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Sample records for european marine biodiversity

  1. Synthesis of Knowledge on Marine Biodiversity in European Seas: From Census to Sustainable Management

    PubMed Central

    Narayanaswamy, Bhavani E.

    2013-01-01

    The recently completed European Census of Marine Life, conducted within the framework of the global Census of Marine Life programme (2000–2010), markedly enhanced our understanding of marine biodiversity in European Seas, its importance within ecological systems, and the implications for human use. Here we undertake a synthesis of present knowledge of biodiversity in European Seas and identify remaining challenges that prevent sustainable management of marine biodiversity in one of the most exploited continents of the globe. Our analysis demonstrates that changes in faunal standing stock with depth depends on the size of the fauna, with macrofaunal abundance only declining with increasing water depth below 1000 m, whilst there was no obvious decrease in meiofauna with increasing depth. Species richness was highly variable for both deep water macro- and meio- fauna along latitudinal and longitudinal gradients. Nematode biodiversity decreased from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean whilst latitudinal related biodiversity patterns were similar for both faunal groups investigated, suggesting that the same environmental drivers were influencing the fauna. While climate change and habitat degradation are the most frequently implicated stressors affecting biodiversity throughout European Seas, quantitative understanding, both at individual and cumulative/synergistic level, of their influences are often lacking. Full identification and quantification of species, in even a single marine habitat, remains a distant goal, as we lack integrated data-sets to quantify these. While the importance of safeguarding marine biodiversity is recognised by policy makers, the lack of advanced understanding of species diversity and of a full survey of any single habitat raises huge challenges in quantifying change, and facilitating/prioritising habitat/ecosystem protection. Our study highlights a pressing requirement for more complete biodiversity surveys to be undertaken within

  2. Synthesis of knowledge on marine biodiversity in European Seas: from census to sustainable management.

    PubMed

    Narayanaswamy, Bhavani E; Coll, Marta; Danovaro, Roberto; Davidson, Keith; Ojaveer, Henn; Renaud, Paul E

    2013-01-01

    The recently completed European Census of Marine Life, conducted within the framework of the global Census of Marine Life programme (2000-2010), markedly enhanced our understanding of marine biodiversity in European Seas, its importance within ecological systems, and the implications for human use. Here we undertake a synthesis of present knowledge of biodiversity in European Seas and identify remaining challenges that prevent sustainable management of marine biodiversity in one of the most exploited continents of the globe. Our analysis demonstrates that changes in faunal standing stock with depth depends on the size of the fauna, with macrofaunal abundance only declining with increasing water depth below 1000 m, whilst there was no obvious decrease in meiofauna with increasing depth. Species richness was highly variable for both deep water macro- and meio- fauna along latitudinal and longitudinal gradients. Nematode biodiversity decreased from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean whilst latitudinal related biodiversity patterns were similar for both faunal groups investigated, suggesting that the same environmental drivers were influencing the fauna. While climate change and habitat degradation are the most frequently implicated stressors affecting biodiversity throughout European Seas, quantitative understanding, both at individual and cumulative/synergistic level, of their influences are often lacking. Full identification and quantification of species, in even a single marine habitat, remains a distant goal, as we lack integrated data-sets to quantify these. While the importance of safeguarding marine biodiversity is recognised by policy makers, the lack of advanced understanding of species diversity and of a full survey of any single habitat raises huge challenges in quantifying change, and facilitating/prioritising habitat/ecosystem protection. Our study highlights a pressing requirement for more complete biodiversity surveys to be undertaken within

  3. Development of innovative tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good environmental status, within the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borja, Angel; Uyarra, María C.

    2014-05-01

    Marine natural resources and ecosystem services constitute the natural capital that supports economies, societies and individual well-being. Good governance requires a quantification of the interactions and trade-offs among ecosystem services and understanding of how biodiversity underpins ecosystem functions and services across time, scales and sectors. Marine biodiversity is a key descriptor for the assessment within the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), approved in 2008, which comprises a total of 11 descriptors. However, the relationships between pressures from human activities and climatic influences and their effects on marine biological diversity are still only partially understood. Hence, these relationships need to be better understood in order to fully achieve a good environmental status (GEnS), as required by the MSFD. This contribution is based upon the FP7 EU project DEVOTES (DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status), which focus on developing innovative conceptual frameworks, methods and coherent, shared protocols to provide consistent datasets and knowledge at different scales, within four regional seas (Black Sea, Mediterranean, Atlantic and Baltic Sea). This project is developing innovative approaches to valuate biodiversity and ecosystem services and to develop public goods and sustainable economic activities from them. The research will benefit sea users and stakeholders, and will contribute to assess and monitor the environmental status of marine waters. The main objectives are: (i) to improve our understanding of the impact of human activities and variations associated to climate on marine biodiversity, (ii) to test indicators (referred in the Commission Decision on GEnS) and develop new ones for assessment at several ecological levels (species, habitat, ecosystems) and for the characterization and status classification of the marine waters, (iii) to develop, test

  4. Relationships between biodiversity and the stability of marine ecosystems: Comparisons at a European scale using meta-analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cusson, Mathieu; Crowe, Tasman P.; Araújo, Rita; Arenas, Francisco; Aspden, Rebbecca; Bulleri, Fabio; Davoult, Dominique; Dyson, Kirstie; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Herkül, Kristjan; Hubas, Cédric; Jenkins, Stuart; Kotta, Jonne; Kraufvelin, Patrik; Migné, Aline; Molis, Markus; Mulholland, Olwyen; Noël, Laure M.-L. J.; Paterson, David M.; Saunders, James; Somerfield, Paul J.; Sousa-Pinto, Isabel; Spilmont, Nicolas; Terlizzi, Antonio; Benedetti-Cecchi, Lisandro

    2015-04-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and stability of marine benthic assemblages was investigated through meta-analyses using existing data sets (n = 28) covering various spatial (m-km) and temporal (1973-2006; ranging from 5 to > 250 months) scales in different benthic habitats (emergent rock, rock pools and sedimentary habitats) over different European marine systems (North Atlantic and western Mediterranean). Stability was measured by a lower variability in time, and variability was estimated as temporal variance of species richness, total abundance (density or % cover) and community structure (using Bray-Curtis dissimilarities on species composition and abundance). Stability generally decreased with species richness. Temporal variability in species richness increased with the number of species at both quadrat (< 1 m2) and site (~ 100 m2) scales, while no relationship was observed by multivariate analyses. Positive relationships were also observed at the scale of site between temporal variability in species richness and variability in community structure with evenness estimates. This implies that the relationship between species richness or evenness and species richness variability is slightly positive and depends on the scale of observation. Thus, species richness does not stabilize temporal fluctuations in species number, rather species rich assemblages are those most likely to undergo the largest fluctuations in species numbers and abundance from time to time. Changes within community assemblages in terms of structure are, however, generally independent of biodiversity. Except for sedimentary and rock pool habitats, no relationship was observed between temporal variation of total abundances and diversity at either scale. Overall, our results emphasize that the relation between species richness and species-level measures of temporal variability depends on scale of measurements, type of habitats and the marine system (North Atlantic and Mediterranean

  5. Marine biodiversity characteristics.

    PubMed

    Boeuf, Gilles

    2011-05-01

    Oceans contain the largest living volume of the "blue" planet, inhabited by approximately 235-250,000 described species, all groups included. They only represent some 13% of the known species on the Earth, but the marine biomasses are really huge. Marine phytoplankton alone represents half the production of organic matter on Earth while marine bacteria represent more than 10%. Life first appeared in the oceans more than 3.8 billion years ago and several determining events took place that changed the course of life, ranging from the development of the cell nucleus to sexual reproduction going through multi-cellular organisms and the capture of organelles. Of the 31 animal phyla currently listed, 12 are exclusively marine phyla and have never left the ocean. An interesting question is to try to understand why there are so few marine species versus land species? This pattern of distribution seems pretty recent in the course of Evolution. From an exclusively marine world, since the beginning until 440 million years ago, land number of species much increased 110 million years ago. Specific diversity and ancestral roles, in addition to organizational models and original behaviors, have made marine organisms excellent reservoirs for identifying and extracting molecules (>15,000 today) with pharmacological potential. They also make particularly relevant models for both fundamental and applied research. Some marine models have been the source of essential discoveries in life sciences. From this diversity, the ocean provides humankind with renewable resources, which are highly threatened today and need more adequate management to preserve ocean habitats, stocks and biodiversity.

  6. Marine biodiversity and fishery sustainability.

    PubMed

    Shao, Kwang-Tsao

    2009-01-01

    Marine fish is one of the most important sources of animal protein for human use, especially in developing countries with coastlines. Marine fishery is also an important industry in many countries. Fifty years ago, many people believed that the ocean was so vast and so resilient that there was no way the marine environment could be changed, nor could marine fishery resources be depleted. Half a century later, we all agree that the depletion of fishery resources is happening mainly due to anthropogenic factors such as overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, invasive species introduction, and climate change. Since overfishing can cause chain reactions that decrease marine biodiversity drastically, there will be no seafood left after 40 years if we take no action. The most effective ways to reverse this downward trend and restore fishery resources are to promote fishery conservation, establish marine-protected areas, adopt ecosystem-based management, and implement a "precautionary principle." Additionally, enhancing public awareness of marine conservation, which includes eco-labeling, fishery ban or enclosure, slow fishing, and MPA (marine protected areas) enforcement is important and effective. In this paper, we use Taiwan as an example to discuss the problems facing marine biodiversity and sustainable fisheries.

  7. Is marine biodiversity at risk

    SciTech Connect

    Culotta, E.

    1994-02-18

    Evidence is beginning to accumulate that human development of coastlines and overfishing may be having deleterious effects on marine biodiversity. Although some biologists doubt marine extinctions, the possibility is being taken seriously by scientific organizations, who have been sponsoring conferences and workshops on the changing diversity of the oceans. Four federal agencies (NSF, NOAA, the Office of Naval Research, and DOE) have banded together to sponsor a National Research Council initiative to chart a research agenda.

  8. Marine Biodiversity in Japanese Waters

    PubMed Central

    Fujikura, Katsunori; Lindsay, Dhugal; Kitazato, Hiroshi; Nishida, Shuhei; Shirayama, Yoshihisa

    2010-01-01

    To understand marine biodiversity in Japanese waters, we have compiled information on the marine biota in Japanese waters, including the number of described species (species richness), the history of marine biology research in Japan, the state of knowledge, the number of endemic species, the number of identified but undescribed species, the number of known introduced species, and the number of taxonomic experts and identification guides, with consideration of the general ocean environmental background, such as the physical and geological settings. A total of 33,629 species have been reported to occur in Japanese waters. The state of knowledge was extremely variable, with taxa containing many inconspicuous, smaller species tending to be less well known. The total number of identified but undescribed species was at least 121,913. The total number of described species combined with the number of identified but undescribed species reached 155,542. This is the best estimate of the total number of species in Japanese waters and indicates that more than 70% of Japan's marine biodiversity remains un-described. The number of species reported as introduced into Japanese waters was 39. This is the first attempt to estimate species richness for all marine species in Japanese waters. Although its marine biota can be considered relatively well known, at least within the Asian-Pacific region, considering the vast number of different marine environments such as coral reefs, ocean trenches, ice-bound waters, methane seeps, and hydrothermal vents, much work remains to be done. We expect global change to have a tremendous impact on marine biodiversity and ecosystems. Japan is in a particularly suitable geographic situation and has a lot of facilities for conducting marine science research. Japan has an important responsibility to contribute to our understanding of life in the oceans. PMID:20689840

  9. Marine Biodiversity of Aotearoa New Zealand

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Dennis P.; Beaumont, Jennifer; MacDiarmid, Alison; Robertson, Donald A.; Ahyong, Shane T.

    2010-01-01

    The marine-biodiversity assessment of New Zealand (Aotearoa as known to Māori) is confined to the 200 nautical-mile boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone, which, at 4.2 million km2, is one of the largest in the world. It spans 30° of latitude and includes a high diversity of seafloor relief, including a trench 10 km deep. Much of this region remains unexplored biologically, especially the 50% of the EEZ deeper than 2,000 m. Knowledge of the marine biota is based on more than 200 years of marine exploration in the region. The major oceanographic data repository is the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), which is involved in several Census of Marine Life field projects and is the location of the Southwestern Pacific Regional OBIS Node; NIWA is also data manager and custodian for fisheries research data owned by the Ministry of Fisheries. Related data sources cover alien species, environmental measures, and historical information. Museum collections in New Zealand hold more than 800,000 registered lots representing several million specimens. During the past decade, 220 taxonomic specialists (85 marine) from 18 countries have been engaged in a project to review New Zealand's entire biodiversity. The above-mentioned marine information sources, published literature, and reports were scrutinized to give the results summarized here for the first time (current to 2010), including data on endemism and invasive species. There are 17,135 living species in the EEZ. This diversity includes 4,315 known undescribed species in collections. Species diversity for the most intensively studied phylum-level taxa (Porifera, Cnidaria, Mollusca, Brachiopoda, Bryozoa, Kinorhyncha, Echinodermata, Chordata) is more or less equivalent to that in the ERMS (European Register of Marine Species) region, which is 5.5 times larger in area than the New Zealand EEZ. The implication is that, when all other New Zealand phyla are equally well studied, total marine diversity

  10. Marine biodiversity of Aotearoa New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Dennis P; Beaumont, Jennifer; MacDiarmid, Alison; Robertson, Donald A; Ahyong, Shane T

    2010-08-02

    The marine-biodiversity assessment of New Zealand (Aotearoa as known to Māori) is confined to the 200 nautical-mile boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone, which, at 4.2 million km(2), is one of the largest in the world. It spans 30 degrees of latitude and includes a high diversity of seafloor relief, including a trench 10 km deep. Much of this region remains unexplored biologically, especially the 50% of the EEZ deeper than 2,000 m. Knowledge of the marine biota is based on more than 200 years of marine exploration in the region. The major oceanographic data repository is the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), which is involved in several Census of Marine Life field projects and is the location of the Southwestern Pacific Regional OBIS Node; NIWA is also data manager and custodian for fisheries research data owned by the Ministry of Fisheries. Related data sources cover alien species, environmental measures, and historical information. Museum collections in New Zealand hold more than 800,000 registered lots representing several million specimens. During the past decade, 220 taxonomic specialists (85 marine) from 18 countries have been engaged in a project to review New Zealand's entire biodiversity. The above-mentioned marine information sources, published literature, and reports were scrutinized to give the results summarized here for the first time (current to 2010), including data on endemism and invasive species. There are 17,135 living species in the EEZ. This diversity includes 4,315 known undescribed species in collections. Species diversity for the most intensively studied phylum-level taxa (Porifera, Cnidaria, Mollusca, Brachiopoda, Bryozoa, Kinorhyncha, Echinodermata, Chordata) is more or less equivalent to that in the ERMS (European Register of Marine Species) region, which is 5.5 times larger in area than the New Zealand EEZ. The implication is that, when all other New Zealand phyla are equally well studied, total marine

  11. The origins of tropical marine biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Bowen, Brian W; Rocha, Luiz A; Toonen, Robert J; Karl, Stephen A

    2013-06-01

    Recent phylogeographic studies have overturned three paradigms for the origins of marine biodiversity. (i) Physical (allopatric) isolation is not the sole avenue for marine speciation: many species diverge along ecological boundaries. (ii) Peripheral habitats such as oceanic archipelagos are not evolutionary graveyards: these regions can export biodiversity. (iii) Speciation in marine and terrestrial ecosystems follow similar processes but are not the same: opportunities for allopatric isolation are fewer in the oceans, leaving greater opportunity for speciation along ecological boundaries. Biodiversity hotspots such as the Caribbean Sea and the Indo-Pacific Coral Triangle produce and export species, but can also accumulate biodiversity produced in peripheral habitats. Both hotspots and peripheral ecosystems benefit from this exchange in a process dubbed biodiversity feedback.

  12. European Marine Infrastructures: perspectives for Marine and Earth Sciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favali, P.; Beranzoli, L.; Egerton, P.; Le Traon, P. Y.; Los, W.

    2009-04-01

    The European Commission (EC) is supporting a variety of Research Infrastructures in many different scientific fields: Social Sciences and Humanities, Environmental Sciences, Energy, Biological and Medical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering and e-Infrastructures. All these infrastructures are included in the new report of the "European Roadmap for Research Infrastructures" published in late 2008 by ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, http://cordis.europa.eu/esfri/). In particular, some research infrastructures for the Environmental Sciences specifically addressed to the marine environment are presented: • EMSO (European Multidisciplinary Seafloor Observatory). The development of this underwater network is being supported by several other EC initiatives, ESONET-NoE (European Seas Network), coordinated by IFREMER (http://www.esonet-emso.org/esonet-noe/). • ERICON AURORA BOREALIS (European Research Icebreaker Consortium, http://www.eri-aurora-borealis.eu/). • EURO-ARGO (Global Ocean Observing Infrastructure, http://www.euro-argo.eu/). • LIFEWATCH (E-science and technology infrastructure for biodiversity data and observatories, http://www.lifewatch.eu/). In particular through its scientific marine networks: EUR-OCEANS (European Network of Excellence for Ocean Ecosystems Analysis, http://www.eur-oceans.eu/); MARBEF-NoE (MARine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning, http://www.marbef.org/ and Marine Genomics (http://www.marine-genomics-europe.org/). Possible profitable links with new research infrastructures recently included in the roadmap, such as EPOS (European Plate Observing System) and SIAEOS (Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System) are also pointed out. The marine EC infrastructures presented constitute the fundamental tools to support the Earth Sciences, both terrestrial and marine.

  13. Evaluating Temporal Consistency in Marine Biodiversity Hotspots

    PubMed Central

    Barner, Allison K.; Benkwitt, Cassandra E.; Boersma, Kate S.; Cerny-Chipman, Elizabeth B.; Ingeman, Kurt E.; Kindinger, Tye L.; Lindsley, Amy J.; Nelson, Jake; Reimer, Jessica N.; Rowe, Jennifer C.; Shen, Chenchen; Thompson, Kevin A.; Heppell, Selina S.

    2015-01-01

    With the ongoing crisis of biodiversity loss and limited resources for conservation, the concept of biodiversity hotspots has been useful in determining conservation priority areas. However, there has been limited research into how temporal variability in biodiversity may influence conservation area prioritization. To address this information gap, we present an approach to evaluate the temporal consistency of biodiversity hotspots in large marine ecosystems. Using a large scale, public monitoring dataset collected over an eight year period off the US Pacific Coast, we developed a methodological approach for avoiding biases associated with hotspot delineation. We aggregated benthic fish species data from research trawls and calculated mean hotspot thresholds for fish species richness and Shannon’s diversity indices over the eight year dataset. We used a spatial frequency distribution method to assign hotspot designations to the grid cells annually. We found no areas containing consistently high biodiversity through the entire study period based on the mean thresholds, and no grid cell was designated as a hotspot for greater than 50% of the time-series. To test if our approach was sensitive to sampling effort and the geographic extent of the survey, we followed a similar routine for the northern region of the survey area. Our finding of low consistency in benthic fish biodiversity hotspots over time was upheld, regardless of biodiversity metric used, whether thresholds were calculated per year or across all years, or the spatial extent for which we calculated thresholds and identified hotspots. Our results suggest that static measures of benthic fish biodiversity off the US West Coast are insufficient for identification of hotspots and that long-term data are required to appropriately identify patterns of high temporal variability in biodiversity for these highly mobile taxa. Given that ecological communities are responding to a changing climate and other

  14. Evaluating Temporal Consistency in Marine Biodiversity Hotspots.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    With the ongoing crisis of biodiversity loss and limited resources for conservation, the concept of biodiversity hotspots has been useful in determining conservation priority areas. However, there has been limited research into how temporal variability in biodiversity may influence conservation area prioritization. To address this information gap, we present an approach to evaluate the temporal consistency of biodiversity hotspots in large marine ecosystems. Using a large scale, public monitoring dataset collected over an eight year period off the US Pacific Coast, we developed a methodological approach for avoiding biases associated with hotspot delineation. We aggregated benthic fish species data from research trawls and calculated mean hotspot thresholds for fish species richness and Shannon's diversity indices over the eight year dataset. We used a spatial frequency distribution method to assign hotspot designations to the grid cells annually. We found no areas containing consistently high biodiversity through the entire study period based on the mean thresholds, and no grid cell was designated as a hotspot for greater than 50% of the time-series. To test if our approach was sensitive to sampling effort and the geographic extent of the survey, we followed a similar routine for the northern region of the survey area. Our finding of low consistency in benthic fish biodiversity hotspots over time was upheld, regardless of biodiversity metric used, whether thresholds were calculated per year or across all years, or the spatial extent for which we calculated thresholds and identified hotspots. Our results suggest that static measures of benthic fish biodiversity off the US West Coast are insufficient for identification of hotspots and that long-term data are required to appropriately identify patterns of high temporal variability in biodiversity for these highly mobile taxa. Given that ecological communities are responding to a changing climate and other

  15. Global Priorities for Marine Biodiversity Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Selig, Elizabeth R.; Turner, Will R.; Troëng, Sebastian; Wallace, Bryan P.; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Kaschner, Kristin; Lascelles, Ben G.; Carpenter, Kent E.; Mittermeier, Russell A.

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, many marine populations have experienced major declines in abundance, but we still know little about where management interventions may help protect the highest levels of marine biodiversity. We used modeled spatial distribution data for nearly 12,500 species to quantify global patterns of species richness and two measures of endemism. By combining these data with spatial information on cumulative human impacts, we identified priority areas where marine biodiversity is most and least impacted by human activities, both within Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) and Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ). Our analyses highlighted places that are both accepted priorities for marine conservation like the Coral Triangle, as well as less well-known locations in the southwest Indian Ocean, western Pacific Ocean, Arctic and Antarctic Oceans, and within semi-enclosed seas like the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas. Within highly impacted priority areas, climate and fishing were the biggest stressors. Although new priorities may arise as we continue to improve marine species range datasets, results from this work are an essential first step in guiding limited resources to regions where investment could best sustain marine biodiversity. PMID:24416151

  16. Global priorities for marine biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Selig, Elizabeth R; Turner, Will R; Troëng, Sebastian; Wallace, Bryan P; Halpern, Benjamin S; Kaschner, Kristin; Lascelles, Ben G; Carpenter, Kent E; Mittermeier, Russell A

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, many marine populations have experienced major declines in abundance, but we still know little about where management interventions may help protect the highest levels of marine biodiversity. We used modeled spatial distribution data for nearly 12,500 species to quantify global patterns of species richness and two measures of endemism. By combining these data with spatial information on cumulative human impacts, we identified priority areas where marine biodiversity is most and least impacted by human activities, both within Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) and Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ). Our analyses highlighted places that are both accepted priorities for marine conservation like the Coral Triangle, as well as less well-known locations in the southwest Indian Ocean, western Pacific Ocean, Arctic and Antarctic Oceans, and within semi-enclosed seas like the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas. Within highly impacted priority areas, climate and fishing were the biggest stressors. Although new priorities may arise as we continue to improve marine species range datasets, results from this work are an essential first step in guiding limited resources to regions where investment could best sustain marine biodiversity.

  17. Phanerozoic Earth system evolution and marine biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Hannisdal, Bjarte; Peters, Shanan E

    2011-11-25

    The Phanerozoic fossil record of marine animal diversity covaries with the amount of marine sedimentary rock. The extent to which this covariation reflects a geologically controlled sampling bias remains unknown. We show that Phanerozoic records of seawater chemistry and continental flooding contain information on the diversity of marine animals that is independent of sedimentary rock quantity and sampling. Interrelationships among variables suggest long-term interactions among continental flooding, sulfur and carbon cycling, and macroevolution. Thus, mutual responses to interacting Earth systems, not sampling biases, explain much of the observed covariation between Phanerozoic patterns of sedimentation and fossil biodiversity. Linkages between biodiversity and environmental records likely reflect complex biotic responses to changing ocean redox conditions and long-term sea-level fluctuations driven by plate tectonics.

  18. Economic valuation for the conservation of marine biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Beaumont, N J; Austen, M C; Mangi, S C; Townsend, M

    2008-03-01

    Policy makers are increasingly recognising the role of environmental valuation to guide and support the management and conservation of biodiversity. This paper presents a goods and services approach to determine the economic value of marine biodiversity in the UK, with the aim of clarifying the role of valuation in the management of marine biodiversity. The goods and services resulting from UK marine biodiversity are detailed, and 8 of the 13 services are valued in monetary terms. It is found that a decline in UK marine biodiversity could result in a varying, and at present unpredictable, change in the provision of goods and services, including reduced resilience and resistance to change, declining marine environmental health, reduced fisheries potential, and loss of recreational opportunities. The results suggest that this approach can facilitate biodiversity management by enabling the optimal allocation of limited management resources and through raising awareness of the importance of marine biodiversity.

  19. Genomic approaches in marine biodiversity and aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Huete-Pérez, Jorge A; Quezada, Fernando

    2013-01-01

    Recent advances in genomic and post-genomic technologies have now established the new standard in medical and biotechnological research. The introduction of next-generation sequencing, NGS,has resulted in the generation of thousands of genomes from all domains of life, including the genomes of complex uncultured microbial communities revealed through metagenomics. Although the application of genomics to marine biodiversity remains poorly developed overall, some noteworthy progress has been made in recent years. The genomes of various model marine organisms have been published and a few more are underway. In addition, the recent large-scale analysis of marine microbes, along with transcriptomic and proteomic approaches to the study of teleost fishes, mollusks and crustaceans, to mention a few, has provided a better understanding of phenotypic variability and functional genomics. The past few years have also seen advances in applications relevant to marine aquaculture and fisheries. In this review we introduce several examples of recent discoveries and progress made towards engendering genomic resources aimed at enhancing our understanding of marine biodiversity and promoting the development of aquaculture. Finally, we discuss the need for auspicious science policies to address challenges confronting smaller nations in the appropriate oversight of this growing domain as they strive to guarantee food security and conservation of their natural resources.

  20. Climate impacts on global hot spots of marine biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Ramírez, Francisco; Afán, Isabel; Davis, Lloyd S; Chiaradia, André

    2017-02-01

    Human activities drive environmental changes at scales that could potentially cause ecosystem collapses in the marine environment. We combined information on marine biodiversity with spatial assessments of the impacts of climate change to identify the key areas to prioritize for the conservation of global marine biodiversity. This process identified six marine regions of exceptional biodiversity based on global distributions of 1729 species of fish, 124 marine mammals, and 330 seabirds. Overall, these hot spots of marine biodiversity coincide with areas most severely affected by global warming. In particular, these marine biodiversity hot spots have undergone local to regional increasing water temperatures, slowing current circulation, and decreasing primary productivity. Furthermore, when we overlapped these hot spots with available industrial fishery data, albeit coarser than our estimates of climate impacts, they suggest a worrying coincidence whereby the world's richest areas for marine biodiversity are also those areas mostly affected by both climate change and industrial fishing. In light of these findings, we offer an adaptable framework for determining local to regional areas of special concern for the conservation of marine biodiversity. This has exposed the need for finer-scaled fishery data to assist in the management of global fisheries if the accumulative, but potentially preventable, effect of fishing on climate change impacts is to be minimized within areas prioritized for marine biodiversity conservation.

  1. Climate impacts on global hot spots of marine biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez, Francisco; Afán, Isabel; Davis, Lloyd S.; Chiaradia, André

    2017-01-01

    Human activities drive environmental changes at scales that could potentially cause ecosystem collapses in the marine environment. We combined information on marine biodiversity with spatial assessments of the impacts of climate change to identify the key areas to prioritize for the conservation of global marine biodiversity. This process identified six marine regions of exceptional biodiversity based on global distributions of 1729 species of fish, 124 marine mammals, and 330 seabirds. Overall, these hot spots of marine biodiversity coincide with areas most severely affected by global warming. In particular, these marine biodiversity hot spots have undergone local to regional increasing water temperatures, slowing current circulation, and decreasing primary productivity. Furthermore, when we overlapped these hot spots with available industrial fishery data, albeit coarser than our estimates of climate impacts, they suggest a worrying coincidence whereby the world’s richest areas for marine biodiversity are also those areas mostly affected by both climate change and industrial fishing. In light of these findings, we offer an adaptable framework for determining local to regional areas of special concern for the conservation of marine biodiversity. This has exposed the need for finer-scaled fishery data to assist in the management of global fisheries if the accumulative, but potentially preventable, effect of fishing on climate change impacts is to be minimized within areas prioritized for marine biodiversity conservation. PMID:28261659

  2. Biodiversity research sets sail: showcasing the diversity of marine life.

    PubMed

    Webb, Thomas J

    2009-04-23

    The World Congress on Marine Biodiversity was held in the City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, from 10 to 15 November 2008, showcasing research on all aspects of marine biodiversity from basic taxonomic exploration to innovative conservation strategies and methods to integrate research into environmental policy.

  3. Marine Biodiversity in the Australian Region

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Alan J.; Rees, Tony; Beesley, Pam; Bax, Nicholas J.

    2010-01-01

    The entire Australian marine jurisdictional area, including offshore and sub-Antarctic islands, is considered in this paper. Most records, however, come from the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around the continent of Australia itself. The counts of species have been obtained from four primary databases (the Australian Faunal Directory, Codes for Australian Aquatic Biota, Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums, and the Australian node of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System), but even these are an underestimate of described species. In addition, some partially completed databases for particular taxonomic groups, and specialized databases (for introduced and threatened species) have been used. Experts also provided estimates of the number of known species not yet in the major databases. For only some groups could we obtain an (expert opinion) estimate of undiscovered species. The databases provide patchy information about endemism, levels of threat, and introductions. We conclude that there are about 33,000 marine species (mainly animals) in the major databases, of which 130 are introduced, 58 listed as threatened and an unknown percentage endemic. An estimated 17,000 more named species are either known from the Australian EEZ but not in the present databases, or potentially occur there. It is crudely estimated that there may be as many as 250,000 species (known and yet to be discovered) in the Australian EEZ. For 17 higher taxa, there is sufficient detail for subdivision by Large Marine Domains, for comparison with other National and Regional Implementation Committees of the Census of Marine Life. Taxonomic expertise in Australia is unevenly distributed across taxa, and declining. Comments are given briefly on biodiversity management measures in Australia, including but not limited to marine protected areas. PMID:20689847

  4. Global biodiversity patterns of marine phytoplankton and zooplankton.

    PubMed

    Irigoien, Xabier; Huisman, Jef; Harris, Roger P

    2004-06-24

    Although the oceans cover 70% of the Earth's surface, our knowledge of biodiversity patterns in marine phytoplankton and zooplankton is very limited compared to that of the biodiversity of plants and herbivores in the terrestrial world. Here, we present biodiversity data for marine plankton assemblages from different areas of the world ocean. Similar to terrestrial vegetation, marine phytoplankton diversity is a unimodal function of phytoplankton biomass, with maximum diversity at intermediate levels of phytoplankton biomass and minimum diversity during massive blooms. Contrary to expectation, we did not find a relation between phytoplankton diversity and zooplankton diversity. Zooplankton diversity is a unimodal function of zooplankton biomass. Most strikingly, these marine biodiversity patterns show a worldwide consistency, despite obvious differences in environmental conditions of the various oceanographic regions. These findings may serve as a new benchmark in the search for global biodiversity patterns of plants and herbivores.

  5. Soil phosphorus constrains biodiversity across European grasslands.

    PubMed

    Ceulemans, Tobias; Stevens, Carly J; Duchateau, Luc; Jacquemyn, Hans; Gowing, David J G; Merckx, Roel; Wallace, Hilary; van Rooijen, Nils; Goethem, Thomas; Bobbink, Roland; Dorland, Edu; Gaudnik, Cassandre; Alard, Didier; Corcket, Emmanuel; Muller, Serge; Dise, Nancy B; Dupré, Cecilia; Diekmann, Martin; Honnay, Olivier

    2014-12-01

    Nutrient pollution presents a serious threat to biodiversity conservation. In terrestrial ecosystems, the deleterious effects of nitrogen pollution are increasingly understood and several mitigating environmental policies have been developed. Compared to nitrogen, the effects of increased phosphorus have received far less attention, although some studies have indicated that phosphorus pollution may be detrimental for biodiversity as well. On the basis of a dataset covering 501 grassland plots throughout Europe, we demonstrate that, independent of the level of atmospheric nitrogen deposition and soil acidity, plant species richness was consistently negatively related to soil phosphorus. We also identified thresholds in soil phosphorus above which biodiversity appears to remain at a constant low level. Our results indicate that nutrient management policies biased toward reducing nitrogen pollution will fail to preserve biodiversity. As soil phosphorus is known to be extremely persistent and we found no evidence for a critical threshold below which no environmental harm is expected, we suggest that agro-environmental schemes should include grasslands that are permanently free from phosphorus fertilization.

  6. Enhanced biodiversity beyond marine reserve boundaries: the cup spillith over.

    PubMed

    Russ, Garry R; Alcala, Angel C

    2011-01-01

    Overfishing can have detrimental effects on marine biodiversity and the structure of marine ecosystems. No-take marine reserves (NTMRs) are much advocated as a means of protecting biodiversity and ecosystem structure from overharvest. In contrast to terrestrial protected areas, NTMRs are not only expected to conserve or recover biodiversity and ecosystems within their boundaries, but also to enhance biodiversity beyond their boundaries by exporting species richness and more complex biological communities. Here we show that species richness of large predatory reef fish increased fourfold and 11-fold inside two Philippine no-take marine reserves over 14 and 25 years, respectively. Outside one reserve (Apo) the species richness also increased. This increase beyond the Apo reserve boundary was 78% higher closer to the boundary (200-250 m) than farther from it (250-500 m). The increase in richness beyond the boundary could not be explained by improvements over time in habitat or prey availability. Furthermore, community composition of predatory fish outside but close to (200-250 m) the Apo reserve became very similar to that inside the reserve over time, almost converging with it in multivariate space after 26 years of reserve protection. This is consistent with the suggestion that, as community composition inside Apo reserve increased in complexity, this complexity spilled over the boundary into nearby fished areas. Clearly, the spillover of species richness and community complexity is a direct consequence of the spillover of abundance of multiple species. However, this spillover of species richness and community complexity demonstrates an important benefit of biodiversity and ecosystem export from reserves, and it provides hope that reserves can help to reverse the decline of marine ecosystems and biodiversity.

  7. Relating remotely sensed optical variability to marine benthic biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Herkül, Kristjan; Kotta, Jonne; Kutser, Tiit; Vahtmäe, Ele

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity is important in maintaining ecosystem viability, and the availability of adequate biodiversity data is a prerequisite for the sustainable management of natural resources. As such, there is a clear need to map biodiversity at high spatial resolutions across large areas. Airborne and spaceborne optical remote sensing is a potential tool to provide such biodiversity data. The spectral variation hypothesis (SVH) predicts a positive correlation between spectral variability (SV) of a remotely sensed image and biodiversity. The SVH has only been tested on a few terrestrial plant communities. Our study is the first attempt to apply the SVH in the marine environment using hyperspectral imagery recorded by Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI). All coverage-based diversity measures of benthic macrophytes and invertebrates showed low but statistically significant positive correlations with SV whereas the relationship between biomass-based diversity measures and SV were weak or lacking. The observed relationships did not vary with spatial scale. SV had the highest independent effect among predictor variables in the statistical models of coverage-derived total benthic species richness and Shannon index. Thus, the relevance of SVH in marine benthic habitats was proved and this forms a prerequisite for the future use of SV in benthic biodiversity assessments.

  8. Status of Marine Biodiversity of the China Seas

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    China's seas cover nearly 5 million square kilometers extending from the tropical to the temperate climate zones and bordering on 32,000 km of coastline, including islands. Comprehensive systematic study of the marine biodiversity within this region began in the early 1950s with the establishment of the Qingdao Marine Biological Laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Since that time scientists have carried out intensive multidisciplinary research on marine life in the China seas and have recorded 22,629 species belonging to 46 phyla. The marine flora and fauna of the China seas are characterized by high biodiversity, including tropical and subtropical elements of the Indo-West Pacific warm-water fauna in the South and East China seas, and temperate elements of North Pacific temperate fauna mainly in the Yellow Sea. The southern South China Sea fauna is characterized by typical tropical elements paralleled with the Philippine-New Guinea-Indonesia Coral triangle typical tropical faunal center. This paper summarizes advances in studies of marine biodiversity in China's seas and discusses current research mainly on characteristics and changes in marine biodiversity, including the monitoring, assessment, and conservation of endangered species and particularly the strengthening of effective management. Studies of (1) a tidal flat in a semi-enclosed embayment, (2) the impact of global climate change on a cold-water ecosystem, (3) coral reefs of Hainan Island and Xisha-Nansha atolls, (4) mangrove forests of the South China Sea, (5) a threatened seagrass field, and (6) an example of stock enhancement practices of the Chinese shrimp fishery are briefly introduced. Besides the overexploitation of living resources (more than 12.4 million tons yielded in 2007), the major threat to the biodiversity of the China seas is environmental deterioration (pollution, coastal construction), particularly in the brackish waters of estuarine environments, which are characterized by

  9. Status of marine biodiversity of the China seas.

    PubMed

    Liu, J Y

    2013-01-01

    China's seas cover nearly 5 million square kilometers extending from the tropical to the temperate climate zones and bordering on 32,000 km of coastline, including islands. Comprehensive systematic study of the marine biodiversity within this region began in the early 1950s with the establishment of the Qingdao Marine Biological Laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Since that time scientists have carried out intensive multidisciplinary research on marine life in the China seas and have recorded 22,629 species belonging to 46 phyla. The marine flora and fauna of the China seas are characterized by high biodiversity, including tropical and subtropical elements of the Indo-West Pacific warm-water fauna in the South and East China seas, and temperate elements of North Pacific temperate fauna mainly in the Yellow Sea. The southern South China Sea fauna is characterized by typical tropical elements paralleled with the Philippine-New Guinea-Indonesia Coral triangle typical tropical faunal center. This paper summarizes advances in studies of marine biodiversity in China's seas and discusses current research mainly on characteristics and changes in marine biodiversity, including the monitoring, assessment, and conservation of endangered species and particularly the strengthening of effective management. Studies of (1) a tidal flat in a semi-enclosed embayment, (2) the impact of global climate change on a cold-water ecosystem, (3) coral reefs of Hainan Island and Xisha-Nansha atolls, (4) mangrove forests of the South China Sea, (5) a threatened seagrass field, and (6) an example of stock enhancement practices of the Chinese shrimp fishery are briefly introduced. Besides the overexploitation of living resources (more than 12.4 million tons yielded in 2007), the major threat to the biodiversity of the China seas is environmental deterioration (pollution, coastal construction), particularly in the brackish waters of estuarine environments, which are characterized by

  10. Marine Biodiversity in the Caribbean: Regional Estimates and Distribution Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Miloslavich, Patricia; Díaz, Juan Manuel; Klein, Eduardo; Alvarado, Juan José; Díaz, Cristina; Gobin, Judith; Escobar-Briones, Elva; Cruz-Motta, Juan José; Weil, Ernesto; Cortés, Jorge; Bastidas, Ana Carolina; Robertson, Ross; Zapata, Fernando; Martín, Alberto; Castillo, Julio; Kazandjian, Aniuska; Ortiz, Manuel

    2010-01-01

    This paper provides an analysis of the distribution patterns of marine biodiversity and summarizes the major activities of the Census of Marine Life program in the Caribbean region. The coastal Caribbean region is a large marine ecosystem (LME) characterized by coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrasses, but including other environments, such as sandy beaches and rocky shores. These tropical ecosystems incorporate a high diversity of associated flora and fauna, and the nations that border the Caribbean collectively encompass a major global marine biodiversity hot spot. We analyze the state of knowledge of marine biodiversity based on the geographic distribution of georeferenced species records and regional taxonomic lists. A total of 12,046 marine species are reported in this paper for the Caribbean region. These include representatives from 31 animal phyla, two plant phyla, one group of Chromista, and three groups of Protoctista. Sampling effort has been greatest in shallow, nearshore waters, where there is relatively good coverage of species records; offshore and deep environments have been less studied. Additionally, we found that the currently accepted classification of marine ecoregions of the Caribbean did not apply for the benthic distributions of five relatively well known taxonomic groups. Coastal species richness tends to concentrate along the Antillean arc (Cuba to the southernmost Antilles) and the northern coast of South America (Venezuela – Colombia), while no pattern can be observed in the deep sea with the available data. Several factors make it impossible to determine the extent to which these distribution patterns accurately reflect the true situation for marine biodiversity in general: (1) highly localized concentrations of collecting effort and a lack of collecting in many areas and ecosystems, (2) high variability among collecting methods, (3) limited taxonomic expertise for many groups, and (4) differing levels of activity in the study of

  11. Marine biodiversity in the Caribbean: regional estimates and distribution patterns.

    PubMed

    Miloslavich, Patricia; Díaz, Juan Manuel; Klein, Eduardo; Alvarado, Juan José; Díaz, Cristina; Gobin, Judith; Escobar-Briones, Elva; Cruz-Motta, Juan José; Weil, Ernesto; Cortés, Jorge; Bastidas, Ana Carolina; Robertson, Ross; Zapata, Fernando; Martín, Alberto; Castillo, Julio; Kazandjian, Aniuska; Ortiz, Manuel

    2010-08-02

    This paper provides an analysis of the distribution patterns of marine biodiversity and summarizes the major activities of the Census of Marine Life program in the Caribbean region. The coastal Caribbean region is a large marine ecosystem (LME) characterized by coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrasses, but including other environments, such as sandy beaches and rocky shores. These tropical ecosystems incorporate a high diversity of associated flora and fauna, and the nations that border the Caribbean collectively encompass a major global marine biodiversity hot spot. We analyze the state of knowledge of marine biodiversity based on the geographic distribution of georeferenced species records and regional taxonomic lists. A total of 12,046 marine species are reported in this paper for the Caribbean region. These include representatives from 31 animal phyla, two plant phyla, one group of Chromista, and three groups of Protoctista. Sampling effort has been greatest in shallow, nearshore waters, where there is relatively good coverage of species records; offshore and deep environments have been less studied. Additionally, we found that the currently accepted classification of marine ecoregions of the Caribbean did not apply for the benthic distributions of five relatively well known taxonomic groups. Coastal species richness tends to concentrate along the Antillean arc (Cuba to the southernmost Antilles) and the northern coast of South America (Venezuela-Colombia), while no pattern can be observed in the deep sea with the available data. Several factors make it impossible to determine the extent to which these distribution patterns accurately reflect the true situation for marine biodiversity in general: (1) highly localized concentrations of collecting effort and a lack of collecting in many areas and ecosystems, (2) high variability among collecting methods, (3) limited taxonomic expertise for many groups, and (4) differing levels of activity in the study of different

  12. Understanding marine biodiversity: A research agenda for the nation

    SciTech Connect

    1995-05-01

    Propelled by the need for understanding changes in marine biodiversity resulting from human activities, this proposed research Program calls for ecological and oceanographic research spanning a broad range of spatial scales, from local to much larger regional, and over appropriately long time scales for capturing the dynamics of the system under study. The research agenda proposes a fundamental change in the approach by which biodiversity is measured and studied in the ocean by emphasizing integrated regional-scale research strategies within an environmentally relevant and socially responsible framework. This is now possible because of recent technological and conceptual advances within the ecological, molecular, and oceanographic sciences. A major goal of this research is to improve predictions of the effects of the human population on the diversity of life in the sea, in order to improve conservation and management plans. A well-defined set of biodiversity research questions is proposed for study in several different types of regional-scale marine ecosystems. These studies will permit meaningful comparisons across different habitats of the causes and consequences of changes in biodiversity due to human activities. This agenda requires significant advances in taxonomic expertise for identifying marine organisms and documenting their distributions, in knowledge of local and regional natural Patterns of biodiversity, and in understanding of the processes that create and maintain these patterns in space and time. Thus, this program could provide longawaited, much-needed, and exciting opportunities to develop the interface between taxonomy and ecology and between the ecological and oceanographic sciences.

  13. Marine microbial biodiversity, bioinformatics and biotechnology (M2B3) data reporting and service standards

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Contextual data collected concurrently with molecular samples are critical to the use of metagenomics in the fields of marine biodiversity, bioinformatics and biotechnology. We present here Marine Microbial Biodiversity, Bioinformatics and Biotechnology (M2B3) standards for “Reporting” and “Serving” data. The M2B3 Reporting Standard (1) describes minimal mandatory and recommended contextual information for a marine microbial sample obtained in the epipelagic zone, (2) includes meaningful information for researchers in the oceanographic, biodiversity and molecular disciplines, and (3) can easily be adopted by any marine laboratory with minimum sampling resources. The M2B3 Service Standard defines a software interface through which these data can be discovered and explored in data repositories. The M2B3 Standards were developed by the European project Micro B3, funded under 7th Framework Programme “Ocean of Tomorrow”, and were first used with the Ocean Sampling Day initiative. We believe that these standards have value in broader marine science. PMID:26203332

  14. Thresholds of hypoxia for marine biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Vaquer-Sunyer, Raquel; Duarte, Carlos M

    2008-10-07

    Hypoxia is a mounting problem affecting the world's coastal waters, with severe consequences for marine life, including death and catastrophic changes. Hypoxia is forecast to increase owing to the combined effects of the continued spread of coastal eutrophication and global warming. A broad comparative analysis across a range of contrasting marine benthic organisms showed that hypoxia thresholds vary greatly across marine benthic organisms and that the conventional definition of 2 mg O(2)/liter to designate waters as hypoxic is below the empirical sublethal and lethal O(2) thresholds for half of the species tested. These results imply that the number and area of coastal ecosystems affected by hypoxia and the future extent of hypoxia impacts on marine life have been generally underestimated.

  15. Current and future patterns of global marine mammal biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Kaschner, Kristin; Tittensor, Derek P; Ready, Jonathan; Gerrodette, Tim; Worm, Boris

    2011-01-01

    Quantifying the spatial distribution of taxa is an important prerequisite for the preservation of biodiversity, and can provide a baseline against which to measure the impacts of climate change. Here we analyse patterns of marine mammal species richness based on predictions of global distributional ranges for 115 species, including all extant pinnipeds and cetaceans. We used an environmental suitability model specifically designed to address the paucity of distributional data for many marine mammal species. We generated richness patterns by overlaying predicted distributions for all species; these were then validated against sightings data from dedicated long-term surveys in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, the Northeast Atlantic and the Southern Ocean. Model outputs correlated well with empirically observed patterns of biodiversity in all three survey regions. Marine mammal richness was predicted to be highest in temperate waters of both hemispheres with distinct hotspots around New Zealand, Japan, Baja California, the Galapagos Islands, the Southeast Pacific, and the Southern Ocean. We then applied our model to explore potential changes in biodiversity under future perturbations of environmental conditions. Forward projections of biodiversity using an intermediate Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) temperature scenario predicted that projected ocean warming and changes in sea ice cover until 2050 may have moderate effects on the spatial patterns of marine mammal richness. Increases in cetacean richness were predicted above 40° latitude in both hemispheres, while decreases in both pinniped and cetacean richness were expected at lower latitudes. Our results show how species distribution models can be applied to explore broad patterns of marine biodiversity worldwide for taxa for which limited distributional data are available.

  16. Second-generation environmental sequencing unmasks marine metazoan biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Fonseca, Vera G.; Carvalho, Gary R.; Sung, Way; Johnson, Harriet F.; Power, Deborah M.; Neill, Simon P.; Packer, Margaret; Blaxter, Mark L.; Lambshead, P. John D.; Thomas, W. Kelley; Creer, Simon

    2010-01-01

    Biodiversity is of crucial importance for ecosystem functioning, sustainability and resilience, but the magnitude and organization of marine diversity at a range of spatial and taxonomic scales are undefined. In this paper, we use second-generation sequencing to unmask putatively diverse marine metazoan biodiversity in a Scottish temperate benthic ecosystem. We show that remarkable differences in diversity occurred at microgeographical scales and refute currently accepted ecological and taxonomic paradigms of meiofaunal identity, rank abundance and concomitant understanding of trophic dynamics. Richness estimates from the current benchmarked Operational Clustering of Taxonomic Units from Parallel UltraSequencing analyses are broadly aligned with those derived from morphological assessments. However, the slope of taxon rarefaction curves for many phyla remains incomplete, suggesting that the true alpha diversity is likely to exceed current perceptions. The approaches provide a rapid, objective and cost-effective taxonomic framework for exploring links between ecosystem structure and function of all hitherto intractable, but ecologically important, communities. PMID:20981026

  17. An Overview of Marine Biodiversity in United States Waters

    PubMed Central

    Fautin, Daphne; Dalton, Penelope; Incze, Lewis S.; Leong, Jo-Ann C.; Pautzke, Clarence; Rosenberg, Andrew; Sandifer, Paul; Sedberry, George; Tunnell, John W.; Abbott, Isabella; Brainard, Russell E.; Brodeur, Melissa; Eldredge, Lucius G.; Feldman, Michael; Moretzsohn, Fabio; Vroom, Peter S.; Wainstein, Michelle; Wolff, Nicholas

    2010-01-01

    Marine biodiversity of the United States (U.S.) is extensively documented, but data assembled by the United States National Committee for the Census of Marine Life demonstrate that even the most complete taxonomic inventories are based on records scattered in space and time. The best-known taxa are those of commercial importance. Body size is directly correlated with knowledge of a species, and knowledge also diminishes with distance from shore and depth. Measures of biodiversity other than species diversity, such as ecosystem and genetic diversity, are poorly documented. Threats to marine biodiversity in the U.S. are the same as those for most of the world: overexploitation of living resources; reduced water quality; coastal development; shipping; invasive species; rising temperature and concentrations of carbon dioxide in the surface ocean, and other changes that may be consequences of global change, including shifting currents; increased number and size of hypoxic or anoxic areas; and increased number and duration of harmful algal blooms. More information must be obtained through field and laboratory research and monitoring that involve innovative sampling techniques (such as genetics and acoustics), but data that already exist must be made accessible. And all data must have a temporal component so trends can be identified. As data are compiled, techniques must be developed to make certain that scales are compatible, to combine and reconcile data collected for various purposes with disparate gear, and to automate taxonomic changes. Information on biotic and abiotic elements of the environment must be interactively linked. Impediments to assembling existing data and collecting new data on marine biodiversity include logistical problems as well as shortages in finances and taxonomic expertise. PMID:20689852

  18. An overview of marine biodiversity in United States waters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fautin, Daphne G.; Delton, Penelope; Incze, Lewis S.; Leong, Jo-Ann C.; Pautzke, Clarence; Rosenberg, Andrew A.; Sandifer, Paul; Sedberry, George R.; Tunnell, John W.; Abbott, Isabella; Brainard, Russell E.; Brodeur, Melissa; Eldredge, Lucius G.; Feldman, Michael; Moretzsohn, Fabio; Vroom, Peter S.; Wainstein, Michelle; Wolff, Nicholas

    2010-01-01

    Marine biodiversity of the United States (U.S.) is extensively documented, but data assembled by the United States National Committee for the Census of Marine Life demonstrate that even the most complete taxonomic inventories are based on records scattered in space and time. The best-known taxa are those of commercial importance. Body size is directly correlated with knowledge of a species, and knowledge also diminishes with distance from shore and depth. Measures of biodiversity other than species diversity, such as ecosystem and genetic diversity, are poorly documented. Threats to marine biodiversity in the U.S. are the same as those for most of the world: overexploitation of living resources; reduced water quality; coastal development; shipping; invasive species; rising temperature and concentrations of carbon dioxide in the surface ocean, and other changes that may be consequences of global change, including shifting currents; increased number and size of hypoxic or anoxic areas; and increased number and duration of harmful algal blooms. More information must be obtained through field and laboratory research and monitoring that involve innovative sampling techniques (such as genetics and acoustics), but data that already exist must be made accessible. And all data must have a temporal component so trends can be identified. As data are compiled, techniques must be developed to make certain that scales are compatible, to combine and reconcile data collected for various purposes with disparate gear, and to automate taxonomic changes. Information on biotic and abiotic elements of the environment must be interactively linked. Impediments to assembling existing data and collecting new data on marine biodiversity include logistical problems as well as shortages in finances and taxonomic expertise.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-22

    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.

  20. The marine food chain in relation to biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Price, A R

    2001-10-19

    Biodiversity provides "raw materials" for the food chain and seafood production, and also influences the capacity of ecosystems to perform these and other services. Harvested marine seafood species now exceed 100 million t y(-1) and provide about 6% of all protein and 17% of animal protein consumed by humans. These resources include representatives from about nine biologically diverse groups of plants and animals. Fish account for most of the world"s marine catches, of which only 40 species are taken in abundance. Highest primary productivity and the richest fisheries are found within Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ). This narrow strip (200 nautical mile/370 km wide) is not only the site of coastal "food factories" but also the area associated with heaviest perturbation to the marine environment. Structural redundancy is evident in marine ecosystems, in that many species are interchangeable in the way they characterise assemblage composition. While there is probably functional redundancy within groups, the effects of species loss on ecosystem performance cannot be easily predicted. In particular, the degree to which biodiversity per se is needed for ecosystem services, including seafood/fishery production, is poorly understood. Many human activities, including unsustainable fishing and mariculture, lead to erosion of marine biodiversity. This can undermine the biophysical cornerstones of fisheries and have other undesirable environmental side effects. Of direct concern are "species effects", in particular the removal of target and non-target fishery species, as well as conservationally important fauna. Equally disrupting but less immediate are "ecosystem effects", such as fishing down the food web, following a shift from harvested species of high to low trophic level. Physical and biological disturbances from trawl nets and dynamite fishing on coral reefs can also severely impact ecosystem structure and function. "Broadscale" biological and social effects brought

  1. Biodiversity conservation should focus on no-take Marine Reserves: 94% of Marine Protected Areas allow fishing.

    PubMed

    Costello, Mark J; Ballantine, Bill

    2015-09-01

    Conservation needs places where nature is left wild; but only a quarter of coastal countries have no-take Marine Reserves. 'Marine Protected Areas' (MPAs) have been used to indicate conservation progress but we found that 94% allow fishing and thus cannot protect all aspects of biodiversity. Biodiversity conservation should focus on Marine Reserves, not MPAs.

  2. Human health benefits supplied by Mediterranean marine biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Lloret, Josep

    2010-10-01

    This paper summarizes the overall benefits supplied by Mediterranean marine biodiversity to human health and highlights the anthropogenic and environmental causes that are threatening these benefits. First, the Mediterranean Sea is a valuable source of seafood, which is an important component of the so-called "Mediterranean diet". This type of diet has several health benefits, including cardio and cancer protective effects, which are attributed to the high intake of seafood-derived n-3 (omega-3) fatty acids. Second, the Mediterranean marine organisms, particularly the benthic ones, have furnished a large variety of bioactive metabolites, some of which are being developed into new drugs to threat major human diseases such as cancer. Third, the Mediterranean coastal areas provide environments for practising maritime leisure activities that provide physical and psychological benefits to users. Despite all this, fishing, tourism, contamination and sea warming are deteriorating this rich marine ecosystem, which needs to be protected to assure human welfare.

  3. Marine biodiversity hotspots and conservation priorities for tropical reefs.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Callum M; McClean, Colin J; Veron, John E N; Hawkins, Julie P; Allen, Gerald R; McAllister, Don E; Mittermeier, Cristina G; Schueler, Frederick W; Spalding, Mark; Wells, Fred; Vynne, Carly; Werner, Timothy B

    2002-02-15

    Coral reefs are the most biologically diverse of shallow water marine ecosystems but are being degraded worldwide by human activities and climate warming. Analyses of the geographic ranges of 3235 species of reef fish, corals, snails, and lobsters revealed that between 7.2% and 53.6% of each taxon have highly restricted ranges, rendering them vulnerable to extinction. Restricted-range species are clustered into centers of endemism, like those described for terrestrial taxa. The 10 richest centers of endemism cover 15.8% of the world's coral reefs (0.012% of the oceans) but include between 44.8 and 54.2% of the restricted-range species. Many occur in regions where reefs are being severely affected by people, potentially leading to numerous extinctions. Threatened centers of endemism are major biodiversity hotspots, and conservation efforts targeted toward them could help avert the loss of tropical reef biodiversity.

  4. Marine caves of the Mediterranean Sea: a sponge biodiversity reservoir within a biodiversity hotspot.

    PubMed

    Gerovasileiou, Vasilis; Voultsiadou, Eleni

    2012-01-01

    Marine caves are widely acknowledged for their unique biodiversity and constitute a typical feature of the Mediterranean coastline. Herein an attempt was made to evaluate the ecological significance of this particular ecosystem in the Mediterranean Sea, which is considered a biodiversity hotspot. This was accomplished by using Porifera, which dominate the rocky sublittoral substrata, as a reference group in a meta-analytical approach, combining primary research data from the Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean) with data derived from the literature. In total 311 species from all poriferan classes were recorded, representing 45.7% of the Mediterranean Porifera. Demospongiae and Homoscleromorpha are highly represented in marine caves at the family (88%), generic (70%), and species level (47.5%), the latter being the most favored group along with Dictyoceratida and Lithistida. Several rare and cave-exclusive species were reported from only one or few caves, indicating the fragmentation and peculiarity of this unique ecosystem. Species richness and phylogenetic diversity varied among Mediterranean areas; the former was positively correlated with research effort, being higher in the northern Mediterranean, while the latter was generally higher in caves than in the overall sponge assemblages of each area. Resemblance analysis among areas revealed that cavernicolous sponge assemblages followed a pattern quite similar to that of the overall Mediterranean assemblages. The same pattern was exhibited by the zoogeographic affinities of cave sponges: species with Atlanto-Mediterranean distribution and Mediterranean endemics prevailed (more than 40% each), 70% of them having warm-water affinities, since most caves were studied in shallow waters. According to our findings, Mediterranean marine caves appear to be important sponge biodiversity reservoirs of high representativeness and great scientific interest, deserving further detailed study and protection.

  5. Marine Caves of the Mediterranean Sea: A Sponge Biodiversity Reservoir within a Biodiversity Hotspot

    PubMed Central

    Gerovasileiou, Vasilis; Voultsiadou, Eleni

    2012-01-01

    Marine caves are widely acknowledged for their unique biodiversity and constitute a typical feature of the Mediterranean coastline. Herein an attempt was made to evaluate the ecological significance of this particular ecosystem in the Mediterranean Sea, which is considered a biodiversity hotspot. This was accomplished by using Porifera, which dominate the rocky sublittoral substrata, as a reference group in a meta-analytical approach, combining primary research data from the Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean) with data derived from the literature. In total 311 species from all poriferan classes were recorded, representing 45.7% of the Mediterranean Porifera. Demospongiae and Homoscleromorpha are highly represented in marine caves at the family (88%), generic (70%), and species level (47.5%), the latter being the most favored group along with Dictyoceratida and Lithistida. Several rare and cave-exclusive species were reported from only one or few caves, indicating the fragmentation and peculiarity of this unique ecosystem. Species richness and phylogenetic diversity varied among Mediterranean areas; the former was positively correlated with research effort, being higher in the northern Mediterranean, while the latter was generally higher in caves than in the overall sponge assemblages of each area. Resemblance analysis among areas revealed that cavernicolous sponge assemblages followed a pattern quite similar to that of the overall Mediterranean assemblages. The same pattern was exhibited by the zoogeographic affinities of cave sponges: species with Atlanto-Mediterranean distribution and Mediterranean endemics prevailed (more than 40% each), 70% of them having warm-water affinities, since most caves were studied in shallow waters. According to our findings, Mediterranean marine caves appear to be important sponge biodiversity reservoirs of high representativeness and great scientific interest, deserving further detailed study and protection. PMID:22808070

  6. Biodiversity: invasions by marine life on plastic debris.

    PubMed

    Barnes, David K A

    2002-04-25

    Colonization by alien species poses one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. Here I investigate the colonization by marine organisms of drift debris deposited on the shores of 30 remote islands from the Arctic to the Antarctic (across all oceans) and find that human litter more than doubles the rafting opportunities for biota, particularly at high latitudes. Although the poles may be protected from invasion by freezing sea surface temperatures, these may be under threat as the fastest-warming areas anywhere are at these latitudes.

  7. Antarctic marine biodiversity and deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

    PubMed

    Chown, Steven L

    2012-01-01

    The diversity of many marine benthic groups is unlike that of most other taxa. Rather than declining from the tropics to the poles, much of the benthos shows high diversity in the Southern Ocean. Moreover, many species are unique to the Antarctic region. Recent work has shown that this is also true of the communities of Antarctic deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Vent ecosystems have been documented from many sites across the globe, associated with the thermally and chemically variable habitats found around these, typically high temperature, streams that are rich in reduced compounds and polymetallic sulphides. The animal communities of the East Scotia Ridge vent ecosystems are very different to those elsewhere, though the microbiota, which form the basis of vent food webs, show less differentiation. Much of the biological significance of deep-sea hydrothermal vents lies in their biodiversity, the diverse biochemistry of their bacteria, the remarkable symbioses among many of the marine animals and these bacteria, and the prospects that investigations of these systems hold for understanding the conditions that may have led to the first appearance of life. The discovery of diverse and unusual Antarctic hydrothermal vent ecosystems provides opportunities for new understanding in these fields. Moreover, the Antarctic vents south of 60°S benefit from automatic conservation under the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and the Antarctic Treaty. Other deep-sea hydrothermal vents located in international waters are not protected and may be threatened by growing interests in deep-sea mining.

  8. [Marine biodiversity of Costa Rica, the microcrustacea: Copepoda (Crustacea: Maxillopoda)].

    PubMed

    Morales-Ramírez, A

    2001-12-01

    This report is part of a series that summarizes the species and localities of Costa Rican marine taxa. A review of the literature on copepods, both pelagic and benthic for the Pacific and Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, includes eighty species. Sixty seven pelagic species have been found, distributed between sixteen calanoid, one cyclopoid, three harparticoid and four poecilostomatoid families. Moreover, thirteen benthonic species distributed into six families, all harparticoids, are reported. Among the pelagic families, Pontellidae has six species, while Paracalanidae and Eucalanidae had five each. Other families, like Calanidae, Pseudodiaptomidae and Acartiidae had four species and most families only one. Forty five species are reported only for the Pacific coast, thirteen for the Caribbean coast, only nine species occurred in both coasts; being a direct consequence of the more intensive research effort in the Pacific. Pelagic copepod biodiversity reflects different oceanographic conditions in both coasts. Typical estuarine species were found in the lower region of the Gulf of Nicoya, while a mixture of estuarine and oceanic species were found in Golfo Dulce. Diversity in the Caribbean, specially at the Cahuita coral reef is lower in comparison with the copepod diversity found in other regions in the Caribbean sea. This may be due to the high sediment resuspension rate characteristic of the Cahuita coral reef, which could affect the reproduction of many holozooplankters, specially copepods. Although sixty seven pelagic copepod species appears to be in low numbers, in terms of specific biodiversity it is as high when compared to numbers found in other tropical areas. Thirteen species are reported in the literature, all harparticoids. Five species, three sub-species and one genera were new to science. Balacopsylla is reported for the first time from a neotropical regions, while the genus Karllangia, represented by two coexisting species in the Caribbean coast

  9. Climate velocity and the future global redistribution of marine biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Molinos, Jorge; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Schoeman, David S.; Brown, Christopher J.; Kiessling, Wolfgang; Moore, Pippa J.; Pandolfi, John M.; Poloczanska, Elvira S.; Richardson, Anthony J.; Burrows, Michael T.

    2016-01-01

    Anticipating the effect of climate change on biodiversity, in particular on changes in community composition, is crucial for adaptive ecosystem management but remains a critical knowledge gap. Here, we use climate velocity trajectories, together with information on thermal tolerances and habitat preferences, to project changes in global patterns of marine species richness and community composition under IPCC Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 4.5 and 8.5. Our simple, intuitive approach emphasizes climate connectivity, and enables us to model over 12 times as many species as previous studies. We find that range expansions prevail over contractions for both RCPs up to 2100, producing a net local increase in richness globally, and temporal changes in composition, driven by the redistribution rather than the loss of diversity. Conversely, widespread invasions homogenize present-day communities across multiple regions. High extirpation rates are expected regionally (for example, Indo-Pacific), particularly under RCP8.5, leading to strong decreases in richness and the anticipated formation of no-analogue communities where invasions are common. The spatial congruence of these patterns with contemporary human impacts highlights potential areas of future conservation concern. These results strongly suggest that the millennial stability of current global marine diversity patterns, against which conservation plans are assessed, will change rapidly over the course of the century in response to ocean warming.

  10. The Australian Ocean Data Network as a tool for supporting management of marine biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proctor, Roger; Dunstan, Piers; Hedge, Paul; Atkins, Natalia; Mancini, Sebastien; Bax, Nic

    2013-04-01

    The Australian Ocean Data Network (AODN) is a rapidly growing distributed data network bringing together marine data collections from Commonwealth Agencies, Universities, State Governments, national programs and private industry. These data are made publicly available through the AODN portal (http://portal.aodn.org.au), an open source information infrastructure itself downloadable from https://github.com/aodn/aodn-portal. Increasingly, the data collections are multi-disciplinary requiring access to multiple layers of information from different sources. This requires rich metadata to enable the appropriate layers to be discovered and integrated. Recently, the Marine Biodiversity Hub of the National Environmental Research Program (NERP), funded by the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, has commited to making its data publicly available through the AODN. The next 3-4 years provide a key opportunity to fundamentally change the way we monitor marine biodiversity throughout Australia. The Hub collaborates with the Department and stakeholders to understand ecosystems and biodiversity especially in Northern Australia. Key outcomes will include better methods for measuring ecosystem health and Marine Protected Area (MPA) performance, more management options, and increased understanding of marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, leading to improved monitoring and management of marine biodiversity and listed species in Australia. The ability to bring together the wide range of data necessary to fulfil the Marine Biodiversity Hub's aims represents a challenge for the AODN. This will be illustrated through a test case based on marine park requirements.

  11. Antarctic Marine Biodiversity and Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents

    PubMed Central

    Chown, Steven L.

    2012-01-01

    The diversity of many marine benthic groups is unlike that of most other taxa. Rather than declining from the tropics to the poles, much of the benthos shows high diversity in the Southern Ocean. Moreover, many species are unique to the Antarctic region. Recent work has shown that this is also true of the communities of Antarctic deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Vent ecosystems have been documented from many sites across the globe, associated with the thermally and chemically variable habitats found around these, typically high temperature, streams that are rich in reduced compounds and polymetallic sulphides. The animal communities of the East Scotia Ridge vent ecosystems are very different to those elsewhere, though the microbiota, which form the basis of vent food webs, show less differentiation. Much of the biological significance of deep-sea hydrothermal vents lies in their biodiversity, the diverse biochemistry of their bacteria, the remarkable symbioses among many of the marine animals and these bacteria, and the prospects that investigations of these systems hold for understanding the conditions that may have led to the first appearance of life. The discovery of diverse and unusual Antarctic hydrothermal vent ecosystems provides opportunities for new understanding in these fields. Moreover, the Antarctic vents south of 60°S benefit from automatic conservation under the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and the Antarctic Treaty. Other deep-sea hydrothermal vents located in international waters are not protected and may be threatened by growing interests in deep-sea mining. PMID:22235192

  12. Incorporating conservation zone effectiveness for protecting biodiversity in marine planning.

    PubMed

    Makino, Azusa; Klein, Carissa J; Beger, Maria; Jupiter, Stacy D; Possingham, Hugh P

    2013-01-01

    Establishing different types of conservation zones is becoming commonplace. However, spatial prioritization methods that can accommodate multiple zones are poorly understood in theory and application. It is typically assumed that management regulations across zones have differential levels of effectiveness ("zone effectiveness") for biodiversity protection, but the influence of zone effectiveness on achieving conservation targets has not yet been explored. Here, we consider the zone effectiveness of three zones: permanent closure, partial protection, and open, for planning for the protection of five different marine habitats in the Vatu-i-Ra Seascape, Fiji. We explore the impact of differential zone effectiveness on the location and costs of conservation priorities. We assume that permanent closure zones are fully effective at protecting all habitats, open zones do not contribute towards the conservation targets and partial protection zones lie between these two extremes. We use four different estimates for zone effectiveness and three different estimates for zone cost of the partial protection zone. To enhance the practical utility of the approach, we also explore how much of each traditional fishing ground can remain open for fishing while still achieving conservation targets. Our results show that all of the high priority areas for permanent closure zones would not be a high priority when the zone effectiveness of the partial protection zone is equal to that of permanent closure zones. When differential zone effectiveness and costs are considered, the resulting marine protected area network consequently increases in size, with more area allocated to permanent closure zones to meet conservation targets. By distributing the loss of fishing opportunity equitably among local communities, we find that 84-88% of each traditional fishing ground can be left open while still meeting conservation targets. Finally, we summarize the steps for developing marine zoning that

  13. Force majeure: Will climate change affect our ability to attain Good Environmental Status for marine biodiversity?

    PubMed

    Elliott, Michael; Borja, Ángel; McQuatters-Gollop, Abigail; Mazik, Krysia; Birchenough, Silvana; Andersen, Jesper H; Painting, Suzanne; Peck, Myron

    2015-06-15

    The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requires that Good Environmental Status (GEnS), is achieved for European seas by 2020. These may deviate from GEnS, its 11 Descriptors, targets and baselines, due to endogenic managed pressures (from activities within an area) and externally due to exogenic unmanaged pressures (e.g. climate change). Conceptual models detail the likely or perceived changes expected on marine biodiversity and GEnS Descriptors in the light of climate change. We emphasise that marine management has to accommodate 'shifting baselines' caused by climate change particularly during GEnS monitoring, assessment and management and 'unbounded boundaries' given the migration and dispersal of highly-mobile species. We suggest climate change may prevent GEnS being met, but Member States may rebut legal challenges by claiming that this is outside its control, force majeure or due to 'natural causes' (Article 14 of the MSFD). The analysis is relevant to management of other global seas.

  14. Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services: a useful way to manage and conserve marine resources?

    PubMed Central

    Broszeit, Stefanie; Pilling, Graham M.; Grant, Susie M.; Austen, Melanie C.

    2016-01-01

    Valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES) is widely recognized as a useful, though often controversial, approach to conservation and management. However, its use in the marine environment, hence evidence of its efficacy, lags behind that in terrestrial ecosystems. This largely reflects key challenges to marine conservation and management such as the practical difficulties in studying the ocean, complex governance issues and the historically-rooted separation of biodiversity conservation and resource management. Given these challenges together with the accelerating loss of marine biodiversity (and threats to the ES that this biodiversity supports), we ask whether valuation efforts for marine ecosystems are appropriate and effective. We compare three contrasting systems: the tropical Pacific, Southern Ocean and UK coastal seas. In doing so, we reveal a diversity in valuation approaches with different rates of progress and success. We also find a tendency to focus on specific ES (often the harvested species) rather than biodiversity. In light of our findings, we present a new conceptual view of valuation that should ideally be considered in decision-making. Accounting for the critical relationships between biodiversity and ES, together with an understanding of ecosystem structure and functioning, will enable the wider implications of marine conservation and management decisions to be evaluated. We recommend embedding valuation within existing management structures, rather than treating it as an alternative or additional mechanism. However, we caution that its uptake and efficacy will be compromised without the ability to develop and share best practice across regions. PMID:27928037

  15. Valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services: a useful way to manage and conserve marine resources?

    PubMed

    Cavanagh, Rachel D; Broszeit, Stefanie; Pilling, Graham M; Grant, Susie M; Murphy, Eugene J; Austen, Melanie C

    2016-12-14

    Valuation of biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES) is widely recognized as a useful, though often controversial, approach to conservation and management. However, its use in the marine environment, hence evidence of its efficacy, lags behind that in terrestrial ecosystems. This largely reflects key challenges to marine conservation and management such as the practical difficulties in studying the ocean, complex governance issues and the historically-rooted separation of biodiversity conservation and resource management. Given these challenges together with the accelerating loss of marine biodiversity (and threats to the ES that this biodiversity supports), we ask whether valuation efforts for marine ecosystems are appropriate and effective. We compare three contrasting systems: the tropical Pacific, Southern Ocean and UK coastal seas. In doing so, we reveal a diversity in valuation approaches with different rates of progress and success. We also find a tendency to focus on specific ES (often the harvested species) rather than biodiversity. In light of our findings, we present a new conceptual view of valuation that should ideally be considered in decision-making. Accounting for the critical relationships between biodiversity and ES, together with an understanding of ecosystem structure and functioning, will enable the wider implications of marine conservation and management decisions to be evaluated. We recommend embedding valuation within existing management structures, rather than treating it as an alternative or additional mechanism. However, we caution that its uptake and efficacy will be compromised without the ability to develop and share best practice across regions.

  16. The Real Bounty: Marine Biodiversity in the Pitcairn Islands

    PubMed Central

    Friedlander, Alan M.; Caselle, Jennifer E.; Ballesteros, Enric; Brown, Eric K.; Turchik, Alan; Sala, Enric

    2014-01-01

    In 2012 we conducted an integrated ecological assessment of the marine environment of the Pitcairn Islands, which are four of the most remote islands in the world. The islands and atolls (Ducie, Henderson, Oeno, and Pitcairn) are situated in the central South Pacific, halfway between New Zealand and South America. We surveyed algae, corals, mobile invertebrates, and fishes at 97 sites between 5 and 30 m depth, and found 51 new records for algae, 23 for corals, and 15 for fishes. The structure of the ecological communities was correlated with age, isolation, and geomorphology of the four islands. Coral and algal assemblages were significantly different among islands with Ducie having the highest coral cover (56%) and Pitcairn dominated by erect macroalgae (42%). Fish biomass was dominated by top predators at Ducie (62% of total fish biomass) and at Henderson (35%). Herbivorous fishes dominated at Pitcairn, while Oeno showed a balanced fish trophic structure. We found high levels of regional endemism in the fish assemblages across the islands (45%), with the highest level observed at Ducie (56% by number). We conducted the first surveys of the deep habitats around the Pitcairn Islands using drop-cameras at 21 sites from depths of 78 to 1,585 m. We observed 57 fish species from the drop-cams, including rare species such as the false catshark (Pseudotriakis microdon) and several new undescribed species. In addition, we made observations of typically shallow reef sharks and other reef fishes at depths down to 300 m. Our findings highlight the uniqueness and high biodiversity value of the Pitcairn Islands as one of the least impacted in the Pacific, and suggest the need for immediate protection. PMID:24963808

  17. The real bounty: marine biodiversity in the Pitcairn Islands.

    PubMed

    Friedlander, Alan M; Caselle, Jennifer E; Ballesteros, Enric; Brown, Eric K; Turchik, Alan; Sala, Enric

    2014-01-01

    In 2012 we conducted an integrated ecological assessment of the marine environment of the Pitcairn Islands, which are four of the most remote islands in the world. The islands and atolls (Ducie, Henderson, Oeno, and Pitcairn) are situated in the central South Pacific, halfway between New Zealand and South America. We surveyed algae, corals, mobile invertebrates, and fishes at 97 sites between 5 and 30 m depth, and found 51 new records for algae, 23 for corals, and 15 for fishes. The structure of the ecological communities was correlated with age, isolation, and geomorphology of the four islands. Coral and algal assemblages were significantly different among islands with Ducie having the highest coral cover (56%) and Pitcairn dominated by erect macroalgae (42%). Fish biomass was dominated by top predators at Ducie (62% of total fish biomass) and at Henderson (35%). Herbivorous fishes dominated at Pitcairn, while Oeno showed a balanced fish trophic structure. We found high levels of regional endemism in the fish assemblages across the islands (45%), with the highest level observed at Ducie (56% by number). We conducted the first surveys of the deep habitats around the Pitcairn Islands using drop-cameras at 21 sites from depths of 78 to 1,585 m. We observed 57 fish species from the drop-cams, including rare species such as the false catshark (Pseudotriakis microdon) and several new undescribed species. In addition, we made observations of typically shallow reef sharks and other reef fishes at depths down to 300 m. Our findings highlight the uniqueness and high biodiversity value of the Pitcairn Islands as one of the least impacted in the Pacific, and suggest the need for immediate protection.

  18. [Identification of marine and coastal biodiversity conservation priorities in Costa Rica].

    PubMed

    Alvarado, Juan José; Herrera, Bernal; Corrales, Lenin; Asch, Jenny; Paaby, Pía

    2011-06-01

    Costa Rica is recognized as one of the most diverse countries in species and ecosystems, in their terrestrial realm as well as in the marine. Besides this relevance, the country presents a delay on conservation and management of marine and coastal biodiversity, with respect to terrestrial. For 2006, the marine protected surface was 5,208.8 km2, with 331.5 km of coastline, in 20 protected areas. The country has made progress on the conservation priority sites identification for terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity, with few efforts on marine planning. This research presents the analysis and results of the gap identification process, for marine and coastal biodiversity conservation in the protected areas system of Costa Rica. The analysis was built with the spatial information available on the presence and distribution of coastal and marine biodiversity, the establishment of the conservation goals and a threat analysis over the ecological integrity of this biodiversity. The selection of high-priority sites was carried out using spatial optimization techniques and the superposition over the current shape of marine protected areas, in order to identify representation gaps. A total of 19,076 km2 of conservation gaps were indentified, with 1,323 km2 in the Caribbean and 17,753 km2 in the Pacific. Recommendations are aimed at planning and strengthening the marine protected areas system, using the gaps identified as a framework. It is expected that the results of this study would be the scientific base needed for planning and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in the country.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-28

    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.

  20. 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

  1. New perspectives on sea use management: initial findings from European experience with marine spatial planning.

    PubMed

    Douvere, Fanny; Ehler, Charles N

    2009-01-01

    Increased development pressures on the marine environment and the potential for multiple use conflicts, arising as a result of the current expansion of offshore wind energy, fishing and aquaculture, dredging, mineral extraction, shipping, and the need to meet international and national commitments to biodiversity conservation, have led to increased interest in sea use planning with particular emphasis on marine spatial planning. Several European countries, on their own initiative or driven by the European Union's Marine Strategy and Maritime Policy, the Bergen Declaration of the North Sea Conference, and the EU Recommendation on Integrated Coastal Zone Management, have taken global leadership in implementing marine spatial planning. Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany in the North Sea, and the United Kingdom in the Irish Sea, have already completed preliminary sea use plans and zoning proposals for marine areas within their national jurisdictions. This paper discusses the nature and context of marine spatial planning, the international legal and policy framework, and the increasing need for marine spatial planning in Europe. In addition, the authors review briefly three marine spatial planning initiatives in the North Sea and conclude with some initial lessons learned from these experiences.

  2. Shortfalls in the global protected area network at representing marine biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Klein, Carissa J; Brown, Christopher J; Halpern, Benjamin S; Segan, Daniel B; McGowan, Jennifer; Beger, Maria; Watson, James E M

    2015-12-03

    The first international goal for establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) to conserve the ocean's biodiversity was set in 2002. Since 2006, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has driven MPA establishment, with 193 parties committed to protecting >10% of marine environments globally by 2020, especially 'areas of particular importance for biodiversity' (Aichi target 11). This has resulted in nearly 10 million km(2) of new MPAs, a growth of ~360% in a decade. Unlike on land, it is not known how well protected areas capture marine biodiversity, leaving a significant gap in our understanding of existing MPAs and future protection requirements. We assess the overlap of global MPAs with the ranges of 17,348 marine species (fishes, mammals, invertebrates), and find that 97.4% of species have <10% of their ranges represented in stricter conservation classes. Almost all (99.8%) of the very poorly represented species (<2% coverage) are found within exclusive economic zones, suggesting an important role for particular nations to better protect biodiversity. Our results offer strategic guidance on where MPAs should be placed to support the CBD's overall goal to avert biodiversity loss. Achieving this goal is imperative for nature and humanity, as people depend on biodiversity for important and valuable services.

  3. Marine communities on oil platforms in Gabon, West Africa: high biodiversity oases in a low biodiversity environment.

    PubMed

    Friedlander, Alan M; Ballesteros, Enric; Fay, Michael; Sala, Enric

    2014-01-01

    The marine biodiversity of Gabon, West Africa has not been well studied and is largely unknown. Our examination of marine communities associated with oil platforms in Gabon is the first scientific investigation of these structures and highlights the unique ecosystems associated with them. A number of species previously unknown to Gabonese waters were recorded during our surveys on these platforms. Clear distinctions in benthic communities were observed between older, larger platforms in the north and newer platforms to the south or closer to shore. The former were dominated by a solitary cup coral, Tubastraea sp., whereas the latter were dominated by the barnacle Megabalanus tintinnabulum, but with more diverse benthic assemblages compared to the northerly platforms. Previous work documented the presence of limited zooxanthellated scleractinian corals on natural rocky substrate in Gabon but none were recorded on platforms. Total estimated fish biomass on these platforms exceeded one ton at some locations and was dominated by barracuda (Sphyraena spp.), jacks (Carangids), and rainbow runner (Elagatis bipinnulata). Thirty-four percent of fish species observed on these platforms are new records for Gabon and 6% are new to tropical West Africa. Fish assemblages closely associated with platforms had distinct amphi-Atlantic affinities and platforms likely extend the distribution of these species into coastal West Africa. At least one potential invasive species, the snowflake coral (Carijoa riisei), was observed on the platforms. Oil platforms may act as stepping stones, increasing regional biodiversity and production but they may also be vectors for invasive species. Gabon is a world leader in terrestrial conservation with a network of protected areas covering >10% of the country. Oil exploration and biodiversity conservation currently co-exist in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems in Gabon. Efforts to increase marine protection in Gabon may benefit by including oil

  4. Marine Communities on Oil Platforms in Gabon, West Africa: High Biodiversity Oases in a Low Biodiversity Environment

    PubMed Central

    Friedlander, Alan M.; Ballesteros, Enric; Fay, Michael; Sala, Enric

    2014-01-01

    The marine biodiversity of Gabon, West Africa has not been well studied and is largely unknown. Our examination of marine communities associated with oil platforms in Gabon is the first scientific investigation of these structures and highlights the unique ecosystems associated with them. A number of species previously unknown to Gabonese waters were recorded during our surveys on these platforms. Clear distinctions in benthic communities were observed between older, larger platforms in the north and newer platforms to the south or closer to shore. The former were dominated by a solitary cup coral, Tubastraea sp., whereas the latter were dominated by the barnacle Megabalanus tintinnabulum, but with more diverse benthic assemblages compared to the northerly platforms. Previous work documented the presence of limited zooxanthellated scleractinian corals on natural rocky substrate in Gabon but none were recorded on platforms. Total estimated fish biomass on these platforms exceeded one ton at some locations and was dominated by barracuda (Sphyraena spp.), jacks (Carangids), and rainbow runner (Elagatis bipinnulata). Thirty-four percent of fish species observed on these platforms are new records for Gabon and 6% are new to tropical West Africa. Fish assemblages closely associated with platforms had distinct amphi-Atlantic affinities and platforms likely extend the distribution of these species into coastal West Africa. At least one potential invasive species, the snowflake coral (Carijoa riisei), was observed on the platforms. Oil platforms may act as stepping stones, increasing regional biodiversity and production but they may also be vectors for invasive species. Gabon is a world leader in terrestrial conservation with a network of protected areas covering >10% of the country. Oil exploration and biodiversity conservation currently co-exist in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems in Gabon. Efforts to increase marine protection in Gabon may benefit by including oil

  5. Open exchange of scientific knowledge and European copyright: The case of biodiversity information.

    PubMed

    Egloff, Willi; Patterson, David J; Agosti, Donat; Hagedorn, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    Background. The 7(th) Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development is helping the European Union to prepare for an integrative system for intelligent management of biodiversity knowledge. The infrastructure that is envisaged and that will be further developed within the Programme "Horizon 2020" aims to provide open and free access to taxonomic information to anyone with a requirement for biodiversity data, without the need for individual consent of other persons or institutions. Open and free access to information will foster the re-use and improve the quality of data, will accelerate research, and will promote new types of research. Progress towards the goal of free and open access to content is hampered by numerous technical, economic, sociological, legal, and other factors. The present article addresses barriers to the open exchange of biodiversity knowledge that arise from European laws, in particular European legislation on copyright and database protection rights. We present a legal point of view as to what will be needed to bring distributed information together and facilitate its re-use by data mining, integration into semantic knowledge systems, and similar techniques. We address exceptions and limitations of copyright or database protection within Europe, and we point to the importance of data use agreements. We illustrate how exceptions and limitations have been transformed into national legislations within some European states to create inconsistencies that impede access to biodiversity information. Conclusions. The legal situation within the EU is unsatisfactory because there are inconsistencies among states that hamper the deployment of an open biodiversity knowledge management system. Scientists within the EU who work with copyright protected works or with protected databases have to be aware of regulations that vary from country to country. This is a major stumbling block to international collaboration and is an impediment to the

  6. Open exchange of scientific knowledge and European copyright: The case of biodiversity information

    PubMed Central

    Egloff, Willi; Patterson, David J.; Agosti, Donat; Hagedorn, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Background. The 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development is helping the European Union to prepare for an integrative system for intelligent management of biodiversity knowledge. The infrastructure that is envisaged and that will be further developed within the Programme “Horizon 2020” aims to provide open and free access to taxonomic information to anyone with a requirement for biodiversity data, without the need for individual consent of other persons or institutions. Open and free access to information will foster the re-use and improve the quality of data, will accelerate research, and will promote new types of research. Progress towards the goal of free and open access to content is hampered by numerous technical, economic, sociological, legal, and other factors. The present article addresses barriers to the open exchange of biodiversity knowledge that arise from European laws, in particular European legislation on copyright and database protection rights. We present a legal point of view as to what will be needed to bring distributed information together and facilitate its re-use by data mining, integration into semantic knowledge systems, and similar techniques. We address exceptions and limitations of copyright or database protection within Europe, and we point to the importance of data use agreements. We illustrate how exceptions and limitations have been transformed into national legislations within some European states to create inconsistencies that impede access to biodiversity information. Conclusions. The legal situation within the EU is unsatisfactory because there are inconsistencies among states that hamper the deployment of an open biodiversity knowledge management system. Scientists within the EU who work with copyright protected works or with protected databases have to be aware of regulations that vary from country to country. This is a major stumbling block to international collaboration and is an

  7. European Marine Observation Data Network - EMODnet Physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manzella, Giuseppe M. R.; Novellino, Antonio; D'Angelo, Paolo; Gorringe, Patrick; Schaap, Dick; Pouliquen, Sylvie; Loubrieu, Thomas; Rickards, Lesley

    2015-04-01

    The EMODnet-Physics portal (www.emodnet-physics.eu) makes layers of physical data and their metadata available for use and contributes towards the definition of an operational European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet). It is based on a strong collaboration between EuroGOOS associates and its regional operational systems (ROOSs), and it is bringing together two very different marine communities: the "real time" ocean observing institute/centers and the National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODCs) that are in charge of ocean data validation, quality check and update for marine environmental monitoring. The EMODnet-Physics is a Marine Observation and Data Information System that provides a single point of access to near real time and historical achieved data (www.emodnet-physics.eu/map) it is built on existing infrastructure by adding value and avoiding any unless complexity, it provides data access to users, it is aimed at attracting new data holders, better and more data. With a long-term vision for a pan European Ocean Observation System sustainability, the EMODnet-Physics is supporting the coordination of the EuroGOOS Regional components and the empowerment and improvement of their data management infrastructure. In turn, EMODnet-Physics already implemented high-level interoperability features (WMS, Web catalogue, web services, etc…) to facilitate connection and data exchange with the ROOS and the Institutes within the ROOSs (www.emodnet-physics.eu/services). The on-going EMODnet-Physics structure delivers environmental marine physical data from the whole Europe (wave height and period, temperature of the water column, wind speed and direction, salinity of the water column, horizontal velocity of the water column, light attenuation, and sea level) as monitored by fixed stations, ARGO floats, drifting buoys, gliders, and ferry-boxes. It does provide discovering of data sets (both NRT - near real time - and Historical data sets), visualization and free

  8. Shortfalls in the global protected area network at representing marine biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, Carissa J.; Brown, Christopher J.; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Segan, Daniel B.; McGowan, Jennifer; Beger, Maria; Watson, James E. M.

    2015-12-01

    The first international goal for establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) to conserve the ocean’s biodiversity was set in 2002. Since 2006, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has driven MPA establishment, with 193 parties committed to protecting >10% of marine environments globally by 2020, especially ‘areas of particular importance for biodiversity’ (Aichi target 11). This has resulted in nearly 10 million km2 of new MPAs, a growth of ~360% in a decade. Unlike on land, it is not known how well protected areas capture marine biodiversity, leaving a significant gap in our understanding of existing MPAs and future protection requirements. We assess the overlap of global MPAs with the ranges of 17,348 marine species (fishes, mammals, invertebrates), and find that 97.4% of species have <10% of their ranges represented in stricter conservation classes. Almost all (99.8%) of the very poorly represented species (<2% coverage) are found within exclusive economic zones, suggesting an important role for particular nations to better protect biodiversity. Our results offer strategic guidance on where MPAs should be placed to support the CBD’s overall goal to avert biodiversity loss. Achieving this goal is imperative for nature and humanity, as people depend on biodiversity for important and valuable services.

  9. Shortfalls in the global protected area network at representing marine biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Carissa J.; Brown, Christopher J.; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Segan, Daniel B.; McGowan, Jennifer; Beger, Maria; Watson, James E.M.

    2015-01-01

    The first international goal for establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) to conserve the ocean’s biodiversity was set in 2002. Since 2006, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has driven MPA establishment, with 193 parties committed to protecting >10% of marine environments globally by 2020, especially ‘areas of particular importance for biodiversity’ (Aichi target 11). This has resulted in nearly 10 million km2 of new MPAs, a growth of ~360% in a decade. Unlike on land, it is not known how well protected areas capture marine biodiversity, leaving a significant gap in our understanding of existing MPAs and future protection requirements. We assess the overlap of global MPAs with the ranges of 17,348 marine species (fishes, mammals, invertebrates), and find that 97.4% of species have <10% of their ranges represented in stricter conservation classes. Almost all (99.8%) of the very poorly represented species (<2% coverage) are found within exclusive economic zones, suggesting an important role for particular nations to better protect biodiversity. Our results offer strategic guidance on where MPAs should be placed to support the CBD’s overall goal to avert biodiversity loss. Achieving this goal is imperative for nature and humanity, as people depend on biodiversity for important and valuable services. PMID:26631984

  10. Role of DNA barcoding in marine biodiversity assessment and conservation: An update

    PubMed Central

    Trivedi, Subrata; Aloufi, Abdulhadi A.; Ansari, Abid A.; Ghosh, Sankar K.

    2015-01-01

    More than two third area of our planet is covered by oceans and assessment of marine biodiversity is a challenging task. With the increasing global population, there is a tendency to exploit marine resources for food, energy and other requirements. This puts pressure on the fragile marine environment and necessitates sustainable conservation efforts. Marine species identification using traditional taxonomical methods is often burdened with taxonomic controversies. Here we discuss the comparatively new concept of DNA barcoding and its significance in marine perspective. This molecular technique can be useful in the assessment of cryptic species which is widespread in marine environment and linking the different life cycle stages to the adult which is difficult to accomplish in the marine ecosystem. Other advantages of DNA barcoding include authentication and safety assessment of seafood, wildlife forensics, conservation genetics and detection of invasive alien species (IAS). Global DNA barcoding efforts in the marine habitat include MarBOL, CeDAMar, CMarZ, SHARK-BOL, etc. An overview on DNA barcoding of different marine groups ranging from the microbes to mammals is revealed. In conjugation with newer and faster techniques like high-throughput sequencing, DNA barcoding can serve as an effective modern tool in marine biodiversity assessment and conservation. PMID:26980996

  11. Recent Trends in Local-Scale Marine Biodiversity Reflect Community Structure and Human Impacts.

    PubMed

    Elahi, Robin; O'Connor, Mary I; Byrnes, Jarrett E K; Dunic, Jillian; Eriksson, Britas Klemens; Hensel, Marc J S; Kearns, Patrick J

    2015-07-20

    The modern biodiversity crisis reflects global extinctions and local introductions. Human activities have dramatically altered rates and scales of processes that regulate biodiversity at local scales. Reconciling the threat of global biodiversity loss with recent evidence of stability at fine spatial scales is a major challenge and requires a nuanced approach to biodiversity change that integrates ecological understanding. With a new dataset of 471 diversity time series spanning from 1962 to 2015 from marine coastal ecosystems, we tested (1) whether biodiversity changed at local scales in recent decades, and (2) whether we can ignore ecological context (e.g., proximate human impacts, trophic level, spatial scale) and still make informative inferences regarding local change. We detected a predominant signal of increasing species richness in coastal systems since 1962 in our dataset, though net species loss was associated with localized effects of anthropogenic impacts. Our geographically extensive dataset is unlikely to be a random sample of marine coastal habitats; impacted sites (3% of our time series) were underrepresented relative to their global presence. These local-scale patterns do not contradict the prospect of accelerating global extinctions but are consistent with local species loss in areas with direct human impacts and increases in diversity due to invasions and range expansions in lower impact areas. Attempts to detect and understand local biodiversity trends are incomplete without information on local human activities and ecological context.

  12. Metagenetic tools for the census of marine meiofaunal biodiversity: An overview.

    PubMed

    Carugati, Laura; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Dell'Anno, Antonio; Danovaro, Roberto

    2015-12-01

    Marine organisms belonging to meiofauna (size range: 20-500 μm) are amongst the most abundant and highly diversified metazoans on Earth including 22 over 35 known animal Phyla and accounting for more than 2/3 of the abundance of metazoan organisms. In any marine system, meiofauna play a key role in the functioning of the food webs and sustain important ecological processes. Estimates of meiofaunal biodiversity have been so far almost exclusively based on morphological analyses, but the very small size of these organisms and, in some cases, the insufficient morphological distinctive features limit considerably the census of the biodiversity of this component. Molecular approaches recently applied also to small invertebrates (including meiofauna) can offer a new momentum for the census of meiofaunal biodiversity. Here, we provide an overview on the application of metagenetic approaches based on the use of next generation sequencing platforms to study meiofaunal biodiversity, with a special focus on marine nematodes. Our overview shows that, although such approaches can represent a useful tool for the census of meiofaunal biodiversity, there are still different shortcomings and pitfalls that prevent their extensive use without the support of the classical taxonomic identification. Future investigations are needed to address these problems and to provide a good match between the contrasting findings emerging from classical taxonomic and molecular/bioinformatic tools.

  13. 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.

  14. Impact of biodiversity loss on production in complex marine food webs mitigated by prey-release

    PubMed Central

    Fung, Tak; Farnsworth, Keith D.; Reid, David G.; Rossberg, Axel G.

    2015-01-01

    Public concern over biodiversity loss is often rationalized as a threat to ecosystem functioning, but biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) relations are hard to empirically quantify at large scales. We use a realistic marine food-web model, resolving species over five trophic levels, to study how total fish production changes with species richness. This complex model predicts that BEF relations, on average, follow simple Michaelis–Menten curves when species are randomly deleted. These are shaped mainly by release of fish from predation, rather than the release from competition expected from simpler communities. Ordering species deletions by decreasing body mass or trophic level, representing ‘fishing down the food web’, accentuates prey-release effects and results in unimodal relationships. In contrast, simultaneous unselective harvesting diminishes these effects and produces an almost linear BEF relation, with maximum multispecies fisheries yield at ≈40% of initial species richness. These findings have important implications for the valuation of marine biodiversity. PMID:25799523

  15. Impact of biodiversity loss on production in complex marine food webs mitigated by prey-release.

    PubMed

    Fung, Tak; Farnsworth, Keith D; Reid, David G; Rossberg, Axel G

    2015-03-23

    Public concern over biodiversity loss is often rationalized as a threat to ecosystem functioning, but biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) relations are hard to empirically quantify at large scales. We use a realistic marine food-web model, resolving species over five trophic levels, to study how total fish production changes with species richness. This complex model predicts that BEF relations, on average, follow simple Michaelis-Menten curves when species are randomly deleted. These are shaped mainly by release of fish from predation, rather than the release from competition expected from simpler communities. Ordering species deletions by decreasing body mass or trophic level, representing 'fishing down the food web', accentuates prey-release effects and results in unimodal relationships. In contrast, simultaneous unselective harvesting diminishes these effects and produces an almost linear BEF relation, with maximum multispecies fisheries yield at ≈40% of initial species richness. These findings have important implications for the valuation of marine biodiversity.

  16. Future vulnerability of marine biodiversity compared with contemporary and past changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beaugrand, Grégory; Edwards, Martin; Raybaud, Virginie; Goberville, Eric; Kirby, Richard R.

    2015-07-01

    Many studies have implied significant effects of global climate change on marine life. Setting these alterations into the context of historical natural change has not been attempted so far, however. Here, using a theoretical framework, we estimate the sensitivity of marine pelagic biodiversity to temperature change and evaluate its past (mid-Pliocene and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM)), contemporaneous (1960-2013) and future (2081-2100 4 scenarios of warming) vulnerability. Our biodiversity reconstructions were highly correlated to real data for several pelagic taxa for the contemporary and the past (LGM and mid-Pliocene) periods. Our results indicate that local species loss will be a prominent phenomenon of climate warming in permanently stratified regions, and that local species invasion will prevail in temperate and polar biomes under all climate change scenarios. Although a small amount of warming under the RCP2.6 scenario is expected to have a minor influence on marine pelagic biodiversity, moderate warming (RCP4.5) will increase by threefold the changes already observed over the past 50 years. Of most concern is that severe warming (RCP6.0 and 8.5) will affect marine pelagic biodiversity to a greater extent than temperature changes that took place between either the LGM or the mid-Pliocene and today, over an area of between 50 (RCP6.0: 46.9-52.4%) and 70% (RCP8.5: 69.4-73.4%) of the global ocean.

  17. Custom-Made HR Remote Sensing Product For The European Biodiversity Research Infrastructure (Lifewatch)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radoux, Julien; Rousseau, Corentin; Defourny, Pierre

    2013-12-01

    The European Infrastructure for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research (Lifewatch) aims at providing data and analytical tools focused on pressing scientific issues related to biodiversity. Our contribution to this initiative is to describe the biotopes in Europe (EU-38 countries) on a yearly basis. A geographic database has therefore been designed after identifying the specific needs of the biodiversity and macroecology communities. The methodology is organized around the concept of spatial regions, which are landscape units with similar properties. Spatial regions are delineated by the segmentation of filtered images and characterized using a set of remote sensing data and GIS derived indices. Preliminary results with Rapideye images are promising and we are looking forward to the Sentinel-2 mission.

  18. An Ocean of Discovery: Biodiversity Beyond the Census of Marine Life.

    PubMed

    Snelgrove, Paul V R

    2016-06-01

    The 70 % of Earth's surface covered by oceans supports significant biological diversity and immense untapped potential for marine bioproducts. The recently completed international Census of Marine Life (2000-2010) invested heavily in evaluating the diversity, abundance, and distribution of life in the ocean but concluded that at least 50 % and potentially > 90 % of marine species remain undescribed by science. Despite this potential, and numerous successes spanning pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, anti-foulants and adhesives, biofuels, biocatalysts (enzymes), and cosmetics, several impediments have slowed marine bioproduct development. First, the sheer size of the ocean constrains comprehensive exploration. Second, marine taxonomists and ecologists generally do not focus on the most promising groups for bioproduct development. Third, the geographic mismatch between (often remote) biodiversity hotspots and science capacity limit discovery. Despite these challenges, new ocean sampling tools (digital imaging, remote vehicles, genetic approaches, in situ samplers), many developed or improved during the Census of Marine Life, should enhance future marine biodiversity and thus marine bioproduct discovery.

  19. Assessment of marine ecosystem services indicators: Experiences and lessons learned from 14 European case studies.

    PubMed

    Lillebø, Ana I; Somma, Francesca; Norén, Katja; Gonçalves, Jorge; Alves, M Fátima; Ballarini, Elisabetta; Bentes, Luis; Bielecka, Malgorzata; Chubarenko, Boris V; Heise, Susanne; Khokhlov, Valeriy; Klaoudatos, Dimitris; Lloret, Javier; Margonski, Piotr; Marín, Atucha; Matczak, Magdalena; Oen, Amy Mp; Palmieri, Maria G; Przedrzymirska, Joanna; Różyński, Grzegorz; Sousa, Ana I; Sousa, Lisa P; Tuchkovenko, Yurii; Zaucha, Jacek

    2016-10-01

    This article shares the experiences, observations, and discussions that occurred during the completing of an ecosystem services (ES) indicator framework to be used at European Union (EU) and Member States' level. The experience base was drawn from 3 European research projects and 14 associated case study sites that include 13 transitional-water bodies (specifically 8 coastal lagoons, 4 riverine estuaries, and 1 fjord) and 1 coastal-water ecosystem. The ES pertinent to each case study site were identified along with indicators of these ES and data sources that could be used for mapping. During the process, several questions and uncertainties arose, followed by discussion, leading to these main lessons learned: 1) ES identification: Some ES that do not seem important at the European scale emerge as relevant at regional or local scales; 2) ES indicators: When direct indicators are not available, proxies for indicators (indirect indicators) might be used, including combined data on monitoring requirements imposed by EU legislation and international agreements; 3) ES mapping: Boundaries and appropriate data spatial resolution must be established because ES can be mapped at different temporal and spatial scales. We also acknowledge that mapping and assessment of ES supports the dialogue between human well-being and ecological status. From an evidence-based marine planning-process point of view, mapping and assessment of marine ES are of paramount importance to sustainable use of marine natural capital and to halt the loss of marine biodiversity. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2016;12:726-734. © 2016 SETAC.

  20. Marine biodiversity-ecosystem functions under uncertain environmental futures.

    PubMed

    Bulling, Mark T; Hicks, Natalie; Murray, Leigh; Paterson, David M; Raffaelli, Dave; White, Piran C L; Solan, Martin

    2010-07-12

    Anthropogenic activity is currently leading to dramatic transformations of ecosystems and losses of biodiversity. The recognition that these ecosystems provide services that are essential for human well-being has led to a major interest in the forms of the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship. However, there is a lack of studies examining the impact of climate change on these relationships and it remains unclear how multiple climatic drivers may affect levels of ecosystem functioning. Here, we examine the roles of two important climate change variables, temperature and concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, on the relationship between invertebrate species richness and nutrient release in a model benthic estuarine system. We found a positive relationship between invertebrate species richness and the levels of release of NH(4)-N into the water column, but no effect of species richness on the release of PO(4)-P. Higher temperatures and greater concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide had a negative impact on nutrient release. Importantly, we found significant interactions between the climate variables, indicating that reliably predicting the effects of future climate change will not be straightforward as multiple drivers are unlikely to have purely additive effects, resulting in increased levels of uncertainty.

  1. Phylogenetic Inferences Reveal a Large Extent of Novel Biodiversity in Chemically Rich Tropical Marine Cyanobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Gunasekera, Sarath P.; Gerwick, William H.

    2013-01-01

    Benthic marine cyanobacteria are known for their prolific biosynthetic capacities to produce structurally diverse secondary metabolites with biomedical application and their ability to form cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms. In an effort to provide taxonomic clarity to better guide future natural product drug discovery investigations and harmful algal bloom monitoring, this study investigated the taxonomy of tropical and subtropical natural product-producing marine cyanobacteria on the basis of their evolutionary relatedness. Our phylogenetic inferences of marine cyanobacterial strains responsible for over 100 bioactive secondary metabolites revealed an uneven taxonomic distribution, with a few groups being responsible for the vast majority of these molecules. Our data also suggest a high degree of novel biodiversity among natural product-producing strains that was previously overlooked by traditional morphology-based taxonomic approaches. This unrecognized biodiversity is primarily due to a lack of proper classification systems since the taxonomy of tropical and subtropical, benthic marine cyanobacteria has only recently been analyzed by phylogenetic methods. This evolutionary study provides a framework for a more robust classification system to better understand the taxonomy of tropical and subtropical marine cyanobacteria and the distribution of natural products in marine cyanobacteria. PMID:23315747

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Micro-Mar: a database for dynamic representation of marine microbial biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Pushker, Ravindra; D'Auria, Giuseppe; Alba-Casado, Jose Carlos; Rodríguez-Valera, Francisco

    2005-01-01

    Background The cataloging of marine prokaryotic DNA sequences is a fundamental aspect for bioprospecting and also for the development of evolutionary and speciation models. However, large amount of DNA sequences used to quantify prokaryotic biodiversity requires proper tools for storing, managing and analyzing these data for research purposes. Description The Micro-Mar database has been created to collect DNA diversity information from marine prokaryotes for biogeographical and ecological analyses. The database currently includes 11874 sequences corresponding to high resolution taxonomic genes (16S rRNA, ITS and 23S rRNA) and many other genes including CDS of marine prokaryotes together with available biogeographical and ecological information. Conclusion The database aims to integrate molecular data and taxonomic affiliation with biogeographical and ecological features that will allow to have a dynamic representation of the marine microbial diversity embedded in a user friendly web interface. It is available online at . PMID:16153293

  5. Papuan Bird's Head Seascape: emerging threats and challenges in the global center of marine biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Mangubhai, Sangeeta; Erdmann, Mark V; Wilson, Joanne R; Huffard, Christine L; Ballamu, Ferdiel; Hidayat, Nur Ismu; Hitipeuw, Creusa; Lazuardi, Muhammad E; Muhajir; Pada, Defy; Purba, Gandi; Rotinsulu, Christovel; Rumetna, Lukas; Sumolang, Kartika; Wen, Wen

    2012-11-01

    The Bird's Head Seascape located in eastern Indonesia is the global epicenter of tropical shallow water marine biodiversity with over 600 species of corals and 1,638 species of coral reef fishes. The Seascape also includes critical habitats for globally threatened marine species, including sea turtles and cetaceans. Since 2001, the region has undergone rapid development in fisheries, oil and gas extraction, mining and logging. The expansion of these sectors, combined with illegal activities and poorly planned coastal development, is accelerating deterioration of coastal and marine environments. At the same time, regency governments have expanded their marine protected area networks to cover 3,594,702 ha of islands and coastal waters. Low population numbers, relatively healthy natural resources and a strong tenure system in eastern Indonesia provide an opportunity for government and local communities to collaboratively manage their resources sustainably to ensure long-term food security, while meeting their development aspirations.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Implications of Sponge Biodiversity Patterns for the Management of a Marine Reserve in Northern Australia.

    PubMed

    Przeslawski, Rachel; Alvarez, Belinda; Kool, Johnathan; Bridge, Tom; Caley, M Julian; Nichol, Scott

    2015-01-01

    Marine reserves are becoming progressively more important as anthropogenic impacts continue to increase, but we have little baseline information for most marine environments. In this study, we focus on the Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve (CMR) in northern Australia, particularly the carbonate banks and terraces of the Sahul Shelf and Van Diemen Rise which have been designated a Key Ecological Feature (KEF). We use a species-level inventory compiled from three marine surveys to the CMR to address several questions relevant to marine management: 1) Are carbonate banks and other raised geomorphic features associated with biodiversity hotspots? 2) Can environmental (depth, substrate hardness, slope) or biogeographic (east vs west) variables help explain local and regional differences in community structure? 3) Do sponge communities differ among individual raised geomorphic features? Approximately 750 sponge specimens were collected in the Oceanic Shoals CMR and assigned to 348 species, of which only 18% included taxonomically described species. Between eastern and western areas of the CMR, there was no difference between sponge species richness or assemblages on raised geomorphic features. Among individual raised geomorphic features, sponge assemblages were significantly different, but species richness was not. Species richness showed no linear relationships with measured environmental factors, but sponge assemblages were weakly associated with several environmental variables including mean depth and mean backscatter (east and west) and mean slope (east only). These patterns of sponge diversity are applied to support the future management and monitoring of this region, particularly noting the importance of spatial scale in biodiversity assessments and associated management strategies.

  9. Robustness of surrogates of biodiversity in marine benthic communities.

    PubMed

    Magierowski, Regina H; Johnson, Craig R

    2006-12-01

    The usefulness of surrogates to estimate complex variables describing community structure, such as the various components of biodiversity, is long established. Most attention has been given to surrogates of species richness and species diversity and has focused on identifying a subset of taxa as a surrogate of total community richness or diversity. In adopting a surrogate measure, it is assumed that the relationship between the surrogate(s) and total richness or diversity is consistent in both space and time. These assumptions are rarely examined explicitly. We examined the robustness of potential surrogates of familial richness and multivariate community structure for macrofauna communities inhabiting artificial kelp holdfasts by comparing among communities of dissimilar ages and among communities established at different times of the year. This is important because most benthic "landscapes" will be a mosaic of patches reflecting different intensities, frequencies, and timing of disturbances. The total abundance of organisms and familial richness of crustaceans or polychaetes were all good predictors of total familial richness (R2 > 0.68). In contrast, while the familial richness of other groups, such as mollusks and echinoderms, were well correlated with total familial richness for communities at an early stage of development, the strength of these relationships declined with community age. For multivariate community structure, carefully selected subsets of approximately 10% of the total taxa yielded similar patterns to the total suite of taxa, irrespective of the age of the community. Thus, useful surrogates of both familial richness and multivariate community structure can be identified for this type of community. However, the choice of technique for selecting surrogate taxa largely depends on the nature of the pilot data available, and careful selection is required to ensure that surrogates perform consistently across different-aged communities. While the

  10. Biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, E.O.; Peter, F.M.

    1988-01-01

    In tropical forests, on coral reefs, and in other threatened habitats, countless plant, animal, and microbial species face possible extinction - their names unknown, their numbers uncounted, their value unreckoned. Although popular attention has focused on the plight of more visible and widely known species like the whooping crane or the African elephant, most-experts agree that the loss of less-obvious organisms could be much more devastating. This is the subject of the volume. It calls attention to a most urgent global problem: the rapidly accelerating loss of plant and animal species to increasing human-population pressure and the demands of economic development. The book explores biodiversity from a wide variety of viewpoints.

  11. Quantifying Antarctic marine biodiversity: The SCAR-MarBIN data portal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffiths, Huw J.; Danis, Bruno; Clarke, Andrew

    2011-03-01

    The documentation and analysis of broad-scale biological diversity requires modern databases. Here we describe the SCAR-Marine Biodiversity Information Network (SCAR-MarBIN) and demonstrate its value with a preliminary analysis of geographic patterns in species richness for a variety of marine taxa. SCAR-MarBIN is a web portal ( www.scarmarbin.be) that compiles and manages existing and new information on Antarctic marine biodiversity; it currently links over 140 datasets comprising over one million records. The portal is home to the Registry of Antarctic Marine Species (RAMS), an authoritative taxonomic list of marine species occurring in Antarctica. RAMS is a key resource for the Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML), a major five-year project that aims at assessing the nature, distribution and abundance of Southern Ocean biological diversity. SCAR-MarBIN provides a means of quantifying not only the diversity and distribution of Antarctic marine life but also a record of how, when and where these have been studied. It allows for the examination of geographic and bathymetric ranges, the documentation of gaps within and limits to the data, together with the identification of areas of particularly high diversity (hotspots) and also under-sampled regions or taxa. A preliminary analysis indicates that the pattern of sampling hotspots is driven principally by the pelagic data, mainly bird and mammal observations, whereas benthic species drive the overall pattern in species richness. Analyses of the complete data set reveal important biases in the data: most samples have been taken in shallow water (<700 m) and are either concentrated around shore-based research stations, or in the open ocean close to regular ship transit routes. These data provide a useful benchmark for the future, enabling ventures such as CAML to assess their impact on knowledge of biological diversity. It also highlights key areas for further investigation, such as the deep sea and the Amundsen Sea.

  12. Global Coordination and Standardisation in Marine Biodiversity through the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) and Related Databases

    PubMed Central

    Bouchet, Philippe; Boxshall, Geoff; Fauchald, Kristian; Gordon, Dennis; Hoeksema, Bert W.; Poore, Gary C. B.; van Soest, Rob W. M.; Stöhr, Sabine; Walter, T. Chad; Vanhoorne, Bart; Decock, Wim

    2013-01-01

    The World Register of Marine Species is an over 90% complete open-access inventory of all marine species names. Here we illustrate the scale of the problems with species names, synonyms, and their classification, and describe how WoRMS publishes online quality assured information on marine species. Within WoRMS, over 100 global, 12 regional and 4 thematic species databases are integrated with a common taxonomy. Over 240 editors from 133 institutions and 31 countries manage the content. To avoid duplication of effort, content is exchanged with 10 external databases. At present WoRMS contains 460,000 taxonomic names (from Kingdom to subspecies), 368,000 species level combinations of which 215,000 are currently accepted marine species names, and 26,000 related but non-marine species. Associated information includes 150,000 literature sources, 20,000 images, and locations of 44,000 specimens. Usage has grown linearly since its launch in 2007, with about 600,000 unique visitors to the website in 2011, and at least 90 organisations from 12 countries using WoRMS for their data management. By providing easy access to expert-validated content, WoRMS improves quality control in the use of species names, with consequent benefits to taxonomy, ecology, conservation and marine biodiversity research and management. The service manages information on species names that would otherwise be overly costly for individuals, and thus minimises errors in the application of nomenclature standards. WoRMS' content is expanding to include host-parasite relationships, additional literature sources, locations of specimens, images, distribution range, ecological, and biological data. Species are being categorised as introduced (alien, invasive), of conservation importance, and on other attributes. These developments have a multiplier effect on its potential as a resource for biodiversity research and management. As a consequence of WoRMS, we are witnessing improved communication within the

  13. What meta-analysis can tell us about vulnerability of marine biodiversity to ocean acidification?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupont, S.; Dorey, N.; Thorndyke, M.

    2010-09-01

    Ocean acidification has been proposed as a major threat for marine biodiversity. Hendriks et al. [Hendriks, I.E., Duarte, C.M., Alvarez, M., 2010. Vulnerability of marine biodiversity to ocean acidification: a meta-analysis. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2009.11.022.] proposed an alternative view and suggested, based on a meta-analysis, that marine biota may be far more resistant to ocean acidification than hitherto believed. However, such a meta-analytical approach can mask more subtle features, for example differing sensitivities during the life-cycle of an organism. Using a similar metric on an echinoderm database, we show that key bottlenecks present in the life-cycle (e.g. larvae being more vulnerable than adults) and responsible for driving the whole species response may be hidden in a global meta-analysis. Our data illustrate that any ecological meta-analysis should be hypothesis driven, taking into account the complexity of biological systems, including all life-cycle stages and key biological processes. Available data allow us to conclude that near-future ocean acidification can/will have dramatic negative impact on some marine species, including echinoderms, with likely consequences at the ecosystem level.

  14. Models of Marine Fish Biodiversity: Assessing Predictors from Three Habitat Classification Schemes

    PubMed Central

    Yates, Katherine L.; Mellin, Camille; Caley, M. Julian; Radford, Ben T.; Meeuwig, Jessica J.

    2016-01-01

    Prioritising biodiversity conservation requires knowledge of where biodiversity occurs. Such knowledge, however, is often lacking. New technologies for collecting biological and physical data coupled with advances in modelling techniques could help address these gaps and facilitate improved management outcomes. Here we examined the utility of environmental data, obtained using different methods, for developing models of both uni- and multivariate biodiversity metrics. We tested which biodiversity metrics could be predicted best and evaluated the performance of predictor variables generated from three types of habitat data: acoustic multibeam sonar imagery, predicted habitat classification, and direct observer habitat classification. We used boosted regression trees (BRT) to model metrics of fish species richness, abundance and biomass, and multivariate regression trees (MRT) to model biomass and abundance of fish functional groups. We compared model performance using different sets of predictors and estimated the relative influence of individual predictors. Models of total species richness and total abundance performed best; those developed for endemic species performed worst. Abundance models performed substantially better than corresponding biomass models. In general, BRT and MRTs developed using predicted habitat classifications performed less well than those using multibeam data. The most influential individual predictor was the abiotic categorical variable from direct observer habitat classification and models that incorporated predictors from direct observer habitat classification consistently outperformed those that did not. Our results show that while remotely sensed data can offer considerable utility for predictive modelling, the addition of direct observer habitat classification data can substantially improve model performance. Thus it appears that there are aspects of marine habitats that are important for modelling metrics of fish biodiversity that are

  15. Biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

    Dobson, A. ); Carper, R. )

    1993-10-30

    Traditional herbalists act as a first-level screen for plants which may contain chemicals with significant pharmaceutical potential. Unfortunately, the destruction of rain forests is likely to lead to the extinction of many plant species before their potential can be explored. 165,000 km[sup 2] of tropical forest and 90,000 km[sup 2] of range land are destroyed or degraded each year, an annual attrition rate of about 1% for tropical forest. If these losses continue until only land set aside in parks is left, 66% of plant and 69% of animal species may be lost. The burning of forests to clear land for human settlement also makes a significant contribution to the greenhouse gases that are raising global mean temperatures. There are synergisms--here between rainforest destruction, loss of biodiversity, and global climate change--with potential impacts on health. Some aspects will be explored more fully in the contributions on vector-borne diseases and direct impacts and in the collaborative review of monitoring with which the series ends.

  16. Measuring marine fish biodiversity: temporal changes in abundance, life history and demography

    PubMed Central

    Hutchings, Jeffrey A; Baum, Julia K

    2005-01-01

    Patterns in marine fish biodiversity can be assessed by quantifying temporal variation in rate of population change, abundance, life history and demography concomitant with long-term reductions in abundance. Based on data for 177 populations (62 species) from four north-temperate oceanic regions (Northeast Atlantic and Pacific, Northwest Atlantic, North mid-Atlantic), 81% of the populations in decline prior to 1992 experienced reductions in their rate of loss thereafter; species whose rate of population decline accelerated after 1992 were predominantly top predators such as Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), sole (Solea solea) and pelagic sharks. Combining population data across regions and species, marine fish have declined 35% since 1978 and are currently less than 70% of recorded maxima; demersal species are generally at historic lows, pelagic species are generally stable or increasing in abundance. Declines by demersal species have been associated with substantive increases in pelagic species, a pattern consistent with the hypothesis that increases in the latter may be attributable to reduced predation mortality. There is a need to determine the consequences to population growth effected by the reductions in age (21%) and size (13%) at maturity and in mean age (5%) and size (18%) of spawners, concomitant with population decline. We conclude that reductions in the rate of population decline, in the absence of targets for population increase, will be insufficient to effect a recovery of marine fish biodiversity, and that great care must be exercised when interpreting multi-species patterns in abundance. Of fundamental importance is the need to explain the geographical, species-specific and habitat biases that pervade patterns of marine fish recovery and biodiversity. PMID:15814348

  17. The biodiversity management of a marine protected area with a geographic information system in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Huaguo; Huang, Weigen; li, Dongling

    2008-10-01

    This paper focus a very representatively marine protected area (MPA), named Nanji Islands National Natural Reserve. The MPA is built for protecting shellfish, algae and their inhabit environment. The MPA is located at East China Sea with 7.6 square kilometers land area, composed of about 50 islands greater than 500 square meters. The waters support particularly high levels of diversity among shellfish, seaweeds, or macro benthic algae and micro-algae. The purpose of the paper is to develop a GIS to manage the biodiversity and to assess the threat. Base geographic data are collected. More than four times survey data are collected since 1992, including shellfish and macro benthic algae. A spatial database is created to store spatial data including base map, survey site and threat factor distribution. Other biodiversity attribute information is stored in database. Aquiculture, tourism, and human over collection are synthesized as threat factors. The condition of biodiversity and threats to biodiversity at Aquaculture, tourism, environment pollution are analyzed and assessed.

  18. The European Commission proposal for a marine strategy: lacking substance.

    PubMed

    Salomon, Markus

    2006-11-01

    The European Commission's proposed Marine Strategy constitutes a highly inadequate approach to long-term protection of the European Seas. The main problem with the strategy is the restriction to a proposed directive in which only EU Member States are placed under obligation to develop their own environmental objectives and marine protection activity programmes. This 'renationalisation' results in the exclusion of key policy areas like Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Common Fishery Policy in which the EU has centralised powers. Furthermore, there is no plan to refine EU environmental law relevant to marine protection and nor are there any provisions for the linking of EU-level action with the international conventions for the protection of the oceans.

  19. Implications of Sponge Biodiversity Patterns for the Management of a Marine Reserve in Northern Australia

    PubMed Central

    Przeslawski, Rachel; Alvarez, Belinda; Kool, Johnathan; Bridge, Tom; Caley, M. Julian; Nichol, Scott

    2015-01-01

    Marine reserves are becoming progressively more important as anthropogenic impacts continue to increase, but we have little baseline information for most marine environments. In this study, we focus on the Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve (CMR) in northern Australia, particularly the carbonate banks and terraces of the Sahul Shelf and Van Diemen Rise which have been designated a Key Ecological Feature (KEF). We use a species-level inventory compiled from three marine surveys to the CMR to address several questions relevant to marine management: 1) Are carbonate banks and other raised geomorphic features associated with biodiversity hotspots? 2) Can environmental (depth, substrate hardness, slope) or biogeographic (east vs west) variables help explain local and regional differences in community structure? 3) Do sponge communities differ among individual raised geomorphic features? Approximately 750 sponge specimens were collected in the Oceanic Shoals CMR and assigned to 348 species, of which only 18% included taxonomically described species. Between eastern and western areas of the CMR, there was no difference between sponge species richness or assemblages on raised geomorphic features. Among individual raised geomorphic features, sponge assemblages were significantly different, but species richness was not. Species richness showed no linear relationships with measured environmental factors, but sponge assemblages were weakly associated with several environmental variables including mean depth and mean backscatter (east and west) and mean slope (east only). These patterns of sponge diversity are applied to support the future management and monitoring of this region, particularly noting the importance of spatial scale in biodiversity assessments and associated management strategies. PMID:26606745

  20. High bacterial biodiversity increases degradation performance of hydrocarbons during bioremediation of contaminated harbor marine sediments.

    PubMed

    Dell'Anno, Antonio; Beolchini, Francesca; Rocchetti, Laura; Luna, Gian Marco; Danovaro, Roberto

    2012-08-01

    We investigated changes of bacterial abundance and biodiversity during bioremediation experiments carried out on oxic and anoxic marine harbor sediments contaminated with hydrocarbons. Oxic sediments, supplied with inorganic nutrients, were incubated in aerobic conditions at 20 °C and 35 °C for 30 days, whereas anoxic sediments, amended with organic substrates, were incubated in anaerobic conditions at the same temperatures for 60 days. Results reported here indicate that temperature exerted the main effect on bacterial abundance, diversity and assemblage composition. At higher temperature bacterial diversity and evenness increased significantly in aerobic conditions, whilst decreased in anaerobic conditions. In both aerobic and anaerobic conditions, biodegradation efficiencies of hydrocarbons were significantly and positively related with bacterial richness and evenness. Overall results presented here suggest that bioremediation strategies, which can sustain high levels of bacterial diversity rather than the selection of specific taxa, may significantly increase the efficiency of hydrocarbon degradation in contaminated marine sediments.

  1. [Hyperbolic growth of marine and continental biodiversity through the phanerozoic and community evolution].

    PubMed

    Markov, A V; Korotaev, A V

    2008-01-01

    Among diverse models that are used to describe and interpret the changes in global biodiversity through the Phanerozoic, the exponential and logistic models (traditionally used in population biology) are the most popular. As we have recently demonstrated (Markov, Korotayev, 2007), the growth of the Phanerozoic marine biodiversity at genus level correlates better with the hyperbolic model (widely used in demography and macrosociology). Here we show that the hyperbolic model is also applicable to the Phanerozoic continental biota at genus and family levels, and to the marine biota at species, genus, and family levels. There are many common features in the evolutionary dynamics of the marine and continental biotas that imply similarity and common nature of the factors and mechanisms underlying the hyperbolic growth. Both marine and continental biotas are characterized by continuous growth of the mean longevity of taxa, by decreasing extinction and origination rates, by similar pattern of replacement of dominant groups, by stepwise accumulation of evolutionary stable, adaptable and "physiologically buffered" taxa with effective mechanisms of parental care, protection of early developmental stages, etc. At the beginning of the development of continental biota, the observed taxonomic diversity was substantially lower than that predicted by the hyperbolic model. We suggest that this is due, firstly, to the fact that, during the earliest stages of the continental biota evolution, the groups that are not preserved in the fossil record (such as soil bacteria, unicellular algae, lichens, etc.) played a fundamental role, and secondly, to the fact that the continental biota initially formed as a marginal portion of the marine biota, rather than a separate system. The hyperbolic dynamics is most prominent when both marine and continental biotas are considered together. This fact can be interpreted as a proof of the integrated nature of the biosphere. In the macrosociological

  2. Unite research with what citizens do for fun: "recreational monitoring" of marine biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Goffredo, Stefano; Pensa, Francesco; Neri, Patrizia; Orlandi, Antonio; Gagliardi, Maria Scola; Velardi, Angela; Piccinetti, Corrado; Zaccanti, Francesco

    2010-12-01

    Institutes often lack funds and manpower to perform large-scale biodiversity monitoring. Citizens can be involved, contributing to the collection of data, thus decreasing costs. Underwater research requires specialist skills and SCUBA certification, and it can be difficult to involve volunteers. The aim of this study was to involve large numbers of recreational divers in marine biodiversity monitoring for increasing the environmental education of the public and collecting data on the status of marine biodiversity. Here we show that thousands of recreational divers can be enrolled in a short time. Using specially formulated questionnaires, nonspecialist volunteers reported the presence of 61 marine taxa encountered during recreational dives, performed as regular sport dives. Validation trials were carried out to assess the accuracy and consistency of volunteer-recorded data, and these were compared to reference data collected by an experienced researcher. In the majority of trials (76%) volunteers performed with an accuracy and consistency of 50-80%, comparable to the performance of conservation volunteer divers on precise transects in other projects. The recruitment of recreational divers involved the main diving and tour operators in Italy, a popular scientific magazine, and mass media. During the four-year study, 3825 divers completed 18757 questionnaires, corresponding to 13539 diving hours. The volunteer-sightings-based index showed that in the monitored area the biodiversity status did not change significantly within the project time scale, but there was a significant negative correlation with latitude, suggesting improved quality in the southernmost areas. This trend could be related to the presence of stressors in the northern areas and has been supported by investigations performed by the Italian Ministry of the Environment. The greatest limitation with using volunteers to collect data was the uneven spatial distribution of samples. The benefits were the

  3. Commercial product exploitation from marine microbial biodiversity: some legal and IP issues.

    PubMed

    Tichet, Camille; Nguyen, Hong Khanh; Yaakoubi, Sefia El; Bloch, Jean-François

    2010-09-01

    The biodiversity found in the marine environment is remarkable and yet largely unknown compared with the terrestrial one. The associated genetic resource, also wide and unrevealed, has raised a strong interest from the scientific and industrial community. However, despite this growing interest, the discovery of new compounds extracted from marine organisms, more precisely from microorganisms, is ruled by a complex legislation. The access and transfer of genetic resource are ruled by the Convention on Biological Diversity. One of the three core objectives of this convention is to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits generated by the use of genetic resources and to split these benefits between the different stakeholders. From the discovery of a microorganism to the commercialization of a product, three main stakeholders are involved: providers of microorganisms, e.g. academic institutes, the scientists who will perform R&D on biodiversity, and the industrial companies which will commercialize the final product arising from the R&D results. This article describes how difficult and complex it might be to ensure a fair distribution of benefits of this research between the parties.

  4. State of knowledge of coastal and marine biodiversity of Indian Ocean countries.

    PubMed

    Wafar, Mohideen; Venkataraman, Krishnamurthy; Ingole, Baban; Ajmal Khan, Syed; Lokabharathi, Ponnapakkam

    2011-01-31

    The Indian Ocean (IO) extends over 30% of the global ocean area and is rimmed by 36 littoral and 11 hinterland nations sustaining about 30% of the world's population. The landlocked character of the ocean along its northern boundary and the resultant seasonally reversing wind and sea surface circulation patterns are features unique to the IO. The IO also accounts for 30% of the global coral reef cover, 40,000 km² of mangroves,some of the world's largest estuaries, and 9 large marine ecosystems. Numerous expeditions and institutional efforts in the last two centuries have contributed greatly to our knowledge of coastal and marine biodiversity within the IO. The current inventory, as seen from the Ocean Biogeographic Information System, stands at 34,989 species, but the status of knowledge is not uniform among countries. Lack of human, institutional, and technical capabilities in some IO countries is the main cause for the heterogeneous level of growth in our understanding of the biodiversity of the IO. The gaps in knowledge extend to several smaller taxa and to large parts of the shelf and deep-sea ecosystems, including seamounts. Habitat loss, uncontrolled developmental activities in the coastal zone, over extraction of resources, and coastal pollution are serious constraints on maintenance of highly diverse biota, especially in countries like those of the IO, where environmental regulations are weak.

  5. Biodiversity inventories and conservation of the marine fishes of Bootless Bay, Papua New Guinea

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The effective management and conservation of biodiversity is predicated on clearly defined conservation targets. Species number is frequently used as a metric for conservation prioritization and monitoring changes in ecosystem health. We conducted a series of synoptic surveys focusing on the fishes of the Bootless Bay region of Papua New Guinea to generate a checklist of fishes of the region. Bootless Bay lies directly south of Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, and experiences the highest human population density of any marine area in the country. Our checklist will set a baseline against which future environmental changes can be tracked. Results We generated a checklist of 488 fish species in 72 families found in Bootless Bay during a two-week sampling effort. Using incident-based methods of species estimation, we extrapolate there to be approximately 940 fish species in Bootless Bay, one of the lowest reported numbers in Papua New Guinea. Conclusions Our data suggest that the Bootless Bay ecosystem of Papua New Guinea, while diverse in absolute terms, has lower fish biodiversity compared to other shallow marine areas within the country. These differences in faunal diversity are most likely a combination of unequal sampling effort as well as biophysical factors within Bootless Bay compounded by historical and/or contemporary anthropogenic disturbances. PMID:22849436

  6. Improving spatial prioritisation for remote marine regions: optimising biodiversity conservation and sustainable development trade-offs.

    PubMed

    Moore, Cordelia H; Radford, Ben T; Possingham, Hugh P; Heyward, Andrew J; Stewart, Romola R; Watts, Matthew E; Prescott, Jim; Newman, Stephen J; Harvey, Euan S; Fisher, Rebecca; Bryce, Clay W; Lowe, Ryan J; Berry, Oliver; Espinosa-Gayosso, Alexis; Sporer, Errol; Saunders, Thor

    2016-08-24

    Creating large conservation zones in remote areas, with less intense stakeholder overlap and limited environmental information, requires periodic review to ensure zonation mitigates primary threats and fill gaps in representation, while achieving conservation targets. Follow-up reviews can utilise improved methods and data, potentially identifying new planning options yielding a desirable balance between stakeholder interests. This research explored a marine zoning system in north-west Australia-a biodiverse area with poorly documented biota. Although remote, it is economically significant (i.e. petroleum extraction and fishing). Stakeholder engagement was used to source the best available biodiversity and socio-economic data and advanced spatial analyses produced 765 high resolution data layers, including 674 species distributions representing 119 families. Gap analysis revealed the current proposed zoning system as inadequate, with 98.2% of species below the Convention on Biological Diversity 10% representation targets. A systematic conservation planning algorithm Maxan provided zoning options to meet representation targets while balancing this with industry interests. Resulting scenarios revealed that conservation targets could be met with minimal impacts on petroleum and fishing industries, with estimated losses of 4.9% and 7.2% respectively. The approach addressed important knowledge gaps and provided a powerful and transparent method to reconcile industry interests with marine conservation.

  7. Commercial product exploitation from marine microbial biodiversity: some legal and IP issues

    PubMed Central

    Tichet, Camille; Nguyen, Hong Khanh; Yaakoubi, Sefia El; Bloch, Jean‐François

    2010-01-01

    Summary The biodiversity found in the marine environment is remarkable and yet largely unknown compared with the terrestrial one. The associated genetic resource, also wide and unrevealed, has raised a strong interest from the scientific and industrial community. However, despite this growing interest, the discovery of new compounds extracted from marine organisms, more precisely from microorganisms, is ruled by a complex legislation. The access and transfer of genetic resource are ruled by the Convention on Biological Diversity. One of the three core objectives of this convention is to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits generated by the use of genetic resources and to split these benefits between the different stakeholders. From the discovery of a microorganism to the commercialization of a product, three main stakeholders are involved: providers of microorganisms, e.g. academic institutes, the scientists who will perform R&D on biodiversity, and the industrial companies which will commercialize the final product arising from the R&D results. This article describes how difficult and complex it might be to ensure a fair distribution of benefits of this research between the parties. PMID:21255350

  8. Improving spatial prioritisation for remote marine regions: optimising biodiversity conservation and sustainable development trade-offs

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Cordelia H.; Radford, Ben T.; Possingham, Hugh P.; Heyward, Andrew J.; Stewart, Romola R.; Watts, Matthew E.; Prescott, Jim; Newman, Stephen J.; Harvey, Euan S.; Fisher, Rebecca; Bryce, Clay W.; Lowe, Ryan J.; Berry, Oliver; Espinosa-Gayosso, Alexis; Sporer, Errol; Saunders, Thor

    2016-01-01

    Creating large conservation zones in remote areas, with less intense stakeholder overlap and limited environmental information, requires periodic review to ensure zonation mitigates primary threats and fill gaps in representation, while achieving conservation targets. Follow-up reviews can utilise improved methods and data, potentially identifying new planning options yielding a desirable balance between stakeholder interests. This research explored a marine zoning system in north-west Australia–a biodiverse area with poorly documented biota. Although remote, it is economically significant (i.e. petroleum extraction and fishing). Stakeholder engagement was used to source the best available biodiversity and socio-economic data and advanced spatial analyses produced 765 high resolution data layers, including 674 species distributions representing 119 families. Gap analysis revealed the current proposed zoning system as inadequate, with 98.2% of species below the Convention on Biological Diversity 10% representation targets. A systematic conservation planning algorithm Maxan provided zoning options to meet representation targets while balancing this with industry interests. Resulting scenarios revealed that conservation targets could be met with minimal impacts on petroleum and fishing industries, with estimated losses of 4.9% and 7.2% respectively. The approach addressed important knowledge gaps and provided a powerful and transparent method to reconcile industry interests with marine conservation. PMID:27556689

  9. Improving spatial prioritisation for remote marine regions: optimising biodiversity conservation and sustainable development trade-offs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Cordelia H.; Radford, Ben T.; Possingham, Hugh P.; Heyward, Andrew J.; Stewart, Romola R.; Watts, Matthew E.; Prescott, Jim; Newman, Stephen J.; Harvey, Euan S.; Fisher, Rebecca; Bryce, Clay W.; Lowe, Ryan J.; Berry, Oliver; Espinosa-Gayosso, Alexis; Sporer, Errol; Saunders, Thor

    2016-08-01

    Creating large conservation zones in remote areas, with less intense stakeholder overlap and limited environmental information, requires periodic review to ensure zonation mitigates primary threats and fill gaps in representation, while achieving conservation targets. Follow-up reviews can utilise improved methods and data, potentially identifying new planning options yielding a desirable balance between stakeholder interests. This research explored a marine zoning system in north-west Australia–a biodiverse area with poorly documented biota. Although remote, it is economically significant (i.e. petroleum extraction and fishing). Stakeholder engagement was used to source the best available biodiversity and socio-economic data and advanced spatial analyses produced 765 high resolution data layers, including 674 species distributions representing 119 families. Gap analysis revealed the current proposed zoning system as inadequate, with 98.2% of species below the Convention on Biological Diversity 10% representation targets. A systematic conservation planning algorithm Maxan provided zoning options to meet representation targets while balancing this with industry interests. Resulting scenarios revealed that conservation targets could be met with minimal impacts on petroleum and fishing industries, with estimated losses of 4.9% and 7.2% respectively. The approach addressed important knowledge gaps and provided a powerful and transparent method to reconcile industry interests with marine conservation.

  10. Accessing novel conoidean venoms: Biodiverse lumun-lumun marine communities, an untapped biological and toxinological resource.

    PubMed

    Seronay, Romell A; Fedosov, Alexander E; Astilla, Mary Anne Q; Watkins, Maren; Saguil, Noel; Heralde, Francisco M; Tagaro, Sheila; Poppe, Guido T; Aliño, Porfirio M; Oliverio, Marco; Kantor, Yuri I; Concepcion, Gisela P; Olivera, Baldomero M

    2010-12-15

    Cone snail venoms have yielded pharmacologically active natural products of exceptional scientific interest. However, cone snails are a small minority of venomous molluscan biodiversity, the vast majority being tiny venomous morphospecies in the family Turridae. A novel method called lumun-lumun opens access to these micromolluscs and their venoms. Old fishing nets are anchored to the sea bottom for a period of 1-6months and marine biotas rich in small molluscs are established. In a single lumun-lumun community, we found a remarkable gastropod biodiversity (155 morphospecies). Venomous predators belonging to the superfamily Conoidea (36 morphospecies) were the largest group, the majority being micromolluscs in the family Turridae. We carried out an initial analysis of the most abundant of the turrid morphospecies recovered, Clathurella (Lienardia) cincta (Dunker, 1871). In contrast to all cDNA clones characterized from cone snail venom ducts, one of the C. cincta clones identified encoded two different peptide precursors presumably translated from a single mRNA. The prospect of easily accessing so many different morphospecies of venomous marine snails raises intriguing toxinological possibilities: the 36 conoidean morphospecies in this one net alone have the potential to yield thousands of novel pharmacologically active compounds.

  11. Biodiversity of cone snails and other venomous marine gastropods: evolutionary success through neuropharmacology.

    PubMed

    Olivera, Baldomero M; Showers Corneli, Patrice; Watkins, Maren; Fedosov, Alexander

    2014-02-01

    Venomous marine snails (superfamily Conoidea) are a remarkably biodiverse marine invertebrate lineage (featuring more than 10,000 species). Conoideans use complex venoms (up to 100 different components for each species) to capture prey and for other biotic interactions. Molecular phylogeny and venom peptide characterization provide an unusual multidisciplinary view of conoidean biodiversity at several taxonomic levels. Venom peptides diverge between species at an unprecedented rate through hypermutation within gene families. Clade divergence within a genus occurs without recruiting new gene families when a saltatory event, such as colonization of new prey types (e.g., fish), leads to a new radiation. Divergence between genera in the same family involves substantial divergence in gene families. In the superfamily Conoidea, the family groups recruited distinct sets of different venom gene superfamilies. The associated morphological, behavioral, and prey-preference changes that accompany these molecular changes are unknown for most conoidean lineages, except for one genus, Conus, for which many associated phenotypic changes have been documented.

  12. Farmland biodiversity and agricultural management on 237 farms in 13 European and two African regions.

    PubMed

    Lüscher, Gisela; Ammari, Youssef; Andriets, Aljona; Angelova, Siyka; Arndorfer, Michaela; Bailey, Debra; Balázs, Katalin; Bogers, Marion; Bunce, Robert G H; Choisis, Jean-Philippe; Dennis, Peter; Díaz, Mario; Dyman, Tetyana; Eiter, Sebastian; Fjellstad, Wendy; Fraser, Mariecia; Friedel, Jürgen K; Garchi, Salah; Geijzendorffer, Ilse R; Gomiero, Tiziano; González-Bornay, Guillermo; Guteva, Yana; Herzog, Felix; Jeanneret, Philippe; Jongman, Rob H G; Kainz, Max; Kwikiriza, Norman; López Díaz, María Lourdes; Moreno, Gerardo; Nicholas-Davies, Pip; Nkwiine, Charles; Opio, Julius; Paoletti, Maurizio G; Podmaniczky, László; Pointereau, Philippe; Pulido, Fernando; Sarthou, Jean-Pierre; Schneider, Manuel K; Sghaier, Tahar; Siebrecht, Norman; Stoyanova, Siyka; Wolfrum, Sebastian; Yashchenko, Sergiy; Albrecht, Harald; Báldi, András; Belényesi, Márta; Benhadi-Marin, Jacinto; Blick, Theo; Buholzer, Serge; Centeri, Csaba; Choisis, Norma; Cuendet, Gérard; De Lange, Hendrika J; Déjean, Sylvain; Deltshev, Christo; Díaz Cosín, Darío J; Dramstad, Wenche; Elek, Zoltán; Engan, Gunnar; Evtushenko, Konstantin; Falusi, Eszter; Finch, Oliver-D; Frank, Thomas; Gavinelli, Federico; Genoud, David; Gillingham, Phillipa K; Grónás, Viktor; Gutiérrez, Mónica; Häusler, Werner; Heer, Xaver; Hübner, Thomas; Isaia, Marco; Jerkovich, Gergely; Jesus, Juan B; Kakudidi, Esezah; Kelemen, Eszter; Koncz, Nóra; Kovacs, Eszter; Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó; Last, Luisa; Ljubomirov, Toshko; Mandery, Klaus; Mayr, Josef; Mjelde, Atle; Muster, Christoph; Nascimbene, Juri; Neumayer, Johann; Ødegaard, Frode; Ortiz Sánchez, Francisco Javier; Oschatz, Marie-Louise; Papaja-Hülsbergen, Susanne; Paschetta, Mauro; Pavett, Mark; Pelosi, Céline; Penksza, Károly; Pommeresche, Reidun; Popov, Victor; Radchenko, Volodymyr; Richner, Nina; Riedel, Susanne; Scullion, John; Sommaggio, Daniele; Szalkovszki, Ottó; Szerencsits, Erich; Trigo, Dolores; Vale, Jim; van Kats, Ruud; Vasilev, Angel; Whittington, Andrew E; Wilkes-Allemann, Jerylee; Zanetti, Tommaso

    2016-06-01

    Farmland is a major land cover type in Europe and Africa and provides habitat for numerous species. The severe decline in farmland biodiversity of the last decades has been attributed to changes in farming practices, and organic and low-input farming are assumed to mitigate detrimental effects of agricultural intensification on biodiversity. Since the farm enterprise is the primary unit of agricultural decision making, management-related effects at the field scale need to be assessed at the farm level. Therefore, in this study, data were collected on habitat characteristics, vascular plant, earthworm, spider, and bee communities and on the corresponding agricultural management in 237 farms in 13 European and two African regions. In 15 environmental and agricultural homogeneous regions, 6-20 farms with the same farm type (e.g., arable crops, grassland, or specific permanent crops) were selected. If available, an equal number of organic and non-organic farms were randomly selected. Alternatively, farms were sampled along a gradient of management intensity. For all selected farms, the entire farmed area was mapped, which resulted in total in the mapping of 11 338 units attributed to 194 standardized habitat types, provided together with additional descriptors. On each farm, one site per available habitat type was randomly selected for species diversity investigations. Species were sampled on 2115 sites and identified to the species level by expert taxonomists. Species lists and abundance estimates are provided for each site and sampling date (one date for plants and earthworms, three dates for spiders and bees). In addition, farmers provided information about their management practices in face-to-face interviews following a standardized questionnaire. Farm management indicators for each farm are available (e.g., nitrogen input, pesticide applications, or energy input). Analyses revealed a positive effect of unproductive areas and a negative effect of intensive

  13. Marine Biodiversity in Juan Fernández and Desventuradas Islands, Chile: Global Endemism Hotspots

    PubMed Central

    Friedlander, Alan M.; Ballesteros, Enric; Caselle, Jennifer E.; Gaymer, Carlos F.; Palma, Alvaro T.; Petit, Ignacio; Varas, Eduardo; Muñoz Wilson, Alex; Sala, Enric

    2016-01-01

    The Juan Fernández and Desventuradas islands are among the few oceanic islands belonging to Chile. They possess a unique mix of tropical, subtropical, and temperate marine species, and although close to continental South America, elements of the biota have greater affinities with the central and south Pacific owing to the Humboldt Current, which creates a strong biogeographic barrier between these islands and the continent. The Juan Fernández Archipelago has ~700 people, with the major industry being the fishery for the endemic lobster, Jasus frontalis. The Desventuradas Islands are uninhabited except for a small Chilean military garrison on San Félix Island. We compared the marine biodiversity of these islands across multiple taxonomic groups. At San Ambrosio Island (SA), in Desventuradas, the laminarian kelp (Eisenia cokeri), which is limited to Desventuradas in Chile, accounted for >50% of the benthic cover at wave exposed areas, while more sheltered sites were dominated by sea urchin barrens. The benthos at Robinson Crusoe Island (RC), in the Juan Fernández Archipelago, comprised a diverse mix of macroalgae and invertebrates, a number of which are endemic to the region. The biomass of commercially targeted fishes was >2 times higher in remote sites around RC compared to sheltered locations closest to port, and overall biomass was 35% higher around SA compared to RC, likely reflecting fishing effects around RC. The number of endemic fish species was extremely high at both islands, with 87.5% of the species surveyed at RC and 72% at SA consisting of regional endemics. Remarkably, endemics accounted for 99% of the numerical abundance of fishes surveyed at RC and 96% at SA, which is the highest assemblage-level endemism known for any individual marine ecosystem on earth. Our results highlight the uniqueness and global significance of these biodiversity hotspots exposed to very different fishing pressures. PMID:26734732

  14. Marine Biodiversity in Juan Fernández and Desventuradas Islands, Chile: Global Endemism Hotspots.

    PubMed

    Friedlander, Alan M; Ballesteros, Enric; Caselle, Jennifer E; Gaymer, Carlos F; Palma, Alvaro T; Petit, Ignacio; Varas, Eduardo; Muñoz Wilson, Alex; Sala, Enric

    2016-01-01

    The Juan Fernández and Desventuradas islands are among the few oceanic islands belonging to Chile. They possess a unique mix of tropical, subtropical, and temperate marine species, and although close to continental South America, elements of the biota have greater affinities with the central and south Pacific owing to the Humboldt Current, which creates a strong biogeographic barrier between these islands and the continent. The Juan Fernández Archipelago has ~700 people, with the major industry being the fishery for the endemic lobster, Jasus frontalis. The Desventuradas Islands are uninhabited except for a small Chilean military garrison on San Félix Island. We compared the marine biodiversity of these islands across multiple taxonomic groups. At San Ambrosio Island (SA), in Desventuradas, the laminarian kelp (Eisenia cokeri), which is limited to Desventuradas in Chile, accounted for >50% of the benthic cover at wave exposed areas, while more sheltered sites were dominated by sea urchin barrens. The benthos at Robinson Crusoe Island (RC), in the Juan Fernández Archipelago, comprised a diverse mix of macroalgae and invertebrates, a number of which are endemic to the region. The biomass of commercially targeted fishes was >2 times higher in remote sites around RC compared to sheltered locations closest to port, and overall biomass was 35% higher around SA compared to RC, likely reflecting fishing effects around RC. The number of endemic fish species was extremely high at both islands, with 87.5% of the species surveyed at RC and 72% at SA consisting of regional endemics. Remarkably, endemics accounted for 99% of the numerical abundance of fishes surveyed at RC and 96% at SA, which is the highest assemblage-level endemism known for any individual marine ecosystem on earth. Our results highlight the uniqueness and global significance of these biodiversity hotspots exposed to very different fishing pressures.

  15. The impact of shifts in marine biodiversity hotspots on patterns of range evolution: Evidence from the Holocentridae (squirrelfishes and soldierfishes).

    PubMed

    Dornburg, Alex; Moore, Jon; Beaulieu, Jeremy M; Eytan, Ron I; Near, Thomas J

    2015-01-01

    One of the most striking biodiversity patterns is the uneven distribution of marine species richness, with species diversity in the Indo-Australian Archipelago (IAA) exceeding all other areas. However, the IAA formed fairly recently, and marine biodiversity hotspots have shifted across nearly half the globe since the Paleogene. Understanding how lineages have responded to shifting biodiversity hotspots represents a necessary historic perspective on the formation and maintenance of global marine biodiversity. Such evolutionary inferences are often challenged by a lack of fossil evidence that provide insights into historic patterns of abundance and diversity. The greatest diversity of squirrelfishes and soldierfishes (Holocentridae) is in the IAA, yet these fishes also represent some of the most numerous fossil taxa in deposits of the former West Tethyan biodiversity hotspot. We reconstruct the pattern of holocentrid range evolution using time-calibrated phylogenies that include most living species and several fossil lineages, demonstrating the importance of including fossil species as terminal taxa in ancestral area reconstructions. Holocentrids exhibit increased range fragmentation following the West Tethyan hotspot collapse. However, rather than originating within the emerging IAA hotspot, the IAA has acted as a reservoir for holocentrid diversity that originated in adjacent regions over deep evolutionary time scales.

  16. Surrogate taxa and fossils as reliable proxies of spatial biodiversity patterns in marine benthic communities.

    PubMed

    Tyler, Carrie L; Kowalewski, Michał

    2017-03-15

    Rigorous documentation of spatial heterogeneity (β-diversity) in present-day and preindustrial ecosystems is required to assess how marine communities respond to environmental and anthropogenic drivers. However, the overwhelming majority of contemporary and palaeontological assessments have centred on single higher taxa. To evaluate the validity of single taxa as community surrogates and palaeontological proxies, we compared macrobenthic communities and sympatric death assemblages at 52 localities in Onslow Bay (NC, USA). Compositional heterogeneity did not differ significantly across datasets based on live molluscs, live non-molluscs, and all live organisms. Death assemblages were less heterogeneous spatially, likely reflecting homogenization by time-averaging. Nevertheless, live and dead datasets were greater than 80% congruent in pairwise comparisons to the literature estimates of β-diversity in other marine ecosystems, yielded concordant bathymetric gradients, and produced nearly identical ordinations consistently delineating habitats. Congruent estimates from molluscs and non-molluscs suggest that single groups can serve as reliable community proxies. High spatial fidelity of death assemblages supports the emerging paradigm of Conservation Palaeobiology. Integrated analyses of ecological and palaeontological data based on surrogate taxa can quantify anthropogenic changes in marine ecosystems and advance our understanding of spatial and temporal aspects of biodiversity.

  17. Biodiversity and paleobiogeography of the European freshwater Neogene: trends, hotspots and faunal turnovers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neubauer, Thomas A.; Harzhauser, Mathias; Georgopoulou, Elisavet; Andreas, Kroh; Mandic, Oleg

    2015-04-01

    We present an outline of a paleobiogeographic framework for the European fresh- and brackish-water systems during the Neogene. Data basis is a presence-absence matrix of lacustrine gastropods from over 2,700 localities. Cluster analyses were separately carried out on the datasets of the four time slices Early Miocene, Middle Miocene, Late Miocene, and Pliocene. Based on the results of the cluster analyses, the degree of endemicity, and geographical coherence, we classified the lake systems of the four time intervals into biogeographic units. The increasing degree of provincialism throughout the Neogene supported more detailed breakdowns in younger intervals. This pattern reflects the ongoing continentalization of Europe linked to the Alpidic Orogenesis. Additionally, the retreat of the Paratethys Sea and its isolation from the Mediterranean promoted the evolution of endemic faunas in surrounding lacustrine systems. Direct descendants such as long-lived Lake Pannon, Lake Dacia or Lake Slavonia persisted over several millions of years and promoted the evolution of highly diverse and endemic faunas. Because of their extensive duration they crucially influenced family-level composition, differences of the relative species richnesses per biogeographic unit, and rising rate of endemicity. We show that the biogeographic classification as well as the existence of biodiversity hotspots are tightly linked to the formation and evolution of long-lived lacustrine environments and thus to Europe's geodynamic history. Heat maps are provided to visualize the shifting distributions of hotspots through time. The only physiographic factor that can be shown to be correlated with species richness is the size of a lake. Other factors such as latitude, longitude or temporal duration show weak relationships. Correlation of biodiversity trends to climatic parameters such as temperature and precipitation are feasible only for selected periods. Climate is considered to have only minor

  18. Agricultural intensification and biodiversity partitioning in European landscapes comparing plants, carabids, and birds.

    PubMed

    Flohre, Andreas; Fischer, Christina; Aavik, Tsipe; Bengtsson, Jan; Berendse, Frank; Bommarco, Riccardo; Ceryngier, Piotr; Clement, Lars W; Dennis, Christopher; Eggers, Sönke; Emmerson, Mark; Geiger, Flavia; Guerrero, Irene; Hawro, Violetta; Inchausti, Pablo; Liira, Jaan; Morales, Manuel B; Oñate, Juan J; Pärt, Tomas; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Winqvist, Camilla; Thies, Carsten; Tscharntke, Teja

    2011-07-01

    Effects of agricultural intensification (AI) on biodiversity are often assessed on the plot scale, although processes determining diversity also operate on larger spatial scales. Here, we analyzed the diversity of vascular plants, carabid beetles, and birds in agricultural landscapes in cereal crop fields at the field (n = 1350), farm (n = 270), and European-region (n = 9) scale. We partitioned diversity into its additive components alpha, beta, and gamma, and assessed the relative contribution of beta diversity to total species richness at each spatial scale. AI was determined using pesticide and fertilizer inputs, as well as tillage operations and categorized into low, medium, and high levels. As AI was not significantly related to landscape complexity, we could disentangle potential AI effects on local vs. landscape community homogenization. AI negatively affected the species richness of plants and birds, but not carabid beetles, at all spatial scales. Hence, local AI was closely correlated to beta diversity on larger scales up to the farm and region level, and thereby was an indicator of farm- and region-wide biodiversity losses. At the scale of farms (12.83-20.52%) and regions (68.34-80.18%), beta diversity accounted for the major part of the total species richness for all three taxa, indicating great dissimilarity in environmental conditions on larger spatial scales. For plants, relative importance of alpha diversity decreased with AI, while relative importance of beta diversity on the farm scale increased with AI for carabids and birds. Hence, and in contrast to our expectations, AI does not necessarily homogenize local communities, presumably due to the heterogeneity of farming practices. In conclusion, a more detailed understanding of AI effects on diversity patterns of various taxa and at multiple spatial scales would contribute to more efficient agri-environmental schemes in agroecosystems.

  19. An index based on the biodiversity of cetacean species to assess the environmental status of marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Azzellino, Arianna; Fossi, Maria Cristina; Gaspari, Stefania; Lanfredi, Caterina; Lauriano, Giancarlo; Marsili, Letizia; Panigada, Simone; Podestà, Michela

    2014-09-01

    The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requires the assessment of the environmental status in relation to human pressures. In this study the biodiversity of the cetacean community is proposed as MSFD descriptor of the environmental status and its link with anthropogenic pressures is investigated. Functional groups are generally favoured over indicator species since they are thought to better reflect to anthropogenic stressors. Cetaceans are in many situations the most well known component of pelagic ecosystems. Their habitat requirements are known and can be used to evaluate the theoretical biodiversity that should be expected in a certain area. The deviations between the theoretical biodiversity and the actual biodiversity may be used to detect the impacts of human activities. Based on this analysis fishery resulted to be by far the most significant of the existing pressures. Among all the species, bottlenose dolphin was found the most correlated with the fishery sector dynamics.

  20. Biodiversity patterns of free-living marine nematodes in a tropical bay: Cienfuegos, Caribbean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armenteros, M.; Ruiz-Abierno, A.; Fernández-Garcés, R.; Pérez-García, J. A.; Díaz-Asencio, L.; Vincx, M.; Decraemer, W.

    2009-11-01

    Spatial and temporal biodiversity patterns of free-living marine nematodes were studied in Cienfuegos Bay, a tropical semi-enclosed basin in the Caribbean Sea. Taxonomic (to species level) and functional (biological trait) approaches were applied for describing the assemblage structure and relating it to abiotic environment based on a sampling scheme in six subtidal stations and three months. Biological trait approach added relevant information to species pattern regarding relationships between diversity patterns and the abiotic environment. The most common morphotypes were deposit feeding nematodes, with colonising abilities of 2-3 (in a scale from 1 to 5), tail conical cylindrical or filiforme and body slender; and their abundance were correlated with depth, organic matter and silt/clay fraction. In spite of a high turnover of species, functional diversity of assemblages did not change notably in space and time. A result probably due to sampling of the habitat pool of species and to low heterogeneity of the studied muddy bottoms. Chemical pollution (organic enrichment and heavy metals) and hydrodynamic regime possibly drove the biodiversity patterns. Spatial distribution of assemblages support the existence of two well differentiated basins inside the bay, the northern basin more polluted than the southern one. The low hydrodynamic regime would determine a poor dispersion of nematodes resulting in high spatial variance in the assemblage structure; and also the associated hypoxic conditions and pollutants in sediments can explain the dominance of tolerant nematode species such as Daptonema oxycerca, Sabatieria pulchra, Terschellingia gourbaultae, and Terschellingia longicaudata. A comparison of spatial-temporal patterns of biodiversity between Cienfuegos Bay and other semi-enclosed bays in temperate regions suggests several similarities: nematode assemblages are strongly influenced by anthropogenic disturbance, temporal trends are weak or overridden by spatial

  1. The use of DNA barcoding to monitor the marine mammal biodiversity along the French Atlantic coast

    PubMed Central

    Alfonsi, Eric; Méheust, Eleonore; Fuchs, Sandra; Carpentier, François-Gilles; Quillivic, Yann; Viricel, Amélia; Hassani, Sami; Jung, Jean-Luc

    2013-01-01

    Abstract In the last ten years, 14 species of cetaceans and five species of pinnipeds stranded along the Atlantic coast of Brittany in the North West of France. All species included, an average of 150 animals strand each year in this area. Based on reports from the stranding network operating along this coast, the most common stranding events comprise six cetacean species (Delphinus delphis, Tursiops truncatus, Stenella coeruleoalba, Globicephala melas, Grampus griseus, Phocoena phocoena)and one pinniped species (Halichoerus grypus). Rare stranding events include deep-diving or exotic species, such as arctic seals. In this study, our aim was to determine the potential contribution of DNA barcoding to the monitoring of marine mammal biodiversity as performed by the stranding network. We sequenced more than 500 bp of the 5’ end of the mitochondrial COI gene of 89 animals of 15 different species (12 cetaceans, and three pinnipeds). Except for members of the Delphininae, all species were unambiguously discriminated on the basis of their COI sequences. We then applied DNA barcoding to identify some “undetermined” samples. With again the exception of the Delphininae, this was successful using the BOLD identification engine. For samples of the Delphininae, we sequenced a portion of the mitochondrial control region (MCR), and using a non-metric multidimentional scaling plot and posterior probability calculations we were able to determine putatively each species. We then showed, in the case of the harbour porpoise, that COI polymorphisms, although being lower than MCR ones, could also be used to assess intraspecific variability. All these results show that the use of DNA barcoding in conjunction with a stranding network could clearly increase the accuracy of the monitoring of marine mammal biodiversity. PMID:24453548

  2. The use of DNA barcoding to monitor the marine mammal biodiversity along the French Atlantic coast.

    PubMed

    Alfonsi, Eric; Méheust, Eleonore; Fuchs, Sandra; Carpentier, François-Gilles; Quillivic, Yann; Viricel, Amélia; Hassani, Sami; Jung, Jean-Luc

    2013-12-30

    In the last ten years, 14 species of cetaceans and five species of pinnipeds stranded along the Atlantic coast of Brittany in the North West of France. All species included, an average of 150 animals strand each year in this area. Based on reports from the stranding network operating along this coast, the most common stranding events comprise six cetacean species (Delphinus delphis, Tursiops truncatus, Stenella coeruleoalba, Globicephala melas, Grampus griseus, Phocoena phocoena)and one pinniped species (Halichoerus grypus). Rare stranding events include deep-diving or exotic species, such as arctic seals. In this study, our aim was to determine the potential contribution of DNA barcoding to the monitoring of marine mammal biodiversity as performed by the stranding network. We sequenced more than 500 bp of the 5' end of the mitochondrial COI gene of 89 animals of 15 different species (12 cetaceans, and three pinnipeds). Except for members of the Delphininae, all species were unambiguously discriminated on the basis of their COI sequences. We then applied DNA barcoding to identify some "undetermined" samples. With again the exception of the Delphininae, this was successful using the BOLD identification engine. For samples of the Delphininae, we sequenced a portion of the mitochondrial control region (MCR), and using a non-metric multidimentional scaling plot and posterior probability calculations we were able to determine putatively each species. We then showed, in the case of the harbour porpoise, that COI polymorphisms, although being lower than MCR ones, could also be used to assess intraspecific variability. All these results show that the use of DNA barcoding in conjunction with a stranding network could clearly increase the accuracy of the monitoring of marine mammal biodiversity.

  3. Effectiveness of marine protected areas in the Philippines for biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Weeks, Rebecca; Russ, Garry R; Alcala, Angel C; White, Alan T

    2010-04-01

    Quantifying the extent to which existing reserves meet conservation objectives and identifying gaps in coverage are vital to developing systematic protected-area networks. Despite widespread recognition of the Philippines as a global priority for marine conservation, limited work has been undertaken to evaluate the conservation effectiveness of existing marine protected areas (MPAs). Targets for MPA coverage in the Philippines have been specified in the 1998 Fisheries Code legislation, which calls for 15% of coastal municipal waters (within 15 km of the coastline) to be protected within no-take MPAs, and the Philippine Marine Sanctuary Strategy (2004), which aims to protect 10% of coral reef area in no-take MPAs by 2020. We used a newly compiled database of nearly 1000 MPAs to measure progress toward these targets. We evaluated conservation effectiveness of MPAs in two ways. First, we determined the degree to which marine bioregions and conservation priority areas are represented within existing MPAs. Second, we assessed the size and spacing patterns of reserves in terms of best-practice recommendations. We found that the current extent and distribution of MPAs does not adequately represent biodiversity. At present just 0.5% of municipal waters and 2.7-3.4% of coral reef area in the Philippines are protected in no-take MPAs. Moreover, 85% of no-take area is in just two sites; 90% of MPAs are <1 km(2). Nevertheless, distances between existing MPAs should ensure larval connectivity between them, providing opportunities to develop regional-scale MPA networks. Despite the considerable success of community-based approaches to MPA implementation in the Philippines, this strategy will not be sufficient to meet conservation targets, even under a best-case scenario for future MPA establishment. We recommend that implementation of community-based MPAs be supplemented by designation of additional large no-take areas specifically located to address conservation targets.

  4. Biodiversity's Big Wet Secret: The Global Distribution of Marine Biological Records Reveals Chronic Under-Exploration of the Deep Pelagic Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Webb, Thomas J.; Vanden Berghe, Edward; O'Dor, Ron

    2010-01-01

    Background Understanding the distribution of marine biodiversity is a crucial first step towards the effective and sustainable management of marine ecosystems. Recent efforts to collate location records from marine surveys enable us to assemble a global picture of recorded marine biodiversity. They also effectively highlight gaps in our knowledge of particular marine regions. In particular, the deep pelagic ocean – the largest biome on Earth – is chronically under-represented in global databases of marine biodiversity. Methodology/Principal Findings We use data from the Ocean Biogeographic Information System to plot the position in the water column of ca 7 million records of marine species occurrences. Records from relatively shallow waters dominate this global picture of recorded marine biodiversity. In addition, standardising the number of records from regions of the ocean differing in depth reveals that regardless of ocean depth, most records come either from surface waters or the sea bed. Midwater biodiversity is drastically under-represented. Conclusions/Significance The deep pelagic ocean is the largest habitat by volume on Earth, yet it remains biodiversity's big wet secret, as it is hugely under-represented in global databases of marine biological records. Given both its value in the provision of a range of ecosystem services, and its vulnerability to threats including overfishing and climate change, there is a pressing need to increase our knowledge of Earth's largest ecosystem. PMID:20689845

  5. Out of sight, out of mind: threats to the marine biodiversity of the Canary Islands (NE Atlantic Ocean).

    PubMed

    Riera, Rodrigo; Becerro, Mikel A; Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Delgado, Juan D; Edgar, Graham J

    2014-09-15

    Lack of knowledge of the marine realm may bias our perception of the current status and threats to marine biodiversity. Less than 10% of all ecological literature is related to the ocean, and the information we have on marine species that are threatened or on the verge of extinction is scarce. This lack of information is particularly critical for isolated areas such as oceanic archipelagos. Here we review published and grey literature on the current status of marine organisms in the Canary Islands as a case description of the consequences that current out-of-sight out-of-mind attitudes may have on this unique environment. Global change, as represented by coastal development, pollution, exotic species and climate change, are currently affecting the distribution and abundance of Canarian marine organisms, and pose multiple threats to local species and communities. Environmental risks are significant at community and species levels, particularly for threatened species. Failure to address these trends will result in shifts in local biodiversity with important ecological, social, and economic consequences. Scientists, policy makers, educators, and relevant societal groups need to collaborate to reverse deleterious coastal biodiversity trends.

  6. Differentiating the effects of climate and land use change on European biodiversity: A scenario analysis.

    PubMed

    Vermaat, Jan E; Hellmann, Fritz A; van Teeffelen, Astrid J A; van Minnen, Jelle; Alkemade, Rob; Billeter, Regula; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Boitani, Luigi; Cabeza, Mar; Feld, Christian K; Huntley, Brian; Paterson, James; WallisDeVries, Michiel F

    2017-04-01

    Current observed as well as projected changes in biodiversity are the result of multiple interacting factors, with land use and climate change often marked as most important drivers. We aimed to disentangle the separate impacts of these two for sets of vascular plant, bird, butterfly and dragonfly species listed as characteristic for European dry grasslands and wetlands, two habitats of high and threatened biodiversity. We combined articulations of the four frequently used SRES climate scenarios and associated land use change projections for 2030, and assessed their impact on population trends in species (i.e. whether they would probably be declining, stable or increasing). We used the BIOSCORE database tool, which allows assessment of the effects of a range of environmental pressures including climate change as well as land use change. We updated the species lists included in this tool for our two habitat types. We projected species change for two spatial scales: the EU27 covering most of Europe, and the more restricted biogeographic region of 'Continental Europe'. Other environmental pressures modelled for the four scenarios than land use and climate change generally did not explain a significant part of the variance in species richness change. Changes in characteristic bird and dragonfly species were least pronounced. Land use change was the most important driver for vascular plants in both habitats and spatial scales, leading to a decline in 50-100% of the species included, whereas climate change was more important for wetland dragonflies and birds (40-50 %). Patterns of species decline were similar in continental Europe and the EU27 for wetlands but differed for dry grasslands, where a substantially lower proportion of butterflies and birds declined in continental Europe, and 50 % of bird species increased, probably linked to a projected increase in semi-natural vegetation. In line with the literature using climate envelope models, we found little divergence

  7. Antarctic Marine Biodiversity – What Do We Know About the Distribution of Life in the Southern Ocean?

    PubMed Central

    Griffiths, Huw J.

    2010-01-01

    The remote and hostile Southern Ocean is home to a diverse and rich community of life that thrives in an environment dominated by glaciations and strong currents. Marine biological studies in the region date back to the nineteenth century, but despite this long history of research, relatively little is known about the complex interactions between the highly seasonal physical environment and the species that inhabit the Southern Ocean. Oceanographically, the Southern Ocean is a major driver of global ocean circulation and plays a vital role in interacting with the deep water circulation in each of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. The Census of Antarctic Marine Life and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research Marine Biodiversity Information Network (SCAR-MarBIN) have strived to coordinate and unify the available scientific expertise and biodiversity data to improve our understanding of Southern Ocean biodiversity. Taxonomic lists for all marine species have been compiled to form the Register of Antarctic Marine Species, which currently includes over 8,200 species. SCAR-MarBIN has brought together over 1 million distribution records for Southern Ocean species, forming a baseline against which future change can be judged. The sample locations and numbers of known species from different regions were mapped and the depth distributions of benthic samples plotted. Our knowledge of the biodiversity of the Southern Ocean is largely determined by the relative inaccessibility of the region. Benthic sampling is largely restricted to the shelf; little is known about the fauna of the deep sea. The location of scientific bases heavily influences the distribution pattern of sample and observation data, and the logistical supply routes are the focus of much of the at-sea and pelagic work. Taxa such as mollusks and echinoderms are well represented within existing datasets with high numbers of georeferenced records. Other taxa, including the species-rich nematodes, are

  8. Antarctic marine biodiversity--what do we know about the distribution of life in the Southern Ocean?

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Huw J

    2010-08-02

    The remote and hostile Southern Ocean is home to a diverse and rich community of life that thrives in an environment dominated by glaciations and strong currents. Marine biological studies in the region date back to the nineteenth century, but despite this long history of research, relatively little is known about the complex interactions between the highly seasonal physical environment and the species that inhabit the Southern Ocean. Oceanographically, the Southern Ocean is a major driver of global ocean circulation and plays a vital role in interacting with the deep water circulation in each of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. The Census of Antarctic Marine Life and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research Marine Biodiversity Information Network (SCAR-MarBIN) have strived to coordinate and unify the available scientific expertise and biodiversity data to improve our understanding of Southern Ocean biodiversity. Taxonomic lists for all marine species have been compiled to form the Register of Antarctic Marine Species, which currently includes over 8,200 species. SCAR-MarBIN has brought together over 1 million distribution records for Southern Ocean species, forming a baseline against which future change can be judged. The sample locations and numbers of known species from different regions were mapped and the depth distributions of benthic samples plotted. Our knowledge of the biodiversity of the Southern Ocean is largely determined by the relative inaccessibility of the region. Benthic sampling is largely restricted to the shelf; little is known about the fauna of the deep sea. The location of scientific bases heavily influences the distribution pattern of sample and observation data, and the logistical supply routes are the focus of much of the at-sea and pelagic work. Taxa such as mollusks and echinoderms are well represented within existing datasets with high numbers of georeferenced records. Other taxa, including the species-rich nematodes, are

  9. High-Throughput Sequencing—The Key to Rapid Biodiversity Assessment of Marine Metazoa?

    PubMed Central

    Mohrbeck, Inga; Raupach, Michael J.; Martínez Arbizu, Pedro; Knebelsberger, Thomas; Laakmann, Silke

    2015-01-01

    The applications of traditional morphological and molecular methods for species identification are greatly restricted by processing speed and on a regional or greater scale are generally considered unfeasible. In this context, high-throughput sequencing, or metagenetics, has been proposed as an efficient tool to document biodiversity. Here we evaluated the effectiveness of 454 pyrosequencing in marine metazoan community analysis using the 18S rDNA: V1-V2 region. Multiplex pyrosequencing of the V1-V2 region was used to analyze two pooled samples of DNA, one comprising 118 and the other 37 morphologically identified species, and one natural sample taken directly from a North Sea zooplankton community. A DNA reference library comprising all species represented in the pooled samples was created by Sanger sequencing, and this was then used to determine the optimal similarity threshold for species delineation. The optimal threshold was found at 99% species similarity, with 85% identification success. Pyrosequencing was able to identify between fewer species: 67% and 78% of the species in the two pooled samples. Also, a large number of sequences for three species that were not included in the pooled samples were amplified by pyrosequencing, suggesting preferential amplification of some genotypes and the sensitivity of this approach to even low levels of contamination. Conversely, metagenetic analysis of the natural zooplankton sample identified many more species (particularly gelatinous zooplankton and meroplankton) than morphological analysis of a formalin-fixed sample from the same sampling site, suggesting an increased level of taxonomic resolution with pyrosequencing. The study demonstrated that, based on the V1-V2 region, 454 sequencing does not provide accurate species differentiation and reliable taxonomic classification, as it is required in most biodiversity monitoring. The analysis of artificially prepared samples indicated that species detection in

  10. Connectivity, biodiversity conservation and the design of marine reserve networks for coral reefs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almany, G. R.; Connolly, S. R.; Heath, D. D.; Hogan, J. D.; Jones, G. P.; McCook, L. J.; Mills, M.; Pressey, R. L.; Williamson, D. H.

    2009-06-01

    Networks of no-take reserves are important for protecting coral reef biodiversity from climate change and other human impacts. Ensuring that reserve populations are connected to each other and non-reserve populations by larval dispersal allows for recovery from disturbance and is a key aspect of resilience. In general, connectivity between reserves should increase as the distance between them decreases. However, enhancing connectivity may often tradeoff against a network’s ability to representatively sample the system’s natural variability. This “representation” objective is typically measured in terms of species richness or diversity of habitats, but has other important elements (e.g., minimizing the risk that multiple reserves will be impacted by catastrophic events). Such representation objectives tend to be better achieved as reserves become more widely spaced. Thus, optimizing the location, size and spacing of reserves requires both an understanding of larval dispersal and explicit consideration of how well the network represents the broader system; indeed the lack of an integrated theory for optimizing tradeoffs between connectivity and representation objectives has inhibited the incorporation of connectivity into reserve selection algorithms. This article addresses these issues by (1) updating general recommendations for the location, size and spacing of reserves based on emerging data on larval dispersal in corals and reef fishes, and on considerations for maintaining genetic diversity; (2) using a spatial analysis of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to examine potential tradeoffs between connectivity and representation of biodiversity and (3) describing a framework for incorporating environmental fluctuations into the conceptualization of the tradeoff between connectivity and representation, and that expresses both in a common, demographically meaningful currency, thus making optimization possible.

  11. Anthropogenic Disturbance and Biodiversity of Marine Benthic Communities in Antarctica: A Regional Comparison

    PubMed Central

    Stark, Jonathan S.; Kim, Stacy L.; Oliver, John S.

    2014-01-01

    The impacts of two Antarctic stations in different regions, on marine sediment macrofaunal communities were compared: McMurdo, a very large station in the Ross Sea; and Casey, a more typical small station in East Antarctica. Community structure and diversity were compared along a gradient of anthropogenic disturbance from heavily contaminated to uncontaminated locations. We examined some of the inherent problems in comparing data from unrelated studies, such as different sampling methods, spatial and temporal scales of sampling and taxonomic uncertainty. These issues generated specific biases which were taken into account when interpreting patterns. Control sites in the two regions had very different communities but both were dominated by crustaceans. Community responses to anthropogenic disturbance (sediment contamination by metals, oils and sewage) were also different. At McMurdo the proportion of crustaceans decreased in disturbed areas and polychaetes became dominant, whereas at Casey, crustaceans increased in response to disturbance, largely through an increase in amphipods. Despite differing overall community responses there were some common elements. Ostracods, cumaceans and echinoderms were sensitive to disturbance in both regions. Capitellid, dorvelleid and orbiniid polychaetes were indicative of disturbed sites. Amphipods, isopods and tanaids had different responses at each station. Biodiversity and taxonomic distinctness were significantly lower at disturbed locations in both regions. The size of the impact, however, was not related to the level of contamination, with a larger reduction in biodiversity at Casey, the smaller, less polluted station. The impacts of small stations, with low to moderate levels of contamination, can thus be as great as those of large or heavily contaminated stations. Regional broad scale environmental influences may be important in determining the composition of communities and thus their response to disturbance, but there are

  12. High-Throughput Sequencing-The Key to Rapid Biodiversity Assessment of Marine Metazoa?

    PubMed

    Mohrbeck, Inga; Raupach, Michael J; Martínez Arbizu, Pedro; Knebelsberger, Thomas; Laakmann, Silke

    2015-01-01

    The applications of traditional morphological and molecular methods for species identification are greatly restricted by processing speed and on a regional or greater scale are generally considered unfeasible. In this context, high-throughput sequencing, or metagenetics, has been proposed as an efficient tool to document biodiversity. Here we evaluated the effectiveness of 454 pyrosequencing in marine metazoan community analysis using the 18S rDNA: V1-V2 region. Multiplex pyrosequencing of the V1-V2 region was used to analyze two pooled samples of DNA, one comprising 118 and the other 37 morphologically identified species, and one natural sample taken directly from a North Sea zooplankton community. A DNA reference library comprising all species represented in the pooled samples was created by Sanger sequencing, and this was then used to determine the optimal similarity threshold for species delineation. The optimal threshold was found at 99% species similarity, with 85% identification success. Pyrosequencing was able to identify between fewer species: 67% and 78% of the species in the two pooled samples. Also, a large number of sequences for three species that were not included in the pooled samples were amplified by pyrosequencing, suggesting preferential amplification of some genotypes and the sensitivity of this approach to even low levels of contamination. Conversely, metagenetic analysis of the natural zooplankton sample identified many more species (particularly gelatinous zooplankton and meroplankton) than morphological analysis of a formalin-fixed sample from the same sampling site, suggesting an increased level of taxonomic resolution with pyrosequencing. The study demonstrated that, based on the V1-V2 region, 454 sequencing does not provide accurate species differentiation and reliable taxonomic classification, as it is required in most biodiversity monitoring. The analysis of artificially prepared samples indicated that species detection in

  13. Lack of recognition of genetic biodiversity: International policy and its implementation in Baltic Sea marine protected areas.

    PubMed

    Laikre, Linda; Lundmark, Carina; Jansson, Eeva; Wennerström, Lovisa; Edman, Mari; Sandström, Annica

    2016-10-01

    Genetic diversity is needed for species' adaptation to changing selective pressures and is particularly important in regions with rapid environmental change such as the Baltic Sea. Conservation measures should consider maintaining large gene pools to maximize species' adaptive potential for long-term survival. In this study, we explored concerns regarding genetic variation in international and national policies that governs biodiversity and evaluated if and how such policy is put into practice in management plans governing Baltic Sea Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Germany. We performed qualitative and quantitative textual analysis of 240 documents and found that agreed international and national policies on genetic biodiversity are not reflected in management plans for Baltic Sea MPAs. Management plans in all countries are largely void of goals and strategies for genetic biodiversity, which can partly be explained by a general lack of conservation genetics in policies directed toward aquatic environments.

  14. Biodiversity conservation: an example of a multidisciplinary approach to marine dispersal.

    PubMed

    Aliani, Stefano; Berta, Maristella; Borghini, Mireno; Carlson, Daniel; Conversi, Alessandra; Corgnati, Lorenzo; Griffa, Annalisa; Magaldi, Marcello Gatimu; Mantovani, Carlo; Marini, Simone; Mazzei, Luca; Suaria, Giuseppe; Vetrano, Anna

    The general aim of this paper is to present a possible multidisciplinary approach to the problem of connectivity among marine protected areas (MPAs) describing some of the mechanisms and vectors that control the dispersal of propagules among spatially distributed marine communities of MPAs in the Southern Adriatic Sea. A joint approach is described that focuses on (a) measurements of surface water current and model data integrated with a dedicated software (LAVA, LAgrangian Variational Analysis), (b) measurements of rafting objects and their evaluation as an alternative way to species dispersal, and (c) a tool to automatically monitor propagules and plankton species in the water column. Studies on the dynamics of water currents demonstrated that the Gargano area has the potential to supply dispersal propagules to the Southern Adriatic both along the Italian coastline and offshore across the basin, thus providing important services to the dispersal processes and the connectivity routes among MPAs. The natural dispersion is however enhanced by floating objects, on which entire marine communities are living and travelling. The number of these objects has greatly increased with the introduction of human litter: in the Adriatic, man-made litter composes nowadays the majority (79 %) of all floating objects, with this corresponding to an almost fourfold increase in the abundance of floating objects since pre-industrial times. Such enhanced dispersion may benefit transmission of propagules from MPAs along biodiversity corridors, but may also enhance the arrival of invasive species. The direct observation of organisms can provide information on the species distribution and mobility. New technology (GUARD-1 system) has been developed to automatically identify spatial or temporal distributions of selected species in the water column by image analysis. The system has so far successfully detected blooms of ctenophores in the water column and is now being tested for

  15. 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.

  16. Revealing the Appetite of the Marine Aquarium Fish Trade: The Volume and Biodiversity of Fish Imported into the United States

    PubMed Central

    Rhyne, Andrew L.; Tlusty, Michael F.; Schofield, Pamela J.; Kaufman, Les; Morris, James A.; Bruckner, Andrew W.

    2012-01-01

    The aquarium trade and other wildlife consumers are at a crossroads forced by threats from global climate change and other anthropogenic stressors that have weakened coastal ecosystems. While the wildlife trade may put additional stress on coral reefs, it brings income into impoverished parts of the world and may stimulate interest in marine conservation. To better understand the influence of the trade, we must first be able to quantify coral reef fauna moving through it. Herein, we discuss the lack of a data system for monitoring the wildlife aquarium trade and analyze problems that arise when trying to monitor the trade using a system not specifically designed for this purpose. To do this, we examined an entire year of import records of marine tropical fish entering the United States in detail, and discuss the relationship between trade volume, biodiversity and introduction of non-native marine fishes. Our analyses showed that biodiversity levels are higher than previous estimates. Additionally, more than half of government importation forms have numerical or other reporting discrepancies resulting in the overestimation of trade volumes by 27%. While some commonly imported species have been introduced into the coastal waters of the USA (as expected), we also found that some uncommon species in the trade have also been introduced. This is the first study of aquarium trade imports to compare commercial invoices to government forms and provides a means to, routinely and in real time, examine the biodiversity of the trade in coral reef wildlife species. PMID:22629303

  17. Revealing the appetite of the marine aquarium fish trade: the volume and biodiversity of fish imported into the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rhyne, Andrew L.; Tlusty, Michael F.; Schofield, Pamela J.; Kaufman, Les; Morris, James A.; Bruckner, Andrew W.

    2012-01-01

    The aquarium trade and other wildlife consumers are at a crossroads forced by threats from global climate change and other anthropogenic stressors that have weakened coastal ecosystems. While the wildlife trade may put additional stress on coral reefs, it brings income into impoverished parts of the world and may stimulate interest in marine conservation. To better understand the influence of the trade, we must first be able to quantify coral reef fauna moving through it. Herein, we discuss the lack of a data system for monitoring the wildlife aquarium trade and analyze problems that arise when trying to monitor the trade using a system not specifically designed for this purpose. To do this, we examined an entire year of import records of marine tropical fish entering the United States in detail, and discuss the relationship between trade volume, biodiversity and introduction of non-native marine fishes. Our analyses showed that biodiversity levels are higher than previous estimates. Additionally, more than half of government importation forms have numerical or other reporting discrepancies resulting in the overestimation of trade volumes by 27%. While some commonly imported species have been introduced into the coastal waters of the USA (as expected), we also found that some uncommon species in the trade have also been introduced. This is the first study of aquarium trade imports to compare commercial invoices to government forms and provides a means to, routinely and in real time, examine the biodiversity of the trade in coral reef wildlife species.

  18. Impacts of European livestock production: nitrogen, sulphur, phosphorus and greenhouse gas emissions, land-use, water eutrophication and biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leip, Adrian; Billen, Gilles; Garnier, Josette; Grizzetti, Bruna; Lassaletta, Luis; Reis, Stefan; Simpson, David; Sutton, Mark A.; de Vries, Wim; Weiss, Franz; Westhoek, Henk

    2015-11-01

    Livestock production systems currently occupy around 28% of the land surface of the European Union (equivalent to 65% of the agricultural land). In conjunction with other human activities, livestock production systems affect water, air and soil quality, global climate and biodiversity, altering the biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon. Here, we quantify the contribution of European livestock production to these major impacts. For each environmental effect, the contribution of livestock is expressed as shares of the emitted compounds and land used, as compared to the whole agricultural sector. The results show that the livestock sector contributes significantly to agricultural environmental impacts. This contribution is 78% for terrestrial biodiversity loss, 80% for soil acidification and air pollution (ammonia and nitrogen oxides emissions), 81% for global warming, and 73% for water pollution (both N and P). The agriculture sector itself is one of the major contributors to these environmental impacts, ranging between 12% for global warming and 59% for N water quality impact. Significant progress in mitigating these environmental impacts in Europe will only be possible through a combination of technological measures reducing livestock emissions, improved food choices and reduced food waste of European citizens.

  19. Local versus landscape spatial influence on biodiversity: a case study across five European industrialized areas.

    PubMed

    Piano, E; Isaia, M; Falasco, E; La Morgia, V; Soldato, G; Bona, F

    2017-03-01

    Land use change-mostly habitat loss and fragmentation-has been recognized as one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss worldwide. According to the habitat amount hypothesis, these phenomena are mostly driven by the habitat area effect. As a result, species richness is a function of both the extent of suitable habitats and their availability in the surrounding landscape, irrespective of the dimension and isolation of patches of suitable habitat. In this context, we tested how the extent of natural areas, selected as proxies of suitable habitats for biodiversity, influences species richness in highly anthropogenic landscapes. We defined five circular sampling areas of 5 km radius, including both natural reserves and anthropogenic land uses, centred in five major industrial sites in France, Italy and Germany. We monitored different biodiversity indicators for both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including breeding birds, diurnal butterflies, grassland vegetation, odonata, amphibians, aquatic plants and benthic diatoms. We studied the response of the different indicators to the extent of natural land uses in the sampling area (local effect) and in the surrounding landscape (landscape effect), identified as a peripheral ring encircling the sampling area. Results showed a positive response of five out of seven biodiversity indicators, with aquatic plants and odonata responding positively to the local effect, while birds, vegetation and diatoms showed a positive response to the landscape effect. Diatoms also showed a significant combined response to both effects. We conclude that surrounding landscapes act as important biodiversity sources, increasing the local biodiversity in highly anthropogenic contexts.

  20. Perspectives in marine science: A European point of view

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barthel, K.-G.

    1995-03-01

    Marine research has always been a field in science which was particularly open to, and at times dependent on, international cooperation, and this has become even more obvious during the last decade when issues of global change became central to any discussion. The global nature of scientific and other problems, required the development of new concepts and led to the establishment of new structures in research, coordination and funding on an international level. In Europe the 12 member European Community often served as a nucleus for larger networks and initiatives (e.g. COST, EUREKA), and in 1989 the EC itself launched a specific programme on marine research and technology (MAST). The various initiatives are not meant to replace, national efforts but to complement them — where added value arises from international cooperation, e.g. in global programmes like IGBP, WCRP and their various core projects. The focus of support for these programmes through international funding agencies and networks is not primarily on additional research money but more on structural support and coordination. In contrast, the MAST targeted projects on the North Atlantic margin and the Mediterranean also receive substantial basic support, and are designed to fill gaps left by other international research projects. Both EC and other projects profit from the coordinating measures offered by the EC Commission. A more efficient use of facilities (research vessels, special equipment) can be achieved by having central information services. Well-integrated international projects also require additional efforts in standardization of instrumentation, methods and units, with respect to sampling, sample processing and data treatment. Furthermore, the scope of the task to tackle questions of global change demands the development of new technologies like ROVs, biosensors, automatized sample and data acquisition and treatment, etc. Full exploitation of the results in scientific, political and

  1. Marine biodiversity baseline for Área de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica: published records

    PubMed Central

    Cortés, Jorge

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The diversity of tropical marine organisms has not been studied as intensively as the terrestrial biota worldwide. Additionally, marine biodiversity research in the tropics lags behind other regions. The 43,000 ha Sector Marino of Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG, Marine Sector of Guanacaste Conservation Area), on the North Pacific coast of Costa Rica is no exception. For more than four decades, the terrestrial flora and fauna has been studied continuously. The ACG marine biodiversity was studied in the 1930’s by expeditions that passed through the area, but not much until the 1990’s, except for the marine turtles. In the mid 1990’s the Center for Research in Marine Science and Limnology (CIMAR) of the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) initiated the exploration of the marine environments and organisms of ACG. In 2015, ACG, in collaboration with CIMAR, started the BioMar project whose goal is to inventory the species of the marine sector of ACG (BioMar ACG project). As a baseline, here I have compiled the published records of marine ACG species, and found that 594 marine species have been reported, representing 15.5% of the known species of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The most diverse groups were the crustaceans, mollusks and cnidarians comprising 71.7% of the ACG species. Some taxa, such as mangroves and fish parasites are well represented in ACG when compared to the rest of the Costa Rican coast but others appear to be greatly underrepresented, for example, red algae, polychaetes, copepods, equinoderms, and marine fishes and birds, which could be due to sampling bias. Thirty species have been originally described with specimens from ACG, and 89 species are not known from other localities on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica except ACG. Most of the sampling has been concentrated in a few localities in Sector Marino, Playa Blanca and Islas Murciélago, and in the nearby waters of Bahía Santa Elena. In an effort to fill this gap, CIMAR is

  2. Convergence, divergence, and parallelism in marine biodiversity trends: Integrating present-day and fossil data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Shan; Roy, Kaustuv; Valentine, James W.; Jablonski, David

    2015-04-01

    Paleontological data provide essential insights into the processes shaping the spatial distribution of present-day biodiversity. Here, we combine biogeographic data with the fossil record to investigate the roles of parallelism (similar diversities reached via changes from similar starting points), convergence (similar diversities reached from different starting points), and divergence in shaping the present-day latitudinal diversity gradients of marine bivalves along the two North American coasts. Although both faunas show the expected overall poleward decline in species richness, the trends differ between the coasts, and the discrepancies are not explained simply by present-day temperature differences. Instead, the fossil record indicates that both coasts have declined in overall diversity over the past 3 My, but the western Atlantic fauna suffered more severe Pliocene-Pleistocene extinction than did the eastern Pacific. Tropical western Atlantic diversity remains lower than the eastern Pacific, but warm temperate western Atlantic diversity recovered to exceed that of the temperate eastern Pacific, either through immigration or in situ origination. At the clade level, bivalve families shared by the two coasts followed a variety of paths toward today's diversities. The drivers of these lineage-level differences remain unclear, but species with broad geographic ranges during the Pliocene were more likely than geographically restricted species to persist in the temperate zone, suggesting that past differences in geographic range sizes among clades may underlie between-coast contrasts. More detailed comparative work on regional extinction intensities and selectivities, and subsequent recoveries (by in situ speciation or immigration), is needed to better understand present-day diversity patterns and model future changes.

  3. Convergence, divergence, and parallelism in marine biodiversity trends: Integrating present-day and fossil data

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Shan; Roy, Kaustuv; Valentine, James W.; Jablonski, David

    2015-01-01

    Paleontological data provide essential insights into the processes shaping the spatial distribution of present-day biodiversity. Here, we combine biogeographic data with the fossil record to investigate the roles of parallelism (similar diversities reached via changes from similar starting points), convergence (similar diversities reached from different starting points), and divergence in shaping the present-day latitudinal diversity gradients of marine bivalves along the two North American coasts. Although both faunas show the expected overall poleward decline in species richness, the trends differ between the coasts, and the discrepancies are not explained simply by present-day temperature differences. Instead, the fossil record indicates that both coasts have declined in overall diversity over the past 3 My, but the western Atlantic fauna suffered more severe Pliocene−Pleistocene extinction than did the eastern Pacific. Tropical western Atlantic diversity remains lower than the eastern Pacific, but warm temperate western Atlantic diversity recovered to exceed that of the temperate eastern Pacific, either through immigration or in situ origination. At the clade level, bivalve families shared by the two coasts followed a variety of paths toward today’s diversities. The drivers of these lineage-level differences remain unclear, but species with broad geographic ranges during the Pliocene were more likely than geographically restricted species to persist in the temperate zone, suggesting that past differences in geographic range sizes among clades may underlie between-coast contrasts. More detailed comparative work on regional extinction intensities and selectivities, and subsequent recoveries (by in situ speciation or immigration), is needed to better understand present-day diversity patterns and model future changes. PMID:25901312

  4. Rebuilding biodiversity of Patagonian marine molluscs after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.

    PubMed

    Aberhan, Martin; Kiessling, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    We analysed field-collected quantitative data of benthic marine molluscs across the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary in Patagonia to identify patterns and processes of biodiversity reconstruction after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. We contrast diversity dynamics from nearshore environments with those from offshore environments. In both settings, Early Palaeogene (Danian) assemblages are strongly dominated by surviving lineages, many of which changed their relative abundance from being rare before the extinction event to becoming the new dominant forms. Only a few of the species in the Danian assemblages were newly evolved. In offshore environments, however, two newly evolved Danian bivalve species attained ecological dominance by replacing two ecologically equivalent species that disappeared at the end of the Cretaceous. In both settings, the total number of Danian genera at a locality remained below the total number of late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) genera at that locality. We suggest that biotic interactions, in particular incumbency effects, suppressed post-extinction diversity and prevented the compensation of diversity loss by originating and invading taxa. Contrary to the total number of genera at localities, diversity at the level of individual fossiliferous horizons before and after the boundary is indistinguishable in offshore environments. This indicates an evolutionary rapid rebound to pre-extinction values within less than ca 0.5 million years. In nearshore environments, by contrast, diversity of fossiliferous horizons was reduced in the Danian, and this lowered diversity lasted for the entire studied post-extinction interval. In this heterogeneous environment, low connectivity among populations may have retarded the recolonisation of nearshore habitats by survivors.

  5. Complementarity in marine biodiversity manipulations: reconciling divergent evidence from field and mesocosm experiments.

    PubMed

    Stachowicz, John J; Best, Rebecca J; Bracken, Matthew E S; Graham, Michael H

    2008-12-02

    Mounting concern over the loss of marine biodiversity has increased the urgency of understanding its consequences. This urgency spurred the publication of many short-term studies, which often report weak effects of diversity (species richness) driven by the presence of key species (the sampling effect). Longer-term field experiments are slowly accumulating, and they more often report strong diversity effects driven by species complementarity, calling into question the generality of earlier findings. However, differences among study systems in which short- and long-term studies are conducted currently limit our ability to assess whether these differences are simply due to biological or environmental differences among systems. In this paper, we compared the effect of intertidal seaweed species richness on biomass accumulation in mesocosms and field experiments using the same pool of species. We found that seaweed species richness increased biomass accumulation in field experiments in both short (2-month) and long (3-year) experiments, although effects were stronger in the long-term experiment. In contrast, richness had no effect in mesocosm experiments, where biomass accumulation was completely a function of species identity. We argue that the short-term experiments, like many published experiments on the topic, detect only a subset of possible mechanisms that operate in the field over the longer term because they lack sufficient environmental heterogeneity to allow expression of niche differences, and they are of insufficient length to capture population-level responses, such as recruitment. Many published experiments, therefore, likely underestimate the strength of diversity on ecosystem processes in natural ecosystems.

  6. Rebuilding Biodiversity of Patagonian Marine Molluscs after the End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction

    PubMed Central

    Aberhan, Martin; Kiessling, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    We analysed field-collected quantitative data of benthic marine molluscs across the Cretaceous–Palaeogene boundary in Patagonia to identify patterns and processes of biodiversity reconstruction after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. We contrast diversity dynamics from nearshore environments with those from offshore environments. In both settings, Early Palaeogene (Danian) assemblages are strongly dominated by surviving lineages, many of which changed their relative abundance from being rare before the extinction event to becoming the new dominant forms. Only a few of the species in the Danian assemblages were newly evolved. In offshore environments, however, two newly evolved Danian bivalve species attained ecological dominance by replacing two ecologically equivalent species that disappeared at the end of the Cretaceous. In both settings, the total number of Danian genera at a locality remained below the total number of late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) genera at that locality. We suggest that biotic interactions, in particular incumbency effects, suppressed post-extinction diversity and prevented the compensation of diversity loss by originating and invading taxa. Contrary to the total number of genera at localities, diversity at the level of individual fossiliferous horizons before and after the boundary is indistinguishable in offshore environments. This indicates an evolutionary rapid rebound to pre-extinction values within less than ca 0.5 million years. In nearshore environments, by contrast, diversity of fossiliferous horizons was reduced in the Danian, and this lowered diversity lasted for the entire studied post-extinction interval. In this heterogeneous environment, low connectivity among populations may have retarded the recolonisation of nearshore habitats by survivors. PMID:25028930

  7. Convergence, divergence, and parallelism in marine biodiversity trends: Integrating present-day and fossil data.

    PubMed

    Huang, Shan; Roy, Kaustuv; Valentine, James W; Jablonski, David

    2015-04-21

    Paleontological data provide essential insights into the processes shaping the spatial distribution of present-day biodiversity. Here, we combine biogeographic data with the fossil record to investigate the roles of parallelism (similar diversities reached via changes from similar starting points), convergence (similar diversities reached from different starting points), and divergence in shaping the present-day latitudinal diversity gradients of marine bivalves along the two North American coasts. Although both faunas show the expected overall poleward decline in species richness, the trends differ between the coasts, and the discrepancies are not explained simply by present-day temperature differences. Instead, the fossil record indicates that both coasts have declined in overall diversity over the past 3 My, but the western Atlantic fauna suffered more severe Pliocene-Pleistocene extinction than did the eastern Pacific. Tropical western Atlantic diversity remains lower than the eastern Pacific, but warm temperate western Atlantic diversity recovered to exceed that of the temperate eastern Pacific, either through immigration or in situ origination. At the clade level, bivalve families shared by the two coasts followed a variety of paths toward today's diversities. The drivers of these lineage-level differences remain unclear, but species with broad geographic ranges during the Pliocene were more likely than geographically restricted species to persist in the temperate zone, suggesting that past differences in geographic range sizes among clades may underlie between-coast contrasts. More detailed comparative work on regional extinction intensities and selectivities, and subsequent recoveries (by in situ speciation or immigration), is needed to better understand present-day diversity patterns and model future changes.

  8. Recreational SCUBA divers' willingness to pay for marine biodiversity in Barbados.

    PubMed

    Schuhmann, Peter W; Casey, James F; Horrocks, Julia A; Oxenford, Hazel A

    2013-05-30

    The use of natural resources and the services they provide often do not have an explicit price and are therefore undervalued in decision-making, leading to environmental degradation. To 'monetize' the benefits from these services requires the use of non-market valuation techniques. Using a stated preference survey of recreational divers in Barbados conducted between 2007 and 2009, the economic value of marine biodiversity to recreational SCUBA divers in Barbados was estimated. In addition to a variety of demographic variables, divers were asked about their level of experience, expenditures related to travel and diving, and encounters with fish and sea turtles. Divers then completed a choice experiment, selecting between alternative dives with varying characteristics including price, crowding, fish diversity, encounters with sea turtles, and coral cover. Results indicate that divers in Barbados have a clear appreciation of reef quality variables. Willingness to pay for good coral cover, fish diversity and presence of sea turtles is significantly higher than prices paid for dives. In general, divers valued reef attributes similarly, although their appreciation of low density of divers at a site and high coral cover varied with prior diving experience. The results of this study demonstrate the economic value generated in Barbados by the recreational SCUBA diving industry and highlight the potential for substantial additional economic contributions with improvements to the quality of a variety of reef attributes. These results could inform management decisions regarding reef use and sea turtle conservation, and could aid in the development of informed 'win-win' policies aimed at maximizing returns from diving while reducing negative impacts often associated with tourism activities.

  9. Highly Diverse, Poorly Studied and Uniquely Threatened by Climate Change: An Assessment of Marine Biodiversity on South Georgia's Continental Shelf

    PubMed Central

    Hogg, Oliver T.; Barnes, David K. A.; Griffiths, Huw J.

    2011-01-01

    We attempt to quantify how significant the polar archipelago of South Georgia is as a source of regional and global marine biodiversity. We evaluate numbers of rare, endemic and range-edge species and how the faunal structure of South Georgia may respond to some of the fastest warming waters on the planet. Biodiversity data was collated from a comprehensive review of reports, papers and databases, collectively representing over 125 years of polar exploration. Classification of each specimen was recorded to species level and fully geo-referenced by depth, latitude and longitude. This information was integrated with physical data layers (e.g. temperature, salinity and flow) providing a visualisation of South Georgia's biogeography across spatial, temporal and taxonomic scales, placing it in the wider context of the Southern Hemisphere. This study marks the first attempt to map the biogeography of an archipelago south of the Polar Front. Through it we identify the South Georgian shelf as the most speciose region of the Southern Ocean recorded to date. Marine biodiversity was recorded as rich across taxonomic levels with 17,732 records yielding 1,445 species from 436 families, 51 classes and 22 phyla. Most species recorded were rare, with 35% recorded only once and 86% recorded <10 times. Its marine fauna is marked by the cumulative dominance of endemic and range-edge species, potentially at their thermal tolerance limits. Consequently, our data suggests the ecological implications of environmental change to the South Georgian marine ecosystem could be severe. If sea temperatures continue to rise, we suggest that changes will include depth profile shifts of some fauna towards cooler Antarctic Winter Water (90–150 m), the loss of some range-edge species from regional waters, and the wholesale extinction at a global scale of some of South Georgia's endemic species. PMID:21647236

  10. Highly diverse, poorly studied and uniquely threatened by climate change: an assessment of marine biodiversity on South Georgia's continental shelf.

    PubMed

    Hogg, Oliver T; Barnes, David K A; Griffiths, Huw J

    2011-01-01

    We attempt to quantify how significant the polar archipelago of South Georgia is as a source of regional and global marine biodiversity. We evaluate numbers of rare, endemic and range-edge species and how the faunal structure of South Georgia may respond to some of the fastest warming waters on the planet. Biodiversity data was collated from a comprehensive review of reports, papers and databases, collectively representing over 125 years of polar exploration. Classification of each specimen was recorded to species level and fully geo-referenced by depth, latitude and longitude. This information was integrated with physical data layers (e.g. temperature, salinity and flow) providing a visualisation of South Georgia's biogeography across spatial, temporal and taxonomic scales, placing it in the wider context of the Southern Hemisphere. This study marks the first attempt to map the biogeography of an archipelago south of the Polar Front. Through it we identify the South Georgian shelf as the most speciose region of the Southern Ocean recorded to date. Marine biodiversity was recorded as rich across taxonomic levels with 17,732 records yielding 1,445 species from 436 families, 51 classes and 22 phyla. Most species recorded were rare, with 35% recorded only once and 86% recorded <10 times. Its marine fauna is marked by the cumulative dominance of endemic and range-edge species, potentially at their thermal tolerance limits. Consequently, our data suggests the ecological implications of environmental change to the South Georgian marine ecosystem could be severe. If sea temperatures continue to rise, we suggest that changes will include depth profile shifts of some fauna towards cooler Antarctic Winter Water (90-150 m), the loss of some range-edge species from regional waters, and the wholesale extinction at a global scale of some of South Georgia's endemic species.

  11. A bioturbation classification of European marine infaunal invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Queirós, Ana M; Birchenough, Silvana N R; Bremner, Julie; Godbold, Jasmin A; Parker, Ruth E; Romero-Ramirez, Alicia; Reiss, Henning; Solan, Martin; Somerfield, Paul J; Van Colen, Carl; Van Hoey, Gert; Widdicombe, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Bioturbation, the biogenic modification of sediments through particle reworking and burrow ventilation, is a key mediator of many important geochemical processes in marine systems. In situ quantification of bioturbation can be achieved in a myriad of ways, requiring expert knowledge, technology, and resources not always available, and not feasible in some settings. Where dedicated research programmes do not exist, a practical alternative is the adoption of a trait-based approach to estimate community bioturbation potential (BPc). This index can be calculated from inventories of species, abundance and biomass data (routinely available for many systems), and a functional classification of organism traits associated with sediment mixing (less available). Presently, however, there is no agreed standard categorization for the reworking mode and mobility of benthic species. Based on information from the literature and expert opinion, we provide a functional classification for 1033 benthic invertebrate species from the northwest European continental shelf, as a tool to enable the standardized calculation of BPc in the region. Future uses of this classification table will increase the comparability and utility of large-scale assessments of ecosystem processes and functioning influenced by bioturbation (e.g., to support legislation). The key strengths, assumptions, and limitations of BPc as a metric are critically reviewed, offering guidelines for its calculation and application. PMID:24198953

  12. The Challenge of Ecophysiological Biodiversity for Biotechnological Applications of Marine Microalgae

    PubMed Central

    Barra, Lucia; Chandrasekaran, Raghu; Corato, Federico; Brunet, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    In this review, we aim to explore the potential of microalgal biodiversity and ecology for biotechnological use. A deeper exploration of the biodiversity richness and ecophysiological properties of microalgae is crucial for enhancing their use for applicative purposes. After describing the actual biotechnological use of microalgae, we consider the multiple faces of taxonomical, morphological, functional and ecophysiological biodiversity of these organisms, and investigate how these properties could better serve the biotechnological field. Lastly, we propose new approaches to enhancing microalgal growth, photosynthesis, and synthesis of valuable products used in biotechnological fields, mainly focusing on culture conditions, especially light manipulations and genetic modifications. PMID:24663117

  13. Evolutionary Dynamics in the Southwest Indian Ocean Marine Biodiversity Hotspot: A Perspective from the Rocky Shore Gastropod Genus Nerita

    PubMed Central

    Postaire, Bautisse; Bruggemann, J. Henrich; Magalon, Hélène; Faure, Baptiste

    2014-01-01

    The Southwest Indian Ocean (SWIO) is a striking marine biodiversity hotspot. Coral reefs in this region host a high proportion of endemics compared to total species richness and they are particularly threatened by human activities. The island archipelagos with their diverse marine habitats constitute a natural laboratory for studying diversification processes. Rocky shores in the SWIO region have remained understudied. This habitat presents a high diversity of molluscs, in particular gastropods. To explore the role of climatic and geological factors in lineage diversification within the genus Nerita, we constructed a new phylogeny with an associated chronogram from two mitochondrial genes [cytochrome oxidase sub-unit 1 and 16S rRNA], combining previously published and new data from eight species sampled throughout the region. All species from the SWIO originated less than 20 Ma ago, their closest extant relatives living in the Indo-Australian Archipelago (IAA). Furthermore, the SWIO clades within species with Indo-Pacific distribution ranges are quite recent, less than 5 Ma. These results suggest that the regional diversification of Nerita is closely linked to tectonic events in the SWIO region. The Reunion mantle plume head reached Earth’s surface 67 Ma and has been stable and active since then, generating island archipelagos, some of which are partly below sea level today. Since the Miocene, sea-level fluctuations have intermittently created new rocky shore habitats. These represent ephemeral stepping-stones, which have likely facilitated repeated colonization by intertidal gastropods, like Nerita populations from the IAA, leading to allopatric speciation. This highlights the importance of taking into account past climatic and geological factors when studying diversification of highly dispersive tropical marine species. It also underlines the unique history of the marine biodiversity of the SWIO region. PMID:24736639

  14. Culturing and environmental DNA sequencing uncover hidden kinetoplastid biodiversity and a major marine clade within ancestrally freshwater Neobodo designis.

    PubMed

    von der Heyden, Sophie; Cavalier-Smith, Thomas

    2005-11-01

    Bodonid flagellates (class Kinetoplastea) are abundant, free-living protozoa in freshwater, soil and marine habitats, with undersampled global biodiversity. To investigate overall bodonid diversity, kinetoplastid-specific PCR primers were used to amplify and sequence 18S rRNA genes from DNA extracted from 16 diverse environmental samples; of 39 different kinetoplastid sequences, 35 belong to the subclass Metakinetoplastina, where most group with the genus Neobodo or the species Bodo saltans, whilst four group with the subclass Prokinetoplastina (Ichthyobodo). To study divergence between freshwater and marine members of the genus Neobodo, 26 new Neobodo designis strains were cultured and their 18S rRNA genes were sequenced. It is shown that the morphospecies N. designis is a remarkably ancient species complex with a major marine clade nested among older freshwater clades, suggesting that these lineages were constrained physiologically from moving between these environments for most of their long history. Other major bodonid clades show less-deep separation between marine and freshwater strains, but have extensive genetic diversity within all lineages and an apparently biogeographically distinct distribution of B. saltans subclades. Clade-specific 18S rRNA gene primers were used for two N. designis subclades to test their global distribution and genetic diversity. The non-overlap between environmental DNA sequences and those from cultures suggests that there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of different rRNA gene sequences of free-living bodonids globally.

  15. Do drivers of biodiversity change differ in importance across marine and terrestrial systems - Or is it just different research communities' perspectives?

    PubMed

    Knapp, Sonja; Schweiger, Oliver; Kraberg, Alexandra; Asmus, Harald; Asmus, Ragnhild; Brey, Thomas; Frickenhaus, Stephan; Gutt, Julian; Kühn, Ingolf; Liess, Matthias; Musche, Martin; Pörtner, Hans-O; Seppelt, Ralf; Klotz, Stefan; Krause, Gesche

    2017-01-01

    Cross-system studies on the response of different ecosystems to global change will support our understanding of ecological changes. Synoptic views on the planet's two main realms, the marine and terrestrial, however, are rare, owing to the development of rather disparate research communities. We combined questionnaires and a literature review to investigate how the importance of anthropogenic drivers of biodiversity change differs among marine and terrestrial systems and whether differences perceived by marine vs. terrestrial researchers are reflected by the scientific literature. This included asking marine and terrestrial researchers to rate the relevance of different drivers of global change for either marine or terrestrial biodiversity. Land use and the associated loss of natural habitats were rated as most important in the terrestrial realm, while the exploitation of the sea by fishing was rated as most important in the marine realm. The relevance of chemicals, climate change and the increasing atmospheric concentration of CO2 were rated differently for marine and terrestrial biodiversity respectively. Yet, our literature review provided less evidence for such differences leading to the conclusion that while the history of the use of land and sea differs, impacts of global change are likely to become increasingly similar.

  16. Marine environmental contamination: public awareness, concern and perceived effectiveness in five European countries.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Silke; Sioen, Isabelle; De Henauw, Stefaan; Rosseel, Yves; Calis, Tanja; Tediosi, Alice; Nadal, Martí; Marques, António; Verbeke, Wim

    2015-11-01

    Given the potential of Perceived Consumer Effectiveness (PCE) in shaping pro-environmental behavior, the relationships between PCE, awareness of causes of contaminants in the marine environment, and concern about marine environmental contamination were investigated using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). PCE is the belief that an individual has in being able to make a difference when acting alone. A web-based survey was performed in one western European country (Belgium), one northern European country (Ireland) and three southern European countries (Italy, Portugal and Spain), resulting in a total sample size of 2824 participants. The analyses confirm that European citizens are concerned about marine environmental problems. Participants from the southern countries reported the highest concern. In addition, the study participants did not have a strong belief in themselves in being capable of making a difference in tackling marine environmental problems. However, a higher awareness, which was associated with a higher degree of concern, enhanced the belief that an individual can make a difference in tackling marine environmental problems, though only when a concrete action was proposed. Consequently, information campaigns focusing on pro-environmental behavior are recommended to raise public awareness about marine environmental problems and at the same time explicitly refer to concrete possible actions. The findings indicate that when only awareness and concern are raised without mentioning a concrete action, PCE might even decrease and render the communication effort ineffective.

  17. Historical macrobenthic community assemblages in the Avilés Canyon, N Iberian Shelf: Baseline biodiversity information for a marine protected area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Louzao, Maite; Anadón, Nuria; Arrontes, Julio; Álvarez-Claudio, Consuelo; Fuente, Dulce María; Ocharan, Francisco; Anadón, Araceli; Acuña, José Luis

    2010-02-01

    Deep-sea ecosystems are highly diverse, and European countries seek to protect these environments by identifying conservation targets. One of these is the Avilés Canyon, southern Bay of Biscay, NE Atlantic, Spain. We present the first analysis of historical benthic communities (1987-1988) of this canyon ecosystem, which is a valuable source of biodiversity baseline information. We found 810 taxa divided in five main macrobenthic assemblages, showing a highly diverse benthic community. Bathymetry was the major structuring agent of benthic community, separating shallow (assemblages I and II, 31 to 307 m depth) from deep stations (assemblages III, IV and V, 198 to 1400 m depth). Especially diverse was assemblage IV, located at the easternmost part of the continental slope (378-1100 m depth) where we found reef-forming corals Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata. These and other communities (sea-pens [Order Pennatulacea, Phylum Cnidaria] and burrowing macrofauna) represent key habitats in NE Atlantic continental slopes, which are currently threatened. The present dataset has produced the most comprehensive assessment of diversity in this area to date, focusing on the taxonomic groups which may best reflect the health of the marine ecosystem and supporting previous studies which indicate that the continental slope of the southern Bay of Biscay hosts key benthic habitats.

  18. Seventy-one important questions for the conservation of marine biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Parsons, E C M; Favaro, Brett; Aguirre, A Alonso; Bauer, Amy L; Blight, Louise K; Cigliano, John A; Coleman, Melinda A; Côté, Isabelle M; Draheim, Megan; Fletcher, Stephen; Foley, Melissa M; Jefferson, Rebecca; Jones, Miranda C; Kelaher, Brendan P; Lundquist, Carolyn J; McCarthy, Julie-Beth; Nelson, Anne; Patterson, Katheryn; Walsh, Leslie; Wright, Andrew J; Sutherland, William J

    2014-10-01

    The ocean provides food, economic activity, and cultural value for a large proportion of humanity. Our knowledge of marine ecosystems lags behind that of terrestrial ecosystems, limiting effective protection of marine resources. We describe the outcome of 2 workshops in 2011 and 2012 to establish a list of important questions, which, if answered, would substantially improve our ability to conserve and manage the world's marine resources. Participants included individuals from academia, government, and nongovernment organizations with broad experience across disciplines, marine ecosystems, and countries that vary in levels of development. Contributors from the fields of science, conservation, industry, and government submitted questions to our workshops, which we distilled into a list of priority research questions. Through this process, we identified 71 key questions. We grouped these into 8 subject categories, each pertaining to a broad component of marine conservation: fisheries, climate change, other anthropogenic threats, ecosystems, marine citizenship, policy, societal and cultural considerations, and scientific enterprise. Our questions address many issues that are specific to marine conservation, and will serve as a road map to funders and researchers to develop programs that can greatly benefit marine conservation.

  19. Implementing the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive: Scientific challenges and opportunities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newton, Alice; Borja, Angel; Solidoro, Cosimo; Grégoire, Marilaure

    2015-10-01

    The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD; EC, 2008) is an ambitious European policy instrument that aims to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES) in the 5,720,000 km2 of European seas by 2020, using an Ecosystem Approach. GES is to be assessed using 11 descriptors and up to 56 indicators (European Commission, 2010), and the goal is for clean, healthy and productive seas that are the basis for marine-based development, known as Blue-Growth. The MSFD is one of many policy instruments, such as the Water Framework Directive, the Common Fisheries Policy and the Habitats Directive that, together, should result in "Healthy Oceans and Productive Ecosystems - HOPE". Researchers working together with stakeholders such as the Member States environmental agencies, the European Environmental Agency, and the Regional Sea Conventions, are to provide the scientific knowledge basis for the implementation of the MSFD. This represents both a fascinating challenge and a stimulating opportunity.

  20. Assessing Fishing and Marine Biodiversity Changes Using Fishers' Perceptions: The Spanish Mediterranean and Gulf of Cadiz Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Coll, Marta; Carreras, Marta; Ciércoles, Cristina; Cornax, Maria-José; Gorelli, Giulia; Morote, Elvira; Sáez, Raquel

    2014-01-01

    Background The expansion of fishing activities has intensively transformed marine ecosystems worldwide. However, available time series do not frequently cover historical periods. Methodology Fishers' perceptions were used to complement data and characterise changes in fishing activity and exploited ecosystems in the Spanish Mediterranean Sea and Gulf of Cadiz. Fishers' interviews were conducted in 27 fishing harbours of the area, and included 64 fishers from ages between 20 to >70 years old to capture the experiences and memories of various generations. Results are discussed in comparison with available independent information using stock assessments and international convention lists. Principal Findings According to fishers, fishing activity substantially evolved in the area with time, expanding towards deeper grounds and towards areas more distant from the coast. The maximum amount of catch ever caught and the weight of the largest species ever captured inversely declined with time. Fishers (70%) cited specific fishing grounds where depletion occurred. They documented ecological changes of marine biodiversity during the last half of the century: 94% reported the decline of commercially important fish and invertebrates and 61% listed species that could have been extirpated, with frequent mentions to cartilaginous fish. Declines and extirpations were in line with available quantitative evaluations from stock assessments and international conventions, and were likely linked to fishing impacts. Conversely, half of interviewed fishers claimed that several species had proliferated, such as cephalopods, jellyfish, and small-sized fish. These changes were likely related to trophic cascades due to fishing and due to climate change effects. The species composition of depletions, local extinctions and proliferations showed differences by region suggesting that regional dynamics are important when analysing biodiversity changes. Conclusions/Significance Using fishers

  1. The European Marine Observing Network and the development of an Integrated European Ocean Observing System. An EuroGOOS perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandez, Vicente; Gorringe, Patrick; Nolan, Glenn

    2016-04-01

    The ocean benefits many sectors of society, being the biggest reservoir of heat, water, carbon and oxygen and playing a fundamental role regulating the earth's climate. We rely on the oceans for food, transport, energy and recreation. Therefore, a sustained marine observation network is crucial to further our understanding of the oceanic environment and to supply scientific data to meet society's need. Marine data and observations in Europe, collected primarily by state governmental agencies, is offered via five Regional Operational Oceanographic Systems (ROOS) within the context of EuroGOOS (http://www.eurogos.eu), an International Non-Profit Association of national governmental agencies and research organizations (40 members from 19 member states) committed to European-scale operational oceanography within the context of the Intergovernmental Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). Strong cooperation within these regions, enabling the involvement of additional partners and countries, forms the basis of EuroGOOS work. Ocean data collected from different type of sensors (e.g. moored buoys, tide gauges, Ferrybox systems, High Frequency radars, gliders and profiling floats) is accessible to scientist and other end users through data portals and initiatives such as the European Marine Observations and Data Network (EMODnet) (www.emodnet.eu) and the Copernicus Marine Service Copernicus (www.copernicus.eu). Although a relatively mature European ocean observing capability already exists and its well-coordinated at European level, some gaps have been identified, for example the demand for ecosystem products and services, or the case that biogeochemical observations are still relatively sparse particularly in coastal and shelf seas. Assessing gaps based on the capacity of the observing system to answer key societal challenges e.g. site suitability for aquaculture and ocean energy, oil spill response and contextual oceanographic products for fisheries and ecosystems is still

  2. Multi-scale marine biodiversity patterns inferred efficiently from habitat image processing.

    PubMed

    Mellin, Camille; Parrott, Lael; Andréfouët, Serge; Bradshaw, Corey J A; MacNeil, M Aaron; Caley, M Julian

    2012-04-01

    Cost-effective proxies of biodiversity and species abundance, applicable across a range of spatial scales, are needed for setting conservation priorities and planning action. We outline a rapid, efficient, and low-cost measure of spectral signal from digital habitat images that, being an effective proxy for habitat complexity, correlates with species diversity and requires little image processing or interpretation. We validated this method for coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, across a range of spatial scales (1 m to 10 km), using digital photographs of benthic communities at the transect scale and high-resolution Landsat satellite images at the reef scale. We calculated an index of image-derived spatial heterogeneity, the mean information gain (MIG), for each scale and related it to univariate (species richness and total abundance summed across species) and multivariate (species abundance matrix) measures of fish community structure, using two techniques that account for the hierarchical structure of the data: hierarchical (mixed-effect) linear models and distance-based partial redundancy analysis. Over the length and breadth of the GBR, MIG alone explained up to 29% of deviance in fish species richness, 33% in total fish abundance, and 25% in fish community structure at multiple scales, thus demonstrating the possibility of easily and rapidly exploiting spatial information contained in digital images to complement existing methods for inferring diversity and abundance patterns among fish communities. Thus, the spectral signal of unprocessed remotely sensed images provides an efficient and low-cost way to optimize the design of surveys used in conservation planning. In data-sparse situations, this simple approach also offers a viable method for rapid assessment of potential local biodiversity, particularly where there is little local capacity in terms of skills or resources for mounting in-depth biodiversity surveys.

  3. Forecasted coral reef decline in marine biodiversity hotspots under climate change.

    PubMed

    Descombes, Patrice; Wisz, Mary S; Leprieur, Fabien; Parravicini, Valerianio; Heine, Christian; Olsen, Steffen M; Swingedouw, Didier; Kulbicki, Michel; Mouillot, David; Pellissier, Loïc

    2015-01-21

    Coral bleaching events threaten coral reef habitats globally and cause severe declines of local biodiversity and productivity. Related to high sea surface temperatures (SST), bleaching events are expected to increase as a consequence of future global warming. However, response to climate change is still uncertain as future low-latitude climatic conditions have no present-day analogue. Sea surface temperatures during the Eocene epoch were warmer than forecasted changes for the coming century, and distributions of corals during the Eocene may help to inform models forecasting the future of coral reefs. We coupled contemporary and Eocene coral occurrences with information on their respective climatic conditions to model the thermal niche of coral reefs and its potential response to projected climate change. We found that under the RCP8.5 climate change scenario, the global suitability for coral reefs may increase up to 16% by 2100, mostly due to improved suitability of higher latitudes. In contrast, in its current range, coral reef suitability may decrease up to 46% by 2100. Reduction in thermal suitability will be most severe in biodiversity hotspots, especially in the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Our results suggest that many contemporary hotspots for coral reefs, including those that have been refugia in the past, spatially mismatch with future suitable areas for coral reefs posing challenges to conservation actions under climate change.

  4. Accommodating Dynamic Oceanographic Processes and Pelagic Biodiversity in Marine Conservation Planning

    PubMed Central

    Grantham, Hedley S.; Game, Edward T.; Lombard, Amanda T.; Hobday, Alistair J.; Richardson, Anthony J.; Beckley, Lynnath E.; Pressey, Robert L.; Huggett, Jenny A.; Coetzee, Janet C.; van der Lingen, Carl D.; Petersen, Samantha L.; Merkle, Dagmar; Possingham, Hugh P.

    2011-01-01

    Pelagic ecosystems support a significant and vital component of the ocean's productivity and biodiversity. They are also heavily exploited and, as a result, are the focus of numerous spatial planning initiatives. Over the past decade, there has been increasing enthusiasm for protected areas as a tool for pelagic conservation, however, few have been implemented. Here we demonstrate an approach to plan protected areas that address the physical and biological dynamics typical of the pelagic realm. Specifically, we provide an example of an approach to planning protected areas that integrates pelagic and benthic conservation in the southern Benguela and Agulhas Bank ecosystems off South Africa. Our aim was to represent species of importance to fisheries and species of conservation concern within protected areas. In addition to representation, we ensured that protected areas were designed to consider pelagic dynamics, characterized from time-series data on key oceanographic processes, together with data on the abundance of small pelagic fishes. We found that, to have the highest likelihood of reaching conservation targets, protected area selection should be based on time-specific data rather than data averaged across time. More generally, we argue that innovative methods are needed to conserve ephemeral and dynamic pelagic biodiversity. PMID:21311757

  5. Seventy-One Important Questions for the Conservation of Marine Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    PARSONS, E C M; FAVARO, BRETT; AGUIRRE, A ALONSO; BAUER, AMY L; BLIGHT, LOUISE K; CIGLIANO, JOHN A; COLEMAN, MELINDA A; CÔTÉ, ISABELLE M; DRAHEIM, MEGAN; FLETCHER, STEPHEN; FOLEY, MELISSA M; JEFFERSON, REBECCA; JONES, MIRANDA C; KELAHER, BRENDAN P; LUNDQUIST, CAROLYN J; MCCARTHY, JULIE-BETH; NELSON, ANNE; PATTERSON, KATHERYN; WALSH, LESLIE; WRIGHT, ANDREW J; SUTHERLAND, WILLIAM J

    2014-01-01

    The ocean provides food, economic activity, and cultural value for a large proportion of humanity. Our knowledge of marine ecosystems lags behind that of terrestrial ecosystems, limiting effective protection of marine resources. We describe the outcome of 2 workshops in 2011 and 2012 to establish a list of important questions, which, if answered, would substantially improve our ability to conserve and manage the world’s marine resources. Participants included individuals from academia, government, and nongovernment organizations with broad experience across disciplines, marine ecosystems, and countries that vary in levels of development. Contributors from the fields of science, conservation, industry, and government submitted questions to our workshops, which we distilled into a list of priority research questions. Through this process, we identified 71 key questions. We grouped these into 8 subject categories, each pertaining to a broad component of marine conservation: fisheries, climate change, other anthropogenic threats, ecosystems, marine citizenship, policy, societal and cultural considerations, and scientific enterprise. Our questions address many issues that are specific to marine conservation, and will serve as a road map to funders and researchers to develop programs that can greatly benefit marine conservation. Setenta y Un Preguntas Importantes para la Conservación de la Biodiversidad Marina Resumen Los océanos proporcionan alimento, actividad económica y valor cultural para una gran porción de la humanidad. Nuestro conocimiento de los ecosistemas marinos está atrasado con respecto al que tenemos de los ecosistemas terrestres, lo que limita la protección efectiva de los recursos naturales. Describimos el resultado de dos talleres en 2011 y 2012 para establecer una lista de preguntas importantes, las cuales al ser respondidas, mejorarían sustancialmente nuestra habilidad de conservar y manejar los recursos marinos del mundo. Entre los

  6. A Critical Assessment of Marine Aquarist Biodiversity Data and Commercial Aquaculture: Identifying Gaps in Culture Initiatives to Inform Local Fisheries Managers

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Joanna M.; Watson, Gordon J.

    2014-01-01

    It is widely accepted that if well managed, the marine aquarium trade could provide socio-economic stability to local communities while incentivising the maintenance of coral reefs. However, the trade has also been implicated as having potentially widespread environmental impacts that has in part driven developments in aquaculture to relieve wild collection pressures. This study investigates the biodiversity in hobbyist aquaria (using an online survey) and those species currently available from an aquaculture source (commercial data and hobbyist initiatives) in the context of a traffic light system to highlight gaps in aquaculture effort and identify groups that require fisheries assessments. Two hundred and sixty nine species including clown fish, damsels, dotty backs, angelfish, gobies, sea horses and blennies, have reported breeding successes by hobbyists, a pattern mirrored by the European and US commercial organisations. However, there is a mismatch (high demand and low/non-existent aquaculture) for a number of groups including tangs, starfish, anemones and hermit crabs, which we recommend are priority candidates for local stock assessments. Hobbyist perception towards the concept of a sustainable aquarium trade is also explored with results demonstrating that only 40% of respondents were in agreement with industry and scientists who believe the trade could be an exemplar of a sustainable use of coral reefs. We believe that a more transparent evidence base, including the publication of the species collected and cultured, will go some way to align the concept of a sustainable trade across industry stakeholders and better inform the hobbyist when purchasing their aquaria stock. We conclude by proposing that a certification scheme established with government support is the most effective way to move towards a self-regulating industry. It would prevent industry “greenwashing” from multiple certification schemes, alleviate conservation concerns, and, ultimately

  7. A critical assessment of marine aquarist biodiversity data and commercial aquaculture: identifying gaps in culture initiatives to inform local fisheries managers.

    PubMed

    Murray, Joanna M; Watson, Gordon J

    2014-01-01

    It is widely accepted that if well managed, the marine aquarium trade could provide socio-economic stability to local communities while incentivising the maintenance of coral reefs. However, the trade has also been implicated as having potentially widespread environmental impacts that has in part driven developments in aquaculture to relieve wild collection pressures. This study investigates the biodiversity in hobbyist aquaria (using an online survey) and those species currently available from an aquaculture source (commercial data and hobbyist initiatives) in the context of a traffic light system to highlight gaps in aquaculture effort and identify groups that require fisheries assessments. Two hundred and sixty nine species including clown fish, damsels, dotty backs, angelfish, gobies, sea horses and blennies, have reported breeding successes by hobbyists, a pattern mirrored by the European and US commercial organisations. However, there is a mismatch (high demand and low/non-existent aquaculture) for a number of groups including tangs, starfish, anemones and hermit crabs, which we recommend are priority candidates for local stock assessments. Hobbyist perception towards the concept of a sustainable aquarium trade is also explored with results demonstrating that only 40% of respondents were in agreement with industry and scientists who believe the trade could be an exemplar of a sustainable use of coral reefs. We believe that a more transparent evidence base, including the publication of the species collected and cultured, will go some way to align the concept of a sustainable trade across industry stakeholders and better inform the hobbyist when purchasing their aquaria stock. We conclude by proposing that a certification scheme established with government support is the most effective way to move towards a self-regulating industry. It would prevent industry "greenwashing" from multiple certification schemes, alleviate conservation concerns, and, ultimately

  8. Marine biodiversity in South Africa: an evaluation of current states of knowledge.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Charles L; Robinson, Tamara B; Lange, Louise; Mead, Angela

    2010-08-02

    Continental South Africa has a coastline of some 3,650 km and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of just over 1 million km(2). Waters in the EEZ extend to a depth of 5,700 m, with more than 65% deeper than 2,000 m. Despite its status as a developing nation, South Africa has a relatively strong history of marine taxonomic research and maintains comprehensive and well-curated museum collections totaling over 291,000 records. Over 3 million locality records from more than 23,000 species have been lodged in the regional AfrOBIS (African Ocean Biogeographic Information System) data center (which stores data from a wider African region). A large number of regional guides to the marine fauna and flora are also available and are listed. The currently recorded marine biota of South Africa numbers at least 12,914 species, although many taxa, particularly those of small body size, remain poorly documented. The coastal zone is relatively well sampled with some 2,500 samples of benthic invertebrate communities have been taken by grab, dredge, or trawl. Almost none of these samples, however, were collected after 1980, and over 99% of existing samples are from depths shallower than 1,000 m--indeed 83% are from less than 100 m. The abyssal zone thus remains almost completely unexplored. South Africa has a fairly large industrial fishing industry, of which the largest fisheries are the pelagic (pilchard and anchovy) and demersal (hake) sectors, both focused on the west and south coasts. The east coast has fewer, smaller commercial fisheries, but a high coastal population density, resulting in intense exploitation of inshore resources by recreational and subsistence fishers, and this has resulted in the overexploitation of many coastal fish and invertebrate stocks. South Africa has a small aquaculture industry rearing mussels, oysters, prawns, and abalone-the latter two in land-based facilities. Compared with many other developing countries, South Africa has a well-conserved coastline

  9. Marine Biodiversity in South Africa: An Evaluation of Current States of Knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Griffiths, Charles L.; Robinson, Tamara B.; Lange, Louise; Mead, Angela

    2010-01-01

    Continental South Africa has a coastline of some 3,650 km and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of just over 1 million km2. Waters in the EEZ extend to a depth of 5,700 m, with more than 65% deeper than 2,000 m. Despite its status as a developing nation, South Africa has a relatively strong history of marine taxonomic research and maintains comprehensive and well-curated museum collections totaling over 291,000 records. Over 3 million locality records from more than 23,000 species have been lodged in the regional AfrOBIS (African Ocean Biogeographic Information System) data center (which stores data from a wider African region). A large number of regional guides to the marine fauna and flora are also available and are listed. The currently recorded marine biota of South Africa numbers at least 12,914 species, although many taxa, particularly those of small body size, remain poorly documented. The coastal zone is relatively well sampled with some 2,500 samples of benthic invertebrate communities have been taken by grab, dredge, or trawl. Almost none of these samples, however, were collected after 1980, and over 99% of existing samples are from depths shallower than 1,000 m—indeed 83% are from less than 100 m. The abyssal zone thus remains almost completely unexplored. South Africa has a fairly large industrial fishing industry, of which the largest fisheries are the pelagic (pilchard and anchovy) and demersal (hake) sectors, both focused on the west and south coasts. The east coast has fewer, smaller commercial fisheries, but a high coastal population density, resulting in intense exploitation of inshore resources by recreational and subsistence fishers, and this has resulted in the overexploitation of many coastal fish and invertebrate stocks. South Africa has a small aquaculture industry rearing mussels, oysters, prawns, and abalone—the latter two in land-based facilities. Compared with many other developing countries, South Africa has a well

  10. SeaDataNet Pan-European infrastructure for Ocean & Marine Data Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manzella, G. M.; Maillard, C.; Maudire, G.; Schaap, D.; Rickards, L.; Nast, F.; Balopoulos, E.; Mikhailov, N.; Vladymyrov, V.; Pissierssens, P.; Schlitzer, R.; Beckers, J. M.; Barale, V.

    2007-12-01

    SEADATANET is developing a Pan-European data management infrastructure to insure access to a large number of marine environmental data (i.e. temperature, salinity current, sea level, chemical, physical and biological properties), safeguard and long term archiving. Data are derived from many different sensors installed on board of research vessels, satellite and the various platforms of the marine observing system. SeaDataNet allows to have information on real time and archived marine environmental data collected at a pan-european level, through directories on marine environmental data and projects. SeaDataNet allows the access to the most comprehensive multidisciplinary sets of marine in-situ and remote sensing data, from about 40 laboratories, through user friendly tools. The data selection and access is operated through the Common Data Index (CDI), XML files compliant with ISO standards and unified dictionaries. Technical Developments carried out by SeaDataNet includes: A library of Standards - Meta-data standards, compliant with ISO 19115, for communication and interoperability between the data platforms. Software of interoperable on line system - Interconnection of distributed data centres by interfacing adapted communication technology tools. Off-Line Data Management software - software representing the minimum equipment of all the data centres is developed by AWI "Ocean Data View (ODV)". Training, Education and Capacity Building - Training 'on the job' is carried out by IOC-Unesco in Ostende. SeaDataNet Virtual Educational Centre internet portal provides basic tools for informal education

  11. 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.

  12. Using Ecological Null Models to Assess the Potential for Marine Protected Area Networks to Protect Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Semmens, Brice X.; Auster, Peter J.; Paddack, Michelle J.

    2010-01-01

    Marine protected area (MPA) networks have been proposed as a principal method for conserving biological diversity, yet patterns of diversity may ultimately complicate or compromise the development of such networks. We show how a series of ecological null models can be applied to assemblage data across sites in order to identify non-random biological patterns likely to influence the effectiveness of MPA network design. We use fish census data from Caribbean fore-reefs as a test system and demonstrate that: 1) site assemblages were nested, such that species found on sites with relatively few species were subsets of those found on sites with relatively many species, 2) species co-occurred across sites more than expected by chance once species-habitat associations were accounted for, and 3) guilds were most evenly represented at the richest sites and richness among all guilds was correlated (i.e., species and trophic diversity were closely linked). These results suggest that the emerging Caribbean marine protected area network will likely be successful at protecting regional diversity even if planning is largely constrained by insular, inventory-based design efforts. By recasting ecological null models as tests of assemblage patterns likely to influence management action, we demonstrate how these classic tools of ecological theory can be brought to bear in applied conservation problems. PMID:20111711

  13. Sex and the shifting biodiversity dynamics of marine animals in deep time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bush, Andrew M.; Hunt, Gene; Bambach, Richard K.

    2016-12-01

    The fossil record of marine animals suggests that diversity-dependent processes exerted strong control on biodiversification: after the Ordovician Radiation, genus richness did not trend for hundreds of millions of years. However, diversity subsequently rose dramatically in the Cretaceous and Cenozoic (145 million years ago–present), indicating that limits on diversification can be overcome by ecological or evolutionary change. Here, we show that the Cretaceous–Cenozoic radiation was driven by increased diversification in animals that transfer sperm between adults during fertilization, whereas animals that broadcast sperm into the water column have not changed significantly in richness since the Late Ordovician (˜450 million years ago). We argue that the former group radiated in part because directed sperm transfer permits smaller population sizes and additional modes of prezygotic isolation, as has been argued previously for the coincident radiation of angiosperms. Directed sperm transfer tends to co-occur with many ecological traits, such as a predatory lifestyle. Ecological specialization likely operated synergistically with mode of fertilization in driving the diversification that began during the Mesozoic marine revolution. Plausibly, the ultimate driver of diversification was an increase in food availability, but its effects on the fauna were regulated by fundamental reproductive and ecological traits.

  14. The Antarctic region as a marine biodiversity hotspot for echinoderms: Diversity and diversification of sea cucumbers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mark O'Loughlin, P.; Paulay, Gustav; Davey, Niki; Michonneau, François

    2011-03-01

    The Antarctic region is renowned for its isolated, unusual, diverse, and disharmonic marine fauna. Holothuroids are especially diverse, with 187 species (including 51 that are undescribed) recorded south of the Antarctic Convergence. This represents ˜4% of the documented Antarctic marine biota, and ˜10% of the world's holothuroid diversity. We present evidence that both inter-regional speciation with southern cold-temperate regions and intra-regional diversification has contributed to species richness. The Antarctic fauna is isolated, with few shallow-water Antarctic species known from north of the Convergence, yet several species show recent transgression of this boundary followed by genetic divergence. Interchange at longer time scales is evidenced by the scarcity of endemic genera (10 of 55) and occurrence of all six holothuroid orders within the region. While most Antarctic holothuroid morphospecies have circum-polar distributions, mtDNA sequence data demonstrate substantial geographic differentiation in many of these. Thus, most of the 37 holothuroid species recorded from shelf/slope depths in the Weddell Sea have also been found in collections from Prydz Bay and the Ross Sea. Yet 17 of 28 morphospecies and complexes studied show allopatric differentiation around the continent, on average into three divergent lineages each, suggesting that morphological data fails to reflect the level of differentiation. Interchange and local radiation of colonizers appear to have rapidly built diversity in the Antarctic, despite the potential of cold temperatures (and associated long generation times) to slow the rate of evolution.

  15. Using ecological null models to assess the potential for marine protected area networks to protect biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Semmens, Brice X; Auster, Peter J; Paddack, Michelle J

    2010-01-27

    Marine protected area (MPA) networks have been proposed as a principal method for conserving biological diversity, yet patterns of diversity may ultimately complicate or compromise the development of such networks. We show how a series of ecological null models can be applied to assemblage data across sites in order to identify non-random biological patterns likely to influence the effectiveness of MPA network design. We use fish census data from Caribbean fore-reefs as a test system and demonstrate that: 1) site assemblages were nested, such that species found on sites with relatively few species were subsets of those found on sites with relatively many species, 2) species co-occurred across sites more than expected by chance once species-habitat associations were accounted for, and 3) guilds were most evenly represented at the richest sites and richness among all guilds was correlated (i.e., species and trophic diversity were closely linked). These results suggest that the emerging Caribbean marine protected area network will likely be successful at protecting regional diversity even if planning is largely constrained by insular, inventory-based design efforts. By recasting ecological null models as tests of assemblage patterns likely to influence management action, we demonstrate how these classic tools of ecological theory can be brought to bear in applied conservation problems.

  16. The effectiveness of marine reserve systems constructed using different surrogates of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Sutcliffe, P R; Klein, C J; Pitcher, C R; Possingham, H P

    2015-06-01

    Biological sampling in marine systems is often limited, and the cost of acquiring new data is high. We sought to assess whether systematic reserves designed using abiotic domains adequately conserve a comprehensive range of species in a tropical marine inter-reef system. We based our assessment on data from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. We designed reserve systems aiming to conserve 30% of each species based on 4 abiotic surrogate types (abiotic domains; weighted abiotic domains; pre-defined bioregions; and random selection of areas). We evaluated each surrogate in scenarios with and without cost (cost to fishery) and clumping (size of conservation area) constraints. To measure the efficacy of each reserve system for conservation purposes, we evaluated how well 842 species collected at 1155 sites across the Great Barrier Reef seabed were represented in each reserve system. When reserve design included both cost and clumping constraints, the mean proportion of species reaching the conservation target was 20-27% higher for reserve systems that were biologically informed than reserves designed using unweighted environmental data. All domains performed substantially better than random, except when there were no spatial or economic constraints placed on the system design. Under the scenario with no constraints, the mean proportion of species reaching the conservation target ranged from 98.5% to 99.99% across all surrogate domains, whereas the range was 90-96% across all domains when both cost and clumping were considered. This proportion did not change considerably between scenarios where one constraint was imposed and scenarios where both cost and clumping constraints were considered. We conclude that representative reserve systems can be designed using abiotic domains; however, there are substantial benefits if some biological information is incorporated.

  17. Using community-level metrics to monitor the effects of marine protected areas on biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Soykan, Candan U; Lewison, Rebecca L

    2015-06-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are used to protect species, communities, and their associated habitats, among other goals. Measuring MPA efficacy can be challenging, however, particularly when considering responses at the community level. We gathered 36 abundance and 14 biomass data sets on fish assemblages and used meta-analysis to evaluate the ability of 22 distinct community diversity metrics to detect differences in community structure between MPAs and nearby control sites. We also considered the effects of 6 covariates-MPA size and age, MPA size and age interaction, latitude, total species richness, and level of protection-on each metric. Some common metrics, such as species richness and Shannon diversity, did not differ consistently between MPA and control sites, whereas other metrics, such as total abundance and biomass, were consistently different across studies. Metric responses derived from the biomass data sets were more consistent than those based on the abundance data sets, suggesting that community-level biomass differs more predictably than abundance between MPA and control sites. Covariate analyses indicated that level of protection, latitude, MPA size, and the interaction between MPA size and age affect metric performance. These results highlight a handful of metrics, several of which are little known, that could be used to meet the increasing demand for community-level indicators of MPA effectiveness.

  18. Marine introductions in the Southern Ocean: an unrecognised hazard to biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Patrick N; Hewitt, Chad L; Riddle, Martin; McMinn, Andrew

    2003-02-01

    This study investigated the potential for transport of organisms between Hobart, Macquarie Island and the Antarctic continent by ships used in support of Antarctic science and tourism. Northward transport of plankton in ballast water is more likely than southward transport because ballast is normally loaded in the Antarctic and unloaded at the home port. Culturing of ballast water samples revealed that high-latitude hitchhikers were able to reach greater diversities when cultured at temperate thermal conditions than at typical Southern Ocean temperatures, suggesting the potential for establishment in the Tasmanian coastal environment. Several known invasive species were identified among fouling communities on the hulls of vessels that travel between Hobart and the Southern Ocean. Southward transport of hull fouling species is more likely than northward transport due to the accumulation of assemblages during the winter period spent in the home port of Hobart. This study does not prove that non-indigenous marine species have, or will be, transported and established as a consequence of Antarctic shipping but illustrates that the potential exists. Awareness of the potential risk and simple changes to operating procedures may reduce the chance of introductions in the future.

  19. SeaDataNet: Pan-European infrastructure for ocean and marine data management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fichaut, M.; Schaap, D.; Maudire, G.; Manzella, G. M. R.

    2012-04-01

    The overall objective of the SeaDataNet project is the upgrade the present SeaDataNet infrastructure into an operationally robust and state-of-the-art Pan-European infrastructure for providing up-to-date and high quality access to ocean and marine metadata, data and data products originating from data acquisition activities by all engaged coastal states, by setting, adopting and promoting common data management standards and by realising technical and semantic interoperability with other relevant data management systems and initiatives on behalf of science, environmental management, policy making, and economy. SeaDataNet is undertaken by the National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODCs), and marine information services of major research institutes, from 31 coastal states bordering the European seas, and also includes Satellite Data Centres, expert modelling centres and the international organisations IOC, ICES and EU-JRC in its network. Its 40 data centres are highly skilled and have been actively engaged in data management for many years and have the essential capabilities and facilities for data quality control, long term stewardship, retrieval and distribution. SeaDataNet undertakes activities to achieve data access and data products services that meet requirements of end-users and intermediate user communities, such as GMES Marine Core Services (e.g. MyOcean), establishing SeaDataNet as the core data management component of the EMODNet infrastructure and contributing on behalf of Europe to global portal initiatives, such as the IOC/IODE - Ocean Data Portal (ODP), and GEOSS. Moreover it aims to achieve INSPIRE compliance and to contribute to the INSPIRE process for developing implementing rules for oceanography. • As part of the SeaDataNet upgrading and capacity building, training courses will be organised aiming at data managers and technicians at the data centres. For the data managers it is important, that they learn to work with the upgraded common Sea

  20. Overview of eutrophication indicators to assess environmental status within the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreira, João G.; Andersen, Jesper H.; Borja, Angel; Bricker, Suzanne B.; Camp, Jordi; Cardoso da Silva, Margarida; Garcés, Esther; Heiskanen, Anna-Stiina; Humborg, Christoph; Ignatiades, Lydia; Lancelot, Christiane; Menesguen, Alain; Tett, Paul; Hoepffner, Nicolas; Claussen, Ulrich

    2011-06-01

    In 2009, following approval of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD, 2008/56/EC), the European Commission (EC) created task groups to develop guidance for eleven quality descriptors that form the basis for evaluating ecosystem function. The objective was to provide European countries with practical guidelines for implementing the MSFD, and to produce a Commission Decision that encapsulated key points of the work in a legal framework. This paper presents a review of work carried out by the eutrophication task group, and reports our main findings to the scientific community. On the basis of an operational, management-oriented definition, we discuss the main methodologies that could be used for coastal and marine eutrophication assessment. Emphasis is placed on integrated approaches that account for physico-chemical and biological components, and combine both pelagic and benthic symptoms of eutrophication, in keeping with the holistic nature of the MSFD. We highlight general features that any marine eutrophication model should possess, rather than making specific recommendations. European seas range from highly eutrophic systems such as the Baltic to nutrient-poor environments such as the Aegean Sea. From a physical perspective, marine waters range from high energy environments of the north east Atlantic to the permanent vertical stratification of the Black Sea. This review aimed to encapsulate that variability, recognizing that meaningful guidance should be flexible enough to accommodate the widely differing characteristics of European seas, and that this information is potentially relevant in marine ecosystems worldwide. Given the spatial extent of the MSFD, innovative approaches are required to allow meaningful monitoring and assessment. Consequently, substantial logistic and financial challenges will drive research in areas such as remote sensing of harmful algal blooms, in situ sensor development, and mathematical models. Our review takes into

  1. Causes and effects of a highly successful marine invasion: Case-study of the introduced Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas in continental NW European estuaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troost, Karin

    2010-10-01

    Since the 1960's, the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas has been introduced for mariculture at several locations within NW Europe. The oyster established itself everywhere and expanded rapidly throughout the receiving ecosystems, forming extensive and dense reef structures. It became clear that the Pacific oyster induced major changes in NW European estuaries. This paper reviews the causes of the Pacific oyster's remarkably successful establishment and spread in The Netherlands and neighbouring countries, and includes a comprehensive review of consequences for the receiving communities. Ecosystem engineering by C. gigas and a relative lack of natural enemies in receiving ecosystems are identified as the most important characteristics facilitating the invader's successful establishment and expansion. The Pacific oyster's large filtration capacity and eco-engineering characteristics induced many changes in receiving ecosystems. Different estuaries are affected differently; in the Dutch Oosterschelde estuary expanding stocks saturate the carrying capacity whereas in the Wadden Sea no such problems exist. In general, the Pacific oyster seems to fit well within continental NW European estuarine ecosystems and there is no evidence that the invader outcompetes native bivalves. C. gigas induces changes in plankton composition, habitat heterogeneity and biodiversity, carrying capacity, food webs and parasite life cycles. The case of the Pacific oyster in NW European estuaries is only one example in an increasing series of biological invasions mediated by human activities. This case-study will contribute to further elucidating general mechanisms in marine invasions; invasions that sometimes appear a threat, but can also contribute to ecological complexity.

  2. Clinical marine toxicology: a European perspective for clinical toxicologists and poison centers.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Corinne; De Haro, Luc

    2013-08-02

    Clinical marine toxicology is a rapidly changing area. Many of the new discoveries reported every year in Europe involve ecological disturbances--including global warming--that have induced modifications in the chorology, behavior, and toxicity of many species of venomous or poisonous aquatic life including algae, ascidians, fish and shellfish. These changes have raised a number of public issues associated, e.g., poisoning after ingestion of contaminated seafood, envenomation by fish stings, and exposure to harmful microorganism blooms. The purpose of this review of medical and scientific literature in marine toxicology is to highlight the growing challenges induced by ecological disturbances that confront clinical toxicologists during the everyday job in the European Poison Centers.

  3. Clinical Marine Toxicology: A European Perspective for Clinical Toxicologists and Poison Centers

    PubMed Central

    Schmitt, Corinne; de Haro, Luc

    2013-01-01

    Clinical marine toxicology is a rapidly changing area. Many of the new discoveries reported every year in Europe involve ecological disturbances—including global warming—that have induced modifications in the chorology, behavior, and toxicity of many species of venomous or poisonous aquatic life including algae, ascidians, fish and shellfish. These changes have raised a number of public issues associated, e.g., poisoning after ingestion of contaminated seafood, envenomation by fish stings, and exposure to harmful microorganism blooms. The purpose of this review of medical and scientific literature in marine toxicology is to highlight the growing challenges induced by ecological disturbances that confront clinical toxicologists during the everyday job in the European Poison Centers. PMID:23917333

  4. Estimating the biodiversity of the East Antarctic shelf and oceanic zone for ecoregionalisation: Example of the ichthyofauna of the CEAMARC (Collaborative East Antarctic Marine Census) CAML surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koubbi, Philippe; Ozouf-Costaz, Catherine; Goarant, Anne; Moteki, Masato; Hulley, Percy-Alexander; Causse, Romain; Dettai, Agnès; Duhamel, Guy; Pruvost, Patrice; Tavernier, Eric; Post, Alexandra L.; Beaman, Robin J.; Rintoul, Stephen R.; Hirawake, Toru; Hirano, Daisuke; Ishimaru, Takashi; Riddle, Martin; Hosie, Graham

    2010-08-01

    Ecoregions are defined in terms of community structure as a function of abiotic or even anthropogenic forcing. They are meso-scale structures defined as the potential habitat of a species or the predicted communities geographic extent. We assume that they can be more easily defined for long-lived species, such as benthos or neritic fish, in the marine environment. Uncertainties exist for the pelagic realm because of its higher variability, plus little is known about the meso- and bathypelagic zones. A changing environment and modification of habitats will probably drive new communities from plankton to fish or top predators. We need baseline studies, such as those of the Census of Antarctic Marine Life, and databases like SCAR-MarBIN as tools for integrating all of these observations. Our objective is to understand the biodiversity patterns in the Southern Ocean and how these might change through time.

  5. European Marine Observation and DataNetwork (EMODNET)- physical parameters: A support to marine science and operational oceanography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahlin, Hans; Gies, Tobias; Giordano, Marco; Gorringe, Patrick; Manzella, Giuseppe; Maudire, Gilbert; Novellino, Antonio; Pagnani, Maureen; Petersson, Sian; Pouliquen, Sylvie; Rickards, Lesley; Schaap, Dick; Tijsse, Peter; van der Horste, Serge

    2013-04-01

    The overall objectives of EMODNET - physical parameters is to provide access to archived and real-time data on physical conditions in Europe's seas and oceans and to determine how well the data meet the needs of users. In particular it will contribute towards the definition of an operational European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) and contribute to developing the definition of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) marine core service. Access to data and metadata will consider measurements from fixed stations that will cover at least: 1. wave height and period; 2. temperature of the water column; 3. wind speed and direction; 4. salinity of the water column; 5. horizontal velocity of the water column ; 6. light attenuation; 7. sea level. A first running prototype of the portal active from the end of 2011, the final release of the EMODnet PP is due by half June 2012. Then there are 6 months for testing and users' feedback acquisition and management. The project finishes 16th December 2013 after one year of maintenance. Compliance with INSPIRE framework and temporal and geographical data coverage are ensured under the requirements contained in the several Commission Regulations issued from 2008 until 2010. The metadata are based upon the ISO 19115 standard and are compliant with the INSPIRE directive and regulations. This assures also a minimum metadata content in both systems that will facilitate the setting up of a portal that can provide information on data and access to them, depending on the internal data policy of potential contributors. Data coverage: There are three pillars sustaining EMODnet PP: EuroGOOS ROOSs (the EuroGOOS regional Operational Systems), MyOcean and SeaDataNet. MyOcean and EuroGOOS have agreed in EuroGOOS general assemblies (2008-2009-2010) to share their efforts to set up a common infrastructure for real-time data integration for operational oceanography needs extending the global and regional portals set up

  6. Marine litter distribution and density in European seas, from the shelves to deep basins.

    PubMed

    Pham, Christopher K; Ramirez-Llodra, Eva; Alt, Claudia H S; Amaro, Teresa; Bergmann, Melanie; Canals, Miquel; Company, Joan B; Davies, Jaime; Duineveld, Gerard; Galgani, François; Howell, Kerry L; Huvenne, Veerle A I; Isidro, Eduardo; Jones, Daniel O B; Lastras, Galderic; Morato, Telmo; Gomes-Pereira, José Nuno; Purser, Autun; Stewart, Heather; Tojeira, Inês; Tubau, Xavier; Van Rooij, David; Tyler, Paul A

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic litter is present in all marine habitats, from beaches to the most remote points in the oceans. On the seafloor, marine litter, particularly plastic, can accumulate in high densities with deleterious consequences for its inhabitants. Yet, because of the high cost involved with sampling the seafloor, no large-scale assessment of distribution patterns was available to date. Here, we present data on litter distribution and density collected during 588 video and trawl surveys across 32 sites in European waters. We found litter to be present in the deepest areas and at locations as remote from land as the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone across the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The highest litter density occurs in submarine canyons, whilst the lowest density can be found on continental shelves and on ocean ridges. Plastic was the most prevalent litter item found on the seafloor. Litter from fishing activities (derelict fishing lines and nets) was particularly common on seamounts, banks, mounds and ocean ridges. Our results highlight the extent of the problem and the need for action to prevent increasing accumulation of litter in marine environments.

  7. Marine Litter Distribution and Density in European Seas, from the Shelves to Deep Basins

    PubMed Central

    Pham, Christopher K.; Ramirez-Llodra, Eva; Alt, Claudia H. S.; Amaro, Teresa; Bergmann, Melanie; Canals, Miquel; Company, Joan B.; Davies, Jaime; Duineveld, Gerard; Galgani, François; Howell, Kerry L.; Huvenne, Veerle A. I.; Isidro, Eduardo; Jones, Daniel O. B.; Lastras, Galderic; Morato, Telmo; Gomes-Pereira, José Nuno; Purser, Autun; Stewart, Heather; Tojeira, Inês; Tubau, Xavier; Van Rooij, David; Tyler, Paul A.

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic litter is present in all marine habitats, from beaches to the most remote points in the oceans. On the seafloor, marine litter, particularly plastic, can accumulate in high densities with deleterious consequences for its inhabitants. Yet, because of the high cost involved with sampling the seafloor, no large-scale assessment of distribution patterns was available to date. Here, we present data on litter distribution and density collected during 588 video and trawl surveys across 32 sites in European waters. We found litter to be present in the deepest areas and at locations as remote from land as the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone across the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The highest litter density occurs in submarine canyons, whilst the lowest density can be found on continental shelves and on ocean ridges. Plastic was the most prevalent litter item found on the seafloor. Litter from fishing activities (derelict fishing lines and nets) was particularly common on seamounts, banks, mounds and ocean ridges. Our results highlight the extent of the problem and the need for action to prevent increasing accumulation of litter in marine environments. PMID:24788771

  8. Molecular diversity and distribution of marine fungi across 130 European environmental samples

    PubMed Central

    Richards, Thomas A.; Leonard, Guy; Mahé, Frédéric; del Campo, Javier; Romac, Sarah; Jones, Meredith D. M.; Maguire, Finlay; Dunthorn, Micah; De Vargas, Colomban; Massana, Ramon; Chambouvet, Aurélie

    2015-01-01

    Environmental DNA and culture-based analyses have suggested that fungi are present in low diversity and in low abundance in many marine environments, especially in the upper water column. Here, we use a dual approach involving high-throughput diversity tag sequencing from both DNA and RNA templates and fluorescent cell counts to evaluate the diversity and relative abundance of fungi across marine samples taken from six European near-shore sites. We removed very rare fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) selecting only OTUs recovered from multiple samples for a detailed analysis. This approach identified a set of 71 fungal ‘OTU clusters' that account for 66% of all the sequences assigned to the Fungi. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that this diversity includes a significant number of chytrid-like lineages that had not been previously described, indicating that the marine environment encompasses a number of zoosporic fungi that are new to taxonomic inventories. Using the sequence datasets, we identified cases where fungal OTUs were sampled across multiple geographical sites and between different sampling depths. This was especially clear in one relatively abundant and diverse phylogroup tentatively named Novel Chytrid-Like-Clade 1 (NCLC1). For comparison, a subset of the water column samples was also investigated using fluorescent microscopy to examine the abundance of eukaryotes with chitin cell walls. Comparisons of relative abundance of RNA-derived fungal tag sequences and chitin cell-wall counts demonstrate that fungi constitute a low fraction of the eukaryotic community in these water column samples. Taken together, these results demonstrate the phylogenetic position and environmental distribution of 71 lineages, improving our understanding of the diversity and abundance of fungi in marine environments. PMID:26582030

  9. Molecular diversity and distribution of marine fungi across 130 European environmental samples.

    PubMed

    Richards, Thomas A; Leonard, Guy; Mahé, Frédéric; Del Campo, Javier; Romac, Sarah; Jones, Meredith D M; Maguire, Finlay; Dunthorn, Micah; De Vargas, Colomban; Massana, Ramon; Chambouvet, Aurélie

    2015-11-22

    Environmental DNA and culture-based analyses have suggested that fungi are present in low diversity and in low abundance in many marine environments, especially in the upper water column. Here, we use a dual approach involving high-throughput diversity tag sequencing from both DNA and RNA templates and fluorescent cell counts to evaluate the diversity and relative abundance of fungi across marine samples taken from six European near-shore sites. We removed very rare fungal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) selecting only OTUs recovered from multiple samples for a detailed analysis. This approach identified a set of 71 fungal 'OTU clusters' that account for 66% of all the sequences assigned to the Fungi. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that this diversity includes a significant number of chytrid-like lineages that had not been previously described, indicating that the marine environment encompasses a number of zoosporic fungi that are new to taxonomic inventories. Using the sequence datasets, we identified cases where fungal OTUs were sampled across multiple geographical sites and between different sampling depths. This was especially clear in one relatively abundant and diverse phylogroup tentatively named Novel Chytrid-Like-Clade 1 (NCLC1). For comparison, a subset of the water column samples was also investigated using fluorescent microscopy to examine the abundance of eukaryotes with chitin cell walls. Comparisons of relative abundance of RNA-derived fungal tag sequences and chitin cell-wall counts demonstrate that fungi constitute a low fraction of the eukaryotic community in these water column samples. Taken together, these results demonstrate the phylogenetic position and environmental distribution of 71 lineages, improving our understanding of the diversity and abundance of fungi in marine environments.

  10. Integrated chemical and biological assessment of contaminant impacts in selected European coastal and offshore marine areas.

    PubMed

    Hylland, Ketil; Robinson, Craig D; Burgeot, Thierry; Martínez-Gómez, Concepción; Lang, Thomas; Svavarsson, Jörundur; Thain, John E; Vethaak, A Dick; Gubbins, Mattew J

    2017-03-01

    This paper reports a full assessment of results from ICON, an international workshop on marine integrated contaminant monitoring, encompassing different matrices (sediment, fish, mussels, gastropods), areas (Iceland, North Sea, Baltic, Wadden Sea, Seine estuary and the western Mediterranean) and endpoints (chemical analyses, biological effects). ICON has demonstrated the use of a framework for integrated contaminant assessment on European coastal and offshore areas. The assessment showed that chemical contamination did not always correspond with biological effects, indicating that both are required. The framework can be used to develop assessments for EU directives. If a 95% target were to be used as a regional indicator of MSFD GES, Iceland and offshore North Sea would achieve the target using the ICON dataset, but inshore North Sea, Baltic and Spanish Mediterranean regions would fail.

  11. Evidence of threat to European economy and biodiversity following the introduction of an alien pathogen on the fungal–animal boundary

    PubMed Central

    Ercan, Didem; Andreou, Demetra; Sana, Salma; Öntaş, Canan; Baba, Esin; Top, Nildeniz; Karakuş, Uğur; Tarkan, Ali Serhan; Gozlan, Rodolphe Elie

    2015-01-01

    Recent years have seen a global and rapid resurgence of fungal diseases with direct impact on biodiversity and local extinctions of amphibian, coral, or bat populations. Despite similar evidence of population extinction in European fish populations and the associated risk of food aquaculture due to the emerging rosette agent Sphaerothecum destruens, an emerging infectious eukaryotic intracellular pathogen on the fungal–animal boundary, our understanding of current threats remained limited. Long-term monitoring of population decline for the 8-year post-introduction of the fungal pathogen was coupled with seasonal molecular analyses of the 18S rDNA and histological work of native fish species organs. A phylogenetic relationship between the existing EU and US strains using the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer sequences was also carried out. Here, we provide evidence that this emerging parasite has now been introduced via Pseudorasbora parva to sea bass farms, an industry that represents over 400 M€ annually in a Mediterranean region that is already economically vulnerable. We also provide for the first time evidence linking S. destruens to disease and severe declines in International Union for Conservation of Nature threatened European endemic freshwater fishes (i.e. 80% to 90 % mortalities). Our findings are thus of major economic and conservation importance. PMID:26954992

  12. Parasites as biological tags in marine fisheries research: European Atlantic waters.

    PubMed

    Mackenzie, K; Hemmingsen, W

    2015-01-01

    Studies of the use of parasites as biological tags for stock identification and to follow migrations of marine fish, mammals and invertebrates in European Atlantic waters are critically reviewed and evaluated. The region covered includes the North, Baltic, Barents and White Seas plus Icelandic waters, but excludes the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Each fish species or ecological group of species is treated separately. More parasite tag studies have been carried out on Atlantic herring Clupea harengus than on any other species, while cod Gadus morhua have also been the subject of many studies. Other species that have been the subjects of more than one study are: blue whiting Micromesistius poutassou, whiting Merlangius merlangus, haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus, Norway pout Trisopterus esmarkii, horse mackerel Trachurus trachurus and mackerel Scomber scombrus. Other species are dealt with under the general headings redfishes, flatfish, tunas, anadromous fish, elasmobranchs, marine mammals and invertebrates. A final section highlights how parasites can be, and have been, misused as biological tags, and how this can be avoided. It also reviews recent developments in methodology and parasite genetics, considers the potential effects of climate change on the distributions of both hosts and parasites, and suggests host-parasite systems that should reward further research.

  13. Assembling and auditing a comprehensive DNA barcode reference library for European marine fishes.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, L M; Knebelsberger, T; Landi, M; Soares, P; Raupach, M J; Costa, F O

    2016-12-01

    A large-scale comprehensive reference library of DNA barcodes for European marine fishes was assembled, allowing the evaluation of taxonomic uncertainties and species genetic diversity that were otherwise hidden in geographically restricted studies. A total of 4118 DNA barcodes were assigned to 358 species generating 366 Barcode Index Numbers (BIN). Initial examination revealed as much as 141 BIN discordances (more than one species in each BIN). After implementing an auditing and five-grade (A-E) annotation protocol, the number of discordant species BINs was reduced to 44 (13% grade E), while concordant species BINs amounted to 271 (78% grades A and B) and 14 other had insufficient data (grade D). Fifteen species displayed comparatively high intraspecific divergences ranging from 2·6 to 18·5% (grade C), which is biologically paramount information to be considered in fish species monitoring and stock assessment. On balance, this compilation contributed to the detection of 59 European fish species probably in need of taxonomic clarification or re-evaluation. The generalized implementation of an auditing and annotation protocol for reference libraries of DNA barcodes is recommended.

  14. Consumers' health risk-benefit perception of seafood and attitude toward the marine environment: Insights from five European countries.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Silke; Sioen, Isabelle; Pieniak, Zuzanna; De Henauw, Stefaan; Maulvault, Ana Luisa; Reuver, Marieke; Fait, Gabriella; Cano-Sancho, German; Verbeke, Wim

    2015-11-01

    This research classifies European consumers into segments based on their health risk-benefit perception related to seafood consumption. The profiling variables of these segments are seafood consumption frequency, general attitude toward consuming fish, confidence in control organizations, attitude toward the marine environment, environmental concern and socio-demographics. A web-based survey was performed in one western European country (Belgium), one northern European country (Ireland) and three southern European countries (Italy, Portugal and Spain), resulting in a total sample of 2824 participants. A cluster analysis was performed based on risk-benefit perception related to seafood and the profiles of the segments were determined by a robust 2-way ANOVA analysis accounting for country effects. Although this study confirms consumers' positive image of consuming seafood, gradients are found in health risk-benefit perception related to seafood consumption. Seafood consumption frequency is mainly determined by country-related traditions and habits related to seafood rather than by risk-benefit perceptions. Segments with a higher benefit perception, irrespective of their level of risk perception, show a more positive attitude toward consuming seafood and toward the marine environment; moreover, they report a higher concern about the marine environment and have a higher involvement with seafood and with the marine environment. Consequently, information campaigns concentrating on pro-environmental behavior are recommended to raise the involvement with seafood and the marine environment as this is associated with a higher environmental concern. This research underpins that in such information campaigns a nationally differentiated rather than a pan-European or international information strategy should be aimed for because of significant cultural differences between the identified segments.

  15. Oceans and Human Health (OHH): a European perspective from the Marine Board of the European Science Foundation (Marine Board-ESF).

    PubMed

    Moore, Michael N; Depledge, Michael H; Fleming, Lora; Hess, Philipp; Lees, David; Leonard, Paul; Madsen, Lise; Owen, Richard; Pirlet, Hans; Seys, Jan; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Viarengo, Aldo

    2013-05-01

    will impact adversely on efforts to alleviate poverty, sustain the availability of environmental goods and services and improve health and social and economic stability; and thus, will impinge on many policy decisions, both nationally and internationally. Knowledge exchange (KE) will be a key element of any ensuing research. KE will facilitate the integration of biological, medical, epidemiological, social and economic disciplines, as well as the emergence of synergies between seemingly unconnected areas of science and socio-economic issues, and will help to leverage knowledge transfer across the European Union (EU) and beyond. An integrated interdisciplinary systems approach is an effective way to bring together the appropriate groups of scientists, social scientists, economists, industry and other stakeholders with the policy formulators in order to address the complexities of interfacial problems in the area of environment and human health. The Marine Board of the European Science Foundation Working Group on "Oceans and Human Health" has been charged with developing a position paper on this topic with a view to identifying the scientific, social and economic challenges and making recommendations to the EU on policy-relevant research and development activities in this arena. This paper includes the background to health-related issues linked to the coastal environment and highlights the main arguments for an ecosystem-based whole systems approach.

  16. Analysis of the nucleoprotein gene identifies three distinct lineages of viral haemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) within the European marine environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snow, M.; Cunningham, C.O.; Melvin, W.T.; Kurath, G.

    1999-01-01

    A ribonuclease (RNase) protection assay (RPA) has been used to detect nucleotide sequence variation within the nucleoprotein gene of 39 viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) isolates of European marine origin. The classification of VHSV isolates based on RPA cleavage patterns permitted the identification of ten distinct groups of viruses based on differences at the molecular level. The nucleotide sequence of representatives of each of these groupings was determined and subjected to phylogenetic analysis. This revealed grouping of the European marine isolates of VHSV into three genotypes circulating within distinct geographic areas. A fourth genotype was identified comprising isolates originating from North America. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that VHSV isolates recovered from wild caught fish around the British Isles were genetically related to isolates responsible for losses in farmed turbot. Furthermore, a relationship between naturally occurring marine isolates and VHSV isolates causing mortality among rainbow trout in continental Europe was demonstrated. Analysis of the nucleoprotein gene identifies distinct lineages of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus within the European marine environment. Virus Res. 63, 35-44. Available from: 

  17. Fatty acids from lipids of marine organisms: molecular biodiversity, roles as biomarkers, biologically active compounds, and economical aspects.

    PubMed

    Bergé, Jean-Pascal; Barnathan, Gilles

    2005-01-01

    Because of their characteristic living environments, marine organisms produce a variety of lipids. Fatty acids constitute the essential part of triglycerides and wax esters, which are the major components of fats and oils. Nevertheless, phospholipids and glycolipids have considerable importance and will be taken into account, especially the latter compounds that excite increasing interest regarding their promising biological activities. Thus, in addition to the major polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) such as eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids, a great number of various fatty acids occur in marine organisms, e.g. saturated, mono- and diunsaturated, branched, halogenated, hydroxylated, methoxylated, non-methylene-interrupted. Various unprecedented chemical structures of fatty acids, and lipid-containing fatty acids, have recently been discovered, especially from the most primitive animals such as sponges and gorgonians. This review of marine lipidology deals with recent advances in the field of fatty acids since the end of the 1990s. Different approaches will be followed, mainly developing biomarkers of trophic chains in marine ecosystems and of chemotaxonomic interest, reporting new structures, especially those with biological activities or biosynthetic interest. An important part of this review will be devoted to the major PUFA, their relevance to health and nutrition, their biosynthesis, their sources (usual and promising) and market.

  18. Seasonality of metazoan ectoparasites in marine European flounder Platichthys flesus (Teleostei: Pleuronectidae).

    PubMed

    Cavaleiro, F I; Santos, M J

    2009-07-01

    Seasonal occurrence of metazoan ectoparasites is described for the first time in marine European flounder, Platichthys flesus (L.). The parasitofauna, in this study monitored during 1 year, was found to be similar to that previously recorded for flounder. Moreover, specimens of Caligus sp. Müller, 1785 and Lepeophtheirus pectoralis (Copepoda: Caligidae), Acanthochondria cornuta (Copepoda: Chondracanthidae), Holobomolochus confusus (Copepoda: Bomolochidae) and Nerocila orbignyi (Isopoda: Cymothoidae), and also, a praniza larva (Isopoda: Gnathiidae), were isolated. From these, L. pectoralis and A. cornuta were the dominant parasites in all samples of flounder, while Caligus sp., H. confusus, N. orbignyi and the gnathiid praniza seemed to infect the flounder only occasionally. As far as the seasonality of infections is concerned, it differed considerably from that described for estuarine environments. Indeed, both prevalence and abundance of L. pectoralis and A. cornuta reached significant peaks in the summer, whereas the literature identifies the autumn as the season of maximum infection on estuarine flounder. Thus, the former period seems more favourable for the occurrence of epizooties of L. pectoralis and A. cornuta in flounder culturing systems running on seawater and operated in the studied or similar environments.

  19. Using ERS-2 SAR images for routine observation of marine pollution in European coastal waters.

    PubMed

    Gade, M; Alpers, W

    1999-09-30

    More than 660 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images acquired over the southern Baltic Sea, the North Sea, and the Gulf of Lion in the Mediterranean Sea by the Second European Remote Sensing Satellite (ERS-2) have been analyzed since December 1996 with respect to radar signatures of marine pollution and other phenomena causing similar signatures. First results of our analysis reveal that the seas are most polluted along the main shipping routes. The sizes of the detected oil spills vary between < 0.1 km2 and > 56 km2. SAR images acquired during descending (morning) and ascending (evening) satellite passes show different percentages of oil pollution, because most of this pollution occurs during night time and is still visible on the SAR images acquired in the morning time. Moreover, we found a higher amount of oil spills on SAR images acquired during summer (April-September) than on SAR images acquired during winter (October-March). We attribute this finding to the higher mean wind speed encountered in all three test areas during winter. By using an ERS-2 SAR image of the North Sea test area we show how the reduction of the normalized radar backscattering cross section (NRCS) by an oil spill depends on wind speed.

  20. Conservation, Spillover and Gene Flow within a Network of Northern European Marine Protected Areas

    PubMed Central

    Huserbråten, Mats Brockstedt Olsen; Moland, Even; Knutsen, Halvor; Olsen, Esben Moland; André, Carl; Stenseth, Nils Chr.

    2013-01-01

    To ensure that marine protected areas (MPAs) benefit conservation and fisheries, the effectiveness of MPA designs has to be evaluated in field studies. Using an interdisciplinary approach, we empirically assessed the design of a network of northern MPAs where fishing for European lobster (Homarusgammarus) is prohibited. First, we demonstrate a high level of residency and survival (50%) for almost a year (363 days) within MPAs, despite small MPA sizes (0.5-1 km2). Second, we demonstrate limited export (4.7%) of lobsters tagged within MPAs (N = 1810) to neighbouring fished areas, over a median distance of 1.6 km out to maximum 21 km away from MPA centres. In comparison, median movement distance of lobsters recaptured within MPAs was 164 m, and recapture rate was high (40%). Third, we demonstrate a high level of gene flow within the study region, with an estimated FST of less than 0.0001 over a ≈ 400 km coastline. Thus, the restricted movement of older life stages, combined with a high level of gene flow suggests that connectivity is primarily driven by larval drift. Larval export from the MPAs can most likely affect areas far beyond their borders. Our findings are of high importance for the design of MPA networks for sedentary species with pelagic early life stages. PMID:24039927

  1. Semantically supporting data discovery, markup and aggregation in the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowry, Roy; Leadbetter, Adam

    2014-05-01

    The semantic content of the NERC Vocabulary Server (NVS) has been developed over thirty years. It has been used to mark up metadata and data in a wide range of international projects, including the European Commission (EC) Framework Programme 7 projects SeaDataNet and The Open Service Network for Marine Environmental Data (NETMAR). Within the United States, the National Science Foundation projects Rolling Deck to Repository and Biological & Chemical Data Management Office (BCO-DMO) use concepts from NVS for markup. Further, typed relationships between NVS concepts and terms served by the Marine Metadata Interoperability Ontology Registry and Repository. The vast majority of the concepts publicly served from NVS (35% of ~82,000) form the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) Parameter Usage Vocabulary (PUV). The PUV is instantiated on the NVS as a SKOS concept collection. These terms are used to describe the individual channels in data and metadata served by, for example, BODC, SeaDataNet and BCO-DMO. The PUV terms are designed to be very precise and may contain a high level of detail. Some users have reported that the PUV is difficult to navigate due to its size and complexity (a problem CSIRO have begun to address by deploying a SISSVoc interface to the NVS), and it has been difficult to aggregate data as multiple PUV terms can - with full validity - be used to describe the same data channels. Better approaches to data aggregation are required as a use case for the PUV from the EC European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) Chemistry project. One solution, proposed and demonstrated during the course of the NETMAR project, is to build new SKOS concept collections which formalise the desired aggregations for given applications, and uses typed relationships to state which PUV concepts contribute to a specific aggregation. Development of these new collections requires input from a group of experts in the application domain who can decide which PUV

  2. Eco-engineered rock pools: a concrete solution to biodiversity loss and urban sprawl in the marine environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Firth, Louise B.; Browne, Keith A.; Knights, Antony M.; Hawkins, Stephen J.; Nash, Róisín

    2016-09-01

    In coastal habitats artificial structures typically support lower biodiversity and can support greater numbers of non-native and opportunistic species than natural rocky reefs. Eco-engineering experiments are typically trialed to succeed; but arguably as much is learnt from failure than from success. Our goal was to trial a generic, cost effective, eco-engineering technique that could be incorporated into rock armouring anywhere in the world. Artificial rock pools were created from manipulated concrete between boulders on the exposed and sheltered sides of a causeway. Experimental treatments were installed in locations where they were expected to fail and compared to controls installed in locations in which they were expected to succeed. Control pools were created lower on the structure where they were immersed on every tidal cycle; experimental pools were created above mean high water spring tide which were only immersed on spring tides. We hypothesised that lower and exposed pools would support significantly higher taxon and functional diversity than upper and sheltered pools. The concrete pools survived the severe winter storms of 2013/14. After 12 months, non-destructive sampling revealed significantly higher mean taxon and functional richness in lower pools than upper pools on the exposed side only. After 24 months the sheltered pools had become inundated with sediments, thus failing to function as rock pools as intended. Destructive sampling on the exposed side revealed significantly higher mean functional richness in lower than upper pools. However, a surprisingly high number of taxa colonised the upper pools leading to no significant difference in mean taxon richness among shore heights. A high number of rare taxa in the lower pools led to total taxon richness being almost twice that of upper pools. These findings highlight that even when expected to fail concrete pools supported diverse assemblages, thus representing an affordable, replicable means of

  3. Novel lineage patterns from an automated water sampler to probe marine microbial biodiversity with ships of opportunity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, Rowena F.; Picard, Kathryn T.; Hamilton, Kristina M.; Walne, Antony; Tarran, Glen A.; Mills, David; McQuatters-Gollop, Abigail; Edwards, Martin

    2015-09-01

    There is a paucity of data on long-term, spatially resolved changes in microbial diversity and biogeography in marine systems, and yet these organisms underpin fundamental ecological processes in the oceans affecting socio-economic values of the marine environment. We report results from a new autonomous Water and Microplankton Sampler (WaMS) that is carried within the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR). Whilst the CPR with its larger mesh size (270 μm), is designed to capture larger plankton, the WaMS was designed as an additional device to capture plankton below 50 μm and delicate larger species, often destroyed by net sampling methods. A 454 pyrosequencing and flow cytometric investigation of eukaryotic microbes using the partial 18S rDNA from thirteen WaMS samples collected over three months in the English Channel revealed a wide diversity of organisms. Alveolates, Fungi, and picoplanktonic Chlorophytes were the most common lineages captured despite the small sample volumes (200-250 ml). The survey also identified Cercozoa and MAST heterotrophic Stramenopiles, normally missed in microscopic-based plankton surveys. The most common was the likely parasitic LKM11 Rozellomycota lineage which comprised 43.2% of all reads and are rarely observed in marine pelagic surveys. An additional 9.5% of reads belonged to other parasitic lineages including marine Syndiniales and Ichthyosporea. Sample variation was considerable, indicating that microbial diversity is spatially or temporally patchy. Our study has shown that the WaMS sampling system is autonomous, versatile and robust, and due to its deployment on the established CPR network, is a cost-effective monitoring tool for microbial diversity for the detection of smaller and delicate taxa.

  4. SeaDataNet II - EMODNet - building a pan-European infrastructure for marine and ocean data management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaap, Dick M. A.; Fichaut, Michele

    2014-05-01

    The second phase of the project SeaDataNet is well underway since October 2011 and is making good progress. The main objective is to improve operations and to progress towards an efficient data management infrastructure able to handle the diversity and large volume of data collected via research cruises and monitoring activities in European marine waters and global oceans. The SeaDataNet infrastructure comprises a network of interconnected data centres and a central SeaDataNet portal. The portal provides users a unified and transparent overview of the metadata and controlled access to the large collections of data sets, managed by the interconnected data centres, and the various SeaDataNet standards and tools,. Recently the 1st Innovation Cycle has been completed, including upgrading of the CDI Data Discovery and Access service to ISO 19139 and making it fully INSPIRE compliant. The extensive SeaDataNet Vocabularies have been upgraded too and implemented for all SeaDataNet European metadata directories. SeaDataNet is setting and governing marine data standards, and exploring and establishing interoperability solutions to connect to other e-infrastructures on the basis of standards of ISO (19115, 19139), OGC (WMS, WFS, CS-W and SWE), and OpenSearch. The population of directories has also increased considerably in cooperation and involvement in associated EU projects and initiatives. SeaDataNet now gives overview and access to more than 1.4 million data sets for physical oceanography, chemistry, geology, geophysics, bathymetry and biology from more than 90 connected data centres from 30 countries riparian to European seas. Access to marine data is also a key issue for the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The EU communication 'Marine Knowledge 2020' underpins the importance of data availability and harmonising access to marine data from different sources. SeaDataNet qualified itself for leading the data management component of the

  5. Knowledge base for growth and innovation in ocean economy: assembly and dissemination of marine data for seabed mapping - European Marine Observation Data Network - EMODnet Physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novellino, Antonio; Gorringe, Patrick; Schaap, Dick; Pouliquen, Sylvie; Rickards, Lesley; Manzella, Giuseppe

    2014-05-01

    The Physics preparatory action (MARE/2010/02 - Lot [SI2.579120]) had the overall objectives to provide access to archived and near real-time data on physical conditions as monitored by fixed stations and Ferrybox lines in all the European sea basins and oceans and to determine how well the data meet the needs of users. The existing EMODnet-Physics portal, www.emodnet-physics.eu, includes systems for physical data from the whole Europe (wave height and period, temperature of the water column, wind speed and direction, salinity of the water column, horizontal velocity of the water column, light attenuation, and sea level) provided mainly by fixed stations and ferry-box platforms, discovering related data sets (both near real time and historical data sets), viewing and downloading of the data from about 470 platforms across the European Sea basins. It makes layers of physical data and their metadata available for use and contributes towards the definition of an operational European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet). It is based on a strong collaboration between EuroGOOS member institutes and its regional operational oceanographic systems (ROOSs), and it brings together two marine, but different, communities : the "real time" ocean observing institutes and centers and the National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODCs) that are in charge for archived ocean data validation, quality check and continuous update of data archives for marine environmental monitoring. EMODnet Physics is a Marine Observation and Data Information System that provides a single point of access to near real time and historical achieved data, it is built on existing infrastructure by adding value and avoiding any unnecessary complexity, it provides data access to any relevant user, and is aimed at attracting new data holders and providing better and more data. With a long term-vision for a sustained pan European Ocean Observation System EMODnet Physics is supporting the coordination of the

  6. Spatial and seasonal variation in diversity and structure of microbial biofilms on marine plastics in Northern European waters.

    PubMed

    Oberbeckmann, Sonja; Loeder, Martin G J; Gerdts, Gunnar; Osborn, A Mark

    2014-11-01

    Plastic pollution is now recognised as a major threat to marine environments and marine biota. Recent research highlights that diverse microbial species are found to colonise plastic surfaces (the plastisphere) within marine waters. Here, we investigate how the structure and diversity of marine plastisphere microbial community vary with respect to season, location and plastic substrate type. We performed a 6-week exposure experiment with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles in the North Sea (UK) as well as sea surface sampling of plastic polymers in Northern European waters. Scanning electron microscopy revealed diverse plastisphere communities comprising prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and sequencing analysis revealed that plastisphere microbial communities on PET fragments varied both with season and location and comprised of bacteria belonging to Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria and members of the eukaryotes Bacillariophyceae and Phaeophyceae. Polymers sampled from the sea surface mainly comprised polyethylene, polystyrene and polypropylene particles. Variation within plastisphere communities on different polymer types was observed, but communities were primarily dominated by Cyanobacteria. This research reveals that the composition of plastisphere microbial communities in marine waters varies with season, geographical location and plastic substrate type.

  7. Marine reserves: size and age do matter.

    PubMed

    Claudet, Joachim; Osenberg, Craig W; Benedetti-Cecchi, Lisandro; Domenici, Paolo; García-Charton, José-Antonio; Pérez-Ruzafa, Angel; Badalamenti, Fabio; Bayle-Sempere, Just; Brito, Alberto; Bulleri, Fabio; Culioli, Jean-Michel; Dimech, Mark; Falcón, Jesús M; Guala, Ivan; Milazzo, Marco; Sánchez-Meca, Julio; Somerfield, Paul J; Stobart, Ben; Vandeperre, Frédéric; Valle, Carlos; Planes, Serge

    2008-05-01

    Marine reserves are widely used throughout the world to prevent overfishing and conserve biodiversity, but uncertainties remain about their optimal design. The effects of marine reserves are heterogeneous. Despite theoretical findings, empirical studies have previously found no effect of size on the effectiveness of marine reserves in protecting commercial fish stocks. Using 58 datasets from 19 European marine reserves, we show that reserve size and age do matter: Increasing the size of the no-take zone increases the density of commercial fishes within the reserve compared with outside; whereas the size of the buffer zone has the opposite effect. Moreover, positive effects of marine reserve on commercial fish species and species richness are linked to the time elapsed since the establishment of the protection scheme. The reserve size-dependency of the response to protection has strong implications for the spatial management of coastal areas because marine reserves are used for spatial zoning.

  8. Biodiversity Prospecting.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sittenfeld, Ana; Lovejoy, Annie

    1994-01-01

    Examines the use of biodiversity prospecting as a method for tropical countries to value biodiversity and contribute to conservation upkeep costs. Discusses the first agreement between a public interest organization and pharmaceutical company for the extraction of plant and animal materials in Costa Rica. (LZ)

  9. Agricultural Biodiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Postance, Jim

    1998-01-01

    The extinction of farm animals and crops is rarely brought up during discussions of endangered species and biodiversity; however, the loss of diversity in crops and livestock threatens the sustainability of agriculture. Presents three activities: (1) "The Colors of Diversity"; (2) "Biodiversity among Animals"; and (3) "Heirloom Plants." Discusses…

  10. Geo-Seas - a pan-European infrastructure for the management of marine geological and geophysical data.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaves, Helen; Graham, Colin

    2010-05-01

    Geo-Seas - a pan-European infrastructure for the management of marine geological and geophysical data. Helen Glaves1 and Colin Graham2 on behalf of the Geo-Seas consortium The Geo-Seas project will create a network of twenty six European marine geoscience data centres from seventeen coastal countries including six from the Baltic Sea area. This will be achieved through the development of a pan-European infrastructure for the exchange of marine geoscientific data. Researchers will be able to locate and access harmonised and federated marine geological and geophysical datasets and data products held by the data centres through the Geo-Seas data portal, using a common data catalogue. The new infrastructure, an expansion of the exisiting SeaDataNet, will create an infrastructure covering oceanographic and marine geoscientific data. New data products and services will be developed following consultations with users on their current and future research requirements. Common data standards will be implemented across all of the data centres and other geological and geophysical organisations will be encouraged to adopt the protocols, standards and tools which are developed as part of the Geo-Seas project. Oceanographic and marine data include a wide range of variables, an important category of which are the geological and geophysical data sets. This data includes raw observational and analytical data as well as derived data products from seabed sediment samples, boreholes, geophysical surveys (seismic, gravity etc) and sidescan sonar surveys. All of which are essential in order to produce a complete interpretation of seabed geology. Despite there being a large volume of geological and geophysical data available for the marine environment it is currently very difficult to use these datasets in an integrated way between organisations due to different nomenclatures, formats, scales and coordinate systems being used within different organisations and also within different

  11. Oceans of opportunity or rough seas? What does the future hold for developments in European marine policy?

    PubMed

    Potts, Tavis; O'Higgins, Tim; Hastings, Emily

    2012-12-13

    The management of European seas is undergoing a process of major reform. In the past, oceans and coastal policy has traditionally evolved in a fragmented and uncoordinated manner, developed by different sector-based agencies and arms of government with competing aims and objectives. Recently, the call for integrated and ecosystem-based approaches has driven the conceptualization of a new approach. At the scale of Europe through the Integrated Maritime Policy and Marine Strategy Framework Directive and in national jurisdictions such as the Marine and Coastal Access Act in the United Kingdom, ecosystem-based planning is becoming the norm. There are major challenges to this process and this paper explores, in particular, the opportunities inherent in building truly integrated approaches that cross different sectors of activity, integrate across scales, incorporate public involvement and build a sense of oceans citizenship.

  12. Progress in marine science supported by European joint coastal observation systems: The JERICO-RI research infrastructure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puillat, I.; Farcy, P.; Durand, D.; Karlson, B.; Petihakis, G.; Seppälä, J.; Sparnocchia, S.

    2016-10-01

    Coastal systems are of the most productive ones although they are the most impacted by direct pressures from human activities. These ecosystems exhibit a high level of complexity with many different and interconnected processes operating at various spatial and temporal scales and providing a range of ecosystem services. Coastal observations are tremendous importance in order to understand those complex marine processes. Moreover, they support the use and further development of coastal ocean numerical models, including physical models and coupled physical-biogeochemical models. Coastal data have also many applications in the domain of coastal engineering such as for instance in the design of a coastal structure, or in the prevention of extreme events (e.g. flooding). As a consequence, the number of marine observing systems has quickly increased around European coastal seas, under the pressure of both monitoring requirements and marine research. Present demands for such observing systems include reliable, high-quality and comprehensive observations of key environmental parameters, automated platforms and sensors systems for continuous observations, as well as autonomy over long time periods. In-situ data collected can be combined with remote sensing and/or models to detect, understand and/or forecast the most crucial coastal processes over extensive areas within the various marine environments.

  13. Biodiversity tracks temperature over time.

    PubMed

    Mayhew, Peter J; Bell, Mark A; Benton, Timothy G; McGowan, Alistair J

    2012-09-18

    The geographic distribution of life on Earth supports a general pattern of increase in biodiversity with increasing temperature. However, some previous analyses of the 540-million-year Phanerozoic fossil record found a contrary relationship, with paleodiversity declining when the planet warms. These contradictory findings are hard to reconcile theoretically. We analyze marine invertebrate biodiversity patterns for the Phanerozoic Eon while controlling for sampling effort. This control appears to reverse the temporal association between temperature and biodiversity, such that taxonomic richness increases, not decreases, with temperature. Increasing temperatures also predict extinction and origination rates, alongside other abiotic and biotic predictor variables. These results undermine previous reports of a negative biodiversity-temperature relationship through time, which we attribute to paleontological sampling biases. Our findings suggest a convergence of global scale macroevolutionary and macroecological patterns for the biodiversity-temperature relationship.

  14. Development of sperm vitrification protocols for freshwater fish (Eurasian perch, Perca fluviatilis) and marine fish (European eel, Anguilla anguilla).

    PubMed

    Kása, Eszter; Bernáth, Gergely; Kollár, Tímea; Żarski, Daniel; Lujić, Jelena; Marinović, Zoran; Bokor, Zoltán; Hegyi, Árpád; Urbányi, Béla; Vílchez, M Carmen; Morini, Marina; Peñaranda, David S; Pérez, Luz; Asturiano, Juan F; Horváth, Ákos

    2016-05-09

    Vitrification was successfully applied to the sperm of two fish species, the freshwater Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis) and marine European eel (Anguilla anguilla). Sperm was collected, diluted in species-specific non-activating media and cryoprotectants and vitrified by plunging directly into liquid nitrogen without pre-cooling in its vapor. Progressive motility of fresh and vitrified-thawed sperm was evaluated with computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA). Additional sperm quality parameters such as sperm head morphometry parameters (in case of European eel) and fertilizing capacity (in case of Eurasian perch) were carried out to test the effectiveness of vitrification. The vitrification method for Eurasian perch sperm resulting the highest post-thaw motility (14±1.6%) was as follows: 1:5 dilution ratio, Tanaka extender, 30% cryoprotectant (15% methanol+15% propylene-glycol), cooling device: Cryotop, 2μl droplets, and for European eel sperm: dilution ratio 1:1, with 40% cryoprotectant (20% MeOH and 20% PG), and 10% FBS, cooling device: Cryotop, with 2μl of sperm suspension. Viable embryos were produced by fertilization with vitrified Eurasian perch sperm (neurulation: 2.54±1.67%). According to the ASMA analysis, no significant decrease in head area and perimeter of vitrified European eel spermatozoa were found when compared to fresh spermatozoa.

  15. Characterization factors for land use impacts on biodiversity in life cycle assessment based on direct measures of plant species richness in European farmland in the 'Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forest' biome.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, Marie Trydeman; Hermansen, John E; Cederberg, Christel; Herzog, Felix; Vale, Jim; Jeanneret, Philippe; Sarthou, Jean-Pierre; Friedel, Jürgen K; Balázs, Katalin; Fjellstad, Wendy; Kainz, Max; Wolfrum, Sebastian; Dennis, Peter

    2017-02-15

    Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a widely used tool to assess environmental sustainability of products. The LCA should optimally cover the most important environmental impact categories such as climate change, eutrophication and biodiversity. However, impacts on biodiversity are seldom included in LCAs due to methodological limitations and lack of appropriate characterization factors. When assessing organic agricultural products the omission of biodiversity in LCA is problematic, because organic systems are characterized by higher species richness at field level compared to the conventional systems. Thus, there is a need for characterization factors to estimate land use impacts on biodiversity in life cycle assessment that are able to distinguish between organic and conventional agricultural land use that can be used to supplement and validate the few currently suggested characterization factors. Based on a unique dataset derived from field recording of plant species diversity in farmland across six European countries, the present study provides new midpoint occupation Characterization Factors (CF) expressing the Potentially Disappeared Fraction (PDF) to estimate land use impacts on biodiversity in the 'Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forest' biome in Europe. The method is based on calculation of plant species on randomly selected test sites in the biome and enables the calculation of characterization factors that are sensitive to particular types of management. While species richness differs between countries, the calculated CFs are able to distinguish between different land use types (pastures (monocotyledons or mixed), arable land and hedges) and management practices (organic or conventional production systems) across countries. The new occupation CFs can be used to supplement or validate the few current CF's and can be applied in LCAs of agricultural products to assess land use impacts on species richness in the 'Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forest' biome.

  16. Marine legislation--the ultimate 'horrendogram': international law, European directives & national implementation.

    PubMed

    Boyes, Suzanne J; Elliott, Michael

    2014-09-15

    The EU is a pre-eminent player in sustainable development, adopting more than 200 pieces of legislation that have direct repercussions for marine environmental policy and management. Over five decades, measures have aimed to protect the marine environment by tackling the impact of human activities, but maritime affairs have been dealt with by separate sectoral policies without fully integrating all relevant sectors. Such compartmentalisation has resulted in a patchwork of EU legislation and resultant national legislation leading to a piecemeal approach to marine protection. These are superimposed on international obligations emanating from UN and other bodies and are presented here as complex 'horrendograms' showing the complexity across vertical governance. These horrendograms have surprised marine experts despite them acknowledging the many uses and users of the marine environment. Encouragingly since 2000, the evolution in EU policy has progressed to more holistic directives and here we give an overview of this change.

  17. How a collaborative integrated taxonomic effort has trained new spongiologists and improved knowledge of Martinique Island (French Antilles, eastern Caribbean Sea) marine biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Although sponges are important components of benthic ecosystems of the Caribbean Sea, their diversity remained poorly investigated in the Lesser Antilles. By organizing a training course in Martinique, we wanted both to promote taxonomy and to provide a first inventory of the sponge diversity on this island. The course was like a naturalist expedition, with a field laboratory and a classroom nearby. Early-career scientists and environmental managers were trained in sponge taxonomy. We gathered unpublished data and conducted an inventory at 13 coastal sites. We explored only shallow water habitats (0–30 m), such as mangroves, reefs or rocky bottoms and underwater caves. According to this study, the sponge fauna of Martinique is currently represented by a minimum of 191 species, 134 of which we could assign species names. One third of the remaining non-identified sponge species we consider to be new to science. Martinique appears very remarkable because of its littoral marine fauna harboring sponge aggregations with high biomass and species diversity dominating over coral species. In mangroves, sponges cover about 10% of the surface of subtidal roots. Several submarine caves are true reservoirs of hidden and insufficiently described sponge diversity. Thanks to this new collaborative effort, the Eastern Caribbean has gained a significant increase of knowledge, with sponge diversity of this area potentially representing 40% of the total in the Caribbean Sea. We thus demonstrated the importance of developing exploratory and educational research in areas historically devoid of biodiversity inventories and systematics studies. Finally, we believe in the necessity to consider not only the number of species but their distribution in space to evaluate their putative contribution to ecosystem services and our willingness to preserve them. PMID:28329020

  18. How a collaborative integrated taxonomic effort has trained new spongiologists and improved knowledge of Martinique Island (French Antilles, eastern Caribbean Sea) marine biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Thierry; Díaz, Maria-Cristina; Ruiz, César; Cóndor-Luján, Baslavi; Klautau, Michelle; Hajdu, Eduardo; Lobo-Hajdu, Gisele; Zea, Sven; Pomponi, Shirley A; Thacker, Robert W; Carteron, Sophie; Tollu, Guillaume; Pouget-Cuvelier, Adeline; Thélamon, Philippe; Marechal, Jean-Philippe; Thomas, Olivier P; Ereskovsky, Alexander V; Vacelet, Jean; Boury-Esnault, Nicole

    2017-01-01

    Although sponges are important components of benthic ecosystems of the Caribbean Sea, their diversity remained poorly investigated in the Lesser Antilles. By organizing a training course in Martinique, we wanted both to promote taxonomy and to provide a first inventory of the sponge diversity on this island. The course was like a naturalist expedition, with a field laboratory and a classroom nearby. Early-career scientists and environmental managers were trained in sponge taxonomy. We gathered unpublished data and conducted an inventory at 13 coastal sites. We explored only shallow water habitats (0-30 m), such as mangroves, reefs or rocky bottoms and underwater caves. According to this study, the sponge fauna of Martinique is currently represented by a minimum of 191 species, 134 of which we could assign species names. One third of the remaining non-identified sponge species we consider to be new to science. Martinique appears very remarkable because of its littoral marine fauna harboring sponge aggregations with high biomass and species diversity dominating over coral species. In mangroves, sponges cover about 10% of the surface of subtidal roots. Several submarine caves are true reservoirs of hidden and insufficiently described sponge diversity. Thanks to this new collaborative effort, the Eastern Caribbean has gained a significant increase of knowledge, with sponge diversity of this area potentially representing 40% of the total in the Caribbean Sea. We thus demonstrated the importance of developing exploratory and educational research in areas historically devoid of biodiversity inventories and systematics studies. Finally, we believe in the necessity to consider not only the number of species but their distribution in space to evaluate their putative contribution to ecosystem services and our willingness to preserve them.

  19. Mapping Biodiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC.

    This document features a lesson plan that examines how maps help scientists protect biodiversity and how plants and animals are adapted to specific ecoregions by comparing biome, ecoregion, and habitat. Samples of instruction and assessment are included. (KHR)

  20. Backyard Biodiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Sarah S.

    2002-01-01

    Describes a field trip experience for the Earth Odyssey project for elementary school students focusing on biodiversity. Introduces the concept of diversity, field work, species richness, and the connection between animals and their habitat. (YDS)

  1. Verifying a biotope classification using benthic communities--an analysis towards the implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

    PubMed

    Schiele, Kerstin S; Darr, Alexander; Zettler, Michael L

    2014-01-15

    The HELCOM Red List biotopes project proposed a Baltic Sea wide classification consisting of six levels: The HELCOM Underwater biotopes/habitats classification system (HELCOM HUB). We present a case study from the south-western Baltic Sea where we tested the applicability of this system. More than 500 sampling stations were analyzed regarding macrozoobenthic communities and their linkage to environmental parameters. Based on the analyses of biotic and abiotic data, 21 groups were assigned to 13 biotopes of the classification. For some biotopes varying states of communities were recognized. Even though not all abiotic parameters are considered directly in the hierarchy of the classification in general, all soft-bottom communities could be allocated to a corresponding biotope. The application of the HELCOM HUB for the south-western Baltic Sea is feasible, in regard to the implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive as well as the Baltic Sea Action Plan.

  2. Plate tectonics drive tropical reef biodiversity dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leprieur, Fabien; Descombes, Patrice; Gaboriau, Théo; Cowman, Peter F.; Parravicini, Valeriano; Kulbicki, Michel; Melián, Carlos J.; de Santana, Charles N.; Heine, Christian; Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R.; Pellissier, Loïc

    2016-05-01

    The Cretaceous breakup of Gondwana strongly modified the global distribution of shallow tropical seas reshaping the geographic configuration of marine basins. However, the links between tropical reef availability, plate tectonic processes and marine biodiversity distribution patterns are still unknown. Here, we show that a spatial diversification model constrained by absolute plate motions for the past 140 million years predicts the emergence and movement of diversity hotspots on tropical reefs. The spatial dynamics of tropical reefs explains marine fauna diversification in the Tethyan Ocean during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, and identifies an eastward movement of ancestral marine lineages towards the Indo-Australian Archipelago in the Miocene. A mechanistic model based only on habitat-driven diversification and dispersal yields realistic predictions of current biodiversity patterns for both corals and fishes. As in terrestrial systems, we demonstrate that plate tectonics played a major role in driving tropical marine shallow reef biodiversity dynamics.

  3. Plate tectonics drive tropical reef biodiversity dynamics.

    PubMed

    Leprieur, Fabien; Descombes, Patrice; Gaboriau, Théo; Cowman, Peter F; Parravicini, Valeriano; Kulbicki, Michel; Melián, Carlos J; de Santana, Charles N; Heine, Christian; Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R; Pellissier, Loïc

    2016-05-06

    The Cretaceous breakup of Gondwana strongly modified the global distribution of shallow tropical seas reshaping the geographic configuration of marine basins. However, the links between tropical reef availability, plate tectonic processes and marine biodiversity distribution patterns are still unknown. Here, we show that a spatial diversification model constrained by absolute plate motions for the past 140 million years predicts the emergence and movement of diversity hotspots on tropical reefs. The spatial dynamics of tropical reefs explains marine fauna diversification in the Tethyan Ocean during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, and identifies an eastward movement of ancestral marine lineages towards the Indo-Australian Archipelago in the Miocene. A mechanistic model based only on habitat-driven diversification and dispersal yields realistic predictions of current biodiversity patterns for both corals and fishes. As in terrestrial systems, we demonstrate that plate tectonics played a major role in driving tropical marine shallow reef biodiversity dynamics.

  4. Plate tectonics drive tropical reef biodiversity dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Leprieur, Fabien; Descombes, Patrice; Gaboriau, Théo; Cowman, Peter F.; Parravicini, Valeriano; Kulbicki, Michel; Melián, Carlos J.; de Santana, Charles N.; Heine, Christian; Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R.; Pellissier, Loïc

    2016-01-01

    The Cretaceous breakup of Gondwana strongly modified the global distribution of shallow tropical seas reshaping the geographic configuration of marine basins. However, the links between tropical reef availability, plate tectonic processes and marine biodiversity distribution patterns are still unknown. Here, we show that a spatial diversification model constrained by absolute plate motions for the past 140 million years predicts the emergence and movement of diversity hotspots on tropical reefs. The spatial dynamics of tropical reefs explains marine fauna diversification in the Tethyan Ocean during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, and identifies an eastward movement of ancestral marine lineages towards the Indo-Australian Archipelago in the Miocene. A mechanistic model based only on habitat-driven diversification and dispersal yields realistic predictions of current biodiversity patterns for both corals and fishes. As in terrestrial systems, we demonstrate that plate tectonics played a major role in driving tropical marine shallow reef biodiversity dynamics. PMID:27151103

  5. Evolutionary mechanisms shaping the genetic population structure of marine fishes; lessons from the European flounder (Platichthys flesus L.).

    PubMed

    Hemmer-Hansen, Jakob; Nielsen, Einar Eg; Grønkjaer, Peter; Loeschcke, Volker

    2007-08-01

    A number of evolutionary mechanisms have been suggested for generating low but significant genetic structuring among marine fish populations. We used nine microsatellite loci and recently developed methods in landscape genetics and coalescence-based estimation of historical gene flow and effective population sizes to assess temporal and spatial dynamics of the population structure in European flounder (Platichthys flesus L.). We collected 1062 flounders from 13 localities in the northeast Atlantic and Baltic Seas and found temporally stable and highly significant genetic differentiation among samples covering a large part of the species' range (global F(ST) = 0.024, P < 0.0001). In addition to historical processes, a number of contemporary acting evolutionary mechanisms were associated with genetic structuring. Physical forces, such as oceanographic and bathymetric barriers, were most likely related with the extreme isolation of the island population at the Faroe Islands. A sharp genetic break was associated with a change in life history from pelagic to benthic spawners in the Baltic Sea. Partial Mantel tests showed that geographical distance per se was not related with genetic structuring among Atlantic and western Baltic Sea samples. Alternative factors, such as dispersal potential and/or environmental gradients, could be important for generating genetic divergence in this region. The results show that the magnitude and scale of structuring generated by a specific mechanism depend critically on its interplay with other evolutionary mechanisms, highlighting the importance of investigating species with wide geographical and ecological distributions to increase our understanding of evolution in the marine environment.

  6. Biodiversity Performs!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC.

    This document features a lesson plan in which students work in teams to act out different ecosystem services, describe several free services that biodiversity provides to human, and explain how these services make life on earth possible. Samples of instruction and assessment are included. (KHR)

  7. PROTECTING BIODIVERSITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    At present, over 40% of the earth's land surface has been converted from its natural state to one dominated by human activities such as agriculture and development. The destruction and degradation of natural habitats has been clearly linked to the loss of biodiversity. Biodiver...

  8. Biodiversity Management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biodiversity management is summarized for the global chickpea (Cicer arietinum) crop germplasm held in genebanks as ex situ collections. Morphological diversity is presented with the range of variation reported from the global collections. The largest collections are held at international agricult...

  9. Education and biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

    Ahearn, S.K.

    1988-01-01

    This study focuses on the importance of developing educational programs about biological diversity in order to preserve it more effectively. The study is divided into two parts. Part I is a needs assessment consisting of the results of: (1) a survey and checklist of land management and education/interpretive practices in natural areas of the United States, (2) a study of ecology research reports, (3) interviews of scientists, land managers, and environmental educators in natural areas, and (4) an analysis of popular published environmental-education activity and curriculum guides. From this, a set of needs was identified for purposes of planning activities for teaching about biodiversity in natural areas. Part II consists of sample activities that represent ways to incorporate current knowledge of biodiversity into education/interpretive programming on nature preserves, parks, and wildlife refuges. The ideas focus mainly on developing an understanding of what biodiversity looks like, from the scale of the habitat to the landscape, and from the genetic level to the ecosystem level. The activities are grouped according to six major topics: open space, marine resources, energy, solid waste, surface waters, and freshwater wetlands, and groundwater.

  10. Beyond biodiversity: fish metagenomes.

    PubMed

    Ardura, Alba; Planes, Serge; Garcia-Vazquez, Eva

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity and intra-specific genetic diversity are interrelated and determine the potential of a community to survive and evolve. Both are considered together in Prokaryote communities treated as metagenomes or ensembles of functional variants beyond species limits.Many factors alter biodiversity in higher Eukaryote communities, and human exploitation can be one of the most important for some groups of plants and animals. For example, fisheries can modify both biodiversity and genetic diversity (intra specific). Intra-specific diversity can be drastically altered by overfishing. Intense fishing pressure on one stock may imply extinction of some genetic variants and subsequent loss of intra-specific diversity. The objective of this study was to apply a metagenome approach to fish communities and explore its value for rapid evaluation of biodiversity and genetic diversity at community level. Here we have applied the metagenome approach employing the barcoding target gene coi as a model sequence in catch from four very different fish assemblages exploited by fisheries: freshwater communities from the Amazon River and northern Spanish rivers, and marine communities from the Cantabric and Mediterranean seas.Treating all sequences obtained from each regional catch as a biological unit (exploited community) we found that metagenomic diversity indices of the Amazonian catch sample here examined were lower than expected. Reduced diversity could be explained, at least partially, by overexploitation of the fish community that had been independently estimated by other methods.We propose using a metagenome approach for estimating diversity in Eukaryote communities and early evaluating genetic variation losses at multi-species level.

  11. [Modulating marine ecosystem by marine viruses--a review].

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui; Bai, Shijie; Cai, Wenwei; Zheng, Tianling

    2009-05-01

    Marine viruses play great roles in the marine ecological system such as modulating the biodiversity and species population, regulating the nutrient cycling, intervening gene transfer and influencing climate changes. Recent research achievements on marine viruses were reviewed in this paper. We focused on the modulating role of marine viruses in marine ecosystem and discussed future research perspectives.

  12. 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.

  13. Spatially structured populations with a low level of cryptic diversity in European marine Gastrotricha.

    PubMed

    Kieneke, Alexander; Martínez Arbizu, Pedro M; Fontaneto, Diego

    2012-03-01

    Species of the marine meiofauna such as Gastrotricha are known to lack dispersal stages and are thus assumed to have low dispersal ability and low levels of gene flow between populations. Yet, most species are widely distributed, and this creates a paradox. To shed light on this apparent paradox, we test (i) whether such wide distribution may be due to misidentification and lumping of cryptic species with restricted distributions and (ii) whether spatial structures exist for the phylogeography of gastrotrichs. As a model, we used the genus Turbanella in NW Europe. DNA taxonomy using a mitochondrial and a nuclear marker supports distinctness of four traditional species (Turbanella ambronensis, T. bocqueti, T. mustela and T. cornuta) and provides evidence for two cryptic species within T. hyalina. An effect of geography on the within-species genetic structure is indeed present, with the potential for understanding colonization processes and for performing phylogeographic inference from microscopic animals. On the other hand, the occurrence of widely distributed haplotypes indicates long-distance dispersal as well, despite the assumed low dispersal ability of gastrotrichs.

  14. Glacial history of the European marine mussels Mytilus, inferred from distribution of mitochondrial DNA lineages

    PubMed Central

    Śmietanka, B; Burzyński, A; Hummel, H; Wenne, R

    2014-01-01

    Mussels of the genus Mytilus have been used to assess the circumglacial phylogeography of the intertidal zone. These mussels are representative components of the intertidal zone and have rapidly evolving mitochondrial DNA, suitable for high resolution phylogeographic analyses. In Europe, the three Mytilus species currently share mitochondrial haplotypes, owing to the cases of extensive genetic introgression. Genetic diversity of Mytilus edulis, Mytilus trossulus and Mytilus galloprovincialis was studied using a 900-bp long part of the most variable fragment of the control region from one of their two mitochondrial genomes. To this end, 985 specimens were sampled along the European coasts, at sites ranging from the Black Sea to the White Sea. The relevant DNA fragments were amplified, sequenced and analyzed. Contrary to the earlier findings, our coalescence and nested cladistics results show that only a single M. edulis glacial refugium existed in the Atlantic. Despite that, the species survived the glaciation retaining much of its diversity. Unsurprisingly, M. galloprovincialis survived in the Mediterranean Sea. In a relatively short time period, around the climatic optimum at 10 ky ago, the species underwent rapid expansion coupled with population differentiation. Following the expansion, further contemporary gene flow between populations was limited. PMID:24619178

  15. Tenacibaculum dicentrarchi sp. nov., a marine bacterium of the family Flavobacteriaceae isolated from European sea bass.

    PubMed

    Piñeiro-Vidal, Maximino; Gijón, Daniel; Zarza, Carles; Santos, Ysabel

    2012-02-01

    A novel Gram-stain-negative rod-shaped gliding bacterial strain, designated 35/09(T), was isolated from diseased European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.) in Spain. Colonies were pale-yellow-pigmented with uneven edges and did not adhere to the agar. The DNA G+C content of the isolate was 31.3 mol%. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis indicated affiliation to the genus Tenacibaculum (family Flavobacteriaceae, phylum 'Bacteroidetes'). Sequence similarities between the isolate and type strains of other members of the genus were 93.1-97.3 %. The major fatty acids (>5 % of the total fatty acids) were iso-C(15 : 0) (24.8 %), iso-C(15 : 0) 3-OH (18.0 %), anteiso-C(15 : 0) (8.1 %), C(15 : 1)ω6c (6.9 %) and iso-C(15 : 1) (6.2 %). Genotypic and phenotypic data indicate that strain 35/09(T) should be classified as a representative of a novel species in the genus Tenacibaculum, for which the name Tenacibaculum dicentrarchi sp. nov. is proposed; the type strain is 35/09(T) ( = CECT 7612(T) = NCIMB 14598(T)).

  16. Glacial history of the European marine mussels Mytilus, inferred from distribution of mitochondrial DNA lineages.

    PubMed

    Smietanka, B; Burzyński, A; Hummel, H; Wenne, R

    2014-09-01

    Mussels of the genus Mytilus have been used to assess the circumglacial phylogeography of the intertidal zone. These mussels are representative components of the intertidal zone and have rapidly evolving mitochondrial DNA, suitable for high resolution phylogeographic analyses. In Europe, the three Mytilus species currently share mitochondrial haplotypes, owing to the cases of extensive genetic introgression. Genetic diversity of Mytilus edulis, Mytilus trossulus and Mytilus galloprovincialis was studied using a 900-bp long part of the most variable fragment of the control region from one of their two mitochondrial genomes. To this end, 985 specimens were sampled along the European coasts, at sites ranging from the Black Sea to the White Sea. The relevant DNA fragments were amplified, sequenced and analyzed. Contrary to the earlier findings, our coalescence and nested cladistics results show that only a single M. edulis glacial refugium existed in the Atlantic. Despite that, the species survived the glaciation retaining much of its diversity. Unsurprisingly, M. galloprovincialis survived in the Mediterranean Sea. In a relatively short time period, around the climatic optimum at 10 ky ago, the species underwent rapid expansion coupled with population differentiation. Following the expansion, further contemporary gene flow between populations was limited.

  17. Implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive: a methodological approach for the assessment of environmental status, from the Basque Country (Bay of Biscay).

    PubMed

    Borja, Angel; Galparsoro, Ibon; Irigoien, Xabier; Iriondo, Ane; Menchaca, Iratxe; Muxika, Iñigo; Pascual, Marta; Quincoces, Iñaki; Revilla, Marta; Germán Rodríguez, J; Santurtún, Marina; Solaun, Oihana; Uriarte, Ainhize; Valencia, Victoriano; Zorita, Izaskun

    2011-05-01

    The implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is directing European marine research towards the coordinated and integrated assessment of sea environmental status, following the ecosystem-based approach. The MSFD uses a set of 11 descriptors which, together, summarise the way in which the whole system functions. As such, the European Commission has proposed an extensive set of indicators, to assess environmental status. Hence, taking account of the large amount of data available for the Basque coast (southern Bay of Biscay), together with a recent proposal for assessment within the MSFD, an integrated environmental status assessment approach is developed (for the first time) in this contribution. The strengths and weaknesses of the method, combined with proposals from the MSFD, are discussed.

  18. Dragon in Support Harmonizing European and Chinese Marine Monitoring for Environment and Security

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desnos, Yves-Louis; Zmuda, Andy; Li, Zengyuan; Gao, Zhihai

    2008-04-01

    ESA has been cooperating with National Remote Sensing Center of China (NRSCC), Ministry Of Science and Technology of China (MOST) in the development of Earth Observation (EO) applications for the last 15 years. In 2004, this cooperation was reinforced with the creation of a dedicated three-year EO science and exploitation programme called "Dragon". The programme brings together joint Sino-European teams to address 16 identified priority themes investigating land, ocean and atmospheric applications using data from ESA's ERS and Envisat missions. Detailed coordination of all requested acquisitions over China has been performed since the programme started. Consequently a large amount of data has now been delivered.The results of the joint teams' research have been presented at annual Symposia and regular progress meeting with Chinese scientists in Beijing. The mid term results of the programme have been published as a joint ESA and NRSCC publication entitled "Proceedings of Dragon Programme Mid Term Results (SP-611)". Since then, notable results have been achieved in all the thematic areas under investigation exploiting both archive ERS and Envisat instrument data, for example: • Forest cover and forest biomass maps of NE China using ERS SAR tandem data from the 1990s and change detection using up-to-date forest maps based on ASAR AP data• Flood monitoring and mapping and NRT information provision to local and national authorities• Ship cruises for collection of validation data in support of ocean colour studies • Exploitation of the ASAR, RA, MERIS and AA TSR sensors for bio-physical parameter retrieval for China seas• Quantification and modelling of NO2, CO and CH4 levels and their increasing trend since the 1990s •Mixing and modelling and changes in NO2 distribution and concentration in the middle atmospheric layers • Rice mapping and methane modelling exploiting Envisat's optical, SAR and atmospheric sensors• Impact of the Olympic games on the

  19. Using remote sensing as a support to the implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive in SW Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cristina, Sónia; Icely, John; Costa Goela, Priscila; Angel DelValls, Tomás; Newton, Alice

    2015-10-01

    The exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of coastal countries are coming under increasing pressure from various economic sectors such as fishing, aquaculture, shipping and energy production. In Europe, there is a policy to expand the maritime economic sector without damaging the environment by ensuring that these activities comply with legally binding Directives, such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). However, monitoring an extensive maritime area is a logistical and economic challenge. Remote sensing is considered one of the most cost effective methods for providing the spatial and temporal environmental data that will be necessary for the effective implementation of the MSFD. However, there is still a concern about the uncertainties associated with remote sensed products. This study has tested how a specific satellite product can contribute to the monitoring of a MSFD Descriptor for "good environmental status" (GES). The results show that the quality of the remote sensing product Algal Pigment Index 1 (API 1) from the MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) sensor of the European Space Agency for ocean colour products can be effectively validated with in situ data from three stations off the SW Iberian Peninsula. The validation results show good agreement between the MERIS API 1 and the in situ data for the two more offshore stations, with a higher coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.79, and with lower uncertainties for the average relative percentage difference (RPD) of 24.6% and 27.9% and a root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.40 and 0.38 for Stations B and C, respectively. Near to the coast, Station A has the lowest R2 of 0.63 and the highest uncertainties with an RPD of 112.9% and a RMSE of 1.00. It is also the station most affected by adjacency effects from the land: when the Improved Contrast between Ocean and Land processor (ICOL) is applied the R2 increases to 0.77 and there is a 30% reduction in the uncertainties estimated by RPD. The

  20. SeaDataNet : Pan-European infrastructure for marine and ocean data management - Project objectives, structure and components

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maudire, G.; Maillard, C.; Fichaut, M.; Manzella, G.; Schaap, D. M. A.

    2009-04-01

    SeaDataNet : Pan-European infrastructure for marine and ocean data management Project objectives, structure and components G. Maudire (1), C. Maillard (1), G. Manzella (2), M. Fichaut (1), D.M.A. Schaap (3), E. Iona (4) and the SeaDataNet consortium. (1) IFREMER, Brest, France (Gilbert.Maudire@ifremer.fr), (2) ENEA, La Spezia, Italy, (3) Mariene Informatie Service 'MARIS', Voorburg, The Netherlands, (4) Hellenic Centre for Marine Research-HCMR, Anavyssos, Greece. Since a large part of the earth population lives near the oceans or carries on activities directly or indirectly linked to the seas (fishery and aquaculture, exploitation of sea bottom resources, international shipping, tourism), knowledge of oceans is of primary importance for security and economy. However, observation and monitoring of the oceans remains difficult and expensive even if real improvements have been achieved using research vessels and submersibles, satellites and automatic observatories like buoys, floats and seafloor observatories transmitting directly to the shore using global transmission systems. More than 600 governmental or private organizations are active in observation of seas bordering Europe, but European oceanographic data are fragmented, not always validated and not always easily accessible. That highlights the need of international collaboration to tend toward a comprehensive view of ocean mechanisms, resources and changes. SeaDataNet is an Integrated research Infrastructure Initiative (I3) in European Union Framework Program 6 (2006 - 2011) to provide the data management system adapted both to the fragmented observation systems and to the users need for an integrated access to data, meta-data, products and services. Its major objectives are to: - encourage long-term archiving at national level to secure ocean data taking into account that all the observations made in the variable oceanic environment can never be remade if they are lost; - promote best practices for data

  1. Does conservation on farmland contribute to halting the biodiversity decline?

    PubMed

    Kleijn, David; Rundlöf, Maj; Scheper, Jeroen; Smith, Henrik G; Tscharntke, Teja

    2011-09-01

    Biodiversity continues to decline, despite the implementation of international conservation conventions and measures. To counteract biodiversity loss, it is pivotal to know how conservation actions affect biodiversity trends. Focussing on European farmland species, we review what is known about the impact of conservation initiatives on biodiversity. We argue that the effects of conservation are a function of conservation-induced ecological contrast, agricultural land-use intensity and landscape context. We find that, to date, only a few studies have linked local conservation effects to national biodiversity trends. It is therefore unknown how the extensive European agri-environmental budget for conservation on farmland contributes to the policy objectives to halt biodiversity decline. Based on this review, we identify new research directions addressing this important knowledge gap.

  2. Techniques for Quantifying Phytoplankton Biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Zackary I.; Martiny, Adam C.

    2015-01-01

    The biodiversity of phytoplankton is a core measurement of the state and activity of marine ecosystems. In the context of historical approaches, we review recent major advances in the technologies that have enabled deeper characterization of the biodiversity of phytoplankton. In particular, high-throughput sequencing of single loci/genes, genomes, and communities (metagenomics) has revealed exceptional phylogenetic and genomic diversity whose breadth is not fully constrained. Other molecular tools—such as fingerprinting, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and fluorescence in situ hybridization—have provided additional insight into the dynamics of this diversity in the context of environmental variability. Techniques for characterizing the functional diversity of community structure through targeted or untargeted approaches based on RNA or protein have also greatly advanced. A wide range of techniques is now available for characterizing phytoplankton communities, and these tools will continue to advance through ongoing improvements in both technology and data interpretation.

  3. Techniques for quantifying phytoplankton biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Zackary I; Martiny, Adam C

    2015-01-01

    The biodiversity of phytoplankton is a core measurement of the state and activity of marine ecosystems. In the context of historical approaches, we review recent major advances in the technologies that have enabled deeper characterization of the biodiversity of phytoplankton. In particular, high-throughput sequencing of single loci/genes, genomes, and communities (metagenomics) has revealed exceptional phylogenetic and genomic diversity whose breadth is not fully constrained. Other molecular tools-such as fingerprinting, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and fluorescence in situ hybridization-have provided additional insight into the dynamics of this diversity in the context of environmental variability. Techniques for characterizing the functional diversity of community structure through targeted or untargeted approaches based on RNA or protein have also greatly advanced. A wide range of techniques is now available for characterizing phytoplankton communities, and these tools will continue to advance through ongoing improvements in both technology and data interpretation.

  4. Hollow rhodoliths increase Svalbard's shelf biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teichert, Sebastian

    2014-11-01

    Rhodoliths are coralline red algal assemblages that commonly occur in marine habitats from the tropics to polar latitudes. They form rigid structures of high-magnesium calcite and have a good fossil record. Here I show that rhodoliths are ecosystem engineers in a high Arctic environment that increase local biodiversity by providing habitat. Gouged by boring mussels, originally solid rhodoliths become hollow ecospheres intensely colonised by benthic organisms. In the examined shelf areas, biodiversity in rhodolith-bearing habitats is significantly greater than in habitats without rhodoliths and hollow rhodoliths yield a greater biodiversity than solid ones. This biodiversity, however, is threatened because hollow rhodoliths take a long time to form and are susceptible to global change and anthropogenic impacts such as trawl net fisheries that can destroy hollow rhodoliths. Rhodoliths and other forms of coralline red algae play a key role in a plurality of environments and need improved management and protection plans.

  5. Hollow rhodoliths increase Svalbard's shelf biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Teichert, Sebastian

    2014-01-01

    Rhodoliths are coralline red algal assemblages that commonly occur in marine habitats from the tropics to polar latitudes. They form rigid structures of high-magnesium calcite and have a good fossil record. Here I show that rhodoliths are ecosystem engineers in a high Arctic environment that increase local biodiversity by providing habitat. Gouged by boring mussels, originally solid rhodoliths become hollow ecospheres intensely colonised by benthic organisms. In the examined shelf areas, biodiversity in rhodolith-bearing habitats is significantly greater than in habitats without rhodoliths and hollow rhodoliths yield a greater biodiversity than solid ones. This biodiversity, however, is threatened because hollow rhodoliths take a long time to form and are susceptible to global change and anthropogenic impacts such as trawl net fisheries that can destroy hollow rhodoliths. Rhodoliths and other forms of coralline red algae play a key role in a plurality of environments and need improved management and protection plans. PMID:25382656

  6. SeaDataNet - Pan-European infrastructure for marine and ocean data management: Unified access to distributed data sets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaap, D. M. A.; Maudire, G.

    2009-04-01

    SeaDataNet is an Integrated research Infrastructure Initiative (I3) in EU FP6 (2006 - 2011) to provide the data management system adapted both to the fragmented observation system and the users need for an integrated access to data, meta-data, products and services. Therefore SeaDataNet insures the long term archiving of the large number of multidisciplinary data (i.e. temperature, salinity current, sea level, chemical, physical and biological properties) collected by many different sensors installed on board of research vessels, satellite and the various platforms of the marine observing system. The SeaDataNet project started in 2006, but builds upon earlier data management infrastructure projects, undertaken over a period of 20 years by an expanding network of oceanographic data centres from the countries around all European seas. Its predecessor project Sea-Search had a strict focus on metadata. SeaDataNet maintains significant interest in the further development of the metadata infrastructure, but its primary objective is the provision of easy data access and generic data products. SeaDataNet is a distributed infrastructure that provides transnational access to marine data, meta-data, products and services through 40 interconnected Trans National Data Access Platforms (TAP) from 35 countries around the Black Sea, Mediterranean, North East Atlantic, North Sea, Baltic and Arctic regions. These include: National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODC's) Satellite Data Centres. Furthermore the SeaDataNet consortium comprises a number of expert modelling centres, SME's experts in IT, and 3 international bodies (ICES, IOC and JRC). Planning: The SeaDataNet project is delivering and operating the infrastructure in 3 versions: Version 0: maintenance and further development of the metadata systems developed by the Sea-Search project plus the development of a new metadata system for indexing and accessing to individual data objects managed by the SeaDataNet data centres. This

  7. A high CO2 -driven decrease in plant transpiration leads to perturbations in the hydrological cycle and may link terrestrial and marine loss of biodiversity: deep-time evidence.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinthorsdottir, Margret; Woodward, F. Ian; Surlyk, Finn; McElwain, Jennifer C.

    2013-04-01

    CO2 is obtained and water vapor simultaneously transpired through plant stomata, driving the water uptake of roots. Stomata are key elements of the Earth's hydrological cycle, since a large part of the evapotranspiration from the surface to the atmosphere takes place via stomatal pores. Plants exercise stomatal control, by adjusting stomatal size and/or density in order to preserve water while maintaining carbon uptake for photosynthesis. A global decrease in stomatal density and/or size causes a decrease in transpiration and has the potential to increase global runoff. Here we show, from 91 fossil leaf cuticle specimens from the Triassic/Jurassic boundary transition (Tr-J) of East Greenland, that both stomatal size and density decreased dramatically during the Tr-J, coinciding with mass extinctions, major environmental upheaval and a negative C-isotope excursion. We estimate that these developmental and structural changes in stomata resulted in a 50-60% drop in stomatal and canopy transpiration as calibrated using a stomatal model, based on empirical measurements and adjusted for fossil plants. We additionally present new field evidence indicating a change to increased erosion and bad-land formation at the Tr-J. We hypothesize that plant physiological responses to high carbon dioxide concentrations at the Tr-J may have increased runoff at the local and perhaps even regional scale. Increased runoff may result in increased flux of nutrients from land to oceans, leading to eutrophication, anoxia and ultimately loss of marine biodiversity. High-CO2 driven changes in stomatal and canopy transpiration therefore provide a possible mechanistic link between terrestrial ecological crisis and marine mass extinction at the Tr-J.

  8. Conserving Biodiversity in a Human-Dominated World: Degradation of Marine Sessile Communities within a Protected Area with Conflicting Human Uses

    PubMed Central

    Parravicini, Valeriano; Micheli, Fiorenza; Montefalcone, Monica; Morri, Carla; Villa, Elisa; Castellano, Michela; Povero, Paolo; Bianchi, Carlo Nike

    2013-01-01

    Conservation research aims at understanding whether present protection schemes are adequate for the maintenance of ecosystems structure and function across time. We evaluated long-term variation in rocky reef communities by comparing sites surveyed in 1993 and again in 2008. This research took place in Tigullio Gulf, an emblematic case study where various conservation measures, including a marine protected area, have been implemented to manage multiple human uses. Contrary to our prediction that protection should have favored ecosystem stability, we found that communities subjected to conservation measures (especially within the marine protected area) exhibited the greatest variation toward architectural complexity loss. Between 1993 and 2008, chronic anthropogenic pressures (especially organic load) that had already altered unprotected sites in 1993 expanded their influence into protected areas. This expansion of human pressure likely explains our observed changes in the benthic communities. Our results suggest that adaptive ecosystem-based management (EBM), that is management taking into account human interactions, informed by continuous monitoring, is needed in order to attempt reversing the current trend towards less architecturally complex communities. Protected areas are not sufficient to stop ecosystem alteration by pressures coming from outside. Monitoring, and consequent management actions, should therefore extend to cover the relevant scales of those pressures. PMID:24143173

  9. Marine Fouling Assemblages on Offshore Gas Platforms in the Southern North Sea: Effects of Depth and Distance from Shore on Biodiversity.

    PubMed

    van der Stap, Tim; Coolen, Joop W P; Lindeboom, Han J

    2016-01-01

    Offshore platforms are known to act as artificial reefs, though there is on-going debate on whether this effect is beneficial or harmful for the life in the surrounding marine environment. Knowing what species exist on and around the offshore platforms and what environmental variables influence this species assemblage is crucial for a better understanding of the impact of offshore platforms on marine life. Information on this is limited for offshore platforms in the southern North Sea. This study aims to fill this gap in our knowledge and to determine how the composition and the abundance of species assemblages changes with depth and along a distance-from-shore gradient. The species assemblages on five offshore gas platforms in the southern North Sea have been inventoried using Remotely Operated Vehicles inspection footage. A total of 30 taxa were identified. A Generalised Additive Model of the species richness showed a significant non-linear relation with water depth (p = 0.001): from a low richness in shallow waters it increases with depth until 15-20 m, after which richness decreases again. Using PERMANOVA, water depth (p≤0.001), community age (p≤0.001) and the interaction between distance from shore and community age (p≤0.001) showed a significant effect on the species assemblages. Future research should focus on the effect additional environmental variables have on the species assemblages.

  10. Marine Fouling Assemblages on Offshore Gas Platforms in the Southern North Sea: Effects of Depth and Distance from Shore on Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    van der Stap, Tim; Coolen, Joop W. P.; Lindeboom, Han J.

    2016-01-01

    Offshore platforms are known to act as artificial reefs, though there is on-going debate on whether this effect is beneficial or harmful for the life in the surrounding marine environment. Knowing what species exist on and around the offshore platforms and what environmental variables influence this species assemblage is crucial for a better understanding of the impact of offshore platforms on marine life. Information on this is limited for offshore platforms in the southern North Sea. This study aims to fill this gap in our knowledge and to determine how the composition and the abundance of species assemblages changes with depth and along a distance-from-shore gradient. The species assemblages on five offshore gas platforms in the southern North Sea have been inventoried using Remotely Operated Vehicles inspection footage. A total of 30 taxa were identified. A Generalised Additive Model of the species richness showed a significant non-linear relation with water depth (p = 0.001): from a low richness in shallow waters it increases with depth until 15–20 m, after which richness decreases again. Using PERMANOVA, water depth (p≤0.001), community age (p≤0.001) and the interaction between distance from shore and community age (p≤0.001) showed a significant effect on the species assemblages. Future research should focus on the effect additional environmental variables have on the species assemblages. PMID:26745870

  11. 78 FR 19353 - Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction; Notice of Public Meeting

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-29

    ... Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction; Notice of Public Meeting ACTION: Notice of public meeting. SUMMARY... biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. DATES: The public meeting will be held on April 23, 2013... negotiations on marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction, such as the meeting of the UN BBNJ...

  12. SeaDataNet II - Second phase of developments for the pan-European infrastructure for marine and ocean data management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaap, Dick M. A.; Fichaut, Michele

    2013-04-01

    The second phase of the project SeaDataNet started on October 2011 for another 4 years with the aim to upgrade the SeaDataNet infrastructure built during previous years. The numbers of the project are quite impressive: 59 institutions from 35 different countries are involved. In particular, 45 data centers are sharing human and financial resources in a common efforts to sustain an operationally robust and state-of-the-art Pan-European infrastructure for providing up-to-date and high quality access to ocean and marine metadata, data and data products. The main objective of SeaDataNet II is to improve operations and to progress towards an efficient data management infrastructure able to handle the diversity and large volume of data collected via the Pan-European oceanographic fleet and the new observation systems, both in real-time and delayed mode. The infrastructure is based on a semi-distributed system that incorporates and enhance the existing NODCs network. SeaDataNet aims at serving users from science, environmental management, policy making, and economical sectors. Better integrated data systems are vital for these users to achieve improved scientific research and results, to support marine environmental and integrated coastal zone management, to establish indicators of Good Environmental Status for sea basins, and to support offshore industry developments, shipping, fisheries, and other economic activities. The recent EU communication "MARINE KNOWLEDGE 2020 - marine data and observation for smart and sustainable growth" states that the creation of marine knowledge begins with observation of the seas and oceans. In addition, directives, policies, science programmes require reporting of the state of the seas and oceans in an integrated pan-European manner: of particular note are INSPIRE, MSFD, WISE-Marine and GMES Marine Core Service. These underpin the importance of a well functioning marine and ocean data management infrastructure. SeaDataNet is now one of

  13. Possible origin of stagnation and variability of earth's biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Stollmeier, Frank; Geisel, Theo; Nagler, Jan

    2014-06-06

    The magnitude and variability of Earth's biodiversity have puzzled scientists ever since paleontologic fossil databases became available. We identify and study a model of interdependent species where both endogenous and exogenous impacts determine the nonstationary extinction dynamics. The framework provides an explanation for the qualitative difference of marine and continental biodiversity growth. In particular, the stagnation of marine biodiversity may result from a global transition from an imbalanced to a balanced state of the species dependency network. The predictions of our framework are in agreement with paleontologic databases.

  14. Quantifying the effects of European beach grass on aeolian sand transport over the last century: Bodega Marine Reserve, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cesmat, R.; Werner, S.; Smith, M. E.; Riedel, T.; Best, R.; Olyarnik, S.

    2012-12-01

    Introduction of European beach grass (Ammophila arenaria) to coastal dune systems of western North America induced significant changes to the transport and storage of sediment, and consequently the nesting habitat of the western snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus). At the Bodega Marine Reserve and Sonoma Coast State Park, Ammophila was introduced within the ~0.5 km2 dune area in the 1920's to limit the flux of sand through Bodega Harbor and agricultural land. To assess the potential impact of restoration efforts (Ammophila removal) on aeolian sediment flux, we measured sediment flux as a function of wind speeds and ground cover, and used these measurements to parameterize a spatial model for historical sand deposition Fine- to coarse-grained lithic to sub-lithic sand is delivered to the Bodega dune system from Salmon Creek beach, the down-shore terminus of a littoral system fed by the 3846 km2 Russian River catchment, several small (<100 km2) coastal catchments, and seacliff erosion. Littoral sediment traverses the 1.8 km wide dune system from NW to SE via aeolian transport. Ammophila colonization occurred initially adjacent to the shoreface, inducing deposition of a ~10 meter-high foredune and has subsequently encroached the ~0.5 km2 region between the foredune and Bodega Harbor. Comparison of historical topographic maps via raster subtraction indicates rapid construction of both the foredune and a ~15 meter-high transverse dune (Gaffney ridge) at the edge of the planted region. An average accumulation rate of ~4,000 m3/yr is indicated within the study swath by the preserved sediment volumes. Within the modern dune system, unvegetated areas exhibit 2-3 meter wavelength, ~1/2 meter amplitude mega-ripples, and the uppermost 2-10 cm consists of coarse-sand to granule-sized armor layer. In contrast, grain-sizes in vegetated areas are largely vertically homogenous. Open areas are typically 2-8 meters lower than adjacent vegetated areas, and show evidence for

  15. Spatial and temporal benthic species assemblage responses with a deployed marine tidal energy device: a small scaled study.

    PubMed

    Broadhurst, Melanie; Orme, C David L

    2014-08-01

    The addition of man-made structures to the marine environment is known to increase the physical complexity of the seafloor, which can influence benthic species community patterns and habitat structure. However, knowledge of how deployed tidal energy device structures influence benthic communities is currently lacking. Here we examined species biodiversity, composition and habitat type surrounding a tidal energy device within the European Marine Energy Centre test site, Orkney. Commercial fishing and towed video camera techniques were used over three temporal periods, from 2009 to 2010. Our results showed increased species biodiversity and compositional differences within the device site, compared to a control site. Both sites largely comprised of crustacean species, omnivore or predatory feeding regimes and marine tide-swept EUNIS habitat types, which varied over the time. We conclude that the device could act as a localised artificial reef structure, but that further in-depth investigations are required.

  16. Marine microbial genomics in Europe: current status and perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Glöckner, Frank Oliver; Joint, Ian

    2010-01-01

    Summary The oceans are the Earth's largest ecosystem, covering 70% of our planet and providing goods and services for the majority of the world's population. Understanding the complex abiotic and biotic processes on the micro‐ to macroscale is the key to protect and sustain the marine ecosystem. Marine microorganisms are the ‘gatekeepers’ of the biotic processes that control the global cycles of energy and organic matter. A multinational, multidisciplinary approach, bringing together research on oceanography, biodiversity and genomics, is now needed to understand and finally predict the complex responses of the marine ecosystem to ongoing global changes. Such an integrative approach will not only bring better understanding of the complex interplay of the organisms with their environment, but will reveal a wealth of new metabolic processes and functions, which have a high potential for biotechnological applications. This potential has already been recognized by the European commission which funded a series of workshops and projects on marine genomics in the sixth and seventh framework programme. Nevertheless, there remain many obstacles to achieving the goal – such as a lack of bioinformatics tailored for the marine field, consistent data acquisition and exchange, as well as continuous monitoring programmes and a lack of relevant marine bacterial models. Marine ecosystems research is complex and challenging, but it also harbours the opportunity to cross the borders between disciplines and countries to finally create a rewarding marine research era that is more than the sum of its parts. PMID:20953416

  17. The changing form of Antarctic biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Chown, Steven L; Clarke, Andrew; Fraser, Ceridwen I; Cary, S Craig; Moon, Katherine L; McGeoch, Melodie A

    2015-06-25

    Antarctic biodiversity is much more extensive, ecologically diverse and biogeographically structured than previously thought. Understanding of how this diversity is distributed in marine and terrestrial systems, the mechanisms underlying its spatial variation, and the significance of the microbiota is growing rapidly. Broadly recognizable drivers of diversity variation include energy availability and historical refugia. The impacts of local human activities and global environmental change nonetheless pose challenges to the current and future understanding of Antarctic biodiversity. Life in the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean is surprisingly rich, and as much at risk from environmental change as it is elsewhere.

  18. The EuroDIVERSITY Programme: Challenges of Biodiversity Science in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jonckheere, I.

    2009-04-01

    In close cooperation with its Member Organisations, the European Science Foundation (ESF) has launched since late 2003 a series of European Collaborative Research (EUROCORES) Programmes. Their aim is to enable researchers in different European countries to develop cooperation and scientific synergy in areas where European scale and scope are required in a global context. The EUROCORES instrument represents the first large scale attempt of national research (funding) agencies to act together against fragmentation, asynchronicity and duplication of research (funding) within Europe. Although covering all scientific fields, there are presently 13 EUROCORES Programmes dealing with cutting edge science in the fields of Earth, Climate and Environmental Sciences. The aim of the EuroDIVERSITY Programme is to support the emergence of an integrated biodiversity science based on an understanding of fundamental ecological and social processes that drive biodiversity changes and their impacts on ecosystem functioning and society. Ecological systems across the globe are being threatened or transformed at unprecedented rates from local to global scales due to the ever-increasing human domination of natural ecosystems. In particular, massive biodiversity changes are currently taking place, and this trend is expected to continue over the coming decades, driven by the increasing extension and globalisation of human affairs. The EuroDIVERSITY Programme meets the research need triggered by the increasing human footprint worldwide with a focus on generalisations across particular systems and on the generation and validation of theory relevant to experimental and empirical data. The EURODIVERSITY Programme tries to bridge the gaps between the natural and social sciences, between research work on terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems, and between research work on plants, animals and micro-organisms. The Programme was launched in April 2006 and includes 10 international

  19. International arrivals: widespread bioinvasions in European Seas

    PubMed Central

    Galil, B.S.; Marchini, A.; Occhipinti-Ambrogi, A.; Minchin, D.; Narščius, A.; Ojaveer, H.; Olenin, S.

    2014-01-01

    The European Union lacks a comprehensive framework to address the threats posed by the introduction and spread of marine non-indigenous species (NIS). Current efforts are fragmented and suffer substantial gaps in coverage. In this paper we identify and discuss issues relating to the assessment of spatial and temporal patterns of introductions in European Seas (ES), based on a scientifically validated information system of aquatic non-indigenous and cryptogenic species, AquaNIS. While recognizing the limitations of the existing data, we extract information that can be used to assess the relative risk of introductions for different taxonomic groups, geographic regions and likely vectors. The dataset comprises 879 multicellular NIS. We applied a country-based approach to assess patterns of NIS richness in ES, and identify the principal introduction routes and vectors, the most widespread NIS and their spatial and temporal spread patterns. Between 1970 and 2013, the number of recorded NIS has grown by 86, 173 and 204% in the Baltic, Western European margin and the Mediterranean, respectively; 52 of the 879 NIS were recorded in 10 or more countries, and 25 NIS first recorded in European seas since 1990 have since been reported in five or more countries. Our results highlight the ever-rising role of shipping (commercial and recreational) as a vector for the widespread and recently spread NIS. The Suez Canal, a corridor unique to the Mediterranean, is responsible for the increased introduction of new thermophilic NIS into this warming sea. The 2020 goal of the EU Biodiversity Strategy concerning marine Invasive Alien Species may not be fully attainable. The setting of a new target date should be accompanied by scientifically robust, sensible and pragmatic plans to minimize introductions of marine NIS and to study those present. PMID:24899770

  20. Genetic characterization of a novel picornavirus distantly related to the marine mammal-infecting aquamaviruses in a long-distance migrant bird species, European roller (Coracias garrulus)

    PubMed Central

    Boros, Ákos; Kiss, Tamás; Kiss, Orsolya; Pankovics, Péter; Kapusinszky, Beatrix; Delwart, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Despite the continuously growing number of known avian picornaviruses (family Picornaviridae), knowledge of their genetic diversity in wild birds, especially in long-distance migrant species is very limited. In this study, we report the presence of a novel picornavirus identified from one of 18 analysed faecal samples of an Afro-Palearctic migrant bird, the European roller (Coracias garrulus L., 1758), which is distantly related to the marine-mammal-infecting seal aquamavirus A1 (genus Aquamavirus). The phylogenetic analyses and the low sequence identity (P1 26.3 %, P2 25.8 % and P3 28.4 %) suggest that this picornavirus could be the founding member of a novel picornavirus genus that we have provisionally named ‘Kunsagivirus’, with ‘Greplavirus A’ (strain roller/SZAL6-KuV/2011/HUN, GenBank accession no. KC935379) as the candidate type species. PMID:23804566

  1. Histopathological indices in sole (Solea solea) and hake (Merluccius merluccius) for implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive along the Basque continental shelf (SE Bay of Biscay).

    PubMed

    Cuevas, Nagore; Zorita, Izaskun; Costa, Pedro M; Quincoces, Iñaki; Larreta, Joana; Franco, Javier

    2015-05-15

    Sole and hake, together with sediments, were collected during two campaigns along the Basque continental shelf to study the utility of two existing histopathological indices for assessing the biological effects of contaminants to implement the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Hepatic and gonadal histopathology were measured, and metal and/or organic contaminants were determined in both liver and sediments. Sediments from the Basque continental shelf were found to be moderately impacted by metals but non-impacted by organic compounds. Metal bioaccumulation and histopathological lesions in liver were higher in sole than in hake, although non-specific and early non-neoplastic toxicopathic lesions were observed in both species. No gross alterations were recorded in gonad. The two histopathological indices applied were highly correlated in both organs but the lack of correlation between sediment contamination levels, bioaccumulation and histopathological indices suggests that other factors, rather than pollution alone, are responsible for the biological effects observed.

  2. Monitoring the impact of litter in large vertebrates in the Mediterranean Sea within the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD): constraints, specificities and recommendations.

    PubMed

    Galgani, F; Claro, F; Depledge, M; Fossi, C

    2014-09-01

    In its decision (2010/477/EU) relating to the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD, 2008/56/EC), the European Commission identified the following points as focuses for monitoring: (i) 10.1.1: Trends in the amount, source and composition of litter washed ashore and/or deposited on coastlines, (ii) 10.1.2: Trends in the amount and composition of litter in the water column and accumulation on the sea floor, (iii) 10.1.3: Trends in the amount, distribution and composition of micro-particles (mainly microplastics), and (iv) 10.2.1: Trends in the amount and composition of litter ingested by marine animals. Monitoring the impacts of litter will be considered further in 2014. At that time, the strategy will be discussed in the context of the Mediterranean Sea, providing information on constraints, protocols, existing harm and research needed to support monitoring efforts. The definition of targets and acceptable levels of harm must take all factors into account, whether entanglement, ingestion, the transport and release of pollutants, the transport of alien species and socio-economic impacts. It must also reflect on the practical deployment of "ingestion" measures (10.2.1). The analysis of existing data will reveal the potential and suitability of some higher trophic level organisms (fish, turtles, birds and mammals) for monitoring the adverse effects of litter. Sea turtles appear to be useful indicator species, but the definition of an ecological quality objective is still needed, as well as research on alternative potential indicator species.

  3. Essential biodiversity variables

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pereira, H.M.; Ferrier, S.; Walters, M.; Geller, G.N.; Jongman, R.H.G.; Scholes, R.J.; Bruford, M.W.; Brummitt, N.; Butchart, S.H.M.; Cardoso, A.C.; Coops, N.C.; Dulloo, E.; Faith, D.P.; Freyhof, J.; Gregory, R.D.; Heip, C.; Höft, R.; Hurtt, G.; Jetz, W.; Karp, D.S.; McGeoch, M.A.; Obura, D.; Onada, Y.; Pettorelli, N.; Reyers, B.; Sayre, R.; Scharlemann, J.P.W.; Stuart, S.N.; Turak, E.; Walpole, M.; Wegmann, M.

    2013-01-01

    Reducing the rate of biodiversity loss and averting dangerous biodiversity change are international goals, reasserted by the Aichi Targets for 2020 by Parties to the United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) after failure to meet the 2010 target (1, 2). However, there is no global, harmonized observation system for delivering regular, timely data on biodiversity change (3). With the first plenary meeting of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) soon under way, partners from the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) (4) are developing—and seeking consensus around—Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) that could form the basis of monitoring programs worldwide.

  4. Migratory behavior, metabolism, oxidative stress and mercury concentrations in marine and estuarine European glass eels (Anguilla anguilla).

    PubMed

    Bolliet, Valérie; Claveau, Julie; Jarry, Marc; Gonzalez, Patrice; Baudrimont, Magalie; Monperrus, Mathilde

    2017-02-01

    The relationships between the migratory behavior, methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations, oxidative stress response and detoxification processes were investigated in glass eels collected in marine (Molliets) and estuarine (Urt) waters (Adour estuary, South West France) at the end of the fishing season (April). Glass eel migratory behavior was investigated in an experimental flume according to their response to dusk. Fish responding to the decrease in light intensity by ascending in the water column and moving with or against the flow were considered as having a high propensity to migrate (migrant). Glass eels still sheltering at the end of the 24h catching period were considered as having a low propensity to migrate and were called non-migrant. Our results provide some evidence that estuarine glass eels were bigger, presented a higher propensity to migrate and a lower oxidative stress response than marine glass eels. This might reflect a selection process, some marine glass eels progressively settling or dying before reaching Urt and/or a change in feeding behavior. In April, glass eels restart feeding in the Adour estuary which might decrease the oxidative stress possibly related to starvation, and enhance migration. MeHg concentrations was significantly higher in non-migrant than in migrant glass eels and it is suggested that non-migrant glass eels might present a higher vulnerability to stress (at least contamination and/or starvation), although the underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated.

  5. 78 FR 77433 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-12-23

    ... Structure Monitoring, Intertidal Biodiversity Surveys, Marine Protected Area Baseline Monitoring, Intertidal... application (see ADDRESSES). Biodiversity Surveys, which are part of a long-term monitoring project and are... measurements. Table 2 in PISCO's application (see ADDRESSES) lists established biodiversity sites in Oregon...

  6. 77 FR 64320 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-10-19

    ... monitoring projects include Community Structure Monitoring, Intertidal Biodiversity Surveys, Marine Protected... Table 1 in PISCO's application (see ADDRESSES). Biodiversity Surveys, which are part of a long-term... biodiversity sites in Oregon and California. In September 2007, the state of California began establishing...

  7. 77 FR 72327 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-05

    ... Biodiversity Surveys, Marine Protected Area Baseline Monitoring, Intertidal Recruitment Monitoring, and Ocean... each site are presented in Table 1 in PISCO's application (see ADDRESSES). Biodiversity Surveys, which... ADDRESSES) lists established biodiversity sites in Oregon and California. In September 2007, the state...

  8. SeaDataNet - Pan-European infrastructure for marine and ocean data management: Unified access to distributed data sets (www.seadatanet.org)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaap, Dick M. A.; Maudire, Gilbert

    2010-05-01

    SeaDataNet is a leading infrastructure in Europe for marine & ocean data management. It is actively operating and further developing a Pan-European infrastructure for managing, indexing and providing access to ocean and marine data sets and data products, acquired via research cruises and other observational activities, in situ and remote sensing. The basis of SeaDataNet is interconnecting 40 National Oceanographic Data Centres and Marine Data Centers from 35 countries around European seas into a distributed network of data resources with common standards for metadata, vocabularies, data transport formats, quality control methods and flags, and access. Thereby most of the NODC's operate and/or are developing national networks to other institutes in their countries to ensure national coverage and long-term stewardship of available data sets. The majority of data managed by SeaDataNet partners concerns physical oceanography, marine chemistry, hydrography, and a substantial volume of marine biology and geology and geophysics. These are partly owned by the partner institutes themselves and for a major part also owned by other organizations from their countries. The SeaDataNet infrastructure is implemented with support of the EU via the EU FP6 SeaDataNet project to provide the Pan-European data management system adapted both to the fragmented observation system and the users need for an integrated access to data, meta-data, products and services. The SeaDataNet project has a duration of 5 years and started in 2006, but builds upon earlier data management infrastructure projects, undertaken over a period of 20 years by an expanding network of oceanographic data centres from the countries around all European seas. Its predecessor project Sea-Search had a strict focus on metadata. SeaDataNet maintains significant interest in the further development of the metadata infrastructure, extending its services with the provision of easy data access and generic data products

  9. Can we detect oceanic biodiversity hotspots from space?

    PubMed

    De Monte, Silvia; Soccodato, Alice; Alvain, Séverine; d'Ovidio, Francesco

    2013-10-01

    Understanding the variability of marine biodiversity is a central issue in microbiology. Current observational programs are based on in situ studies, but their implementation at the global scale is particularly challenging, owing to the ocean extent, its temporal variability and the heterogeneity of the data sources on which compilations are built. Here, we explore the possibility of identifying phytoplanktonic biodiversity hotspots from satellite. We define a Shannon entropy index based on patchiness in ocean color bio-optical anomalies. This index provides a high resolution (1 degree) global coverage. It shows a relation to temperature and mid-latitude maxima in accordance with those previously evidenced in microbiological biodiversity model and observational studies. Regional maxima are in remarkable agreement with several known biodiversity hotspots for plankton organisms and even for higher levels of the marine trophic chain, as well as with some in situ planktonic biodiversity estimates (from Atlantic Meridional Transect cruise). These results encourage to explore marine biodiversity with a coordinated effort of the molecular, ecological and remote sensing communities.

  10. Protection of Marine Mammals.

    PubMed

    Knoll, Michaela; Ciaccia, Ettore; Dekeling, René; Kvadsheim, Petter; Liddell, Kate; Gunnarsson, Stig-Lennart; Ludwig, Stefan; Nissen, Ivor; Lorenzen, Dirk; Kreimeyer, Roman; Pavan, Gianni; Meneghetti, Nello; Nordlund, Nina; Benders, Frank; van der Zwan, Timo; van Zon, Tim; Fraser, Leanne; Johansson, Torbjörn; Garmelius, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Within the European Defense Agency (EDA), the Protection of Marine Mammals (PoMM) project, a comprehensive common marine mammal database essential for risk mitigation tools, was established. The database, built on an extensive dataset collection with the focus on areas of operational interest for European navies, consists of annual and seasonal distribution and density maps, random and systematic sightings, an encyclopedia providing knowledge on the characteristics of 126 marine mammal species, data on marine mammal protection areas, and audio information including numerous examples of various vocalizations. Special investigations on marine mammal acoustics were carried out to improve the detection and classification capabilities.

  11. Biodiversity enhances reef fish biomass and resistance to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Duffy, J. Emmett; Lefcheck, Jonathan S.; Navarrete, Sergio A.; Edgar, Graham J.

    2016-01-01

    Fishes are the most diverse group of vertebrates, play key functional roles in aquatic ecosystems, and provide protein for a billion people, especially in the developing world. Those functions are compromised by mounting pressures on marine biodiversity and ecosystems. Because of its economic and food value, fish biomass production provides an unusually direct link from biodiversity to critical ecosystem services. We used the Reef Life Survey’s global database of 4,556 standardized fish surveys to test the importance of biodiversity to fish production relative to 25 environmental drivers. Temperature, biodiversity, and human influence together explained 47% of the global variation in reef fish biomass among sites. Fish species richness and functional diversity were among the strongest predictors of fish biomass, particularly for the large-bodied species and carnivores preferred by fishers, and these biodiversity effects were robust to potentially confounding influences of sample abundance, scale, and environmental correlations. Warmer temperatures increased biomass directly, presumably by raising metabolism, and indirectly by increasing diversity, whereas temperature variability reduced biomass. Importantly, diversity and climate interact, with biomass of diverse communities less affected by rising and variable temperatures than species-poor communities. Biodiversity thus buffers global fish biomass from climate change, and conservation of marine biodiversity can stabilize fish production in a changing ocean. PMID:27185921

  12. Biodiversity enhances reef fish biomass and resistance to climate change.

    PubMed

    Duffy, J Emmett; Lefcheck, Jonathan S; Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Navarrete, Sergio A; Edgar, Graham J

    2016-05-31

    Fishes are the most diverse group of vertebrates, play key functional roles in aquatic ecosystems, and provide protein for a billion people, especially in the developing world. Those functions are compromised by mounting pressures on marine biodiversity and ecosystems. Because of its economic and food value, fish biomass production provides an unusually direct link from biodiversity to critical ecosystem services. We used the Reef Life Survey's global database of 4,556 standardized fish surveys to test the importance of biodiversity to fish production relative to 25 environmental drivers. Temperature, biodiversity, and human influence together explained 47% of the global variation in reef fish biomass among sites. Fish species richness and functional diversity were among the strongest predictors of fish biomass, particularly for the large-bodied species and carnivores preferred by fishers, and these biodiversity effects were robust to potentially confounding influences of sample abundance, scale, and environmental correlations. Warmer temperatures increased biomass directly, presumably by raising metabolism, and indirectly by increasing diversity, whereas temperature variability reduced biomass. Importantly, diversity and climate interact, with biomass of diverse communities less affected by rising and variable temperatures than species-poor communities. Biodiversity thus buffers global fish biomass from climate change, and conservation of marine biodiversity can stabilize fish production in a changing ocean.

  13. Marine biogeographic boundaries and human introduction along the European coast revealed by phylogeography of the prawn Palaemon elegans.

    PubMed

    Reuschel, Silke; Cuesta, José A; Schubart, Christoph D

    2010-06-01

    A phylogeographic analysis is carried out for the widely distributed European littoral prawn Palaemon elegans in order to test for potential genetic differentiation and geographic structure. Mitochondrial sequences were obtained from 283 specimens from the northeastern Atlantic, the Baltic, Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Seas. Our study revealed a surprisingly complex population structure. Three main haplogroups can be separated: one from the Atlantic (Type I) and two from the Mediterranean (Types II and III). While the Mediterranean types occur in sympatry, a clear phylogeographic break was observed along the Almería-Oran Front separating Type I and giving evidence for a genetic isolation of Atlantic and Mediterranean populations. Type III represents the most distinct haplogroup with high levels of nucleotide divergence, indicating the occurrence of a cryptic species with a Messinian origin. The colonization of the southeastern Baltic Sea is most likely due to human introduction.

  14. Comparative ontogenetic development of two marine teleosts, gilthead seabream and European sea bass: New insights into nutrition and immunity.

    PubMed

    Cordero, Héctor; Guzmán-Villanueva, Laura T; Chaves-Pozo, Elena; Arizcun, Marta; Ascencio-Valle, Felipe; Cuesta, Alberto; Esteban, María A

    2016-12-01

    Gilthead seabream and European sea bass are two of the most commonly farmed fish species. Larval development is critical to ensure high survival rates and thus avoid unacceptable economic losses, while nutrition and immunity are also important factors. For this reason this paper evaluates the ontogenetic development of seabream and sea bass digestive and immune systems from eggs to 73 days post-fertilisation (dpf) by assessing the expression levels of some nutrition-relevant (tryp, amya, alp and pept1) and immune-relevant (il1b, il6, il8, tnfa, cox2, casp1, tf, nccrp1, ighm and ight) genes. The results point to similar ontogenetic development trends for both species as regard nutrition and differences in some immunity related genes.

  15. Coral reef resilience through biodiversity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rogers, Caroline S.

    2013-01-01

    Irrefutable evidence of coral reef degradation worldwide and increasing pressure from rising seawater temperatures and ocean acidification associated with climate change have led to a focus on reef resilience and a call to “manage” coral reefs for resilience. Ideally, global action to reduce emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will be accompanied by local action. Effective management requires reduction of local stressors, identification of the characteristics of resilient reefs, and design of marine protected area networks that include potentially resilient reefs. Future research is needed on how stressors interact, on how climate change will affect corals, fish, and other reef organisms as well as overall biodiversity, and on basic ecological processes such as connectivity. Not all reef species and reefs will respond similarly to local and global stressors. Because reef-building corals and other organisms have some potential to adapt to environmental changes, coral reefs will likely persist in spite of the unprecedented combination of stressors currently affecting them. The biodiversity of coral reefs is the basis for their remarkable beauty and for the benefits they provide to society. The extraordinary complexity of these ecosystems makes it both more difficult to predict their future and more likely they will have a future.

  16. Biodiversity of cryopegs in permafrost.

    PubMed

    Gilichinsky, David; Rivkina, Elizaveta; Bakermans, Corien; Shcherbakova, Viktoria; Petrovskaya, Lada; Ozerskaya, Svetlana; Ivanushkina, Natalia; Kochkina, Galina; Laurinavichuis, Kyastus; Pecheritsina, Svetlana; Fattakhova, Rushania; Tiedje, James M

    2005-06-01

    This study describes the biodiversity of the indigenous microbial community in the sodium-chloride water brines (cryopegs) derived from ancient marine sediments and sandwiched within permafrost 100-120,000 years ago after the Arctic Ocean regression. Cryopegs remain liquid at the in situ temperature of -9 to -11 degrees C and make up the only habitat on the Earth that is characterized by permanently subzero temperatures, high salinity, and the absence of external influence during geological time. From these cryopegs, anaerobic and aerobic, spore-less and spore-forming, halotolerant and halophilic, psychrophilic and psychrotrophic bacteria, mycelial fungi and yeast were isolated and their activity was detected below 0 degrees C.

  17. Master of all trades: thermal acclimation and adaptation of cardiac function in a broadly distributed marine invasive species, the European green crab, Carcinus maenas.

    PubMed

    Tepolt, Carolyn K; Somero, George N

    2014-04-01

    As global warming accelerates, there is increasing concern about how ecosystems may change as a result of species loss and replacement. Here, we examined the thermal physiology of the European green crab (Carcinus maenas Linnaeus 1758), a globally invasive species, along three parallel thermal gradients in its native and invasive ranges. At each site, we assessed cardiac physiology to determine heat and cold tolerance and acclimatory plasticity. We found that, overall, the species is highly tolerant of both heat and cold, and that it survives higher temperatures than co-occurring native marine crustaceans. Further, we found that both heat and cold tolerance are plastic in response to short-term acclimation (18-31 days at either 5 or 25°C). Comparing patterns within ranges, we found latitudinal gradients in thermal tolerance in the native European range and in the invasive range in eastern North America. This pattern is strongest in the native range, and likely evolved there. Because of a complicated invasion history, the latitudinal pattern in the eastern North American invasive range may be due either to rapid adaptation post-invasion or to adaptive differences between the ancestral populations that founded the invasion. Overall, the broad thermal tolerance ranges of green crabs, which may facilitate invasion of novel habitats, derive from high inherent eurythermality and acclimatory plasticity and potentially adaptive differentiation among populations. The highly flexible physiology that results from these capacities may represent the hallmark of a successful invasive species, and may provide a model for success in a changing world.

  18. Anthropic Risk Assessment on Biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piragnolo, M.; Pirotti, F.; Vettore, A.; Salogni, G.

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents a methodology for risk assessment of anthropic activities on habitats and species. The method has been developed for Veneto Region, in order to simplify and improve the quality of EIA procedure (VINCA). Habitats and species, animals and plants, are protected by European Directive 92/43/EEC and 2009/147/EC but they are subject at hazard due to pollution produced by human activities. Biodiversity risks may conduct to deterioration and disturbance in ecological niches, with consequence of loss of biodiversity. Ecological risk assessment applied on Natura 2000 network, is needed to best practice of management and monitoring of environment and natural resources. Threats, pressure and activities, stress and indicators may be managed by geodatabase and analysed using GIS technology. The method used is the classic risk assessment in ecological context, and it defines the natural hazard as influence, element of risk as interference and vulnerability. Also it defines a new parameter called pressure. It uses risk matrix for the risk analysis on spatial and temporal scale. The methodology is qualitative and applies the precautionary principle in environmental assessment. The final product is a matrix which excludes the risk and could find application in the development of a territorial information system.

  19. Origins of Biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Benton, Michael J

    2016-11-01

    Biodiversity today is huge, and it has a long history. Identifying rules for the heterogeneity of modern biodiversity-the high to low species richness of different clades-has been hard. There are measurable biodiversity differences between land and sea and between the tropics and temperate-polar regions. Some analyses suggest that the net age of a clade can determine its extinction risk, but this is equivocal. New work shows that, through geological time, clades pass through different diversification regimes, and those regimes constrain the balance of tree size and the nature of branching events.

  20. Overview on the European green crab Carcinus spp. (Portunidae, Decapoda), one of the most famous marine invaders and ecotoxicological models.

    PubMed

    Leignel, V; Stillman, J H; Baringou, S; Thabet, R; Metais, I

    2014-01-01

    Green crabs (Carcinus, Portunidae) include two species native to Europe--Carcinus aestuarii (Mediterranean species) and Carcinus maenas (Atlantic species). These small shore crabs (maximal length carapace, approximately 10 cm) show rapid growth, high fecundity, and long planktonic larval stages that facilitate broad dispersion. Carcinus spp. have a high tolerance to fluctuations of environmental factors including oxygen, salinity, temperature, xenobiotic compounds, and others. Shipping of Carcinus spp. over the past centuries has resulted in its invasions of America, Asia, and Australia. Classified as one of the world's 100 worst invaders by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Carcinus spp. are the most widely distributed intertidal crabs in the world. Their voracious predatory activity makes them strong interactors in local communities, and they are recognized as a model for invasiveness in marine systems as well as a sentinel species in ecotoxicology. This review shows an exhaustive analysis of the literature on the life cycle, diversity, physiological tolerance, genomic investigations, ecotoxicological use, historical invasion, control programs, and putative economical valorization of shore crabs.

  1. Utilizing NASA EOS, European Remote Sensing Satellites (ERS-1 & 2), and ENVISAT (Environmental Satellite) to Create a Methodology for Monitoring Marine Debris Dispersal to Coastal Areas by Examining the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reahard, R. R.; Albin, A.; Barrett, S.; Brooks, C.; Lee, L.; Mallett, C.; Pezold, B.

    2011-12-01

    The goal of this project is to apply satellite data to model surface circulation in the Gulf of Mexico as a means to aid in the monitoring of marine debris dispersal and the regulation of marine debris practices. Marine debris is a persistent problem for coastal areas throughout the world. In the Gulf of Mexico, the Loop Current flows north through the Yucatan Channel, loops east, then south, exiting through the Florida Straits. Clockwise-rotating areas of warm water, known as eddies, periodically separate from the Loop Current. These eddies have the potential to trap and transport debris onto shores, such as the Padre Island National Seashore. The latter is a 68 mile long barrier island beach in southeastern Texas, and is the longest undeveloped beach in the world. This naturally formed beach can accumulate up to one ton of marine debris per linear mile. This project used sea surface height and height anomaly data based on NASA RADAR altimeter satellites TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason 1, and Jason 2; as well as European RADAR altimeters onboard ERS-1, ERS-2 (European Remote Sensing Satellite), and ENVISAT (Environmental Satellite). This project also employed MODIS sea surface temperature (SST) data to aid in monitoring and visualizing the Loop Current. The sea surface height and height anomaly data were processed to calculate geostrophic flow velocities and predict particle paths. This research provided NOAA's Marine Debris Program and the Padre Island National Seashore with a better understanding of how the Loop Current and surface circulation patterns disperse marine debris to the region. A methodology to monitor Gulf of Mexico surface circulation and predict particle paths by using RADAR altimeter data were provided to partnering agencies. The project provided maps of debris trajectories and geostrophic currents that demonstrate the usefulness of satellite altimetry data to monitor oceanographic processes which in turn affect the distribution of marine debris.

  2. Techno-economic assessment of biofuel development by anaerobic digestion of European marine cold-water seaweeds.

    PubMed

    Dave, Ashok; Huang, Ye; Rezvani, Sina; McIlveen-Wright, David; Novaes, Marcio; Hewitt, Neil

    2013-05-01

    The techno-economic characteristics of macro-algae utilisation from European temperate zones was evaluated in a selected Anaerobic Digester (AD) using the chemical process modelling software ECLIPSE. The assessment covered the mass and energy balance of the entire process followed by the economic feasibility study, which included the total cost estimation, net present value calculation, and sensitivity analysis. The selected plant size corresponded to a community based AD of 1.6 MWth with a macro-algae feed rate of 8.64 tonnes per day (dry basis). The produced biogas was utilised in a combined heat and power plant generating 237 kWenet electricity and 367 kWth heat. The breakeven electricity-selling price in this study was estimated at around €120/MWh. On the ground of different national and regional policies, this study did not account for any government incentives. However, different support mechanisms such as Feed-in-Tariffs or Renewable Obligation Certificates can significantly improve the project viability.

  3. Utility terrestrial biodiversity issues

    SciTech Connect

    Breece, G.A.; Ward, B.J.

    1996-11-01

    Results from a survey of power utility biologists indicate that terrestrial biodiversity is considered a major issued by only a few utilities; however, a majority believe it may be a future issue. Over half of the respondents indicated that their company is involved in some management for biodiversity, and nearly all feel that it should be a goal for resource management. Only a few utilities are funding biodiversity research, but a majority felt more research was needed. Generally, larger utilities with extensive land holdings had greater opportunities and resources for biodiversity management. Biodiversity will most likely be a concern with transmission rights-of-way construction and maintenance, endangered species issues and general land resource management, including mining reclamation and hydro relicensing commitments. Over half of the companies surveyed have established voluntary partnerships with management groups, and biodiversity is a goal in nearly all the joint projects. Endangered species management and protection, prevention of forest fragmentation, wetland protection, and habitat creation and protection are the most common partnerships involving utility companies. Common management practices and unique approaches are presented, along with details of the survey. 4 refs.

  4. Validating a multi-biomarker approach with the shanny Lipophrys pholis to monitor oil spills in European marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Santos, M M; Solé, M; Lima, D; Hambach, B; Ferreira, A M; Reis-Henriques, M A

    2010-10-01

    incorporated into risk assessment of PAHs in the scope of national monitoring programs and the European Water Policy legislation.

  5. Temperature Impacts on Deep-Sea Biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yasuhara, M.; Danovaro, R.

    2015-12-01

    Temperature is considered to be a fundamental factor controlling biodiversity in marine ecosystems, but precisely what role temperature plays in modulating diversity is still not clear. The deep ocean, lacking light and in situ photosynthetic primary production, is an ideal model system to test the effects of temperature changes on biodiversity. Here we synthesize current knowledge on temperature-diversity relationships in the deep sea. Our results from both present and past deep-sea assemblages suggest that, when a wide range of deep-sea bottom-water temperatures is considered, a unimodal relationship exists between temperature and diversity (that may be right skewed). It is possible that temperature is important only when at relatively high and low levels but does not play a major role in the intermediate temperature range. Possible mechanisms explaining the temperature-biodiversity relationship include the physiological-tolerance hypothesis, the metabolic hypothesis, island biogeography theory, or some combination of these. The possible unimodal relationship discussed here may allow us to identify tipping points at which on-going global change and deep-water warming may increase or decrease deep-sea biodiversity. Predicted changes in deep-sea temperatures due to human-induced climate change may have more adverse consequences than expected considering the sensitivity of deep-sea ecosystems to temperature changes.

  6. Temperature impacts on deep-sea biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Yasuhara, Moriaki; Danovaro, Roberto

    2016-05-01

    Temperature is considered to be a fundamental factor controlling biodiversity in marine ecosystems, but precisely what role temperature plays in modulating diversity is still not clear. The deep ocean, lacking light and in situ photosynthetic primary production, is an ideal model system to test the effects of temperature changes on biodiversity. Here we synthesize current knowledge on temperature-diversity relationships in the deep sea. Our results from both present and past deep-sea assemblages suggest that, when a wide range of deep-sea bottom-water temperatures is considered, a unimodal relationship exists between temperature and diversity (that may be right skewed). It is possible that temperature is important only when at relatively high and low levels but does not play a major role in the intermediate temperature range. Possible mechanisms explaining the temperature-biodiversity relationship include the physiological-tolerance hypothesis, the metabolic hypothesis, island biogeography theory, or some combination of these. The possible unimodal relationship discussed here may allow us to identify tipping points at which on-going global change and deep-water warming may increase or decrease deep-sea biodiversity. Predicted changes in deep-sea temperatures due to human-induced climate change may have more adverse consequences than expected considering the sensitivity of deep-sea ecosystems to temperature changes.

  7. Comparative brain architecture of the European shore crab Carcinus maenas (Brachyura) and the common hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus (Anomura) with notes on other marine hermit crabs.

    PubMed

    Krieger, Jakob; Sombke, Andy; Seefluth, Florian; Kenning, Matthes; Hansson, Bill S; Harzsch, Steffen

    2012-04-01

    The European shore crab Carcinus maenas and the common hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus are members of the sister taxa Brachyura and Anomura (together forming the taxon Meiura) respectively. Both species share similar coastal marine habitats and thus are confronted with similar environmental conditions. This study sets out to explore variations of general brain architecture of species that live in seemingly similar habitats but belong to different major malacostracan taxa and to understand possible differences of sensory systems and related brain compartments. We examined the brains of Carcinus maenas, Pagurus bernhardus, and three other hermit crab species with immunohistochemistry against tyrosinated tubulin, f-actin, synaptic proteins, RF-amides and allatostatin. Our comparison showed that their optic neuropils within the eyestalks display strong resemblance in gross morphology as well as in detailed organization, suggesting a rather similar potential of processing visual input. Besides the well-developed visual system, the olfactory neuropils are distinct components in the brain of both C. maenas and P. bernhardus as well as the other hermit crabs, suggesting that close integration of olfactory and visual information may be useful in turbid marine environments with low visibility, as is typical for many habitats such as, e.g., the Baltic and the North Sea. Comparing the shape of the olfactory glomeruli in the anomurans showed some variations, ranging from a wedge shape to an elongate morphology. Furthermore, the tritocerebrum and the organization of the second antennae associated with the tritocerebrum seem to differ markedly in C. maenas and P. bernhardus, indicating better mechanosensory abilities in the latter close to those of other Decapoda with long second antennae, such as Astacida, Homarida, or Achelata. This aspect may also represent an adaptation to the "hermit lifestyle" in which competition for shells is a major aspect of their life history. The shore

  8. European information on climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jol, A.; Isoard, S.

    2010-09-01

    Vulnerability to natural and technological disasters is increasing due to a combination of intensifying land use, increasing industrial development, further urban expansion and expanding infrastructure and also climate change. At EU level the European Commission's White Paper on adaptation to climate change (published in 2009) highlights that adaptation actions should be focused on the most vulnerable areas and communities in Europe (e.g. mountains, coastal areas, river flood prone areas, Mediterranean, Arctic). Mainstreaming of climate change into existing EU policies will be a key policy, including within the Water Framework Directive, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Nature protection and biodiversity policies, integrated coastal zone management, other (sectoral) policies (agriculture, forestry, energy, transport, health) and disaster risk prevention. 2010 is the international year on biodiversity and the Conference of Parties of the biodiversity convention will meet in autumn 2010 (Japan) to discuss amongst other post-2010 strategies, objectives and indicators. Both within the Biodiversity Convention (CBD) and the Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) there is increasing recognition of the need for integration of biodiversity conservation into climate change mitigation and adaptation activities. Furthermore a number of European countries and also some regions have started to prepare and/or have adopted national adaptation plans or frameworks. Sharing of good practices on climate change vulnerability methods and adaptation actions is so far limited, but is essential to improve such plans, at national, sub national and local level where much of the adaptation action is already taking place and will be expanding in future, also involving increasingly the business community. The EU Clearinghouse on CC impacts, vulnerability and adaptation should address these needs and it is planned to be operational end of 2011. The EEA is expected to have a role in its

  9. Loss of native rocky reef biodiversity in Australian metropolitan embayments.

    PubMed

    Stuart-Smith, Rick D; Edgar, Graham J; Stuart-Smith, Jemina F; Barrett, Neville S; Fowles, Amelia E; Hill, Nicole A; Cooper, Antonia T; Myers, Andrew P; Oh, Elizabeth S; Pocklington, Jacqui B; Thomson, Russell J

    2015-06-15

    Urbanisation of the coastal zone represents a key threat to marine biodiversity, including rocky reef communities which often possess disproportionate ecological, recreational and commercial importance. The nature and magnitude of local urban impacts on reef biodiversity near three Australian capital cities were quantified using visual census methods. The most impacted reefs in urbanised embayments were consistently characterised by smaller, faster growing species, reduced fish biomass and richness, and reduced mobile invertebrate abundance and richness. Reef faunal distribution varied significantly with heavy metals, local population density, and proximity to city ports, while native fish and invertebrate communities were most depauperate in locations where invasive species were abundant. Our study adds impetus for improved urban planning and pollution management practises, while also highlighting the potential for skilled volunteers to improve the tracking of changes in marine biodiversity values and the effectiveness of management intervention.

  10. LifeWatchGreece Portal development: architecture, implementation and challenges for a biodiversity research e-infrastructure

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background Biodiversity data is characterized by its cross-disciplinary character, the extremely broad range of data types and structures, and the plethora of different data sources providing resources for the same piece of information in a heterogeneous way. Since the web inception two decades ago, there are multiple initiatives to connect, aggregate, share, and publish biodiversity data, and to establish data and work flows in order to analyze them. The European program LifeWatch aims at establishing a distributed network of nodes implementing virtual research environment in Europe to facilitate the work of biodiversity researchers and managers. LifeWatchGreece is one of these nodes where a portal was developed offering access to a suite of virtual laboratories and e-services. New information Despite its strict definition in information technology, in practice "portal" is a fairly broad term that embraces many web architectures. In the biodiversity domain, the term "portal" is usually used to indicate either a web site that provides access to a single or an aggregation of data repositories (like: http://indiabiodiversity.org/, http://www.mountainbiodiversity.org/, http://data.freshwaterbiodiversity.eu), a web site that gathers information about various online biodiversity tools (like http://test-eubon.ebd.csic.es/, http://marine.lifewatch.eu/) or a web site that just gathers information and news about the biodiversity domain (like http://chm.moew.government.bg). LifeWatchGreece's portal takes the concept of a portal a step further. In strict IT terms, LifeWatchGreece's portal is partly a portal, partly a platform and partly an aggregator. It includes a number of biodiversity-related web tools integrated into a centrally-controlled software ecosystem. This ecosystem includes subsystems for access control, traffic monitoring, user notifications and web tool management. These subsystems are shared to all the web tools that have been integrated to the portal

  11. Climate constrains the evolutionary history and biodiversity of crocodylians

    PubMed Central

    Mannion, Philip D.; Benson, Roger B. J.; Carrano, Matthew T.; Tennant, Jonathan P.; Judd, Jack; Butler, Richard J.

    2015-01-01

    The fossil record of crocodylians and their relatives (pseudosuchians) reveals a rich evolutionary history, prompting questions about causes of long-term decline to their present-day low biodiversity. We analyse climatic drivers of subsampled pseudosuchian biodiversity over their 250 million year history, using a comprehensive new data set. Biodiversity and environmental changes correlate strongly, with long-term decline of terrestrial taxa driven by decreasing temperatures in northern temperate regions, and biodiversity decreases at lower latitudes matching patterns of increasing aridification. However, there is no relationship between temperature and biodiversity for marine pseudosuchians, with sea-level change and post-extinction opportunism demonstrated to be more important drivers. A ‘modern-type' latitudinal biodiversity gradient might have existed throughout pseudosuchian history, and range expansion towards the poles occurred during warm intervals. Although their fossil record suggests that current global warming might promote long-term increases in crocodylian biodiversity and geographic range, the 'balancing forces' of anthropogenic environmental degradation complicate future predictions. PMID:26399170

  12. Climate constrains the evolutionary history and biodiversity of crocodylians.

    PubMed

    Mannion, Philip D; Benson, Roger B J; Carrano, Matthew T; Tennant, Jonathan P; Judd, Jack; Butler, Richard J

    2015-09-24

    The fossil record of crocodylians and their relatives (pseudosuchians) reveals a rich evolutionary history, prompting questions about causes of long-term decline to their present-day low biodiversity. We analyse climatic drivers of subsampled pseudosuchian biodiversity over their 250 million year history, using a comprehensive new data set. Biodiversity and environmental changes correlate strongly, with long-term decline of terrestrial taxa driven by decreasing temperatures in northern temperate regions, and biodiversity decreases at lower latitudes matching patterns of increasing aridification. However, there is no relationship between temperature and biodiversity for marine pseudosuchians, with sea-level change and post-extinction opportunism demonstrated to be more important drivers. A 'modern-type' latitudinal biodiversity gradient might have existed throughout pseudosuchian history, and range expansion towards the poles occurred during warm intervals. Although their fossil record suggests that current global warming might promote long-term increases in crocodylian biodiversity and geographic range, the 'balancing forces' of anthropogenic environmental degradation complicate future predictions.

  13. Origins of Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Benton, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity today is huge, and it has a long history. Identifying rules for the heterogeneity of modern biodiversity—the high to low species richness of different clades—has been hard. There are measurable biodiversity differences between land and sea and between the tropics and temperate-polar regions. Some analyses suggest that the net age of a clade can determine its extinction risk, but this is equivocal. New work shows that, through geological time, clades pass through different diversification regimes, and those regimes constrain the balance of tree size and the nature of branching events. PMID:27806048

  14. Earth observation for habitat mapping and biodiversity monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang, Stefan; Mairota, Paola; Pernkopf, Lena; Schioppa, Emilio Padoa

    2015-05-01

    Biodiversity - the variety of life forms and our "natural capital and life-insurance" (European Commission, 2011) - is on decline (Isbell, 2010; Trochet and Schmeller, 2013), with consequences on ecosystem function and stability, and ultimately human well-being (Naeem et al., 2009). Since 1992, the International Convention on Biological Diversity, short CBD, has bundled the United Nations' joint effort to halt or at least lower the accelerated loss of biodiversity, but indeed it remains one of the key global challenges that requires a concerted, effective use of latest technology. As by the end of 2010 (the "International Year of Biodiversity") the global society became aware that the ambitious goal of "halting biodiversity" has not been reached, the importance of both observation and technology development became even more important.

  15. A freshwater biodiversity hotspot under pressure - assessing threats and identifying conservation needs for ancient Lake Ohrid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostoski, G.; Albrecht, C.; Trajanovski, S.; Wilke, T.

    2010-07-01

    Freshwater habitats and species living in freshwater are generally more prone to extinction than terrestrial or marine ones. Immediate conservation measures for world-wide freshwater resources are thus of eminent importance. This is particularly true for so called ancient lakes. While these lakes are famous for being evolutionary theatres, often displaying an extraordinarily high degree of biodiversity and endemism, in many cases these biota are also experiencing extreme anthropogenic impact. Lake Ohrid, the European biodiversity hotspot, is a prime example for a lake with a magnitude of narrow range endemic taxa that are under increasing anthropogenic pressure. Unfortunately, evidence for a "creeping biodiversity crisis" has accumulated over the last decades, and major socio-political changes have gone along with human-mediated environmental changes. Based on field surveys, monitoring data, published records, and expert interviews, we aimed to (1) assess threats to Lake Ohrids' (endemic) biodiversity, (2) summarize existing conservation activities and strategies, and (3) outline future conservation needs for Lake Ohrid. We compiled threats to both specific taxa (and in cases to particular species) as well as to the lake ecosystems itself. Major conservation concerns identified for Lake Ohrid are: (1) watershed impacts, (2) agriculture and forestry, (3) tourism and population growth, (4) non-indigenous species, (5) habitat alteration or loss, (6) unsustainable exploitation of fisheries, and (7) global climate change. Of the 11 IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) threat classes scored, seven have moderate and three severe impacts. These latter threat classes are energy production and mining, biological resource use, and pollution. We review and discuss institutional responsibilities, environmental monitoring and ecosystem management, existing parks and reserves, biodiversity and species measures, international conservation

  16. Antitumor Peptides from Marine Organisms

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Lan-Hong; Wang, Yue-Jun; Sheng, Jun; Wang, Fang; Zheng, Yuan; Lin, Xiu-Kun; Sun, Mi

    2011-01-01

    The biodiversity of the marine environment and the associated chemical diversity constitute a practically unlimited resource of new antitumor agents in the field of the development of marine bioactive substances. In this review, the progress on studies of antitumor peptides from marine sources is provided. The biological properties and mechanisms of action of different marine peptides are described; information about their molecular diversity is also presented. Novel peptides that induce apoptosis signal pathway, affect the tubulin-microtubule equilibrium and inhibit angiogenesis are presented in association with their pharmacological properties. It is intended to provide useful information for further research in the fields of marine antitumor peptides. PMID:22072999

  17. Antitumor peptides from marine organisms.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Lan-Hong; Wang, Yue-Jun; Sheng, Jun; Wang, Fang; Zheng, Yuan; Lin, Xiu-Kun; Sun, Mi

    2011-01-01

    The biodiversity of the marine environment and the associated chemical diversity constitute a practically unlimited resource of new antitumor agents in the field of the development of marine bioactive substances. In this review, the progress on studies of antitumor peptides from marine sources is provided. The biological properties and mechanisms of action of different marine peptides are described; information about their molecular diversity is also presented. Novel peptides that induce apoptosis signal pathway, affect the tubulin-microtubule equilibrium and inhibit angiogenesis are presented in association with their pharmacological properties. It is intended to provide useful information for further research in the fields of marine antitumor peptides.

  18. Biodiversity conservation and NEPA

    SciTech Connect

    Southerland, M.T. )

    1993-01-01

    The Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have recently developed new guidelines to facilitate the consideration of biodiversity in the preparation and review of environmental impact assessments. The purpose of these efforts is to facilitate the incorporation of biodiversity considerations into the ecological analyses of all federal agencies. Because federal decisions requiring environmental impact assessments under NEPA affect hundreds of millions of federal and non-federal lands and waters, improved consideration of the impacts of federal activities is essential to stemming the loss of biological diversity in the United States. The designation of ecosystems or habitats'' of concern is a useful first step identifying risks to biodiversity. After reviewing the status and trends of habitats within eight major regions of the US, the EPA guidelines identify habitats contributing to regional and global biodiversity such as remnant prairies, riparian habitats, and old-growth forests. This document also discusses how the impacts on habitats vary with the different activities of land conversion, timber harvesting, grazing, mining, and water management.

  19. Warfare in biodiversity hotspots.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Thor; Brooks, Thomas M; Da Fonseca, Gustavo A B; Hoffmann, Michael; Lamoreux, John F; Machlis, Gary; Mittermeier, Cristina G; Mittermeier, Russell A; Pilgrim, John D

    2009-06-01

    Conservation efforts are only as sustainable as the social and political context within which they take place. The weakening or collapse of sociopolitical frameworks during wartime can lead to habitat destruction and the erosion of conservation policies, but in some cases, may also confer ecological benefits through altered settlement patterns and reduced resource exploitation. Over 90% of the major armed conflicts between 1950 and 2000 occurred within countries containing biodiversity hotspots, and more than 80% took place directly within hotspot areas. Less than one-third of the 34 recognized hotspots escaped significant conflict during this period, and most suffered repeated episodes of violence. This pattern was remarkably consistent over these 5 decades. Evidence from the war-torn Eastern Afromontane hotspot suggests that biodiversity conservation is improved when international nongovernmental organizations support local protected area staff and remain engaged throughout the conflict. With biodiversity hotspots concentrated in politically volatile regions, the conservation community must maintain continuous involvement during periods of war, and biodiversity conservation should be incorporated into military, reconstruction, and humanitarian programs in the world's conflict zones.

  20. Evaluating biodiversity of mineral lands

    SciTech Connect

    Wade, G.L.; Tritton, L.M.

    1997-12-31

    Increasingly, lands intended for mining, or lands that have been mined and reclaimed, are being evaluated in terms of biological diversity (biodiversity). The concept of biodiversity includes die variety and number of living organisms, their organizations, and the environments that support them. This paper presents a framework for discussing and evaluating biodiversity and for constructing checklists for evaluating biodiversity before and after mining. This framework identifies some of the different types of biodiversity applicable to mineral lands, die ranges of scale at which they are applicable, and the social stakes and stakeholders relevant across scale and diversity types.

  1. Placing biodiversity in ecosystem models without getting lost in translation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Queirós, Ana M.; Bruggeman, Jorn; Stephens, Nicholas; Artioli, Yuri; Butenschön, Momme; Blackford, Jeremy C.; Widdicombe, Stephen; Allen, J. Icarus; Somerfield, Paul J.

    2015-04-01

    A key challenge to progressing our understanding of biodiversity's role in the sustenance of ecosystem function is the extrapolation of the results of two decades of dedicated empirical research to regional, global and future landscapes. Ecosystem models provide a platform for this progression, potentially offering a holistic view of ecosystems where, guided by the mechanistic understanding of processes and their connection to the environment and biota, large-scale questions can be investigated. While the benefits of depicting biodiversity in such models are widely recognized, its application is limited by difficulties in the transfer of knowledge from small process oriented ecology into macro-scale modelling. Here, we build on previous work, breaking down key challenges of that knowledge transfer into a tangible framework, highlighting successful strategies that both modelling and ecology communities have developed to better interact with one another. We use a benthic and a pelagic case-study to illustrate how aspects of the links between biodiversity and ecosystem process have been depicted in marine ecosystem models (ERSEM and MIRO), from data, to conceptualisation and model development. We hope that this framework may help future interactions between biodiversity researchers and model developers by highlighting concrete solutions to common problems, and in this way contribute to the advance of the mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in marine (and terrestrial) ecosystems.

  2. Understanding the Distribution of Marine Megafauna in the English Channel Region: Identifying Key Habitats for Conservation within the Busiest Seaway on Earth

    PubMed Central

    McClellan, Catherine M.; Brereton, Tom; Dell'Amico, Florence; Johns, David G.; Cucknell, Anna-C.; Patrick, Samantha C.; Penrose, Rod; Ridoux, Vincent; Solandt, Jean-Luc; Stephan, Eric; Votier, Stephen C.; Williams, Ruth; Godley, Brendan J.

    2014-01-01

    The temperate waters of the North-Eastern Atlantic have a long history of maritime resource richness and, as a result, the European Union is endeavouring to maintain regional productivity and biodiversity. At the intersection of these aims lies potential conflict, signalling the need for integrated, cross-border management approaches. This paper focuses on the marine megafauna of the region. This guild of consumers was formerly abundant, but is now depleted and protected under various national and international legislative structures. We present a meta-analysis of available megafauna datasets using presence-only distribution models to characterise suitable habitat and identify spatially-important regions within the English Channel and southern bight of the North Sea. The integration of studies from dedicated and opportunistic observer programmes in the United Kingdom and France provide a valuable perspective on the spatial and seasonal distribution of various taxonomic groups, including large pelagic fishes and sharks, marine mammals, seabirds and marine turtles. The Western English Channel emerged as a hotspot of biodiversity for megafauna, while species richness was low in the Eastern English Channel. Spatial conservation planning is complicated by the highly mobile nature of marine megafauna, however they are important components of the marine environment and understanding their distribution is a first crucial step toward their inclusion into marine ecosystem management. PMID:24586985

  3. Understanding the distribution of marine megafauna in the English channel region: identifying key habitats for conservation within the busiest seaway on earth.

    PubMed

    McClellan, Catherine M; Brereton, Tom; Dell'Amico, Florence; Johns, David G; Cucknell, Anna-C; Patrick, Samantha C; Penrose, Rod; Ridoux, Vincent; Solandt, Jean-Luc; Stephan, Eric; Votier, Stephen C; Williams, Ruth; Godley, Brendan J

    2014-01-01

    The temperate waters of the North-Eastern Atlantic have a long history of maritime resource richness and, as a result, the European Union is endeavouring to maintain regional productivity and biodiversity. At the intersection of these aims lies potential conflict, signalling the need for integrated, cross-border management approaches. This paper focuses on the marine megafauna of the region. This guild of consumers was formerly abundant, but is now depleted and protected under various national and international legislative structures. We present a meta-analysis of available megafauna datasets using presence-only distribution models to characterise suitable habitat and identify spatially-important regions within the English Channel and southern bight of the North Sea. The integration of studies from dedicated and opportunistic observer programmes in the United Kingdom and France provide a valuable perspective on the spatial and seasonal distribution of various taxonomic groups, including large pelagic fishes and sharks, marine mammals, seabirds and marine turtles. The Western English Channel emerged as a hotspot of biodiversity for megafauna, while species richness was low in the Eastern English Channel. Spatial conservation planning is complicated by the highly mobile nature of marine megafauna, however they are important components of the marine environment and understanding their distribution is a first crucial step toward their inclusion into marine ecosystem management.

  4. Biodiversity hotspots: evolutionary origins of biodiversity in wrasses (Halichoeres: Labridae) in the Indo-Pacific and new world tropics.

    PubMed

    Barber, Paul H; Bellwood, David R

    2005-04-01

    Halichoeres is a widely distributed coral reef fish genus with high levels of biodiversity in both the Indo-Pacific and New World tropics. This study employed molecular phylogenetic techniques and biogeographic analyses on 1700-1800 bp of mitochondrial CO1, 16s, and 12s to test competing hypotheses regarding the origins of biodiversity in this genus in these two biodiversity hotspots. Analyses indicate that Halichoeres is polyphyletic with distinct New World and Indo-Pacific Ocean components. The Halichoeres in the New World tropics formed a strongly supported clade (99% MP, 100% ML bootstrap values) that diverged 21.2-18.1 mya, suggesting that this lineage may represent a relictual fauna of the ancient Tethys Sea. The closure of the Isthmus of Panama contributed to the creation of Halichoeres biodiversity, but diversification across the Isthmus prior to its closure and within the W. Atlantic after the closure 3.1 mya were also important processes creating biodiversity in the New World tropics. Within the Indonesian Australian Archipelago (IAA) analysis of age vs. geographic distribution supported neither Center of Origin, Center of Accumulation or Center of Overlap hypotheses, and molecular clock estimates indicated that the role of Pleistocene sea level changes in the origins of IAA marine biodiversity may be less important than previously thought. Ancestral distribution reconstructions within the Indo-West Pacific (IWP) clade (99% ML bootstrap value) also failed to support these hypotheses as the reconstructions were highly sensitive to the inclusion of missing taxa. Results suggest plueralistic origins of biodiversity, but that vast amounts of habitat may favor the survival of biodiversity in the IAA biodiversity hotspot.

  5. Wilderness and biodiversity conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mittermeier, R. A.; Mittermeier, C. G.; Brooks, T. M.; Pilgrim, J. D.; Konstant, W. R.; da Fonseca, G. A. B.; Kormos, C.

    2003-09-01

    Human pressure threatens many species and ecosystems, so conservation efforts necessarily prioritize saving them. However, conservation should clearly be proactive wherever possible. In this article, we assess the biodiversity conservation value, and specifically the irreplaceability in terms of species endemism, of those of the planet's ecosystems that remain intact. We find that 24 wilderness areas, all > 1 million hectares, are > 70% intact and have human densities of less than or equal to five people per km2. This wilderness covers 44% of all land but is inhabited by only 3% of people. Given this sparse population, wilderness conservation is cost-effective, especially if ecosystem service value is incorporated. Soberingly, however, most wilderness is not speciose: only 18% of plants and 10% of terrestrial vertebrates are endemic to individual wildernesses, the majority restricted to Amazonia, Congo, New Guinea, the Miombo-Mopane woodlands, and the North American deserts. Global conservation strategy must target these five wildernesses while continuing to prioritize threatened biodiversity hotspots.

  6. Biodiversity funds and conservation needs in the EU under climate change.

    PubMed

    Lung, Tobias; Meller, Laura; van Teeffelen, Astrid J A; Thuiller, Wilfried; Cabeza, Mar

    2014-07-01

    Despite ambitious biodiversity policy goals, less than a fifth of the European Union's (EU) legally protected species and habitats show a favorable conservation status. The recent EU biodiversity strategy recognizes that climate change adds to the challenge of halting biodiversity loss, and that an optimal distribution of financial resources is needed. Here, we analyze recent EU biodiversity funding from a climate change perspective. We compare the allocation of funds to the distribution of both current conservation priorities (within and beyond Natura 2000) and future conservation needs at the level of NUTS-2 regions, using modelled bird distributions as indicators of conservation value. We find that funding is reasonably well aligned with current conservation efforts but poorly fit with future needs under climate change, indicating obstacles for implementing adaptation measures. We suggest revising EU biodiversity funding instruments for the 2014-2020 budget period to better account for potential climate change impacts on biodiversity.

  7. The value of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Alho, C J R

    2008-11-01

    In addition to its intrinsic value (nature working as it is; species are the product of a long history of continuing evolution by means of ecological processes, and so they have the right to continued existence), biodiversity also plays a fundamental role as ecosystem services in the maintenance of natural ecological processes. The economic or utilitarian values of biodiversity rely upon the dependence of man on biodiversity; products that nature can provide: wood, food, fibers to make paper, resins, chemical organic products, genes as well as knowledge for biotechnology, including medicine and cosmetic sub-products. It also encompasses ecosystem services, such as climate regulation, reproductive and feeding habitats for commercial fish, some organisms that can create soil fertility through complex cycles and interactions, such as earthworms, termites and bacteria, in addition to fungi responsible for cycling nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur and making them available to plant absorption. These services are the benefits that people indirectly receive from natural ecosystem functions (air quality maintenance, regional climate, water quality, nutrient cycling, reproductive habitats of commercial fish, etc.) with their related economic values.

  8. Environmental services of biodiversity.

    PubMed Central

    Myers, N

    1996-01-01

    Humans derive many utilitarian benefits from the environmental services of biotas and ecosystems. This is often advanced as a prime argument to support conservation of biodiversity. There is much to be said for this viewpoint, as is documented in this paper through a summary assessment of several categories of environmental services, including regulation of climate and biogeochemical cycles, hydrological functions, soil protection, crop pollination, pest control, recreation and ecotourism, and a number of miscellaneous services. It is shown that the services are indeed significant, whether in ecological or economic senses. Particularly important is the factor of ecosystem resilience, which appears to underpin many of the services. It should not be supposed, however, that environmental services stem necessarily and exclusively from biodiversity. While biodiversity often plays a key role, the services can also derive from biomass and other attributes of biotas. The paper concludes with a brief overview assessment of economic values at issue and an appraisal of the implications for conservation planning. PMID:11607645

  9. Biodiversity, globalisation and poverty.

    PubMed

    Olorode, Omotoye

    2007-06-10

    The erosion of the stock of biodiversity on earth developed historically with the so-called voyages of discovery (and their antecedents), colonial conquests and the accompanying movements of natural products and peoples, i.e. movements of populations and genetic materials. These events happened with the development of technology and the so-called conquest, by man, of his environment and the appertaining development of specialization not only in industry but also in agriculture and environmental management. The development of specialization resulted in the homogenization of processes, products, inputs and input industries; this increased homogenization had the corollary of arrested heterogeneity across the board; what they call globalization is part of this process. The efficiency of homogenization, however, engendered new problems of fragility of human environment and of production and social relations and processes. The effects of this complex situation, in general terms and in terms of biodiversity in particular, have been more devastating for the more vulnerable regions, classes of people, and peoples of the world. A continuous rethinking of the epistemology and the social and political bases of existing policies on environment in general, and of biodiversity conservation in particular, has become imperative.

  10. A one ocean model of biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Dor, Ronald K.; Fennel, Katja; Berghe, Edward Vanden

    2009-09-01

    The history of life is written in the ocean, and the history of the ocean is written in DNA. Geologists have shown us that hundreds of millions of years of ocean history can be revealed from records of a single phylum in cores of mud from abyssal plains. We are now accumulating genetic tools to unravel the relationships of hundreds of phyla to track this history back billions of years. The technologies demonstrated by the Census of Marine Life (CoML) mean that the ocean is no longer opaque or unknowable. The secrets of the largest component of the biosphere are knowable. The cost of understanding the history of ocean life is not cheap, but it is also not prohibitive. A transparent, open ocean is available for us to use to understand ourselves. This article develops a model of biodiversity equilibration in a single, physically static ocean as a step towards biodiversity in physically complex real oceans. It attempts to be quantitative and to simultaneously account for biodiversity patterns from bacteria to whales focusing on emergent properties rather than details. Biodiversity reflects long-term survival of DNA sequences, stabilizing "ecosystem services" despite environmental change. In the ocean, mechanisms for ensuring survival range from prokaryotes maintaining low concentrations of replicable DNA throughout the ocean volume, anticipating local change, to animals whose mobility increases with mass to avoid local change through movement. Whales can reach any point in the ocean in weeks, but prokaryotes can only diffuse. The high metabolic costs of mobility are offset by the dramatically lower number of DNA replicates required to ensure survival. Reproduction rates probably scale more or less inversely with body mass. Bacteria respond in a week, plankton in a year, whales in a century. We generally lack coherent theories to explain the origins of animals (metazoans) and the contributions of biodiversity to ecosystems. The One Ocean Model suggests that mobile

  11. European Atlantic: the hottest oil spill hotspot worldwide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vieites, David R.; Nieto-Román, Sandra; Palanca, Antonio; Ferrer, Xavier; Vences, Miguel

    2004-11-01

    Oil spills caused by maritime transport of petroleum products are still an important source of ocean pollution, especially in main production areas and along major transport routes. We here provide a historical and geographic analysis of the major oil spills (>700 t) since 1960. Spills were recorded from several key marine ecosystems and marine biodiversity hotspots. The past four decades have been characterized by an overall decrease in the number of accidents and tonnes of oil spilled in the sea, but this trend was less distinct in the European Atlantic area. Recent black tides from the Erika and Prestige vessels provided new evidence for the high risk of accidents with serious ecological impact in this area, which according to our analysis is historically the most important oil spill hotspot worldwide. The English Channel and waters around Galicia in Spain were the areas with most accidents. Maritime transport in European Atlantic waters has been predicted to continue increasing. Together with our own results this suggests that, in addition to measures for increased traffic safety, deployment of emergency capacities in the spill hotspot areas may be crucial for a sustainable conservation of sea resources and ecosystems.

  12. From Sea to Sea: Canada's Three Oceans of Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Archambault, Philippe; Snelgrove, Paul V. R.; Fisher, Jonathan A. D.; Gagnon, Jean-Marc; Garbary, David J.; Harvey, Michel; Kenchington, Ellen L.; Lesage, Véronique; Levesque, Mélanie; Lovejoy, Connie; Mackas, David L.; McKindsey, Christopher W.; Nelson, John R.; Pepin, Pierre; Piché, Laurence; Poulin, Michel

    2010-01-01

    Evaluating and understanding biodiversity in marine ecosystems are both necessary and challenging for conservation. This paper compiles and summarizes current knowledge of the diversity of marine taxa in Canada's three oceans while recognizing that this compilation is incomplete and will change in the future. That Canada has the longest coastline in the world and incorporates distinctly different biogeographic provinces and ecoregions (e.g., temperate through ice-covered areas) constrains this analysis. The taxonomic groups presented here include microbes, phytoplankton, macroalgae, zooplankton, benthic infauna, fishes, and marine mammals. The minimum number of species or taxa compiled here is 15,988 for the three Canadian oceans. However, this number clearly underestimates in several ways the total number of taxa present. First, there are significant gaps in the published literature. Second, the diversity of many habitats has not been compiled for all taxonomic groups (e.g., intertidal rocky shores, deep sea), and data compilations are based on short-term, directed research programs or longer-term monitoring activities with limited spatial resolution. Third, the biodiversity of large organisms is well known, but this is not true of smaller organisms. Finally, the greatest constraint on this summary is the willingness and capacity of those who collected the data to make it available to those interested in biodiversity meta-analyses. Confirmation of identities and intercomparison of studies are also constrained by the disturbing rate of decline in the number of taxonomists and systematists specializing on marine taxa in Canada. This decline is mostly the result of retirements of current specialists and to a lack of training and employment opportunities for new ones. Considering the difficulties encountered in compiling an overview of biogeographic data and the diversity of species or taxa in Canada's three oceans, this synthesis is intended to serve as a

  13. From sea to sea: Canada's three oceans of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Archambault, Philippe; Snelgrove, Paul V R; Fisher, Jonathan A D; Gagnon, Jean-Marc; Garbary, David J; Harvey, Michel; Kenchington, Ellen L; Lesage, Véronique; Levesque, Mélanie; Lovejoy, Connie; Mackas, David L; McKindsey, Christopher W; Nelson, John R; Pepin, Pierre; Piché, Laurence; Poulin, Michel

    2010-08-31

    Evaluating and understanding biodiversity in marine ecosystems are both necessary and challenging for conservation. This paper compiles and summarizes current knowledge of the diversity of marine taxa in Canada's three oceans while recognizing that this compilation is incomplete and will change in the future. That Canada has the longest coastline in the world and incorporates distinctly different biogeographic provinces and ecoregions (e.g., temperate through ice-covered areas) constrains this analysis. The taxonomic groups presented here include microbes, phytoplankton, macroalgae, zooplankton, benthic infauna, fishes, and marine mammals. The minimum number of species or taxa compiled here is 15,988 for the three Canadian oceans. However, this number clearly underestimates in several ways the total number of taxa present. First, there are significant gaps in the published literature. Second, the diversity of many habitats has not been compiled for all taxonomic groups (e.g., intertidal rocky shores, deep sea), and data compilations are based on short-term, directed research programs or longer-term monitoring activities with limited spatial resolution. Third, the biodiversity of large organisms is well known, but this is not true of smaller organisms. Finally, the greatest constraint on this summary is the willingness and capacity of those who collected the data to make it available to those interested in biodiversity meta-analyses. Confirmation of identities and intercomparison of studies are also constrained by the disturbing rate of decline in the number of taxonomists and systematists specializing on marine taxa in Canada. This decline is mostly the result of retirements of current specialists and to a lack of training and employment opportunities for new ones. Considering the difficulties encountered in compiling an overview of biogeographic data and the diversity of species or taxa in Canada's three oceans, this synthesis is intended to serve as a

  14. Soil biodiversity and human health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wall, Diana H.; Nielsen, Uffe N.; Six, Johan

    2015-12-01

    Soil biodiversity is increasingly recognized as providing benefits to human health because it can suppress disease-causing soil organisms and provide clean air, water and food. Poor land-management practices and environmental change are, however, affecting belowground communities globally, and the resulting declines in soil biodiversity reduce and impair these benefits. Importantly, current research indicates that soil biodiversity can be maintained and partially restored if managed sustainably. Promoting the ecological complexity and robustness of soil biodiversity through improved management practices represents an underutilized resource with the ability to improve human health.

  15. Soil biodiversity and human health.

    PubMed

    Wall, Diana H; Nielsen, Uffe N; Six, Johan

    2015-12-03

    Soil biodiversity is increasingly recognized as providing benefits to human health because it can suppress disease-causing soil organisms and provide clean air, water and food. Poor land-management practices and environmental change are, however, affecting belowground communities globally, and the resulting declines in soil biodiversity reduce and impair these benefits. Importantly, current research indicates that soil biodiversity can be maintained and partially restored if managed sustainably. Promoting the ecological complexity and robustness of soil biodiversity through improved management practices represents an underutilized resource with the ability to improve human health.

  16. Comparative analysis of European wide marine ecosystem shifts: a large-scale approach for developing the basis for ecosystem-based management.

    PubMed

    Möllmann, Christian; Conversi, Alessandra; Edwards, Martin

    2011-08-23

    Abrupt and rapid ecosystem shifts (where major reorganizations of food-web and community structures occur), commonly termed regime shifts, are changes between contrasting and persisting states of ecosystem structure and function. These shifts have been increasingly reported for exploited marine ecosystems around the world from the North Pacific to the North Atlantic. Understanding the drivers and mechanisms leading to marine ecosystem shifts is crucial in developing adaptive management strategies to achieve sustainable exploitation of marine ecosystems. An international workshop on a comparative approach to analysing these marine ecosystem shifts was held at Hamburg University, Institute for Hydrobiology and Fisheries Science, Germany on 1-3 November 2010. Twenty-seven scientists from 14 countries attended the meeting, representing specialists from seven marine regions, including the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the Barents Sea, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Bay of Biscay and the Scotian Shelf off the Canadian East coast. The goal of the workshop was to conduct the first large-scale comparison of marine ecosystem regime shifts across multiple regional areas, in order to support the development of ecosystem-based management strategies.

  17. Recovering plant biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Studying recovering plant biodiversity on Mount Pinatubo may provide valuable insights that improve our understanding of recovery of other ecosystems following disturbances of all types. Ongoing sheet and rill erosion coupled with mass waste events in the unstable pyroclastic flow deposits persist, effectively re-setting primary succession at micro-landscape scale without affecting habitat level diversity. Spatial factors and micro-habitat diversity may exert more control over continued succession as the riparian systems become more deeply dissected and complex. The number of taxa within functional groups and conservation concerns are botanical issues that deserve further research. PMID:22019638

  18. Wilderness and biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Mittermeier, R A; Mittermeier, C G; Brooks, T M; Pilgrim, J D; Konstant, W R; da Fonseca, G A B; Kormos, C

    2003-09-02

    Human pressure threatens many species and ecosystems, so conservation efforts necessarily prioritize saving them. However, conservation should clearly be proactive wherever possible. In this article, we assess the biodiversity conservation value, and specifically the irreplaceability in terms of species endemism, of those of the planet's ecosystems that remain intact. We find that 24 wilderness areas, all > or = 1 million hectares, are > or = 70% intact and have human densities of less than or equal to five people per km2. This wilderness covers 44% of all land but is inhabited by only 3% of people. Given this sparse population, wilderness conservation is cost-effective, especially if ecosystem service value is incorporated. Soberingly, however, most wilderness is not speciose: only 18% of plants and 10% of terrestrial vertebrates are endemic to individual wildernesses, the majority restricted to Amazonia, Congo, New Guinea, the Miombo-Mopane woodlands, and the North American deserts. Global conservation strategy must target these five wildernesses while continuing to prioritize threatened biodiversity hotspots.

  19. Structural Analysis of Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Sirovich, Lawrence; Stoeckle, Mark Y.; Zhang, Yu

    2010-01-01

    Large, recently-available genomic databases cover a wide range of life forms, suggesting opportunity for insights into genetic structure of biodiversity. In this study we refine our recently-described technique using indicator vectors to analyze and visualize nucleotide sequences. The indicator vector approach generates correlation matrices, dubbed Klee diagrams, which represent a novel way of assembling and viewing large genomic datasets. To explore its potential utility, here we apply the improved algorithm to a collection of almost 17000 DNA barcode sequences covering 12 widely-separated animal taxa, demonstrating that indicator vectors for classification gave correct assignment in all 11000 test cases. Indicator vector analysis revealed discontinuities corresponding to species- and higher-level taxonomic divisions, suggesting an efficient approach to classification of organisms from poorly-studied groups. As compared to standard distance metrics, indicator vectors preserve diagnostic character probabilities, enable automated classification of test sequences, and generate high-information density single-page displays. These results support application of indicator vectors for comparative analysis of large nucleotide data sets and raise prospect of gaining insight into broad-scale patterns in the genetic structure of biodiversity. PMID:20195371

  20. Net present biodiversity value and the design of biodiversity offsets.

    PubMed

    Overton, Jacob McC; Stephens, R T Theo; Ferrier, Simon

    2013-02-01

    There is an urgent need to develop sound theory and practice for biodiversity offsets to provide a better basis for offset multipliers, to improve accounting for time delays in offset repayments, and to develop a common framework for evaluating in-kind and out-of-kind offsets. Here, we apply concepts and measures from systematic conservation planning and financial accounting to provide a basis for determining equity across type (of biodiversity), space, and time. We introduce net present biodiversity value (NPBV) as a theoretical and practical measure for defining the offset required to achieve no-net-loss. For evaluating equity in type and space we use measures of biodiversity value from systematic conservation planning. Time discount rates are used to address risk of non-repayment, and loss of utility. We illustrate these concepts and measures with two examples of biodiversity impact-offset transactions. Considerable further work is required to understand the characteristics of these approaches.

  1. Conservation of biodiversity through taxonomy, data publication, and collaborative infrastructures.

    PubMed

    Costello, Mark J; Vanhoorne, Bart; Appeltans, Ward

    2015-08-01

    Taxonomy is the foundation of biodiversity science because it furthers discovery of new species. Globally, there have never been so many people involved in naming species new to science. The number of new marine species described per decade has never been greater. Nevertheless, it is estimated that tens of thousands of marine species, and hundreds of thousands of terrestrial species, are yet to be discovered; many of which may already be in specimen collections. However, naming species is only a first step in documenting knowledge about their biology, biogeography, and ecology. Considering the threats to biodiversity, new knowledge of existing species and discovery of undescribed species and their subsequent study are urgently required. To accelerate this research, we recommend, and cite examples of, more and better communication: use of collaborative online databases; easier access to knowledge and specimens; production of taxonomic revisions and species identification guides; engagement of nonspecialists; and international collaboration. "Data-sharing" should be abandoned in favor of mandated data publication by the conservation science community. Such a step requires support from peer reviewers, editors, journals, and conservation organizations. Online data publication infrastructures (e.g., Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Ocean Biogeographic Information System) illustrate gaps in biodiversity sampling and may provide common ground for long-term international collaboration between scientists and conservation organizations.

  2. Biodiversity: past, present, and future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    Data from the fossil record are used to illustrate biodiversity in the past and estimate modern biodiversity and loss. This data is used to compare current rates of extinction with past extinction events. Paleontologists are encouraged to use this data to understand the course and consequences of current losses and to share this knowledge with researchers interested in conservation and ecology.

  3. Biodiversity: Who Knows, Who Cares?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zemits, Birut

    2006-01-01

    Biodiversity is an abstract concept, attracting various responses from different people according to where they have come from and what ecosystems they have been closely linked to. In theory, most people would agree that protecting biodiversity is an important process, but in practice, few people commit to actions on a local level. This paper…

  4. Undergraduate Students' Attitudes toward Biodiversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Hui-Ju; Lin, Yu-Teh Kirk

    2014-01-01

    The study investigated American and Taiwan undergraduate students' attitudes toward biodiversity. The survey questionnaire consisted of statements prompted by the question "To what extent do you agree with the following statements about problems with the biodiversity issues." Students indicated strongly disagree, disagree, agree,…

  5. Reconciling biodiversity and carbon conservation.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Chris D; Anderson, Barbara J; Moilanen, Atte; Eigenbrod, Felix; Heinemeyer, Andreas; Quaife, Tristan; Roy, David B; Gillings, Simon; Armsworth, Paul R; Gaston, Kevin J

    2013-05-01

    Climate change is leading to the development of land-based mitigation and adaptation strategies that are likely to have substantial impacts on global biodiversity. Of these, approaches to maintain carbon within existing natural ecosystems could have particularly large benefits for biodiversity. However, the geographical distributions of terrestrial carbon stocks and biodiversity differ. Using conservation planning analyses for the New World and Britain, we conclude that a carbon-only strategy would not be effective at conserving biodiversity, as have previous studies. Nonetheless, we find that a combined carbon-biodiversity strategy could simultaneously protect 90% of carbon stocks (relative to a carbon-only conservation strategy) and > 90% of the biodiversity (relative to a biodiversity-only strategy) in both regions. This combined approach encapsulates the principle of complementarity, whereby locations that contain different sets of species are prioritised, and hence disproportionately safeguard localised species that are not protected effectively by carbon-only strategies. It is efficient because localised species are concentrated into small parts of the terrestrial land surface, whereas carbon is somewhat more evenly distributed; and carbon stocks protected in one location are equivalent to those protected elsewhere. Efficient compromises can only be achieved when biodiversity and carbon are incorporated together within a spatial planning process.

  6. School Projects for Monitoring the State of the Marine Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benkendorff, Kirsten

    Australia's marine environment hosts a high level of diverse endemic species along with some of the highest biodiversity in the world. Two-thirds of the population of Australia are living in coastal areas and can be considered a threat to marine life which is very vulnerable to human impacts. Although marine environments conserve high economic…

  7. Biodiversity and Landscape Planning: Alternative Futures for the Region of Camp Pendleton, California

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1996-01-01

    with the cooperation of the two relevant regional agencies, the San Diego Association of Governments and the Southern California Association of...Governments, and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. 14. SUBJECT TERMS 15. NUMBER OF PAGES SERDP, Biodiversity, Southern California, Urban growth, Landscape...Biodiversity Research Consortium, with the cooperation of the two relevant regional planning agencies, the San Diego Association of Governments and the Southern

  8. The Biodiversity Informatics Potential Index

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Biodiversity informatics is a relatively new discipline extending computer science in the context of biodiversity data, and its development to date has not been uniform throughout the world. Digitizing effort and capacity building are costly, and ways should be found to prioritize them rationally. The proposed 'Biodiversity Informatics Potential (BIP) Index' seeks to fulfill such a prioritization role. We propose that the potential for biodiversity informatics be assessed through three concepts: (a) the intrinsic biodiversity potential (the biological richness or ecological diversity) of a country; (b) the capacity of the country to generate biodiversity data records; and (c) the availability of technical infrastructure in a country for managing and publishing such records. Methods Broadly, the techniques used to construct the BIP Index were rank correlation, multiple regression analysis, principal components analysis and optimization by linear programming. We built the BIP Index by finding a parsimonious set of country-level human, economic and environmental variables that best predicted the availability of primary biodiversity data accessible through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) network, and constructing an optimized model with these variables. The model was then applied to all countries for which sufficient data existed, to obtain a score for each country. Countries were ranked according to that score. Results Many of the current GBIF participants ranked highly in the BIP Index, although some of them seemed not to have realized their biodiversity informatics potential. The BIP Index attributed low ranking to most non-participant countries; however, a few of them scored highly, suggesting that these would be high-return new participants if encouraged to contribute towards the GBIF mission of free and open access to biodiversity data. Conclusions The BIP Index could potentially help in (a) identifying countries most likely to

  9. Biodiversity in environmental assessment-current practice and tools for prediction

    SciTech Connect

    Gontier, Mikael . E-mail: gontier@kth.se; Balfors, Berit . E-mail: balfors@kth.se; Moertberg, Ulla . E-mail: mortberg@kth.se

    2006-04-15

    Habitat loss and fragmentation are major threats to biodiversity. Environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment are essential instruments used in physical planning to address such problems. Yet there are no well-developed methods for quantifying and predicting impacts of fragmentation on biodiversity. In this study, a literature review was conducted on GIS-based ecological models that have potential as prediction tools for biodiversity assessment. Further, a review of environmental impact statements for road and railway projects from four European countries was performed, to study how impact prediction concerning biodiversity issues was addressed. The results of the study showed the existing gap between research in GIS-based ecological modelling and current practice in biodiversity assessment within environmental assessment.

  10. PYCNOIB: Biodiversity and Biogeography of Iberian Pycnogonids

    PubMed Central

    Soler-Membrives, Anna; Munilla, Tomás

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity and biogeographic studies comparing the distribution patterns of benthic marine organisms across the Iberian Atlantic and Mediterranean waters are scarce. The Pycnogonida (sea spiders) are a clear example of both endemicity and diversity, and are considered a key taxon to study and monitor biogeographic and biodiversity patterns. This is the first review that compiles data about abundance and diversity of Iberian pycnogonids and examines their biogeographic patterns and bathymetric constraints using GIS tools. A total of 17762 pycnogonid records from 343 localities were analyzed and were found to contain 65 species, 21 genera and 12 families. Achelia echinata and Ammothella longipes (family Acheliidae) were the most abundant comprising ~80% of the total records. The Acheliidae is also the most speciose in Iberian waters with 15 species. In contrast, the family Nymphonidae has 7 species but is significantly less abundant (<1% of the total records) than Acheliidae. Species accumulation curves indicate that further sampling would increase the number of Iberian species records. Current sampling effort suggests that the pycnogonid fauna of the Mediterranean region may be richer than that of the Atlantic. The Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea are recognized as species-rich areas that act as buffer zones between the Atlantic and Mediterranean boundaries. The deep waters surrounding the Iberian Peninsula are poorly surveyed, with only 15% of the sampling sites located below 1000 m. Further deep-water sampling is needed mainly on the Iberian Mediterranean side. PMID:25781483

  11. Coccolithophores: Functional Biodiversity, Enzymes and Bioprospecting

    PubMed Central

    Reid, Emma L.; Worthy, Charlotte A.; Probert, Ian; Ali, Sohail T.; Love, John; Napier, Johnathan; Littlechild, Jenny A.; Somerfield, Paul J.; Allen, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    Emiliania huxleyi is a single celled, marine phytoplankton with global distribution. As a key species for global biogeochemical cycling, a variety of strains have been amassed in various culture collections. Using a library consisting of 52 strains of E. huxleyi and an ‘in house’ enzyme screening program, we have assessed the functional biodiversity within this species of fundamental importance to global biogeochemical cycling, whilst at the same time determining their potential for exploitation in biocatalytic applications. Here, we describe the screening of E. huxleyi strains, as well as a coccolithovirus infected strain, for commercially relevant biocatalytic enzymes such as acid/alkali phosphodiesterase, acid/alkali phosphomonoesterase, EC1.1.1-type dehydrogenase, EC1.3.1-type dehydrogenase and carboxylesterase. PMID:21731551

  12. Coccolithophores: functional biodiversity, enzymes and bioprospecting.

    PubMed

    Reid, Emma L; Worthy, Charlotte A; Probert, Ian; Ali, Sohail T; Love, John; Napier, Johnathan; Littlechild, Jenny A; Somerfield, Paul J; Allen, Michael J

    2011-01-01

    Emiliania huxleyi is a single celled, marine phytoplankton with global distribution. As a key species for global biogeochemical cycling, a variety of strains have been amassed in various culture collections. Using a library consisting of 52 strains of E. huxleyi and an 'in house' enzyme screening program, we have assessed the functional biodiversity within this species of fundamental importance to global biogeochemical cycling, whilst at the same time determining their potential for exploitation in biocatalytic applications. Here, we describe the screening of E. huxleyi strains, as well as a coccolithovirus infected strain, for commercially relevant biocatalytic enzymes such as acid/alkali phosphodiesterase, acid/alkali phosphomonoesterase, EC1.1.1-type dehydrogenase, EC1.3.1-type dehydrogenase and carboxylesterase.

  13. Do recreational activities affect coastal biodiversity?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riera, Rodrigo; Menci, Cristiano; Sanabria-Fernández, José Antonio; Becerro, Mikel A.

    2016-09-01

    Human activities are largely affecting coastal communities worldwide. Recreational perturbations have been overlooked in comparison to other perturbations, yet they are potential threats to marine biodiversity. They affect coastal communities in different ways, underpinning consistent shifts in fish and invertebrates assemblages. Several sites were sampled subjected to varying effects by recreational fishermen (low and high pressure) and scuba divers (low and high) in an overpopulated Atlantic island. Non-consistent differences in ecological, trophic and functional diversity were found in coastal communities, considering both factors ("diving" and "fishing"). Multivariate analyses only showed significant differences in benthic invertebrates between intensively-dived and non-dived sites. The lack of clear trends may be explained by the depletion of coastal resources in the study area, an extensively-affected island by overfishing.

  14. Urban biodiversity: patterns and mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Faeth, Stanley H; Bang, Christofer; Saari, Susanna

    2011-03-01

    The patterns of biodiversity changes in cities are now fairly well established, although diversity changes in temperate cities are much better studied than cities in other climate zones. Generally, plant species richness often increases in cities due to importation of exotic species, whereas animal species richness declines. Abundances of some groups, especially birds and arthropods, often increase in urban areas despite declines in species richness. Although several models have been proposed for biodiversity change, the processes underlying the patterns of biodiversity in cities are poorly understood. We argue that humans directly control plants but relatively few animals and microbes-the remaining biological community is determined by this plant "template" upon which natural ecological and evolutionary processes act. As a result, conserving or reconstructing natural habitats defined by vegetation within urban areas is no guarantee that other components of the biological community will follow suit. Understanding the human-controlled and natural processes that alter biodiversity is essential for conserving urban biodiversity. This urban biodiversity will comprise a growing fraction of the world's repository of biodiversity in the future.

  15. Mesozoic marine tetrapod diversity: mass extinctions and temporal heterogeneity in geological megabiases affecting vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Benson, Roger B J; Butler, Richard J; Lindgren, Johan; Smith, Adam S

    2010-03-22

    The fossil record is our only direct means for evaluating shifts in biodiversity through Earth's history. However, analyses of fossil marine invertebrates have demonstrated that geological megabiases profoundly influence fossil preservation and discovery, obscuring true diversity signals. Comparable studies of vertebrate palaeodiversity patterns remain in their infancy. A new species-level dataset of Mesozoic marine tetrapod occurrences was compared with a proxy for temporal variation in the volume and facies diversity of fossiliferous rock (number of marine fossiliferous formations: FMF). A strong correlation between taxic diversity and FMF is present during the Cretaceous. Weak or no correlation of Jurassic data suggests a qualitatively different sampling regime resulting from five apparent peaks in Triassic-Jurassic diversity. These correspond to a small number of European formations that have been the subject of intensive collecting, and represent 'Lagerstätten effects'. Consideration of sampling biases allows re-evaluation of proposed mass extinction events. Marine tetrapod diversity declined during the Carnian or Norian. However, the proposed end-Triassic extinction event cannot be recognized with confidence. Some evidence supports an extinction event near the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary, but the proposed end-Cenomanian extinction is probably an artefact of poor sampling. Marine tetrapod diversity underwent a long-term decline prior to the Cretaceous-Palaeogene extinction.

  16. Spatial patterns of biodiversity in the Black Sea: An assessment using benthic polychaetes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Surugiu, Victor; Revkov, Nikolai; Todorova, Valentina; Papageorgiou, Nafsika; Valavanis, Vasilis; Arvanitidis, Christos

    2010-06-01

    The current study broadens the biodiversity information available for the Black Sea and neighbouring regions and improves our knowledge about the polychaete biogeographic patterns to be discerned in them. There appears to be a well-defined zoogeocline from the Marmara Sea and Bosphorus Strait to the inner parts of the region (Azov Sea), depicted both as a multivariate pattern and in terms of species (or taxa) numbers. The emergent multivariate pattern complies, to a certain extent, with Jakubova's (1935) views: three main sectors can be defined in the basin: (a) Prebosphoric, (b) the Black Sea and, (c) the Azov Sea, whereas the Bosphorus Strait and Marmara Sea show less faunal affinities with the afore-mentioned sectors. Patterns derived both from the cosmopolitan and Atlanto-Mediterranean species closely follow the one coming from the polychaete species and genera inventories. As a general trend, species numbers decrease along with the decrease in salinity towards the inner parts of the region. The trend is homologous to that seen in the benthic invertebrate inventories of all the major European semi-enclosed regional seas. Salinity and food availability appear to be the dominant abiotic factors correlated, though weakly, with the various patterns deriving from the taxonomic/zoogeographic categories. With the exception of the Anatolia, polychaete inventories from all sectors appear to be random samples of the total inventory of the region, in terms of taxonomic distinctness values. Therefore, these sectoral inventories can be used for future biodiversity/environmental impact assessment studies. A massive invasion of Mediterranean species after the opening of the Black Sea, in the lower Quaternary period, appears to be the likely biogeographic mechanism through which the old Sarmatic fauna was almost completely replaced by species of marine origin.

  17. Detection of a Diverse Marine Fish Fauna Using Environmental DNA from Seawater Samples

    PubMed Central

    Iversen, Lars Lønsmann; Møller, Peter Rask; Rasmussen, Morten; Willerslev, Eske

    2012-01-01

    Marine ecosystems worldwide are under threat with many fish species and populations suffering from human over-exploitation. This is greatly impacting global biodiversity, economy and human health. Intriguingly, marine fish are largely surveyed using selective and invasive methods, which are mostly limited to commercial species, and restricted to particular areas with favourable conditions. Furthermore, misidentification of species represents a major problem. Here, we investigate the potential of using metabarcoding of environmental DNA (eDNA) obtained directly from seawater samples to account for marine fish biodiversity. This eDNA approach has recently been used successfully in freshwater environments, but never in marine settings. We isolate eDNA from ½-litre seawater samples collected in a temperate marine ecosystem in Denmark. Using next-generation DNA sequencing of PCR amplicons, we obtain eDNA from 15 different fish species, including both important consumption species, as well as species rarely or never recorded by conventional monitoring. We also detect eDNA from a rare vagrant species in the area; European pilchard (Sardina pilchardus). Additionally, we detect four bird species. Records in national databases confirmed the occurrence of all detected species. To investigate the efficiency of the eDNA approach, we compared its performance with 9 methods conventionally used in marine fish surveys. Promisingly, eDNA covered the fish diversity better than or equal to any of the applied conventional methods. Our study demonstrates that even small samples of seawater contain eDNA from a wide range of local fish species. Finally, in order to examine the potential dispersal of eDNA in oceans, we performed an experiment addressing eDNA degradation in seawater, which shows that even small (100-bp) eDNA fragments degrades beyond detectability within days. Although further studies are needed to validate the eDNA approach in varying environmental conditions, our

  18. Biodiversity--from Sea to Shining Sea.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    St. Antoine, Sara; Runk, Julie Velasquez

    1996-01-01

    Describes teaching strategies that allow teachers to use the topic of biodiversity to talk about a range of social and scientific issues. Discusses biodiversity basics, local links to global biodiversity, mapping our ecoregions, and activity ideas. Presents activities that introduce students to different reasons for protecting biodiversity and…

  19. Economic Inequality Predicts Biodiversity Loss

    PubMed Central

    Mikkelson, Gregory M.; Gonzalez, Andrew; Peterson, Garry D.

    2007-01-01

    Human activity is causing high rates of biodiversity loss. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the extent to which socioeconomic factors exacerbate or ameliorate our impacts on biological diversity. One such factor, economic inequality, has been shown to affect public health, and has been linked to environmental problems in general. We tested how strongly economic inequality is related to biodiversity loss in particular. We found that among countries, and among US states, the number of species that are threatened or declining increases substantially with the Gini ratio of income inequality. At both levels of analysis, the connection between income inequality and biodiversity loss persists after controlling for biophysical conditions, human population size, and per capita GDP or income. Future research should explore potential mechanisms behind this equality-biodiversity relationship. Our results suggest that economic reforms would go hand in hand with, if not serving as a prerequisite for, effective conservation. PMID:17505535

  20. Fungal biodiversity to biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Chambergo, Felipe S; Valencia, Estela Y

    2016-03-01

    Fungal habitats include soil, water, and extreme environments. With around 100,000 fungus species already described, it is estimated that 5.1 million fungus species exist on our planet, making fungi one of the largest and most diverse kingdoms of eukaryotes. Fungi show remarkable metabolic features due to a sophisticated genomic network and are important for the production of biotechnological compounds that greatly impact our society in many ways. In this review, we present the current state of knowledge on fungal biodiversity, with special emphasis on filamentous fungi and the most recent discoveries in the field of identification and production of biotechnological compounds. More than 250 fungus species have been studied to produce these biotechnological compounds. This review focuses on three of the branches generally accepted in biotechnological applications, which have been identified by a color code: red, green, and white for pharmaceutical, agricultural, and industrial biotechnology, respectively. We also discuss future prospects for the use of filamentous fungi in biotechnology application.

  1. Diversity, biodiversity, conservation, and sustainability.

    PubMed

    Marques, J C

    2001-10-11

    The concepts of diversity and biodiversity are analysed regarding their historical emergence, and their intrinsic meaning and differences are discussed. Through a brief synopsis, difficulties usually experienced by statisticians in capturing the dynamics of diversity are analysed and main problems identified. The shift from diversity to the more holistic biodiversity as a working concept is appraised in terms of the novelty involved. Through a number of examples, the way the two concepts capture natural cyclic changes is analysed, and their reciprocal and complementary relations are approached theoretically. The way diversity could develop from the stores of biodiversity as its active expression through selective and evolutionary processes is described. Through the use of a very simple dynamic model, the concepts of diversity and biodiversity are analysed in extremely opposite hypothetical scenarios. Comparisons with natural situations are made and the theoretical implications from the conservation point of view are discussed. These support the opinion that conservation undertaken in restricted and protected areas is not self-sustainable, needing permanent external intervention to regulate internal processes, and in the long run will most probably lead in the direction of obsolescence and extinction. Finally, the relations between diversity, biodiversity, and sustainability are approached. The vagueness of the sustainability concept is discussed. Preservation of biodiversity is then defended as one of the best available indicators to assist us in fixing boundaries which may help to provide a more precise definition of sustainability.

  2. Exploring marine resources for bioactive compounds.

    PubMed

    Kiuru, Paula; DʼAuria, M Valeria; Muller, Christian D; Tammela, Päivi; Vuorela, Heikki; Yli-Kauhaluoma, Jari

    2014-09-01

    Biodiversity in the seas is only partly explored, although marine organisms are excellent sources for many industrial products. Through close co-operation between industrial and academic partners, it is possible to successfully collect, isolate and classify marine organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, micro- and macroalgae, cyanobacteria, and marine invertebrates from the oceans and seas globally. Extracts and purified compounds of these organisms can be studied for several therapeutically and industrially significant biological activities, including anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticoagulant activities by applying a wide variety of screening tools, as well as for ion channel/receptor modulation and plant growth regulation. Chromatographic isolation of bioactive compounds will be followed by structural determination. Sustainable cultivation methods for promising organisms and biotechnological processes for selected compounds can be developed, as well as biosensors for monitoring the target compounds. The (semi)synthetic modification of marine-based bioactive compounds produces their new derivatives, structural analogs and mimetics that could serve as hit or lead compounds and be used to expand compound libraries based on marine natural products. The research innovations can be targeted for industrial product development in order to improve the growth and productivity of marine biotechnology. Marine research aims at a better understanding of environmentally conscious sourcing of marine biotechnology products and increased public awareness of marine biodiversity. Marine research is expected to offer novel marine-based lead compounds for industries and strengthen their product portfolios related to pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetic, agrochemical, food processing, material and biosensor applications.

  3. European seaweeds under pressure: Consequences for communities and ecosystem functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mineur, Frédéric; Arenas, Francisco; Assis, Jorge; Davies, Andrew J.; Engelen, Aschwin H.; Fernandes, Francisco; Malta, Erik-jan; Thibaut, Thierry; Van Nguyen, Tu; Vaz-Pinto, Fátima; Vranken, Sofie; Serrão, Ester A.; De Clerck, Olivier

    2015-04-01

    Seaweed assemblages represent the dominant autotrophic biomass in many coastal environments, playing a central structural and functional role in several ecosystems. In Europe, seaweed assemblages are highly diverse systems. The combined seaweed flora of different European regions hold around 1550 species (belonging to nearly 500 genera), with new species continuously uncovered, thanks to the emergence of molecular tools. In this manuscript we review the effects of global and local stressors on European seaweeds, their communities, and ecosystem functioning. Following a brief review on the present knowledge on European seaweed diversity and distribution, and the role of seaweed communities in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, we discuss the effects of biotic homogenization (invasive species) and global climate change (shifts in bioclimatic zones and ocean acidification) on the distribution of individual species and their effect on the structure and functioning of seaweed communities. The arrival of new introduced species (that already account for 5-10% of the European seaweeds) and the regional extirpation of native species resulting from oceans' climate change are creating new diversity scenarios with undetermined functional consequences. Anthropogenic local stressors create additional disruption often altering dramatically assemblage's structure. Hence, we discuss ecosystem level effects of such stressors like harvesting, trampling, habitat modification, overgrazing and eutrophication that impact coastal communities at local scales. Last, we conclude by highlighting significant knowledge gaps that need to be addressed to anticipate the combined effects of global and local stressors on seaweed communities. With physical and biological changes occurring at unexpected pace, marine phycologists should now integrate and join their research efforts to be able to contribute efficiently for the conservation and management of coastal systems.

  4. Developing biodiversity indicators on a stakeholders' opinions basis: the gypsum industry Key Performance Indicators framework.

    PubMed

    Pitz, Carline; Mahy, Grégory; Vermeulen, Cédric; Marlet, Christine; Séleck, Maxime

    2016-07-01

    This study aims to establish a common Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) framework for reporting about the gypsum industry biodiversity at the European level. In order to integrate different opinions and to reach a consensus framework, an original participatory process approach has been developed among different stakeholder groups: Eurogypsum, European and regional authorities, university scientists, consulting offices, European and regional associations for the conservation of nature, and the extractive industry. The strategy is developed around four main steps: (1) building of a maximum set of indicators to be submitted to stakeholders based on the literature (Focus Group method); (2) evaluating the consensus about indicators through a policy Delphi survey aiming at the prioritization of indicator classes using the Analytic Hierarchy Process method (AHP) and of individual indicators; (3) testing acceptability and feasibility through analysis of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and visits to three European quarries; (4) Eurogypsum final decision and communication. The resulting framework contains a set of 11 indicators considered the most suitable for all the stakeholders. Our KPIs respond to European legislation and strategies for biodiversity. The framework aims at improving sustainability in quarries and at helping to manage biodiversity as well as to allow the creation of coherent reporting systems. The final goal is to allow for the definition of the actual biodiversity status of gypsum quarries and allow for enhancing it. The framework is adaptable to the local context of each gypsum quarry.

  5. The Biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: Estimates, Patterns, and Threats

    PubMed Central

    Coll, Marta; Piroddi, Chiara; Steenbeek, Jeroen; Kaschner, Kristin; Ben Rais Lasram, Frida; Aguzzi, Jacopo; Ballesteros, Enric; Bianchi, Carlo Nike; Corbera, Jordi; Dailianis, Thanos; Danovaro, Roberto; Estrada, Marta; Froglia, Carlo; Galil, Bella S.; Gasol, Josep M.; Gertwagen, Ruthy; Gil, João; Guilhaumon, François; Kesner-Reyes, Kathleen; Kitsos, Miltiadis-Spyridon; Koukouras, Athanasios; Lampadariou, Nikolaos; Laxamana, Elijah; López-Fé de la Cuadra, Carlos M.; Lotze, Heike K.; Martin, Daniel; Mouillot, David; Oro, Daniel; Raicevich, Saša; Rius-Barile, Josephine; Saiz-Salinas, Jose Ignacio; San Vicente, Carles; Somot, Samuel; Templado, José; Turon, Xavier; Vafidis, Dimitris; Villanueva, Roger; Voultsiadou, Eleni

    2010-01-01

    The Mediterranean Sea is a marine biodiversity hot spot. Here we combined an extensive literature analysis with expert opinions to update publicly available estimates of major taxa in this marine ecosystem and to revise and update several species lists. We also assessed overall spatial and temporal patterns of species diversity and identified major changes and threats. Our results listed approximately 17,000 marine species occurring in the Mediterranean Sea. However, our estimates of marine diversity are still incomplete as yet—undescribed species will be added in the future. Diversity for microbes is substantially underestimated, and the deep-sea areas and portions of the southern and eastern region are still poorly known. In addition, the invasion of alien species is a crucial factor that will continue to change the biodiversity of the Mediterranean, mainly in its eastern basin that can spread rapidly northwards and westwards due to the warming of the Mediterranean Sea. Spatial patterns showed a general decrease in biodiversity from northwestern to southeastern regions following a gradient of production, with some exceptions and caution due to gaps in our knowledge of the biota along the southern and eastern rims. Biodiversity was also generally higher in coastal areas and continental shelves, and decreases with depth. Temporal trends indicated that overexploitation and habitat loss have been the main human drivers of historical changes in biodiversity. At present, habitat loss and degradation, followed by fishing impacts, pollution, climate change, eutrophication, and the establishment of alien species are the most important threats and affect the greatest number of taxonomic groups. All these impacts are expected to grow in importance in the future, especially climate change and habitat degradation. The spatial identification of hot spots highlighted the ecological importance of most of the western Mediterranean shelves (and in particular, the Strait of

  6. The biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: estimates, patterns, and threats.

    PubMed

    Coll, Marta; Piroddi, Chiara; Steenbeek, Jeroen; Kaschner, Kristin; Ben Rais Lasram, Frida; Aguzzi, Jacopo; Ballesteros, Enric; Bianchi, Carlo Nike; Corbera, Jordi; Dailianis, Thanos; Danovaro, Roberto; Estrada, Marta; Froglia, Carlo; Galil, Bella S; Gasol, Josep M; Gertwagen, Ruthy; Gil, João; Guilhaumon, François; Kesner-Reyes, Kathleen; Kitsos, Miltiadis-Spyridon; Koukouras, Athanasios; Lampadariou, Nikolaos; Laxamana, Elijah; López-Fé de la Cuadra, Carlos M; Lotze, Heike K; Martin, Daniel; Mouillot, David; Oro, Daniel; Raicevich, Sasa; Rius-Barile, Josephine; Saiz-Salinas, Jose Ignacio; San Vicente, Carles; Somot, Samuel; Templado, José; Turon, Xavier; Vafidis, Dimitris; Villanueva, Roger; Voultsiadou, Eleni

    2010-08-02

    The Mediterranean Sea is a marine biodiversity hot spot. Here we combined an extensive literature analysis with expert opinions to update publicly available estimates of major taxa in this marine ecosystem and to revise and update several species lists. We also assessed overall spatial and temporal patterns of species diversity and identified major changes and threats. Our results listed approximately 17,000 marine species occurring in the Mediterranean Sea. However, our estimates of marine diversity are still incomplete as yet-undescribed species will be added in the future. Diversity for microbes is substantially underestimated, and the deep-sea areas and portions of the southern and eastern region are still poorly known. In addition, the invasion of alien species is a crucial factor that will continue to change the biodiversity of the Mediterranean, mainly in its eastern basin that can spread rapidly northwards and westwards due to the warming of the Mediterranean Sea. Spatial patterns showed a general decrease in biodiversity from northwestern to southeastern regions following a gradient of production, with some exceptions and caution due to gaps in our knowledge of the biota along the southern and eastern rims. Biodiversity was also generally higher in coastal areas and continental shelves, and decreases with depth. Temporal trends indicated that overexploitation and habitat loss have been the main human drivers of historical changes in biodiversity. At present, habitat loss and degradation, followed by fishing impacts, pollution, climate change, eutrophication, and the establishment of alien species are the most important threats and affect the greatest number of taxonomic groups. All these impacts are expected to grow in importance in the future, especially climate change and habitat degradation. The spatial identification of hot spots highlighted the ecological importance of most of the western Mediterranean shelves (and in particular, the Strait of

  7. Biodiversity of bacterial ecosystems in traditional Egyptian Domiati cheese.

    PubMed

    El-Baradei, Gaber; Delacroix-Buchet, Agnès; Ogier, Jean-Claude

    2007-02-01

    Bacterial biodiversity occurring in traditional Egyptian soft Domiati cheese was studied by PCR-temporal temperature gel electrophoresis (TTGE) and PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Bands were identified using a reference species database (J.-C. Ogier et al., Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70:5628-5643, 2004); de novo bands having nonidentified migration patterns were identified by DNA sequencing. Results reveal a novel bacterial profile and extensive bacterial biodiversity in Domiati cheeses, as reflected by the numerous bands present in TTGE and DGGE patterns. The dominant lactic acid bacteria (LAB) identified were as follows: Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Lactococcus garvieae, Aerococcus viridans, Lactobacillus versmoldensis, Pediococcus inopinatus, and Lactococcus lactis. Frequent non-LAB species included numerous coagulase-negative staphylococci, Vibrio spp., Kocuria rhizophila, Kocuria kristinae, Kocuria halotolerans, Arthrobacter spp./Brachybacterium tyrofermentans. This is the first time that the majority of these species has been identified in Domiati cheese. Nearly all the dominant and frequent bacterial species are salt tolerant, and several correspond to known marine bacteria. As Domiati cheese contains 5.4 to 9.5% NaCl, we suggest that these bacteria are likely to have an important role in the ripening process. This first systematic study of the microbial composition of Domiati cheeses reveals great biodiversity and evokes a role for marine bacteria in determining cheese type.

  8. Biodiversity of Bacterial Ecosystems in Traditional Egyptian Domiati Cheese▿

    PubMed Central

    El-Baradei, Gaber; Delacroix-Buchet, Agnès; Ogier, Jean-Claude

    2007-01-01

    Bacterial biodiversity occurring in traditional Egyptian soft Domiati cheese was studied by PCR-temporal temperature gel electrophoresis (TTGE) and PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Bands were identified using a reference species database (J.-C. Ogier et al., Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70:5628-5643, 2004); de novo bands having nonidentified migration patterns were identified by DNA sequencing. Results reveal a novel bacterial profile and extensive bacterial biodiversity in Domiati cheeses, as reflected by the numerous bands present in TTGE and DGGE patterns. The dominant lactic acid bacteria (LAB) identified were as follows: Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Lactococcus garvieae, Aerococcus viridans, Lactobacillus versmoldensis, Pediococcus inopinatus, and Lactococcus lactis. Frequent non-LAB species included numerous coagulase-negative staphylococci, Vibrio spp., Kocuria rhizophila, Kocuria kristinae, Kocuria halotolerans, Arthrobacter spp./Brachybacterium tyrofermentans. This is the first time that the majority of these species has been identified in Domiati cheese. Nearly all the dominant and frequent bacterial species are salt tolerant, and several correspond to known marine bacteria. As Domiati cheese contains 5.4 to 9.5% NaCl, we suggest that these bacteria are likely to have an important role in the ripening process. This first systematic study of the microbial composition of Domiati cheeses reveals great biodiversity and evokes a role for marine bacteria in determining cheese type. PMID:17189434

  9. Biodiversity conservation in local planning.

    PubMed

    Miller, James R; Groom, Martha; Hess, George R; Steelman, Toddi; Stokes, David L; Thompson, Jan; Bowman, Troy; Fricke, Laura; King, Brandon; Marquardt, Ryan

    2009-02-01

    Local land-use policy is increasingly being recognized as fundamental to biodiversity conservation in the United States. Many planners and conservation scientists have called for broader use of planning and regulatory tools to support the conservation of biodiversity at local scales. Yet little is known about the pervasiveness of these practices. We conducted an on-line survey of county, municipal, and tribal planning directors (n =116) in 3 geographic regions of the United States: metropolitan Seattle, Washington; metropolitan Des Moines, Iowa; and the Research Triangle, North Carolina. Our objectives were to gauge the extent to which local planning departments address biodiversity conservation and to identify factors that facilitate or hinder conservation actions in local planning. We found that biodiversity conservation was seldom a major consideration in these departments. Staff time was mainly devoted to development mandates and little time was spent on biodiversity conservation. Regulations requiring conservation actions that might benefit biodiversity were uncommon, with the exception of rules governing water quality in all 3 regions and the protection of threatened and endangered species in the Seattle region. Planning tools that could enhance habitat conservation were used infrequently. Collaboration across jurisdictions was widespread, but rarely focused on conservation. Departments with a conservation specialist on staff tended to be associated with higher levels of conservation actions. Jurisdictions in the Seattle region also reported higher levels of conservation action, largely driven by state and federal mandates. Increased funding was most frequently cited as a factor that would facilitate greater consideration of biodiversity in local planning. There are numerous opportunities for conservation biologists to play a role in improving conservation planning at local scales.

  10. Biodiversity and Industry Ecosystem Management

    PubMed

    COLEMAN

    1996-11-01

    / The term biodiversity describes the array of interacting, genetically distinct populations and species in a region, the communities they comprise, and the variety of ecosystems of which they are functioning parts. Ecosystem health, a closely related concept, is described in terms of a process identifying biological indicators, end points, and values. The decline of populations or species, an accelerating trend worldwide, can lead to simplification of ecosystem processes, thus threatening the stability and sustainability of ecosystem services directly relevant to human welfare in the chain of economic and ecological relationships. The challenge of addressing issues of such enormous scope and complexity has highlighted the limitations of ecology-as-science. Additionally, biosphere-scale conflicts seem to lie beyond the scope of conventional economics, leading to differences of opinion about the commodity value of biodiversity and of the services that intact ecosystems provide. In the face of these uncertainties, many scientists and economists have adopted principles that clearly assign burdens of proof to those who would promote the loss of biodiversity and that also establish "near-trump" (preeminent) status for ecological integrity. Electric utility facilities and operations impact biodiversity whenever construction, operation, or maintenance of generation, delivery, and support facilities alters landscapes and habitats and thereby impacts species. Although industry is accustomed to dealing with broad environmental concerns (such as global warming or acid rain), the biodiversity issue invokes hemisphere-wide, regional, local, and site-specific concerns all at the same time. Industry can proactively address these issues of scope and scale in two main ways: first, by aligning strategically with the broad research agenda put forth by informed scientists and institutions; and second, by supporting focused management processes whose results will contribute

  11. Relating costs to the user value of farmland biodiversity measurements.

    PubMed

    Targetti, S; Herzog, F; Geijzendorffer, I R; Pointereau, P; Viaggi, D

    2016-01-01

    The impact of agricultural management on global biodiversity highlights the need for farm-scale monitoring programmes capable of determining the performance of agriculture practices. Yet the identification of appropriate indicators is a challenging process and one that involves considering a number of different aspects and requirements. Besides the attention given to scientific effectiveness, relevant but less studied issues related to biodiversity measurements include the economic feasibility of monitoring programmes and the relevance of indicators for different end-users. In this paper, we combine an analytic assessment of costs and a stakeholder-based evaluation of the usefulness of a set of biodiversity-related parameters (habitat mapping, vegetation, bees, earthworms, spiders, and a farmer questionnaire) tested for scientific consistency in 12 European case studies and on more than 14,000 ha of farmland. The results point to the possibility of meeting the expectations of different end-users (administrators, farmers and consumers) with a common indicator set. Combining costs and usefulness also suggests the possibility of designing more efficient monitoring approaches involving private agencies and networks of volunteers and farmers for the field data collection at different stages of a monitoring programme. Although complex, such an approach would make it possible to enhance the effectiveness of available funds for farmland biodiversity monitoring.

  12. Biodiversity informatics: managing and applying primary biodiversity data.

    PubMed

    Soberón, Jorge; Peterson, A Townsend

    2004-04-29

    Recently, advances in information technology and an increased willingness to share primary biodiversity data are enabling unprecedented access to it. By combining presences of species data with electronic cartography via a number of algorithms, estimating niches of species and their areas of distribution becomes feasible at resolutions one to three orders of magnitude higher than it was possible a few years ago. Some examples of the power of that technique are presented. For the method to work, limitations such as lack of high-quality taxonomic determination, precise georeferencing of the data and availability of high-quality and updated taxonomic treatments of the groups must be overcome. These are discussed, together with comments on the potential of these biodiversity informatics techniques not only for fundamental studies but also as a way for developing countries to apply state of the art bioinformatic methods and large quantities of data, in practical ways, to tackle issues of biodiversity management.

  13. Making evolutionary history count: biodiversity planning for coral reef fishes and the conservation of evolutionary processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von der Heyden, Sophie

    2017-03-01

    Anthropogenic activities are having devastating impacts on marine systems with numerous knock-on effects on trophic functioning, species interactions and an accelerated loss of biodiversity. Establishing conservation areas can not only protect biodiversity, but also confer resilience against changes to coral reefs and their inhabitants. Planning for protection and conservation in marine systems is complex, but usually focuses on maintaining levels of biodiversity and protecting special and unique landscape features while avoiding negative impacts to socio-economic benefits. Conversely, the integration of evolutionary processes that have shaped extant species assemblages is rarely taken into account. However, it is as important to protect processes as it is to protect patterns for maintaining the evolutionary trajectories of populations and species. This review focuses on different approaches for integrating genetic analyses, such as phylogenetic diversity, phylogeography and the delineation of management units, temporal and spatial monitoring of genetic diversity and quantification of adaptive variation for protecting evolutionary resilience, into marine spatial planning, specifically for coral reef fishes. Many of these concepts are not yet readily applied to coral reef fish studies, but this synthesis highlights their potential and the importance of including historical processes into systematic biodiversity planning for conserving not only extant, but also future, biodiversity and its evolutionary potential.

  14. The European-wide Geo-Seas data space for marine geological and geophysical data and its novel approach in Metadata, Data models and Semantics emerging from the case of Seismic data.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diviacco, Paolo; Busato, Alessandro; Glaves, Helen M.; Schaap, Dick M. A.

    2013-04-01

    The Geo-Seas EU FP7 project aims at providing means to deliver and access integrated sets of primary marine geological and geophysical data. These are among the most important elements in the process of scientific and applied marine research, economic activities, and sustainable environmental management, at regional, European and global scales. Such data space requires an European-wide services infrastructure, standardised practices by the data repositories, and middleware so that end users can identify, locate and access the data they might be interested in. Being Geo-Seas a sibling of the SeaDataNet project, it adopts technologies developed within the latter, extending them and introducing new paradigms. Within this perspective a specific attention was reserved to Seismic data, due to its value in commercial use and scientific community positioning, on one hand, and to the difficulties in handling its file size on the other. To tackle these issues a novel approach was devised, that uses web based data-owner-side visualization facilities installed at each data provider premise. This overcomes the limitations of the common practices in data dissemination, where eventually the data is downloaded and used "off-line" at the end-user workstation. This solution is based on a seismic data visualization software that is strictly integrated with the GeoSeas (and SeaDataNet) project middleware and that therefore allows to perform consistent user authentications and requests handling across all domains and partners. Considering the large and ever increasing number of datasets made available within the project, and that deep examination of seismic data via the viewer could take time, it was devised to introduce a more efficient way to select useful hits within the Geo-Seas data space extending the already existent ISO19115-based SeaDataNet discovery mechanism (CDI). This has been achieved through the introduction of a "browsing" level linked to the CDI where further

  15. Biodiversity and industry ecosystem management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coleman, William G.

    1996-11-01

    The term biodiversity describes the array of interacting, genetically distinct populations and species in a region, the communities they comprise, and the variety of ecosystems of which they are functioning parts. Ecosystem health, a closely related concept, is described in terms of a process identifying biological indicators, end points, and values. The decline of populations or species, an accelerating trend worldwide, can lead to simplification of ecosystem processes, thus threatening the stability and sustainability of ecosystem services directly relevant to human welfare in the chain of economic and ecological relationships. The challenge of addressing issues of such enormous scope and complexity has highlighted the limitations of ecology-as-science. Additionally, biosphere-scale conflicts seem to lie beyond the scope of conventional economics, leading to differences of opinion about the commodity value of biodiversity and of the services that intact ecosystems provide. In the face of these uncertainties, many scientists and economists have adopted principles that clearly assign burdens of proof to those who would promote the loss of biodiversity and that also establish “near-trump” (preeminent) status for ecological integrity. Electric utility facilities and operations impact biodiversity whenever construction, operation, or maintenance of generation, delivery, and support facilities alters landscapes and habitats and thereby impacts species. Although industry is accustomed to dealing with broad environmental concerns (such as global warming or acid rain), the biodiversity issue invokes hemisphere-wide, regional, local, and site-specific concerns all at the same time. Industry can proactively address these issues of scope and scale in two main ways: first, by aligning strategically with the broad research agenda put forth by informed scientists and institutions; and second, by supporting focused management processes whose results will contribute

  16. Biodiversity and industry ecosystem management

    SciTech Connect

    Coleman, W.G.

    1996-11-01

    Biodiversity describes the array of interacting, genetically distinct populations and species in a region, the communities they are functioning parts. Ecosystem health is a process identifying biological indicators, end points, and values. The decline of populations or species, an accelerating trend worldwide, can lead to simplification of ecosystem processes, thus threatening the stability an sustainability of ecosystem services directly relevant to human welfare in the chain of economic and ecological relationships. The challenge of addressing issues of such enormous scope and complexity has highlighted the limitations of ecology-as-science. Additionally, biosphere-scale conflicts seem to lie beyond the scope of conventional economics, leading to differences of opinion about the commodity value of biodiversity and of the services that intact ecosystems provide. In the fact of these uncertainties, many scientists and economists have adopted principles that clearly assign burdens of proof to those who would promote the loss of biodiversity and that also establish {open_quotes}near-trump{close_quotes} (preeminent) status for ecological integrity. Electric utility facilities and operations impact biodiversity whenever construction, operation, or maintenance of generation, delivery, and support facilities alters landscapes and habitats and thereby impacts species. Although industry is accustomed to dealing with broad environmental concerns (such as global warming or acid rain), the biodiversity issue invokes hemisphere-side, regional, local, and site-specific concerns all at the same time. Industry can proactively address these issues of scope and scale in two main ways: first, by aligning strategically with the broad research agenda put forth by informed scientists and institutions; and second, by supporting focused management processes whose results will contribute incrementally to the broader agenda of rebuilding or maintaining biodiversity. 40 refs., 8 figs.

  17. Characterising and predicting benthic biodiversity for conservation planning in deepwater environments.

    PubMed

    Dunstan, Piers K; Althaus, Franziska; Williams, Alan; Bax, Nicholas J

    2012-01-01

    Understanding patterns of biodiversity in deep sea systems is increasingly important because human activities are extending further into these areas. However, obtaining data is difficult, limiting the ability of science to inform management decisions. We have used three different methods of quantifying biodiversity to describe patterns of biodiversity in an area that includes two marine reserves in deep water off southern Australia. We used biological data collected during a recent survey, combined with extensive physical data to model, predict and map three different attributes of biodiversity: distributions of common species, beta diversity and rank abundance distributions (RAD). The distribution of each of eight common species was unique, although all the species respond to a depth-correlated physical gradient. Changes in composition (beta diversity) were large, even between sites with very similar environmental conditions. Composition at any one site was highly uncertain, and the suite of species changed dramatically both across and down slope. In contrast, the distributions of the RAD components of biodiversity (community abundance, richness, and evenness) were relatively smooth across the study area, suggesting that assemblage structure (i.e. the distribution of abundances of species) is limited, irrespective of species composition. Seamounts had similar biodiversity based on metrics of species presence, beta diversity, total abundance, richness and evenness to the adjacent continental slope in the same depth ranges. These analyses suggest that conservation objectives need to clearly identify which aspects of biodiversity are valued, and employ an appropriate suite of methods to address these aspects, to ensure that conservation goals are met.

  18. LifeWatch - a Large-scale eScience Infrastructure to Assist in Understanding and Managing our Planet's Biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernández Ernst, Vera; Poigné, Axel; Los, Walter

    2010-05-01

    MARBEF network for marine data, and the Consortium for European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF) and its European Distributed Institute for Taxonomy (EDIT) for taxonomic data. But also "smaller" networks and "volunteer scientists" may send data (e.g. GPS supported species observations) to a LifeWatch repository. Autonomous operating wireless environmental sensors and other smart hand-held devices will contribute to increase data capture activities. In this way LifeWatch will directly underpin the development of GEOBON, the biodiversity component if GEOSS, the Global Earth observation System. To overcome all major technical difficulties imposed by the variety of currently and future technologies, protocols, data formats, etc., LifeWatch will define and use common open interfaces. For this purpose, the LifeWatch Reference Model was developed during the preparatory phase specifying the service-oriented architecture underlying the ICT-infrastructure. The Reference Model identifies key requirements and key architectural concepts to support workflows for scientific in-silico experiments, tracking of provenance, and semantic enhancement, besides meeting the functional requirements mentioned before. It provides guidelines for the specification and implementation of services and information models, defining as well a number of generic services and models. Another key issue addressed by the Reference Model is that the cooperation of many developer teams residing in many European countries has to be organized to obtain compatible results in that conformance with the specifications and policies of the Reference Model will be required. The LifeWatch Reference Model is based on the ORCHESTRA Reference Model for geospatial-oriented architectures and services networks that provides a generic framework and has been endorsed as best practice by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). The LifeWatch Infrastructure will allow (interdisciplinary) scientific researchers to collaborate by creating e

  19. Children prioritize virtual exotic biodiversity over local biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Ballouard, Jean-Marie; Brischoux, François; Bonnet, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Environmental education is essential to stem current dramatic biodiversity loss, and childhood is considered as the key period for developing awareness and positive attitudes toward nature. Children are strongly influenced by the media, notably the internet, about biodiversity and conservation issues. However, most media focus on a few iconic, appealing, and usually exotic species. In addition, virtual activities are replacing field experiences. This situation may curb children knowledge and concerns about local biodiversity. Focusing our analyses on local versus exotic species, we examined the level of knowledge and the level of diversity of the animals that French schoolchildren are willing to protect, and whether these perceptions are mainly guided by information available in the internet. For that, we collected and compared two complementary data sets: 1) a questionnaire was administered to schoolchildren to assess their knowledge and consideration to protect animals, 2) an internet content analysis (i.e. Google searching sessions using keywords) was performed to assess which animals are the most often represented. Our results suggest that the knowledge of children and their consideration to protect animal are mainly limited to internet contents, represented by a few exotic and charismatic species. The identification rate of local animals by schoolchildren was meager, suggesting a worrying disconnection from their local environment. Schoolchildren were more prone to protect "virtual" (unseen, exotic) rather than local animal species. Our results reinforce the message that environmental education must also focus on outdoor activities to develop conservation consciousness and concerns about local biodiversity.

  20. Children Prioritize Virtual Exotic Biodiversity over Local Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Ballouard, Jean-Marie; Brischoux, François; Bonnet, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Environmental education is essential to stem current dramatic biodiversity loss, and childhood is considered as the key period for developing awareness and positive attitudes toward nature. Children are strongly influenced by the media, notably the internet, about biodiversity and conservation issues. However, most media focus on a few iconic, appealing, and usually exotic species. In addition, virtual activities are replacing field experiences. This situation may curb children knowledge and concerns about local biodiversity. Focusing our analyses on local versus exotic species, we examined the level of knowledge and the level of diversity of the animals that French schoolchildren are willing to protect, and whether these perceptions are mainly guided by information available in the internet. For that, we collected and compared two complementary data sets: 1) a questionnaire was administered to schoolchildren to assess their knowledge and consideration to protect animals, 2) an internet content analysis (i.e. Google searching sessions using keywords) was performed to assess which animals are the most often represented. Our results suggest that the knowledge of children and their consideration to protect animal are mainly limited to internet contents, represented by a few exotic and charismatic species. The identification rate of local animals by schoolchildren was meager, suggesting a worrying disconnection from their local environment. Schoolchildren were more prone to protect “virtual” (unseen, exotic) rather than local animal species. Our results reinforce the message that environmental education must also focus on outdoor activities to develop conservation consciousness and concerns about local biodiversity. PMID:21829710

  1. Global biodiversity monitoring: from data sources to essential biodiversity variables

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Proenca, Vania; Martin, Laura J.; Pereira, Henrique M.; Fernandez, Miguel; McRae, Louise; Belnap, Jayne; Böhm, Monika; Brummitt, Neil; Garcia-Moreno, Jaime; Gregory, Richard D.; Honrado, Joao P; Jürgens, Norbert; Opige, Michael; Schmeller, Dirk S.; Tiago, Patricia; van Sway, Chris A

    2016-01-01

    Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) consolidate information from varied biodiversity observation sources. Here we demonstrate the links between data sources, EBVs and indicators and discuss how different sources of biodiversity observations can be harnessed to inform EBVs. We classify sources of primary observations into four types: extensive and intensive monitoring schemes, ecological field studies and satellite remote sensing. We characterize their geographic, taxonomic and temporal coverage. Ecological field studies and intensive monitoring schemes inform a wide range of EBVs, but the former tend to deliver short-term data, while the geographic coverage of the latter is limited. In contrast, extensive monitoring schemes mostly inform the population abundance EBV, but deliver long-term data across an extensive network of sites. Satellite remote sensing is particularly suited to providing information on ecosystem function and structure EBVs. Biases behind data sources may affect the representativeness of global biodiversity datasets. To improve them, researchers must assess data sources and then develop strategies to compensate for identified gaps. We draw on the population abundance dataset informing the Living Planet Index (LPI) to illustrate the effects of data sources on EBV representativeness. We find that long-term monitoring schemes informing the LPI are still scarce outside of Europe and North America and that ecological field studies play a key role in covering that gap. Achieving representative EBV datasets will depend both on the ability to integrate available data, through data harmonization and modeling efforts, and on the establishment of new monitoring programs to address critical data gaps.

  2. The Biodiversity Collection: A Review of Biodiversity Resources for Educators.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pitman, Barb; Braus, Judy; Asato, Lani

    This collection is designed to help educators find outstanding curricula, multimedia resources, and other educational materials that can enhance biodiversity teaching in a variety of settings. The curriculum materials were reviewed by teams comprised of classroom teachers, content experts, and environmental educators. The materials listed in this…

  3. Biodiverse Planting for Carbon and Biodiversity on Indigenous Land

    PubMed Central

    Renwick, Anna R.; Robinson, Catherine J.; Martin, Tara G.; May, Tracey; Polglase, Phil; Possingham, Hugh P.; Carwardine, Josie

    2014-01-01

    Carbon offset mechanisms have been established to mitigate climate change through changes in land management. Regulatory frameworks enable landowners and managers to generate saleable carbon credits on domestic and international markets. Identifying and managing the associated co-benefits and dis-benefits involved in the adoption of carbon offset projects is important for the projects to contribute to the broader goal of sustainable development and the provision of benefits to the local communities. So far it has been unclear how Indigenous communities can benefit from such initiatives. We provide a spatial analysis of the carbon and biodiversity potential of one offset method, planting biodiverse native vegetation, on Indigenous land across Australia. We discover significant potential for opportunities for Indigenous communities to achieve carbon sequestration and biodiversity goals through biodiverse plantings, largely in southern and eastern Australia, but the economic feasibility of these projects depend on carbon market assumptions. Our national scale cost-effectiveness analysis is critical to enable Indigenous communities to maximise the benefits available to them through participation in carbon offset schemes. PMID:24637736

  4. Biodiversity and climate change in relation to the Natura 2000 network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harley, M.; de Soye, Y.; Dickson, B.; Tucker, G.; Keder, G.

    2009-04-01

    This project will provide the European Commission (EC) with an overview of the likely impacts of climate change on biodiversity in the European Union (EU), particularly within the Natura 2000 (N2K) network of protected areas, and indications of how the design and implementation of current policy might need to be adapted to ensure that the EU delivers its commitment to halt biodiversity loss by 2010 and beyond. The study will identify those species and associated habitats that are likely to be most vulnerable to climate change and the steps required to protect the integrity of the network from negative effects. The study will also assess the impacts of large-scale renewable energy schemes (wind parks, hydroelectric schemes and tidal barrages) on biodiversity and produce guidelines on the sorts of measures that might be used to maintain and protect N2K sites.

  5. Biodiversity of Vibrios

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Fabiano L.; Iida, Tetsuya; Swings, Jean

    2004-01-01

    Vibrios are ubiquitous and abundant in the aquatic environment. A high abundance of vibrios is also detected in tissues and/or organs of various marine algae and animals, e.g., abalones, bivalves, corals, fish, shrimp, sponges, squid, and zooplankton. Vibrios harbour a wealth of diverse genomes as revealed by different genomic techniques including amplified fragment length polymorphism, multilocus sequence typing, repetetive extragenic palindrome PCR, ribotyping, and whole-genome sequencing. The 74 species of this group are distributed among four different families, i.e., Enterovibrionaceae, Photobacteriaceae, Salinivibrionaceae, and Vibrionaceae. Two new genera, i.e., Enterovibrio norvegicus and Grimontia hollisae, and 20 novel species, i.e., Enterovibrio coralii, Photobacterium eurosenbergii, V. brasiliensis, V. chagasii, V. coralliillyticus, V. crassostreae, V. fortis, V. gallicus, V. hepatarius, V. hispanicus, V. kanaloaei, V. neonatus, V. neptunius, V. pomeroyi, V. pacinii, V. rotiferianus, V. superstes, V. tasmaniensis, V. ezurae, and V. xuii, have been described in the last few years. Comparative genome analyses have already revealed a variety of genomic events, including mutations, chromosomal rearrangements, loss of genes by decay or deletion, and gene acquisitions through duplication or horizontal transfer (e.g., in the acquisition of bacteriophages, pathogenicity islands, and super-integrons), that are probably important driving forces in the evolution and speciation of vibrios. Whole-genome sequencing and comparative genomics through the application of, e.g., microarrays will facilitate the investigation of the gene repertoire at the species level. Based on such new genomic information, the taxonomy and the species concept for vibrios will be reviewed in the next years. PMID:15353563

  6. Marine spatial planning in Cyprus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hadjimitsis, Diofantos; Agapiou, Athos; Mettas, Christodoulos; Themistocleous, Kyriacos; Evagorou, Evagoras; Cuca, Branka; Papoutsa, Christiana; Nisantzi, Argyro; Mamouri, Rodanthi-Elisavet; Soulis, George; Xagoraris, Zafiris; Lysandrou, Vasiliki; Aliouris, Kyriacos; Ioannou, Nicolas; Pavlogeorgatos, Gerasimos

    2015-06-01

    Marine Spatial Planning (MSP), which is in concept similar to land-use planning, is a public process by which the relevant Member State's authorities analyse and organise human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives. MSP aims to promote sustainable growth of maritime economies, sustainable development of marine areas and sustainable use of marine resources. This paper highlights the importance of MSP and provides basic outcomes of the main European marine development. The already successful MSP plans can provide useful feedback and guidelines for other countries that are in the process of implementation of an integrated MSP, such as Cyprus. This paper presents part of the MSP project, of which 80% funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and 20% from national contribution. An overview of the project is presented, including data acquisition, methodology and preliminary results for the implementation of MSP in Cyprus.

  7. The proteasomes of two marine decapod crustaceans, European lobster (Homarus gammarus) and Edible crab (Cancer pagurus), are differently impaired by heavy metals.

    PubMed

    Götze, Sandra; Bose, Aneesh; Sokolova, Inna M; Abele, Doris; Saborowski, Reinhard

    2014-05-01

    The intracellular ubiquitin-proteasome system is a key regulator of cellular processes involved in the controlled degradation of short-living or malfunctioning proteins. Certain diseases and cellular dysfunctions are known to arise from the disruption of proteasome pathways. Trace metals are recognized stressors of the proteasome system in vertebrates and plants, but their effects on the proteasome of invertebrates are not well understood. Since marine invertebrates, and particularly benthic crustaceans, can be exposed to high metal levels, we studied the effects of in vitro exposure to Hg(2+), Zn(2+), Cu(2+), and Cd(2+) on the activities of the proteasome from the claw muscles of lobsters (Homarus gammarus) and crabs (Cancer pagurus). The chymotrypsin like activity of the proteasome of these two species showed different sensitivity to metals. In lobsters the activity was significantly inhibited by all metals to a similar extent. In crabs the activities were severely suppressed only by Hg(2+) and Cu(2+) while Zn(2+) had only a moderate effect and Cd(2+) caused almost no inhibition of the crab proteasome. This indicates that the proteasomes of both species possess structural characteristics that determine different susceptibility to metals. Consequently, the proteasome-mediated protein degradation in crab C. pagurus may be less affected by metal pollution than that of the lobster H. gammarus.

  8. Level 4 Global and European Chl-a Daily Analyses for End Users and Data Assimilation in the Frame of the Copernicus-Marine Environment Monitoring Service

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saulquin, Bertrand; Gohin, Francis; Garnesson, Philippe; Demaria, Julien; Mangin, Antoine; Fanton d'Andon, Odile

    2016-08-01

    The level-4 daily chl-a products are a combination of a water typed merge of chl-a estimates and an optimal interpolation based on the kriging method with regional anisotropic models [1, 2]. The Level 4 products basically pro- vide a global continuous (cloud free) estimation of the surface chl-a concentration at 4 km resolution over the world and 1 km resolution over the Europe. The level-4 products gather MODIS, MERIS, SeaWiFS, VIIRS and OLCI daily observations from 1998 to now.The Level 4 product avoids end users to consider typical lack of data as observed during cloudy conditions and the historical multiplicity of available algorithms such as involved by case 1 (oligotrophic) and case 2 (turbid) water issues in ocean colour. [3, 4].A total product uncertainty, i.e. a combination of the interpolation and the estimation error, is provided for each daily product. The L4 products are freely distributed in the frame of the Copernicus - Marine environment monitoring service.

  9. Bioprospecting Marine Plankton

    PubMed Central

    Abida, Heni; Ruchaud, Sandrine; Rios, Laurent; Humeau, Anne; Probert, Ian; De Vargas, Colomban; Bach, Stéphane; Bowler, Chris

    2013-01-01

    The ocean dominates the surface of our planet and plays a major role in regulating the biosphere. For example, the microscopic photosynthetic organisms living within provide 50% of the oxygen we breathe, and much of our food and mineral resources are extracted from the ocean. In a time of ecological crisis and major changes in our society, it is essential to turn our attention towards the sea to find additional solutions for a sustainable future. Remarkably, while we are overexploiting many marine resources, particularly the fisheries, the planktonic compartment composed of zooplankton, phytoplankton, bacteria and viruses, represents 95% of marine biomass and yet the extent of its diversity remains largely unknown and underexploited. Consequently, the potential of plankton as a bioresource for humanity is largely untapped. Due to their diverse evolutionary backgrounds, planktonic organisms offer immense opportunities: new resources for medicine, cosmetics and food, renewable energy, and long-term solutions to mitigate climate change. Research programs aiming to exploit culture collections of marine micro-organisms as well as to prospect the huge resources of marine planktonic biodiversity in the oceans are now underway, and several bioactive extracts and purified compounds have already been identified. This review will survey and assess the current state-of-the-art and will propose methodologies to better exploit the potential of marine plankton for drug discovery and for dermocosmetics. PMID:24240981

  10. Bioprospecting marine plankton.

    PubMed

    Abida, Heni; Ruchaud, Sandrine; Rios, Laurent; Humeau, Anne; Probert, Ian; De Vargas, Colomban; Bach, Stéphane; Bowler, Chris

    2013-11-14

    The ocean dominates the surface of our planet and plays a major role in regulating the biosphere. For example, the microscopic photosynthetic organisms living within provide 50% of the oxygen we breathe, and much of our food and mineral resources are extracted from the ocean. In a time of ecological crisis and major changes in our society, it is essential to turn our attention towards the sea to find additional solutions for a sustainable future. Remarkably, while we are overexploiting many marine resources, particularly the fisheries, the planktonic compartment composed of zooplankton, phytoplankton, bacteria and viruses, represents 95% of marine biomass and yet the extent of its diversity remains largely unknown and underexploited. Consequently, the potential of plankton as a bioresource for humanity is largely untapped. Due to their diverse evolutionary backgrounds, planktonic organisms offer immense opportunities: new resources for medicine, cosmetics and food, renewable energy, and long-term solutions to mitigate climate change. Research programs aiming to exploit culture collections of marine micro-organisms as well as to prospect the huge resources of marine planktonic biodiversity in the oceans are now underway, and several bioactive extracts and purified compounds have already been identified. This review will survey and assess the current state-of-the-art and will propose methodologies to better exploit the potential of marine plankton for drug discovery and for dermocosmetics.

  11. Biodiversity Conservation in the REDD

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Deforestation and forest degradation in the tropics is a major source of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The tropics also harbour more than half the world's threatened species, raising the possibility that reducing GHG emissions by curtailing tropical deforestation could provide substantial co-benefits for biodiversity conservation. Here we explore the potential for such co-benefits in Indonesia, a leading source of GHG emissions from land cover and land use change, and among the most species-rich countries in the world. We show that focal ecosystems for interventions to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in Indonesia do not coincide with areas supporting the most species-rich communities or highest concentration of threatened species. We argue that inherent trade-offs among ecosystems in emission reduction potential, opportunity cost of foregone development and biodiversity values will require a regulatory framework to balance emission reduction interventions with biodiversity co-benefit targets. We discuss how such a regulatory framework might function, and caution that pursuing emission reduction strategies without such a framework may undermine, not enhance, long-term prospects for biodiversity conservation in the tropics. PMID:21092321

  12. Biodiversity Lab: Using Local Resources.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gillie, Lynn L.

    1997-01-01

    Examining living organisms in one's own backyard is a key first step toward appreciating the scope and importance of biological diversity throughout the world. The goals of this lab are to involve students in exploring the biodiversity around them, appreciating its scope, and asking questions of new organisms that they may never have noticed…

  13. Teaching Biodiversity: A Successful Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilbert, Lynne; Brown, Lucy

    2010-01-01

    This article takes you on a journey through the authors' school course unit, the "Variety of Life," which aims to unpick the idea of biodiversity and its many facets. The aims and principles of each teaching topic are defined, teaching activities suggested, resources described and the skills each topic develops listed. Whilst aimed at…

  14. Biodiversity: past, present and future

    PubMed Central

    Rubidge, Emily M.; Burton, A. Cole; Vamosi, Steven M.

    2012-01-01

    On 12–15 May 2011, a diverse group of students, researchers and practitioners from across Canada and around the world met in Banff, Alberta, to discuss the many facets of biodiversity science at the 6th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution. PMID:21733869

  15. Biodiversity in Word and Meaning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slingsby, David

    2010-01-01

    This article argues that we need to abandon the word "biodiversity", to rediscover the biology that it obscures and to rethink how to introduce this biology to young people. We cannot go back to the systematics that once made up a large part of a biology A-level course (ages 16-18), so we need to find alternative ways of introducing the…

  16. Vampires in the oceans: predatory cercozoan amoebae in marine habitats

    PubMed Central

    Berney, Cédric; Romac, Sarah; Mahé, Frédéric; Santini, Sébastien; Siano, Raffaele; Bass, David

    2013-01-01

    Vampire amoebae (vampyrellids) are predators of algae, fungi, protozoa and small metazoans known primarily from soils and in freshwater habitats. They are among the very few heterotrophic naked, filose and reticulose protists that have received some attention from a morphological and ecological point of view over the last few decades, because of the peculiar mode of feeding of known species. Yet, the true extent of their biodiversity remains largely unknown. Here we use a complementary approach of culturing and sequence database mining to address this issue, focusing our efforts on marine environments, where vampyrellids are very poorly known. We present 10 new vampyrellid isolates, 8 from marine or brackish sediments, and 2 from soil or freshwater sediment. Two of the former correspond to the genera Thalassomyxa Grell and Penardia Cash for which sequence data were previously unavailable. Small-subunit ribosomal DNA analysis confirms they are all related to previously sequenced vampyrellids. An exhaustive screening of the NCBI GenBank database and of 454 sequence data generated by the European BioMarKs consortium revealed hundreds of distinct environmental vampyrellid sequences. We show that vampyrellids are much more diverse than previously thought, especially in marine habitats. Our new isolates, which cover almost the full phylogenetic range of vampyrellid sequences revealed in this study, offer a rare opportunity to integrate data from environmental DNA surveys with phenotypic information. However, the very large genetic diversity we highlight within vampyrellids (especially in marine sediments and soils) contrasts with the paradoxically low morphological distinctiveness we observed across our isolates. PMID:23864128

  17. Vampires in the oceans: predatory cercozoan amoebae in marine habitats.

    PubMed

    Berney, Cédric; Romac, Sarah; Mahé, Frédéric; Santini, Sébastien; Siano, Raffaele; Bass, David

    2013-12-01

    Vampire amoebae (vampyrellids) are predators of algae, fungi, protozoa and small metazoans known primarily from soils and in freshwater habitats. They are among the very few heterotrophic naked, filose and reticulose protists that have received some attention from a morphological and ecological point of view over the last few decades, because of the peculiar mode of feeding of known species. Yet, the true extent of their biodiversity remains largely unknown. Here we use a complementary approach of culturing and sequence database mining to address this issue, focusing our efforts on marine environments, where vampyrellids are very poorly known. We present 10 new vampyrellid isolates, 8 from marine or brackish sediments, and 2 from soil or freshwater sediment. Two of the former correspond to the genera Thalassomyxa Grell and Penardia Cash for which sequence data were previously unavailable. Small-subunit ribosomal DNA analysis confirms they are all related to previously sequenced vampyrellids. An exhaustive screening of the NCBI GenBank database and of 454 sequence data generated by the European BioMarKs consortium revealed hundreds of distinct environmental vampyrellid sequences. We show that vampyrellids are much more diverse than previously thought, especially in marine habitats. Our new isolates, which cover almost the full phylogenetic range of vampyrellid sequences revealed in this study, offer a rare opportunity to integrate data from environmental DNA surveys with phenotypic information. However, the very large genetic diversity we highlight within vampyrellids (especially in marine sediments and soils) contrasts with the paradoxically low morphological distinctiveness we observed across our isolates.

  18. n-TiO2 and CdCl2 co-exposure to titanium dioxide nanoparticles and cadmium: Genomic, DNA and chromosomal damage evaluation in the marine fish European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax).

    PubMed

    Nigro, M; Bernardeschi, M; Costagliola, D; Della Torre, C; Frenzilli, G; Guidi, P; Lucchesi, P; Mottola, F; Santonastaso, M; Scarcelli, V; Monaci, F; Corsi, I; Stingo, V; Rocco, L

    2015-11-01

    Due to the large production and growing use of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (n-TiO2), their release in the marine environment and their potential interaction with existing toxic contaminants represent a growing concern for biota. Different end-points of genotoxicity were investigated in the European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax exposed to n-TiO2 (1mgL(-1)) either alone and combined with CdCl2 (0.1mgL(-1)) for 7 days. DNA primary damage (comet assay), apoptotic cells (diffusion assay), occurrence of micronuclei and nuclear abnormalities (cytome assay) were assessed in peripheral erythrocytes and genomic stability (random amplified polymorphism DNA-PCR, RAPD assay) in muscle tissue. Results showed that genome template stability was reduced after CdCl2 and n-TiO2 exposure. Exposure to n-TiO2 alone was responsible for chromosomal alteration but ineffective in terms of DNA damage; while the opposite was observed in CdCl2 exposed specimens. Co-exposure apparently prevents the chromosomal damage and leads to a partial recovery of the genome template stability.

  19. Current knowledge, gaps and challenges in the Southern European Seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papathanassiou, Evangelos

    2015-04-01

    New knowledge advances our current understanding on the selection and application of the appropriate tools for assessing the state of the marine environment in the Southern European Seas (SES). Diminishing the lack of knowledge is a prerequisite for sound policy decisions. Although gaps and knowledge are fewer today, the health of marine and coastal ecosystems in the SES is under pressure and shows, in places, some signs of deterioration and declining quality. Overall, there is a lack of data accessibility and long time series in the SES, while in many cases poorly constrained processes cannot really support knowledge-based policy making (e.g. ecosystem functioning, climate change, fisheries management, etc.). New knowledge has to be produced and excellence must be promoted to support sustainable economic growth. At the same time, existing and new capacities have to be upgraded and increased in order to support sustainable convergence between SES countries. There are several gaps that have been identified and processes that have been poorly understood in the SES, mainly from research projects that have been working at basin level. The main research priorities that have been identified from the SeasERA Project for both, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea include: the climate change and its impacts, the hydrological cycle, the ventilation and the inter-basin coupling, the marine biodiversity and the provision of goods and services, the marine protected areas, the deep sea ecosystems, the biological invasions, the marine pollution and the ocean and human health, the renewable energy, the maritime transport, the fisheries and aquaculture activities and the biotechnology and the exploitation of marine resources for industrial application. More important, however, is the fact that the economic, the social and the scientific and the environmental challenges must be collectively tackled. They should have prioritisation and clear objectives as well as data sharing for

  20. Biology Student Teachers' Conceptual Frameworks regarding Biodiversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dikmenli, Musa

    2010-01-01

    In recent years, biodiversity has received a great deal of attention worldwide, especially in environmental education. The reasons for this attention are the increase of human activities on biodiversity and environmental problems. The purpose of this study is to investigate biology student teachers' conceptual frameworks regarding biodiversity.…

  1. Making Biodiversity Meaningful through Environmental Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Weelie, Daan; Wals, Arjen E. J.

    2002-01-01

    Explores the crossroads between science education and environmental education and presents a framework for tapping environmental education's potential of biodiversity. Outlines a number of stepping stones for making biodiversity meaningful to learners. From the perspective of environmental education, the ill-defined nature of biodiversity is a…

  2. Delayed biodiversity change: no time to waste.

    PubMed

    Essl, Franz; Dullinger, Stefan; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Hulme, Philip E; Pyšek, Petr; Wilson, John R U; Richardson, David M

    2015-07-01

    Delayed biodiversity responses to environmental forcing mean that rates of contemporary biodiversity changes are underestimated, yet these delays are rarely addressed in conservation policies. Here, we identify mechanisms that lead to such time lags, discuss shifting human perceptions, and propose how these phenomena should be addressed in biodiversity management and science.

  3. Teaching Biodiversity & Evolution through Travel Course Experiences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zervanos, Stam. M.; McLaughlin, Jacqueline S.

    2003-01-01

    Biodiversity is the extraordinary variety of life in this planet. In order to be fully appreciated, biodiversity needs to be experienced firsthand, or "experientially." Thus, the standard classroom lecture format is not the ideal situation for teaching biodiversity and evolutionary concepts, in that student interest and understanding are…

  4. The trophic fingerprint of marine fisheries.

    PubMed

    Branch, Trevor A; Watson, Reg; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Jennings, Simon; McGilliard, Carey R; Pablico, Grace T; Ricard, Daniel; Tracey, Sean R

    2010-11-18

    Biodiversity indicators provide a vital window on the state of the planet, guiding policy development and management. The most widely adopted marine indicator is mean trophic level (MTL) from catches, intended to detect shifts from high-trophic-level predators to low-trophic-level invertebrates and plankton-feeders. This indicator underpins reported trends in human impacts, declining when predators collapse ("fishing down marine food webs") and when low-trophic-level fisheries expand ("fishing through marine food webs"). The assumption is that catch MTL measures changes in ecosystem MTL and biodiversity. Here we combine model predictions with global assessments of MTL from catches, trawl surveys and fisheries stock assessments and find that catch MTL does not reliably predict changes in marine ecosystems. Instead, catch MTL trends often diverge from ecosystem MTL trends obtained from surveys and assessments. In contrast to previous findings of rapid declines in catch MTL, we observe recent increases in catch, survey and assessment MTL. However, catches from most trophic levels are rising, which can intensify fishery collapses even when MTL trends are stable or increasing. To detect fishing impacts on marine biodiversity, we recommend greater efforts to measure true abundance trends for marine species, especially those most vulnerable to fishing.

  5. Biodiversity in the Anthropocene: prospects and policy.

    PubMed

    Seddon, Nathalie; Mace, Georgina M; Naeem, Shahid; Tobias, Joseph A; Pigot, Alex L; Cavanagh, Rachel; Mouillot, David; Vause, James; Walpole, Matt

    2016-12-14

    Meeting the ever-increasing needs of the Earth's human population without excessively reducing biological diversity is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, suggesting that new approaches to biodiversity conservation are required. One idea rapidly gaining momentum-as well as opposition-is to incorporate the values of biodiversity into decision-making using economic methods. Here, we develop several lines of argument for how biodiversity might be valued, building on recent developments in natural science, economics and science-policy processes. Then we provide a synoptic guide to the papers in this special feature, summarizing recent research advances relevant to biodiversity valuation and management. Current evidence suggests that more biodiverse systems have greater stability and resilience, and that by maximizing key components of biodiversity we maximize an ecosystem's long-term value. Moreover, many services and values arising from biodiversity are interdependent, and often poorly captured by standard economic models. We conclude that economic valuation approaches to biodiversity conservation should (i) account for interdependency and (ii) complement rather than replace traditional approaches. To identify possible solutions, we present a framework for understanding the foundational role of hard-to-quantify 'biodiversity services' in sustaining the value of ecosystems to humanity, and then use this framework to highlight new directions for pure and applied research. In most cases, clarifying the links between biodiversity and ecosystem services, and developing effective policy and practice for managing biodiversity, will require a genuinely interdisciplinary approach.

  6. Integrating Biodiversity Data into Botanic Collections

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background Today's species names are entry points into a web of publicly available knowledge and are integral parts of legislation concerning biological conservation and consumer safety. Species information usually is fragmented, can be misleading due to the existence of different names and might even be biased because of an identical name that is used for a different species. Safely navigating through the name space is one of the most challenging tasks when associating names with data and when decisions are made which name to include in legislation. Integrating publicly available dynamic data to characterise plant genetic resources of botanic gardens and other facilities will significantly increase the efficiency of recovering relevant information for research projects, identifying potentially invasive taxa, constructing priority lists and developing DNA-based specimen authentication. New information To demonstrate information availability and discuss integration into botanic collections, scientific names derived from botanic gardens were evaluated using the Encyclopedia of Life, The Catalogue of Life and The Plant List. 98.5% of the names could be verified by the combined use of these providers. Comparing taxonomic status information 13 % of the cases were in disagreement. About 7 % of the verified names were found to be included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, including one extinct taxon and three taxa with the status "extinct in the wild". As second most important factor for biodiversity loss, potential invasiveness was determined. Approximately 4 % of the verified names were detected using the Global Invasive Species Information Network, including 208 invasive taxa. According to Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe around 20 % of the verified names are European alien taxa including 15 of the worst European invasive taxa. Considering alternative names in the data recovery process, success increased up

  7. Accounting for biodiversity in the dairy industry.

    PubMed

    Sizemore, Grant C

    2015-05-15

    Biodiversity is an essential part of properly functioning ecosystems, yet the loss of biodiversity currently occurs at rates unparalleled in the modern era. One of the major causes of this phenomenon is habitat loss and modification as a result of intensified agricultural practices. This paper provides a starting point for considering biodiversity within dairy production, and, although focusing primarily on the United States, findings are applicable broadly. Biodiversity definitions and assessments (e.g., indicators, tools) are proposed and reviewed. Although no single indicator or tool currently meets all the needs of comprehensive assessment, many sustainable practices are readily adoptable as ways to conserve and promote biodiversity. These practices, as well as potential funding opportunities are identified. Given the state of uncertainty in addressing the complex nature of biodiversity assessments, the adoption of generally sustainable environmental practices may be the best currently available option for protecting biodiversity on dairy lands.

  8. Metazoan parasite species richness in Neotropical fishes: hotspots and the geography of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Luque, J L; Poulin, R

    2007-06-01

    Although research on parasite biodiversity has intensified recently, there are signs that parasites remain an underestimated component of total biodiversity in many regions of the planet. To identify geographical hotspots of parasite diversity, we performed qualitative and quantitative analyses of the parasite-host associations in fishes from Latin America and the Caribbean, a region that includes known hotspots of plant and animal biodiversity. The database included 10,904 metazoan parasite-host associations involving 1660 fish species. The number of host species with at least 1 parasite record was less than 10% of the total known fish species in the majority of countries. Associations involving adult endoparasites in actinopterygian fish hosts dominated the database. Across the whole region, no significant difference in parasite species richness was detected between marine and freshwater fishes. As a rule, host body size and study effort (number of studies per fish species) were good predictors of parasite species richness. Some interesting patterns emerged when we included only the regions with highest fish species biodiversity and study effort (Brazil, Mexico and the Caribbean Islands). Independently of differences in study effort or host body sizes, Mexico stands out as a hotspot of parasite diversity for freshwater fishes, as does Brasil for marine fishes. However, among 57 marine fish species common to all 3 regions, populations from the Caribbean consistently harboured more parasite species. These differences may reflect true biological patterns, or regional discrepancies in study effort and local priorities for fish parasitology research.

  9. Temporal biodiversity change in transformed landscapes: a southern African perspective

    PubMed Central

    Chown, Steven L.

    2010-01-01

    Landscape transformation by humans is virtually ubiquitous, with several suggestions being made that the world's biomes should now be classified according to the extent and nature of this transformation. Even those areas that are thought to have a relatively limited human footprint have experienced substantial biodiversity change. This is true of both marine and terrestrial systems of southern Africa, a region of high biodiversity and including several large conservation areas. Global change drivers have had substantial effects across many levels of the biological hierarchy as is demonstrated in this review, which focuses on terrestrial systems. Interactions among drivers, such as between climate change and invasion, and between changing fire regimes and invasion, are complicating attribution of change effects and management thereof. Likewise CO2 fertilization is having a much larger impact on terrestrial systems than perhaps commonly acknowledged. Temporal changes in biodiversity, and the seeming failure of institutional attempts to address them, underline a growing polarization of world views, which is hampering efforts to address urgent conservation needs. PMID:20980320

  10. Ocean acidification can mediate biodiversity shifts by changing biogenic habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sunday, Jennifer M.; Fabricius, Katharina E.; Kroeker, Kristy J.; Anderson, Kathryn M.; Brown, Norah E.; Barry, James P.; Connell, Sean D.; Dupont, Sam; Gaylord, Brian; Hall-Spencer, Jason M.; Klinger, Terrie; Milazzo, Marco; Munday, Philip L.; Russell, Bayden D.; Sanford, Eric; Thiyagarajan, Vengatesen; Vaughan, Megan L. H.; Widdicombe, Stephen; Harley, Christopher D. G.

    2017-01-01

    The effects of ocean acidification (OA) on the structure and complexity of coastal marine biogenic habitat have been broadly overlooked. Here we explore how declining pH and carbonate saturation may affect the structural complexity of four major biogenic habitats. Our analyses predict that indirect effects driven by OA on habitat-forming organisms could lead to lower species diversity in coral reefs, mussel beds and some macroalgal habitats, but increases in seagrass and other macroalgal habitats. Available in situ data support the prediction of decreased biodiversity in coral reefs, but not the prediction of seagrass bed gains. Thus, OA-driven habitat loss may exacerbate the direct negative effects of OA on coastal biodiversity; however, we lack evidence of the predicted biodiversity increase in systems where habitat-forming species could benefit from acidification. Overall, a combination of direct effects and community-mediated indirect effects will drive changes in the extent and structural complexity of biogenic habitat, which will have important ecosystem effects.

  11. Seamounts are hotspots of pelagic biodiversity in the open ocean

    PubMed Central

    Morato, Telmo; Hoyle, Simon D.; Allain, Valerie; Nicol, Simon J.

    2010-01-01

    The identification of biodiversity hotspots and their management for conservation have been hypothesized as effective ways to protect many species. There has been a significant effort to identify and map these areas at a global scale, but the coarse resolution of most datasets masks the small-scale patterns associated with coastal habitats or seamounts. Here we used tuna longline observer data to investigate the role of seamounts in aggregating large pelagic biodiversity and to identify which pelagic species are associated with seamounts. Our analysis indicates that seamounts are hotspots of pelagic biodiversity. Higher species richness was detected in association with seamounts than with coastal or oceanic areas. Seamounts were found to have higher species diversity within 30–40 km of the summit, whereas for sets close to coastal habitat the diversity was lower and fairly constant with distance. Higher probability of capture and higher number of fish caught were detected for some shark, billfish, tuna, and other by-catch species. The study supports hypotheses that seamounts may be areas of special interest for management for marine pelagic predators. PMID:20448197

  12. Probabilistic models of species discovery and biodiversity comparisons.

    PubMed

    Edie, Stewart M; Smits, Peter D; Jablonski, David

    2017-04-04

    Inferring large-scale processes that drive biodiversity hinges on understanding the phylogenetic and spatial pattern of species richness. However, clades and geographic regions are accumulating newly described species at an uneven rate, potentially affecting the stability of currently observed diversity patterns. Here, we present a probabilistic model of species discovery to assess the uncertainty in diversity levels among clades and regions. We use a Bayesian time series regression to estimate the long-term trend in the rate of species description for marine bivalves and find a distinct spatial bias in the accumulation of new species. Despite these biases, probabilistic estimates of future species richness show considerable stability in the currently observed rank order of regional diversity. However, absolute differences in richness are still likely to change, potentially modifying the correlation between species numbers and geographic, environmental, and biological factors thought to promote biodiversity. Applied to scallops and related clades, we find that accumulating knowledge of deep-sea species will likely shift the relative richness of these three families, emphasizing the need to consider the incomplete nature of bivalve taxonomy in quantitative studies of its diversity. Along with estimating expected changes to observed patterns of diversity, the model described in this paper pinpoints geographic areas and clades most urgently requiring additional systematic study-an important practice for building more complete and accurate models of biodiversity dynamics that can inform ecological and evolutionary theory and improve conservation practice.

  13. Seamounts are hotspots of pelagic biodiversity in the open ocean.

    PubMed

    Morato, Telmo; Hoyle, Simon D; Allain, Valerie; Nicol, Simon J

    2010-05-25

    The identification of biodiversity hotspots and their management for conservation have been hypothesized as effective ways to protect many species. There has been a significant effort to identify and map these areas at a global scale, but the coarse resolution of most datasets masks the small-scale patterns associated with coastal habitats or seamounts. Here we used tuna longline observer data to investigate the role of seamounts in aggregating large pelagic biodiversity and to identify which pelagic species are associated with seamounts. Our analysis indicates that seamounts are hotspots of pelagic biodiversity. Higher species richness was detected in association with seamounts than with coastal or oceanic areas. Seamounts were found to have higher species diversity within 30-40 km of the summit, whereas for sets close to coastal habitat the diversity was lower and fairly constant with distance. Higher probability of capture and higher number of fish caught were detected for some shark, billfish, tuna, and other by-catch species. The study supports hypotheses that seamounts may be areas of special interest for management for marine pelagic predators.

  14. Developing indicators for European birds

    PubMed Central

    Gregory, Richard D; van Strien, Arco; Vorisek, Petr; Gmelig Meyling, Adriaan W; Noble, David G; Foppen, Ruud P.B; Gibbons, David W

    2005-01-01

    The global pledge to deliver ‘a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss by 2010’ is echoed in a number of regional and national level targets. There is broad consensus, however, that in the absence of conservation action, biodiversity will continue to be lost at a rate unprecedented in the recent era. Remarkably, we lack a basic system to measure progress towards these targets and, in particular, we lack standard measures of biodiversity and procedures to construct and assess summary statistics. Here, we develop a simple classification of biodiversity indicators to assist their development and clarify purpose. We use European birds, as example taxa, to show how robust indicators can be constructed and how they can be interpreted. We have developed statistical methods to calculate supranational, multi-species indices using population data from national annual breeding bird surveys in Europe. Skilled volunteers using standardized field methods undertake data collection where methods and survey designs differ slightly across countries. Survey plots tend to be widely distributed at a national level, covering many bird species and habitats with reasonable representation. National species' indices are calculated using log-linear regression, which allows for plot turnover. Supranational species' indices are constructed by combining the national species' indices weighted by national population sizes of each species. Supranational, multi-species indicators are calculated by averaging the resulting indices. We show that common farmland birds in Europe have declined steeply over the last two decades, whereas woodland birds have not. Evidence elsewhere shows that the main driver of farmland bird declines is increased agricultural intensification. We argue that the farmland bird indicator is a useful surrogate for trends in other elements of biodiversity in this habitat. PMID:15814345

  15. Effects of bioenergy production on European nature conservation options

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schleupner, C.; Schneider, U. A.

    2009-04-01

    To increase security of energy supply and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions the European Commission set out a long-term strategy for renewable energy in the European Union (EU). Bioenergy from forestry and agriculture plays a key role for both. Since the last decade a significant increase of biomass energy plantations has been observed in Europe. Concurrently, the EU agreed to halt the loss of biodiversity within its member states. One measure is the Natura2000 network of important nature sites that actually covers about 20% of the EU land surface. However, to fulfil the biodiversity target more nature conservation and restoration sites need to be designated. There are arising concerns that an increased cultivation of bioenergy crops will decrease the land available for nature reserves and for "traditional" agriculture and forestry. In the following the economic and ecological impacts of structural land use changes are demonstrated by two examples. First, a case study of land use changes on the Eiderstedt peninsula in Schleswig-Holstein/Germany evaluates the impacts of grassland conversion into bioenergy plantations under consideration of selected meadow birds. Scenarios indicate not only a quantitative loss of habitats but also a reduction of habitat quality. The second study assesses the role of bioenergy production in light of possible negative impacts on potential wetland conservation sites in Europe. By coupling the spatial wetland distribution model "SWEDI" (cf. SCHLEUPNER 2007) to the European Forest and Agricultural Sector Optimization Model (EUFASOM; cf. SCHNEIDER ET AL. 2008) economic and environmental aspects of land use are evaluated simultaneously. This way the costs and benefits of the appropriate measures and its consequences for agriculture and forestry are investigated. One aim is to find the socially optimal balance between alternative wetland uses by integrating biological benefits - in this case wetlands - and economic opportunities - here

  16. Consequences of stressor-induced changes in species assemblage for biodiversity indicators.

    PubMed

    de Vries, Pepijn; Smit, Mathijs G D; van Dalfsen, Jan A; De Laender, Frederik; Karman, Chris C

    2010-08-01

    Protection of biodiversity is a major objective in environmental management. However, standard protocols for ecological risk assessments use endpoints that are not directly related to biodiversity. In the present study, the changes in five biodiversity indicators, namely, the Hill, Shannon-Wiener, Simpson's diversity index, AZTI's Marine Benthic Index (AMBI), and Benthic Quality Index (BQI), are calculated in case species experience direct chemical effects. This is done for an uncontaminated situation as well as for situations in which the effect concentration of a certain fraction of species (x%) is exceeded, that is, at the hazardous concentration (HCx) of the species sensitivity distribution (SSD) of the considered community. Results indicate that the response of the biodiversity indicators to concentrations spanning the complete concentration range of the SSD is variable. This response depends mainly on the type of indicator, the species assemblage, and the ratio of the slope of the concentration effect curves of the species and the slope of the SSD. At the HC5, a commonly used threshold in environmental risk assessment, biodiversity indicators, are affected at a marginal level (change is less than 5% in 99.6% of the simulated cases). Based on the results, the HC5 level is likely to be a protective threshold for changes in biodiversity in terms of richness and heterogeneity in the vast majority of the simulated cases (99.6%) for chemicals for which direct effects are dominant.

  17. Disturbance and change in biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Dornelas, Maria

    2010-11-27

    Understanding how disturbance affects biodiversity is important for both fundamental and applied reasons. Here, I investigate how disturbances with different ecological effects change biodiversity metrics. I define three main types of disturbance effects: D disturbance (shifts in mortality rate), B disturbance (shifts in reproductive rates) and K disturbance (shifts in carrying capacity). Numerous composite disturbances can be defined including any combination of these three types of ecological effects. The consequences of D, B and K disturbances, as well as of composite DBK disturbances are examined by comparing metrics before and after a disturbance, in disturbed and undisturbed communities. I use simulations of neutral communities and examine species richness, total abundance and species abundance distributions. The patterns of change in biodiversity metrics are consistent among different types of disturbance. K disturbance has the most severe effects, followed by D disturbance, and B disturbance has nearly negligible effects. Consequences of composite DBK disturbances are more complex than any of the three types of disturbance, with unimodal relationships along a disturbance gradient arising when D, B and K are negatively correlated. Importantly, regardless of disturbance type, community isolation enhances the negative consequences and hinders the positive effects of disturbances.

  18. An estimate of potential threats levels to soil biodiversity in EU.

    PubMed

    Gardi, Ciro; Jeffery, Simon; Saltelli, Andrea

    2013-05-01

    Life within the soil is vital for maintaining life on Earth due to the numerous ecosystem services that it provides. However, there is evidence that pressures on the soil biota are increasing which may undermine some of these ecosystem services. Current levels of belowground biodiversity are relatively poorly known, and so no benchmark exists by which to measure possible future losses of biodiversity. Furthermore, the relative risk that each type of anthropogenic pressures places on the soil biota remains unclear. Potential threats to soil biodiversity were calculated through the use of a composite score produced from data collected from 20 international experts using the budget allocation methodology. This allowed relative weightings to be given to each of the identified pressures for which data were available in the European Soil Data Centre (ESDC). A total of seven different indicators were used for calculating the composite scores. These data were applied through a model using ArcGIS to produce a spatial analysis of composite pressures on soil biodiversity at the European scale. The model highlights the variation in the composite result of the potential threats to soil biodiversity. A sensitivity analysis demonstrated that the intensity of land exploitation, both in terms of agriculture and use intensity, as well as in terms of land-use dynamics, were the main factors applying pressure on soil biodiversity. It is important to note that the model should not be viewed as an estimate of the current level of soil biodiversity in Europe, but as an estimate of pressures that are currently being exerted. The results obtained should be seen as a starting point for further investigation on this relatively unknown issue and demonstrate the utility of this type of model which may be applied to other regions and scales.

  19. Detectability counts when assessing populations for biodiversity targets.

    PubMed

    Petrovan, Silviu O; Ward, Alastair I; Wheeler, Philip

    2011-01-01

    Efficient, practical and accurate estimates of population parameters are a necessary basis for effective conservation action to meet biodiversity targets. The brown hare is representative of many European farmland species: historically widespread and abundant but having undergone rapid declines as a result of agricultural intensification. As a priority species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, it has national targets for population increase that are part of wider national environmental indicators. Previous research has indicated that brown hare declines have been greatest in pastural landscapes and that gains might be made by focussing conservation effort there. We therefore used hares in pastural landscapes to examine how basic changes in survey methodology can affect the precision of population density estimates and related these to national targets for biodiversity conservation in the UK. Line transects for hares carried out at night resulted in higher numbers of detections, had better-fitting detection functions and provided more robust density estimates with lower effort than those during the day, due primarily to the increased probability of detection of hares at night and the nature of hare responses to the observer. Hare spring densities varied widely within a single region, with a pooled mean of 20.6 hares km(-2), significantly higher than the reported national average of hares in pastures of 3.3 hares km(-2). The high number of encounters allowed us to resolve hare densities at site, season and year scales. We demonstrate how survey conduct can impact on data quantity and quality with implications for setting and monitoring biodiversity targets. Our case study of the brown hare provides evidence that for wildlife species with low detectability, large scale volunteer-based monitoring programmes, either species specific or generalist, might be more successfully and efficiently carried out by a small number of trained personnel able to employ methods that

  20. The Nature Index: a general framework for synthesizing knowledge on the state of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Certain, Grégoire; Skarpaas, Olav; Bjerke, Jarle-Werner; Framstad, Erik; Lindholm, Markus; Nilsen, Jan-Erik; Norderhaug, Ann; Oug, Eivind; Pedersen, Hans-Christian; Schartau, Ann-Kristin; van der Meeren, Gro I; Aslaksen, Iulie; Engen, Steinar; Garnåsjordet, Per-Arild; Kvaløy, Pål; Lillegård, Magnar; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Nybø, Signe

    2011-04-22

    The magnitude and urgency of the biodiversity crisis is widely recognized within scientific and political organizations. However, a lack of integrated measures for biodiversity has greatly constrained the national and international response to the biodiversity crisis. Thus, integrated biodiversity indexes will greatly facilitate information transfer from science toward other areas of human society. The Nature Index framework samples scientific information on biodiversity from a variety of sources, synthesizes this information, and then transmits it in a simplified form to environmental managers, policymakers, and the public. The Nature Index optimizes information use by incorporating expert judgment, monitoring-based estimates, and model-based estimates. The index relies on a network of scientific experts, each of whom is responsible for one or more biodiversity indicators. The resulting set of indicators is supposed to represent the best available knowledge on the state of biodiversity and ecosystems in any given area. The value of each indicator is scaled relative to a reference state, i.e., a predicted value assessed by each expert for a hypothetical undisturbed or sustainably managed ecosystem. Scaled indicator values can be aggregated or disaggregated over different axes representing spatiotemporal dimensions or thematic groups. A range of scaling models can be applied to allow for different ways of interpreting the reference states, e.g., optimal situations or minimum sustainable levels. Statistical testing for differences in space or time can be implemented using Monte-Carlo simulations. This study presents the Nature Index framework and details its implementation in Norway. The results suggest that the framework is a functional, efficient, and pragmatic approach for gathering and synthesizing scientific knowledge on the state of biodiversity in any marine or terrestrial ecosystem and has general applicability worldwide.

  1. Indices for assessing coral reef fish biodiversity: the need for a change in habits.

    PubMed

    Loiseau, Nicolas; Gaertner, Jean-Claude

    2015-09-01

    We present the first representative and quantified overview of the indices used worldwide for assessing the biodiversity of coral reef fishes. On this basis, we discuss the suitability and drawbacks of the indices most widely used in the assessment of coral fish biodiversity. An extensive and systematic survey of the literature focused on coral reef fish biodiversity was conducted from 1990 up to the present. We found that the multicomponent aspect of biodiversity, which is considered as a key feature of biodiversity for numerous terrestrial and marine ecosystems, has been poorly taken into account in coral reef fish studies. Species richness is still strongly dominant while other diversity components, such as functional diversity, are underestimated even when functional information is available. We also demonstrate that the reason for choosing particular indices is often unclear, mainly based on empirical rationales and/or the reproduction of widespread habits, but generally with no clear relevance with regard to the aims of the studies. As a result, the most widely used indices (species richness, Shannon, etc.) would appear to be poorly suited to meeting the main challenges facing the monitoring of coral reef fish biodiversity in the future. Our results clearly show that coral reef scientists should rather take advantage of the multicomponent aspect of biodiversity. To facilitate this approach, we propose general guidelines to serve as a basis for the selection of indices that provide complementary and relevant information for monitoring the response of coral reef fish biodiversity in the face of structuring factors (natural or anthropic). The aim of these guidelines was to achieve a better match between the properties of the selected indices and the context of each study (e.g. expected effect of the main structuring factors, nature of data available).

  2. Marine Careers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon, Bernard L.

    The five papers in this publication on marine careers were selected so that science teachers, guidance councilors, and students could benefit from the experience and knowledge of individuals active in marine science. The areas considered are indicated by the titles: Professional Careers in Marine Science with the Federal Government, Marine Science…

  3. Using DNA Technology to Explore Marine Bacterial Diversity in a Coastal Georgia Salt Marsh

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dong, Yihe; Guerrero, Stella; Moran, Mary Ann

    2008-01-01

    An important aspect of teaching biology is to expose students to the concept of biodiversity. For this purpose, bacteria are excellent examples. The advanced placement (AP) biology class at Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, Georgia, learned how to explore bacterial biodiversity using molecular fingerprinting. They collected marine water samples,…

  4. A Census of marine life: unknowable or just unknown?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Dor, Ron; Decker, Cynthia J.

    2002-01-01

    As an introduction to the entire volume, this article outlines the relationships among the five elements of the Census of Marine Life (CoML) that create new knowledge: (1) The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), a marine component of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, links marine databases around the world to provide an Internet accessible, dynamic interface for comparing species-level, geo-referenced biodiversity data in relation to ocean habitats. The entire CoML field project data will be managed in and accessible through OBIS. (2) The History of Marine Animal Populations (HMAP) is a unique new synthesis of historical and biological research that will document marine biodiversity, globally, up to 500 years ago, before significant human impact, and store it in formats compatible with modern data in OBIS. (3) The Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research Working Group 118 monitors and recommends advanced marine technologies, ready to be routinely used in CoML field projects. (4) CoML Initial Field Projects develop and calibrate these technologies in selected regions to facilitate and accelerate global biodiversity research. As calibrated technologies and protocols are adopted in many regions, qualitative and quantitative biodiversity discoveries accumulate. (5) The Future of Marine Animal Populations (FMAP) program will insure that the data in OBIS are suitable for modeling and predicting changes in global biodiversity in response to fishing, pollution, and climate change challenges. It will make datasets available for hindcasting and forecasting analyses linked to physical ocean observations and assist in documenting the impacts of conservation efforts on sustainability.

  5. Evaluating Ireland's IBIA as an approach to improving the quality and effectiveness of biodiversity impact assessment.

    PubMed

    González, Ainhoa; Hochstrasser, Tamara; Fry, John; Scott, Paul; Grist, Berna; Jones, Mike

    2013-12-15

    The assessment of potential impacts of plans, programmes and projects on biodiversity is required under various legislative remits (including the European Union's Habitats, Strategic Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessment Directives). The objective of such assessments is to ensure that potential negative impacts on both protected nature conservation sites and species and wider biodiversity are efficiently identified in a timely manner, quantified and subsequently avoided or mitigated, while enhancing positive effects. The procedural requirements of these legal obligations vary and, as a result, differing methodological steps, data gathering and analysis methods, and impact assessment techniques are commonly applied under each individual process, often leading to uncoordinated assessment efforts and results (in terms, for example, of scope, scale and assessment detail). In order to address these issues and improve current practice, an Integrated Biodiversity Impact Assessment (IBIA) methodology has been developed in Ireland with the overall aim of providing a holistic and systematic approach to biodiversity impact assessment. The IBIA framework seeks to ensure that relevant procedures are effectively integrated, time and resource efficiencies are optimised, and unnecessary duplication avoided. Particular emphasis is given to compliance with legal requirements, integration and communication of scientific knowledge, spatial assessment and biodiversity data considerations, and integration of biodiversity aspects with a variety of other concerns during the plan-making process. This paper presents the IBIA methodology and critically examines current key issues in biodiversity impact assessment that can be potentially addressed through IBIA, as well as remaining challenges. In addition, and in order to support the examination of the anticipated benefits of using this new methodological framework (such as biodiversity-inclusive planning through

  6. Global biodiversity: indicators of recent declines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Butchart, Stuart H.M.; Walpole, Matt; Collen, Ben; Van Strien, Arco; Scharlemann, Jorn P.W.; Almond, Rosamunde E.A.; Baillie, Jonathan E.M.; Bomhard, Bastian; Brown, Claire; Bruno, John; Carpenter, Kent E.; Carr, Genevieve M.; Chanson, Janice; Chenery, Anna M.; Csirke, Jorge; Davidson, Nick C.; Dentener, Frank; Foster, Matt; Galli, Alessandro; Galloway, James N.; Genovesi, Piero; Gregory, Richard D.; Hockings, Marc; Kapos, Valerie; Lamarque, Jean-Francois; Leverington, Fiona; Loh, Jonathan; McGeoch, Melodie A.; McRae, Louise; Minasyan, Anahit; Morcillo, Monica Hernandez; Oldfield, Thomasina E.E.; Pauly, Daniel; Quader, Suhel; Revenga, Carmen; Sauer, John R.; Skolnik, Benjamin; Spear, Dian; Stanwell-Smith, Damon; Stuart, Simon N.; Symes, Andy; Tierney, Megan; Tyrrell, Tristan D.; Vie, Jean-Christophe; Watson, Reg

    2011-01-01

    In 2002, world leaders committed, through the Convention on Biological Diversity, to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. We compiled 31 indicators to report on progress toward this target. Most indicators of the state of biodiversity (covering species' population trends, extinction risk, habitat extent and condition, and community composition) showed declines, with no significant recent reductions in rate, whereas indicators of pressures on biodiversity (including resource consumption, invasive alien species, nitrogen pollution, overexploitation, and climate change impacts) showed increases. Despite some local successes and increasing responses (including extent and biodiversity coverage of protected areas, sustainable forest management, policy responses to invasive alien species, and biodiversity-related aid), the rate of biodiversity loss does not appear to be slowing.

  7. On biodiversity conservation and poverty traps

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Christopher B.; Travis, Alexander J.; Dasgupta, Partha

    2011-01-01

    This paper introduces a special feature on biodiversity conservation and poverty traps. We define and explain the core concepts and then identify four distinct classes of mechanisms that define important interlinkages between biodiversity and poverty. The multiplicity of candidate mechanisms underscores a major challenge in designing policy appropriate across settings. This framework is then used to introduce the ensuing set of papers, which empirically explore these various mechanisms linking poverty traps and biodiversity conservation. PMID:21873176

  8. Matching marine reserve design to reserve objectives.

    PubMed Central

    Halpern, Benjamin S; Warner, Robert R

    2003-01-01

    Recent interest in using marine reserves for marine resource management and conservation has largely been driven by the hope that reserves might counteract declines in fish populations and protect the biodiversity of the seas. However, the creation of reserves has led to dissension from some interested groups, such as fishermen, who fear that reserves will do more harm than good. These perceived differences in the effect of marine reserves on various stakeholder interests has led to a contentious debate over their merit. We argue here that recent findings in marine ecology suggest that this debate is largely unnecessary, and that a single general design of a network of reserves of moderate size and variable spacing can meet the needs and goals of most stakeholders interested in marine resources. Given the high fecundity of most marine organisms and recent evidence for limited distance of larval dispersal, it is likely that reserves can both maintain their own biodiversity and service nearby non-reserve areas. In particular, spillover of larger organisms and dispersal of larvae to areas outside reserves can lead to reserves sustaining or even increasing local fisheries. Ultimately, the success of any reserve network requires attention to the uncertainty and variability in dispersal patterns of marine organisms, clear statements of goals by all stakeholder groups and proper evaluation of reserve performance. PMID:14561299

  9. Marine Biocatalysts: Enzymatic Features and Applications

    PubMed Central

    Trincone, Antonio

    2011-01-01

    In several recent reports related to biocatalysis the enormous pool of biodiversity found in marine ecosystems is considered a profitable natural reservoir for acquiring an inventory of useful biocatalysts. These enzymes are characterized by well-known habitat-related features such as salt tolerance, hyperthermostability, barophilicity and cold adaptivity. In addition, their novel chemical and stereochemical characteristics increase the interest of biocatalysis practitioners both in academia and research industry. In this review, starting from the analysis of these featuring habitat-related properties, important examples of marine enzymes in biocatalysis will be reported. Completion of this report is devoted to the analysis of novel chemical and stereochemical biodiversity offered by marine biocatalysts with particular emphasis on current or potential applications of these enzymes in chemical and pharmaceutical fields. The analysis of literature cited here and the many published patent applications concerning the use of marine enzymes supports the view that these biocatalysts are just waiting to be discovered, reflecting the importance of the marine environment. The potential of this habitat should be thoroughly explored and possibly the way to access useful biocatalysts should avoid destructive large-scale collections of marine biomass for enzyme production. These two aspects are day by day increasing in interest and a future increase in the use of marine enzymes in biocatalysis should be expected. PMID:21731544

  10. Antarctica and the strategic plan for biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Chown, Steven L; Brooks, Cassandra M; Terauds, Aleks; Le Bohec, Céline; van Klaveren-Impagliazzo, Céline; Whittington, Jason D; Butchart, Stuart H M; Coetzee, Bernard W T; Collen, Ben; Convey, Peter; Gaston, Kevin J; Gilbert, Neil; Gill, Mike; Höft, Robert; Johnston, Sam; Kennicutt, Mahlon C; Kriesell, Hannah J; Le Maho, Yvon; Lynch, Heather J; Palomares, Maria; Puig-Marcó, Roser; Stoett, Peter; McGeoch, Melodie A

    2017-03-01

    The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, adopted under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, provides the basis for taking effective action to curb biodiversity loss across the planet by 2020-an urgent imperative. Yet, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, which encompass 10% of the planet's surface, are excluded from assessments of progress against the Strategic Plan. The situation is a lost opportunity for biodiversity conservation globally. We provide such an assessment. Our evidence suggests, surprisingly, that for a region so remote and apparently pristine as the Antarctic, the biodiversity outlook is similar to that for the rest of the planet. Promisingly, however, much scope for remedial action exists.

  11. Biodiversity conservation in running waters

    SciTech Connect

    Allan, J.D. ); Flecker, A.S. )

    1993-01-01

    In the concerns about biodiversity conservation, fresh waters have received less attention than tropical forests and oceans. However, running waters harbor a diverse panoply of species, habitats, and ecosystems, including some of the most threatened and many having great value to human society. An overview of the biological diversity of running waters and the state of imperilment is presented. Six major factors that threaten destruction of running water species and ecosystems are discussed: habitat loss and degradation; species invasions; overharvesting; secondary extinctions; chemical and organic pollution; global climate change. General measures for recovery and restoration of running waters conclude the article.

  12. Parasites as probes for biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Gardner, S L; Campbell, M L

    1992-08-01

    Cestodes of the genus Linstowia, parasitic in marsupials, show patterns of coevolution and ancient historical-ecological connections. Correlated with the breakup of the austral landmasses (Gondwanaland) of the Neotropical and Australian regions from the Antarctic continent, the age of this host-parasite community is estimated to be between 60 and 70 million years old. Based on the data from the survey of parasites of mammals from throughout Bolivia and from the phylogenetic analysis of the cestodes, we urge the planners of biodiversity preserves in the neotropics to consider the Yungas of Bolivia as a region that supports an ancient ecological community worthy of consideration as a biopreserve.

  13. Biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

    Janetos, Anthony C.; Hansen, Lara; Inouye, David; Kelly, Brendan; Meyerson, Laura; Peterson, Bill; Shaw, Rebecca

    2008-05-27

    This synthesis and assessment report bulds on extensive scientific literature and series of recent assessments of the historical and potential impacts of climate change and climate variability on managed and unmanaged ecosystems.

  14. Deep-Sea Biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea: The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable

    PubMed Central

    Danovaro, Roberto; Company, Joan Batista; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; D'Onghia, Gianfranco; Galil, Bella; Gambi, Cristina; Gooday, Andrew J.; Lampadariou, Nikolaos; Luna, Gian Marco; Morigi, Caterina; Olu, Karine; Polymenakou, Paraskevi; Ramirez-Llodra, Eva; Sabbatini, Anna; Sardà, Francesc; Sibuet, Myriam; Tselepides, Anastasios

    2010-01-01

    Deep-sea ecosystems represent the largest biome of the global biosphere, but knowledge of their biodiversity is still scant. The Mediterranean basin has been proposed as a hot spot of terrestrial and coastal marine biodiversity but has been supposed to be impoverished of deep-sea species richness. We summarized all available information on benthic biodiversity (Prokaryotes, Foraminifera, Meiofauna, Macrofauna, and Megafauna) in different deep-sea ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea (200 to more than 4,000 m depth), including open slopes, deep basins, canyons, cold seeps, seamounts, deep-water corals and deep-hypersaline anoxic basins and analyzed overall longitudinal and bathymetric patterns. We show that in contrast to what was expected from the sharp decrease in organic carbon fluxes and reduced faunal abundance, the deep-sea biodiversity of both the eastern and the western basins of the Mediterranean Sea is similarly high. All of the biodiversity components, except Bacteria and Archaea, displayed a decreasing pattern with increasing water depth, but to a different extent for each component. Unlike patterns observed for faunal abundance, highest negative values of the slopes of the biodiversity patterns were observed for Meiofauna, followed by Macrofauna and Megafauna. Comparison of the biodiversity associated with open slopes, deep basins, canyons, and deep-water corals showed that the deep basins were the least diverse. Rarefaction curves allowed us to estimate the expected number of species for each benthic component in different bathymetric ranges. A large fraction of exclusive species was associated with each specific habitat or ecosystem. Thus, each deep-sea ecosystem contributes significantly to overall biodiversity. From theoretical extrapolations we estimate that the overall deep-sea Mediterranean biodiversity (excluding prokaryotes) reaches approximately 2805 species of which about 66% is still undiscovered. Among the biotic components investigated

  15. Deep-sea biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea: the known, the unknown, and the unknowable.

    PubMed

    Danovaro, Roberto; Company, Joan Batista; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; D'Onghia, Gianfranco; Galil, Bella; Gambi, Cristina; Gooday, Andrew J; Lampadariou, Nikolaos; Luna, Gian Marco; Morigi, Caterina; Olu, Karine; Polymenakou, Paraskevi; Ramirez-Llodra, Eva; Sabbatini, Anna; Sardà, Francesc; Sibuet, Myriam; Tselepides, Anastasios

    2010-08-02

    Deep-sea ecosystems represent the largest biome of the global biosphere, but knowledge of their biodiversity is still scant. The Mediterranean basin has been proposed as a hot spot of terrestrial and coastal marine biodiversity but has been supposed to be impoverished of deep-sea species richness. We summarized all available information on benthic biodiversity (Prokaryotes, Foraminifera, Meiofauna, Macrofauna, and Megafauna) in different deep-sea ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea (200 to more than 4,000 m depth), including open slopes, deep basins, canyons, cold seeps, seamounts, deep-water corals and deep-hypersaline anoxic basins and analyzed overall longitudinal and bathymetric patterns. We show that in contrast to what was expected from the sharp decrease in organic carbon fluxes and reduced faunal abundance, the deep-sea biodiversity of both the eastern and the western basins of the Mediterranean Sea is similarly high. All of the biodiversity components, except Bacteria and Archaea, displayed a decreasing pattern with increasing water depth, but to a different extent for each component. Unlike patterns observed for faunal abundance, highest negative values of the slopes of the biodiversity patterns were observed for Meiofauna, followed by Macrofauna and Megafauna. Comparison of the biodiversity associated with open slopes, deep basins, canyons, and deep-water corals showed that the deep basins were the least diverse. Rarefaction curves allowed us to estimate the expected number of species for each benthic component in different bathymetric ranges. A large fraction of exclusive species was associated with each specific habitat or ecosystem. Thus, each deep-sea ecosystem contributes significantly to overall biodiversity. From theoretical extrapolations we estimate that the overall deep-sea Mediterranean biodiversity (excluding prokaryotes) reaches approximately 2805 species of which about 66% is still undiscovered. Among the biotic components investigated

  16. Relationships between Meiofaunal Biodiversity and Prokaryotic Heterotrophic Production in Different Tropical Habitats and Oceanic Regions

    PubMed Central

    Pusceddu, Antonio; Gambi, Cristina; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Scopa, Mariaspina; Danovaro, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    Tropical marine ecosystems are among the most diverse of the world oceans, so that assessing the linkages between biodiversity and ecosystem functions (BEF) is a crucial step to predict consequences of biodiversity loss. Most BEF studies in marine ecosystems have been carried out on macrobenthic diversity, whereas the influence of the meiofauna on ecosystem functioning has received much less attention. We compared meiofaunal and nematode biodiversity and prokaryotic heterotrophic production across seagrass, mangrove and reef sediments in the Caribbean, Celebes and Red Seas. For all variables we report the presence of differences among habitats within the same region, and among regions within the same habitat. In all regions, the richness of meiofaunal taxa in reef and seagrass sediments is higher than in mangrove sediments. The sediments of the Celebes Sea show the highest meiofaunal biodiversity. The composition of meiofaunal assemblages varies significantly among habitats in the same region. The nematode beta diversity among habitats within the same region is higher than the beta diversity among regions. Although one site per habitat was considered in each region, these results suggest that the composition of meiofaunal assemblages varies primarily among biogeographic regions, whereas the composition of nematode assemblages varies more considerably among habitats. Meiofauna and nematode biodiversity and prokaryotic heterotrophic production, even after the removal of covariate effects linked with longitude and the quantity and nutritional quality of organic matter, are positively and linearly linked both across regions and within each habitat type. Our results confirm that meiofauna and nematode biodiversity may influence benthic prokaryotic activity, which, in turn, implies that diversity loss could have negative impacts on ecosystem functioning in these systems. PMID:24603709

  17. Comparative genomics for biodiversity conservation

    PubMed Central

    Grueber, Catherine E.

    2015-01-01

    Genomic approaches are gathering momentum in biology and emerging opportunities lie in the creative use of comparative molecular methods for revealing the processes that influence diversity of wildlife. However, few comparative genomic studies are performed with explicit and specific objectives to aid conservation of wild populations. Here I provide a brief overview of comparative genomic approaches that offer specific benefits to biodiversity conservation. Because conservation examples are few, I draw on research from other areas to demonstrate how comparing genomic data across taxa may be used to inform the characterisation of conservation units and studies of hybridisation, as well as studies that provide conservation outcomes from a better understanding of the drivers of divergence. A comparative approach can also provide valuable insight into the threatening processes that impact rare species, such as emerging diseases and their management in conservation. In addition to these opportunities, I note areas where additional research is warranted. Overall, comparing and contrasting the genomic composition of threatened and other species provide several useful tools for helping to preserve the molecular biodiversity of the global ecosystem. PMID:26106461

  18. Hydropower, Adaptive Management, and Biodiversity

    PubMed

    WIERINGA; MORTON

    1996-11-01

    / Adaptive management is a policy framework within which an iterative process of decision making is followed based on the observed responses to and effectiveness of previous decisions. The use of adaptive management allows science-based research and monitoring of natural resource and ecological community responses, in conjunction with societal values and goals, to guide decisions concerning man's activities. The adaptive management process has been proposed for application to hydropower operations at Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River, a situation that requires complex balancing of natural resources requirements and competing human uses. This example is representative of the general increase in public interest in the operation of hydropower facilities and possible effects on downstream natural resources and of the growing conflicts between uses and users of river-based resources. This paper describes the adaptive management process, using the Glen Canyon Dam example, and discusses ways to make the process work effectively in managing downstream natural resources and biodiversity. KEY WORDS: Adaptive management; Biodiversity; Hydropower; Glen Canyon Dam; Ecology

  19. River networks as biodiversity hotlines.

    PubMed

    Décamps, Henri

    2011-05-01

    For several years, measures to insure healthy river functions and to protect biodiversity have focused on management at the scale of drainage basins. Indeed, rivers bear witness to the health of their drainage basins, which justifies integrated basin management. However, this vision should not mask two other aspects of the protection of aquatic and riparian biodiversity as well as services provided by rivers. First, although largely depending on the ecological properties of the surrounding terrestrial environment, rivers are ecological systems by themselves, characterized by their linearity: they are organized in connected networks, complex and ever changing, open to the sea. Second, the structure and functions of river networks respond to manipulations of their hydrology, and are particularly vulnerable to climatic variations. Whatever the scale considered, river networks represent "hotlines" for sharing water between ecological and societal systems, as well as for preserving both systems in the face of global change. River hotlines are characterized by spatial as well as temporal legacies: every human impact to a river network may be transmitted far downstream from its point of origin, and may produce effects only after a more or less prolonged latency period. Here, I review some of the current issues of river ecology in light of the linear character of river networks.

  20. Aquatic biodiversity and the electric utility industry

    SciTech Connect

    Olmsted, L.L.; Bolin, J.W.

    1996-11-01

    Results for a 1995 survey of utility company biologists indicate that aquatic biodiversity is an emerging and poorly understood issue. As a result, there is some confusion about what aquatic biodiversity actually is, and how we can best conserve it. Only one fourth (24%) of the respondents said their company has a stated environmental policy that addresses biodiversity. Many respondents indicate that over the years they have not specially managed for biodiversity, but have been doing that through their efforts to assure balanced indigenous populations. While regulations are still the major driver for biological work, an increasing number of companies are involved in voluntary partnerships in managing water resources. Of these voluntary partnerships, 70% have biodiversity as a goal. Biodiversity is becoming an increasingly common subject of study, and a vast majority (75%) of the respondents suggested is should be a goal for utility for resource management. Conservation of aquatic biodiversity is a complex task, and to date most aquatic efforts have been directed toward fish and macroinvertebrates. Ecological research and technological development performed by the utility industry have resulted in a number of successful biopreservation and biorestoration success stories. A common theme to preserving or enhancing aquatic biodiversity is preserving aquatic habitat. Increasingly, ecosystem management is touted as the most likely approach to achieve success in preserving aquatic biodiversity. Several utilities are conducting progressive work in implementing ecosystem management. This paper presents the potential interactions between power plants and biodiversity, and overview of aquatic biodiversity preservations efforts within the electric utility industry, more detail on the results of the survey, and recent initiatives in ecosystem management. 17 refs., 1 tab.

  1. Potential Antiviral Agents from Marine Fungi: An Overview.

    PubMed

    Moghadamtousi, Soheil Zorofchian; Nikzad, Sonia; Kadir, Habsah Abdul; Abubakar, Sazaly; Zandi, Keivan

    2015-07-22

    Biodiversity of the marine world is only partially subjected to detailed scientific scrutiny in comparison to terrestrial life. Life in the marine world depends heavily on marine fungi scavenging the oceans of lifeless plants and animals and entering them into the nutrient cycle by. Approximately 150 to 200 new compounds, including alkaloids, sesquiterpenes, polyketides, and aromatic compounds, are identified from marine fungi annually. In recent years, numerous investigations demonstrated the tremendous potential of marine fungi as a promising source to develop new antivirals against different important viruses, including herpes simplex viruses, the human immunodeficiency virus, and the influenza virus. Various genera of marine fungi such as Aspergillus, Penicillium, Cladosporium, and Fusarium were subjected to compound isolation and antiviral studies, which led to an illustration of the strong antiviral activity of a variety of marine fungi-derived compounds. The present review strives to summarize all available knowledge on active compounds isolated from marine fungi with antiviral activity.

  2. Potential Antiviral Agents from Marine Fungi: An Overview

    PubMed Central

    Zorofchian Moghadamtousi, Soheil; Nikzad, Sonia; Abdul Kadir, Habsah; Abubakar, Sazaly; Zandi, Keivan

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity of the marine world is only partially subjected to detailed scientific scrutiny in comparison to terrestrial life. Life in the marine world depends heavily on marine fungi scavenging the oceans of lifeless plants and animals and entering them into the nutrient cycle by. Approximately 150 to 200 new compounds, including alkaloids, sesquiterpenes, polyketides, and aromatic compounds, are identified from marine fungi annually. In recent years, numerous investigations demonstrated the tremendous potential of marine fungi as a promising source to develop new antivirals against different important viruses, including herpes simplex viruses, the human immunodeficiency virus, and the influenza virus. Various genera of marine fungi such as Aspergillus, Penicillium, Cladosporium, and Fusarium were subjected to compound isolation and antiviral studies, which led to an illustration of the strong antiviral activity of a variety of marine fungi-derived compounds. The present review strives to summarize all available knowledge on active compounds isolated from marine fungi with antiviral activity. PMID:26204947

  3. Status of Biodiversity in the Baltic Sea

    PubMed Central

    Ojaveer, Henn; Jaanus, Andres; MacKenzie, Brian R.; Martin, Georg; Olenin, Sergej; Radziejewska, Teresa; Telesh, Irena; Zettler, Michael L.; Zaiko, Anastasija

    2010-01-01

    The brackish Baltic Sea hosts species of various origins and environmental tolerances. These immigrated to the sea 10,000 to 15,000 years ago or have been introduced to the area over the relatively recent history of the system. The Baltic Sea has only one known endemic species. While information on some abiotic parameters extends back as long as five centuries and first quantitative snapshot data on biota (on exploited fish populations) originate generally from the same time, international coordination of research began in the early twentieth century. Continuous, annual Baltic Sea-wide long-term datasets on several organism groups (plankton, benthos, fish) are generally available since the mid-1950s. Based on a variety of available data sources (published papers, reports, grey literature, unpublished data), the Baltic Sea, incl. Kattegat, hosts altogether at least 6,065 species, including at least 1,700 phytoplankton, 442 phytobenthos, at least 1,199 zooplankton, at least 569 meiozoobenthos, 1,476 macrozoobenthos, at least 380 vertebrate parasites, about 200 fish, 3 seal, and 83 bird species. In general, but not in all organism groups, high sub-regional total species richness is associated with elevated salinity. Although in comparison with fully marine areas the Baltic Sea supports fewer species, several facets of the system's diversity remain underexplored to this day, such as micro-organisms, foraminiferans, meiobenthos and parasites. In the future, climate change and its interactions with multiple anthropogenic forcings are likely to have major impacts on the Baltic biodiversity. PMID:20824189

  4. Marine genomics: News and views.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Ângela M; Foote, Andrew D; Kupczok, Anne; Frazão, Bárbara; Limborg, Morten T; Piñeiro, Rosalía; Abalde, Samuel; Rocha, Sara; da Fonseca, Rute R

    2017-02-01

    Marine ecosystems occupy 71% of the surface of our planet, yet we know little about their diversity. Although the inventory of species is continually increasing, as registered by the Census of Marine Life program, only about 10% of the estimated two million marine species are known. This lag between observed and estimated diversity is in part due to the elusiveness of most aquatic species and the technical difficulties of exploring extreme environments, as for instance the abyssal plains and polar waters. In the last decade, the rapid development of affordable and flexible high-throughput sequencing approaches have been helping to improve our knowledge of marine biodiversity, from the rich microbial biota that forms the base of the tree of life to a wealth of plant and animal species. In this review, we present an overview of the applications of genomics to the study of marine life, from evolutionary biology of non-model organisms to species of commercial relevance for fishing, aquaculture and biomedicine. Instead of providing an exhaustive list of available genomic data, we rather set to present contextualized examples that best represent the current status of the field of marine genomics.

  5. Does biodiversity protect humans against infectious disease?

    PubMed

    Wood, Chelsea L; Lafferty, Kevin D; DeLeo, Giulio; Young, Hillary S; Hudson, Peter J; Kuris, Armand M

    2014-04-01

    Control of human infectious disease has been promoted as a valuable ecosystem service arising from the conservation of biodiversity. There are two commonly discussed mechanisms by which biodiversity loss could increase rates of infectious disease in a landscape. First, loss of competitors or predators could facilitate an increase in the abundance of competent reservoir hosts. Second, biodiversity loss could disproportionately affect non-competent, or less competent reservoir hosts, which would otherwise interfere with pathogen transmission to human populations by, for example, wasting the bites of infected vectors. A negative association between biodiversity and disease risk, sometimes called the "dilution effect hypothesis," has been supported for a few disease agents, suggests an exciting win-win outcome for the environment and society, and has become a pervasive topic in the disease ecology literature. Case studies have been assembled to argue that the dilution effect is general across disease agents. Less touted are examples in which elevated biodiversity does not affect or increases infectious disease risk for pathogens of public health concern. In order to assess the likely generality of the dilution effect, we review the association between biodiversity and public health across a broad variety of human disease agents. Overall, we hypothesize that conditions for the dilution effect are unlikely to be met for most important diseases of humans. Biodiversity probably has little net effect on most human infectious diseases but, when it does have an effect, observation and basic logic suggest that biodiversity will be more likely to increase than to decrease infectious disease risk.

  6. Digital Geogames to Foster Local Biodiversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaal, Sonja; Schaal, Steffen; Lude, Armin

    2015-01-01

    The valuing of biodiversity is considered to be a first step towards its conservation. Therefore, the aim of the BioDiv2Go project is to combine sensuous experiences discovering biodiversity with mobile technology and a game-based learning approach. Following the competence model for environmental education (Roczen et al, 2014), Geogames (location…

  7. Incentivizing biodiversity conservation in artisanal fishing communities through territorial user rights and business model innovation.

    PubMed

    Gelcich, Stefan; Donlan, C Josh

    2015-08-01

    Territorial user rights for fisheries are being promoted to enhance the sustainability of small-scale fisheries. Using Chile as a case study, we designed a market-based program aimed at improving fishers' livelihoods while incentivizing the establishment and enforcement of no-take areas within areas managed with territorial user right regimes. Building on explicit enabling conditions (i.e., high levels of governance, participation, and empowerment), we used a place-based, human-centered approach to design a program that will have the necessary support and buy-in from local fishers to result in landscape-scale biodiversity benefits. Transactional infrastructure must be complex enough to capture the biodiversity benefits being created, but simple enough so that the program can be scaled up and is attractive to potential financiers. Biodiversity benefits created must be commoditized, and desired behavioral changes must be verified within a transactional context. Demand must be generated for fisher-created biodiversity benefits in order to attract financing and to scale the market model. Important design decisions around these 3 components-supply, transactional infrastructure, and demand-must be made based on local social-ecological conditions. Our market model, which is being piloted in Chile, is a flexible foundation on which to base scalable opportunities to operationalize a scheme that incentivizes local, verifiable biodiversity benefits via conservation behaviors by fishers that could likely result in significant marine conservation gains and novel cross-sector alliances.

  8. Limitations of habitats as biodiversity surrogates for conservation planning in estuaries.

    PubMed

    Shokri, Mohammad Reza; Gladstone, William

    2013-04-01

    Increasing pressures on global biodiversity and lack of data on the number and abundance of species have motivated conservation planners and researchers to use more readily available information as proxies or surrogates for biodiversity. "Habitat" is one of the most frequently used surrogates but its assumed value in marine conservation planning is not often tested. The present study developed and tested three alternative habitat classification schemes of increasing complexity for a large estuary in south-east Australia and tested their effectiveness in predicting spatial variation in macroinvertebrate biodiversity and selecting estuarine protected areas to represent species. The three habitat classification schemes were: (1) broad-scale habitats (e.g., mangroves and seagrass), (2) subdivision of each broad-scale habitat by a suite of environmental variables that varied significantly throughout the estuary, and (3) subdivision of each broad-scale habitat by the subset of environmental variables that best explained spatial variation in macroinvertebrate biodiversity. Macroinvertebrate assemblages differed significantly among the habitats in each classification scheme. For each classification scheme, habitat richness was significantly correlated with species richness, total density of macroinvertebrates, assemblage dissimilarity, and summed irreplaceability. However, in a reserve selection process designed to represent examples of each habitat, no habitat classification scheme represented species significantly better than a random selection of sites. Habitat classification schemes may represent variation in estuarine biodiversity; however, the results of this study suggest they are inefficient in designing representative networks of estuarine protected areas.

  9. Collapse of biodiversity in fractured metacommunities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, Charles; Mehta, Pankaj

    2014-03-01

    The increasing threat to global biodiversity from climate change, habitat destruction, and other anthropogenic factors motivates the search for features that increase the resistance of ecological communities to destructive disturbances. Recently, Gibson et al (Science 2013) observed that the damming of the Khlong Saeng river in Thailand caused a rapid collapse of biodiversity in the remaining tropical forests. Using a theoretical model that maps the distribution of coexisting species in an ecological community to a disordered system of Ising spins, we show that fracturing a metacommunity by inhibiting species dispersal leads to a collapse in biodiversity in the constituent local communities. The biodiversity collapse can be modeled as a diffusion on a rough energy landscape, and the resulting estimate for the rate of extinction highlights the role of species functional diversity in maintaining biodiversity following a disturbance.

  10. Focus on biodiversity, health and wellbeing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephens, Carolyn; Athias, Renato

    2015-12-01

    In 2012 Environmental Research Letters (ERL) launched a focus series of research papers on the theme of biodiversity, health and well-being. It was the year of the second Rio Summit on Sustainable Development, a huge number of species had been made extinct and conservationists were making increasingly urgent calls for the protection of biodiversity. The situation is ever more critical. Since we started the issue more species have become extinct, and hundreds more have now become critically endangered. The focus issue highlighted the complexity of the links of biodiversity and health, and provides more evidence for the importance to human health of biodiversity on our planet. Research papers contrasted anthropocentric western scientific views of biodiversity and its ecosystem service to humans, with the more horizontal conceptions of indigenous communities in the Amazon—and as many cultures have recognized throughout history, they recognize that we are part of nature: nature does not exist for us.

  11. Food variety and biodiversity: Econutrition.

    PubMed

    Wahlqvist, M L; Specht, R L

    1998-12-01

    Both annual biomass production and biodiversity at any locality on earth are continually under threat as the population of Homo sapiens steadily increases, with the resultant pollution of atmosphere, soil and water. Today, environmental degradation and global warming (with its effect on evaporative aerodynamics and cellular respiration) have increased at an alarming rate. The ABP of all terrestrial plant communities (natural or cultivated) is slowly declining, thus reducing the energy supply of component plants and resident animals; in turn, the biodiversity of all the world's ecosystems, plant and animal, is threatened. The maintenance of biodiversity is important to human health for several reasons: (i) a varied food supply is essential to maintain the health of the omnivorous human species; (ii) a range of diverse food sources is necessary to safe-guard against climatic and pestilent disasters which may affect one or more of the food sources; (iii) a diversity of plants and animals may provide a rich source of medicinal material, essential for the extraction of undiscovered therapeutic compounds; (iv) intact ecosystems of indigenous plants and animals appear to act as a buffer to the spread of invasive plants and animals, and of pathogens and toxins, thus contributing to the health of populations nearby; and (v) the 'spiritual' values of exploring the diversity of plants, animals and ecosystems in an area appear to have a beneficial effect on mental health, strengthening the feeling of 'belonging to the landscape'. The variety of foods, their energy contents and food values, consumed throughout the year is amenable to scientific enquiry; as is the amount of energy expended in this collection or production. The control and management of food production and of water supplies, with attention to safety issues, has led to an improvement in life expectancy for a proportion of the world's population. The question is at what point might human health be disadvantaged by

  12. Terrestrial Biodiversity Analyses in Dalmatia (Croatia): A Complementary Approach Using Diversity and Rarity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jelaska, Sven D.; Nikolić, Toni; Šerić Jelaska, Lucija; Kušan, Vladimir; Peternel, Hrvoje; Gužvica, Goran; Major, Zoran

    2010-03-01

    Here we present the methodology used for terrestrial biodiversity analysis and site selection in Phase B of the UNDP/GEF COAST project. The analysis was focused on the problem of biodiversity evaluation in four Croatian counties stretching from sea level to the highest mountain in Croatia. Data on habitats, vascular flora, and fauna (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies, ground beetles, and underground invertebrates) were collected and analyzed for each of the four counties. Emphasis was given to the richness of endangered species and the rarity of endemic species. Based on the spatial analyses of habitat, fauna, and flora data, four to six areas were selected from each county and ranked according to their biodiversity importance. Overlap between areas important for richness and those important for rarity was highest for data on flora (65.5%) and lowest for data on fauna (16.7%). When different data sets were compared, the lowest overlap was between flora and fauna (17.1%) and largest between fauna and habitats (23.9%). Simultaneous overlap among all three data sets was found in just 6.5% of the overall selected areas. These results suggest that less specific data, with respect to taxa threat status, could better serve as surrogate data in estimating overall biodiversity. In summary, this analysis has demonstrated that Dalmatia is a region with a high overall biodiversity that is important in a broader European context.

  13. Terrestrial biodiversity analyses in Dalmatia (Croatia): a complementary approach using diversity and rarity.

    PubMed

    Jelaska, Sven D; Nikolić, Toni; Serić Jelaska, Lucija; Kusan, Vladimir; Peternel, Hrvoje; Guzvica, Goran; Major, Zoran

    2010-03-01

    Here we present the methodology used for terrestrial biodiversity analysis and site selection in Phase B of the UNDP/GEF COAST project. The analysis was focused on the problem of biodiversity evaluation in four Croatian counties stretching from sea level to the highest mountain in Croatia. Data on habitats, vascular flora, and fauna (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies, ground beetles, and underground invertebrates) were collected and analyzed for each of the four counties. Emphasis was given to the richness of endangered species and the rarity of endemic species. Based on the spatial analyses of habitat, fauna, and flora data, four to six areas were selected from each county and ranked according to their biodiversity importance. Overlap between areas important for richness and those important for rarity was highest for data on flora (65.5%) and lowest for data on fauna (16.7%). When different data sets were compared, the lowest overlap was between flora and fauna (17.1%) and largest between fauna and habitats (23.9%). Simultaneous overlap among all three data sets was found in just 6.5% of the overall selected areas. These results suggest that less specific data, with respect to taxa threat status, could better serve as surrogate data in estimating overall biodiversity. In summary, this analysis has demonstrated that Dalmatia is a region with a high overall biodiversity that is important in a broader European context.

  14. A quantitative analysis of biodiversity and the recreational value of potential national parks in Denmark.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Frank Wugt; Petersen, Anders Højgård; Strange, Niels; Lund, Mette Palitzsch; Rahbek, Carsten

    2008-05-01

    Denmark has committed itself to the European 2010 target to halt the loss of biodiversity. Currently, Denmark is in the process of designating larger areas as national parks, and 7 areas (of a possible 32 larger nature areas) have been selected for pilot projects to test the feasibility of establishing national parks. In this article, we first evaluate the effectiveness of the a priori network of national parks proposed through expert and political consensus versus a network chosen specifically for biodiversity through quantitative analysis. Second, we analyze the potential synergy between preserving biodiversity in terms of species representation and recreational values in selecting a network of national parks. We use the actual distribution of 973 species within these 32 areas and 4 quantitative measures of recreational value. Our results show that the 7 pilot project areas are not significantly more effective in representing species than expected by chance and that considerably more efficient networks can be selected. Moreover, it is possible to select more-effective networks of areas that combine high representation of species with high ranking in terms of recreational values. Therefore, our findings suggest possible synergies between outdoor recreation and biodiversity conservation when selecting networks of national parks. Overall, this Danish case illustrates that data-driven analysis can not only provide valuable information to guide the decision-making process of designating national parks, but it can also be a means to identify solutions that simultaneously fulfill several goals (biodiversity preservation and recreational values).

  15. Marine pollution

    SciTech Connect

    Albaiges, J. )

    1989-01-01

    This book covers the following topics: Transport of marine pollutants; Transformation of pollutants in the marine environment; Biological effects of marine pollutants; Sources and transport of oil pollutants in the Persian Gulf; Trace metals and hydrocarbons in Syrian coastal waters; and Techniques for analysis of trace pollutants.

  16. Coordinating for Arctic Conservation: Implementing Integrated Arctic Biodiversity Monitoring, Data Management and Reporting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gill, M.; Svoboda, M.

    2012-12-01

    themes (Marine, Freshwater, and Terrestrial). Each group, representing a diversity of disciplines, is tasked with developing and implementing pan-arctic integrated biodiversity monitoring plans for the Arctic's ecosystems. To facilitate effective reporting and data management, the CBMP is developing a suite of indices and indicators and a web-based data portal that will be used to report on the current state of arctic biodiversity at various scales and levels of detail to suit a wide range of audiences (e.g. local Arctic communities, regional and national governments and the Convention on Biological Diversity). The current and planned CBMP biodiversity monitoring underpins these indicators and indices. The presentation will highlight the CBMP approach and provide some examples of how integrated monitoring, data management and reporting are leading to more informed decision-making.

  17. Biodiversity effects on plant stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Abbas, Maike; Ebeling, Anne; Oelmann, Yvonne; Ptacnik, Robert; Roscher, Christiane; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Hillebrand, Helmut

    2013-01-01

    In the course of the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning debate, the issue of multifunctionality of species communities has recently become a major focus. Elemental stoichiometry is related to a variety of processes reflecting multiple plant responses to the biotic and abiotic environment. It can thus be expected that the diversity of a plant assemblage alters community level plant tissue chemistry. We explored elemental stoichiometry in aboveground plant tissue (ratios of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) and its relationship to plant diversity in a 5-year study in a large grassland biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment). Species richness and functional group richness affected community stoichiometry, especially by increasing C:P and N:P ratios. The primacy of either species or functional group richness effects depended on the sequence of testing these terms, indicating that both aspects of richness were congruent and complementary to expected strong effects of legume presence and grass presence on plant chemical composition. Legumes and grasses had antagonistic effects on C:N (-27.7% in the presence of legumes, +32.7% in the presence of grasses). In addition to diversity effects on mean ratios, higher species richness consistently decreased the variance of chemical composition for all elemental ratios. The diversity effects on plant stoichiometry has several non-exclusive explanations: The reduction in variance can reflect a statistical averaging effect of species with different chemical composition or a optimization of nutrient uptake at high diversity, leading to converging ratios at high diversity. The shifts in mean ratios potentially reflect higher allocation to stem tissue as plants grew taller at higher richness. By showing a first link between plant diversity and stoichiometry in a multiyear experiment, our results indicate that losing plant species from grassland ecosystems will lead to less reliable chemical composition of forage for

  18. Saving Saba Bank: Policy Implications of Biodiversity Studies

    PubMed Central

    Hoetjes, Paul C.; Carpenter, Kent E.

    2010-01-01

    Saba Bank has always been an area of special importance to the neighboring island of Saba in the Netherlands Antilles. Sabans traditionally fished on the Bank as far back as 1907, but increasing foreign fishing pressures on the Bank in the 1970s and 1980s forced many Saban fishermen out. Concerns were compounded by the suspicion that shipping was also damaging the benthic habitat of the bank. Fishery legislation, enacted in 1996, brought an end to unlicensed fishing and established Coast Guard enforcement on the Bank, but also led to protests from neighboring countries that previously fished on the Bank. Research was necessary to support the need for protection. Review of available research of Saba Bank and rapid biological assessments and fisheries surveys since 1996 emphasized the richness of Saba Bank's biodiversity and the need for protection of fisheries stocks. The national nature policy plan recognized this and encouraged further research to base conservation measures on. Recent biological surveys of corals, fishes, and algae presented in this collection of articles emphasized habitat heterogeneity and the relative richness of the marine flora and fauna. These assessments formed the basis for a management plan to protect Saba Bank's biodiversity and a draft proposal to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) seeking Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) status for the Bank. The intention of the PSSA proposal is to protect the benthic habitat on Saba Bank from anchor damage. This paper serves to provide the context for the results of the recent biodiversity surveys of Saba Bank. It is hoped that this collection will serve as a knowledge baseline and engender further research in the area. PMID:20505823

  19. The Foraging Ecology of the Endangered Cape Verde Shearwater, a Sentinel Species for Marine Conservation off West Africa.

    PubMed

    Paiva, Vitor H; Geraldes, Pedro; Rodrigues, Isabel; Melo, Tommy; Melo, José; Ramos, Jaime A