at the western North Pacific (samples collected from March to October 2009), the warm-core ring 86-B derived from the Kuroshio extension region (preserved samples), and previously published data from the Gulf of Alaska and Antarctic Ocean. The statistical analysis suggested a common slope of δ15N versus δ13C (Δδ15N/Δδ13C) among regions. We attribute this similarity to common physiological aspects of feeding processes (e.g., kinetic isotope effects inherent in the processes of amino acid synthesis). We also compared seasonal differences seasonal in Δδ15N/Δδ13C for the euphotic layers of the Oyashio waters. The Δδ15N/Δδ13C slope of the food chain during the spring bloom differs from its common value in other seasons. If we could better understand both carbon and nitrogen trophic fractionation within ecosystems, the stable isotope ratios may help to elucidate migratory behavior of higher trophic levels such as fishes in marine ecosystems as well as frame work of biogeochemical cycles in question.

  9. Longer and Less Overlapping Food Webs in Anthropogenically Disturbed Marine Ecosystems: Confirmations from the Past

    PubMed Central

    Saporiti, Fabiana; Bearhop, Stuart; Silva, Laura; Vales, Damián G.; Zenteno, Lisette; Crespo, Enrique A.; Aguilar, Alex; Cardona, Luis

    2014-01-01

    The human exploitation of marine resources is characterised by the preferential removal of the largest species. Although this is expected to modify the structure of food webs, we have a relatively poor understanding of the potential consequences of such alteration. Here, we take advantage of a collection of ancient consumer tissues, using stable isotope analysis and SIBER to assess changes in the structure of coastal marine food webs in the South-western Atlantic through the second half of the Holocene as a result of the sequential exploitation of marine resources by hunter-gatherers, western sealers and modern fishermen. Samples were collected from shell middens and museums. Shells of both modern and archaeological intertidal herbivorous molluscs were used to reconstruct changes in the stable isotopic baseline, while modern and archaeological bones of the South American sea lion Otaria flavescens, South American fur seal Arctocephalus australis and Magellanic penguin Spheniscus magellanicus were used to analyse changes in the structure of the community of top predators. We found that ancient food webs were shorter, more redundant and more overlapping than current ones, both in northern-central Patagonia and southern Patagonia. These surprising results may be best explained by the huge impact of western sealing on pinnipeds during the fur trade period, rather than the impact of fishing on fish populations. As a consequence, the populations of pinnipeds at the end of the sealing period were likely well below the ecosystem's carrying capacity, which resulted in a release of intraspecific competition and a shift towards larger and higher trophic level prey. This in turn led to longer and less overlapping food webs. PMID:25076042

  10. Longer and less overlapping food webs in anthropogenically disturbed marine ecosystems: confirmations from the past.

    PubMed

    Saporiti, Fabiana; Bearhop, Stuart; Silva, Laura; Vales, Damián G; Zenteno, Lisette; Crespo, Enrique A; Aguilar, Alex; Cardona, Luis

    2014-01-01

    The human exploitation of marine resources is characterised by the preferential removal of the largest species. Although this is expected to modify the structure of food webs, we have a relatively poor understanding of the potential consequences of such alteration. Here, we take advantage of a collection of ancient consumer tissues, using stable isotope analysis and SIBER to assess changes in the structure of coastal marine food webs in the South-western Atlantic through the second half of the Holocene as a result of the sequential exploitation of marine resources by hunter-gatherers, western sealers and modern fishermen. Samples were collected from shell middens and museums. Shells of both modern and archaeological intertidal herbivorous molluscs were used to reconstruct changes in the stable isotopic baseline, while modern and archaeological bones of the South American sea lion Otaria flavescens, South American fur seal Arctocephalus australis and Magellanic penguin Spheniscus magellanicus were used to analyse changes in the structure of the community of top predators. We found that ancient food webs were shorter, more redundant and more overlapping than current ones, both in northern-central Patagonia and southern Patagonia. These surprising results may be best explained by the huge impact of western sealing on pinnipeds during the fur trade period, rather than the impact of fishing on fish populations. As a consequence, the populations of pinnipeds at the end of the sealing period were likely well below the ecosystem's carrying capacity, which resulted in a release of intraspecific competition and a shift towards larger and higher trophic level prey. This in turn led to longer and less overlapping food webs. PMID:25076042

  11. Wasp-waist populations and marine ecosystem dynamics: Navigating the “ predator pit” topographies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakun, Andrew

    2006-02-01

    Many marine ecosystems exhibit a characteristic “wasp-waist” structure, where a single species, or at most several species, of small planktivorous fishes entirely dominate their trophic level. These species have complex life histories that result in radical variability that may propagate to both higher and lower trophic levels of the ecosystem. In addition, these populations have two key attributes: (1) they represent the lowest trophic level that is mobile, so they are capable of relocating their area of operation according to their own internal dynamics; (2) they may prey upon the early life stages of their predators, forming an unstable feedback loop in the trophic system that may, for example, precipitate abrupt regime shifts. Experience with the typical “boom-bust” dynamics of this type of population, and with populations that interact trophically with them, suggests a “predator pit” type of dynamics. This features a refuge from predation when abundance is very low, very destructive predation between an abundance level sufficient to attract interest from predators and an abundance level sufficient to satiate available predators, and, as abundance increases beyond this satiation point, decreasing specific predation mortality and population breakout. A simple formalism is developed to describe these dynamics. Examples of its application include (a) a hypothetical mechanism for progressive geographical habitat expansion at high biomass, (b) an explanation for the out-of-phase alternations of abundances of anchovies and sardines in many regional systems that appear to occur without substantial adverse interactions between the two species groups, and (c) an account of an interaction of environmental processes and fishery exploitation that caused a regime shift. The last is the example of the Baltic Sea, where the cod resource collapsed in concert with establishment of dominance of that ecosystem by the cod’s ‘wasp-waist” prey, herring and sprat.

  12. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been extirpated, to restore

  13. Assessing the trophic position and ecological role of squids in marine ecosystems by means of food-web models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coll, Marta; Navarro, Joan; Olson, Robert J.; Christensen, Villy

    2013-10-01

    We synthesized available information from ecological models at local and regional scales to obtain a global picture of the trophic position and ecological role of squids in marine ecosystems. First, static food-web models were used to analyze basic ecological parameters and indicators of squids: biomass, production, consumption, trophic level, omnivory index, predation mortality diet, and the ecological role. In addition, we developed various dynamic temporal simulations using two food-web models that included squids in their parameterization, and we investigated potential impacts of fishing pressure and environmental conditions for squid populations and, consequently, for marine food webs. Our results showed that squids occupy a large range of trophic levels in marine food webs and show a large trophic width, reflecting the versatility in their feeding behaviors and dietary habits. Models illustrated that squids are abundant organisms in marine ecosystems, and have high growth and consumption rates, but these parameters are highly variable because squids are adapted to a large variety of environmental conditions. Results also show that squids can have a large trophic impact on other elements of the food web, and top-down control from squids to their prey can be high. In addition, some squid species are important prey of apical predators and may be keystone species in marine food webs. In fact, we found strong interrelationships between neritic squids and the populations of their prey and predators in coastal and shelf areas, while the role of squids in open ocean and upwelling ecosystems appeared more constrained to a bottom-up impact on their predators. Therefore, large removals of squids will likely have large-scale effects on marine ecosystems. In addition, simulations confirm that squids are able to benefit from a general increase in fishing pressure, mainly due to predation release, and quickly respond to changes triggered by the environment. Squids may thus

  14. A multitrophic model to quantify the effects of marine viruses on microbial food webs and ecosystem processes

    PubMed Central

    Weitz, Joshua S; Stock, Charles A; Wilhelm, Steven W; Bourouiba, Lydia; Coleman, Maureen L; Buchan, Alison; Follows, Michael J; Fuhrman, Jed A; Jover, Luis F; Lennon, Jay T; Middelboe, Mathias; Sonderegger, Derek L; Suttle, Curtis A; Taylor, Bradford P; Frede Thingstad, T; Wilson, William H; Eric Wommack, K

    2015-01-01

    Viral lysis of microbial hosts releases organic matter that can then be assimilated by nontargeted microorganisms. Quantitative estimates of virus-mediated recycling of carbon in marine waters, first established in the late 1990s, were originally extrapolated from marine host and virus densities, host carbon content and inferred viral lysis rates. Yet, these estimates did not explicitly incorporate the cascade of complex feedbacks associated with virus-mediated lysis. To evaluate the role of viruses in shaping community structure and ecosystem functioning, we extend dynamic multitrophic ecosystem models to include a virus component, specifically parameterized for processes taking place in the ocean euphotic zone. Crucially, we are able to solve this model analytically, facilitating evaluation of model behavior under many alternative parameterizations. Analyses reveal that the addition of a virus component promotes the emergence of complex communities. In addition, biomass partitioning of the emergent multitrophic community is consistent with well-established empirical norms in the surface oceans. At steady state, ecosystem fluxes can be probed to characterize the effects that viruses have when compared with putative marine surface ecosystems without viruses. The model suggests that ecosystems with viruses will have (1) increased organic matter recycling, (2) reduced transfer to higher trophic levels and (3) increased net primary productivity. These model findings support hypotheses that viruses can have significant stimulatory effects across whole-ecosystem scales. We suggest that existing efforts to predict carbon and nutrient cycling without considering virus effects are likely to miss essential features of marine food webs that regulate global biogeochemical cycles. PMID:25635642

  15. Ecology of conflict: marine food supply affects human-wildlife interactions on land.

    PubMed

    Artelle, Kyle A; Anderson, Sean C; Reynolds, John D; Cooper, Andrew B; Paquet, Paul C; Darimont, Chris T

    2016-01-01

    Human-wildlife conflicts impose considerable costs to people and wildlife worldwide. Most research focuses on proximate causes, offering limited generalizable understanding of ultimate drivers. We tested three competing hypotheses (problem individuals, regional population saturation, limited food supply) that relate to underlying processes of human-grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) conflict, using data from British Columbia, Canada, between 1960-2014. We found most support for the limited food supply hypothesis: in bear populations that feed on spawning salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), the annual number of bears/km(2) killed due to conflicts with humans increased by an average of 20% (6-32% [95% CI]) for each 50% decrease in annual salmon biomass. Furthermore, we found that across all bear populations (with or without access to salmon), 81% of attacks on humans and 82% of conflict kills occurred after the approximate onset of hyperphagia (July 1(st)), a period of intense caloric demand. Contrary to practices by many management agencies, conflict frequency was not reduced by hunting or removal of problem individuals. Our finding that a marine resource affects terrestrial conflict suggests that evidence-based policy for reducing harm to wildlife and humans requires not only insight into ultimate drivers of conflict, but also management that spans ecosystem and jurisdictional boundaries. PMID:27185189

  16. Ecology of conflict: marine food supply affects human-wildlife interactions on land

    PubMed Central

    Artelle, Kyle A.; Anderson, Sean C.; Reynolds, John D.; Cooper, Andrew B.; Paquet, Paul C.; Darimont, Chris T.

    2016-01-01

    Human-wildlife conflicts impose considerable costs to people and wildlife worldwide. Most research focuses on proximate causes, offering limited generalizable understanding of ultimate drivers. We tested three competing hypotheses (problem individuals, regional population saturation, limited food supply) that relate to underlying processes of human-grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) conflict, using data from British Columbia, Canada, between 1960–2014. We found most support for the limited food supply hypothesis: in bear populations that feed on spawning salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), the annual number of bears/km2 killed due to conflicts with humans increased by an average of 20% (6–32% [95% CI]) for each 50% decrease in annual salmon biomass. Furthermore, we found that across all bear populations (with or without access to salmon), 81% of attacks on humans and 82% of conflict kills occurred after the approximate onset of hyperphagia (July 1st), a period of intense caloric demand. Contrary to practices by many management agencies, conflict frequency was not reduced by hunting or removal of problem individuals. Our finding that a marine resource affects terrestrial conflict suggests that evidence-based policy for reducing harm to wildlife and humans requires not only insight into ultimate drivers of conflict, but also management that spans ecosystem and jurisdictional boundaries. PMID:27185189

  17. Does proximity to urban centres affect the dietary regime of marine benthic filter feeders?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puccinelli, Eleonora; Noyon, Margaux; McQuaid, Christopher D.

    2016-02-01

    Threats to marine ecosystems include habitat destruction and degradation of water quality, resulting from land- and ocean-based human activities. Anthropogenic input causing modification of water quality, can affect primary productivity and thus food availability and quality for higher trophic levels. This is especially important for sedentary benthic intertidal communities, which rely on local food availability. We investigated the effect of urbanization on the dietary regime of four species of intertidal filter feeders (three barnacles and one mussel) at sites close to high-density cities and at sites far from heavily urbanized areas using fatty acid and stable isotope techniques. δ15N was significantly higher at urbanized sites compared to their corresponding control sites for all species with few exceptions, while no effect on δ13C was recorded. Barnacle fatty acid profiles were not affected by cities, while mussels from sites close to cities had fatty acid signatures with a higher proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). We suggest that the enrichment in δ15N at urbanised sites reflects the influence of anthropogenically derived nitrogen directly linked to wastewater input from domestic and industrial sewage. Linked to this, the high proportion of PUFA in mussels at urbanized sites may reflect the influence of increased nitrogen concentrations on primary production and enhanced growth of large phytoplankton cells. The results indicate that anthropogenic effects can strongly influence the diets of benthic organisms, but these effects differ among taxa. Changes in the diet of such habitat forming species can affect their fitness and survival with potential effects on the populations associated with them.

  18. How does vineyard management intensity affect ecosystem services and disservices - insights from a meta-analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winter, Silvia; Zaller, Johann G.; Kratschmer, Sophie; Pachinger, Bärbel; Strauss, Peter; Bauer, Thomas; Paredes, Daniel; Gómez, José A.; Guzmán, Gema; Landa, Blanca; Nicolai, Annegret; Burel, Francoise; Cluzeau, Daniel; Popescu, Daniela; Bunea, Claudiu-Ioan; Potthoff, Martin; Guernion, Muriel; Batáry, Péter

    2016-04-01

    Viticultural agro-ecosystems provide a range of different ecosystem services which are affected by management decisions of winegrowers. At the global scale, vineyards are often high intensity agricultural systems with bare soil or inter-row vegetation consisting of only a few plant species. These systems primarily aim at optimizing wine production by reducing competition for water and nutrients between grapevines and weeds and by preventing the outbreak of pests and diseases. At the same time, this kind of management is often associated with ecosystem disservices such as high rates of soil erosion, degradation of soil structure and fertility, contamination of groundwater and decline of biodiversity. Recently, several initiatives across the world tried to overcome detrimental effects of that management style by creating biodiversity friendly vineyards. The consequences of establishing divers cover crop mixes or tolerating spontaneous vegetation in vineyards for ecosystem services (including yield) overstretching local case studies has not been investigated yet. This meta-analysis will provide an overview of all published studies comparing the effects of different vineyard management practices on a range of different ecosystem services like biodiversity, pest control, pollination, soil conservation and carbon sequestration. The aggregated effect size will point out which management measures can provide the best overall net sum of ecosystem services. This meta-analysis is part of the transdisciplinary BiodivERsA project VineDivers and will ultimately lead into management and policy recommendations for various stakeholder groups engaged in viticulture.

  19. FACTORS AFFECTING SENSITIVITY OF CHEMICAL AND ECOLOGICAL RESPONSES OF MARINE EMBAYMEMTS TO NITROGEN LOADING

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper summarizes an ongoing examination of the primary factors that affect sensitivity of marine embayment responses to nitrogen loading. Included is a discussion of two methods for using these factors: classification of embayments into discrete sensitivity classes and norma...

  20. Simulations of the impact of high pulse atmospheric deposition events on a low nutrient low chlorophyll (LNLC) marine ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christodoulaki, Sylvia; Petihakis, George; Tsiaras, Konstantinos; Triantafyllou, George; Mihalopoulos, Nikolaos; Kanakidou, Maria

    2014-05-01

    Nutrient availability controls ocean productivity and partitioning of carbon between the ocean and atmosphere, mediated by the limiting potential of macro and micronutrients such as N, P, Fe and Si. Atmospheric deposition is a major pathway for nutrient delivery with potential to alter the role of the ocean from a sink to a source of CO2 and vice versa. Mediterranean region is of interest for both its marine and atmospheric environments. Its Sea is one of the world's most oligotrophic regions in terms of both primary productivity and chlorophyll-a concentration. Its atmosphere is a cross road of air masses of distinct origin highly affected by both natural and anthropogenic emissions. These emissions strongly interact in the atmosphere, due to the high photochemical activity in the area, leading to the formation of nutrients such as nitrogen compounds. Dust aerosols from the African continent are also affecting the area and act as carriers of nutrients such as iron and phosphorus. In the Eastern Basin, where nutrient riverine inputs are very low, wet and dry atmospheric inputs of N and P are the main source of new nutrients in the euphotic zone of the open sea, particularly during the stratification period. In the present study, the impact of an intense atmospheric nitrogen and phosphorus deposition pulse event on the marine ecosystem in the East Mediterranean Sea is investigated. This is achieved by coupling atmospheric and sea water observations with a 1-D ocean physical-biogeochemical model, set up for the Cretan Sea as a representative E. Mediterranean open sea area (Christodoulaki et al., 2012, Journal of Marine Systems, doi: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2012.07.007). Atmospheric deposition measurements of Dissolved Inorganic Phosphorous and Nitrogen are obtained from the station of Finokalia, shown to be a representative background station for atmospheric observations in the area, whereas, oceanographic data are obtained from the M3A station. Analysis of this high pulse

  1. Ten Years after the Prestige Oil Spill: Seabird Trophic Ecology as Indicator of Long-Term Effects on the Coastal Marine Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Moreno, Rocío; Jover, Lluís; Diez, Carmen; Sardà, Francesc; Sanpera, Carola

    2013-01-01

    Major oil spills can have long-term impacts since oil pollution does not only result in acute mortality of marine organisms, but also affects productivity levels, predator-prey dynamics, and damages habitats that support marine communities. However, despite the conservation implications of oil accidents, the monitoring and assessment of its lasting impacts still remains a difficult and daunting task. Here, we used European shags to evaluate the overall, lasting effects of the Prestige oil spill (2002) on the affected marine ecosystem. Using δ15N and Hg analysis, we trace temporal changes in feeding ecology potentially related to alterations of the food web due to the spill. Using climatic and oceanic data, we also investigate the influence of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index, the sea surface temperature (SST) and the chlorophyll a (Chl a) on the observed changes. Analysis of δ15N and Hg concentrations revealed that after the Prestige oil spill, shag chicks abruptly switched their trophic level from a diet based on a high percentage of demersal-benthic fish to a higher proportion of pelagic/semi-pelagic species. There was no evidence that Chl a, SST and NAO reflected any particular changes or severity in environmental conditions for any year or season that may explain the sudden change observed in trophic level. Thus, this study highlighted an impact on the marine food web for at least three years. Our results provide the best evidence to date of the long-term consequences of the Prestige oil spill. They also show how, regardless of wider oceanographic variability, lasting impacts on predator-prey dynamics can be assessed using biochemical markers. This is particularly useful if larger scale and longer term monitoring of all trophic levels is unfeasible due to limited funding or high ecosystem complexity. PMID:24130877

  2. Different carbon sources affect PCB accumulation by marine bivalves.

    PubMed

    Laitano, M V; Silva Barni, M F; Costa, P G; Cledón, M; Fillmann, G; Miglioranza, K S B; Panarello, H O

    2016-02-01

    Pampean creeks were evaluated in the present study as potential land-based sources of PCB marine contamination. Different carbon and nitrogen sources from such creeks were analysed as boosters of PCB bioaccumulation by the filter feeder bivalve Brachidontes rodriguezii and grazer limpet Siphonaria lessoni. Carbon of different source than marine and anthropogenic nitrogen assimilated by organisms were estimated through their C and N isotopic composition. PCB concentration in surface sediments and mollusc samples ranged from 2.68 to 6.46 ng g(-1) (wet weight) and from 1074 to 4583 ng g(-1) lipid, respectively, reflecting a punctual source of PCB contamination related to a landfill area. Thus, despite the low flow of creeks, they should not be underestimated as contamination vectors to the marine environment. On the other hand, mussels PCB bioaccumulation was related with the carbon source uptake which highlights the importance to consider this factor when studying PCB distribution in organisms of coastal systems. PMID:26606107

  3. Implications of climate change for northern Canada: freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Prowse, Terry D; Furgal, Chris; Wrona, Fred J; Reist, James D

    2009-07-01

    Climate variability and change is projected to have significant effects on the physical, chemical, and biological components of northern Canadian marine, terrestrial, and freshwater systems. As the climate continues to change, there will be consequences for biodiversity shifts and for the ranges and distribution of many species with resulting effects on availability, accessibility, and quality of resources upon which human populations rely. This will have implications for the protection and management of wildlife, fish, and fisheries resources; protected areas; and forests. The northward migration of species and the disruption and competition from invading species are already occurring and will continue to affect marine, terrestrial, and freshwater communities. Shifting environmental conditions will likely introduce new animal-transmitted diseases and redistribute some existing diseases, affecting key economic resources and some human populations. Stress on populations of iconic wildlife species, such as the polar bear, ringed seals, and whales, will continue as a result of changes in critical sea-ice habitat interactions. Where these stresses affect economically and culturally important species, they will have significant effects on people and regional economies. Further integrated, field-based monitoring and research programs, and the development of predictive models are required to allow for more detailed and comprehensive projections of change to be made, and to inform the development and implementation of appropriate adaptation, wildlife, and habitat conservation and protection strategies. PMID:19714961

  4. Effects of oil and oil dispersant on an enclosed marine ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Lindin, O.; Rosemarin, A.; Lindskog, A.; Hoeglund, C.; Johansson, S.

    1987-04-01

    The effects of a North Sea oil with and without the addition of an oil spill dispersant were studied in a model of the littoral ecosystem of the Baltic Sea. Measured ecosystem parameters included abundance of heterotrophic bacteria, periphyton and phytoplankton photosynthesis, growth of bladderwrack, zooplankton abundance and diversity, physiological responses of certain crustaceans and molluscs, and growth of blue mussels. In addition, net photosynthesis and respiration of the ecosystem were studied. Concentrations of oil in water and blue mussels were monitored. The results of the experiments showed that almost all the measured parameters were affected, although several of the results indicated a stronger response to oil alone than to oil plus dispersant. On the basis of the results of this experiment, it may be concluded that the use of oil dispersants on diverse shallow water communities may produce greater acute effects than if a dispersant is not used. The long-term effects, however, may prove to be less severe than the dispersion of oil by natural processes. 40 references, 10 figures, 2 tables.

  5. Small but Powerful: Top Predator Local Extinction Affects Ecosystem Structure and Function in an Intermittent Stream

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators’ extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a ‘mesopredator release’, affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to ‘mesopredator release’, and also to ‘prey release’ despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem’s structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers’ extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been

  6. Dom Export from Coastal Temperate Bog Forest Watersheds to Marine Ecosystems: Improving Understanding of Watershed Processes and Terrestrial-Marine Linkages on the Central Coast of British Columbia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliver, A. A.; Giesbrecht, I.; Tank, S. E.; Hunt, B. P.; Lertzman, K. P.

    2014-12-01

    The coastal temperate bog forests of British Columbia, Canada, export high amounts of dissolved organic matter (DOM) relative to the global average. Little is known about the factors influencing the quantity and quality of DOM exported from these forests or the role of this terrestrially-derived DOM in near-shore marine ecosystems. The objectives of this study are to better understand patterns and controls of DOM being exported from bog forest watersheds and its potential role in near-shore marine ecosystems. In 2013, the Kwakshua Watershed Ecosystems Study at Hakai Beach Institute (Calvert Island, BC) began year-round routine collection and analysis of DOM, nutrients, and environmental variables (e.g. conductivity, pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen) of freshwater grab samples from the outlets of seven watersheds draining directly to the ocean, as well as near-shore marine samples adjacent to freshwater outflows. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) varied across watersheds (mean= 11.45 mg L-1, sd± 4.22) and fluctuated synchronously with seasons and storm events. In general, higher DOC was associated with lower specific UV absorbance (SUVA254; mean= 4.59 L mg-1 m-1, sd± 0.55). The relationship between DOC and SUVA254 differed between watersheds, suggesting exports in DOM are regulated by individual watershed attributes (e.g. landscape classification, flow paths) as well as precipitation. We are using LiDAR and other remote sensing data to examine watershed controls on DOC export. At near-shore marine sites, coupled CTD (Conductivity Temperature Depth) and optical measures (e.g. spectral slopes, slope ratios (SR), EEMs), showed a clear freshwater DOM signature within the system following rainfall events. Ongoing work will explore the relationship between bog forest watershed attributes and DOM flux and composition, with implications for further studies on biogeochemical cycling, carbon budgets, marine food webs, and climate change.

  7. Effects of olive oil wastes on river basins and an oligotrophic coastal marine ecosystem: a case study in Greece.

    PubMed

    Pavlidou, A; Anastasopoulou, E; Dassenakis, M; Hatzianestis, I; Paraskevopoulou, V; Simboura, N; Rousselaki, E; Drakopoulou, P

    2014-11-01

    This work aims to contribute to the knowledge of the impacts of olive oil waste discharge to freshwater and oligotrophic marine environments, since the ecological impact of olive oil wastes in riverine and coastal marine ecosystems, which are the final repositories of the pollutants, is a great environmental problem on a global scale, mostly concerning all the Mediterranean countries with olive oil production. Messinia, in southwestern Greece, is one of the greatest olive oil production areas in Europe. During the last decade around 1.4×10(6)tons of olive oil mill wastewater has been disposed in the rivers of Messinia and finally entered the marine ecosystem of Messiniakos gulf. The pollution from olive oil mill wastewater in the main rivers of Messinia and the oligotrophic coastal zone of Messiniakos gulf and its effects on marine organisms were evaluated, before, during and after the olive oil production period. Elevated amounts of phenols (36.2-178 mg L(-1)) and high concentrations of ammonium (7.29-18.9 mmol L(-1)) and inorganic phosphorus (0.5-7.48 mmol L(-1)) were measured in small streams where the liquid disposals from several olive oil industries were gathered before their discharge in the major rivers of Messinia. The large number of olive oil units has downgraded the riverine and marine ecosystems during the productive period and a period more than five months is needed for the recovery of the ecosystem. Statistical analysis showed that the enrichment of freshwater and the coastal zone of Messiniakos gulf in ammonia, nitrite, phenols, total organic carbon, copper, manganese and nickel was directly correlated with the wastes from olive oil. Toxicity tests using 24h LC50 Palaemonidae shrimp confirm that olive mill wastewater possesses very high toxicity in the aquatic environment. PMID:25112823

  8. Ecosystem carbon storage capacity as affected by disturbance regimes: A general theoretical model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weng, Ensheng; Luo, Yiqi; Wang, Weile; Wang, Han; Hayes, Daniel J.; McGuire, A. David; Hastings, Alan; Schimel, David S.

    2012-09-01

    Disturbances have been recognized as a key factor shaping terrestrial ecosystem states and dynamics. A general model that quantitatively describes the relationship between carbon storage and disturbance regime is critical for better understanding large scale terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics. We developed a model (REGIME) to quantify ecosystem carbon storage capacities (E[x]) under varying disturbance regimes with an analytical solution E[x] = U · τE · ?, where U is ecosystem carbon influx, τE is ecosystem carbon residence time, and τ1 is the residence time of the carbon pool affected by disturbances (biomass pool in this study). The disturbance regime is characterized by the mean disturbance interval (λ) and the mean disturbance severity (s). It is a Michaelis-Menten-type equation illustrating the saturation of carbon content with mean disturbance interval. This model analytically integrates the deterministic ecosystem carbon processes with stochastic disturbance events to reveal a general pattern of terrestrial carbon dynamics at large scales. The model allows us to get a sense of the sensitivity of ecosystems to future environmental changes just by a few calculations. According to the REGIME model, for example, approximately 1.8 Pg C will be lost in the high-latitude regions of North America (>45°N) if fire disturbance intensity increases around 5.7 time the current intensity to the end of the twenty-first century, which will require around 12% increases in net primary productivity (NPP) to maintain stable carbon stocks. If the residence time decreased 10% at the same time additional 12.5% increases in NPP are required to keep current C stocks. The REGIME model also lays the foundation for analytically modeling the interactions between deterministic biogeochemical processes and stochastic disturbance events.

  9. Ecosystem carbon storage capacity as affected by disturbance regimes: a general theoretical model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weng, E.; Luo, Y.; Wang, W.; Wang, H.; Hayes, D. J.; McGuire, A. D.; Hastings, A.; Schimel, D.

    2012-12-01

    Disturbances have been recognized as a key factor shaping terrestrial ecosystem states and dynamics. A general model that quantitatively describes the relationship between carbon storage and disturbance regime is critical for better understanding large scale terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics. We developed a model (REGIME) to quantify ecosystem carbon storage capacities (E[x]) under varying disturbance regimes with an analytical solution E[x]=UτE λ/(λ+sτ1) , where U is ecosystem carbon influx, τE is ecosystem carbon residence time, and τ1 is the residence time of the carbon pool affected by disturbances (biomass pool in this study). The disturbance regime is characterized by the mean disturbance interval (λ) and the mean disturbance severity (s). It is a Michaelis-Menten type equation illustrating the saturation of carbon content with mean disturbance interval. This model analytically integrates the deterministic ecosystem carbon processes with stochastic disturbance events to reveal a general pattern of terrestrial carbon dynamics at large scales. The model allows us to get a sense of the sensitivity of ecosystems to future environmental changes just by a few calculations. According to the REGIME model , for example, approximately 1.8 Pg C will be lost in the high latitude regions of North America (>45°N) if fire disturbance intensity increases around 5.7 time the current intensity to the end of 21st century, which will require around 12% increases in NPP to maintain stable carbon stocks. If the residence time decreased 10% at the same time additional 12.5% increases in NPP are required to keep current C stocks. The REGIME model also lays the foundation for analytically modeling the interactions between deterministic biogeochemical processes and stochastic disturbance events.

  10. Ecosystem carbon storage capacity as affected by disturbance regimes: A general theoretical model

    SciTech Connect

    Weng, Ensheng; Luo, Yiqi; Wang, Weile; Wang, Han; Hayes, Daniel J; McGuire, A. David; Hastings, Alan; Schimel, David

    2012-01-01

    Disturbances have been recognized as a key factor shaping terrestrial ecosystem states and dynamics. A general model that quantitatively describes the relationship between carbon storage and disturbance regime is critical for better understanding large scale terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics. We developed a model (REGIME) to quantify ecosystem carbon storage capacities (E[x]) under varying disturbance regimes with an analytical solution E[x] = U {center_dot} {tau}{sub E} {center_dot} {lambda}{lambda} + s {tau} 1, where U is ecosystem carbon influx, {tau}{sub E} is ecosystem carbon residence time, and {tau}{sub 1} is the residence time of the carbon pool affected by disturbances (biomass pool in this study). The disturbance regime is characterized by the mean disturbance interval ({lambda}) and the mean disturbance severity (s). It is a Michaelis-Menten-type equation illustrating the saturation of carbon content with mean disturbance interval. This model analytically integrates the deterministic ecosystem carbon processes with stochastic disturbance events to reveal a general pattern of terrestrial carbon dynamics at large scales. The model allows us to get a sense of the sensitivity of ecosystems to future environmental changes just by a few calculations. According to the REGIME model, for example, approximately 1.8 Pg C will be lost in the high-latitude regions of North America (>45{sup o} N) if fire disturbance intensity increases around 5.7 time the current intensity to the end of the twenty-first century, which will require around 12% increases in net primary productivity (NPP) to maintain stable carbon stocks. If the residence time decreased 10% at the same time additional 12.5% increases in NPP are required to keep current C stocks. The REGIME model also lays the foundation for analytically modeling the interactions between deterministic biogeochemical processes and stochastic disturbance events.

  11. Climate change impacts on U.S. coastal and marine ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scavia, Donald; Field, John C.; Boesch, Donald F.; Buddemeier, Robert W.; Burkett, Virginia; Cayan, Daniel R.; Fogarty, Michael; Harwell, Mark A.; Howarth, Robert W.; Mason, Curt; Reed, Denise J.; Royer, Thomas C.; Sallenger, Asbury H.; Titus, James G.

    2002-01-01

    Increases in concentrations of greenhouse gases projected for the 21st century are expected to lead to increased mean global air and ocean temperatures. The National Assessment of Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change (NAST 2001) was based on a series of regional and sector assessments. This paper is a summary of the coastal and marine resources sector review of potential impacts on shorelines, estuaries, coastal wetlands, coral reefs, and ocean margin ecosystems. The assessment considered the impacts of several key drivers of climate change: sea level change; alterations in precipitation patterns and subsequent delivery of freshwater, nutrients, and sediment; increased ocean temperature; alterations in circulation patterns; changes in frequency and intensity of coastal storms; and increased levels of atmospheric CO2. Increasing rates of sea-level rise and intensity and frequency of coastal storms and hurricanes over the next decades will increase threats to shorelines, wetlands, and coastal development. Estuarine productivity will change in response to alteration in the timing and amount of freshwater, nutrients, and sediment delivery. Higher water temperatures and changes in freshwater delivery will alter estuarine stratification, residence time, and eutrophication. Increased ocean temperatures are expected to increase coral bleaching and higher CO2 levels may reduce coral calcification, making it more difficult for corals to recover from other disturbances, and inhibiting poleward shifts. Ocean warming is expected to cause poleward shifts in the ranges of many other organisms, including commercial species, and these shifts may have secondary effects on their predators and prey. Although these potential impacts of climate change and variability will vary from system to system, it is important to recognize that they will be superimposed upon, and in many cases intensify, other ecosystem stresses (pollution, harvesting, habitat destruction

  12. The effect of widespread early aerobic marine ecosystems on methane cycling and the Great Oxidation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daines, Stuart J.; Lenton, Timothy M.

    2016-01-01

    The balance of evidence suggests that oxygenic photosynthesis had evolved by 3.0-2.7 Ga, several hundred million years prior to the Great Oxidation ≈2.4 Ga. Previous work has shown that if oxygenic photosynthesis spread globally prior to the Great Oxidation, this could have supported widespread aerobic ecosystems in the surface ocean, without oxidising the atmosphere. Here we use a suite of models to explore the implications for carbon cycling and the Great Oxidation. We find that recycling of oxygen and carbon within early aerobic marine ecosystems would have restricted the balanced fluxes of methane and oxygen escaping from the ocean, lowering the atmospheric concentration of methane in the Great Oxidation transition and its aftermath. This in turn would have minimised any bi-stability of atmospheric oxygen, by weakening a stabilising feedback on oxygen from hydrogen escape to space. The result would have been a more reversible and probably episodic rise of oxygen at the Great Oxidation transition, consistent with existing geochemical evidence. The resulting drop in methane levels to ≈10 ppm is consistent with climate cooling at the time but adds to the puzzle of what kept the rest of the Proterozoic warm. A key test of the scenario of abundant methanotrophy in oxygen oases before the Great Oxidation is its predicted effects on the organic carbon isotope (δ13Corg) record. Our open ocean general circulation model predicts δC13org ≈ - 30 to -45‰ consistent with most data from 2.65 to 2.45 Ga. However, values of δC13org ≈ - 50 ‰ require an extreme scenario such as concentrated methanotroph production where shelf-slope upwelling of methane-rich water met oxic shelf water.

  13. Use of fish parasite species richness indices in analyzing anthropogenically impacted coastal marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dzikowski, R.; Paperna, I.; Diamant, A.

    2003-10-01

    species richness for a given habitat, in the characterization of communities of differentially impacted coastal marine ecosystems.

  14. Development of a decision support system to manage contamination in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Dagnino, A; Viarengo, A

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, contamination and its interaction with climate-change variables have been recognized as critical stressors in coastal areas, emphasizing the need for a standardized framework encompassing chemical and biological data into risk indices to support decision-making. We therefore developed an innovative, expert decision support system (Exp-DSS) for the management of contamination in marine coastal ecosystems. The Exp-DSS has two main applications: (i) to determine environmental risk and biological vulnerability in contaminated sites; and (ii) to support the management of waters and sediments by assessing the risk due to the exposure of biota to these matrices. The Exp-DSS evaluates chemical data, both as single compounds and as total toxic pressure of the mixture, to compare concentrations to effect-based thresholds (TELs and PELs). Sites are then placed into three categories of contamination: uncontaminated, mildly contaminated, and highly contaminated. In highly contaminated sites, effects on high-level ecotoxicological endpoints (i.e. survival and reproduction) are used to determine risk at the organism-population level, while ecological parameters (i.e. alterations in community structure and ecosystem functions) are considered for assessing effects on biodiversity. Changes in sublethal biomarkers are utilized to assess the stress level of the organisms in mildly contaminated sites. In Triad studies, chemical concentrations, ecotoxicological high-level effects, and ecological data are combined to determine the level of environmental risk in highly contaminated sites; chemical concentration and ecotoxicological sublethal effects are evaluated to determine biological vulnerability in mildly contaminated sites. The Exp-DSS was applied to data from the literature about sediment quality in estuarine areas of Spain, and ranked risks related to exposure to contaminated sediments from high risk (Huelva estuary) to mild risk (Guadalquivir estuary and Bay of

  15. Is economic valuation of ecosystem services useful to decision-makers? Lessons learned from Australian coastal and marine management.

    PubMed

    Marre, Jean-Baptiste; Thébaud, Olivier; Pascoe, Sean; Jennings, Sarah; Boncoeur, Jean; Coglan, Louisa

    2016-08-01

    Economic valuation of ecosystem services is widely advocated as being useful to support ecosystem management decision-making. However, the extent to which it is actually used or considered useful in decision-making is poorly documented. This literature blindspot is explored with an application to coastal and marine ecosystems management in Australia. Based on a nation-wide survey of eighty-eight decision-makers representing a diversity of management organizations, the perceived usefulness and level of use of economic valuation of ecosystem services, in support of coastal and marine management, are examined. A large majority of decision-makers are found to be familiar with economic valuation and consider it useful - even necessary - in decision-making, although this varies across groups of decision-makers. However, most decision-makers never or rarely use economic valuation. The perceived level of importance and trust in estimated dollar values differ across ecosystem services, and are especially high for values that relate to commercial activities. A number of factors are also found to influence respondent's use of economic valuation. Such findings concur with conclusions from other studies on the usefulness and use of ESV in environmental management decision-making. They also demonstrate the strength of the survey-based approach developed in this application to examine this issue in a variety of contexts. PMID:27136617

  16. Infectious Diseases Affect Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture Economics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Harvell, C. Drew; Conrad, Jon M.; Friedman, Carolyn S.; Kent, Michael L.; Kuris, Armand M.; Powell, Eric N.; Rondeau, Daniel; Saksida, Sonja M.

    2015-01-01

    Seafood is a growing part of the economy, but its economic value is diminished by marine diseases. Infectious diseases are common in the ocean, and here we tabulate 67 examples that can reduce commercial species' growth and survivorship or decrease seafood quality. These impacts seem most problematic in the stressful and crowded conditions of aquaculture, which increasingly dominates seafood production as wild fishery production plateaus. For instance, marine diseases of farmed oysters, shrimp, abalone, and various fishes, particularly Atlantic salmon, cost billions of dollars each year. In comparison, it is often difficult to accurately estimate disease impacts on wild populations, especially those of pelagic and subtidal species. Farmed species often receive infectious diseases from wild species and can, in turn, export infectious agents to wild species. However, the impact of disease export on wild fisheries is controversial because there are few quantitative data demonstrating that wild species near farms suffer more from infectious diseases than those in other areas. The movement of exotic infectious agents to new areas continues to be the greatest concern.

  17. Infectious diseases affect marine fisheries and aquaculture economics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Harvell, C. Drew; Conrad, Jon M.; Friedman, Carolyn S.; Kent, Michael L.; Kuris, Armand M.; Powell, Eric N.; Rondeau, Daniel; Saksida, Sonja M.

    2015-01-01

    Seafood is a growing part of the economy, but its economic value is diminished by marine diseases. Infectious diseases are common in the ocean, and here we tabulate 67 examples that can reduce commercial species' growth and survivorship or decrease seafood quality. These impacts seem most problematic in the stressful and crowded conditions of aquaculture, which increasingly dominates seafood production as wild fishery production plateaus. For instance, marine diseases of farmed oysters, shrimp, abalone, and various fishes, particularly Atlantic salmon, cost billions of dollars each year. In comparison, it is often difficult to accurately estimate disease impacts on wild populations, especially those of pelagic and subtidal species. Farmed species often receive infectious diseases from wild species and can, in turn, export infectious agents to wild species. However, the impact of disease export on wild fisheries is controversial because there are few quantitative data demonstrating that wild species near farms suffer more from infectious diseases than those in other areas. The movement of exotic infectious agents to new areas continues to be the greatest concern.

  18. Assessing the magnitude of recent compositional changes in marine ecosystems: a conservation paleobiology case study from the Persian Gulf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albano, Paolo G.; Tomašových, Adam; Stachowitsch, Michael; Zuschin, Martin

    2015-04-01

    Nearly every modern marine ecosystem has experienced major changes due to anthropogenic stressors such as habitat modification, pollution, overexploitation and climate change. However, our knowledge of ecosystem dynamics in a historical time-frame (decades to few centuries) is restricted by the lack of direct, recorded human observations: properly designed ecological surveys have been conducted for comparatively short durations in the last few decades only, and in merely a few localities, poorly representative of large-scale phenomena. A unique but under-exploited source of information is hidden in death assemblages (DAs), the taxonomically identifiable, dead or discarded organic remains in a seabed. Due to the slow degradation of hard skeletal parts such as shells in the sea, DAs represent archives that accumulate information on species composition and community states over time and are inert to recent changes. Assessing the degree in compositional and ecological similarity between living (LAs) and death assemblages can be used to reconstruct the degree of recent community disturbances. Previous studies have shown that live-dead (LD) agreement tends to be poorer in anthropogenically disturbed settings, because LAs respond faster than DAs to pressures, thus increasing the LD disagreement in composition. As a complementary approach, age dating of shells (using radiocarbon calibrated amino acid racemization) allows identifying the timing of ecosystem change. These approaches help recognize community shifts in time, overcoming the lack of direct observation. As a case study, we present the results of applying these techniques to the impacts of oil platforms on the benthic assemblages in the Persian (Arabian) Gulf. This semi-enclosed basin originated 12,500 years ago and currently hosts the highest concentration of infrastructures for oil and gas extraction in the world. Moreover, it has been affected by major oil spills. Contaminants show a weak gradient within each

  19. Cell Turnover and Detritus Production in Marine Sponges from Tropical and Temperate Benthic Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, Brittany E.; Liebrand, Kevin; Osinga, Ronald; van der Geest, Harm G.; Admiraal, Wim; Cleutjens, Jack P. M.; Schutte, Bert; Verheyen, Fons; Ribes, Marta; van Loon, Emiel; de Goeij, Jasper M.

    2014-01-01

    This study describes in vivo cell turnover (the balance between cell proliferation and cell loss) in eight marine sponge species from tropical coral reef, mangrove and temperate Mediterranean reef ecosystems. Cell proliferation was determined through the incorporation of 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) and measuring the percentage of BrdU-positive cells after 6 h of continuous labeling (10 h for Chondrosia reniformis). Apoptosis was identified using an antibody against active caspase-3. Cell loss through shedding was studied quantitatively by collecting and weighing sponge-expelled detritus and qualitatively by light microscopy of sponge tissue and detritus. All species investigated displayed substantial cell proliferation, predominantly in the choanoderm, but also in the mesohyl. The majority of coral reef species (five) showed between 16.1±15.9% and 19.0±2.0% choanocyte proliferation (mean±SD) after 6 h and the Mediterranean species, C. reniformis, showed 16.6±3.2% after 10 h BrdU-labeling. Monanchora arbuscula showed lower choanocyte proliferation (8.1±3.7%), whereas the mangrove species Mycale microsigmatosa showed relatively higher levels of choanocyte proliferation (70.5±6.6%). Choanocyte proliferation in Haliclona vansoesti was variable (2.8–73.1%). Apoptosis was negligible and not the primary mechanism of cell loss involved in cell turnover. All species investigated produced significant amounts of detritus (2.5–18% detritus bodyweight−1·d−1) and cell shedding was observed in seven out of eight species. The amount of shed cells observed in histological sections may be related to differences in residence time of detritus within canals. Detritus production could not be directly linked to cell shedding due to the degraded nature of expelled cellular debris. We have demonstrated that under steady-state conditions, cell turnover through cell proliferation and cell shedding are common processes to maintain tissue homeostasis in a variety of sponge

  20. Spatial and temporal trends and effects of contaminants in the Canadian Arctic marine ecosystem: a review.

    PubMed

    Muir, D; Braune, B; DeMarch, B; Norstrom, R; Wagemann, R; Lockhart, L; Hargrave, B; Bright, D; Addison, R; Payne, J; Reimer, K

    1999-06-01

    Recent studies have added substantially to our knowledge of spatial and temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals in the Canadian Arctic marine ecosystem. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge of contaminants in marine biota in the Canadian Arctic and where possible, discusses biological effects. The geographic coverage of information on contaminants such as persistent organochlorines (OCs) (PCBs, DDT- and chlordane-related compounds, hexachlorocyclohexanes, toxaphene) and heavy metals (mercury, selenium, cadmium, lead) in tissues of marine mammal and sea birds is relatively complete. All major beluga, ringed seal and polar bear stocks along with several major sea bird colonies have been sampled and analysed for OC and heavy metal contaminants. Studies on contaminants in walrus are limited to Foxe Basin and northern Québec stocks, while migratory harp seals have only been studied recently at one location. Contaminant measurements in bearded seal, harbour seal, bowhead whale and killer whale tissues from the Canadian Arctic are very limited or non-existent. Many of the temporal trend data for contaminants in Canadian Arctic biota are confounded by changes in analytical methodology, as well as by variability due to age/size, or to dietary and population shifts. Despite this, studies of OCs in ringed seal blubber at Holman Island and in sea birds at Prince Leopold Island in Lancaster Sound show declining concentrations of PCBs and DDT-related compounds from the 1970s to 1980s then a levelling off during the 1980s and early 1990s. For other OCs, such as chlordane, HCH and toxaphene, limited data for the 1980s to early 1990s suggests few significant declines in concentrations in marine mammals or sea birds. Temporal trend studies of heavy metals in ringed seals and beluga found higher mean concentrations of mercury in more recent (1993/1994) samples than in earlier collections (1981-1984 in eastern Arctic, 1972-1973 in western Arctic

  1. Contrasting effects of ecosystem engineering by the cordgrass Spartina maritima and the sandprawn Callianassa kraussi in a marine-dominated lagoon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pillay, D.; Branch, G. M.; Dawson, J.; Henry, D.

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystem engineering by plants and animals significantly influences community structure and the physico-chemical characteristics of marine habitats. In this paper we document the contrasting effects of ecosystem engineering by the cordgrass Spartina maritima and the burrowing sandprawn Callianassa kraussi on physico-chemical characteristics, microflora, macrofaunal community structure and morphological attributes in the high shore intertidal sandflats of Langebaan Lagoon, a marine-dominated system on the west coast of South Africa. Comparisons were made at six sites in the lagoon within Spartina and Callianassa beds, and in a "bare zone" of sandflat between these two habitats that lacks both sandprawns and cordgrass. Sediments in Spartina habitats were consolidated by the root-shoot systems of the cordgrass, leading to low sediment penetrability, while sediments in beds of C. kraussi were more penetrable, primarily due to the destabilising effects of sandprawn bioturbation. Sediments in the "bare zone" had intermediate to low values of penetrability. Sediment organic content was lowest in bare zones and greatest in Spartina beds, while sediment chl- a levels were greatest on bare sand, but were progressively reduced in the Spartina and Callianassa beds. These differences among habitats induced by ecosystem engineering in turn affected the macrofauna. Community structure was different between all three habitats sampled, with species richness being surprisingly greater in Callianassa beds than either the bare zone or Spartina beds. In general, the binding of surface sediments by the root systems of Spartina favoured rigid-bodied, surface-dwelling and tube-building species, while the destabilising effect of bioturbation by C. kraussi favoured burrowing species. The contrasting effects of these ecosystem engineers suggest that they play important roles in increasing habitat heterogeneity. Importantly, the role of bioturbation by C. kraussi in enhancing macrofaunal

  2. Complexity in benthic-pelagic marine ecosystems in the late Ordovician (central New York)

    SciTech Connect

    Byrne, S.M.

    1985-01-01

    Cisne and Chandlee (1982) outlined a paleogeographic model for marine invertebrates collected from Middle Ordovician strata in central New York. Subsequent interpretations of their stratigraphic and geographic distributions were based on control by levels of oxygen. Especially critical were the presumed distribution of the trilobite Triarthus and three graptolites, Orthograptus, Climacograptus, and Corynoides, which were supposed to have occupied vertically stratified habitats in the water column. In order to test this general thesis 42 stratigraphically discrete samples were collected from continuously exposed Late Ordovician mudstones in central New York, which contained taxa virtually identically to those employed by Cisne. The sampling interval spanned about 1.5 million years and over 1/4 of the samples contained relatively large numbers of graptolites. Over 3000 graptolite rhabdosomes were identified. The later Ordovician Orthograptus are preserved both with and without Climacograptus and with various benthic taxa. However neither Orthograptus nor Climacograptus display a consistent stratigraphic pattern, and Triarthus co-occurred with both graptolites, introducing a discordant note into any attempt at a simple modeling of early Paleozoic benthic/pelagic ecosystems.

  3. Presence of trace metals in aquaculture marine ecosystems of the northwestern Mediterranean Sea (Italy).

    PubMed

    Squadrone, S; Brizio, P; Stella, C; Prearo, M; Pastorino, P; Serracca, L; Ercolini, C; Abete, M C

    2016-08-01

    Information regarding chemical pollutant levels in farmed fish and shellfish, along with the risks associated with their consumption is still scarce. This study was designed to assess levels of exposure to 21 trace elements in fish (Dicentrarchus labrax), mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and oysters (Crassostrea gigas) collected from aquaculture marine ecosystems of the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. Metal concentrations showed great variability in the three species; the highest values of the nonessential elements As and Cd were found in oysters while the highest levels of Al, Pb and V were found in mussels. The essential elements Cu, Mn and Zn were highest in oysters, but Fe, Cr, Ni, Se, Co and Mo levels were highest in mussels. Fish had the lowest concentrations for all trace elements, which were at least one order of magnitude lower than in bivalves. The rare earth elements cerium and lanthanum were found at higher levels in mussels than in oysters, but undetectable in fish. The maximum values set by European regulations for Hg, Cd and Pb were never exceeded in the examined samples. However, comparing the estimated human daily intakes (EHDIs) with the suggested tolerable copper and zinc intakes suggested a potential risk for frequent consumers of oysters. Similarly, people who consume high quantities of mussels could be exposed to concentrations of Al that exceed the proposed TWI (tolerable weekly intake). PMID:27179326

  4. Human - driven atmospheric deposition of N & P controls on the East Mediterranean marine ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christodoulaki, Sylvia; Petihakis, George; Mihalopoulos, Nikolaos; Tsiaras, Konstantinos; Triantafyllou, George; Kanakidou, Maria

    2016-04-01

    The historical and future impacts of atmospheric deposition of inorganic nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) on the marine ecosystem in the East Mediterranean Sea are investigated by using a 1-D coupled physical- biogeochemical model, set-up for the Cretan Sea as a representative area of the basin. For the present-day simulation (2010), the model is forced by observations of atmospheric deposition fluxes at Crete, while for the hindcast (1860) and forecast (2030) simulations, the changes in atmospheric deposition calculated by global chemistry- transport models are applied to the present-day observed fluxes. The impact of the atmospheric deposition on the fluxes of carbon in the food chain is calculated together with the contribution of human activities to these impacts. The results show that total phytoplanktonic biomass increased by 16% over the past 1.5 century. Small fractional changes in carbon fluxes and planktonic biomasses are predicted for the near future. Simulations show that atmospheric deposition of N and P may be the main mechanism responsible for the anomalous N to P ratio observed in the Mediterranean Sea.

  5. Ecosystem service tradeoff analysis reveals the value of marine spatial planning for multiple ocean uses.

    PubMed

    White, Crow; Halpern, Benjamin S; Kappel, Carrie V

    2012-03-20

    Marine spatial planning (MSP) is an emerging responsibility of resource managers around the United States and elsewhere. A key proposed advantage of MSP is that it makes tradeoffs in resource use and sector (stakeholder group) values explicit, but doing so requires tools to assess tradeoffs. We extended tradeoff analyses from economics to simultaneously assess multiple ecosystem services and the values they provide to sectors using a robust, quantitative, and transparent framework. We used the framework to assess potential conflicts among offshore wind energy, commercial fishing, and whale-watching sectors in Massachusetts and identify and quantify the value from choosing optimal wind farm designs that minimize conflicts among these sectors. Most notably, we show that using MSP over conventional planning could prevent >$1 million dollars in losses to the incumbent fishery and whale-watching sectors and could generate >$10 billion in extra value to the energy sector. The value of MSP increased with the greater the number of sectors considered and the larger the area under management. Importantly, the framework can be applied even when sectors are not measured in dollars (e.g., conservation). Making tradeoffs explicit improves transparency in decision-making, helps avoid unnecessary conflicts attributable to perceived but weak tradeoffs, and focuses debate on finding the most efficient solutions to mitigate real tradeoffs and maximize sector values. Our analysis demonstrates the utility, feasibility, and value of MSP and provides timely support for the management transitions needed for society to address the challenges of an increasingly crowded ocean environment. PMID:22392996

  6. Ecosystem service tradeoff analysis reveals the value of marine spatial planning for multiple ocean uses

    PubMed Central

    White, Crow; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Kappel, Carrie V.

    2012-01-01

    Marine spatial planning (MSP) is an emerging responsibility of resource managers around the United States and elsewhere. A key proposed advantage of MSP is that it makes tradeoffs in resource use and sector (stakeholder group) values explicit, but doing so requires tools to assess tradeoffs. We extended tradeoff analyses from economics to simultaneously assess multiple ecosystem services and the values they provide to sectors using a robust, quantitative, and transparent framework. We used the framework to assess potential conflicts among offshore wind energy, commercial fishing, and whale-watching sectors in Massachusetts and identify and quantify the value from choosing optimal wind farm designs that minimize conflicts among these sectors. Most notably, we show that using MSP over conventional planning could prevent >$1 million dollars in losses to the incumbent fishery and whale-watching sectors and could generate >$10 billion in extra value to the energy sector. The value of MSP increased with the greater the number of sectors considered and the larger the area under management. Importantly, the framework can be applied even when sectors are not measured in dollars (e.g., conservation). Making tradeoffs explicit improves transparency in decision-making, helps avoid unnecessary conflicts attributable to perceived but weak tradeoffs, and focuses debate on finding the most efficient solutions to mitigate real tradeoffs and maximize sector values. Our analysis demonstrates the utility, feasibility, and value of MSP and provides timely support for the management transitions needed for society to address the challenges of an increasingly crowded ocean environment. PMID:22392996

  7. The importance of deep-sea vulnerable marine ecosystems for demersal fish in the Azores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pham, Christopher K.; Vandeperre, Frederic; Menezes, Gui; Porteiro, Filipe; Isidro, Eduardo; Morato, Telmo

    2015-02-01

    Cold-water corals and sponges aggregations are important features of the deep sea, recently classified as vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs). VMEs increase habitat complexity, believed to act as feeding, reproductive, nursery and refuge areas for a high number of invertebrates and fish species. In the Azores archipelago (NE Atlantic), VMEs are prevalent but their ecological role has not received much attention. The objective of this study was to investigate the importance of VMEs in influencing the distribution of demersal fish in the Azores. With data collected during experimental longline surveys , we modeled the catch of six demersal fish species of commercial value (Helicolenus dactylopterus, Pagellus bogaraveo, Mora moro, Conger conger, Phycis phycis, Pontinus kuhlii) in relation to the presence of VMEs and other environmental factors using General Additive Models (GAMs). Our study demonstrated that total fish catch was higher inside VMEs but the relationship between fish and VMEs varied among fish species. Species specific models showed that catch was strongly influenced by environmental factors, mainly depth, whilst the presence of VMEs was only important for two rockfish species; juvenile and adult P. kuhlii and juvenile H. dactylopterus. Although the association between deep-sea demersal fish and VMEs may be an exception to the rule, we suggest that VMEs act as an important habitat for two commercially important species in the Azores.

  8. Using multiple ecosystem components, in assessing ecological status in Spanish (Basque Country) Atlantic marine waters.

    PubMed

    Borja, Angel; Bald, Juan; Franco, Javier; Larreta, Joana; Muxika, Iñigo; Revilla, Marta; Rodríguez, J Germán; Solaun, Oihana; Uriarte, Ainhize; Valencia, Victoriano

    2009-01-01

    The European Water Framework and Marine Strategy Directives relate to the assessment of ecological quality, within estuarine and coastal systems. This legislation requires quality to be defined in an integrative way, using several biological elements (phytoplankton, benthos, algae, phanerogams, and fishes), together with physico-chemical elements (including pollutants). This contribution describes a methodology that integrates all of this information into a unique quality assessment for 51 stations from 18 water bodies, within the Basque Country. These water bodies are distributed into four typologies, including soft-bottom coastal areas and three types of estuaries. For each station, decision trees were used to integrate (i) water, sediment and biomonitor chemical data to achieve an integrated physico-chemical assessment and (ii) multiple biological ecosystem elements into an integrated biological assessment. Depending on the availability of ecological quality ratios or global quality values, different integration schemes were used to combine station assessments into water body assessments on a single scale. Several examples from each element have been selected, to illustrate their responses to different pressures; likewise, to establish how the assessed integrated quality has changed, over time. The results made biological and ecological sense and physico-chemical improvements were often correlated with improvements in the quality of benthos and fishes. These tools permit policy makers and managers to take decisions, based upon scientific knowledge, in water management, regarding the mitigation of human pressures and associated recovery processes. PMID:19084879

  9. A systematic approach towards the identification and protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ardron, Jeff A.; Clark, Malcolm R.; Penney, Andrew J.; Hourigan, Thomas F.; Rowden, Ashley A.; Dunstan, Piers K.; Watling, Les; Shank, Timothy M.; Tracey, Di M.; Dunn, Matthew R.; Parker, Steven J.

    2014-01-01

    The United Nations General Assembly in 2006 and 2009 adopted resolutions that call for the identification and protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) from significant adverse impacts of bottom fishing. While general criteria have been produced, there are no guidelines or protocols that elaborate on the process from initial identification through to the protection of VMEs. Here, based upon an expert review of existing practices, a 10-step framework is proposed: (1) Comparatively assess potential VME indicator taxa and habitats in a region; (2) determine VME thresholds; (3) consider areas already known for their ecological importance; (4) compile information on the distributions of likely VME taxa and habitats, as well as related environmental data; (5) develop predictive distribution models for VME indicator taxa and habitats; (6) compile known or likely fishing impacts; (7) produce a predicted VME naturalness distribution (areas of low cumulative impacts); (8) identify areas of higher value to user groups; (9) conduct management strategy evaluations to produce trade-off scenarios; (10) review and re-iterate, until spatial management scenarios are developed that fulfil international obligations and regional conservation and management objectives. To date, regional progress has been piecemeal and incremental. The proposed 10-step framework combines these various experiences into a systematic approach.

  10. Fine-Scale Cartography of Human Impacts along French Mediterranean Coasts: A Relevant Map for the Management of Marine Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Holon, Florian; Mouquet, Nicolas; Boissery, Pierre; Bouchoucha, Marc; Delaruelle, Gwenaelle; Tribot, Anne-Sophie; Deter, Julie

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem services provided by oceans and seas support most human needs but are threatened by human activities. Despite existing maps illustrating human impacts on marine ecosystems, information remains either large-scale but rough and insufficient for stakeholders (1 km² grid, lack of data along the coast) or fine-scale but fragmentary and heterogeneous in methodology. The objectives of this study are to map and quantify the main pressures exerted on near-coast marine ecosystems, at a large spatial scale though in fine and relevant resolution for managers (one pixel = 20 x 20 m). It focuses on the French Mediterranean coast (1,700 km of coastline including Corsica) at a depth of 0 to 80 m. After completing and homogenizing data presently available under GIS on the bathymetry and anthropogenic pressures but also on the seabed nature and ecosystem vulnerability, we provide a fine modeling of the extent and impacts of 10 anthropogenic pressures on marine habitats. The considered pressures are man-made coastline, boat anchoring, aquaculture, urban effluents, industrial effluents, urbanization, agriculture, coastline erosion, coastal population and fishing. A 1:10 000 continuous habitat map is provided considering 11 habitat classes. The marine bottom is mostly covered by three habitats: infralittoral soft bottom, Posidonia oceanica meadows and circalittoral soft bottom. Around two thirds of the bottoms are found within medium and medium high cumulative impact categories. Seagrass meadows are the most impacted habitats. The most important pressures (in area and intensity) are urbanization, coastal population, coastal erosion and man-made coastline. We also identified areas in need of a special management interest. This work should contribute to prioritize environmental needs, as well as enhance the development of indicators for the assessment of the ecological status of coastal systems. It could also help better apply and coordinate management measures at a relevant

  11. Fine-Scale Cartography of Human Impacts along French Mediterranean Coasts: A Relevant Map for the Management of Marine Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Holon, Florian; Mouquet, Nicolas; Boissery, Pierre; Bouchoucha, Marc; Delaruelle, Gwenaelle; Tribot, Anne-Sophie; Deter, Julie

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem services provided by oceans and seas support most human needs but are threatened by human activities. Despite existing maps illustrating human impacts on marine ecosystems, information remains either large-scale but rough and insufficient for stakeholders (1 km² grid, lack of data along the coast) or fine-scale but fragmentary and heterogeneous in methodology. The objectives of this study are to map and quantify the main pressures exerted on near-coast marine ecosystems, at a large spatial scale though in fine and relevant resolution for managers (one pixel = 20 x 20 m). It focuses on the French Mediterranean coast (1,700 km of coastline including Corsica) at a depth of 0 to 80 m. After completing and homogenizing data presently available under GIS on the bathymetry and anthropogenic pressures but also on the seabed nature and ecosystem vulnerability, we provide a fine modeling of the extent and impacts of 10 anthropogenic pressures on marine habitats. The considered pressures are man-made coastline, boat anchoring, aquaculture, urban effluents, industrial effluents, urbanization, agriculture, coastline erosion, coastal population and fishing. A 1:10 000 continuous habitat map is provided considering 11 habitat classes. The marine bottom is mostly covered by three habitats: infralittoral soft bottom, Posidonia oceanica meadows and circalittoral soft bottom. Around two thirds of the bottoms are found within medium and medium high cumulative impact categories. Seagrass meadows are the most impacted habitats. The most important pressures (in area and intensity) are urbanization, coastal population, coastal erosion and man-made coastline. We also identified areas in need of a special management interest. This work should contribute to prioritize environmental needs, as well as enhance the development of indicators for the assessment of the ecological status of coastal systems. It could also help better apply and coordinate management measures at a relevant

  12. Assessing the main threats to marine ecosystem components of the Adriatic - Ionian Region for the implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipizer, Marina

    2015-04-01

    Marine and coastal ecosystems and the related benefits they provide for humans are threatened by increasing pressures and competing usages. To address these issues, in the last decade, several EU legislations have been formulated to guarantee and promote sustainable use of the sea (e.g. Common Fishery Policy, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Maritime Spatial Planning). As a first step to implement cross-border Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the Adriatic - Ionian Seas, a review of the main anthropogenic pressures due to maritime activities involving the Adriatic - Ionian Region (AIR) as well as of the most relevant environmental components has been carried out. The main objective of the analysis is to better identify the spatial distribution of human uses of the sea and of the key environmental components and the ecosystem services provided. The analysis of the existing conditions includes a description of the human activities per economic sector, considering type, location, dimension and magnitude of the activity in the AIR and the spatial extent of the main environmental and ecological values present in the AIR. The environmental status has been characterized according to the descriptors proposed by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD Directive 2008/56/EC) and the most sensitive ecosystem components in the AIR have been pointed out. A qualitative analysis of the relationships between good environmental status descriptors sensu MSFD and ecosystem services in the AIR has been carried out to provide useful information for the implementation of MSP. Cross-border Maritime Spatial Planning is particularly needed in a semi-enclosed basin such as the Adriatic Sea, hosting very diverse human activities, ranging from fishery to tourism, sand extraction, commercial and passenger transport, oil and gas exploration and exploitation, which may partially overlap and severely threaten ecosystem functioning and the associated services.

  13. The marine ecosystem off Peru: What are the secrets of its fishery productivity and what might its future hold?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakun, Andrew; Weeks, Scarla J.

    2008-10-01

    The marine ecosystem located off the coast of central and northern Peru has stood as the “world’s champion” producer, by far, of exploitable fish biomass, generally yielding more than 20 times the tonnage of fishery landings produced by other comparable regional large marine ecosystems of the world’s oceans that operate under similar dynamic contexts and are characterized by comparable, or even greater, basic primary production. Two potentially contributing aspects are discussed from a framework of interregional comparative pattern recognition: (1) the advantageous low-latitude situation that combines strong upwelling-based nutrient enrichment with low wind-induced turbulence generation and relatively extended mean “residence times” within the favorable upwelling-conditioned near-coastal habitat and (2) the cyclic “re-setting” of the system by ENSO perturbations that may tend to interrupt malignant growth of adverse self-amplifying feedback loops within the nonlinear biological dynamics of the ecosystem. There is a developing scientific consensus that one of the more probable consequences of impending global climate changes will be a general slowing of the equatorial Pacific Walker Circulation and a consequent weakening of the Pacific trade wind system. Since the upwelling-favorable winds off Peru tend to flow directly into the Pacific southeast trade winds, a question arises as to the likely effect on the upwelling-producing winds that power the productivity of the regional coastal ecosystems of the Peru-Humboldt Current zone. It is argued that the effects will in fact be decoupled to the extent that upwelling-favorable winds will actually tend to increase off Peru. Data demonstrative of this decoupling are presented. A tendency for less intense El Niño episodes in the future is also suggested. These conclusions provide a framework for posing certain imponderables as to the future character of the Peruvian marine ecosystem and of the fisheries it

  14. Defining Boundaries for Ecosystem-Based Management: A Multispecies Case Study of Marine Connectivity across the Hawaiian Archipelago

    PubMed Central

    Toonen, Robert J.; Andrews, Kimberly R.; Baums, Iliana B.; Bird, Christopher E.; Concepcion, Gregory T.; Daly-Engel, Toby S.; Eble, Jeff A.; Faucci, Anuschka; Gaither, Michelle R.; Iacchei, Matthew; Puritz, Jonathan B.; Schultz, Jennifer K.; Skillings, Derek J.; Timmers, Molly A.; Bowen, Brian W.

    2014-01-01

    Determining the geographic scale at which to apply ecosystem-based management (EBM) has proven to be an obstacle for many marine conservation programs. Generalizations based on geographic proximity, taxonomy, or life history characteristics provide little predictive power in determining overall patterns of connectivity, and therefore offer little in terms of delineating boundaries for marine spatial management areas. Here, we provide a case study of 27 taxonomically and ecologically diverse species (including reef fishes, marine mammals, gastropods, echinoderms, cnidarians, crustaceans, and an elasmobranch) that reveal four concordant barriers to dispersal within the Hawaiian Archipelago which are not detected in single-species exemplar studies. We contend that this multispecies approach to determine concordant patterns of connectivity is an objective and logical way in which to define the minimum number of management units and that EBM in the Hawaiian Archipelago requires at least five spatially managed regions. PMID:25505913

  15. Challenges in integrative approaches to modelling the marine ecosystems of the North Atlantic: Physics to fish and coasts to ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, Jason; Icarus Allen, J.; Anderson, Thomas R.; Brewin, Robert; Butenschön, Momme; Harle, James; Huse, Geir; Lehodey, Patrick; Lindemann, Christian; Memery, Laurent; Salihoglu, Baris; Senina, Inna; Yool, Andrew

    2014-12-01

    It has long been recognised that there are strong interactions and feedbacks between climate, upper ocean biogeochemistry and marine food webs, and also that food web structure and phytoplankton community distribution are important determinants of variability in carbon production and export from the euphotic zone. Numerical models provide a vital tool to explore these interactions, given their capability to investigate multiple connected components of the system and the sensitivity to multiple drivers, including potential future conditions. A major driver for ecosystem model development is the demand for quantitative tools to support ecosystem-based management initiatives. The purpose of this paper is to review approaches to the modelling of marine ecosystems with a focus on the North Atlantic Ocean and its adjacent shelf seas, and to highlight the challenges they face and suggest ways forward. We consider the state of the art in simulating oceans and shelf sea physics, planktonic and higher trophic level ecosystems, and look towards building an integrative approach with these existing tools. We note how the different approaches have evolved historically and that many of the previous obstacles to harmonisation may no longer be present. We illustrate this with examples from the on-going and planned modelling effort in the Integrative Modelling Work Package of the EURO-BASIN programme.

  16. The role of a dominant predator in shaping biodiversity over space and time in a marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Ellingsen, Kari E; Anderson, Marti J; Shackell, Nancy L; Tveraa, Torkild; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Frank, Kenneth T

    2015-09-01

    1. Exploitation of living marine resources has resulted in major changes to populations of targeted species and functional groups of large-bodied species in the ocean. However, the effects of overfishing and collapse of large top predators on the broad-scale biodiversity of oceanic ecosystems remain largely unexplored. 2. Populations of the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) were overfished and several collapsed in the early 1990s across Atlantic Canada, providing a unique opportunity to study potential ecosystem-level effects of the reduction of a dominant predator on fish biodiversity, and to identify how such effects might interact with other environmental factors, such as changes in climate, over time. 3. We combined causal modelling with model selection and multimodel inference to analyse 41 years of fishery-independent survey data (1970-2010) and quantify ecosystem-level effects of overfishing and climate variation on the biodiversity of fishes across a broad area (172 000 km(2) ) of the Scotian Shelf. 4. We found that alpha and beta diversity increased with decreases in cod occurrence; fish communities were less homogeneous and more variable in systems where cod no longer dominated. These effects were most pronounced in the colder north-eastern parts of the Scotian Shelf. 5. Our results provide strong evidence that intensive harvesting (and collapse) of marine apex predators can have large impacts on biodiversity, with far-reaching consequences for ecological stability across an entire ecosystem. PMID:25981204

  17. Potential Marine Organisms Affecting Airborne Primary Organic Matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aller, J. Y.; Alpert, P. A.; Knopf, D. A.

    2012-12-01

    The oceans cover 70% of earth with the marine environment contributing ~50% of the global biomass. Particularly during periods of high biological activity associated with phytoplankton blooms, primary emitted aerosol particles dominated by organic compounds in the submicron size range, are ejected from surface waters increasing in concentration exponentially with overlying wind speeds. This is significant for clouds and climate particularly over nutrient rich polar seas, where seawater concentrations of biogenic particles can reach 109 cells per ml during spring phytoplankton blooms, and even 106 cells per ml in winter when empty frustules and fragments of diatoms are resuspensed from shallow shelf sediments by strong winds, and mix with living pico- and nanoplankton in surface sea waters. This organic aerosol fraction can have a significant impact on the ability of ocean derived aerosol to act as cloud condensation nuclei. It has been shown that small insoluble organic particles are aerosolized from the sea surface microlayer (SML) via bubble bursting. The exact composition and complexity of the SML varies spatially and temporally but includes phytoplankton cells, microorganisms, organic debris, and a complex mixture of proteins, polysaccharides, humic-type material and waxes, microgels and colloidal nanogels, and strong surface active lipids. The specific chemical composition is dependent on the fractionation of organic matter which originates from in-situ production, from underlying water and even from atmospheric deposition. These conditions will most likely determine the nature of the organic and biogenic material. Here we review the types, sizes, and properties of ocean-derived particles and organic material which present potential candidates for airborne biogenic and organic particles.

  18. Ocean circulation off east Antarctica affects ecosystem structure and sea-ice extent.

    PubMed

    Nicol, S; Pauly, T; Bindoff, N L; Wright, S; Thiele, D; Hosie, G W; Strutton, P G; Woehler, E

    2000-08-01

    Sea ice and oceanic boundaries have a dominant effect in structuring Antarctic marine ecosystems. Satellite imagery and historical data have identified the southern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current as a site of enhanced biological productivity. Meso-scale surveys off the Antarctic peninsula have related the abundances of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and salps (Salpa thompsoni) to inter-annual variations in sea-ice extent. Here we have examined the ecosystem structure and oceanography spanning 3,500 km of the east Antarctic coastline, linking the scales of local surveys and global observations. Between 80 degrees and 150 degrees E there is a threefold variation in the extent of annual sea-ice cover, enabling us to examine the regional effects of sea ice and ocean circulation on biological productivity. Phytoplankton, primary productivity, Antarctic krill, whales and seabirds were concentrated where winter sea-ice extent is maximal, whereas salps were located where the sea-ice extent is minimal. We found enhanced biological activity south of the southern boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current rather than in association with it. We propose that along this coastline ocean circulation determines both the sea-ice conditions and the level of biological productivity at all trophic levels. PMID:10952309

  19. Capturing optically important constituents and properties in a marine biogeochemical and ecosystem model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutkiewicz, S.; Hickman, A. E.; Jahn, O.; Gregg, W. W.; Mouw, C. B.; Follows, M. J.

    2015-07-01

    We present a numerical model of the ocean that couples a three-stream radiative transfer component with a marine biogeochemical-ecosystem component in a dynamic three-dimensional physical framework. The radiative transfer component resolves the penetration of spectral irradiance as it is absorbed and scattered within the water column. We explicitly include the effect of several optically important water constituents (different phytoplankton functional types; detrital particles; and coloured dissolved organic matter, CDOM). The model is evaluated against in situ-observed and satellite-derived products. In particular we compare to concurrently measured biogeochemical, ecosystem, and optical data along a meridional transect of the Atlantic Ocean. The simulation captures the patterns and magnitudes of these data, and estimates surface upwelling irradiance analogous to that observed by ocean colour satellite instruments. We find that incorporating the different optically important constituents explicitly and including spectral irradiance was crucial to capture the variability in the depth of the subsurface chlorophyll a (Chl a) maximum. We conduct a series of sensitivity experiments to demonstrate, globally, the relative importance of each of the water constituents, as well as the crucial feedbacks between the light field, the relative fitness of phytoplankton types, and the biogeochemistry of the ocean. CDOM has proportionally more importance at attenuating light at short wavelengths and in more productive waters, phytoplankton absorption is relatively more important at the subsurface Chl a maximum, and water molecules have the greatest contribution when concentrations of other constituents are low, such as in the oligotrophic gyres. Scattering had less effect on attenuation, but since it is important for the amount and type of upwelling irradiance, it is crucial for setting sea surface reflectance. Strikingly, sensitivity experiments in which absorption by any of the

  20. Long-term variations of the Black Sea dynamics and their impact on the marine ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kubryakov, Arseny A.; Stanichny, Sergey V.; Zatsepin, Andrey G.; Kremenetskiy, Viacheslav V.

    2016-11-01

    Satellite altimetry data are used to study the long-term dynamics variability of the Black Sea from 1993 to 2013, its dependence on wind forcing and its impact on the marine ecosystem. Basin-scale dynamics have significant interseasonal and interannual variability. The most distinctly observed feature of the interannual dynamics variability is an almost twofold increase of the current kinetic energy from 2002 to 2012, based on anomaly weak values from 1998 to 2001. The amplitudes of a seasonal cycle of current velocity variability from 2002 to 2102 were two times higher than the amplitudes from 1998 to 2001. The seasonal variability of the current Mean Kinetic Energy (MKE) significantly varies among the years. Although usually maximal values of MKE are observed in winter and minimal values are observed in summer, the seasonal variability may exhibit two distinct peaks in spring and autumn, or even can be opposite with maximum values observed in warm period of a year. The variability of wind stress curl (or the Ekman pumping velocity) averaged over the basin is the main factor for the observed changes in the Black Sea dynamics. The analysis shows that the integral effect of the cyclonic wind curl causes water divergence in the centre of the basin, rising sea level gradients and Rim current intensification. The mean kinetic energy of the Black Sea currents follows the variability of Ekman pumping on seasonal and interannual time scales with a time delay of approximately two weeks. This lag is consistent with the estimated time that is required for water particles to drift from the central part to the basin periphery due to rising Ekman divergence. We employ an eddy-identification method to show that the interannual variability of the number of mesoscale eddies in the basin and their energy are opposite to the variability of the mean kinetic energy of the Black Sea currents and Ekman pumping over the basin. The number of eddies and their total energy decreased after

  1. Loss of rare fish species from tropical floodplain food webs affects community structure and ecosystem multifunctionality in a mesocosm experiment.

    PubMed

    Pendleton, Richard M; Hoeinghaus, David J; Gomes, Luiz C; Agostinho, Angelo A

    2014-01-01

    Experiments with realistic scenarios of species loss from multitrophic ecosystems may improve insight into how biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning. Using 1000 L mesocoms, we examined effects of nonrandom species loss on community structure and ecosystem functioning of experimental food webs based on multitrophic tropical floodplain lagoon ecosystems. Realistic biodiversity scenarios were developed based on long-term field surveys, and experimental assemblages replicated sequential loss of rare species which occurred across all trophic levels of these complex food webs. Response variables represented multiple components of ecosystem functioning, including nutrient cycling, primary and secondary production, organic matter accumulation and whole ecosystem metabolism. Species richness significantly affected ecosystem function, even after statistically controlling for potentially confounding factors such as total biomass and direct trophic interactions. Overall, loss of rare species was generally associated with lower nutrient concentrations, phytoplankton and zooplankton densities, and whole ecosystem metabolism when compared with more diverse assemblages. This pattern was also observed for overall ecosystem multifunctionality, a combined metric representing the ability of an ecosystem to simultaneously maintain multiple functions. One key exception was attributed to time-dependent effects of intraguild predation, which initially increased values for most ecosystem response variables, but resulted in decreases over time likely due to reduced nutrient remineralization by surviving predators. At the same time, loss of species did not result in strong trophic cascades, possibly a result of compensation and complexity of these multitrophic ecosystems along with a dominance of bottom-up effects. Our results indicate that although rare species may comprise minor components of communities, their loss can have profound ecosystem consequences across multiple trophic

  2. Loss of Rare Fish Species from Tropical Floodplain Food Webs Affects Community Structure and Ecosystem Multifunctionality in a Mesocosm Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Pendleton, Richard M.; Hoeinghaus, David J.; Gomes, Luiz C.; Agostinho, Angelo A.

    2014-01-01

    Experiments with realistic scenarios of species loss from multitrophic ecosystems may improve insight into how biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning. Using 1000 L mesocoms, we examined effects of nonrandom species loss on community structure and ecosystem functioning of experimental food webs based on multitrophic tropical floodplain lagoon ecosystems. Realistic biodiversity scenarios were developed based on long-term field surveys, and experimental assemblages replicated sequential loss of rare species which occurred across all trophic levels of these complex food webs. Response variables represented multiple components of ecosystem functioning, including nutrient cycling, primary and secondary production, organic matter accumulation and whole ecosystem metabolism. Species richness significantly affected ecosystem function, even after statistically controlling for potentially confounding factors such as total biomass and direct trophic interactions. Overall, loss of rare species was generally associated with lower nutrient concentrations, phytoplankton and zooplankton densities, and whole ecosystem metabolism when compared with more diverse assemblages. This pattern was also observed for overall ecosystem multifunctionality, a combined metric representing the ability of an ecosystem to simultaneously maintain multiple functions. One key exception was attributed to time-dependent effects of intraguild predation, which initially increased values for most ecosystem response variables, but resulted in decreases over time likely due to reduced nutrient remineralization by surviving predators. At the same time, loss of species did not result in strong trophic cascades, possibly a result of compensation and complexity of these multitrophic ecosystems along with a dominance of bottom-up effects. Our results indicate that although rare species may comprise minor components of communities, their loss can have profound ecosystem consequences across multiple trophic

  3. Microbial mediated retention/transformation of organic and inorganic materials in freshwater and marine ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Aquatic ecosystems are globally connected by hydrological and biogeochemical cycles. Microorganisms inhabiting aquatic ecosystems form the basis of food webs, mediate essential element cycles, decompose natural organic matter, transform inorganic nutrients and metals, and degrad...

  4. Declining Abundance of Beaked Whales (Family Ziphiidae) in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Jeffrey E.; Barlow, Jay P.

    2013-01-01

    Beaked whales are among the most diverse yet least understood groups of marine mammals. A diverse set of mostly anthropogenic threats necessitates improvement in our ability to assess population status for this cryptic group. The Southwest Fisheries Science Center (NOAA) conducted six ship line-transect cetacean abundance surveys in the California Current off the contiguous western United States between 1991 and 2008. We used a Bayesian hidden-process modeling approach to estimate abundance and population trends of beaked whales using sightings data from these surveys. We also compiled records of beaked whale stranding events (3 genera, at least 8 species) on adjacent beaches from 1900 to 2012, to help assess population status of beaked whales in the northern part of the California Current. Bayesian posterior summaries for trend parameters provide strong evidence of declining beaked whale abundance in the study area. The probability of negative trend for Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) during 1991–2008 was 0.84, with 1991 and 2008 estimates of 10771 (CV = 0.51) and ≈7550 (CV = 0.55), respectively. The probability of decline for Mesoplodon spp. (pooled across species) was 0.96, with 1991 and 2008 estimates of 2206 (CV = 0.46) and 811 (CV = 0.65). The mean posterior estimates for average rate of decline were 2.9% and 7.0% per year. There was no evidence of abundance trend for Baird's beaked whale (Berardius bairdii), for which annual abundance estimates in the survey area ranged from ≈900 to 1300 (CV≈1.3). Stranding data were consistent with the survey results. Causes of apparent declines are unknown. Direct impacts of fisheries (bycatch) can be ruled out, but impacts of anthropogenic sound (e.g., naval active sonar) and ecosystem change are plausible hypotheses that merit investigation. PMID:23341907

  5. The influence of the biological pump on ocean chemistry: implications for long-term trends in marine redox chemistry, the global carbon cycle, and marine animal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Meyer, K M; Ridgwell, A; Payne, J L

    2016-05-01

    The net export of organic matter from the surface ocean and its respiration at depth create vertical gradients in nutrient and oxygen availability that play a primary role in structuring marine ecosystems. Changes in the properties of this 'biological pump' have been hypothesized to account for important shifts in marine ecosystem structure, including the Cambrian explosion. However, the influence of variation in the behavior of the biological pump on ocean biogeochemistry remains poorly quantified, preventing any detailed exploration of how changes in the biological pump over geological time may have shaped long-term shifts in ocean chemistry, biogeochemical cycling, and ecosystem structure. Here, we use a 3-dimensional Earth system model of intermediate complexity to quantitatively explore the effects of the biological pump on marine chemistry. We find that when respiration of sinking organic matter is efficient, due to slower sinking or higher respiration rates, anoxia tends to be more prevalent and to occur in shallower waters. Consequently, the Phanerozoic trend toward less bottom-water anoxia in continental shelf settings can potentially be explained by a change in the spatial dynamics of nutrient cycling rather than by any change in the ocean phosphate inventory. The model results further suggest that the Phanerozoic decline in the prevalence ocean anoxia is, in part, a consequence of the evolution of larger phytoplankton, many of which produce mineralized tests. We hypothesize that the Phanerozoic trend toward greater animal abundance and metabolic demand was driven more by increased oxygen concentrations in shelf environments than by greater food (nutrient) availability. In fact, a lower-than-modern ocean phosphate inventory in our closed system model is unable to account for the Paleozoic prevalence of bottom-water anoxia. Overall, these model simulations suggest that the changing spatial distribution of photosynthesis and respiration in the oceans has

  6. How do land management practices affect net ecosystem CO2 exchange of an invasive plant infestation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonnentag, O.; Detto, M.; Runkle, B.; Kelly, M.; Baldocchi, D. D.

    2009-12-01

    Ecosystem gas and energy exchanges of invasive plant infestations under different land management practices have been subject of few studies and thus little is known. Our goal is to characterize seasonal changes in net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) through the processes of photosynthesis (GEP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) of a grassland used as pasture yet infested by perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. We analyze eddy-covariance supported by environmental and canopy-scale hyperspectral reflectance measurements acquired in 2007-2009. Our study covers three summer drought periods with slightly different land management practices. Over the study period the site was subject to year-round grazing, and in 2008 the site was additionally mowed. Specific questions we address are a) how does pepperweed flowering affect GEP, b) does a mowing event affect NEE mainly through GEP or Reco, and c) can the combined effects of phenology and mowing on pepperweed NEE potentially be tracked using routinely applied remote sensing techniques? Preliminary results indicate that pepperweed flowering drastically decreases photosynthetic CO2 uptake due to shading by the dense arrangement of white flowers at the canopy top, causing the infestation to be almost CO2 neutral. In contrast, mowing causes the infestation to act as moderate net CO2 sink, mainly due to increased CO2 uptake during regrowth. We demonstrate that spectral regions other than commonly-used red and near-infrared might be more promising for pepperweed monitoring because of its spectral uniqueness during the flowering phase. Our results have important implications for land-use land-cover (LULC) change studies when biological invasions and their management alter ecosystem structure and functioning but not necessarily the respective LULC class.

  7. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China

    PubMed Central

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C.; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-01-01

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID:25766381

  8. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China.

    PubMed

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-01-01

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID:25766381

  9. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C.; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-03-01

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning.

  10. The role of pre-existing disturbances in the effect of marine reserves on coastal ecosystems: a modelling approach.

    PubMed

    Savina, Marie; Condie, Scott A; Fulton, Elizabeth A

    2013-01-01

    We have used an end-to-end ecosystem model to explore responses over 30 years to coastal no-take reserves covering up to 6% of the fifty thousand square kilometres of continental shelf and slope off the coast of New South Wales (Australia). The model is based on the Atlantis framework, which includes a deterministic, spatially resolved three-dimensional biophysical model that tracks nutrient flows through key biological groups, as well as extraction by a range of fisheries. The model results support previous empirical studies in finding clear benefits of reserves to top predators such as sharks and rays throughout the region, while also showing how many of their major prey groups (including commercial species) experienced significant declines. It was found that the net impact of marine reserves was dependent on the pre-existing levels of disturbance (i.e. fishing pressure), and to a lesser extent on the size of the marine reserves. The high fishing scenario resulted in a strongly perturbed system, where the introduction of marine reserves had clear and mostly direct effects on biomass and functional biodiversity. However, under the lower fishing pressure scenario, the introduction of marine reserves caused both direct positive effects, mainly on shark groups, and indirect negative effects through trophic cascades. Our study illustrates the need to carefully align the design and implementation of marine reserves with policy and management objectives. Trade-offs may exist not only between fisheries and conservation objectives, but also among conservation objectives. PMID:23593432

  11. The Role of Pre-Existing Disturbances in the Effect of Marine Reserves on Coastal Ecosystems: A Modelling Approach

    PubMed Central

    Savina, Marie; Condie, Scott A.; Fulton, Elizabeth A.

    2013-01-01

    We have used an end-to-end ecosystem model to explore responses over 30 years to coastal no-take reserves covering up to 6% of the fifty thousand square kilometres of continental shelf and slope off the coast of New South Wales (Australia). The model is based on the Atlantis framework, which includes a deterministic, spatially resolved three-dimensional biophysical model that tracks nutrient flows through key biological groups, as well as extraction by a range of fisheries. The model results support previous empirical studies in finding clear benefits of reserves to top predators such as sharks and rays throughout the region, while also showing how many of their major prey groups (including commercial species) experienced significant declines. It was found that the net impact of marine reserves was dependent on the pre-existing levels of disturbance (i.e. fishing pressure), and to a lesser extent on the size of the marine reserves. The high fishing scenario resulted in a strongly perturbed system, where the introduction of marine reserves had clear and mostly direct effects on biomass and functional biodiversity. However, under the lower fishing pressure scenario, the introduction of marine reserves caused both direct positive effects, mainly on shark groups, and indirect negative effects through trophic cascades. Our study illustrates the need to carefully align the design and implementation of marine reserves with policy and management objectives. Trade-offs may exist not only between fisheries and conservation objectives, but also among conservation objectives. PMID:23593432

  12. Effects of isolation and fishing on the marine ecosystems of Easter Island and Salas y Gómez, Chile

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Friedlander, Alan M.; Ballesteros, Enric; Beets, Jim; Berkenpas, Eric; Gaymer, Carlos F.; Gorny, Matthias; Sala, Enric

    2013-01-01

    1. An expedition to Salas y Gómez and Easter islands was conducted to develop a comprehensive baseline of the nearshore marine ecosystem, to survey seamounts of the recently created Motu Motiro Hiva Marine Park (MMHMP) – a no-take marine reserve of 150 000 km2 – and to compare these results with Easter Island where the marine ecosystem is similar but has no marine protection. 2. Live coral cover was surprisingly high at both Easter Island (53%) and Salas y Gómez (44%), especially considering their sub-tropical location, high wave energy environments, and geographic isolation. 3. Endemic and regionally-endemic species comprised 77% of the fish abundance at Easter Island and 73% at Salas y Gómez. Fish biomass at Salas y Gómez was relatively high (1.2 t ha-1) and included a large proportion of apex predators (43%), whereas at Easter Island it was almost three times lower (0.45 t ha-1) with large predators accounting for less than 2% of the biomass, despite good habitat quality. 4. The large cohort of small sharks and the absence of larger sharks at Salas y Gómez suggest mesopredator release consistent with recent shark fishing. The fish fauna at the seamounts between Easter Island and Salas y Gómez, outside of MMHMP, harboured 46% endemic species, including a new species of damselfish (Chromis sp. nov.) and probably a new species of Chimaera (Hydrolagus). Numerous seamounts adjacent to Salas y Gómez are currently not included in the MMHMP. 5. This expedition highlights the high biodiversity value of this remote part of the Pacific owing to the uniqueness (endemicity) of the fauna, large apex predator biomass, and geographic isolation.

  13. 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

  14. Evidence for the recovery of terrestrial ecosystems ahead of marine primary production following a biotic crisis at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beerling, D.J.; Lomax, B.H.; Upchurch, G.R., Jr.; Nichols, D.J.; Pillmore, C.L.; Handley, L.L.; Scrimgeour, C.M.

    2001-01-01

    The fossil record demonstrates that mass extinction across the Cretaceous–Tertiary (K–T) boundary is more severe in the marine than the terrestrial realm. We hypothesize that terrestrial ecosystems were able to recover faster than their marine counterparts. To test this hypothesis, we measured sedimentary δ13C as a tracer for global carbon cycle changes and compared it with palaeovegetational changes reconstructed from palynomorphs and cuticles across the K–T boundary at Sugarite, New Mexico, USA. Different patterns of perturbation and timescales of recovery of isotopic and palaeobotanical records indicate that the δ13C excursion reflects the longer recovery time of marine versus terrestrial ecosystems.

  15. Sensitivity of secondary production and export flux to choice of trophic transfer formulation in marine ecosystem models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Thomas R.; Hessen, Dag O.; Mitra, Aditee; Mayor, Daniel J.; Yool, Andrew

    2013-09-01

    The performance of four contemporary formulations describing trophic transfer, which have strongly contrasting assumptions as regards the way that consumer growth is calculated as a function of food C:N ratio and in the fate of non-limiting substrates, was compared in two settings: a simple steady-state ecosystem model and a 3D biogeochemical general circulation model. Considerable variation was seen in predictions for primary production, transfer to higher trophic levels and export to the ocean interior. The physiological basis of the various assumptions underpinning the chosen formulations is open to question. Assumptions include Liebig-style limitation of growth, strict homeostasis in zooplankton biomass, and whether excess C and N are released by voiding in faecal pellets or via respiration/excretion post-absorption by the gut. Deciding upon the most appropriate means of formulating trophic transfer is not straightforward because, despite advances in ecological stoichiometry, the physiological mechanisms underlying these phenomena remain incompletely understood. Nevertheless, worrying inconsistencies are evident in the way in which fundamental transfer processes are justified and parameterised in the current generation of marine ecosystem models, manifested in the resulting simulations of ocean biogeochemistry. Our work highlights the need for modellers to revisit and appraise the equations and parameter values used to describe trophic transfer in marine ecosystem models.

  16. Contribution of arsenic species in unicellular algae to the cycling of arsenic in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Elliott G; Maher, William A; Foster, Simon D

    2015-01-01

    This review investigates the arsenic species produced by and found in marine unicellular algae to determine if unicellular algae contribute to the formation of arsenobetaine (AB) in higher marine organisms. A wide variety of arsenic species have been found in marine unicellular algae including inorganic species (mainly arsenate--As(V)), methylated species (mainly dimethylarsenate (DMA)), arsenoribosides (glycerol, phosphate, and sulfate) and metabolites (dimethylarsenoethanol (DMAE)). Subtle differences in arsenic species distributions exist between chlorophyte and heterokontophyte species with As(V) commonly found in water-soluble cell fractions of chlorophyte species, while DMA is more common in heterokontophyte species. Additionally, different arsenoriboside species are found in each phyla with glycerol and phosphate arsenoribosides produced by chlorophytes, whereas glycerol, phosphate, and sulfate arsenoribosides are produced by heterokontophytes, which is similar to existing data for marine macro-algae. Although arsenoribosides are the major arsenic species in many marine unicellular algal species, AB has not been detected in unicellular algae which supports the hypothesis that AB is formed in marine animals via the ingestion and further metabolism of arsenoribosides. The observation of significant DMAE concentrations in some unicellular algal cultures suggests that unicellular algae-based detritus contains arsenic species that can be further metabolized to form AB in higher marine organisms. Future research establishing how environmental variability influences the production of arsenic species by marine unicellular algae and what effect this has on arsenic cycling within marine food webs is essential to clarify the role of these organisms in marine arsenic cycling. PMID:25443092

  17. IMBER (Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research: Support of Ocean Carbon Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rimetz-Planchon, J.; Gattuso, J.; Maddison, L.; Bakker, D. C.; Gruber, N.

    2011-12-01

    IMBER (Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research), co-sponsored by SCOR (Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research) and IGBP (International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme), coordinates research that focuses on understanding and predicting changes in oceanic food webs and biogeochemical cycles that arise from global change. An integral part of this overall goal is to understand the marine carbon cycle, with emphasis on changes that may occur as a result of a changing climate, increased atmospheric CO2 levels and/or reduced oceanic pH. To address these key ocean carbon issues, IMBER and SOLAS (Surface Ocean Lower Atmosphere Study), formed the joint SOLAS-IMBER Carbon, or SIC Working Group. The SIC Working Group activities are organised into three sub-groups. Sub-group 1 (Surface Ocean Systems) focuses on synthesis, instrumentation and technology development, VOS (Voluntary Observing Ships) and mixed layer sampling strategies. The group contributed to the development of SOCAT (Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas, www.socat.info), a global compilation of underway surface water fCO2 (fugacity of CO2) data in common format. It includes 6.3 million measurements from 1767 cruises from 1968 and 2008 by more than 10 countries. SOCAT will be publically available and will serve a wide range of user communities. Its public release is planned for September 2011. SOCAT is strongly supported by IOCCP and CARBOOCEAN. Sub-group 2 (Interior Ocean Carbon Storage) covers inventory and observations, natural variability, transformation and interaction with modelling. It coordinated a review of vulnerabilities of the decadal variations of the interior ocean carbon and oxygen cycle. It has also developed a plan to add dissolved oxygen sensors to the ARGO float program in order to address the expected loss of oxygen as a result of ocean warming. The group also focuses on the global synthesis of ocean interior carbon observations to determine the oceanic uptake of anthropogenic CO2 since

  18. 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.

  19. Potential impacts of historical disturbance on green turtle health in the unique & protected marine ecosystem of Palmyra Atoll (Central Pacific).

    PubMed

    McFadden, Katherine W; Gómez, Andrés; Sterling, Eleanor J; Naro-Maciel, Eugenia

    2014-12-15

    Palmyra Atoll, in the Central Pacific, is a unique marine ecosystem because of its remarkably intact food web and limited anthropogenic stressors. However during World War II the atoll was structurally reconfigured into a military installation and questions remain whether this may have impacted the health of the atoll's ecosystems and species. To address the issue we assessed green sea turtle (n=157) health and exposure to contaminants at this foraging ground from 2008 to 2012. Physical exams were performed and blood was sampled for testosterone analysis, plasma biochemistry analysis, hematology and heavy metal exposure. Hematological and plasma chemistries were consistent with concentrations reported for healthy green turtles. Heavy metal screenings revealed low concentrations of most metals, except for high concentrations of iron and aluminum. Body condition indices showed that <1% of turtles had poor body condition. In this study, we provide the first published blood values for a markedly healthy sea turtle population at a remote Central Pacific Atoll. PMID:25455822

  20. Projected decreases in future marine export production: the role of the carbon flux through the upper ocean ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laufkötter, Charlotte; Vogt, Meike; Gruber, Nicolas; Aumont, Olivier; Bopp, Laurent; Doney, Scott C.; Dunne, John P.; Hauck, Judith; John, Jasmin G.; Lima, Ivan D.; Seferian, Roland; Völker, Christoph

    2016-07-01

    Accurate projections of marine particle export production (EP) are crucial for predicting the response of the marine carbon cycle to climate change, yet models show a wide range in both global EP and their responses to climate change. This is, in part, due to EP being the net result of a series of processes, starting with net primary production (NPP) in the sunlit upper ocean, followed by the formation of particulate organic matter and the subsequent sinking and remineralisation of these particles, with each of these processes responding differently to changes in environmental conditions. Here, we compare future projections in EP over the 21st century, generated by four marine ecosystem models under the high emission scenario Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 8.5 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and determine the processes driving these changes. The models simulate small to modest decreases in global EP between -1 and -12 %. Models differ greatly with regard to the drivers causing these changes. Among them, the formation of particles is the most uncertain process with models not agreeing on either magnitude or the direction of change. The removal of the sinking particles by remineralisation is simulated to increase in the low and intermediate latitudes in three models, driven by either warming-induced increases in remineralisation or slower particle sinking, and show insignificant changes in the remaining model. Changes in ecosystem structure, particularly the relative role of diatoms matters as well, as diatoms produce larger and denser particles that sink faster and are partly protected from remineralisation. Also this controlling factor is afflicted with high uncertainties, particularly since the models differ already substantially with regard to both the initial (present-day) distribution of diatoms (between 11-94 % in the Southern Ocean) and the diatom contribution to particle formation (0.6-3.8 times higher than their

  1. Projected decreases in future marine export production: the role of the carbon flux through the upper ocean ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laufkötter, C.; Vogt, M.; Gruber, N.; Aumont, O.; Bopp, L.; Doney, S. C.; Dunne, J. P.; Hauck, J.; John, J. G.; Lima, I. D.; Seferian, R.; Völker, C.

    2015-12-01

    Accurate projections of marine particle export production (EP) are crucial for predicting the response of the marine carbon cycle to climate change, yet models show a wide range in both global EP and their responses to climate change. This is, in part, due to EP being the net result of a series of processes, starting with net primary production (NPP) in the sunlit upper ocean, followed by the formation of particulate organic matter and the subsequent sinking and remineralization of these particles, with each of these processes responding differently to changes in environmental conditions. Here, we compare future projections in EP over the 21st century, generated by four marine ecosystem models under IPCC's high emission scenario RCP8.5, and determine the processes driving these changes. The models simulate small to modest decreases in global EP between -1 and -12 %. Models differ greatly with regard to the drivers causing these changes. Among them, the formation of particles is the most uncertain process with models not agreeing on either magnitude or the direction of change. The removal of the sinking particles by remineralization is simulated to increase in the low and intermediate latitudes in three models, driven by either warming-induced increases in remineralization or slower particle sinking, and show insignificant changes in the remaining model. Changes in ecosystem structure, particularly the relative role of diatoms matters as well, as diatoms produce larger and denser particles that sink faster and are partly protected from remineralization. Also this controlling factor is afflicted with high uncertainties, particularly since the models differ already substantially with regard to both the initial (present-day) distribution of diatoms (between 11-94 % in the Southern Ocean) and the diatom contribution to particle formation (0.6-3.8 times lower/higher than their contribution to biomass). As a consequence, changes in diatom concentration are a strong driver

  2. 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....

  3. Land use affects the net ecosystem CO2 exchange and its components in mountain grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Schmitt, M.; Bahn, M.; Wohlfahrt, G.; Tappeiner, U.; Cernusca, A.

    2011-01-01

    Changes in land use and management have been strongly affecting mountain grassland, however, their effects on the net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) and its components have not yet been well documented. We analysed chamber-based estimates of NEE, gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (R) and light use efficiency (LUE) of six mountain grasslands differing in land use and management, and thus site fertility, for the growing seasons of 2002 to 2008. The main findings of the study are that: (1) land use and management affected seasonal NEE, GPP and R, which all decreased from managed to unmanaged grasslands; (2) these changes were explained by differences in leaf area index (LAI), biomass and leaf-area-independent changes that were likely related to photosynthetic physiology; (3) diurnal variations of NEE were primarily controlled by photosynthetically active photon flux density and soil and air temperature; seasonal variations were associated with changes in LAI; (4) parameters of light response curves were generally closely related to each other, and the ratio of R at a reference temperature/ maximum GPP was nearly constant across the sites; (5) similarly to our study, maximum GPP and R for other grasslands on the globe decreased with decreasing land use intensity, while their ratio remained remarkably constant. We conclude that decreasing intensity of management and, in particular, abandonment of mountain grassland lead to a decrease in NEE and its component processes. While GPP and R are generally closely coupled during most of the growing season, GPP is more immediately and strongly affected by land management (mowing, grazing) and season. This suggests that management and growing season length, as well as their possible future changes, may play an important role for the annual C balance of mountain grassland. PMID:23293657

  4. Ecosystem structure, function, and composition in rangelands are negatively affected by livestock grazing.

    PubMed

    Eldridge, David J; Poore, Alistair G B; Ruiz-Colmenero, Marta; Letnic, Mike; Soliveres, Santiago

    2016-06-01

    Reports of positive or neutral effects of grazing on plant species richness have prompted calls for livestock grazing to be used as a tool for managing land for conservation. Grazing effects, however, are likely to vary among different response variables, types, and intensity of grazing, and across abiotic conditions. We aimed to examine how grazing affects ecosystem structure, function, and composition. We compiled a database of 7615 records reporting an effect of grazing by sheep and cattle on 278 biotic and abiotic response variables for published studies across Australia. Using these data, we derived three ecosystem measures based on structure, function, and composition, which were compared against six contrasts of grazing pressure, ranging from low to heavy, two different herbivores (sheep, cattle), and across three different climatic zones. Grazing reduced structure (by 35%), function (24%), and composition (10%). Structure and function (but not composition) declined more when grazed by sheep and cattle together than sheep alone. Grazing reduced plant biomass (40%), animal richness (15%), and plant and animal abundance, and plant and litter cover (25%), but had no effect on plant richness nor soil function. The negative effects of grazing on plant biomass, plant cover, and soil function were more pronounced in drier environments. Grazing effects on plant and animal richness and composition were constant, or even declined, with increasing aridity. Our study represents a comprehensive continental assessment of the implications of grazing for managing Australian rangelands. Grazing effects were largely negative, even at very low levels of grazing. Overall, our results suggest that livestock grazing in Australia is unlikely to produce positive outcomes for ecosystem structure, function, and composition or even as a blanket conservation tool unless reduction in specific response variables is an explicit management objective. PMID:27509764

  5. Global trends in world fisheries: impacts on marine ecosystems and food security

    PubMed Central

    Pauly, Daniel; Watson, Reg; Alder, Jackie

    2005-01-01

    This contribution, which reviews some broad trends in human history and in the history of fishing, argues that sustainability, however defined, rarely if ever occurred as a result of an explicit policy, but as result of our inability to access a major part of exploited stocks. With the development of industrial fishing, and the resulting invasion of the refuges previously provided by distance and depth, our interactions with fisheries resources have come to resemble the wars of extermination that newly arrived hunters conducted 40 000–50 000 years ago in Australia, and 12 000–13 000 years ago against large terrestrial mammals in North America. These broad trends are documented here through a map of change in fish sizes, which displays characteristic declines, first in the nearshore waters of industrialized countries of the Northern Hemisphere, then spread offshore and to the Southern Hemisphere. This geographical extension met its natural limit in the late 1980s, when the catches from newly accessed stocks ceased to compensate for the collapse in areas accessed earlier, hence leading to a gradual decline of global landing. These trends affect developing countries more than the developed world, which have been able to meet the shortfall by increasing imports from developing countries. These trends, however, together with the rapid growth of farming of carnivorous fishes, which consumes other fishes suited for human consumption, have led to serious food security issues. This promotes urgency to the implementation of the remedies traditionally proposed to alleviate overfishing (reduction of overcapacity, enforcement of conservative total allowable catches, etc.), and to the implementation of non-conventional approaches, notably the re-establishment of the refuges (also known as marine reserves), which made possible the apparent sustainability of pre-industrial fisheries. PMID:15713585

  6. Global trends in world fisheries: impacts on marine ecosystems and food security.

    PubMed

    Pauly, Daniel; Watson, Reg; Alder, Jackie

    2005-01-29

    This contribution, which reviews some broad trends in human history and in the history of fishing, argues that sustainability, however defined, rarely if ever occurred as a result of an explicit policy, but as result of our inability to access a major part of exploited stocks. With the development of industrial fishing, and the resulting invasion of the refuges previously provided by distance and depth, our interactions with fisheries resources have come to resemble the wars of extermination that newly arrived hunters conducted 40,000-50,000 years ago in Australia, and 11,000-13,000 years ago against large terrestrial mammals arrived in North America. These broad trends are documented here through a map of change in fish sizes, which displays characteristic declines, first in the nearshore waters of industrialized countries of the Northern Hemisphere, then spread offshore and to the Southern Hemisphere. This geographical extension met its natural limit in the late 1980s, when the catches from newly accessed stocks ceased to compensate for the collapse in areas accessed earlier, hence leading to a gradual decline of global landing. These trends affect developing countries more than the developed world, which have been able to meet the shortfall by increasing imports from developing countries. These trends, however, together with the rapid growth of farming of carnivorous fishes, which consumes other fishes suited for human consumption, have led to serious food security issues. This promotes urgency to the implementation of the remedies traditionally proposed to alleviate overfishing (reduction of overcapacity, enforcement of conservative total allowable catches, etc.), and to the implementation of non-conventional approaches, notably the re-establishment of the refuges (also known as marine reserves), which made possible the apparent sustainability of pre-industrial fisheries. PMID:15713585

  7. Predicting interactions among fishing, ocean warming, and ocean acidification in a marine system with whole-ecosystem models.

    PubMed

    Griffith, Gary P; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Gorton, Rebecca; Richardson, Anthony J

    2012-12-01

    An important challenge for conservation is a quantitative understanding of how multiple human stressors will interact to mitigate or exacerbate global environmental change at a community or ecosystem level. We explored the interaction effects of fishing, ocean warming, and ocean acidification over time on 60 functional groups of species in the southeastern Australian marine ecosystem. We tracked changes in relative biomass within a coupled dynamic whole-ecosystem modeling framework that included the biophysical system, human effects, socioeconomics, and management evaluation. We estimated the individual, additive, and interactive effects on the ecosystem and for five community groups (top predators, fishes, benthic invertebrates, plankton, and primary producers). We calculated the size and direction of interaction effects with an additive null model and interpreted results as synergistic (amplified stress), additive (no additional stress), or antagonistic (reduced stress). Individually, only ocean acidification had a negative effect on total biomass. Fishing and ocean warming and ocean warming with ocean acidification had an additive effect on biomass. Adding fishing to ocean warming and ocean acidification significantly changed the direction and magnitude of the interaction effect to a synergistic response on biomass. The interaction effect depended on the response level examined (ecosystem vs. community). For communities, the size, direction, and type of interaction effect varied depending on the combination of stressors. Top predator and fish biomass had a synergistic response to the interaction of all three stressors, whereas biomass of benthic invertebrates responded antagonistically. With our approach, we were able to identify the regional effects of fishing on the size and direction of the interacting effects of ocean warming and ocean acidification. PMID:23009091

  8. Glyphosate herbicide affects belowground interactions between earthworms and symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi in a model ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Zaller, Johann G.; Heigl, Florian; Ruess, Liliane; Grabmaier, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Herbicides containing glyphosate are widely used in agriculture and private gardens, however, surprisingly little is known on potential side effects on non-target soil organisms. In a greenhouse experiment with white clover we investigated, to what extent a globally-used glyphosate herbicide affects interactions between essential soil organisms such as earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We found that herbicides significantly decreased root mycorrhization, soil AMF spore biomass, vesicles and propagules. Herbicide application and earthworms increased soil hyphal biomass and tended to reduce soil water infiltration after a simulated heavy rainfall. Herbicide application in interaction with AMF led to slightly heavier but less active earthworms. Leaching of glyphosate after a simulated rainfall was substantial and altered by earthworms and AMF. These sizeable changes provide impetus for more general attention to side-effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on key soil organisms and their associated ecosystem services. PMID:25005713

  9. Glyphosate herbicide affects belowground interactions between earthworms and symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi in a model ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaller, Johann G.; Heigl, Florian; Ruess, Liliane; Grabmaier, Andrea

    2014-07-01

    Herbicides containing glyphosate are widely used in agriculture and private gardens, however, surprisingly little is known on potential side effects on non-target soil organisms. In a greenhouse experiment with white clover we investigated, to what extent a globally-used glyphosate herbicide affects interactions between essential soil organisms such as earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We found that herbicides significantly decreased root mycorrhization, soil AMF spore biomass, vesicles and propagules. Herbicide application and earthworms increased soil hyphal biomass and tended to reduce soil water infiltration after a simulated heavy rainfall. Herbicide application in interaction with AMF led to slightly heavier but less active earthworms. Leaching of glyphosate after a simulated rainfall was substantial and altered by earthworms and AMF. These sizeable changes provide impetus for more general attention to side-effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on key soil organisms and their associated ecosystem services.

  10. Stable Isotope Investigation of Marine-Terrestrial Nitrogen Linkages in Salmon Stream Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sayer, A. M.; Welker, J. M.; Rogers, M.; Rinella, D. J.; Sveinbjornsson, B.; Wipfli, M.

    2005-12-01

    Our research is addressing marine-terrestrial nitrogen linkages using stable isotope techniques (δ15N). Throughout coastal Alaska, salmon migrate each year into riparian systems transporting marine-produced biomass (carbon, phosphorous and nitrogen) that is decomposed, recycled and used by juvenile fish, invertebrates, carnivores and in some cases aquatic and terrestrial vegetation. These inputs of N into the terrestrial landscape have a host of cascading implications including the maintenance of biodiversity, enhanced survivorship of juvenile salmon and support of a complex food web that includes primary and secondary consumers (bears and eagles) and herbivores such as moose. A central question regarding this marine-terrestrial linkage is whether vegetation (aquatic or terrestrial) uses marine-derived N in metabolism and whether this fertilization effect increases leaf N contents, leads to higher rates of plant growth, results in higher rates of leaf gas exchange, and increases forage quantity and quality. By analyzing the δ15N-values of plants we will be able to fingerprint marine N use by plants and the degree to which this N contributes to the nitrogen budget of riparian vegetation.We are quantifying marine N use by aquatic and terrestrial vegetation (trees, shrubs and grasses) within the Kenai River watershed using a comparative approach sampling streams with annual salmon runs and streams without runs (waterfall inhibiting salmon spawning). We will determine the relationship between local hydrology and marine nutrient access using a multi-isotope approach which examines the relationship between plant water sources and relations and marine N use. We will ascertain the ecological importance of this N source by comparing the growth and ecophysiology of riparian vegetation along salmon impacted and non impacted streams. Initial results indicate that riparian vegetation along streams with large salmon runs have higher leaf N contents and enriched δ15N values

  11. Complex interactions between autotrophs in shallow marine and freshwater ecosystems: implications for community responses to nutrient stress.

    PubMed

    Havens, K E; Hauxwell, J; Tyler, A C; Thomas, S; McGlathery, K J; Cebrian, J; Valiela, I; Steinman, A D; Hwang, S J

    2001-01-01

    The relative biomass of autotrophs (vascular plants, macroalgae, microphytobenthos, phytoplankton) in shallow aquatic ecosystems is thought to be controlled by nutrient inputs and underwater irradiance. Widely accepted conceptual models indicate that this is the case both in marine and freshwater systems. In this paper we examine four case studies and test whether these models generally apply. We also identify other complex interactions among the autotrophs that may influence ecosystem response to cultural eutrophication. The marine case studies focus on macroalgae and its interactions with sediments and vascular plants. The freshwater case studies focus on interactions between phytoplankton, epiphyton, and benthic microalgae. In Waquoit Bay, MA (estuary), controlled experiments documented that blooms of macroalgae were responsible for the loss of eelgrass beds at nutrient-enriched locations. Macroalgae covered eelgrass and reduced irradiance to the extent that the plants could not maintain net growth. In Hog Island Bay, VA (estuary), a dense lawn of macroalgae covered the bottom sediments. There was reduced sediment-water nitrogen exchange when the algae were actively growing and high nitrogen release during algal senescence. In Lakes Brobo (West Africa) and Okeechobee (FL), there were dramatic seasonal changes in the biomass and phosphorus content of planktonic versus attached algae, and these changes were coupled with changes in water level and abiotic turbidity. Deeper water and/or greater turbidity favored dominance by phytoplankton. In Lake Brobo there also was evidence that phytoplankton growth was stimulated following a die-off of vascular plants. The case studies from Waquoit Bay and Lake Okeechobee support conceptual models of succession from vascular plants to benthic algae to phytoplankton along gradients of increasing nutrients and decreasing under-water irradiance. The case studies from Hog Island Bay and Lake Brobo illustrate additional effects

  12. Can plant phloem properties affect the link between ecosystem assimilation and respiration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mencuccini, M.; Hölttä, T.; Sevanto, S.; Nikinmaa, E.

    2012-04-01

    Phloem transport of carbohydrates in plants under field conditions is currently not well understood. This is largely the result of the lack of techniques suitable for measuring phloem physiological properties continuously under field conditions. This lack of knowledge is currently hampering our efforts to link ecosystem-level processes of carbon fixation, allocation and use, especially belowground. On theoretical grounds, the properties of the transport pathway from canopy to roots must be important in affecting the link between carbon assimilation and respiration, but it is unclear whether their effect is partially or entirely masked by processes occurring in other parts of the ecosystem. One can also predict the characteristic time scales over which these effects should occur and, as consequence, predict whether the transfer of turgor and osmotic signals from the site of carbon assimilation to the sites of carbon use are likely to control respiration. We will present two sources of evidence suggesting that the properties of the phloem transport system may affect processes that are dependent on the supply of carbon substrate, such as root or soil respiration. Firstly, we will summarize the results of a literature survey on soil and ecosystem respiration where the speed of transfer of photosynthetic sugars from the plant canopy to the soil surface was determined. Estimates of the transfer speed could be grouped according to whether the study employed isotopic or canopy soil flux-based techniques. These two groups provided very different estimates of transfer times likely because transport of sucrose molecules, and pressure-concentration waves, in phloem differed. Secondly, we will argue that simultaneous measurements of bark and xylem diameters provide a novel tool to determine the continuous variations of phloem turgor in vivo in the field. We will present a model that interprets these changes in xylem and live bark diameters and present data testing the model

  13. Engaging Scientists in K-12 Professional Development and Curriculum Development in the Context of Alaska's Large Marine Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigman, M.; Anderson, A.; Deans, N. L.; Dublin, R.; Dugan, D.; Matsumoto, G. I.; Warburton, J.

    2012-12-01

    Alaska marine ecosystem-based professional development workshops have proven to be a robust context for engaging scientists from a variety of disciplines in overcoming barriers to communication and collaboration among scientists and educators. Scientists came away from scientist-teacher workshops with effective K-12 outreach strategies as well as a deeper understanding about how to contribute meaningfully to K-12 education. The establishment of the Alaskan Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE-AK) in 2009 was the catalyst for a series of professional development workshops related to the North Pacific Research Board's (NPRB) marine focus areas (Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands, Gulf of Alaska, and Arctic Ocean) for Integrated Ecosystem Research Programs (IERPs). During 2010-2012, COSEE-AK and NPRB partnered with the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS), the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS), and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) to support a five-day professional development workshop focused on each ecosystem. The workshops brought together three types of participants: 1) Alaska-focused marine ecosystem scientists; 2) rural Alaskan teachers living within each ecosystem; and 3) teachers from outside Alaska who had research experiences with scientists in the ecosystem. Over the course of the workshops, we developed a workshop model with four objectives: 1) to increase the science content knowledge of educators and their ability to teach ecosystem science; 2) to provide the scientists an opportunity to have broader impacts from their research on educators and Alaska Native and rural students; 3) to increase the knowledge and skills of educator and scientist participants to provide effective learning experiences for K-12 students; and 4) to facilitate the collaborative development of lesson plans. A total of 28 scientists and 41 educators participated in the three workshops. The success of the workshop for the educators was

  14. Evidence for enhanced bioavailability of trace elements in the marine ecosystem of Deception Island, a volcano in Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Deheyn, Dimitri D; Gendreau, Philippe; Baldwin, Roberta J; Latz, Michael I

    2005-07-01

    This study assessed whether trace elements present at Deception Island, an active submarine volcano in the Antarctic Peninsula, show enhanced biological availability to the local marine community. Using a weak acid extraction method to dissolve organic material and leach associated but not constitutive trace elements of sediments, fifteen elements were measured from seafloor sediment, seawater particulates, and tissues of benthic (bivalves, brittlestars, sea urchins) and pelagic (demersal and pelagic fishes, krill) organisms collected in the flooded caldera. The highest element concentrations were associated with seafloor sediment, the lowest with seawater particulates and organism tissues. In the case of Ag and Se, concentrations were highest in organism tissue, indicating contamination through the food chain and biomagnification of those elements. The elements Al, Fe, Mn, Sr, Ti, and to a lesser extent Zn, were the most concentrated of the trace elements for all sample types. This indicates that the whole ecosystem of Deception Island is contaminated with trace elements from local geothermal activity, which is also reflected in the pattern of element contamination in organisms. Accordingly, element concentrations were higher in organisms collected at Deception Island compared to those from the neighboring non-active volcanic King George Island, suggesting that volcanic activity enhances bioavailability of trace elements to marine organisms. Trace element concentrations were highest in digestive tissue of organisms, suggesting that elements at Deception Island are incorporated into the marine food web mainly through a dietary route. PMID:15649525

  15. Incorporation of Socio-Economic Features' Ranking in Multicriteria Analysis Based on Ecosystem Services for Marine Protected Area Planning

    PubMed Central

    Portman, Michelle E.; Shabtay-Yanai, Ateret; Zanzuri, Asaf

    2016-01-01

    Developed decades ago for spatial choice problems related to zoning in the urban planning field, multicriteria analysis (MCA) has more recently been applied to environmental conflicts and presented in several documented cases for the creation of protected area management plans. Its application is considered here for the development of zoning as part of a proposed marine protected area management plan. The case study incorporates specially-explicit conservation features while considering stakeholder preferences, expert opinion and characteristics of data quality. It involves the weighting of criteria using a modified analytical hierarchy process. Experts ranked physical attributes which include socio-economically valued physical features. The parameters used for the ranking of (physical) attributes important for socio-economic reasons are derived from the field of ecosystem services assessment. Inclusion of these feature values results in protection that emphasizes those areas closest to shore, most likely because of accessibility and familiarity parameters and because of data biases. Therefore, other spatial conservation prioritization methods should be considered to supplement the MCA and efforts should be made to improve data about ecosystem service values farther from shore. Otherwise, the MCA method allows incorporation of expert and stakeholder preferences and ecosystem services values while maintaining the advantages of simplicity and clarity. PMID:27183224

  16. Information Needs Assessment for Coastal and Marine Management and Policy: Ecosystem Services Under Changing Climatic, Land Use, and Demographic Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldsmith, Kaitlin A.; Granek, Elise F.; Lubitow, Amy

    2015-12-01

    Changing climatic, demographic, and land use conditions are projected to alter the provisioning of ecosystem services in estuarine, coastal, and nearshore marine ecosystems, necessitating mitigation and adaptation policies and management. The current paradigm of research efforts occurring in parallel to, rather than in collaboration with, decision makers will be insufficient for the rapid responses required to adapt to and mitigate for projected changing conditions. Here, we suggest a different paradigm: one where research begins by engaging decision makers in the identification of priority data needs (biophysical, economic, and social). This paper uses synthesized interview data to provide insight into the varied demands for scientific research as described by decision makers working on coastal issues in Oregon, USA. The findings highlight the need to recognize (1) the differing framing of ecosystem services by decision makers versus scientists; and (2) the differing data priorities relevant to inland versus coastal decision makers. The findings further serve to highlight the need for decision makers, scientists, and funders to engage in increased communication. This research is an important first step in advancing efforts toward evidence-based decision making in Oregon and provides a template for further research across the US.

  17. Incorporation of Socio-Economic Features' Ranking in Multicriteria Analysis Based on Ecosystem Services for Marine Protected Area Planning.

    PubMed

    Portman, Michelle E; Shabtay-Yanai, Ateret; Zanzuri, Asaf

    2016-01-01

    Developed decades ago for spatial choice problems related to zoning in the urban planning field, multicriteria analysis (MCA) has more recently been applied to environmental conflicts and presented in several documented cases for the creation of protected area management plans. Its application is considered here for the development of zoning as part of a proposed marine protected area management plan. The case study incorporates specially-explicit conservation features while considering stakeholder preferences, expert opinion and characteristics of data quality. It involves the weighting of criteria using a modified analytical hierarchy process. Experts ranked physical attributes which include socio-economically valued physical features. The parameters used for the ranking of (physical) attributes important for socio-economic reasons are derived from the field of ecosystem services assessment. Inclusion of these feature values results in protection that emphasizes those areas closest to shore, most likely because of accessibility and familiarity parameters and because of data biases. Therefore, other spatial conservation prioritization methods should be considered to supplement the MCA and efforts should be made to improve data about ecosystem service values farther from shore. Otherwise, the MCA method allows incorporation of expert and stakeholder preferences and ecosystem services values while maintaining the advantages of simplicity and clarity. PMID:27183224

  18. Paleoecological studies on variability in marine fish populations: A long-term perspective on the impacts of climatic change on marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finney, Bruce P.; Alheit, Jürgen; Emeis, Kay-Christian; Field, David B.; Gutiérrez, Dimitri; Struck, Ulrich

    2010-02-01

    reorganizations in the earth's climate system. Additional sedimentary records of marine fish abundance and corresponding paleoenvironmental conditions are likely to further enhance our understanding of marine ecosystem dynamics.

  19. Climate change affects marine fishes through the oxygen limitation of thermal tolerance.

    PubMed

    Pörtner, Hans O; Knust, Rainer

    2007-01-01

    A cause-and-effect understanding of climate influences on ecosystems requires evaluation of thermal limits of member species and of their ability to cope with changing temperatures. Laboratory data available for marine fish and invertebrates from various climatic regions led to the hypothesis that, as a unifying principle, a mismatch between the demand for oxygen and the capacity of oxygen supply to tissues is the first mechanism to restrict whole-animal tolerance to thermal extremes. We show in the eelpout, Zoarces viviparus, a bioindicator fish species for environmental monitoring from North and Baltic Seas (Helcom), that thermally limited oxygen delivery closely matches environmental temperatures beyond which growth performance and abundance decrease. Decrements in aerobic performance in warming seas will thus be the first process to cause extinction or relocation to cooler waters. PMID:17204649

  20. Preventing, controlling, and managing alien species introduction for the health of aquatic and marine ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Short, C.I.; Gross, S.K.; Wilkinson, D.

    2004-01-01

    The introduction and spread of invasive species is an emerging global problem. As economic and ecological impacts continue to grow, there will be an increasing need to develop innovative solutions and global partnerships to combat the increasing rate of invasions and their accompanying impacts. Threats to sustainable fisheries in North America associated with alien species come from many global directions and sources and can be deliberate or the unintended consequence of other actions. Decisions about the role of sustainable fisheries in protecting and restoring the health of aquatic ecosystems become even more complex when economic and social factors are considered along with environmental impacts, because many intentionally introduced species also have associated economic and community costs and benefits. Actions designed to prevent or control alien species in an aquatic ecosystem are often complicated by these nonenvironmental factors as well as public perception and opinion. Aquatic ecosystems are disturbed to varying degrees by alien species, including disease organisms. Prevention is the first and best line of defense. Determining likely pathways and effective countermeasures is more cost-effective than either eradication or control. Our ability to quickly identify new species and their associated risk to ecosystems is critical in designing and implementing effective control and management actions. Lack of infrastructure and necessary resources, clear-cut authority for regulation and action, and scientific information about the biology of alien species and effective control techniques are often limiting factors that prevent the needed action to protect aquatic ecosystems.

  1. 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.

  2. Soil biota can change after exotic plant invasion: Does this affect ecosystem processes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.; Sherrod, S.K.; Moldenke, A.

    2005-01-01

    Invasion of the exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum into stands of the native perennial grass Hilaria jamesii significantly reduced the abundance of soil biota, especially microarthropods and nematodes. Effects of invasion on active and total bacterial and fungal biomass were variable, although populations generally increased after 50+ years of invasion. The invasion of Bromus also resulted in a decrease in richness and a species shift in plants, microarthropods, fungi, and nematodes. However, despite the depauperate soil fauna at the invaded sites, no effects were seen on cellulose decomposition rates, nitrogen mineralization rates, or vascular plant growth. When Hilaria was planted into soils from not-invaded, recently invaded, and historically invaded sites (all currently or once dominated by Hilaria), germination and survivorship were not affected. In contrast, aboveground Hilaria biomass was significantly greater in recently invaded soils than in the other two soils. We attributed the Hilaria response to differences in soil nutrients present before the invasion, especially soil nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as these nutrients were elevated in the soils that produced the greatest Hilaria biomass. Our data suggest that it is not soil biotic richness per se that determines soil process rates or plant productivity, but instead that either (1) the presence of a few critical soil food web taxa can keep ecosystem function high, (2) nutrient loss is very slow in this ecosystem, and/or (3) these processes are microbially driven. However, the presence of Bromus may reduce key soil nutrients over time and thus may eventually suppress native plant success. ?? 2005 by the Ecological Society of America.

  3. How stock of origin affects performance of individuals across a meta-ecosystem: an example from sockeye salmon.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Jennifer R; Schindler, Daniel E; Seeb, Lisa W

    2013-01-01

    Connectivity among diverse habitats can buffer populations from adverse environmental conditions, influence the functioning of meta-ecosystems, and ultimately affect the reliability of ecosystem services. This stabilizing effect on populations is proposed to derive from complementarity in growth and survival conditions experienced by individuals in the different habitats that comprise meta-ecosystems. Here we use the fine scale differentiation of salmon populations between diverse lake habitats to assess how rearing habitat and stock of origin affect the body condition of juvenile sockeye salmon. We use genetic markers (single nucleotide polymorphisms) to assign individuals of unknown origin to stock group and in turn characterize ecologically relevant attributes across habitats and stocks. Our analyses show that the body condition of juvenile salmon is related to the productivity of alternative habitats across the watershed, irrespective of their stock of origin. Emigrants and residents with genetic origins in the high productivity lake were also differentiated by their body condition, poor and high respectively. These emigrants represented a substantial proportion of juvenile sockeye salmon rearing in the lower productivity lake habitat. Despite emigrants originating from the more productive lake, they did not differ in body condition from the individuals spawned in the lower productivity, recipient habitat. Genetic tools allowed us to assess the performance of different stocks groups across the diverse habitats comprising their meta-ecosystem. The ability to characterize the ecological consequences of meta-ecosystem connectivity can help develop strategies to protect and restore ecosystems and the services they provide to humans. PMID:23505539

  4. Assimilation of remotely-sensed diffuse attenuation data to improve the simulation of a marine ecosystem model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciavatta, Stefano; Torres, Ricardo; Martinez-Vicente, Victor; Smyth, Timothy; Dall'Olmo, Giorgio; Polimene, Luca; Allen, Icarus

    2014-05-01

    Biogeochemical processes in shelf seas and coastal areas can determine the health and productivity of local systems and are important terms of the global carbon budget. The quantitative characterization of the spatial-temporal evolution of biogeochemical variables in shelf-seas is thus relevant in the framework of marine system management and climate change studies In this work we evaluate, for the first time, whether the assimilation of remotely-sensed diffuse attenuation coefficient data into a marine ecosystem model can improve the simulation of key biogeochemical variables and processes in a shelf sea. A localized Ensemble Kalman filter was used to assimilate weekly SeaWiFS data of diffuse light attenuation coefficient, i.e. Kd(443), into an ecosystem model of the western English Channel, for the simulation of year 2006. The spatial distributions of (unassimilated) surface chlorophyll from SeaWiFS, and eighteen time series of biogeochemical and optical data measured weekly at the monitoring station L4 were used to evaluate the system performance. A comparative assimilation experiment was run by using SeaWiFS chlorophyll data. We found that Kd(443) assimilation reduced the root mean square error and improved the correlation with the assimilated satellite observations in the largest part area of the WEC. The error for the (unassimilated) chlorophyll tended to decrease as well, but the estimates deteriorated in some parts of the study area. Assimilation of Kd(443) provided better estimates of the (unassimilated) in situ data when compared with both the reference simulation and chlorophyll assimilation. Indeed, model RMSE and bias of the estimates decreased for more than a half of the variables, and the skill metrics resulted in general better for the assimilation of the optical data. Importantly, assimilation of Kd(443) impacted the simulation of biogeochemical fluxes and ecosystem processes (e.g. shifted the simulated food web towards the microbial loop), and in

  5. Methylmercury in Marine Ecosystems: Spatial Patterns and Processes of Production, Bioaccumulation, and Biomagnification

    EPA Science Inventory

    The spatial variation of MeHg production, bioaccumulation and biomagnification in marine food webs is poorly characterized but critical to understanding the links between sources and higher trophic levels such as fish that are ultimately vectors of human and wildlife exposure. Th...

  6. PETROLEUM HYDROCARBONS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON MARINE ORGANISMS, POPULATIONS, COMMUNITIES, AND ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Analysis of available data from bioassays conducted on adult stages of a wide variety of marine organisms reveals lethal effects from soluble fractions of petroleum and petroleum products. Strict control is suggested for oil development and related activities in certain shallow, ...

  7. Primary production of coral ecosystems in the Vietnamese coastal and adjacent marine waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tac-An, Nguyen; Minh-Thu, Phan; Cherbadji, I. I.; Propp, M. V.; Odintsov, V. S.; Propp, L. H.

    2013-11-01

    Coral reef ecosystems in coastal waters and islands of Vietnam have high primary production. Average gross primary production (GPP) in coral reef waters was 0.39 g C m-2 day-1. GPP of corals ranged from 3.12 to 4.37 g C m-2 day-1. GPP of benthic microalgae in coral reefs ranged from 2 to 10 g C m-2 day-1. GPP of macro-algae was 2.34 g C m-2 day-1. Therefore, the total of GPP of whole coral reef ecosystems could reach 7.85 to 17.10 g C m-2 day-1. Almost all values of the ratio of photosynthesis to respiration in the water bodies are higher than 1, which means these regions are autotrophic systems. Wire variation of GPP in coral reefs was contributed by species abundance of coral and organisms, nutrient supports and environmental characteristics of coral ecosystems. Coral reefs play an important ecological role of biogeochemical cycling of nutrients in waters around the reefs. These results contribute valuable information for the protection, conservation and sustainable exploitation of the natural resources in coral reef ecosystems in Vietnam.

  8. Using Bayesian Stable Isotope Mixing Models to Enhance Marine Ecosystem Models

    EPA Science Inventory

    The use of stable isotopes in food web studies has proven to be a valuable tool for ecologists. We investigated the use of Bayesian stable isotope mixing models as constraints for an ecosystem model of a temperate seagrass system on the Atlantic coast of France. δ13C and δ15N i...

  9. NIST SRM 1945, whale blubber, NIST SRM 1974a, organics in mussel tissue, and NIST SRM 1941a, organics in marine sediment as certified reference materials for polychlorinated dioxins and furans in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Chambers, L; Gardinali, P; Chambers, H; Wade, T L; Jackson, T; Brooks, J M

    1996-01-01

    Few natural matrix Standard Reference Materials are available for the validation of analytical methods measuring polychlorinated dioxins and furans (PCDDs and PCDFs) in marine ecosystems. The concentrations of PCDDs and PCDFs in NIST SRM 1945, SRM 1974a, and SRM 1941a are of interest because the analysis of marine mammal, mussel tissues and sediments have become important tools in the determination of organochlorine contamination of the environment. Because these SRMs have been demonstrated to be homogenous for other organic contaminants, they would be expected to be reliable standards for validation of polychlorinated dioxins and furans in marine mammals, mussels and sediments as well. PMID:8564434

  10. Bioassessment of water quality status using a potential bioindicator based on functional groups of planktonic ciliates in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Xu, Henglong; Yong, Jiang; Xu, Guangjian

    2016-09-15

    The feasibility of a potential ecological indicator based on functional groups of planktonic ciliates for bioassessment of water quality status were studied in a bay, northern Yellow Sea. Samples were biweekly collected at five stations with different water quality status during a 1-year period. The multivariate approach based on "bootstrap-average" analysis was used to summarize the spatial variation in functional structure of the samples. The functional patterns represented a significant spatial variability, and were significantly correlated with the changes of nutrients (mainly nitrate nitrogen, NO3-N), alone or in combination with dissolve oxygen and salinity among five stations. The functional diversity represented a clear spatial variation among five stations, and was found to be significantly related to the nutrient NO3-N. According to the results, we suggest that the ecological parameter based on functional groups of planktonic ciliates may be used as a potential bioindicator of water quality status in marine ecosystems. PMID:27318762

  11. A hydrological budget (2002-2008) for a large subtropical wetland ecosystem indicates marine groundwater discharge accompanies diminished freshwater flow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Saha, Amartya K.; Moses, Christopher S.; Price, Rene M.; Engel, Victor; Smith, Thomas J., III; Anderson, Gordon

    2012-01-01

    Water budget parameters are estimated for Shark River Slough (SRS), the main drainage within Everglades National Park (ENP) from 2002 to 2008. Inputs to the water budget include surface water inflows and precipitation while outputs consist of evapotranspiration, discharge to the Gulf of Mexico and seepage losses due to municipal wellfield extraction. The daily change in volume of SRS is equated to the difference between input and outputs yielding a residual term consisting of component errors and net groundwater exchange. Results predict significant net groundwater discharge to the SRS peaking in June and positively correlated with surface water salinity at the mangrove ecotone, lagging by 1 month. Precipitation, the largest input to the SRS, is offset by ET (the largest output); thereby highlighting the importance of increasing fresh water inflows into ENP for maintaining conditions in terrestrial, estuarine, and marine ecosystems of South Florida.

  12. Inferring time-variable effects of nutrient enrichment on marine ecosystems using inverse modelling and ecological network analysis.

    PubMed

    Luong, Anh D; De Laender, Frederik; Olsen, Yngvar; Vadstein, Olav; Dewulf, Jo; Janssen, Colin R

    2014-09-15

    We combined data from an outdoor mesocosm experiment with carbon budget modelling and an ecological network analysis to assess the effects of continuous nutrient additions on the structural and functional dynamics of a marine planktonic ecosystem. The food web receiving no nutrient additions was fuelled by detritus, as zooplankton consumed 7.2 times more detritus than they consumed algae. Nutrient supply instantly promoted herbivory so that it was comparable to detritivory at the highest nutrient addition rate. Nutrient-induced food web restructuring reduced carbon cycling and decreased the average number of compartments a unit flow of carbon crosses before dissipation. Also, the efficiency of copepod production, the link to higher trophic levels harvestable by man, was lowered up to 35 times by nutrient addition, but showed signs of recovery after 9 to 11 days. The dependency of the food web on exogenous input was not changed by the nutrient additions. PMID:24992463

  13. The use of the shanny Lipophrys pholis for pollution monitoring: a new sentinel species for the northwestern European marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lima, D; Santos, M M; Ferreira, A M; Micaelo, C; Reis-Henriques, M A

    2008-01-01

    The contamination of aquatic ecosystems by organic contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is a matter of great concern. Mussels have been extensively used as sentinel species in a large number of monitoring programs. However, the use of bivalves as the sole species has some limitations, because they are not as responsive as fish to Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor agonists. Hence, for many marine areas, there is the need to validate new sentinel fish species that can be used in the assessment of pollution by organic contaminants. The shanny Lipophrys pholis is an intertidal fish that combines many characteristics required in a sentinel species: is abundant and easy to catch, has a wide geographical distribution and restrict home range. After larvae recruitment to the intertidal rocky shores, they remain in the same area for the rest of the life-cycle, thus reflecting local pollutants exposure. In order to evaluate the species sensitivity to organic contaminants under field conditions, L. pholis were collected at six sites reflecting different degrees of anthropogenic contamination. The induction of two biomarkers extensively validated in the assessment of PAHs contamination ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity (EROD) and Fluorescent Aromatic Compounds (FACs) was evaluated. In parallel, mussels were collected at the same locations and levels of 16 PAHs and selected heavy metals determined. Overall, the specimens collected in the urban areas showed a significant induction of EROD and FACs (up to a six-fold induction) if compared with the reference sites. Additionally, a positive correlation was observed between the biomarkers and PAHs levels in mussel tissues. Even though further validation is currently in progress, the available data indicate that L. pholis is responsive to organic contaminants such as PAHs, suggesting its future integration in monitoring programmes designed to evaluate the presence of these contaminants in European marine ecosystems

  14. Metagenomic analysis of microbial consortium from natural crude oil that seeps into the marine ecosystem offshore Southern California

    SciTech Connect

    Hawley, Erik R.; Piao, Hailan; Scott, Nicole M.; Malfatti, Stephanie; Pagani, Ioanna; Huntemann, Marcel; Chen, Amy; del Rio, Tijana G.; Foster, Brian; Copeland, A.; Jansson, Janet K.; Pati, Amrita; Gilbert, Jack A.; Tringe, Susannah G.; Lorenson, Thomas D.; Hess, Matthias

    2014-01-02

    Crude oils can be major contaminants of the marine ecosystem and microorganisms play a significant role in the degradation of the main constituents of crude oil. To increase our understanding of the microbial hydrocarbon degradation process in the marine ecosystem, we collected crude oil from an active seep area located in the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC) and generated a total of about 52 Gb of raw metagenomic sequence data. The assembled data comprised ~500 Mb, representing ~1.1 million genes derived primarily from chemolithoautotrophic bacteria. Members of Oceanospirillales, a bacterial order belonging to the Deltaproteobacteria, recruited less than 2% of the assembled genes within the SBC metagenome. In contrast, the microbial community associated with the oil plume that developed in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout in 2010, was dominated by Oceanospirillales, which comprised more than 60% of the metagenomic data generated from the DWH oil plume. This suggests that Oceanospirillales might play a less significant role in the microbially mediated hydrocarbon conversion within the SBC seep oil compared to the DWH plume oil. We hypothesize that this difference results from the SBC oil seep being mostly anaerobic, while the DWH oil plume is aerobic. Within the Archaea, the phylum Euryarchaeota, recruited more than 95% of the assembled archaeal sequences from the SBC oil seep metagenome, with more than 50% of the sequences assigned to members of the orders Methanomicrobiales and Methanosarcinales. These orders contain organisms capable of anaerobic methanogenesis and methane oxidation (AOM) and we hypothesize that these orders and their metabolic capabilities may be fundamental to the ecology of the SBC oil seep.

  15. Metagenomic analysis of microbial consortium from natural crude oil that seeps into the marine ecosystem offshore Southern California

    PubMed Central

    Hawley, Erik R.; Piao, Hailan; Scott, Nicole M.; Malfatti, Stephanie; Pagani, Ioanna; Huntemann, Marcel; Chen, Amy; Glavina del Rio, Tijana; Foster, Brian; Copeland, Alex; Jansson, Janet; Pati, Amrita; Tringe, Susannah; Gilbert, Jack A.; Lorenson, Thomas D.; Hess, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    Crude oils can be major contaminants of the marine ecosystem and microorganisms play a significant role in the degradation of its main constituents. To increase our understanding of the microbial hydrocarbon degradation process in the marine ecosystem, we collected crude oil from an active seep area located in the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC) and generated a total of about 52 Gb of raw metagenomic sequence data. The assembled data comprised ~500 Mb, representing ~1.1 million genes derived primarily from chemolithoautotrophic bacteria. Members of Oceanospirillales, a bacterial order belonging to the Deltaproteobacteria, recruited less than 2% of the assembled genes within the SBC metagenome. In contrast, the microbial community associated with the oil plume that developed in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout in 2010, was dominated by Oceanospirillales, which comprised more than 60% of the metagenomic data generated from the DWH oil plume. This suggests that Oceanospirillales might play a less significant role in the microbially mediated hydrocarbon conversion within the SBC seep oil compared to the DWH plume oil. We hypothesize that this difference results from the SBC oil seep being mostly anaerobic, while the DWH oil plume is aerobic. Within the Archaea, the phylum Euryarchaeota, recruited more than 95% of the assembled archaeal sequences from the SBC oil seep metagenome, with more than 50% of the sequences assigned to members of the orders Methanomicrobiales and Methanosarcinales. These orders contain organisms capable of anaerobic methanogenesis and methane oxidation (AOM) and we hypothesize that these orders – and their metabolic capabilities – may be fundamental to the ecology of the SBC oil seep. PMID:25197496

  16. Review: Potential catastrophic reduction of sea ice in the western Arctic Ocean: Its impact on biogeochemical cycles and marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harada, Naomi

    2016-01-01

    The reduction of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, which has progressed more rapidly than previously predicted, has the potential to cause multiple environmental stresses, including warming, acidification, and strengthened stratification of the ocean. Observational studies have been undertaken to detect the impacts on biogeochemical cycles and marine ecosystems of these environmental stresses in the Arctic Ocean. Satellite analyses show that the reduction of sea ice has been especially great in the western Arctic Ocean. Observations and model simulations have both helped to clarify the impact of sea-ice reductions on the dynamics of ecosystem processes and biogeochemical cycles. In this review, I focus on the western Arctic Ocean, which has experienced the most rapid retreat of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean and, very importantly, has a higher rate of primary production than any other area of the Arctic Ocean owing to the supply of nutrient-rich Pacific water. I report the impact of the current reduction of sea ice on marine biogeochemical cycles in the western Arctic Ocean, including lower-trophic-level organisms, and identify the key mechanism of changes in the biogeochemical cycles, based on published observations and model simulations. The retreat of sea ice has enhanced primary production and has increased the frequency of appearance of mesoscale anticyclonic eddies. These eddies enhance the light environment and replenish nutrients, and they also represent a mechanism that can increase the rate of the biological pump in the Arctic Ocean. Various unresolved issues that require further investigation, such as biological responses to environmental stressors such as ocean acidification, are also discussed.

  17. Municipal sludge metal contamination of old-field ecosystems: Do liming and tilling affect remediation

    SciTech Connect

    Benninger-Truax, M.; Taylor, D.H. . Dept. of Zoology)

    1993-10-01

    Mechanisms of ecosystem recovery following 11 years of sewage sludge disposal were addressed by examining the effects of tilling and/or liming on soil chemistry and the heavy metal (Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) concentrations in soil, earthworms, vegetation, spiders, and crickets. In 1989 and 1990, subplots in each of three former 0.1-ha, long-term treatments (sludge, fertilizer, and control) were either unmanipulated or manipulated via tilling and/or liming. Liming significantly increased the pH of soil from the long-term sludge and fertilizer plots, and the combination of tilling and liming affected the heavy metal concentrations in earthworms, as lower concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn were found in earthworms collected from subplots that had been both tilled and limed. However, most observed significant differences in heavy metal concentrations reflected the long-term treatments, as heavy metal concentrations tended to be greater in the soil and biota collected from sludge-treated plots. Thus, heavy metals remained in the soil in forms available to the biota, regardless of the cessation of sludge application or subplot manipulations (liming and/or tilling) for two years following cessation of sludge application.

  18. Quantifying causal mechanisms to determine how protected areas affect poverty through changes in ecosystem services and infrastructure.

    PubMed

    Ferraro, Paul J; Hanauer, Merlin M

    2014-03-18

    To develop effective environmental policies, we must understand the mechanisms through which the policies affect social and environmental outcomes. Unfortunately, empirical evidence about these mechanisms is limited, and little guidance for quantifying them exists. We develop an approach to quantifying the mechanisms through which protected areas affect poverty. We focus on three mechanisms: changes in tourism and recreational services; changes in infrastructure in the form of road networks, health clinics, and schools; and changes in regulating and provisioning ecosystem services and foregone production activities that arise from land-use restrictions. The contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program have not yet been empirically estimated. Nearly two-thirds of the poverty reduction associated with the establishment of Costa Rican protected areas is causally attributable to opportunities afforded by tourism. Although protected areas reduced deforestation and increased regrowth, these land cover changes neither reduced nor exacerbated poverty, on average. Protected areas did not, on average, affect our measures of infrastructure and thus did not contribute to poverty reduction through this mechanism. We attribute the remaining poverty reduction to unobserved dimensions of our mechanisms or to other mechanisms. Our study empirically estimates previously unidentified contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program. We demonstrate that, with existing data and appropriate empirical methods, conservation scientists and policymakers can begin to elucidate the mechanisms through which ecosystem conservation programs affect human welfare. PMID:24567397

  19. Quantifying causal mechanisms to determine how protected areas affect poverty through changes in ecosystem services and infrastructure

    PubMed Central

    Ferraro, Paul J.; Hanauer, Merlin M.

    2014-01-01

    To develop effective environmental policies, we must understand the mechanisms through which the policies affect social and environmental outcomes. Unfortunately, empirical evidence about these mechanisms is limited, and little guidance for quantifying them exists. We develop an approach to quantifying the mechanisms through which protected areas affect poverty. We focus on three mechanisms: changes in tourism and recreational services; changes in infrastructure in the form of road networks, health clinics, and schools; and changes in regulating and provisioning ecosystem services and foregone production activities that arise from land-use restrictions. The contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program have not yet been empirically estimated. Nearly two-thirds of the poverty reduction associated with the establishment of Costa Rican protected areas is causally attributable to opportunities afforded by tourism. Although protected areas reduced deforestation and increased regrowth, these land cover changes neither reduced nor exacerbated poverty, on average. Protected areas did not, on average, affect our measures of infrastructure and thus did not contribute to poverty reduction through this mechanism. We attribute the remaining poverty reduction to unobserved dimensions of our mechanisms or to other mechanisms. Our study empirically estimates previously unidentified contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program. We demonstrate that, with existing data and appropriate empirical methods, conservation scientists and policymakers can begin to elucidate the mechanisms through which ecosystem conservation programs affect human welfare. PMID:24567397

  20. Biodegradation in marine ecosystems. (Latest citations from Oceanic abstracts). Published Search

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-03-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning the biochemical decomposition of naturally occurring organic matter in seawater. The citations examine the chemical and physical mechanisms of degredation, and factors that influence the decomposition rate, such as acidity, salinity, temperature and pressure. Other topics include technologies for biofouling control, microbially influenced corrosion, and eutrophication of marine environments. The biodegredation of chemical pollutants is discussed in a related bibliography. (Contains 250 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.)

  1. A new modeling approach to define marine ecosystems food-web status with uncertainty assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaalali, Aurélie; Saint-Béat, Blanche; Lassalle, Géraldine; Le Loc'h, François; Tecchio, Samuele; Safi, Georges; Savenkoff, Claude; Lobry, Jérémy; Niquil, Nathalie

    2015-06-01

    Ecosystem models are currently one of the most powerful approaches used to project and analyse the consequences of anthropogenic and climate-driven changes in food web structure and function. The modeling community is however still finding the effective representation of microbial processes as challenging and lacks of techniques for assessing flow uncertainty explicitly. A linear inverse model of the Bay of Biscay continental shelf was built using a Monte Carlo method coupled with a Markov Chain (LIM-MCMC) to characterize the system's trophic food-web status and its associated structural and functional properties. By taking into account the natural variability of ecosystems (and their associated flows) and the lack of data on these environments, this innovative approach enabled the quantification of uncertainties for both estimated flows and derived food-web indices. This uncertainty assessment constituted a real improvement on the existing Ecopath model for the same area and both models results were compared. Our results suggested a food web characterized by main flows at the basis of the food web and a high contribution of primary producers and detritus to the entire system input flows. The developmental stage of the ecosystem was characterized using estimated Ecological Network Analysis (ENA) indices; the LIM-MCMC produced a higher estimate of flow specialization (than the estimate from Ecopath) owing to better consideration of bacterial processes. The results also pointed to a detritus-based food-web with a web-like structure and an intermediate level of internal flow complexity, confirming the results of previous studies. Other current research on ecosystem model comparability is also presented.

  2. Late Permian marine ecosystem collapse began in deeper waters: evidence from brachiopod diversity and body size changes.

    PubMed

    He, W-H; Shi, G R; Twitchett, R J; Zhang, Y; Zhang, K-X; Song, H-J; Yue, M-L; Wu, S-B; Wu, H-T; Yang, T-L; Xiao, Y-F

    2015-03-01

    Analysis of Permian-Triassic brachiopod diversity and body size changes from different water depths spanning the continental shelf to basinal facies in South China provides insights into the process of environmental deterioration. Comparison of the temporal changes of brachiopod diversity between deepwater and shallow-water facies demonstrates that deepwater brachiopods disappeared earlier than shallow-water brachiopods. This indicates that high environmental stress commenced first in deepwater settings and later extended to shallow waters. This environmental stress is attributed to major volcanic eruptions, which first led to formation of a stratified ocean and a chemocline in the outer shelf and deeper water environments, causing the disappearance of deep marine benthos including brachiopods. The chemocline then rapidly migrated upward and extended to shallow waters, causing widespread mass extinction of shallow marine benthos. We predict that the spatial and temporal patterns of earlier onset of disappearance/extinction and ecological crisis in deeper water ecosystems will be recorded during other episodes of rapid global warming. PMID:25412754

  3. The Gellyfish: An In-Situ Equilibrium-Based Sampler for Determining Multiple Free Metal Ion Concentrations in Marine Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Zhao; Lewis, Christopher G.; Burgess, Robert M.; Shine, James P.

    2016-01-01

    Free metal ions are usually the most bioavailable and toxic metal species to aquatic organisms, but they are difficult to measure due to their extremely low concentrations in the marine environment. Many of the current methods for determining free metal ions are complicated, time-consuming, and can only measure one metal at a time. We developed a new version of the ‘Gellyfish’, an in-situ equilibrium-based sampler, with significantly reduced equilibration time and the capability of measuring multiple free metal ions simultaneously. By calibrating the Gellyfish to account for its uptake of cationic metal complexes and validating them in multi-metal competition experiments, we were able to determine free metal ion concentrations previously collected over ten months at five locations in Boston Harbor for Cu, Zn, Pb, Ni, and Cd. This work generated one of the largest free metal ion datasets and demonstrated the applicability of the Gellyfish as an easy-to-use and inexpensive tool for monitoring free ion concentrations of metal mixtures in marine ecosystems. PMID:25598362

  4. Fungal parasites infect marine diatoms in the upwelling ecosystem of the Humboldt current system off central Chile.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, Marcelo H; Jara, Ana M; Pantoja, Silvio

    2016-05-01

    This is the first report of fungal parasitism of diatoms in a highly productive coastal upwelling ecosystem, based on a year-round time series of diatom and parasitic Chytridiomycota abundance in the Humboldt Current System off Chile (36°30.80'S-73°07.70'W). Our results show co-variation in the presence of Skeletonema, Thalassiosira and Chaetoceros diatoms with attached and detached chytrid sporangia. High abundance of attached sporangia was observed during the austral spring, coinciding with a predominance of Thalassiosira and Skeletonema under active upwelling conditions. Towards the end of austral spring, a decreasing proportion of attached sporangia was accompanied by a decline in abundance of Skeletonema and Thalassiosira and the predominance of Chaetoceros, suggesting specificity and host density dependence of chytrid infection. The new findings on fungal parasitism of diatoms provide further support for the inclusion of Fungi in the current model of the role played by the marine microbial community in the coastal ocean. We propose a conceptual model where Fungi contribute to controlling the dynamics of phytoplankton populations, as well as the release of organic matter and the transfer of organic carbon through the pelagic trophic web in coastal upwelling ecosystems. PMID:26914416

  5. Comparison between Atlantic and Pacific Tropical Marine Coastal Ecosystems: Community Structure, Ecological Processes, and Productivity. Results and Scientific Papers of a Unesco/COMAR Workshop (Suva, Fiji, March 24-29, 1986). Unesco Reports in Marine Science 46.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Birkeland, Charles, Ed.

    This report presents the Unesco workshop conclusions concerning important differences among tropical seas in terms of ecological processes in coastal marine ecosystems, and the corresponding implications for resource management guidelines. The conclusions result from the presentation and discussion of eight review papers which are included in this…

  6. Use of the ICRP system for the protection of marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Telleria, D; Cabianca, T; Proehl, G; Kliaus, V; Brown, J; Bossio, C; Van der Wolf, J; Bonchuk, I; Nilsen, M

    2015-06-01

    The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) recently reinforced the international system of radiological protection, initially focused on humans, by identifying principles of environmental protection and proposing a framework for assessing impacts of ionising radiation on non-human species, based on a reference flora and fauna approach. For this purpose, ICRP developed dosimetric models for a set of Reference Animals and Plants, which are representative of flora and fauna in different environments (terrestrial, freshwater, marine), and produced criteria based on information on radiation effects, with the aim of evaluating the level of potential or actual radiological impacts, and as an input for decision making. The approach developed by ICRP for flora and fauna is consistent with the approach used to protect humans. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) includes considerations on the protection of the environment in its safety standards, and is currently developing guidelines to assess radiological impacts based on the aforementioned ICRP approach. This paper presents the method developed by IAEA, in a series of meetings with international experts, to enable assessment of the radiological impact to the marine environment in connection with the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter 1972 (London Convention 1972). This method is based on IAEA's safety standards and ICRP's recommendations, and was presented in 2013 for consideration by representatives of the contracting parties of the London Convention 1972; it was approved for inclusion in its procedures, and is in the process of being incorporated into guidelines. PMID:25816278

  7. Multi-proxy reconstructions and the power of integration across marine, terrestrial, and freshwater ecosystems. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrett, P. J.

    2011-12-01

    Over the past decade, dendrochronology (tree-ring analysis) techniques have been increasingly applied to growth increments of various bivalve, fish, and coral species. In particular, the use of crossdating ensures that all increments in a dataset have assigned the correct calendar year of formation and that the resulting chronology is exactly placed in time. Such temporal alignment facilitates direct comparisons among chronologies that span diverse taxa and ecosystems, illustrating the pervasive, synchronizing influence of climate from alpine forests to the continental slope. Such an approach can be particularly beneficial to reconstructions in that each species captures climate signals from its unique 'perspective' of life history and habitat. For example, combinations of tree-ring data and chronologies for the long-lived bivalve Pacific geoduck (Panopea generosa) capture substantially more variance in regional sea surface temperatures than either proxy could explain alone. Just as importantly, networks of chronologies spanning multiple trophic levels can help identify climate variables critical to ecosystem functioning, which can then be targeted to generate most biologically relevant reconstructions possible. Along the west coast of North America, fish and bivalve chronologies in combination with records of seabird reproductive success indicate that winter sea-level pressure is closely associated with California Current productivity, which can be hind-cast over the past six centuries using coastal tree-ring chronologies. Thus, multiple proxies not only increase reconstruction skill, but also help isolate climate variables most closely linked to ecosystem structure and functioning.

  8. Multi-proxy reconstructions and the power of integration across marine, terrestrial, and freshwater ecosystems. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Black, B.

    2013-12-01

    Over the past decade, dendrochronology (tree-ring analysis) techniques have been increasingly applied to growth increments of various bivalve, fish, and coral species. In particular, the use of crossdating ensures that all increments in a dataset have assigned the correct calendar year of formation and that the resulting chronology is exactly placed in time. Such temporal alignment facilitates direct comparisons among chronologies that span diverse taxa and ecosystems, illustrating the pervasive, synchronizing influence of climate from alpine forests to the continental slope. Such an approach can be particularly beneficial to reconstructions in that each species captures climate signals from its unique 'perspective' of life history and habitat. For example, combinations of tree-ring data and chronologies for the long-lived bivalve Pacific geoduck (Panopea generosa) capture substantially more variance in regional sea surface temperatures than either proxy could explain alone. Just as importantly, networks of chronologies spanning multiple trophic levels can help identify climate variables critical to ecosystem functioning, which can then be targeted to generate most biologically relevant reconstructions possible. Along the west coast of North America, fish and bivalve chronologies in combination with records of seabird reproductive success indicate that winter sea-level pressure is closely associated with California Current productivity, which can be hind-cast over the past six centuries using coastal tree-ring chronologies. Thus, multiple proxies not only increase reconstruction skill, but also help isolate climate variables most closely linked to ecosystem structure and functioning.

  9. Data assimilation in a marine ecosystem model coupled to a mixed layer model of the ligurian sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magri, S.; Brasseur, P.; Lacroix, G.

    2003-04-01

    Data assimilation have been conducted in a one-dimensional, coupled physical ecosystem model of the upper ocean to characterize the observability properties of in situ observing systems. The assimilation method is based on the Singular Evolutive Extended Kalman (SEEK) filter, in which the error sub-space is decomposed into multivariate orthogonal functions of the system's variability. The coupled model simulates the primary production in a coastal zone of the Ligurian Sea, where oligotrophic conditions prevail. The ecosystem dynamics is represented by 12 interacting compartments expressed in nitrogen units. The coupling with an hydrodynamic model determines the physical constraints associated to the development of a seasonal mixed layer. The stratification of the water column, according to the computation of the vertical turbulent diffusivities, is a key parameter of the evolution of the marine ecosystem. The coupled system have been developped and validated on the basis of field data collected during the FRONTAL compains between 1984 and 1988. Firstly, twin experiments have been performed to approach the observability properties, i.e. to study if the available data are sufficient to control the spatio-temporal evolution of the biological state variables. Experiments have been also performed where two quantities are observed simultaneously. For that, vertical temperature and salinity profiles on the one hand, and vertical nitrate and chlorophyll profiles on the other hand, have been assimilated with different spatial sampling strategies ( 'complete' profiles along the water column - 'pseudo-profiles' FRONTAL taking into account the spatial sampling of FRONTAL campains). These experiments allow to know if FRONTAL data are appropriately sampled to be assimilated, or if it is necessary to take into account new strategies for futures campains. Secondly, applying lessons learned from twin assimilation experiments, physical and biological profiles of in situ data

  10. Controls on the ratio of mesozooplankton production to primary production in marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stock, Charles; Dunne, John

    2010-01-01

    An ecosystem model was used to (1) determine the extent to which global trends in the ratio of mesozooplankton production to primary production (referred to herein as the " z-ratio") can be explained by nutrient enrichment, temperature, and euphotic zone depth, and (2) quantitatively diagnose the mechanisms driving these trends. Equilibrium model solutions were calibrated to observed and empirically derived patterns in phytoplankton biomass and growth rates, mesozooplankton biomass and growth rates, and the fraction of phytoplankton that are large (>5 μm ESD). This constrained several otherwise highly uncertain model parameters. Most notably, half-saturation constants for zooplankton feeding were constrained by the biomass and growth rates of their prey populations, and low zooplankton basal metabolic rates were required to match observations from oligotrophic ecosystems. Calibrated model solutions had no major biases and produced median z-ratios and ranges consistent with estimates. However, much of the variability around the median values in the calibration dataset (72 points) could not be explained. Model results were then compared with an extended global compilation of z-ratio estimates (>10 000 points). This revealed a modest yet significant ( r=0.40) increasing trend in z-ratios from values ˜0.01-0.04 to ˜0.1-0.2 with increasing primary productivity, with the transition from low to high z-ratios occurring at lower primary productivity in cold-water ecosystems. Two mechanisms, both linked to increasing phytoplankton biomass, were responsible: (1) zooplankton gross growth efficiencies increased as their ingestion rates became much greater than basal metabolic rates and (2) the trophic distance between primary producers and mesozooplankton shortened as primary production shifted toward large phytoplankton. Mechanism (1) was most important during the transition from low to moderate productivity ecosystems and mechanism (2) was responsible for a relatively

  11. Nitrogen and carbon cycling in a grassland community ecosystem as affected by elevated atmospheric CO2

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing global atmospheric CO2 concentration has led to concerns regarding its potential effects on terrestrial ecosystem and the long-term storage of C and N in soil. This study examined responses to elevated CO2 in a grass ecosystem invaded with a leguminous shrub Acacia farnesiana (L.) Willd (...

  12. Predicting Consumer Biomass, Size-Structure, Production, Catch Potential, Responses to Fishing and Associated Uncertainties in the World's Marine Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Jennings, Simon; Collingridge, Kate

    2015-01-01

    Existing estimates of fish and consumer biomass in the world's oceans are disparate. This creates uncertainty about the roles of fish and other consumers in biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem processes, the extent of human and environmental impacts and fishery potential. We develop and use a size-based macroecological model to assess the effects of parameter uncertainty on predicted consumer biomass, production and distribution. Resulting uncertainty is large (e.g. median global biomass 4.9 billion tonnes for consumers weighing 1 g to 1000 kg; 50% uncertainty intervals of 2 to 10.4 billion tonnes; 90% uncertainty intervals of 0.3 to 26.1 billion tonnes) and driven primarily by uncertainty in trophic transfer efficiency and its relationship with predator-prey body mass ratios. Even the upper uncertainty intervals for global predictions of consumer biomass demonstrate the remarkable scarcity of marine consumers, with less than one part in 30 million by volume of the global oceans comprising tissue of macroscopic animals. Thus the apparently high densities of marine life seen in surface and coastal waters and frequently visited abundance hotspots will likely give many in society a false impression of the abundance of marine animals. Unexploited baseline biomass predictions from the simple macroecological model were used to calibrate a more complex size- and trait-based model to estimate fisheries yield and impacts. Yields are highly dependent on baseline biomass and fisheries selectivity. Predicted global sustainable fisheries yield increases ≈4 fold when smaller individuals (< 20 cm from species of maximum mass < 1 kg) are targeted in all oceans, but the predicted yields would rarely be accessible in practice and this fishing strategy leads to the collapse of larger species if fishing mortality rates on different size classes cannot be decoupled. Our analyses show that models with minimal parameter demands that are based on a few established ecological principles

  13. Nutrient Enrichment and Food Web Composition Affect Ecosystem Metabolism in an Experimental Seagrass Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Spivak, Amanda C.; Canuel, Elizabeth A.; Duffy, J. Emmett; Richardson, J. Paul

    2009-01-01

    Background Food web composition and resource levels can influence ecosystem properties such as productivity and elemental cycles. In particular, herbivores occupy a central place in food webs as the species richness and composition of this trophic level may simultaneously influence the transmission of resource and predator effects to higher and lower trophic levels, respectively. Yet, these interactions are poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings Using an experimental seagrass mesocosm system, we factorially manipulated water column nutrient concentrations, food chain length, and diversity of crustacean grazers to address two questions: (1) Does food web composition modulate the effects of nutrient enrichment on plant and grazer biomasses and stoichiometry? (2) Do ecosystem fluxes of dissolved oxygen and nutrients more closely reflect above-ground biomass and community structure or sediment processes? Nutrient enrichment and grazer presence generally had strong effects on biomass accumulation, stoichiometry, and ecosystem fluxes, whereas predator effects were weaker or absent. Nutrient enrichment had little effect on producer biomass or net ecosystem production but strongly increased seagrass nutrient content, ecosystem flux rates, and grazer secondary production, suggesting that enhanced production was efficiently transferred from producers to herbivores. Gross ecosystem production (oxygen evolution) correlated positively with above-ground plant biomass, whereas inorganic nutrient fluxes were unrelated to plant or grazer biomasses, suggesting dominance by sediment microbial processes. Finally, grazer richness significantly stabilized ecosystem processes, as predators decreased ecosystem production and respiration only in the zero- and one- species grazer treatments. Conclusions/Significance Overall, our results indicate that consumer presence and species composition strongly influence ecosystem responses to nutrient enrichment, and that increasing

  14. The impact of Indonesian peatland degradation on downstream marine ecosystems and the global carbon cycle.

    PubMed

    Abrams, Jesse F; Hohn, Sönke; Rixen, Tim; Baum, Antje; Merico, Agostino

    2016-01-01

    Tropical peatlands are among the most space-efficient stores of carbon on Earth containing approximately 89 Gt C. Of this, 57 Gt (65%) are stored in Indonesian peatlands. Large-scale exploitation of land, including deforestation and drainage for the establishment of oil palm plantations, is changing the carbon balance of Indonesian peatlands, turning them from a natural sink to a source via outgassing of CO2 to the atmosphere and leakage of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) into the coastal ocean. The impacts of this perturbation to the coastal environment and at the global scale are largely unknown. Here, we evaluate the downstream effects of released Indonesian peat carbon on coastal ecosystems and on the global carbon cycle. We use a biogeochemical box model in combination with novel and literature observations to investigate the impact of different carbon emission scenarios on the combined ocean-atmosphere system. The release of all carbon stored in the Indonesian peat pool, considered as a worst-case scenario, will increase atmospheric pCO2 by 8 ppm to 15 ppm within the next 200 years. The expected impact on the Java Sea ecosystems is most significant on the short term (over a few hundred years) and is characterized by an increase of 3.3% in phytoplankton, 32% in seagrass biomass, and 5% decrease in coral biomass. On the long term, however, the coastal ecosystems will recover to reach near pre-excursion conditions. Our results suggest that the ultimate fate of the peat carbon is in the deep ocean with 69% of it landing in the deep DIC pool after 1000 years, but the effects on the global ocean carbonate chemistry will be marginal. PMID:26416553

  15. Marine ecosystem synthesis: From physics to whales in the Pacific Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheffield Guy, Lisa; Moore, Sue E.; Stabeno, Phyllis

    2012-11-01

    Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR) Workshop; Anchorage, Alaska, 14-16 March 2012 The Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR) program brings together a multidisciplinary group of Arctic scientists and Alaskan coastal community residents to explore and integrate marine research information in the Pacific Arctic region. The goal of SOAR is to increase scientific understanding of the relationships among oceanographic conditions (physics, chemistry, sea ice), benthic organisms, lower trophic pelagic species (forage fish and zooplankton), and higher trophic species (i.e., seabirds, walrus, whales) in the Pacific Arctic, with particular emphasis on the Chukchi Sea oil and gas lease sale areas.

  16. Plant Species and Functional Group Combinations Affect Green Roof Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Lundholm, Jeremy; MacIvor, J. Scott; MacDougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-01-01

    Background Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Conclusions/Significance Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms

  17. The importance of benthic macroinvertebrate surveys in the determination of ``unreasonable degradation`` in marine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Murray, M.; Abate, M.; Yates, L.; Danis, C.

    1995-12-31

    In applying for a permit under Section 403 of the Clean Water Act, ocean dischargers must address the ten criteria specified in 40CFRI25.122. The criteria include the quantity, composition and transport of pollutants, the composition and vulnerability of exposed communities, The importance of the receiving water to surrounding biological communities, the presence of sensitive habitats, and potential impacts to commercial and recreational fisheries and human health. As part of compliance with these requirements, POTWs discharging into marine waters off the coast of New Jersey conducted benthic macroinvertebrate community surveys in the vicinity of the outfall diffusers. Sediment samples were collected with a Smith-MacIntyre dredge from the zone of initial dilution (ZID) and from reference areas of comparable sediment composition outside each outfall ZID. All sample collection was performed in mid and late summer when benthos would be potentially impacted by yearly dissolved oxygen minima. Data analysis included ANOVA, Cluster Analysis and several standard community indices. These data, along with priority pollutant analysis and chronic toxicity test results, provided primary evidence in the evaluation resulting in findings of ``no unreasonable degradation`` to the receiving waters and associated marine communities.

  18. Impacts of climate change on marine ecosystem production in societies dependent on fisheries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barange, M.; Merino, G.; Blanchard, J. L.; Scholtens, J.; Harle, J.; Allison, E. H.; Allen, J. I.; Holt, J.; Jennings, S.

    2014-03-01

    Growing human populations and changing dietary preferences are increasing global demands for fish, adding pressure to concerns over fisheries sustainability. Here we develop and link models of physical, biological and human responses to climate change in 67 marine national exclusive economic zones, which yield approximately 60% of global fish catches, to project climate change yield impacts in countries with different dependencies on marine fisheries. Predicted changes in fish production indicate increased productivity at high latitudes and decreased productivity at low/mid latitudes, with considerable regional variations. With few exceptions, increases and decreases in fish production potential by 2050 are estimated to be <10% (mean +3.4%) from present yields. Among the nations showing a high dependency on fisheries, climate change is predicted to increase productive potential in West Africa and decrease it in South and Southeast Asia. Despite projected human population increases and assuming that per capita fish consumption rates will be maintained, ongoing technological development in the aquaculture industry suggests that projected global fish demands in 2050 could be met, thus challenging existing predictions of inevitable shortfalls in fish supply by the mid-twenty-first century. This conclusion, however, is contingent on successful implementation of strategies for sustainable harvesting and effective distribution of wild fish products from nations and regions with a surplus to those with a deficit. Changes in management effectiveness and trade practices will remain the main influence on realized gains or losses in global fish production.

  19. Marine Derived Nutrients (MDN) in Riverine Ecosystems: Developing Monitoring Tools for Tracking MDN in Alaska Watersheds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rinella, D. J.; Wipfli, M. S.; Walker, C.; Stricker, C. A.

    2005-05-01

    The objective of this study is to measure marine derived nutrient (MDN) presence and effects in stream and riparian habitats on the southern Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Year 1 approach was to link stream chemistry, marine isotope signatures, and lipid measures along a gradient from headwaters to mouth in watersheds with and without spawning salmon (i.e., N.F. Anchor River and Happy Creek, respectively). The N.F. Anchor River received 13,000 kg of chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and 2000 kg of coho (O. kisutch) biomass in 2004. Contrary to our hypothesis, NH4 concentrations were not related to salmon escapement, possibly due to rapid uptake in this apparently phosphorus-rich system. Dolly Varden char (Salvelinus malma), horsetail (Equisetum sp.), and macroinvertebrates collected in spawning reaches showed enriched 15N values relative to an upstream reference and Happy Valley Creek. Biota also showed a general trend toward 15N enrichment along a gradient from headwaters to mouth for both streams, suggesting that trophic complexity increased with stream size regardless of spawning salmon presence. In years 2 and 3 we will expand this study across replicate salmon and non-salmon watersheds and integrate with related studies develop a broader regional understanding of MDN effects in watersheds.

  20. Gut Contents as Direct Indicators for Trophic Relationships in the Cambrian Marine Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Vannier, Jean

    2012-01-01

    Present-day ecosystems host a huge variety of organisms that interact and transfer mass and energy via a cascade of trophic levels. When and how this complex machinery was established remains largely unknown. Although exceptionally preserved biotas clearly show that Early Cambrian animals had already acquired functionalities that enabled them to exploit a wide range of food resources, there is scant direct evidence concerning their diet and exact trophic relationships. Here I describe the gut contents of Ottoia prolifica, an abundant priapulid worm from the middle Cambrian (Stage 5) Burgess Shale biota. I identify the undigested exoskeletal remains of a wide range of small invertebrates that lived at or near the water sediment interface such as hyolithids, brachiopods, different types of arthropods, polychaetes and wiwaxiids. This set of direct fossil evidence allows the first detailed reconstruction of the diet of a 505-million-year-old animal. Ottoia was a dietary generalist and had no strict feeding regime. It fed on both living individuals and decaying organic matter present in its habitat. The feeding behavior of Ottoia was remarkably simple, reduced to the transit of food through an eversible pharynx and a tubular gut with limited physical breakdown and no storage. The recognition of generalist feeding strategies, exemplified by Ottoia, reveals key-aspects of modern-style trophic complexity in the immediate aftermath of the Cambrian explosion. It also shows that the middle Cambrian ecosystem was already too complex to be understood in terms of simple linear dynamics and unique pathways. PMID:23300612

  1. Body size-based trophic structure of a deep marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Romero-Romero, Sonia; Molina-Ramírez, Axayacatl; Hofer, Juan; Luis Acuña, José

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen stable isotope ratios (δ15N) and body size were used to describe the size-based trophic structure of a deep-sea ecosystem, the Avilés submarine Canyon (Cantabrian Sea, Southern Bay of Biscay). We analyzed δ15N of specimens collected on a seasonal basis (March 2012, October 2012, and May 2013), from a variety of zones (benthic, pelagic), taxa (from zooplankton through invertebrates and fishes to giant squids and cetaceans), or depths (from surface to 4700 m) that spanned nine orders of magnitude in body mass. Our data reveal a strong linear dependence of trophic level on body size when data were considered either individually, aggregated into taxonomical categories, or binned into size classes. The three approaches render similar results that were not significantly different and yielded predator:prey body mass ratios (PPMR) of 1156:1, 3792:1 and 2718:1, respectively. Thus, our data represent unequivocal evidence of interspecific, size-based trophic structure of a whole ecosystem based on taxonomic/functional categories. We studied the variability in δ15N not explained by body mass (W) using linear mixed modeling and found that the δ15N vs. log10 W relationship holds for both pelagic and benthic systems, with benthic organisms isotopically enriched relative to pelagic organisms of the same size. However there is a marked seasonal variation potentially related to the recycling state of the system. PMID:27008786

  2. Pollutant threshold concentration determination in marine ecosystems using an ecological interaction endpoint.

    PubMed

    Wang, Changyou; Liang, Shengkang; Guo, Wenting; Yu, Hua; Xing, Wenhui

    2015-09-01

    The threshold concentrations of pollutants are determined by extrapolating single-species effect data to community-level effects. This assumes the most sensitive endpoint of the life cycle of individuals and the species sensitivity distribution from single-species toxic effect tests, thus, ignoring the ecological interactions. The uncertainties due to this extrapolation can be partially overcome using the equilibrium point of a customized ecosystem. This method incorporates ecological interactions and integrates the effects on growth, survival, and ingestion into a single effect measure, the equilibrium point excursion in the customized ecosystem, in order to describe the toxic effects on plankton. A case study showed that the threshold concentration of copper calculated with the endpoint of the equilibrium point was 10 μg L(-1), which is significantly different from the threshold calculated with a single-species endpoint. The endpoint calculated using this method provides a more relevant measure of the ecological impact than any single individual-level endpoint. PMID:25982547

  3. Marine lake ecosystem dynamics illustrate ENSO variation in the tropical western Pacific.

    PubMed

    Martin, Laura E; Dawson, Michael N; Bell, Lori J; Colin, Patrick L

    2006-03-22

    Understanding El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and its biological consequences is hindered by a lack of high-resolution, long-term data from the tropical western Pacific. We describe a preliminary, 6 year dataset that shows tightly coupled ENSO-related bio-physical dynamics in a seawater lake in Palau, Micronesia. The lake is more strongly stratified during La Niña than El Niño conditions, temperature anomalies in the lake co-vary strongly with the Niño 3.4 climate index, and the abundance of the dominant member of the pelagic community, an endemic subspecies of zooxanthellate jellyfish, is temperature associated. These results have broad relevance because the lake: (i) illustrates an ENSO signal that is partly obscured in surrounding semi-enclosed lagoon waters and, therefore, (ii) may provide a model system for studying the effects of climate change on community evolution and cnidarian-zooxanthellae symbioses, which (iii) should be traceable throughout the Holocene because the lake harbours a high quality sediment record; the sediment record should (iv) provide a sensitive and regionally unique record of Holocene climate relevant to predicting ENSO responses to future global climate change and, finally, (v) seawater lake ecosystems elsewhere in the Pacific may hold similar potential for past, present, and predictive measurements of climate variation and ecosystem response. PMID:17148349

  4. Marine lake ecosystem dynamics illustrate ENSO variation in the tropical western Pacific

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Laura E; Dawson, Michael N; Bell, Lori J; Colin, Patrick L

    2005-01-01

    Understanding El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and its biological consequences is hindered by a lack of high-resolution, long-term data from the tropical western Pacific. We describe a preliminary, 6 year dataset that shows tightly coupled ENSO-related bio-physical dynamics in a seawater lake in Palau, Micronesia. The lake is more strongly stratified during La Niña than El Niño conditions, temperature anomalies in the lake co-vary strongly with the Niño 3.4 climate index, and the abundance of the dominant member of the pelagic community, an endemic subspecies of zooxanthellate jellyfish, is temperature associated. These results have broad relevance because the lake: (i) illustrates an ENSO signal that is partly obscured in surrounding semi-enclosed lagoon waters and, therefore, (ii) may provide a model system for studying the effects of climate change on community evolution and cnidarian–zooxanthellae symbioses, which (iii) should be traceable throughout the Holocene because the lake harbours a high quality sediment record; the sediment record should (iv) provide a sensitive and regionally unique record of Holocene climate relevant to predicting ENSO responses to future global climate change and, finally, (v) seawater lake ecosystems elsewhere in the Pacific may hold similar potential for past, present, and predictive measurements of climate variation and ecosystem response. PMID:17148349

  5. Gut contents as direct indicators for trophic relationships in the Cambrian marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Vannier, Jean

    2012-01-01

    Present-day ecosystems host a huge variety of organisms that interact and transfer mass and energy via a cascade of trophic levels. When and how this complex machinery was established remains largely unknown. Although exceptionally preserved biotas clearly show that Early Cambrian animals had already acquired functionalities that enabled them to exploit a wide range of food resources, there is scant direct evidence concerning their diet and exact trophic relationships. Here I describe the gut contents of Ottoia prolifica, an abundant priapulid worm from the middle Cambrian (Stage 5) Burgess Shale biota. I identify the undigested exoskeletal remains of a wide range of small invertebrates that lived at or near the water sediment interface such as hyolithids, brachiopods, different types of arthropods, polychaetes and wiwaxiids. This set of direct fossil evidence allows the first detailed reconstruction of the diet of a 505-million-year-old animal. Ottoia was a dietary generalist and had no strict feeding regime. It fed on both living individuals and decaying organic matter present in its habitat. The feeding behavior of Ottoia was remarkably simple, reduced to the transit of food through an eversible pharynx and a tubular gut with limited physical breakdown and no storage. The recognition of generalist feeding strategies, exemplified by Ottoia, reveals key-aspects of modern-style trophic complexity in the immediate aftermath of the Cambrian explosion. It also shows that the middle Cambrian ecosystem was already too complex to be understood in terms of simple linear dynamics and unique pathways. PMID:23300612

  6. The Bolivar Channel Ecosystem of the Galapagos Marine Reserve: Energy flow structure and role of keystone groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz, Diego J.; Wolff, Matthias

    2011-08-01

    The Bolivar Channel Ecosystem (BCE) is among the most productive zones in the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR). It is exposed to relatively cool, nutrient-rich waters of the Cromwell current, which are brought to the photic zone through topographic upwelling. The BCE is characterized by a heterogeneous rocky reef habitat covered by dense algae beds and inhabited by numerous invertebrate and fish species, which represent the food for higher predators including seals and sharks and exploited fish species. In addition, plankton and detritus based food chains channel large amounts of energy through the complex food web. Important emblematic species of the Galapagos archipelagos reside in this area such as the flightless cormorant, the Galapagos penguin and the marine iguanas. A trophic model of BCE was constructed for the habitats < 30 m depth that fringe the west coast of Isabela and east coast of Fernandina islands covering 14% of the total BCE area (44 km 2). The model integrates data sets from sub tidal ecological monitoring and marine vertebrate population monitoring (2004 to 2008) programs of the Charles Darwin Foundation and consists of 30 compartments, which are trophically linked through a diet matrix. Results reveal that the BCE is a large system in terms of flows (38 695 t km - 2 yr - 1 ) comparable to Peruvian Bay Systems of the Humboldt upwelling system. A very large proportion of energy flows from the primary producers (phytoplankton and macro-algae) to the second level and to the detritus pool. Catches are high (54.3 t km - 2 yr - 1 ) and are mainly derived from the second and third trophic levels (mean TL of catch = 2.45) making the fisheries gross efficiency high (0.3%). The system's degree of development seems rather low as indicated by a P/R ratio of 4.19, a low ascendency (37.4%) and a very low Finn's cycling index (1.29%). This is explained by the system's exposure to irregular changes in oceanographic conditions as related to the EL Niño Southern

  7. Site variation in methane oxidation as affected by atmospheric deposition and type of temperate forest ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brumme, Rainer; Borken, Werner

    1999-06-01

    Factors controlling methane oxidation were analyzed along a soil acidity gradient (pH(H2O) 3.9 to 5.2) under beech and spruce forests in Germany. Mean annual methane oxidation ranged from 0.1 to 2.5 kg CH4 ha-1 yr-1 and was correlated with base saturation (r2 = 0.88), soil pH (r2 = 0.77), total nitrogen (r2 = 0.71), amount of the organic surface horizon (r2 = 0.49) and bulk density of the mineral soil (r2 = 0.43). At lower pHs the formation of an organic surface horizon was promoted. This horizon did not have any methane oxidation capacity and acted like a gas diffusion barrier, which decreased the methane oxidation capacity of the soil. In contrast, on sites at the higher end of the pH range, higher burrowing activity of earthworms increased macroporosity and thereby gas diffusivity and methane oxidation. Gas diffusivity was also affected by litter shape: broad beech leaves reduced methane oxidation more than spruce needles. An increase in methane oxidation of most soil samples following sieving indicates that diffusion is the main limiting factor for methane oxidation. However, this "sieving effect" was less in soils with a pH below 5 than in soils with a pH above 5, which we attribute to a direct effect of soil acidity. We discuss our results using a hierarchical concept for the "short-term" and "long-term" controls on methane oxidation in forest ecosystems.

  8. Macrofauna assemblage composition and soil moisture interact to affect soil ecosystem functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collison, E. J.; Riutta, T.; Slade, E. M.

    2013-02-01

    Changing climatic conditions and habitat fragmentation are predicted to alter the soil moisture conditions of temperate forests. It is not well understood how the soil macrofauna community will respond to changes in soil moisture, and how changes to species diversity and community composition may affect ecosystem functions, such as litter decomposition and soil fluxes. Moreover, few studies have considered the interactions between the abiotic and biotic factors that regulate soil processes. Here we attempt to disentangle the interactive effects of two of the main factors that regulate soil processes at small scales - moisture and macrofauna assemblage composition. The response of assemblages of three common temperate soil invertebrates (Glomeris marginata Villers, Porcellio scaber Latreille and Philoscia muscorum Scopoli) to two contrasting soil moisture levels was examined in a series of laboratory mesocosm experiments. The contribution of the invertebrates to the leaf litter mass loss of two common temperate tree species of contrasting litter quality (easily decomposing Fraxinus excelsior L. and recalcitrant Quercus robur L.) and to soil CO2 fluxes were measured. Both moisture conditions and litter type influenced the functioning of the invertebrate assemblages, which was greater in high moisture conditions compared with low moisture conditions and on good quality vs. recalcitrant litter. In high moisture conditions, all macrofauna assemblages functioned at equal rates, whereas in low moisture conditions there were pronounced differences in litter mass loss among the assemblages. This indicates that species identity and assemblage composition are more important when moisture is limited. We suggest that complementarity between macrofauna species may mitigate the reduced functioning of some species, highlighting the importance of maintaining macrofauna species richness.

  9. Radionuclide transfer in marine coastal ecosystems, a modelling study using metabolic processes and site data.

    PubMed

    Konovalenko, L; Bradshaw, C; Kumblad, L; Kautsky, U

    2014-07-01

    This study implements new site-specific data and improved process-based transport model for 26 elements (Ac, Ag, Am, Ca, Cl, Cm, Cs, Ho, I, Nb, Ni, Np, Pa, Pb, Pd, Po, Pu, Ra, Se, Sm, Sn, Sr, Tc, Th, U, Zr), and validates model predictions with site measurements and literature data. The model was applied in the safety assessment of a planned nuclear waste repository in Forsmark, Öregrundsgrepen (Baltic Sea). Radionuclide transport models are central in radiological risk assessments to predict radionuclide concentrations in biota and doses to humans. Usually concentration ratios (CRs), the ratio of the measured radionuclide concentration in an organism to the concentration in water, drive such models. However, CRs vary with space and time and CR estimates for many organisms are lacking. In the model used in this study, radionuclides were assumed to follow the circulation of organic matter in the ecosystem and regulated by radionuclide-specific mechanisms and metabolic rates of the organisms. Most input parameters were represented by log-normally distributed probability density functions (PDFs) to account for parameter uncertainty. Generally, modelled CRs for grazers, benthos, zooplankton and fish for the 26 elements were in good agreement with site-specific measurements. The uncertainty was reduced when the model was parameterized with site data, and modelled CRs were most similar to measured values for particle reactive elements and for primary consumers. This study clearly demonstrated that it is necessary to validate models with more than just a few elements (e.g. Cs, Sr) in order to make them robust. The use of PDFs as input parameters, rather than averages or best estimates, enabled the estimation of the probable range of modelled CR values for the organism groups, an improvement over models that only estimate means. Using a mechanistic model that is constrained by ecological processes enables (i) the evaluation of the relative importance of food and water

  10. How does wind-throw disturbance affect the carbon budget of an upland spruce forest ecosystem?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindauer, Matthias; Schmid, Hans Peter; Grote, Rüdiger; Mauder, Matthias; Wolpert, Benjamin; Steinbrecher, Rainer

    2014-05-01

    Forests, especially in mid-latitudes are generally designated as large carbon sinks. However, stand-replacing disturbance events like fires, insect-infestations, or severe wind-storms can shift an ecosystem from carbon sink to carbon source within short time and keep it as this for a long time. In Addition, extreme weather situations which promote the occurrence of ecosystem disturbances are likely to increase in the future due to climate change. The development and competition of different vegetation types (spruce vs. grass) as well as soil organic matter (SOM), and their contribution to the net ecosystem exchange (NEE), in such disturbed forest ecosystems are largely unknown. In a large wind-throw area (ca. 600 m diameter, due to cyclone Kyrill in January 2007) within a mature upland spruce forest, where dead-wood has not been removed, in the Bavarian Forest National Park (Lackenberg, 1308 m a.s.l., Bavaria, Germany), fluxes of CO2, water vapor and energy have been measured with the Eddy Covariance (EC) method since 2009. Model simulations (MoBiLE) were used to estimate the GPP components from trees and grassland as well as to differentiate between soil and plant respiration, and to get an idea about the long term behavior of the ecosystems carbon exchange. For 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 estimates of annual Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) showed that the wind-throw was a marked carbon source. However, the few remaining trees and newly emerging vegetation (grass, sparse young spruce, etc.) lead to an already strong Gross Ecosystem Production (GEP). Model simulations conformed well with the measurements. To our knowledge, we present the worldwide first long-term measurements of NEE within a non-cleared wind-throw-disturbed forest ecosystem.

  11. RETRACTED: Impacts of past climate variability on marine ecosystems: Lessons from sediment records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emeis, Kay-Christian; Finney, Bruce P.; Ganeshram, Raja; Gutiérrez, Dimitri; Poulsen, Bo; Struck, Ulrich

    2010-02-01

    This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief and Author. Please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal ( http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy). Reason: Paragraph 3.3 of this article contains text (verbatim) that had already appeared in a book chapter "Variability from scales in marine sediments and other historical records" by David B. Field, Tim R. Baumgartner, Vicente Ferreira, Dimitri Gutierrez, Hector Lozano-Montes, Renato Salvatteci and Andy Soutar. The book is entitled "Climate Change and Small Pelagic Fish", 2009, edited by Dave Checkley, Claude Roy, Jurgen Alheit, and Yoshioki Oozeki (Cambridge University Press; 2009).The authors would like to apologize for this administrative error on their part.

  12. Real time observation system for monitoring environmental impact on marine ecosystems from oil drilling operations.

    PubMed

    Godø, Olav Rune; Klungsøyr, Jarle; Meier, Sonnich; Tenningen, Eirik; Purser, Autun; Thomsen, Laurenz

    2014-07-15

    Environmental awareness and technological advances has spurred development of new monitoring solutions for the petroleum industry. This paper presents experience from a monitoring program off Norway. To maintain operation within the limits of the government regulations Statoil tested a new monitoring concept. Multisensory data were cabled to surface buoys and transmitted to land via wireless communication. The system collected information about distribution of the drilling wastes and the welfare of the corals in relation to threshold values. The project experienced a series of failures, but the backup monitoring provided information to fulfil the requirements of the permit. The experience demonstrated the need for real time monitoring and how such systems enhance understanding of impacts on marine organisms. Also, drilling operations may improve by taking environmental information into account. The paper proposes to standardize and streamline monitoring protocols to maintain comparability during all phases of the operation and between drill sites. PMID:24908516

  13. The tropicalization of temperate marine ecosystems: climate-mediated changes in herbivory and community phase shifts.

    PubMed

    Vergés, Adriana; Steinberg, Peter D; Hay, Mark E; Poore, Alistair G B; Campbell, Alexandra H; Ballesteros, Enric; Heck, Kenneth L; Booth, David J; Coleman, Melinda A; Feary, David A; Figueira, Will; Langlois, Tim; Marzinelli, Ezequiel M; Mizerek, Toni; Mumby, Peter J; Nakamura, Yohei; Roughan, Moninya; van Sebille, Erik; Gupta, Alex Sen; Smale, Dan A; Tomas, Fiona; Wernberg, Thomas; Wilson, Shaun K

    2014-08-22

    Climate-driven changes in biotic interactions can profoundly alter ecological communities, particularly when they impact foundation species. In marine systems, changes in herbivory and the consequent loss of dominant habitat forming species can result in dramatic community phase shifts, such as from coral to macroalgal dominance when tropical fish herbivory decreases, and from algal forests to 'barrens' when temperate urchin grazing increases. Here, we propose a novel phase-shift away from macroalgal dominance caused by tropical herbivores extending their range into temperate regions. We argue that this phase shift is facilitated by poleward-flowing boundary currents that are creating ocean warming hotspots around the globe, enabling the range expansion of tropical species and increasing their grazing rates in temperate areas. Overgrazing of temperate macroalgae by tropical herbivorous fishes has already occurred in Japan and the Mediterranean. Emerging evidence suggests similar phenomena are occurring in other temperate regions, with increasing occurrence of tropical fishes on temperate reefs. PMID:25009065

  14. The tropicalization of temperate marine ecosystems: climate-mediated changes in herbivory and community phase shifts

    PubMed Central

    Vergés, Adriana; Steinberg, Peter D.; Hay, Mark E.; Poore, Alistair G. B.; Campbell, Alexandra H.; Ballesteros, Enric; Heck, Kenneth L.; Booth, David J.; Coleman, Melinda A.; Feary, David A.; Figueira, Will; Langlois, Tim; Marzinelli, Ezequiel M.; Mizerek, Toni; Mumby, Peter J.; Nakamura, Yohei; Roughan, Moninya; van Sebille, Erik; Gupta, Alex Sen; Smale, Dan A.; Tomas, Fiona; Wernberg, Thomas; Wilson, Shaun K.

    2014-01-01

    Climate-driven changes in biotic interactions can profoundly alter ecological communities, particularly when they impact foundation species. In marine systems, changes in herbivory and the consequent loss of dominant habitat forming species can result in dramatic community phase shifts, such as from coral to macroalgal dominance when tropical fish herbivory decreases, and from algal forests to ‘barrens’ when temperate urchin grazing increases. Here, we propose a novel phase-shift away from macroalgal dominance caused by tropical herbivores extending their range into temperate regions. We argue that this phase shift is facilitated by poleward-flowing boundary currents that are creating ocean warming hotspots around the globe, enabling the range expansion of tropical species and increasing their grazing rates in temperate areas. Overgrazing of temperate macroalgae by tropical herbivorous fishes has already occurred in Japan and the Mediterranean. Emerging evidence suggests similar phenomena are occurring in other temperate regions, with increasing occurrence of tropical fishes on temperate reefs. PMID:25009065

  15. Potential consequences of climate change for primary production and fish production in large marine ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Blanchard, Julia L.; Jennings, Simon; Holmes, Robert; Harle, James; Merino, Gorka; Allen, J. Icarus; Holt, Jason; Dulvy, Nicholas K.; Barange, Manuel

    2012-01-01

    Existing methods to predict the effects of climate change on the biomass and production of marine communities are predicated on modelling the interactions and dynamics of individual species, a very challenging approach when interactions and distributions are changing and little is known about the ecological mechanisms driving the responses of many species. An informative parallel approach is to develop size-based methods. These capture the properties of food webs that describe energy flux and production at a particular size, independent of species' ecology. We couple a physical–biogeochemical model with a dynamic, size-based food web model to predict the future effects of climate change on fish biomass and production in 11 large regional shelf seas, with and without fishing effects. Changes in potential fish production are shown to most strongly mirror changes in phytoplankton production. We project declines of 30–60% in potential fish production across some important areas of tropical shelf and upwelling seas, most notably in the eastern Indo-Pacific, the northern Humboldt and the North Canary Current. Conversely, in some areas of the high latitude shelf seas, the production of pelagic predators was projected to increase by 28–89%. PMID:23007086

  16. Melting glaciers: a probable source of DDT to the Antarctic marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Geisz, Heidi N; Dickhut, Rebecca M; Cochran, Michele A; Fraser, William R; Ducklow, Hugh W

    2008-06-01

    Persistent organic pollutants reach polar regions by long-range atmospheric transport and biomagnify through the food web accumulating in higher trophic level predators. We analyzed Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) samples collected from 2004 to 2006 to evaluate current levels of sigmaDDT (p,p'-DDT + p,p'-DDE) in these birds, which are confined to Antarctica. Ratios of p,p'-DDT to p,p'-DDE in Adélie penguins have declined significantly since 1964 indicating current exposure to old rather than new sources of sigmaDDT. However, sigmaDDT has not declined in Adélie penguins from the Western Antarctic Peninsula for more than 30 years and the presence of p,p'-DDT in these birds indicates that there is a current source of DDT to the Antarctic marine food web. DDT has been banned or severely restricted since peak use in the 1970s, implicating glacier meltwater as a likely source for DDT contamination in coastal Antarctic seas. Our estimates indicate that 1-4 kg x y(-1) sigmaDDT are currently being released into coastal waters along the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet due to glacier ablation. PMID:18589951

  17. Application of Gis Technology For The State of Marine Ecosystems Assessment.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goriounova, V. B.; Sokolova, S. A.; Semenov, V. N.; Moiseenko, G. S.

    The marine resources management and planning of different human activities in the seas often come across the necessity of taxation and zoning of the aquatic areas. It is very often, when researcher have available only the literary data, presented as a maps of different parameters of the environment. Heterogeniety of data dictate the necessity of their normalization and reduction to a common system of indexes with the help of different methods of multivariate statistic. GIS technology allow to construct the integrated table of data, interpolated uniformly over the area, that can be the basis of the further estimations. The cartograhpic data base, consisting of 50 maps of differ- ent physiographic, hydrologo-hydochemical and biological parameters of the Caspian Sea, was constructed with the help of SArcviewT. The integrated table of data, inter- & cedil; polated to each 10S square of grid chart, was composed on the base of this material. The indexes, characterizing the complexity, vulnerability and stability of each square were estimated and the results are discussed.

  18. In situ fluctuations of oxygen and sulphide in marine microbial sediment ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Wit, Rutger; Jonkers, Henk M.; Van Den Ende, Frank P.; Van Gemerden, Hans

    Laminated microbial ecosystems (microbial mats) on the island of Schiermonnikoog (The Netherlands) were studied with respect to variation in oxygen and sulphide profiles, depth distributions of photopigments and viable number and cell volume of purple sulphur bacteria. Cyanobacteria occurred in the top 2 mm, the dominant species being Microcoleus chthonoplastes. The blooming of purple sulphur bacteria below the cyanobacterial layer was observed in autumn, the dominant species being the immotile Thiocapsa roseopersicina. Cell volume of this species is indicative of its growth rate. In situ measurements showed strong diel fluctuations in oxygen and sulphide profiles. Frequently, cyanobacteria and purple sulphur bacteria were exposed to oxygen during the day, and to anoxic conditions at night. Sulphide sometimes reached the layer of the cyanobacteria. The cyanobacteria and the purple sulphur bacteria both are very well adapted to these diel fluctuations. In addition, strong seasonal variations were observed, whereas short-term fluctuations of oxygen occurred due to changing light-climate and rainfall. Attention was paid to the unusual occurrence of microbial mats on the North Sea beach during the autumn of 1987.

  19. The globally distributed genus Alexandrium: multifaceted roles in marine ecosystems and impacts on human health

    PubMed Central

    Alpermann, Tilman J.; Cembella, Allan D.; Collos, Yves; Masseret, Estelle; Montresor, Marina

    2011-01-01

    The dinoflagellate genus Alexandrium is one of the major harmful algal bloom (HAB) genera with respect to the diversity, magnitude and consequences of blooms. The ability of Alexandrium to colonize multiple habitats and to persist over large regions through time is testimony to the adaptability and resilience of this group of species. Three different families of toxins, as well as an as yet incompletely characterized suite of allelochemicals are produced among Alexandrium species. Nutritional strategies are equally diverse, including the ability to utilize a range of inorganic and organic nutrient sources, and feeding by ingestion of other organisms. Many Alexandrium species have complex life histories that include sexuality and often, but not always, cyst formation, which is characteristic of a meroplanktonic life strategy and offers considerable ecological advantages. Due to the public health and ecosystem impacts of Alexandrium blooms, the genus has been extensively studied, and there exists a broad knowledge base that ranges from taxonomy and phylogeny through genomics and toxin biosynthesis to bloom dynamics and modeling. Here we present a review of the genus Alexandrium, focusing on the major toxic and otherwise harmful species. PMID:22308102

  20. Recent changes in the marine ecosystems of the northern Adriatic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giani, Michele; Djakovac, Tamara; Degobbis, Danilo; Cozzi, Stefano; Solidoro, Cosimo; Umani, Serena Fonda

    2012-12-01

    This review of studies on long term series on river discharges, oceanographic features, plankton, fish and benthic compartments, collected since the 1970s revealed significant changes of mechanisms and trophic structures in the northern Adriatic ecosystems. A gradual increase of eutrophication pressure occurred during the 1970s until the mid 1980s, followed by a reversal of the trend, particularly marked in the 2000s. This trend was ascribed to the combination of a reduction of the anthropogenic impact, mainly due to a substantial decrease of the phosphorus loads, and of climatic modifications, resulting in a decline of atmospheric precipitations and, consequently, of the runoff in the northern Adriatic Sea. Significant decreases of the phytoplankton abundances were observed after the mid 1980s, concurrently with changes in the species composition of the communities, with an evident shift toward smaller cells or organism sizes. Moreover, changes in the zooplankton community were also observed. A decrease of demersal fishes, top predators and small pelagic fishes was ascribed to both overfishing and a demise of eutrophication. Macrozoobenthic communities slowly recovered in the last two decades after the anoxia events of the 1970s and 1980s. An increasing number of non-autochthonous species has been recorded in the last decades moreover the increasing seawater temperature facilitated the spreading of thermophilic species.

  1. Linking climate to population variability in marine ecosystems characterized by non-simple dynamics: Conceptual templates and schematic constructs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakun, Andrew

    2010-02-01

    The ability to abstract and symbolize ideas and knowledge as simplified schematic constructs is an important element of scientific creativity and communication. Availability of such generalized symbolic constructs may be particularly important when addressing a complex adaptive system such as a marine ecosystem. Various examples have appeared in the climate-fisheries literature, each more or less effectively integrating hypothesized effects of several interacting environmental and/or biological processes in controlling population dynamics of exploited fish species. A selection of these are herein presented and reviewed, including match-mismatch, connectivity, school trap, loopholes, ocean triads, stable ocean hypothesis, several classes of nonlinear feedback loops (e.g., ' P2P', school-mix feedback, predator pit), as well as several prominent large-scale integrative climatic index series ( SOI, NAO, PDO). The importance of considering the potential for adaptation and/or rapid evolution is stressed. An argument is offered for the potential utility of such widely recognizable schematic concepts in offering relatively well-understood, fairly well-defined frameworks for comparative identification and elaboration of important mechanistic linkages between climate variability and fishery dynamics, as well as in easing effective communication among scientists from different regions and disciplinary backgrounds. Certain difficulties in the application of the comparative method are discussed. It is suggested that alleviation of such difficulties may be one of the major benefits of international collaborative programs such as GLOBEC and IMBER.

  2. Metos3D: a marine ecosystem toolkit for optimization and simulation in 3-D - Simulation Package v0.2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piwonski, J.; Slawig, T.

    2015-06-01

    A general programming interface for parameter identification for marine ecosystem models is introduced. A comprehensive solver software for periodic steady-states is implemented that includes a fixed point iteration (spin-up) and a Newton solver. The software is based on the Portable, Extensible Toolkit for Scientific Computation (PETSc) library and uses transport matrices for efficient off-line simulation in 3-D. In addition to the usage of PETSc's parallel data structures and PETSc's Newton solver, an own load balancing algorithm is implemented. A simple verification is carried out using a well investigated biogeochemical model for phosphate (PO4) and dissolved organic phosphorous (DOP) with 7 parameters. The model is coupled via the interface to transport matrices that correspond to a longitudinal and latitudinal resolution of 2.8125° and 15 vertical layers. Initial tests show that both solvers and the load balancing algorithm work correctly. Further experiments demonstrate the robustness of the Newton solver with respect to parameter variations. Moreover, the numerical tests reveal that, with optimal control settings, the Newton solver converges at least 6 times faster towards a solution than the spin-up. However, additional twin experiments reveal differences between both solvers regarding a derivative-based black-box optimization. Whereas an optimization run with spin-up-based model evaluations is capable to identify model parameters of a reference solution, Newton-based model evaluations result in an inaccurate gradient approximation.

  3. The Impact of Emerging Forest Ecosystems on the Marine Nitrogen Cycle in the Middle to Late Devonian

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuite, M. L.; Macko, S. A.

    2008-12-01

    Before the emergence of extensive lowland forest ecosystems in the late Middle Devonian, the flux of reactive nitrogen (both organic and inorganic forms) from the land surface via riverine and atmospheric transport to epeiric and coastal seas was small. Driven by eustatic sea level rise, the expanding areal extent of Devonian forests generated an increasing outwelling flux of organic matter and reactive nitrogen from rivers and estuaries that resulted in elevated primary productivity and episodic high organic content black shale deposition. Nitrogen and carbon stable isotope analyses of sediments at or near the Frasnian/Famennian boundary within the Appalachian Basin indicate that utilization of abundant NO3- was low and that terrestrial organic matter was plentiful during episodes of high primary productivity corresponding to the globally correlated Upper and Lower Kellwasser horizons. High Corg:P values from similarly-aged sediments suggest that the supply of P necessary to support high productivity was remobilized from organic matter within oxygen-depleted sediments. Thus, a feedback loop initiated by sea level rise and fueled by terrestrially-derived fixed N served to increase marine productivity, organic matter deposition, benthic dysoxia, and P remobilization. The feedback mechanism was terminated by a regressive episode that diluted organic matter deposition with an increasing sediment flux. The biotic impact of elevated productivity among benthic invertebrates may have included increased population sizes and consequent diminished rates of origination, accounting for a significant proportion of Middle to Late Devonian biodiversity loss.

  4. Climate-induced changes in bottom-up and top-down processes independently alter a marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Jochum, Malte; Schneider, Florian D; Crowe, Tasman P; Brose, Ulrich; O'Gorman, Eoin J

    2012-11-01

    Climate change has complex structural impacts on coastal ecosystems. Global warming is linked to a widespread decline in body size, whereas increased flood frequency can amplify nutrient enrichment through enhanced run-off. Altered population body-size structure represents a disruption in top-down control, whereas eutrophication embodies a change in bottom-up forcing. These processes are typically studied in isolation and little is known about their potential interactive effects. Here, we present the results of an in situ experiment examining the combined effects of top-down and bottom-up forces on the structure of a coastal marine community. Reduced average body mass of the top predator (the shore crab, Carcinus maenas) and nutrient enrichment combined additively to alter mean community body mass. Nutrient enrichment increased species richness and overall density of organisms. Reduced top-predator body mass increased community biomass. Additionally, we found evidence for an allometrically induced trophic cascade. Here, the reduction in top-predator body mass enabled greater biomass of intermediate fish predators within the mesocosms. This, in turn, suppressed key micrograzers, which led to an overall increase in microalgal biomass. This response highlights the possibility for climate-induced trophic cascades, driven by altered size structure of populations, rather than species extinction. PMID:23007084

  5. Interannual variability of the early summer circulation around the Balearic Islands: Driving factors and potential effects on the marine ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balbín, R.; López-Jurado, J. L.; Flexas, M. M.; Reglero, P.; Vélez-Velchí, P.; González-Pola, C.; Rodríguez, J. M.; García, A.; Alemany, F.

    2014-10-01

    Six summer surveys conducted from 2001 to 2005 and in 2012 by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) reveal that the hydrographic early summer scenarios around the Balearic Islands are related to the winter atmospheric forcing in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. The Balearic Islands (western Mediterranean Sea) lie at the transition between the southern, fresher, newly arrived Atlantic Waters (AWs) and the northern, saltier, resident AW. The meridional position of the salinity driven oceanic density front separating the new from the resident AW is determined by the presence/absence of Western Intermediate Water (WIW) in the Mallorca and Ibiza channels. When WIW is present in the channels, the oceanic density front is found either at the south of the islands, or along the Emile Baudot escarpment. In contrast, when WIW is absent, new AW progresses northwards crossing the Ibiza channel and/or the Mallorca channel. In this later scenario, the oceanic density front is closer to the Balearic Islands. A good correspondence exists between standardized winter air temperature anomaly in the Gulf of Lions and the presence of WIW in the channels. We discuss the use of a regional climatic index based on these parameters to forecast in a first-order approach the position of the oceanic front, as it is expected to have high impact on the regional marine ecosystem.

  6. Climate-induced changes in bottom-up and top-down processes independently alter a marine ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Jochum, Malte; Schneider, Florian D.; Crowe, Tasman P.; Brose, Ulrich; O'Gorman, Eoin J.

    2012-01-01

    Climate change has complex structural impacts on coastal ecosystems. Global warming is linked to a widespread decline in body size, whereas increased flood frequency can amplify nutrient enrichment through enhanced run-off. Altered population body-size structure represents a disruption in top-down control, whereas eutrophication embodies a change in bottom-up forcing. These processes are typically studied in isolation and little is known about their potential interactive effects. Here, we present the results of an in situ experiment examining the combined effects of top-down and bottom-up forces on the structure of a coastal marine community. Reduced average body mass of the top predator (the shore crab, Carcinus maenas) and nutrient enrichment combined additively to alter mean community body mass. Nutrient enrichment increased species richness and overall density of organisms. Reduced top-predator body mass increased community biomass. Additionally, we found evidence for an allometrically induced trophic cascade. Here, the reduction in top-predator body mass enabled greater biomass of intermediate fish predators within the mesocosms. This, in turn, suppressed key micrograzers, which led to an overall increase in microalgal biomass. This response highlights the possibility for climate-induced trophic cascades, driven by altered size structure of populations, rather than species extinction. PMID:23007084

  7. Fate and bioaccumulation of soil-associated low-level naturally occurring radioactivity following disposal into a marine ecosystem. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Hunt, C.D.

    1986-10-01

    The fate of radium (Ra) and other naturally occurring uranium-series isotopes associated with soils disposed in seawater was examined using the Marine Ecosystem Research Laboratory (MERL) controlled marine ecosystems. Thirty-seven kilograms of a soil containing approximately 400 pCi Ra-226/g from an inactive uranium ore processing plant site in Middlesex, New Jersey, were added to each of two mesocosms over five days in mid-September 1984. Radionuclide activity in these and two control mesocosms was observed for three months after the soil additions. Radioactivity in the soil appeared to be confined to discrete soil particles rather than being distributed equally on the soil particles, suggesting the source of the radioactivity was remnant ore particles.

  8. Parameters estimation in marine ecosystem models: limitations of typical standing stock observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loeptien, Ulrike; Dietze, Heiner

    2015-04-01

    Marine biogeochemical models coupled to 3-dimensional numerical models of the climate system have matured to general tools employed to assess impacts of a warming world and to explore geo-engineering options. Typically, the nucleus of these biogeochemical modules is based on a set of partial differential equations which describe the interaction between prognostic variables such as nutrients, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and sinking detritus. The dynamics of those differential equations is governed by a set of parameters such as, e.g., the maximum growth rate of phytoplankton. These parameters are, per se, not known. A generic way to estimate these parameters in 3-dimensional (and computationally expensive) frameworks are trial-and-error exercises where parameters are changed until a "reasonable" similarity with observed standing stocks of prognostic variables is achieved. Based on recent advances in compute hardware, offline techniques and optimization the development of more objective approaches to estimate parameters are underway. Here we add to the ongoing development by exploring with twin experiments (i.e. synthetic "observations") the demands on observations that would allow for a more objective estimation of model parameters. We start with parameter retrieval experiments based on "perfect" (synthetic) observations of standing stocks which we, step by step, distort to approach realistic conditions and confirm our findings with real-world observations. We illustrate that even modest noise (10%) inherent to observations can forestall the parameter retrieval already and that, e.g., the parameters occurring in the hyperbolic Michaelis-Menten (MM) formulation (that is commonly used to describe nutrient and light limitation of phytoplankton growth) are particularly difficult to constrain.

  9. Role of brown bears (Ursus arctos) in the flow of marine nitrogen into a terrestrial ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hilderbrand, G.V.; Hanley, Thomas A.; Robbins, Charles T.; Schwartz, C.C.

    1999-01-01

    We quantified the amount, spatial distribution, and importance of salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.)-derived nitrogen (N) by brown bears (Ursus arctos) on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. We tested and confirmed the hypothesis that the stable isotope signature (δ15N) of N in foliage of white spruce (Picea glauca) was inversely proportional to the distance from salmon-spawning streams (r=–0.99 and P<0.05 in two separate watersheds). Locations of radio-collared brown bears, relative to their distance from a stream, were highly correlated with δ15N depletion of foliage across the same gradient (r=–0.98 and –0.96 and P<0.05 in the same two separate watersheds). Mean rates of redistribution of salmon-derived N by adult female brown bears were 37.2±2.9 kg/year per bear (range 23.1–56.3), of which 96% (35.7±2.7 kg/year per bear) was excreted in urine, 3% (1.1±0.1 kg/year per bear) was excreted in feces, and <1% (0.3± 0.1 kg/year per bear) was retained in the body. On an area basis, salmon-N redistribution rates were as high as 5.1±0.7 mg/m2 per year per bear within 500 m of the stream but dropped off greatly with increasing distance. We estimated that 15.5–17.8% of the total N in spruce foliage within 500 m of the stream was derived from salmon. Of that, bears had distributed 83–84%. Thus, brown bears can be an important vector of salmon-derived N into riparian ecosystems, but their effects are highly variable spatially and a function of bear density.

  10. Drained coastal peatlands: A potential nitrogen source to marine ecosystems under prolonged drought and heavy storm events-A microcosm experiment.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hongjun; Richardson, Curtis J; Ho, Mengchi; Flanagan, Neal

    2016-10-01

    Over the past several decades there has been a massive increase in coastal eutrophication, which is often caused by increased runoff input of nitrogen from landscape alterations. Peatlands, covering 3% of land area, have stored about 12-21% of global soil organic nitrogen (12-20Pg N) around rivers, lakes and coasts over millennia and are now often drained and farmed. Their huge nitrogen pools may be released by intensified climate driven hydrologic events-prolonged droughts followed by heavy storms-and later transported to marine ecosystems. In this study, we collected peat monoliths from drained, natural, and restored coastal peatlands in the Southeastern U.S., and conducted a microcosm experiment simulating coupled prolonged-drought and storm events to (1) test whether storms could trigger a pulse of nitrogen export from drought-stressed peatlands and (2) assess how differentially hydrologic managements through shifting plant communities affect nitrogen export by combining an experiment of nitrogen release from litter. During the drought phase, we observed a significant temporal variation in net nitrogen mineralization rate (NMR). NMR spiked in the third month and then decreased rapidly. This pattern indicates that drought duration significantly affects nitrogen mineralization in peat. NMR in the drained site reached up to 490±110kgha(-1)year(-1), about 5 times higher than in the restored site. After the 14-month drought phase, we simulated a heavy storm by bringing peat monoliths to saturation. In the discharge waters, concentrations of total dissolved nitrogen in the monoliths from the drained site (72.7±16.3mgL(-1)) was about ten times as high as from the restored site. Our results indicate that previously drained peatlands under prolonged drought are a potent source of nitrogen export. Moreover, drought-induced plant community shifts to herbaceous plants substantially raise nitrogen release with lasting effects by altering litter quality in peatlands. PMID

  11. How the origin of organic compounds affects vegetation patchiness and regime shifts in ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dekker, S. C.; Nierop, K. G. J.; Mao, J.

    2012-04-01

    Soil water repellency (SWR) is a common property of soils and has been reported from all inhabited continents. It can have negative consequences for plant growth due to stagnation of water infiltration. Recently, the understanding of SWR has increased, mainly for the soil physical mechanisms. Although it is known that SWR-causing compounds, so-called SWR-biomarkers, stem from organic matter, the types and their origin (leaf, root, microbial decomposed organic matter, algae), are largely unknown. At the ecosystem scale, positive feedbacks between vegetation and increased soil water due to increased infiltration lead to self-organization of vegetation patchiness and abrupt shifts in ecosystem for semi-arid regions (Rietkerk et al. 2004, Dekker et al. 2007). Organic matter can enhance infiltration capacity but can also interrupt water infiltration through SWR. In this research we hypothesize that biomarkers at the molecular level can explain spatial patterns of water infiltration while the origin of biomarkers determines whether they can trigger or halt regime shifts in patchy vegetation. Therefore, we analyze SWR-biomarkers found in soil and relate them to their origin and the extent of SWR for patchy vegetated sites. Vegetation-hydrology interactions at the ecosystem scale are unraveled by combining molecular level mechanisms of SWR with soil physical mechanisms at macro-level in spatial ecohydrological models. Our aim is to understand the effects of SWR at the molecular level and emerging consequences at ecosystem level.

  12. How a clogged canal affects ecological and human health in a tropical urban wetland ecosystem

    EPA Science Inventory

    The coastal city of San Juan, Puerto Rico is a tropical urban ecosystem woven among a series of interconnected bays, lagoons, drains, canals, and mangroves. As the city has expanded, infilling and urban development by the region’s poorest residents has choked an important c...

  13. Biogenic habitat transitions influence facilitation in a marine soft-sediment ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Lohrer, Andrew M; Rodil, Iván F; Townsend, Michael; Chiaroni, Luca D; Hewitt, Judi E; Thrush, Simon F

    2013-01-01

    Habitats are often defined by the presence of key species and biogenic features. However, the ecological consequences of interactions among distinct habitat-forming species in transition zones where their habitats overlap remain poorly understood. We investigated transition zone interactions by conducting experiments at three locations in Mahurangi Harbour, New Zealand, where the abundance of two habitat-forming marine species naturally varied. The two key species differed in form and function: One was a sessile suspension-feeding bivalve that protruded from the sediment (Atrina zelandica; Pinnidae); the other was a mobile infaunal urchin that bioturbated sediment (Echinocardium cordatum; Spatangoida). The experimental treatments established at each site reflected the natural densities of the species across sites (Atrina only, Echinocardium only, Atrina and Echinocardium together, and plots with neither species present). We identified the individual and combined effects of the two key species on sediment characteristics and co-occurring macrofauna. After five months, we documented significant treatment effects, including the highest abundance of co-occurring macrofauna in the Atrina-only treatments. However, the facilitation of macrofauna by Atrina (relative to removal treatments) was entirely negated in the presence of Echinocardium at densities >10 individuals/m2. The transitional areas in Mahurangi Harbour composed of co-occurring Atrina and Echinocardium are currently widespread and are probably more common now than monospecific patches of either individual species, due to the thinning of dense Atrina patches into sparser mixed zones during the last 10-15 years. Thus, although some ecologists avoid ecotones and habitat edges when designing experiments, suspecting that it will skew the extrapolation of results, this study increased our understanding of benthic community dynamics across larger proportions of the seascape and provided insights into temporal

  14. Carbon cycling in a high-arctic marine ecosystem - Young Sound, NE Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rysgaard, Søren; Nielsen, Torkel Gissel

    2006-10-01

    Young Sound is a deep-sill fjord in NE Greenland (74°N). Sea ice usually begins to form in late September and gains a thickness of ∼1.5 m topped with 0-40 cm of snow before breaking up in mid-July the following year. Primary production starts in spring when sea ice algae begin to flourish at the ice-water interface. Most biomass accumulation occurs in the lower parts of the sea ice, but sea ice algae are observed throughout the sea ice matrix. However, sea ice algal primary production in the fjord is low and often contributes only a few percent of the annual phytoplankton production. Following the break-up of ice, the immediate increase in light penetration to the water column causes a steep increase in pelagic primary production. Usually, the bloom lasts until August-September when nutrients begin to limit production in surface waters and sea ice starts to form. The grazer community, dominated by copepods, soon takes advantage of the increased phytoplankton production, and on an annual basis their carbon demand (7-11 g C m -2) is similar to phytoplankton production (6-10 g C m -2). Furthermore, the carbon demand of pelagic bacteria amounts to 7-12 g C m -2 yr -1. Thus, the carbon demand of the heterotrophic plankton is approximately twice the estimated pelagic primary production, illustrating the importance of advected carbon from the Greenland Sea and from land in fuelling the ecosystem. In the shallow parts of the fjord (<40 m) benthic primary producers dominate primary production. As a minimum estimate, a total of 41 g C m -2 yr -1 is fixed by primary production, of which phytoplankton contributes 15%, sea ice algae <1%, benthic macrophytes 62% and benthic microphytes 22%. A high and diverse benthic infauna dominated by polychaetes and bivalves exists in these shallow-water sediments (<40 m), which are colonized by benthic primary producers and in direct contact with the pelagic phytoplankton bloom. The annual benthic mineralization is 32 g C m -2 yr -1 of

  15. Effects of light pollution on the emergent fauna of shallow marine ecosystems: Amphipods as a case study.

    PubMed

    Navarro-Barranco, Carlos; Hughes, Lauren Elizabeth

    2015-05-15

    Light pollution from coastal urban development is a widespread and increasing threat to biodiversity. Many amphipod species migrate between the benthos and the pelagic environment and light seems is a main ecological factor which regulates migration. We explore the effect of artificial lighting on amphipod assemblages using two kind of lights, LED and halogen, and control traps in shallow waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Both types of artificial light traps showed a significantly higher abundance of individuals for all species in comparison to control traps. LED lights showed a stronger effect over the amphipod assemblages, with these traps collecting a higher number of individuals and differing species composition, with some species showing a specific attraction to LED light. As emergent amphipods are a key ecological group in the shallow water environment, the impact of artificial light can affect the broader functioning of the ecosystem. PMID:25817311

  16. Factors affecting marine debris deposition at French Frigate Shoals, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, 1990-2006.

    PubMed

    Morishige, Carey; Donohue, Mary J; Flint, Elizabeth; Swenson, Christopher; Woolaway, Christine

    2007-08-01

    Data on the amount and type of small debris items deposited on the beaches of the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge Tern Island station, French Frigate Shoals were collected over 16 years. We calculated deposition rates and investigated the relationship among deposition and year, season, El Niño and La Niña events from 1990 to 2006. In total 52,442 debris items were collected with plastic comprising 71% of all items collected. Annual debris deposition varied significantly (range 1116-5195 items) but was not influenced by season. Debris deposition was significantly greater during El Niño events as compared to La Niña events. Although often deduced to influence floating marine pollution, this study provides the first quantitative evidence of the influence of El Niño/La Niña cycles on marine debris deposition. PMID:17572447

  17. Implications for Ecosystem Services of Watershed Processes that affect the Transport and Transformations of Mercury in an Adirondack Stream Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burns, D. A.; Riva-Murray, K.; Bradley, P. M.

    2012-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a potent neurotoxin that can affect the health of humans and wildlife through the ingestion of methyl Hg. Mercury contamination of ecosystems originates from human activities such as mining, coal burning and other industrial emissions, and the use of Hg-containing products. Natural sources such as volcanic and geothermal emissions and the weathering of Hg-bearing minerals also contribute to Hg contamination, but are believed to be minor sources in most ecosystems. Various ecosystem disturbances including fires, forest harvesting, and the submergence of land by impoundment may also contribute to Hg ecosystem contamination by mobilizing stores that have previously originated from the sources described above. Mercury from a mix of regional and global emissions sources is transported in the atmosphere to remote landscapes that are distant from local emissions sources. The Adirondacks of New York State is a forested, mountainous region characterized by abundant lakes and streams, and is distant from local emissions sources. Recreational fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, and hunting are valued ecosystem services in this region. Here, we report on the relevance to ecosystem services of findings based on five years of Hg data collection of stream water, groundwater, invertebrates, and fish in the upper Hudson River basin in the central part of the Adirondack region. The New York State Dept. of Health has issued fish consumption advisories for the entire Adirondacks based on elevated levels previously measured in lakes and rivers of this region. Our work seeks improved understanding and models of the landscape sources and watershed processes that control the transformation of Hg to its methyl form (MeHg), the transport of MeHg to streams, and bioaccumulation of MeHg in aquatic food webs. Mean annual atmospheric Hg deposition was 6.3 μg/m2/yr during 2007-09, compared to mean annual filtered total Hg stream yields of 1.66 μg/m2/yr and filtered MeHg stream

  18. Marine organic geochemistry in industrially affected coastal areas in Greece: Hydrocarbons in surface sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatzianestis, Ioannis

    2015-04-01

    Hydrocarbons are abundant components of the organic material in coastal zones. Their sources are mainly anthropogenic, but several natural ones have also been recognized. Among hydrocarbons, the polycyclic aromatic ones (PAHs) have received special attention since they considered as hazardous environmental chemicals and are included in priority pollutant lists. The purpose of this study was to investigate the distribution, sources and transport pathways of hydrocarbons in marine areas in Greece directly influenced from the operation of major industrial units in the coastal zone by using a molecular marker approach, characteristic compositional patterns and related indices and also to evaluate their potential toxicity. Thirty two surface sediment samples were collected from three marine areas: a) Antikyra bay in Korinthiakos gulf, affected from the operation of an alumina and production plant b) Larymna bay in Noth Evoikos, affected from the operation of a nickel production plant and c) Aliveri bay in South Evoikos Gulf, affected from a cement production plant. In all the studied areas aquaculture and fishing activities have been also developed in the coastal zone. High aliphatic hydrocarbon (AHC) concentrations (~500 μg/g), indicating significant petroleum related inputs, were measured only in Antikyra bay. In all the other samples, AHC values were below 100 μg/g. N-alkanes were the most prominent resolved components (R) with an elevated odd to even carbon number preference, revealing the high importance of terrestrial inputs in the study areas. The unresolved complex mixture (UCM) was the major component of the aliphatic fraction (UCM/R > 4), indicating a chronic oil pollution. A series of hopanes were also identified, with patterns characteristic of oil-derived hydrocarbons, further confirming the presence of pollutant inputs from fossil fuel products. Extremely high PAH concentrations (> 100,000 ng/g) were found in the close vicinity of the alumina production

  19. 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

  20. Foundation species loss affects vegetation structure more than ecosystem function in a northeastern USA forest

    PubMed Central

    Orwig, David A.; Barker Plotkin, Audrey A.; Davidson, Eric A.; Lux, Heidi; Savage, Kathleen E.

    2013-01-01

    Loss of foundation tree species rapidly alters ecological processes in forested ecosystems. Tsuga canadensis, an hypothesized foundation species of eastern North American forests, is declining throughout much of its range due to infestation by the nonnative insect Adelges tsugae and by removal through pre-emptive salvage logging. In replicate 0.81-ha plots, T. canadensis was cut and removed, or killed in place by girdling to simulate adelgid damage. Control plots included undisturbed hemlock and mid-successional hardwood stands that represent expected forest composition in 50–100 years. Vegetation richness, understory vegetation cover, soil carbon flux, and nitrogen cycling were measured for two years prior to, and five years following, application of experimental treatments. Litterfall and coarse woody debris (CWD), including snags, stumps, and fallen logs and branches, have been measured since treatments were applied. Overstory basal area was reduced 60%–70% in girdled and logged plots. Mean cover and richness did not change in hardwood or hemlock control plots but increased rapidly in girdled and logged plots. Following logging, litterfall immediately decreased then slowly increased, whereas in girdled plots, there was a short pulse of hemlock litterfall as trees died. CWD volume remained relatively constant throughout but was 3–4× higher in logged plots. Logging and girdling resulted in small, short-term changes in ecosystem dynamics due to rapid regrowth of vegetation but in general, interannual variability exceeded differences among treatments. Soil carbon flux in girdled plots showed the strongest response: 35% lower than controls after three years and slowly increasing thereafter. Ammonium availability increased immediately after logging and two years after girdling, due to increased light and soil temperatures and nutrient pulses from leaf-fall and reduced uptake following tree death. The results from this study illuminate ecological processes

  1. Foundation species loss affects vegetation structure more than ecosystem function in a northeastern USA forest.

    PubMed

    Orwig, David A; Barker Plotkin, Audrey A; Davidson, Eric A; Lux, Heidi; Savage, Kathleen E; Ellison, Aaron M

    2013-01-01

    Loss of foundation tree species rapidly alters ecological processes in forested ecosystems. Tsuga canadensis, an hypothesized foundation species of eastern North American forests, is declining throughout much of its range due to infestation by the nonnative insect Adelges tsugae and by removal through pre-emptive salvage logging. In replicate 0.81-ha plots, T. canadensis was cut and removed, or killed in place by girdling to simulate adelgid damage. Control plots included undisturbed hemlock and mid-successional hardwood stands that represent expected forest composition in 50-100 years. Vegetation richness, understory vegetation cover, soil carbon flux, and nitrogen cycling were measured for two years prior to, and five years following, application of experimental treatments. Litterfall and coarse woody debris (CWD), including snags, stumps, and fallen logs and branches, have been measured since treatments were applied. Overstory basal area was reduced 60%-70% in girdled and logged plots. Mean cover and richness did not change in hardwood or hemlock control plots but increased rapidly in girdled and logged plots. Following logging, litterfall immediately decreased then slowly increased, whereas in girdled plots, there was a short pulse of hemlock litterfall as trees died. CWD volume remained relatively constant throughout but was 3-4× higher in logged plots. Logging and girdling resulted in small, short-term changes in ecosystem dynamics due to rapid regrowth of vegetation but in general, interannual variability exceeded differences among treatments. Soil carbon flux in girdled plots showed the strongest response: 35% lower than controls after three years and slowly increasing thereafter. Ammonium availability increased immediately after logging and two years after girdling, due to increased light and soil temperatures and nutrient pulses from leaf-fall and reduced uptake following tree death. The results from this study illuminate ecological processes underlying

  2. Dimethylsulphide, clouds, and phytoplankton: Insights from a simple plankton ecosystem feedback model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cropp, Roger; Norbury, John; Braddock, Roger

    2007-06-01

    The hypothesis that marine plankton ecosystems may effectively regulate climate by the production of dimethylsulphide (DMS) has attracted substantial research effort over recent years. This hypothesis suggests that DMS produced by marine ecosystems can affect cloud properties and hence the averaged irradiance experienced by the phytoplankton that produce DMS's precursor dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP). This paper describes the use of a simple model to examine the effects of such a biogenic feedback on the ecosystem that initiates it. We compare the responses to perturbation of a simple marine nitrogen-phytoplankton-zooplankton (NPZ) ecosystem model with and without biogenic feedback. Our analysis of this heuristic model reveals that the addition of the feedback can increase the model's resilience to perturbation and hence stabilize the model ecosystem. This result suggests the hypothesis that DMS may play a role in stabilizing marine plankton ecosystem dynamics through its effect on the atmosphere.

  3. Is the Climate of Bering Sea Warming and Affecting the Ecosystem?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overland, James E.; Stabeno, Phyllis J.

    2004-08-01

    Observations from the Bering Sea are good indicators of decadal shifts in climate, as the Bering is a transition region between the cold, dry Arctic air mass to the north, and the moist, relatively warm maritime air mass to the south. The Bering Sea is also a transition region between Arctic and sub-Arctic ecosystems; this boundary can be loosely identified with the extent of winter sea-ice cover. Like a similar transition zone in the eastern North Atlantic, the Bering Sea is experiencing a northward biogeographical shift in response to changing temperature and atmospheric forcing. If this shift continues over the next decade, it will have major impacts on commercial and subsistence harvests as Arctic species are displaced by sub-Arctic species. The stakes are enormous, as this rich and diverse ecosystem currently provides 47% of the U.S. fishery production by weight, and is home to 80% of the U.S. sea bird population, 95% of northern fur seals, and major populations of Steller sea lions, walrus, and whales.

  4. Grazing-induced losses of biodiversity affect the transpiration of an arid ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Verón, Santiago R; Paruelo, José M; Oesterheld, Martín

    2011-02-01

    Degradation processes often lead to species loss. Such losses would impact on ecosystem functioning depending on the extinction order and the functional and structural aspects of species. For the Patagonian arid steppe, we used a simulation model to study the effects of species loss on the rate and variability (i.e. stability) of transpiration as a key attribute of ecosystem functioning. We addressed (1) the differences between the overgrazing extinction order and other potential orders, and (2) the role of biomass abundance, biomass distribution, and functional diversity on the effect of species loss due to overgrazing. We considered a community composed of ten species which were assigned an order of extinction due to overgrazing based on their preference by livestock. We performed four model simulations to test for overgrazing effects through different combinations of species loss, and reductions of biomass and functional diversity. In general, transpiration rate and variability were positively associated to species richness and remained fairly constant until half the species were lost by overgrazing. The extinction order by overgrazing was the most conservative of all possible orders. The amount of biomass was more important than functional diversity in accounting for the impacts of species richness on transpiration. Our results suggest that, to prevent Patagonian steppes from shifting to stable, low-production systems (by overgrazing), maintaining community biomass is more important than preserving species richness or species functional diversity. PMID:20865282

  5. Impacts of exotic mangrove forests and mangrove deforestation on carbon remineralization and ecosystem functioning in marine sediments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sweetman, A.K.; Middelburg, J.J.; Berle, A.M.; Bernardino, A.F.; Schander, C.; Demopoulos, A.W.J.; Smith, C.R.

    2010-01-01

    To evaluate how mangrove invasion and removal can modify benthic carbon cycling processes and ecosystem functioning, we used stable-isotopically labelled algae as a deliberate tracer to quantify benthic respiration and C-flow through macrofauna and bacteria in sediments collected from (1) an invasive mangrove forest, (2) deforested mangrove sites 2 and 6 years after removal of above-sediment mangrove biomass, and (3) two mangrove-free, control sites in the Hawaiian coastal zone. Sediment oxygen consumption (SOC) rates were significantly greater in the mangrove and mangrove removal site experiments than in controls and were significantly correlated with total benthic (macrofauna and bacteria) biomass and sedimentary mangrove biomass (SMB). Bacteria dominated short-term C-processing of added microalgal-C and benthic biomass in sediments from the invasive mangrove forest habitat. In contrast, macrofauna were the most important agents in the short-term processing of microalgal-C in sediments from the mangrove removal and control sites. Mean faunal abundance and short term C-uptake rates in sediments from both removal sites were significantly higher than in control cores, which collectively suggest that community structure and short-term C-cycling dynamics in habitats where mangroves have been cleared can remain fundamentally different from un-invaded mudflat sediments for at least 6-yrs following above-sediment mangrove removal. In summary, invasion by mangroves can lead to large shifts in benthic ecosystem function, with sediment metabolism, benthic community structure and short-term C-remineralization dynamics being affected for years following invader removal. ?? 2010 Author(s).

  6. Biomass Yield Efficiency of the Marine Anammox Bacterium, “Candidatus Scalindua sp.,” is Affected by Salinity

    PubMed Central

    Awata, Takanori; Kindaichi, Tomonori; Ozaki, Noriatsu; Ohashi, Akiyoshi

    2015-01-01

    The growth rate and biomass yield efficiency of anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) bacteria are markedly lower than those of most other autotrophic bacteria. Among the anammox bacterial genera, the growth rate and biomass yield of the marine anammox bacterium “Candidatus Scalindua sp.” is still lower than those of other anammox bacteria enriched from freshwater environments. The activity and growth of marine anammox bacteria are generally considered to be affected by the presence of salinity and organic compounds. Therefore, in the present study, the effects of salinity and volatile fatty acids (VFAs) on the anammox activity, inorganic carbon uptake, and biomass yield efficiency of “Ca. Scalindua sp.” enriched from the marine sediments of Hiroshima Bay, Japan, were investigated in batch experiments. Differences in VFA concentrations (0–10 mM) were observed under varying salinities (0.5%–4%). Anammox activity was high at 0.5%–3.5% salinity, but was 30% lower at 4% salinity. In addition, carbon uptake was higher at 1.5%–3.5% salinity. The results of the present study clearly demonstrated that the biomass yield efficiency of the marine anammox bacterium “Ca. Scalindua sp.” was significantly affected by salinity. On the other hand, the presence of VFAs up to 10 mM did not affect anammox activity, carbon uptake, or biomass yield efficiency. PMID:25740428

  7. Scorched earth: how will changes in ozone deposition caused by drought affect human health and ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emberson, L. D.; Kitwiroon, N.; Beevers, S.; Büker, P.; Cinderby, S.

    2012-10-01

    This unique study investigates the effect of ozone (O3) deposition on ground level O3 concentrations and subsequent human health and ecosystem risk under hot summer "heat wave" type meteorological events. Under such conditions, extended drought can effectively "turn off" the O3 vegetation sink leading to a substantial increase in ground level O3 concentrations. Two models that have been used for human health (the CMAQ chemical transport model) and ecosystem (the DO3SE O3 deposition model) risk assessment are combined to provide a powerful policy tool capable of novel integrated assessments of O3 risk using methods endorsed by the UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution. This study investigates 2006, a particularly hot and dry year during which a heat wave occurred during the summer across much of the UK and Europe. To understand the influence of variable O3 dry deposition three different simulations were investigated during June and July: (i) actual conditions in 2006; (ii) conditions that assume a perfect vegetation sink for O3 deposition and (iii) conditions that assume an extended drought period that reduces the vegetation sink to a minimum. The risk of O3 to human health, assessed by estimating the number of days during which running 8-h mean O3 concentrations exceeded 100 μg m-3, show that on average across the UK, there is a difference of 16 days exceedance of the threshold between the perfect sink and drought conditions. These average results hide local variation with exceedances reaching as high as 20 days in the East Midlands and Eastern UK. Estimates of acute exposure effects show that O3 removed from the atmosphere through dry deposition during the June and July period would have been responsible for approximately 460 premature deaths. Conversely, reduced O3 dry deposition will decrease the amount of O3 taken up by vegetation and, according to flux-based assessments of vegetation damage, will lead to protection from O3 across the UK

  8. Building an ecosystem model using mismatched and fragmented data: A probabilistic network of early marine survival for coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch in the Strait of Georgia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andres Araujo, H.; Holt, Carrie; Curtis, Janelle M. R.; Perry, R. I.; Irvine, James R.; Michielsens, Catherine G. J.

    2013-08-01

    We evaluated the effects of biophysical conditions and hatchery production on the early marine survival of coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch in the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia, Canada. Due to a paucity of balanced multivariate ecosystem data, we developed a probabilistic network that integrated physical and ecological data and information from literature, expert opinion, oceanographic models, and in situ observations. This approach allowed us to evaluate alternate hypotheses about drivers of early marine survival while accounting for uncertainties in relationships among variables. Probabilistic networks allow users to explore multiple environmental settings and evaluate the consequences of management decisions under current and projected future states. We found that the zooplankton biomass anomaly, calanoid copepod biomass, and herring biomass were the best indicators of early marine survival. It also appears that concentrating hatchery supplementation during periods of negative PDO and ENSO (Pacific Decadal and El Niño Southern Oscillation respectively), indicative of generally favorable ocean conditions for salmon, tends to increase survival of hatchery coho salmon while minimizing negative impacts on the survival of wild juveniles. Scientists and managers can benefit from the approach presented here by exploring multiple scenarios, providing a basis for open and repeatable ecosystem-based risk assessments when data are limited.

  9. Climatic Versus Biotic Constraints on Carbon and Water Fluxes in Seasonally Drought-affected Ponderosa Pine Ecosystems. Chapter 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwarz, P. A.; Law, B. E.; Williams, M.; Irvine, J.; Kurpius, M.; Moore, D.

    2005-01-01

    We investigated the relative importance of climatic versus biotic controls on gross primary production (GPP) and water vapor fluxes in seasonally drought-affected ponderosa pine forests. The study was conducted in young (YS), mature (MS), and old stands (OS) over 4 years at the AmeriFlux Metolius sites. Model simulations showed that interannual variation of GPP did not follow the same trends as precipitation, and effects of climatic variation were smallest at the OS (50%), and intermediate at the YS (<20%). In the young, developing stand, interannual variation in leaf area has larger effects on fluxes than climate, although leaf area is a function of climate in that climate can interact with age-related shifts in carbon allocation and affect whole-tree hydraulic conductance. Older forests, with well-established root systems, appear to be better buffered from effects of seasonal drought and interannual climatic variation. Interannual variation of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was also lowest at the OS, where NEE is controlled more by interannual variation of ecosystem respiration, 70% of which is from soil, than by the variation of GPP, whereas variation in GPP is the primary reason for interannual changes in NEE at the YS and MS. Across spatially heterogeneous landscapes with high frequency of younger stands resulting from natural and anthropogenic disturbances, interannual climatic variation and change in leaf area are likely to result in large interannual variation in GPP and NEE.

  10. cis and trans factors affecting Mos1 mariner evolution and transposition in vitro, and its potential for functional genomics.

    PubMed

    Tosi, L R; Beverley, S M

    2000-02-01

    Mos1 and other mariner / Tc1 transposons move horizon-tally during evolution, and when transplanted into heterologous species can transpose in organisms ranging from prokaryotes to protozoans and vertebrates. To further develop the Drosophila Mos1 mariner system as a genetic tool and to probe mechanisms affecting the regulation of transposition activity, we developed an in vitro system for Mos1 transposition using purified transposase and selectable Mos1 derivatives. Transposition frequencies of nearly 10(-3)/target DNA molecule were obtained, and insertions occurred at TA dinucleotides with little other sequence specificity. Mos1 elements containing only the 28 bp terminal inverted repeats were inactive in vitro, while elements containing a few additional internal bases were fully active, establishing the minimal cis -acting requirements for transposition. With increasing transposase the transposition frequency increased to a plateau value, in contrast to the predictions of the protein over-expression inhibition model and to that found recently with a reconstructed Himar1 transposase. This difference between the 'natural' Mos1 and 'reconstructed' Himar1 transposases suggests an evolutionary path for down-regulation of mariner transposition following its introduction into a naïve population. The establishment of the cis and trans requirements for optimal mariner transposition in vitro provides key data for the creation of vectors for in vitro mutagenesis, and will facilitate the development of in vivo systems for mariner transposition. PMID:10637331

  11. Effects of shallow-water hydrothermal venting on biological communities of coastal marine ecosystems of the western Pacific.

    PubMed

    Tarasov, V G

    2006-01-01

    This review is based on integrated studies of the composition, structure and function of shallow-water ecosystems in the western Pacific that are influenced by underwater gas-hydrothermal activity. Most of the data were collected from 1985 to 1997 by the Institute of Marine Biology of the Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Science during expeditions to zones of modern volcanism. Gas-hydrothermal activity of volcanoes has a great influence on the physicochemical characteristics of the water column and plankton, and of bottom sediment and benthic communities. The abundance of nutrients (SiO(3)(2-), PO(4)(3-), NO(3)(-)), gases (CO(2), CH(4), H(2), H(2)S) and other reduced compounds (C(n)H(n), S(0), S(2)O(3)(2-), NH(4)(+)) in zones of shallow-water hydrothermal vents provides conditions for the use of two energy sources for primary production: sunlight (photosynthesis) and the oxidation of reduced compounds (bacterial chemosynthesis). In areas of shallow-water volcanic activity, chemosynthesis occurs not only in the immediate vicinity of venting fluid release but also in the surface layer of the water column, where it occurs together with intense photosynthesis. This surface photosynthesis is found below the layer of chemosynthesis, which is related to the distribution of hydrothermal fluids at the water surface. The contribution of each of these processes to total primary production depends on the physical and chemical conditions created by the vents and on the range and adaptation potential of the organisms. On the seabed in zones of shallow-water venting, microorganisms form mats that consist of bacteria of various physiological groups, microalgae, the products of their metabolism and sedimentary particles. Oxygenic photosynthesis of benthic diatoms, bacterial photosynthesis (anoxygenic photosynthesis) and autotrophic chemosynthesis in algobacterial and bacterial mats generate organic matter additional to that produced in the water column. The high rates of

  12. Ecological Meltdown in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland: Two Centuries of Change in a Coastal Marine Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Thurstan, Ruth H.; Roberts, Callum M.

    2010-01-01

    Background The Firth of Clyde is a large inlet of the sea that extends over 100 km into Scotland's west coast. Methods We compiled detailed fisheries landings data for this area and combined them with historical accounts to build a picture of change due to fishing activity over the last 200 years. Findings In the early 19th century, prior to the onset of industrial fishing, the Firth of Clyde supported diverse and productive fisheries for species such as herring (Clupea harengus, Clupeidae), cod (Gadus morhua, Gadidae), haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus, Gadidae), turbot (Psetta maxima, Scophthalmidae) and flounder (Platichthys flesus, Pleuronectidae). The 19th century saw increased demand for fish, which encouraged more indiscriminate methods of fishing such as bottom trawling. During the 1880s, fish landings began to decline, and upon the recommendation of local fishers and scientists, the Firth of Clyde was closed to large trawling vessels in 1889. This closure remained in place until 1962 when bottom trawling for Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus, Nephropidae) was approved in areas more than three nautical miles from the coast. During the 1960s and 1970s, landings of bottomfish increased as trawling intensified. The trawl closure within three nautical miles of the coast was repealed in 1984 under pressure from the industry. Thereafter, bottomfish landings went into terminal decline, with all species collapsing to zero or near zero landings by the early 21st century. Herring fisheries collapsed in the 1970s as more efficient mid-water trawls and fish finders were introduced, while a fishery for mid-water saithe (Pollachius virens, Gadidae) underwent a boom and bust shortly after discovery in the late 1960s. The only commercial fisheries that remain today are for Nephrops and scallops (Pecten maximus, Pectinidae). Significance The Firth of Clyde is a marine ecosystem nearing the endpoint of overfishing, a time when no species remain that are capable of

  13. Assessing anthropogenic pressures on coastal marine ecosystems using stable CNS isotopes: State of the art, knowledge gaps, and community-scale perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mancinelli, Giorgio; Vizzini, Salvatrice

    2015-04-01

    In recent decades, the analysis of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur stable isotopes (SIA) has emerged as a powerful, viable methodology for examining food web structure and dynamics, as well as addressing a number of applied issues. Here, we provide a state-of-the-art review of the use of SIA for assessing anthropogenic pressures on natural ecosystems, in order to establish current knowledge gaps and identify promising applications for evaluating the ecological status of marine coastal waters. Specifically, the potential of SIA to provide food web-scale indicators for estimating cumulative anthropogenic pressures is addressed. The review indicates that the methodology has been used for virtually the whole spectrum of human pressures known to influence marine ecosystems. However, only the effects of chemical pollution, release of dissolved and particulate nutrients, and invasive species have been extensively investigated. For the first two pressures, substantial efforts have been made to implement isotopic quantitative approaches and metrics for inter-system comparisons; however, with the exception of nutrient release, the majority of aquatic studies have been carried out in freshwater systems, and only limited information is available on marine environments. In particular, the effects of invasive species on coastal habitats have received scant attention. Trophic position of indicator species emerges as the isotopic metric most ubiquitously adopted for measuring the impact of anthropogenic pressures. Conversely, the application of other recently implemented metrics, proven to be highly effective in integrating information on the spatial-temporal dynamics of aquatic food webs, is to date still limited. The potential of stable isotope analysis to provide a unifying methodological-theoretical framework for effective, inter-ecosystem comparisons of both single and multiple anthropogenic pressures is emphasised. Additionally, a plea for the implementation and intercalibration

  14. Connectivity of tropical marine ecosystems--An overview of interdisciplinary research to understand biodiversity and trophic relationships in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McClain-Counts, Jennifer P.; Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.

    2012-01-01

    The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico contain marine reserves and protected areas that encompass a variety of tropical ecosystems, including coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds. Reserves and protected areas are established for a variety of reasons, such as preserving nursery habitats and biodiversity, or reducing anthropogenic effects associated with pollution and land use. Questions remain regarding the effectiveness of these designated areas in preserving and protecting spatially connected habitats and associated fishes and invertebrates. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), University of Florida, and Arkansas State University are collaborating on interdisciplinary research in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to examine the biodiversity and trophic dynamics of fishes and invertebrates residing in connected mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs to discern the effectiveness of current marine reserves and protected areas for conserving reef resources.

  15. Marine ecosystem connectivity mediated by migrant-resident interactions and the concomitant cross-system flux of lipids.

    PubMed

    van Deurs, Mikael; Persson, Anders; Lindegren, Martin; Jacobsen, Charlotte; Neuenfeldt, Stefan; Jørgensen, Christian; Nilsson, P Anders

    2016-06-01

    Accumulating research argues that migrants influence the functioning and productivity of local habitats and ecosystems along migration routes and potentially drive cross-system energy fluxes of considerable magnitude, yet empirical documentation of local ecological effects and descriptions of the underlying mechanisms are surprisingly rare. In this study, we discovered migrant-resident interactions and substantial cross-system lipid transportation in the transition zone between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea where a resident cod population (predators) was found to interact with a herring population (prey) on a seasonal basis. We traced the lipids, using fatty acid trophic markers (FATM), from the herring feeding grounds in the North Sea to the cod livers in the Western Baltic Sea. Time series analysis of population dynamics indicated that population-level production of cod is positively affected by the herring subsidies. However, the underlying mechanisms were more complicated than anticipated. During the herring season, large cod received most of its dietary lipids from the herring, whereas smaller cod were prevented from accessing the lipid pool due to a mismatch in predator-prey size ratio. Furthermore, while the herring were extremely rich in bulk energy, they were surprisingly poor in a specific functional fatty acid. Hence, our study was the first to illustrate how the magnitude cross-system fluxes of subsidies in migrant-resident systems are potentially constrained by the size structure of the resident predator population and the nutritional quality of the migrants. PMID:27516865

  16. Effects of conventional and biodegradable microplastics on a marine ecosystem engineer (Arenicola marina) and sediment nutrient cycling.

    PubMed

    Green, Dannielle Senga; Boots, Bas; Sigwart, Julia; Jiang, Shan; Rocha, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Effects of microplastic pollution on benthic organisms and ecosystem services provided by sedimentary habitats are largely unknown. An outdoor mesocosm experiment was done to realistically assess the effects of three different types of microplastic pollution (one biodegradable type; polylactic acid and two conventional types; polyethylene and polyvinylchloride) at increasing concentrations (0.02, 0.2 and 2% of wet sediment weight) on the health and biological activity of lugworms, Arenicola marina (Linnaeus, 1758), and on nitrogen cycling and primary productivity of the sediment they inhabit. After 31 days, A. marina produced less casts in sediments containing microplastics. Metabolic rates of A. marina increased, while microalgal biomass decreased at high concentrations, compared to sediments with low concentrations or without microplastics. Responses were strongest to polyvinylchloride, emphasising that different materials may have differential effects. Each material needs to be carefully evaluated in order to assess their risks as microplastic pollution. Overall, both conventional and biodegradable microplastics in sandy sediments can affect the health and behaviour of lugworms and directly or indirectly reduce primary productivity of these habitats. PMID:26552519

  17. ECOFATE: A user-friendly environmental fate, bioaccumulation and ecological risk assessment model for contaminants in marine and freshwater aquatic ecosystems -- Applications and validation

    SciTech Connect

    Xin Zhang; Gobas, F.

    1995-12-31

    A Windows based computer simulation model of the environmental fate, food-chain bioaccumulation, toxicity and ecological and human health risks of contaminants is presented. Case studies demonstrating the models application in a lake, a river and a marine fjord are discussed and results are presented illustrating the ability of the model to estimate environmental concentrations over time based on chemical loadings. The case studies involve (1) the temporal response of PCB and mirex concentrations in water, sediments, benthos, fish and bird species of Lake Ontario, (2) the time response of concentrations of chlorinated dioxins and furans in sediments and fish in the Fraser River to reductions in pulp and paper mill discharges and (3) the fate and bioaccumulation of chlorinated dioxins and PAHs in Vancouver Harbour. The purpose of the studies and the model is to assess the capability to predict the environmental fate and bioaccumulation on an ecosystem level, which is of importance for developing site specific environmental quality criteria and to assess the ecosystem`s assimilative capacity by relating whole ecosystem loading allocations to environmental quality criteria.

  18. Food web pathway determines how selenium affects aquatic ecosystems: a San Francisco Bay case study.

    PubMed

    Stewart, A Robin; Luoma, Samuel N; Schlekat, Christian E; Doblin, Martina A; Hieb, Kathryn A

    2004-09-01

    Chemical contaminants disrupt ecosystems, but specific effects may be under-appreciated when poorly known processes such as uptake mechanisms, uptake via diet, food preferences, and food web dynamics are influential. Here we show that a combination of food web structure and the physiology of trace element accumulation explain why some species in San Francisco Bay are threatened by a relatively low level of selenium contamination and some are not. Bivalves and crustacean zooplankton form the base of two dominant food webs in estuaries. The dominant bivalve Potamocorbula amurensis has a 10-fold slower rate constant of loss for selenium than do common crustaceans such as copepods and the mysid Neomysis mercedis (rate constant of loss, ke = 0.025, 0.155, and 0.25 d(-1), respectively). The result is much higher selenium concentrations in the bivalve than in the crustaceans. Stable isotope analyses show that this difference is propagated up the respective food webs in San Francisco Bay. Several predators of bivalves have tissue concentrations of selenium that exceed thresholds thought to be associated with teratogenesis or reproductive failure (liver Se >15 microg g(-1) dry weight). Deformities typical of selenium-induced teratogenesis were observed in one of these species. Concentrations of selenium in tissues of predators of zooplankton are less than the thresholds. Basic physiological and ecological processes can drive wide differences in exposure and effects among species, but such processes are rarely considered in traditional evaluations of contaminant impacts. PMID:15461158

  19. Food web pathway determines how selenium affects aquatic ecosystems: A San francisco Bay case study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, A.R.; Luoma, S.N.; Schlekat, C.E.; Doblin, M.A.; Hieb, K.A.

    2004-01-01

    Chemical contaminants disrupt ecosystems, but specific effects may be under-appreciated when poorly known processes such as uptake mechanisms, uptake via diet, food preferences, and food web dynamics are influential. Here we show that a combination of food web structure and the physiology of trace element accumulation explain why some species in San Francisco Bay are threatened by a relatively low level of selenium contamination and some are not. Bivalves and crustacean Zooplankton form the base of two dominant food webs in estuaries. The dominant bivalve Potamocorbula amurensis has a 10-fold slower rate constant of loss for selenium than do common crustaceans such as copepods and the mysid Neomysis mercedis (rate constant of loss, ke = 0.025, 0.155, and 0.25 d-1, respectively). The result is much higher selenium concentrations in the bivalve than in the crustaceans. Stable isotope analyses show that this difference is propagated up the respective food webs in San Francisco Bay. Several predators of bivalves have tissue concentrations of selenium that exceed thresholds thought to be associated with teratogenesis or reproductive failure (liver Se > 15 ??g g-1 dry weight). Deformities typical of selenium-induced teratogenesis were observed in one of these species. Concentrations of selenium in tissues of predators of Zooplankton are less than the thresholds. Basic physiological and ecological processes can drive wide differences in exposure and effects among species, but such processes are rarely considered in traditional evaluations of contaminant impacts.

  20. Oceanographic and behavioural processes affecting invertebrate larval dispersal and supply in the western Iberia upwelling ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Queiroga, Henrique; Cruz, Teresa; dos Santos, Antonina; Dubert, Jesus; González-Gordillo, Juan Ignácio; Paula, José; Peliz, Álvaro; Santos, A. Miguel P.

    2007-08-01

    The present review addresses recent findings made in the western Iberia ecosystem on the behavioural and physical interactions that regulate dispersal, supply to coastal habitats and settlement of invertebrate larvae. These studies used the barnacle Chthamalus spp. and the crab Carcinus maenas as model organisms. The observations made on the Iberian shelf showed extensive diel vertical migrations along the water column by representatives of both groups that have never been reported before. The interaction of the diel vertical migration with the two-layer flow structure of upwelling/downwelling circulation suggests a mechanism that may help to retain larvae in shelf waters during upwelling conditions. Measurements of daily supply of C. maenas megalopae to estuaries separated by 500 km disclosed a semilunar pattern, with highest supply around highest amplitude tides, indicating that supply of megalopae to estuaries is accomplished by selective tidal stream transport. Relaxation of equatorward winds also played a role in supply, by enhancing translocation of megalopae to the nearshore. Concerning Chthamalus larvae, the observations on daily settlement made at rocky shores also separated by 500 km showed unclear patterns between locations and years. The relationship of settlement with water temperature, tidal range and upwelling indices indicated that supply of barnacle cyprids may be controlled by multiple mechanisms, viz. upwelling/downwelling circulation, internal tidal bores and sea breezes.

  1. Conodont body size and diversity trends after the end-Permian extinction: implications for the recovery of pelagic vs. benthic marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaal, E. K.; Morgan, D. J.; Clapham, M.; Rego, B. L.; Wang, S. C.; Payne, J.

    2012-12-01

    Many marine clades decreased in size across the end-Permian extinction horizon, but the pattern and timing of subsequent size increase during recovery is poorly constrained. The tempo of recovery from the end-Permian extinction is key to understanding the role of evolutionary and environmental constraints in the recovery of ecosystems. However, not all marine organisms share the same recovery pattern. In this study, we document Late Permian to Late Triassic trends in size distribution of conodonts, pelagic chordates that exhibit much more rapid diversification in the Early Triassic compared to benthic clades. Because tooth size correlates with body weight in chordates over many orders of magnitude and is commonly used to predict body size in fossils, conodont elements can serve as a proxy for the size of the conodont animal. Our dataset includes both specimens from high-resolution samples through an exceptionally exposed carbonate platform in south China and size measurements from the published literature for conodonts and seven other marine clades. In platform slope sections of south China, we observe a size decrease across the P/Tr boundary, but in platform interior sections, large conodonts are prolific in the earliest Triassic. Comparison with global data shows that while there is decrease in median conodont size across the P/Tr boundary, there is little change in maximum conodont size, and pre-extinction size distributions return by the Smithian. While benthic clades show Early Triassic size reduction and slow recovery, pelagic clades such as conodonts and ammonoids show large size and rapid diversification after the extinction event. This decoupling of recovery between benthic and pelagic marine ecosystems could reflect a depth gradient in environmental parameters such as oxygen availability or intrinsic differences in the evolutionary dynamics of these clades.

  2. Characterizing Zinc Speciation in Soils from a Smelter-Affected Boreal Forest Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Jordan G; Farrell, Richard E; Chen, Ning; Feng, Renfei; Reid, Joel; Peak, Derek

    2016-03-01

    HudBay Minerals, Inc., has mined and/or processed Zn and Cu ore in Flin Flon, MB, Canada, since the 1930s. The boreal forest ecosystem and soil surrounding these facilities have been severely impacted by mixed metal contamination and HSO deposition. Zinc is one of the most prevalent smelter-derived contaminants and has been identified as a key factor that may be limiting revegetation. Metal toxicity is related to both total concentrations and speciation; therefore, X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence mapping were used to characterize Zn speciation in soils throughout the most heavily contaminated areas of the landscape. Zinc speciation was linked to two distinct soil types. Group I soils consist of exposed soils in weathered positions of bedrock outcrops with Zn present primarily as franklinite, a (ZnFeO) spinel mineral. Group II soils are stabilized by an invasive metal-tolerant grass species, with Zn found as a mixture of octahedral (Fe oxides) and tetrahedral Mn oxides) adsorption complexes with a franklinite component. Soil erosion influences Zn speciation through the redistribution of Zn and soil particulates from Group I landscape positions to Group II soils. Despite Group II soils having the highest concentrations of CaCl-extractable Zn, they support metal-tolerant plant growth. The metal-tolerant plants are probably preferentially colonizing these areas due to better soil and nutrient conditions as a result of soil deposition from upslope Group I areas. Zinc concentration and speciation appears to not influence the colonization by metal-tolerant grasses, but the overall soil properties and erosion effects prevent the revegetation by native boreal forest species. PMID:27065416

  3. Genetic diversity affects the strength of population regulation in a marine fish.

    PubMed

    Johnson, D W; Freiwald, J; Bernardi, G

    2016-03-01

    Variation is an essential feature of biological populations, yet much of ecological theory treats individuals as though they are identical. This simplifying assumption is often justified by the perception that variation among individuals does not have significant effects on the dynamics of whole populations. However, this perception may be skewed by a historic focus on studying single populations. A true evaluation of the extent to which among-individual variation affects the dynamics of populations requires the study of multiple populations. In this study, we examined variation in the dynamics of populations of a live-bearing, marine fish (black surfperch; Embiotoca jacksoni). In collaboration with an organization of citizen scientists (Reef Check California), we were able to examine the dynamics of eight populations that were distributed throughout approximately 700 km of coastline, a distance that encompasses much of this species' range. We hypothesized that genetic variation within a local population would be related to the intensity of competition and to the strength of population regulation. To test this hypothesis, we examined whether genetic diversity (measured by the diversity of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes) was related to the strength of population regulation. Low-diversity populations experienced strong density dependence in population growth rates and population sizes were regulated much more tightly than they were in high-diversity populations. Mechanisms that contributed to this pattern include links between genetic diversity, habitat use, and spatial crowding. On average, low-diversity populations used less of the available habitat and exhibited greater spatial clustering (and more intense competition) for a given level of density (measured at the scale of the reef). Although the populations we studied also varied with respect to exogenous characteristics (habitat complexity, densities of predators, and interspecific competitors), none of these

  4. Dissolved Oxygen Sensor in Animal-Borne Instruments: An Innovation for Monitoring the Health of Oceans and Investigating the Functioning of Marine Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Bailleul, Frederic; Vacquie-Garcia, Jade; Guinet, Christophe

    2015-01-01

    The current decline in dissolved oxygen concentration within the oceans is a sensitive indicator of the effect of climate change on marine environment. However the impact of its declining on marine life and ecosystems' health is still quite unclear because of the difficulty in obtaining in situ data, especially in remote areas, like the Southern Ocean (SO). Southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) proved to be a relevant alternative to the traditional oceanographic platforms to measure physical and biogeochemical structure of oceanic regions rarely observed. In this study, we use a new stage of development in biologging technology to draw a picture of dissolved oxygen concentration in the SO. We present the first results obtained from a dissolved oxygen sensor added to Argos CTD-SRDL tags and deployed on 5 female elephant seals at Kerguelen. From October 2010 and October 2011, 742 oxygen profiles associated with temperature and salinity measurements were recorded. Whether a part of the data must be considered cautiously, especially because of offsets and temporal drifts of the sensors, the range of values recorded was consistent with a concomitant survey conducted from a research vessel (Keops-2 project). Once again, elephant seals reinforced the relationship between marine ecology and oceanography, delivering essential information about the water masses properties and the biological status of the Southern Ocean. But more than the presentation of a new stage of development in animal-borne instrumentation, this pilot study opens a new field of investigation in marine ecology and could be enlarged in a near future to other key marine predators, especially large fish species like swordfish, tuna or sharks, for which dissolved oxygen is expected to play a crucial role in distribution and behaviour. PMID:26200780

  5. Assessing the Contribution of Marine Protected Areas to the Trophic Functioning of Ecosystems: A Model for the Banc d’Arguin and the Mauritanian Shelf

    PubMed Central

    Guénette, Sylvie; Meissa, Beyah; Gascuel, Didier

    2014-01-01

    Most modelling studies addressed the effectiveness of marine protected areas (MPA) for fisheries sustainability through single species approach. Only a few models analysed the potential benefits of MPAs at the ecosystem level, estimating the potential export of fish biomass from the reserve or analysing the trophic relationships between organisms inside and outside the MPA. Here, we propose to use food web models to assess the contribution of a MPA to the trophic functioning of a larger ecosystem. This approach is applied to the Banc d’Arguin National Park, a large MPA located on the Mauritanian shelf. The ecosystem was modeled using Ecopath with Ecosim, a model that accounts for fisheries, food web structure, and some aspects of the spatial distribution of species, for the period 1991–2006. Gaps in knowledge and uncertainty were taken into account by building three different models. Results showed that the Banc d’Arguin contributes about 9 to 13% to the total consumption, is supporting about 23% of the total production and 18% of the total catch of the Mauritanian shelf ecosystem, and up to 50% for coastal fish. Of the 29 exploited groups, 15 depend on the Banc for more than 30% of their direct or indirect consumptions. Between 1991 and 2006, the fishing pressure increased leading to a decrease in biomass and the catch of high trophic levels, confirming their overall overexploitation. Ecosim simulations showed that adding a new fleet in the Banc d’Arguin would have large impacts on the species with a high reliance on the Banc for food, resulting in a 23% decrease in the current outside MPA catches. We conclude on the usefulness of food web models to assess MPAs contribution to larger ecosystem functioning. PMID:24728033

  6. Cumulative human impacts on marine predators.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, Sara M; Hazen, Elliott L; Bograd, Steven J; Halpern, Benjamin S; Breed, Greg A; Nickel, Barry; Teutschel, Nicole M; Crowder, Larry B; Benson, Scott; Dutton, Peter H; Bailey, Helen; Kappes, Michelle A; Kuhn, Carey E; Weise, Michael J; Mate, Bruce; Shaffer, Scott A; Hassrick, Jason L; Henry, Robert W; Irvine, Ladd; McDonald, Birgitte I; Robinson, Patrick W; Block, Barbara A; Costa, Daniel P

    2013-01-01

    Stressors associated with human activities interact in complex ways to affect marine ecosystems, yet we lack spatially explicit assessments of cumulative impacts on ecologically and economically key components such as marine predators. Here we develop a metric of cumulative utilization and impact (CUI) on marine predators by combining electronic tracking data of eight protected predator species (n=685 individuals) in the California Current Ecosystem with data on 24 anthropogenic stressors. We show significant variation in CUI with some of the highest impacts within US National Marine Sanctuaries. High variation in underlying species and cumulative impact distributions means that neither alone is sufficient for effective spatial management. Instead, comprehensive management approaches accounting for both cumulative human impacts and trade-offs among multiple stressors must be applied in planning the use of marine resources. PMID:24162104

  7. COMPLEX INTERACTIONS BETWEEN AUTOTROPHS IN SHALLOW MARINE AND FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS: IMPLICATIONS FOR COMMUNITY RESPONSES TO NUTRIENT STRESS. (U915532)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The relative biomass of autotrophs (vascular plants, macroalgae, microphytobenthos, phytoplankton) in shallow aquatic ecosystems is thought to be controlled by nutrient inputs and underwater irradiance. Widely accepted conceptual models indicate that this is the case both in m...

  8. Marine Pharmacology in 2009–2011: Marine Compounds with Antibacterial, Antidiabetic, Antifungal, Anti-Inflammatory, Antiprotozoal, Antituberculosis, and Antiviral Activities; Affecting the Immune and Nervous Systems, and other Miscellaneous Mechanisms of Action †

    PubMed Central

    Mayer, Alejandro M. S.; Rodríguez, Abimael D.; Taglialatela-Scafati, Orazio; Fusetani, Nobuhiro

    2013-01-01

    The peer-reviewed marine pharmacology literature from 2009 to 2011 is presented in this review, following the format used in the 1998–2008 reviews of this series. The pharmacology of structurally-characterized compounds isolated from marine animals, algae, fungi and bacteria is discussed in a comprehensive manner. Antibacterial, antifungal, antiprotozoal, antituberculosis, and antiviral pharmacological activities were reported for 102 marine natural products. Additionally, 60 marine compounds were observed to affect the immune and nervous system as well as possess antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory effects. Finally, 68 marine metabolites were shown to interact with a variety of receptors and molecular targets, and thus will probably contribute to multiple pharmacological classes upon further mechanism of action studies. Marine pharmacology during 2009–2011 remained a global enterprise, with researchers from 35 countries, and the United States, contributing to the preclinical pharmacology of 262 marine compounds which are part of the preclinical pharmaceutical pipeline. Continued pharmacological research with marine natural products will contribute to enhance the marine pharmaceutical clinical pipeline, which in 2013 consisted of 17 marine natural products, analogs or derivatives targeting a limited number of disease categories. PMID:23880931

  9. African dust carries microbes across the ocean: are they affecting human and ecosystem health?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kellogg, Christina A.; Griffin, Dale W.

    2003-01-01

    Atmospheric transport of dust from northwest Africa to the western Atlantic Ocean region may be responsible for a number of environmental hazards, including the demise of Caribbean corals; red tides; amphibian diseases; increased occurrence of asthma in humans; and oxygen depletion (eutrophication) in estuaries. Studies of satellite images suggest that hundreds of millions of tons of dust are trans-ported annually at relatively low altitudes across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea and southeastern United States. The dust emanates from the expanding Sahara/Sahel desert region in Africa and carries a wide variety of bacteria and fungi. The U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with the NASA/Goddard Spaceflight Center, is conducting a study to identify microbes--bacteria, fungi, viruses--transported across the Atlantic in African soil dust. Each year, millions of tons of desert dust blow off the west African coast and ride the trade winds across the ocean, affecting the entire Caribbean basin, as well as the southeastern United States. Of the dust reaching the U.S., Florida receives about 50 percent, while the rest may range as far north as Maine or as far west as Colorado. The dust storms can be tracked by satellite and take about one week to cross the Atlantic.

  10. Impacts of biological parameterization, initial conditions, and environmental forcing on parameter sensitivity and uncertainty in a marine ecosystem model for the Bering Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibson, G. A.; Spitz, Y. H.

    2011-11-01

    We use a series of Monte Carlo experiments to explore simultaneously the sensitivity of the BEST marine ecosystem model to environmental forcing, initial conditions, and biological parameterizations. Twenty model output variables were examined for sensitivity. The true sensitivity of biological and environmental parameters becomes apparent only when each parameter is allowed to vary within its realistic range. Many biological parameters were important only to their corresponding variable, but several biological parameters, e.g., microzooplankton grazing and small phytoplankton doubling rate, were consistently very important to several output variables. Assuming realistic biological and environmental variability, the standard deviation about simulated mean mesozooplankton biomass ranged from 1 to 14 mg C m - 3 during the year. Annual primary productivity was not strongly correlated with temperature but was positively correlated with initial nitrate and light. Secondary productivity was positively correlated with primary productivity and negatively correlated with spring bloom timing. Mesozooplankton productivity was not correlated with water temperature, but a shift towards a system in which smaller zooplankton undertake a greater proportion of the secondary production as the water temperature increases appears likely. This approach to incorporating environmental variability within a sensitivity analysis could be extended to any ecosystem model to gain confidence in climate-driven ecosystem predictions.

  11. SAFRR tsunami scenario: impacts on California ecosystems, species, marine natural resources, and fisheries: Chapter G in The SAFRR (Science Application for Risk Reduction) Tsunami Scenario

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brosnan, Deborah; Wein, Anne; Wilson, Rick

    2014-01-01

    We evaluate the effects of the SAFRR Tsunami Scenario on California’s ecosystems, species, natural resources, and fisheries. We discuss mitigation and preparedness approaches that can be useful in Tsunami planning. The chapter provides an introduction to the role of ecosystems and natural resources in tsunami events (Section 1). A separate section focuses on specific impacts of the SAFRR Tsunami Scenario on California’s ecosystems and endangered species (Section 2). A section on commercial fisheries and the fishing fleet (Section 3) documents the plausible effects on California’s commercial fishery resources, fishing fleets, and communities. Sections 2 and 3 each include practical preparedness options for communities and suggestions on information needs or research. Our evaluation indicates that many low-lying coastal habitats, including beaches, marshes and sloughs, rivers and waterways connected to the sea, as well as nearshore submarine habitats will be damaged by the SAFRR Tsunami Scenario. Beach erosion and complex or high volumes of tsunami-generated debris would pose major challenges for ecological communities. Several endangered species and protected areas are at risk. Commercial fisheries and fishing fleets will be affected directly by the tsunami and indirectly by dependencies on infrastructure that is damaged. There is evidence that in some areas intact ecosystems, notably sand dunes, will act as natural defenses against the tsunami waves. However, ecosystems do not provide blanket protection against tsunami surge. The consequences of ecological and natural resource damage are estimated in the millions of dollars. These costs are driven partly by the loss of ecosystem services, as well as cumulative and follow-on impacts where, for example, increased erosion during the tsunami can in turn lead to subsequent damage and loss to coastal properties. Recovery of ecosystems, natural resources and fisheries is likely to be lengthy and expensive

  12. Integrated ecotoxicological assessment of marine sediments affected by land-based marine fish farm effluents: physicochemical, acute toxicity and benthic community analyses.

    PubMed

    Silva, C; Yáñez, E; Martín-Díaz, M L; Riba, I; DelValls, T A

    2013-08-01

    An integrated ecotoxicological assessment of marine sediments affected by land-based marine fish farm effluents was developed using physicochemical and benthic community structure analyses and standardised laboratory bioassays with bacteria (Vibrio fischeri), amphipods (Ampelisca brevicornis) and sea urchin larvae (Paracentrotus lividus). Intertidal sediment samples were collected at five sites of the Rio San Pedro (RSP) creek, from the aquaculture effluent to a clean site. The effective concentration (EC50) from bacterial bioluminescence and A. brevicornis survival on whole sediments and P. lividus larval developmental success on sediment elutriates were assessed. Numbers of species, abundance and Shannon diversity were the biodiversity indicators measured in benthic fauna of sediment samples. In parallel, redox potential, pH, organic matter and metal levels (Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) in the sediment and dissolved oxygen in the interstitial water were measured in situ. Water and sediment physicochemical analysis revealed the exhibition of a spatial gradient in the RSP, evidenced by hypoxia/anoxia, reduced and acidic conditions, high organic enrichment and metal concentrations at the most contaminated sites. Whereas, the benthic fauna biodiversity decreased the bioassays depicted decreases in EC50, A. brevicornis survival, P. lividus larval success at sampling sites closer to the studied fish farms. This study demonstrates that the sediments polluted by fish farm effluents may lead to alterations of the biodiversity of the exposed organisms. PMID:23681739

  13. Terrestrial Scavenging of Marine Mammals: Cross-Ecosystem Contaminant Transfer and Potential Risks to Endangered California Condors (Gymnogyps californianus).

    PubMed

    Kurle, Carolyn M; Bakker, Victoria J; Copeland, Holly; Burnett, Joe; Jones Scherbinski, Jennie; Brandt, Joseph; Finkelstein, Myra E

    2016-09-01

    The critically endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) has relied intermittently on dead-stranded marine mammals since the Pleistocene, and this food source is considered important for their current recovery. However, contemporary marine mammals contain persistent organic pollutants that could threaten condor health. We used stable carbon and nitrogen isotope, contaminant, and behavioral data in coastal versus noncoastal condors to quantify contaminant transfer from marine mammals and created simulation models to predict the risk of reproductive impairment for condors from exposure to DDE (p,p'-DDE), a major metabolite of the chlorinated pesticide DDT. Coastal condors had higher whole blood isotope values and mean concentrations of contaminants associated with marine mammals, including mercury (whole blood), sum chlorinated pesticides (comprised of ∼95% DDE) (plasma), sum polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (plasma), and sum polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) (plasma), 12-100-fold greater than those of noncoastal condors. The mean plasma DDE concentration for coastal condors was 500 ± 670 (standard deviation) (n = 22) versus 24 ± 24 (standard deviation) (n = 8) ng/g of wet weight for noncoastal condors, and simulations predicted ∼40% of breeding-age coastal condors have DDE levels associated with eggshell thinning in other avian species. Our analyses demonstrate potentially harmful levels of marine contaminant transfer to California condors, which could hinder the recovery of this terrestrial species. PMID:27434394

  14. Assessing viral taxonomic composition in benthic marine ecosystems: reliability and efficiency of different bioinformatic tools for viral metagenomic analyses

    PubMed Central

    Tangherlini, M.; Dell’Anno, A.; Zeigler Allen, L.; Riccioni, G.; Corinaldesi, C.

    2016-01-01

    In benthic deep-sea ecosystems, which represent the largest biome on Earth, viruses have a recognised key ecological role, but their diversity is still largely unknown. Identifying the taxonomic composition of viruses is crucial for understanding virus-host interactions, their role in food web functioning and evolutionary processes. Here, we compared the performance of various bioinformatic tools (BLAST, MG-RAST, NBC, VMGAP, MetaVir, VIROME) for analysing the viral taxonomic composition in simulated viromes and viral metagenomes from different benthic deep-sea ecosystems. The analyses of simulated viromes indicate that all the BLAST tools, followed by MetaVir and VMGAP, are more reliable in the affiliation of viral sequences and strains. When analysing the environmental viromes, tBLASTx, MetaVir, VMGAP and VIROME showed a similar efficiency of sequence annotation; however, MetaVir and tBLASTx identified a higher number of viral strains. These latter tools also identified a wider range of viral families than the others, providing a wider view of viral taxonomic diversity in benthic deep-sea ecosystems. Our findings highlight strengths and weaknesses of available bioinformatic tools for investigating the taxonomic diversity of viruses in benthic ecosystems in order to improve our comprehension of viral diversity in the oceans and its relationships with host diversity and ecosystem functioning. PMID:27329207

  15. Assessing viral taxonomic composition in benthic marine ecosystems: reliability and efficiency of different bioinformatic tools for viral metagenomic analyses.

    PubMed

    Tangherlini, M; Dell'Anno, A; Zeigler Allen, L; Riccioni, G; Corinaldesi, C

    2016-01-01

    In benthic deep-sea ecosystems, which represent the largest biome on Earth, viruses have a recognised key ecological role, but their diversity is still largely unknown. Identifying the taxonomic composition of viruses is crucial for understanding virus-host interactions, their role in food web functioning and evolutionary processes. Here, we compared the performance of various bioinformatic tools (BLAST, MG-RAST, NBC, VMGAP, MetaVir, VIROME) for analysing the viral taxonomic composition in simulated viromes and viral metagenomes from different benthic deep-sea ecosystems. The analyses of simulated viromes indicate that all the BLAST tools, followed by MetaVir and VMGAP, are more reliable in the affiliation of viral sequences and strains. When analysing the environmental viromes, tBLASTx, MetaVir, VMGAP and VIROME showed a similar efficiency of sequence annotation; however, MetaVir and tBLASTx identified a higher number of viral strains. These latter tools also identified a wider range of viral families than the others, providing a wider view of viral taxonomic diversity in benthic deep-sea ecosystems. Our findings highlight strengths and weaknesses of available bioinformatic tools for investigating the taxonomic diversity of viruses in benthic ecosystems in order to improve our comprehension of viral diversity in the oceans and its relationships with host diversity and ecosystem functioning. PMID:27329207

  16. From global to regional and back again: common climate stressors of marine ecosystems relevant for adaptation across five ocean warming hotspots.

    PubMed

    Popova, Ekaterina; Yool, Andrew; Byfield, Valborg; Cochrane, Kevern; Coward, Andrew C; Salim, Shyam S; Gasalla, Maria A; Henson, Stephanie A; Hobday, Alistair J; Pecl, Gretta T; Sauer, Warwick H; Roberts, Michael J

    2016-06-01

    climate change impacting marine ecosystems in these areas. PMID:26855008

  17. An overview on the role of Hexanchiformes in marine ecosystems: biology, ecology and conservation status of a primitive order of modern sharks.

    PubMed

    Barnett, A; Braccini, J M; Awruch, C A; Ebert, D A

    2012-04-01

    The large size, high trophic level and wide distribution of Hexanchiformes (cow and frilled sharks) should position this order as important apex predators in coastal and deep-water ecosystems. This review synthesizes available i