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Sample records for large marine ecosystem

  1. [Management of large marine ecosystem based on ecosystem approach].

    PubMed

    Chu, Jian-song

    2011-09-01

    Large marine ecosystem (LME) is a large area of ocean characterized by distinct oceanology and ecology. Its natural characteristics require management based on ecosystem approach. A series of international treaties and regulations definitely or indirectly support that it should adopt ecosystem approach to manage LME to achieve the sustainable utilization of marine resources. In practices, some countries such as Canada, Australia, and U.S.A. have adopted ecosystem-based approach to manage their oceans, and some international organizations such as global environment fund committee have carried out a number of LME programs based on ecosystem approach. Aiming at the sustainable development of their fisheries, the regional organizations such as Caribbean Community have established regional fisheries mechanism. However, the adoption of ecosystem approach to manage LME is not only a scientific and legal issue, but also a political matter largely depending on the political will and the mutual cooperation degree of related countries.

  2. Climate projections for selected large marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-02-01

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

  3. Biomass yields and geography of large marine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Sherman, K.; Alexander, L.M.

    1989-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

    The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy has been developed and is being implemented, with the objective to deliver "Good Environmental Status" by 2020. A pragmatic way forward has been achieved through the development of 11 "qualitative descriptors". In an attempt to identify gaps in MSFD, regarding the data on large marine vertebrates, the SETAC--Italian Branch organised a workshop in Siena (IT). Particular attention was paid to the qualitative descriptors 8 (contaminants and pollution effects) and 10 (marine litter). The specific remit was to discuss the potential use of large marine vertebrates (from large pelagic fish, sea turtles, sea birds and cetaceans) in determining the environmental status of pelagic marine ecosystems. During the workshop it emerged that large pelagic fish may be especially useful for monitoring short- to medium-term changes in pelagic ecosystems, while cetaceans provided a more integrated view over the long-term. A theme that strongly emerged was the broad recognition that biomarkers offer real potential for the determination of good ecological status detecting the "undesirable biological effects" (indicator for descriptor 8). Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  6. Transient dynamics of an altered large marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Frank, Kenneth T; Petrie, Brian; Fisher, Jonathan A D; Leggett, William C

    2011-07-27

    Overfishing of large-bodied benthic fishes and their subsequent population collapses on the Scotian Shelf of Canada's east coast and elsewhere resulted in restructuring of entire food webs now dominated by planktivorous, forage fish species and macroinvertebrates. Despite the imposition of strict management measures in force since the early 1990s, the Scotian Shelf ecosystem has not reverted back to its former structure. Here we provide evidence of the transient nature of this ecosystem and its current return path towards benthic fish species domination. The prolonged duration of the altered food web, and its current recovery, was and is being governed by the oscillatory, runaway consumption dynamics of the forage fish complex. These erupting forage species, which reached biomass levels 900% greater than those prevalent during the pre-collapse years of large benthic predators, are now in decline, having outstripped their zooplankton food supply. This dampening, and the associated reduction in the intensity of predation, was accompanied by lagged increases in species abundances at both lower and higher trophic levels, first witnessed in zooplankton and then in large-bodied predators, all consistent with a return towards the earlier ecosystem structure. We conclude that the reversibility of perturbed ecosystems can occur and that this bodes well for other collapsed fisheries.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sherman, K. )

    1993-06-01

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

  8. Climate change alters stability and species potential interactions in a large marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Griffith, Gary P; Strutton, Peter G; Semmens, Jayson M

    2017-09-04

    We have little empirical evidence of how large-scale overlaps between large numbers of marine species may have altered in response to human impacts. Here, we synthesized all available distribution data (>1 million records) since 1992 for 61 species of the East Australian marine ecosystem, a global hot spot of ocean warming and continuing fisheries exploitation. Using a novel approach, we constructed networks of the annual changes in geographical overlaps between species. Using indices of changes in species overlap, we quantified changes in the ecosystem stability, species robustness, species sensitivity and structural keystone species. We then compared the species overlap indices with environmental and fisheries data to identify potential factors leading to the changes in distributional overlaps between species. We found that the structure of the ecosystem has changed with a decrease in asymmetrical geographical overlaps between species. This suggests that the ecosystem has become less stable and potentially more susceptible to environmental perturbations. Most species have shown a decrease in overlaps with other species. The greatest decrease in species overlap robustness and sensitivity to the loss of other species has occurred in the pelagic community. Some demersal species have become more robust and less sensitive. Pelagic structural keystone species, predominately the tunas and billfish, have been replaced by demersal fish species. The changes in species overlap were strongly correlated with regional oceanographic changes, in particular increasing ocean warming and the southward transport of warmer and saltier water with the East Australian Current (EAC), but less correlated with fisheries catch. Our study illustrates how large-scale multispecies distribution changes can help identify structural changes in marine ecosystems associated with climate change. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Honey, K. T.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Morissette, Lyne; Christensen, Villy; Pauly, Daniel

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Exploring local adaptation and the ocean acidification seascape - studies in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofmann, G. E.; Evans, T. G.; Kelly, M. W.; Padilla-Gamiño, J. L.; Blanchette, C. A.; Washburn, L.; Chan, F.; McManus, M. A.; Menge, B. A.; Gaylord, B.; Hill, T. M.; Sanford, E.; LaVigne, M.; Rose, J. M.; Kapsenberg, L.; Dutton, J. M.

    2014-02-01

    The California Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME), a temperate marine region dominated by episodic upwelling, is predicted to experience rapid environmental change in the future due to ocean acidification. The aragonite saturation state within the California Current System is predicted to decrease in the future with near-permanent undersaturation conditions expected by the year 2050. Thus, the CCLME is a critical region to study due to the rapid rate of environmental change that resident organisms will experience and because of the economic and societal value of this coastal region. Recent efforts by a research consortium - the Ocean Margin Ecosystems Group for Acidification Studies (OMEGAS) - has begun to characterize a portion of the CCLME; both describing the spatial mosaic of pH in coastal waters and examining the responses of key calcification-dependent benthic marine organisms to natural variation in pH and to changes in carbonate chemistry that are expected in the coming decades. In this review, we present the OMEGAS strategy of co-locating sensors and oceanographic observations with biological studies on benthic marine invertebrates, specifically measurements of functional traits such as calcification-related processes and genetic variation in populations that are locally adapted to conditions in a particular region of the coast. Highlighted in this contribution are (1) the OMEGAS sensor network that spans the west coast of the US from central Oregon to southern California, (2) initial findings of the carbonate chemistry amongst the OMEGAS study sites, and (3) an overview of the biological data that describes the acclimatization and the adaptation capacity of key benthic marine invertebrates within the CCLME.

  14. Exploring local adaptation and the ocean acidification seascape - studies in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofmann, G. E.; Evans, T. G.; Kelly, M. W.; Padilla-Gamiño, J. L.; Blanchette, C. A.; Washburn, L.; Chan, F.; McManus, M. A.; Menge, B. A.; Gaylord, B.; Hill, T. M.; Sanford, E.; LaVigne, M.; Rose, J. M.; Kapsenberg, L.; Dutton, J. M.

    2013-07-01

    The California Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME), a temperate marine region dominated by episodic upwelling, is predicted to experience rapid environmental change in the future due to ocean acidification. Aragonite saturation state within the California Current System is predicted to decrease in the future, with near-permanent undersaturation conditions expected by the year 2050. Thus, the CCLME is a critical region to study due to the rapid rate of environmental change that resident organisms will experience and because of the economic and societal value of this coastal region. Recent efforts by a research consortium - the Ocean Margin Ecosystems Group for Acidification Studies (OMEGAS) - has begun to characterize a portion of the CCLME; both describing the mosaic of pH in coastal waters and examining the responses of key calcification-dependent benthic marine organisms to natural variation in pH and to changes in carbonate chemistry that are expected in the coming decades. In this review, we present the OMEGAS strategy of co-locating sensors and oceanographic observations with biological studies on benthic marine invertebrates, specifically measurements of functional traits such as calcification-related processes and genetic variation in populations that are locally adapted to conditions in a particular region of the coast. Highlighted in this contribution are (1) the OMEGAS sensor network that spans the west coast of the US from central Oregon to southern California, (2) initial findings of the carbonate chemistry amongst the OMEGAS study sites, (3) an overview of the biological data that describes the acclimatization and the adaptation capacity of key benthic marine invertebrates within the CCLME.

  15. Pathways between Primary Production and Fisheries Yields of Large Marine Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Friedland, Kevin D.; Stock, Charles; Drinkwater, Kenneth F.; Link, Jason S.; Leaf, Robert T.; Shank, Burton V.; Rose, Julie M.; Pilskaln, Cynthia H.; Fogarty, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    The shift in marine resource management from a compartmentalized approach of dealing with resources on a species basis to an approach based on management of spatially defined ecosystems requires an accurate accounting of energy flow. The flow of energy from primary production through the food web will ultimately limit upper trophic-level fishery yields. In this work, we examine the relationship between yield and several metrics including net primary production, chlorophyll concentration, particle-export ratio, and the ratio of secondary to primary production. We also evaluate the relationship between yield and two additional rate measures that describe the export of energy from the pelagic food web, particle export flux and mesozooplankton productivity. We found primary production is a poor predictor of global fishery yields for a sample of 52 large marine ecosystems. However, chlorophyll concentration, particle-export ratio, and the ratio of secondary to primary production were positively associated with yields. The latter two measures provide greater mechanistic insight into factors controlling fishery production than chlorophyll concentration alone. Particle export flux and mesozooplankton productivity were also significantly related to yield on a global basis. Collectively, our analyses suggest that factors related to the export of energy from pelagic food webs are critical to defining patterns of fishery yields. Such trophic patterns are associated with temperature and latitude and hence greater yields are associated with colder, high latitude ecosystems. PMID:22276100

  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. 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

  18. 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

  19. Marine mammal impacts in exploited ecosystems: would large scale culling benefit fisheries?

    PubMed

    Morissette, Lyne; Christensen, Villy; Pauly, Daniel

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  1. Contamination of port zone sediments by metals from Large Marine Ecosystems of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Buruaem, Lucas M; Hortellani, Marcos A; Sarkis, Jorge E; Costa-Lotufo, Leticia V; Abessa, Denis M S

    2012-03-01

    Sediment contamination by metals poses risks to coastal ecosystems and is considered to be problematic to dredging operations. In Brazil, there are differences in sedimentology along the Large Marine Ecosystems in relation to the metal distributions. We aimed to assess the extent of Al, Fe, Hg, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn contamination in sediments from port zones in northeast (Mucuripe and Pecém) and southeast (Santos) Brazil through geochemical analyses and sediment quality ratings. The metal concentrations found in these port zones were higher than those observed in the continental shelf or the background values in both regions. In the northeast, metals were associated with carbonate, while in Santos, they were associated with mud. Geochemical analyses showed enrichments in Hg, Cd, Cu, Ni and Zn, and a simple application of international sediment quality guidelines failed to predict their impacts, whereas the use of site-specific values that were derived by geochemical and ecotoxicological approaches seemed to be more appropriate in the management of the dredged sediments. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Visualizing Ecosystem Energy Flow in Complex Food Web Networks: A Comparison of Three Alaskan Large Marine Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kearney, K.; Aydin, K.

    2016-02-01

    Oceanic food webs are often depicted as network graphs, with the major organisms or functional groups displayed as nodes and the fluxes of between them as the edges. However, the large number of nodes and edges and high connectance of many management-oriented food webs coupled with graph layout algorithms poorly-suited to certain desired characteristics of food web visualizations often lead to hopelessly tangled diagrams that convey little information other than, "It's complex." Here, I combine several new graph visualization techniques- including a new node layout alorithm based on a trophic similarity (quantification of shared predator and prey) and trophic level, divided edge bundling for edge routing, and intelligent automated placement of labels- to create a much clearer visualization of the important fluxes through a food web. The technique will be used to highlight the differences in energy flow within three Alaskan Large Marine Ecosystems (the Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and Aleutian Islands) that include very similar functional groups but unique energy pathways.

  3. Accelerated warming and emergent trends in fisheries biomass yields of the world's large marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Sherman, Kenneth; Belkin, Igor M; Friedland, Kevin D; O'Reilly, John; Hyde, Kimberly

    2009-06-01

    Information on the effects of global climate change on trends in global fisheries biomass yields has been limited in spatial and temporal scale. Results are presented of a global study of the impact of sea surface temperature (SST) changes over the last 25 years on the fisheries yields of 63 large marine ecosystems (LMEs) that annually produce 80% of the world's marine fisheries catches. Warming trends were observed in 61 LMEs around the globe. In 18 of the LMEs, rates of SST warming were two to four times faster during the past 25 years than the globally averaged rates of SST warming reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007. Effects of warming on fisheries biomass yields were greatest in the fast-warming northern Northeast Atlantic LMEs, where increasing trends in fisheries biomass yields were related to zooplankton biomass increases. In contrast, fisheries biomass yields of LMEs in the fast-warming, more southerly reaches of the Northeast Atlantic were declining in response to decreases in zooplankton abundance. The LMEs around the margins of the Indian Ocean, where SSTs were among the world's slowest warming, revealed a consistent pattern of fisheries biomass increases during the past 25 years, driven principally by human need for food security from fisheries resources. As a precautionary approach toward more sustainable fisheries utilization, management measures to limit the total allowable catch through a cap-and-sustain approach are suggested for the developing nations recently fishing heavily on resources of the Agulhas Current, Somali Current, Arabian Sea, and Bay of Bengal LMEs.

  4. Atmospheric Wind Relaxations and the Oceanic Response in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fewings, M. R.; Dorman, C. E.; Washburn, L.; Liu, W.

    2010-12-01

    the Gulf of Alaska influence ocean conditions in central and southern California via these wind relaxations. The ocean response within a few km of the coast involves poleward-flowing currents that transport warm water out of the lees of capes and headlands and counter to the direction of the California Current [Send et al. 1987, Harms and Winant 1998, Winant et al. 2003, Melton et al. 2009]. A similar response occurs in the Benguela and Canary Current coastal upwelling systems. The ocean response involves both barotropic and baroclinic dynamics and is consistent with existing geophysical models of buoyant, coastally-trapped plumes [Washburn et al., in prep]. Our ongoing work includes i) studying the regional ocean response to determine its spatial extent, time evolution, and ocean-atmosphere coupling dynamics; ii) developing an atmospheric index to predict wind relaxations in southern California based on pressure in the Gulf of Alaska; iii) examining the strength and frequency of wind relaxations over the past 30 years for connections to El Niño and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation; and iv) predicting future variations in wind relaxations and the response of the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  6. Emergence of modern marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hull, Pincelli M

    2017-06-05

    The structure and function of marine ecosystems are not fixed. Instead, major innovations - from the origin of oxygenic photosynthesis, to the evolution of reefs or of deep bioturbation, to the rise of pelagic calcifiers - have changed biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem dynamics. As a result, modern marine ecosystems are fundamentally different from those in the distant past. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Jeffrey E.; Barlow, Jay P.

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Declining abundance of beaked whales (family Ziphiidae) in the California Current large marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Moore, Jeffrey E; Barlow, Jay P

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Development of an Online Climate and Fisheries Data Dashboard for Stakeholders in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young Morse, R.

    2016-12-01

    Fisheries managers make decisions that shape the future of ecosystems and the communities that depend on them. These decisions are often made without reference to environmental conditions, or are made assuming that past conditions (physical conditions, productivity, and species distributions) will persist. The rapid changes experienced in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (NES LME), as well as the high degree of natural variability in this system, are prompting new discussions about how to incorporate environmental information into fisheries policy and management and into the industry. Through this project, we are facilitating access to fisheries and climate data for fisheries stakeholders in the Northeast through the creation of an online dynamic data dashboard. The primary goal is to make complex climate-relevant data accessible and easy to understand. Information on past, present, and future environmental conditions in the NES LME are presented in the context of fisheries dependent data. Working with marine fisheries stakeholders, including fisheries management council members, industry leaders and non-profits, we have developed a suite of open source processes and tools to acquire and subset climate relevant data from a variety of sources (satellites, sensors, models), develop long range climatologies, and display through dynamically updated interactive data visualizations. The resulting dashboard allows users to quickly assess conditions in the ocean and evaluate them in the context of past and projected change.

  10. Potential consequences of climate change for primary production and fish production in large marine ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Blanchard, Julia L.; Jennings, Simon; Holmes, Robert; Harle, James; Merino, Gorka; Allen, J. Icarus; Holt, Jason; Dulvy, Nicholas K.; Barange, Manuel

    2012-01-01

    Existing methods to predict the effects of climate change on the biomass and production of marine communities are predicated on modelling the interactions and dynamics of individual species, a very challenging approach when interactions and distributions are changing and little is known about the ecological mechanisms driving the responses of many species. An informative parallel approach is to develop size-based methods. These capture the properties of food webs that describe energy flux and production at a particular size, independent of species' ecology. We couple a physical–biogeochemical model with a dynamic, size-based food web model to predict the future effects of climate change on fish biomass and production in 11 large regional shelf seas, with and without fishing effects. Changes in potential fish production are shown to most strongly mirror changes in phytoplankton production. We project declines of 30–60% in potential fish production across some important areas of tropical shelf and upwelling seas, most notably in the eastern Indo-Pacific, the northern Humboldt and the North Canary Current. Conversely, in some areas of the high latitude shelf seas, the production of pelagic predators was projected to increase by 28–89%. PMID:23007086

  11. Distinct zooplankton regime shift patterns across ecoregions of the U.S. Northeast continental shelf Large Marine Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morse, R. E.; Friedland, K. D.; Tommasi, D.; Stock, C.; Nye, J.

    2017-01-01

    We investigated regime shifts in seasonal zooplankton communities of the Northeast continental shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (NES) and its subcomponent ecoregions over a multi-decadal period (1977-2013). Our cross ecoregion analysis shows that regime shifts in different ecoregions often exhibited very distinct characteristics, emphasizing more granular fluctuations in NES plankton communities relative to previous work. Shifts early in the time series generally reflected an increase in abundance levels. The response of zooplankton abundance within fall communities was more similar among ecoregions than for spring communities. The Gulf of Maine exhibited highly distinct patterns from other ecoregions, with regime shifts identified in the early 1980s, early 2000s, and mid-2000s for spring communities. Regime shifts were identified in the early to mid-1990s for the NES, Georges Bank, and the Mid-Atlantic Bight ecoregions, while the fall communities experienced shifts in the early 1990s and late 1980s for the NES and Georges Bank, but in the late 1990s in the Mid-Atlantic Bight. A constrained correspondence analysis of zooplankton community against local and basin-scale climatological indices suggests that water temperature, stratification, and the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) were the predominant factors in driving the zooplankton community composition.

  12. Tipping elements in the Arctic marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Carlos M; Agustí, Susana; Wassmann, Paul; Arrieta, Jesús M; Alcaraz, Miquel; Coello, Alexandra; Marbà, Núria; Hendriks, Iris E; Holding, Johnna; García-Zarandona, Iñigo; Kritzberg, Emma; Vaqué, Dolors

    2012-02-01

    The Arctic marine ecosystem contains multiple elements that present alternative states. The most obvious of which is an Arctic Ocean largely covered by an ice sheet in summer versus one largely devoid of such cover. Ecosystems under pressure typically shift between such alternative states in an abrupt, rather than smooth manner, with the level of forcing required for shifting this status termed threshold or tipping point. Loss of Arctic ice due to anthropogenic climate change is accelerating, with the extent of Arctic sea ice displaying increased variance at present, a leading indicator of the proximity of a possible tipping point. Reduced ice extent is expected, in turn, to trigger a number of additional tipping elements, physical, chemical, and biological, in motion, with potentially large impacts on the Arctic marine ecosystem.

  13. Ecotoxicology of tropical marine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-01-01

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

  14. Engaging Scientists in K-12 Professional Development and Curriculum Development in the Context of Alaska's Large Marine Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigman, M.; Anderson, A.; Deans, N. L.; Dublin, R.; Dugan, D.; Matsumoto, G. I.; Warburton, J.

    2012-12-01

    Alaska marine ecosystem-based professional development workshops have proven to be a robust context for engaging scientists from a variety of disciplines in overcoming barriers to communication and collaboration among scientists and educators. Scientists came away from scientist-teacher workshops with effective K-12 outreach strategies as well as a deeper understanding about how to contribute meaningfully to K-12 education. The establishment of the Alaskan Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE-AK) in 2009 was the catalyst for a series of professional development workshops related to the North Pacific Research Board's (NPRB) marine focus areas (Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands, Gulf of Alaska, and Arctic Ocean) for Integrated Ecosystem Research Programs (IERPs). During 2010-2012, COSEE-AK and NPRB partnered with the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS), the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS), and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) to support a five-day professional development workshop focused on each ecosystem. The workshops brought together three types of participants: 1) Alaska-focused marine ecosystem scientists; 2) rural Alaskan teachers living within each ecosystem; and 3) teachers from outside Alaska who had research experiences with scientists in the ecosystem. Over the course of the workshops, we developed a workshop model with four objectives: 1) to increase the science content knowledge of educators and their ability to teach ecosystem science; 2) to provide the scientists an opportunity to have broader impacts from their research on educators and Alaska Native and rural students; 3) to increase the knowledge and skills of educator and scientist participants to provide effective learning experiences for K-12 students; and 4) to facilitate the collaborative development of lesson plans. A total of 28 scientists and 41 educators participated in the three workshops. The success of the workshop for the educators was

  15. An integrated approach for assessing the relative significance of human pressures and environmental forcing on the status of Large Marine Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenny, Andrew J.; Skjoldal, Hein Rune; Engelhard, Georg H.; Kershaw, Peter J.; Reid, James B.

    2009-04-01

    An ecosystem approach to the management of the marine environment has received considerable attention over recent years. However, there are few examples which demonstrate its practical implementation. Much of this relates to the history of existing marine monitoring and assessment programmes which (for many countries) are sectoral, making it difficult to integrate monitoring data and knowledge across programmes at the operational level. To address this, a scientific expert group, under the auspices of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), prepared a plan for how ICES could contribute to the development of an Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) for the North Sea by undertaking a pilot study utilising marine monitoring data. This paper presents the main findings arising from the expert group and in particular it sets out one possible integrated approach for assessing the relative significance of environmental forcing and fishing pressure on the ecological status of the North Sea, it then compares the findings with assessments made of other Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs). We define the North Sea ecosystem on the basis of 114 state and pressure variables resolved as annual averages between 1983 and 2003 and at the spatial scale of ICES rectangles. The paper presents results of integrated time-series and spatial analysis which identifies and explains significant spatial and temporal gradients in the data. For example, a significant shift in the status of the North Sea ecosystem (based upon 114 state-pressure variables) is identified to have occurred around 1993. This corresponds to previously documented shifts in the environmental conditions (particularly sea surface temperature) and changes in the distribution of key species of plankton ( Calanus sp.), both reported to have occurred in 1989. The difference in specific timing between reported regime shifts for the North Sea may be explained, in part, by time-lag dependencies in the trophic

  16. A hydrological budget (2002-2008) for a large subtropical wetland ecosystem indicates marine groundwater discharge accompanies diminished freshwater flow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Saha, Amartya K.; Moses, Christopher S.; Price, Rene M.; Engel, Victor; Smith, Thomas J.; Anderson, Gordon

    2012-01-01

    Water budget parameters are estimated for Shark River Slough (SRS), the main drainage within Everglades National Park (ENP) from 2002 to 2008. Inputs to the water budget include surface water inflows and precipitation while outputs consist of evapotranspiration, discharge to the Gulf of Mexico and seepage losses due to municipal wellfield extraction. The daily change in volume of SRS is equated to the difference between input and outputs yielding a residual term consisting of component errors and net groundwater exchange. Results predict significant net groundwater discharge to the SRS peaking in June and positively correlated with surface water salinity at the mangrove ecotone, lagging by 1 month. Precipitation, the largest input to the SRS, is offset by ET (the largest output); thereby highlighting the importance of increasing fresh water inflows into ENP for maintaining conditions in terrestrial, estuarine, and marine ecosystems of South Florida.

  17. [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.

  18. Large clean mesocosms and simulated dust deposition: a new methodology to investigate responses of marine oligotrophic ecosystems to atmospheric inputs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guieu, C.; Dulac, F.; Desboeufs, K.; Wagener, T.; Pulido-Villena, E.; Grisoni, J.-M.; Louis, F.; Ridame, C.; Blain, S.; Brunet, C.; Bon Nguyen, E.; Tran, S.; Labiadh, M.; Dominici, J.-M.

    2010-09-01

    Intense Saharan dust deposition occurs over large oligotrophic areas in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Tropical Atlantic, and its impact on the biogeochemical functioning of such oligotrophic ecosystems needs to be understood. However, due to the logistical difficulties of investigating in situ natural dust events, and due to the inherent limitations of microcosm laboratory experiments, new experimental approaches need to be developed. In this paper, we present a new experimental setup based on large, clean mesocoms deployed in the frame of the DUNE (a DUst experiment in a low-Nutrient, low-chlorophyll Ecosystem) project. We demonstrate that these tools are highly relevant and provide a powerful new strategy to in situ studies of the response of an oligotrophic ecosystem to chemical forcing by atmospheric deposition of African dust. First, we describe how to cope with the large amount of dust aerosol needed to conduct the seeding experiments by producing an analogue from soil collected in a source area and by performing subsequent appropriate physico-chemical treatments in the laboratory, including an eventual processing by simulated cloud water. The comparison of the physico-chemical characteristics of produced dust analogues with the literature confirms that our experimental simulations are representative of dust, aging during atmospheric transport, and subsequent deposition to the Mediterranean. Second, we demonstrate the feasibility in coastal areas to installing, in situ, a series of large (6 × 52 m3) mesocosms without perturbing the local ecosystem. The setup, containing no metallic parts and with the least possible induced perturbation during the sampling sequence, provides an approach for working with the required conditions for biogeochemical studies in oligotrophic environments, where nutrient and micronutrients are at nano- or subnano-molar levels. Two, distinct "seeding experiments" were conducted by deploying three mesocosms serving as controls

  19. Large clean mesocosms and simulated dust deposition: a new methodology to investigate responses of marine oligotrophic ecosystems to atmospheric inputs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guieu, C.; Dulac, F.; Desboeufs, K.; Wagener, T.; Pulido-Villena, E.; Grisoni, J.-M.; Louis, F.; Ridame, C.; Blain, S.; Brunet, C.; Bon Nguyen, E.; Tran, S.; Labiadh, M.; Dominici, J.-M.

    2010-04-01

    Intense Saharan dust deposition occurs over large oligotrophic areas in the Mediterranean Sea and the Tropical Atlantic and its impact on the biogeochemical functioning of such oligotrophic ecosystems needs to be understood. However, due to the logistical difficulties to investigate in-situ natural dust events and due to the inherent limitations of microcosm laboratory experiments, new experimental approaches need to be developed. In this paper, we present a new experimental set up based on large clean mesocoms deployed in the frame of the DUNE (a DUst experiment in a low-Nutrient, low-chlorophyll Ecosystem) project. We demonstrate that these tools are highly relevant and provide a powerful new strategy to in situ study the response of an oligotrophic ecosystem to chemical forcing by atmospheric deposition of African dust. First, we describe how to cope with the large amount of dust aerosol needed to conduct the seeding experiments, by producing an analogue from soil collection in a source area and performing subsequent appropriate physico-chemical treatment in the laboratory including an eventual processing by simulated cloud water. The comparison of physico-chemical characteristics of produced dust analogues with the literature confirms that our experimental simulations are representative of dust, ageing during atmospheric transport, and subsequent deposition to the Mediterranean. Second, we demonstrate the feasibility in coastal area to installing in situ, a series of large (6×52 m3) mesocosms without perturbing the local ecosystem. All the setup, containing no metallic part and with as less as possible induced perturbation during the sampling sequence, allows working with the required conditions for biogeochemical studies in oligotrophic environments where nutrient and micronutrients are at nano- or subnano-molar levels. Two distinct "seeding experiments" were conducted by deploying mesocosms in triplicates: three mesocosms serving as controls (CONTROLS

  20. Marine ecology: gelatinous bells may ring change in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hay, Steve

    2006-09-05

    Gelatinous plankton are critical components of marine ecosystems. Recent studies are providing evidence of increased population outbursts of such species. Jellyfish seem to respond when an ecosystem is over-fished, and their ecology is under-researched.

  1. Endolithic fungi in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Golubic, Stjepko; Radtke, Gudrun; Le Campion-Alsumard, Therese

    2005-05-01

    Fungi are an important constituent of microbial endolithic assemblages in marine ecosystems. As euendoliths, they penetrate limestone, mollusk shells and other carbonate substrates, where they can exploit mineralized organic matter, attack their hosts, or engage in symbiotic relationships. They leave specific boring traces, which can be identified in the fossil record and described as trace fossils. Their distribution is independent of light and extends from the intertidal ranges to abyssal oceanic depths. Important, but insufficiently studied, is the role of aggressive endolithic fungi in skeletons of corals where they are ubiquitous and globally distributed. In healthy growing reef corals, the relationship between the coral coelenterate, endolithic algae and fungi is in a state of equilibrium, but can turn detrimental to coral health when reefs are exposed to environmental stress.

  2. Marine pelagic ecosystems: the west Antarctic Peninsula.

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-29

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

  3. Marine pelagic ecosystems: the West Antarctic Peninsula

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  4. Anthropogenic impacts on marine ecosystems in Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Aronson, Richard B; Thatje, Sven; McClintock, James B; Hughes, Kevin A

    2011-03-01

    Antarctica is the most isolated continent on Earth, but it has not escaped the negative impacts of human activity. The unique marine ecosystems of Antarctica and their endemic faunas are affected on local and regional scales by overharvesting, pollution, and the introduction of alien species. Global climate change is also having deleterious impacts: rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification already threaten benthic and pelagic food webs. The Antarctic Treaty System can address local- to regional-scale impacts, but it does not have purview over the global problems that impinge on Antarctica, such as emissions of greenhouse gases. Failure to address human impacts simultaneously at all scales will lead to the degradation of Antarctic marine ecosystems and the homogenization of their composition, structure, and processes with marine ecosystems elsewhere.

  5. Can schooling regulate marine populations and ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maury, Olivier

    2017-08-01

    Schools, shoals and swarms are pervasive in the oceans. They have to provide very strong advantages to have been selected and generalized in the course of evolution. Auto-organized groups are usually assumed to provide facilitated encounters of reproduction partners, improved protection against predation, better foraging efficiency, and hydrodynamic gains. However, present theories regarding their evolutionary advantages do not provide an unambiguous explanation to their universality. In particular, the mechanisms commonly proposed to explain grouping provide little support to the formation of very large groups that are common in the sea (e.g. Rieucau et al., 2014). From literature review, data analysis and using a simple mathematical model, I show that large auto-organized groups appear at high population density while only small groups or dispersed individuals remain at low population density. Following, an analysis of tuna tagging data and simple theoretical developments show that large groups are likely to expose individuals to a dramatic decrease of individual foraging success and simultaneous increase of predatory and disease mortality, while small groups avoid those adverse feedbacks and provide maximum foraging success and protection against predation, as it is usually assumed. This would create an emergent density-dependent regulation of marine populations, preventing them from outbursts at high density, and protecting them at low density. This would be a major contribution to their resilience and a crucial process of ecosystems dynamics. A two-step evolutionary process acting at the individual level is proposed to explain how this apparently suicidal behaviour could have been selected and generalized. It explains how grouping would have permitted the emergence of extremely high fecundity life histories, despite their notorious propensity to destabilize populations. The potential implications of the ;grouping feedback; on population resilience, ecosystem

  6. Emergent Properties Delineate Marine Ecosystem Perturbation and Recovery.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  7. Marine ecosystem responses to Cenozoic global change.

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-02

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

  8. Recovery of marine animal populations and ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lotze, Heike K; Coll, Marta; Magera, Anna M; Ward-Paige, Christine; Airoldi, Laura

    2011-11-01

    Many marine populations and ecosystems have experienced strong historical depletions, yet reports of recoveries are increasing. Here, we review the growing research on marine recoveries to reveal how common recovery is, its magnitude, timescale and major drivers. Overall, 10-50% of depleted populations and ecosystems show some recovery, but rarely to former levels of abundance. In addition, recovery can take many decades for long-lived species and complex ecosystems. Major drivers of recovery include the reduction of human impacts, especially exploitation, habitat loss and pollution, combined with favorable life-history and environmental conditions. Awareness, legal protection and enforcement of management plans are also crucial. Learning from historical recovery successes and failures is essential for implementing realistic conservation goals and promising management strategies.

  9. Constructing an Eocene Marine Ecosystem Sensitivity Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. Climate variability and the Icelandic marine ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Astthorsson, Olafur S.; Gislason, Astthor; Jonsson, Steingrimur

    2007-11-01

    This paper describes the main features of the Icelandic marine ecosystem and its response to climate variations during the 20th century. The physical oceanographic character and faunal composition in the southern and western parts of the Icelandic marine ecosystem are different from those in the northern and the eastern areas. The former areas are more or less continuously bathed by warm and saline Atlantic water while the latter are more variable and influenced by Atlantic, Arctic and even Polar water masses to different degrees. Mean annual primary production is higher in the Atlantic water than in the more variable waters north and east of Iceland, and higher closer to land than farther offshore. Similarly, zooplankton production is generally higher in the Atlantic water than in the waters north and east of Iceland. The main spawning grounds of most of the exploited fish stocks are in the Atlantic water south of the country while nursery grounds are off the north coast. In the recent years the total catch of fish and invertebrates has been in the range of 1.6-2.4 million ton. Capelin ( Mallotus villosus) is the most important pelagic stock and cod ( Gadus morhua) is by far the most important demersal fish stock. Whales are an important component of the Icelandic marine ecosystem, and Icelandic waters are an important habitat for some of the largest seabird populations in the Northeast Atlantic. In the waters to the north and east of Iceland, available information suggests the existence of a simple bottom-up controlled food chain from phytoplankton through Calanus, capelin and to cod. Less is known about the structure of the more complex southern part of the ecosystem. The Icelandic marine ecosystem is highly sensitive to climate variations as demonstrated by abundance and distribution changes of many species during the warm period in the 1930s, the cold period in the late 1960s and warming observed during the recent years. Some of these are highlighted in the

  11. Marine biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and carbon cycles.

    PubMed

    Beaugrand, Grégory; Edwards, Martin; Legendre, Louis

    2010-06-01

    Although recent studies suggest that climate change may substantially accelerate the rate of species loss in the biosphere, only a few studies have focused on the potential consequences of a spatial reorganization of biodiversity with global warming. Here, we show a pronounced latitudinal increase in phytoplanktonic and zooplanktonic biodiversity in the extratropical North Atlantic Ocean in recent decades. We also show that this rise in biodiversity paralleled a decrease in the mean size of zooplanktonic copepods and that the reorganization of the planktonic ecosystem toward dominance by smaller organisms may influence the networks in which carbon flows, with negative effects on the downward biological carbon pump and demersal Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). Our study suggests that, contrary to the usual interpretation of increasing biodiversity being a positive emergent property promoting the stability/resilience of ecosystems, the parallel decrease in sizes of planktonic organisms could be viewed in the North Atlantic as reducing some of the services provided by marine ecosystems to humans.

  12. Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES): Pilot Project - Marine Mammal Tagging and Tracking

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES): Pilot Project...inter-relationships of biophysical and chemical parameters on living resources, including marine mammals that use this ecosystem . This larger picture

  13. Ecosystem-Based Management and the Sustainable Delivery of Marine Ecosystem Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fogarty, M.; Schwing, F. B.

    2016-02-01

    Ecosystem-Based Management can provide an essential framework for the sustainable delivery of a broad spectrum of marine Ecosystem Services (ES) essential to human well being. Key elements of the approach involve the specification of clearly articulated goals for EBM; the development of an accompanying Marine Ecosystem Services Assessment (MESA) designed to evaluate the status of delivery of these services; and strategies for the implementation of management options designed to achieve the stated goals of the program. The specification of goals is the purview of managers. In the United States under the provisions of the National Ocean Policy, Regional Planning Bodies are charged with the responsibility of articulating goals and developing strategies to meet these goals. Government agencies, in concert with the broader scientific community, hold the responsibility for assessing the status of the delivery of ecosystem services in relation to designated objectives and advising on appropriate management strategies. In this presentation, I will illustrate the specification of a MESA for the Northwest U.S Continental Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (NES LME). The approach focuses on the evaluation of ES indicators and additional metrics related to threats and impacts to the sustainable delivery of these services. Results are combined into an overall index of status of the NES LME.

  14. Ecosystem-Based Management and the Sustainable Delivery of Marine Ecosystem Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fogarty, M.; Schwing, F. B.

    2016-12-01

    Ecosystem-Based Management can provide an essential framework for the sustainable delivery of a broad spectrum of marine Ecosystem Services (ES) essential to human well being. Key elements of the approach involve the specification of clearly articulated goals for EBM; the development of an accompanying Marine Ecosystem Services Assessment (MESA) designed to evaluate the status of delivery of these services; and strategies for the implementation of management options designed to achieve the stated goals of the program. The specification of goals is the purview of managers. In the United States under the provisions of the National Ocean Policy, Regional Planning Bodies are charged with the responsibility of articulating goals and developing strategies to meet these goals. Government agencies, in concert with the broader scientific community, hold the responsibility for assessing the status of the delivery of ecosystem services in relation to designated objectives and advising on appropriate management strategies. In this presentation, I will illustrate the specification of a MESA for the Northwest U.S Continental Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (NES LME). The approach focuses on the evaluation of ES indicators and additional metrics related to threats and impacts to the sustainable delivery of these services. Results are combined into an overall index of status of the NES LME.

  15. Climate Change Impacts on Marine Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Sensitivity and uncertainty analysis of regional marine ecosystem services value

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Honghua; Zheng, Wei; Wang, Zongling; Ding, Dewen

    2009-06-01

    Marine ecosystem services are the benefits which people obtain from the marine ecosystem, including provisioning services, regulating services, cultural services and supporting services. The human species, while buffered against environmental changes by culture and technology, is fundamentally dependent on the flow of ecosystem services. Marine ecosystem services become increasingly valuable as the terrestrial resources become scarce. The value of marine ecosystem services is the monetary flow of ecosystem services on specific temporal and spatial scales, which often changes due to the variation of the goods prices, yields and the status of marine exploitation. Sensitivity analysis is to study the relationship between the value of marine ecosystem services and the main factors which affect it. Uncertainty analysis based on varying prices, yields and status of marine exploitation was carried out. Through uncertainty analysis, a more credible value range instead of a fixed value of marine ecosystem services was obtained in this study. Moreover, sensitivity analysis of the marine ecosystem services value revealed the relative importance of different factors.

  17. Marine biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and carbon cycles

    PubMed Central

    Beaugrand, Grégory; Edwards, Martin; Legendre, Louis

    2010-01-01

    Although recent studies suggest that climate change may substantially accelerate the rate of species loss in the biosphere, only a few studies have focused on the potential consequences of a spatial reorganization of biodiversity with global warming. Here, we show a pronounced latitudinal increase in phytoplanktonic and zooplanktonic biodiversity in the extratropical North Atlantic Ocean in recent decades. We also show that this rise in biodiversity paralleled a decrease in the mean size of zooplanktonic copepods and that the reorganization of the planktonic ecosystem toward dominance by smaller organisms may influence the networks in which carbon flows, with negative effects on the downward biological carbon pump and demersal Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). Our study suggests that, contrary to the usual interpretation of increasing biodiversity being a positive emergent property promoting the stability/resilience of ecosystems, the parallel decrease in sizes of planktonic organisms could be viewed in the North Atlantic as reducing some of the services provided by marine ecosystems to humans. PMID:20479247

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

    PubMed

    Guinotte, John M; Fabry, Victoria J

    2008-01-01

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

  19. Middle Atlantic Bight Marine Ecosystem: A Regional Forecast Model Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, H.; Coles, V. J.; Garraffo, Z. D.

    2011-12-01

    Changes in basin scale climate patterns can drive changes in mesoscale physical oceanographic processes and subsequent alterations of ecosystem states. Climatic variability can be induced in the northeastern shelfbreak large marine ecosystem by climate oscillations, such as North Atlantic Oscillation, Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation; and long-term trends, such as a warming pattern. Short term variability can be induced by changes in the water masses in the northern and southern boundaries, by Gulf Stream path and transport variations, and by local mesoscale and submesoscale features. A coupled bio-physical model (HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model) is being used to forecast the evolution of the frontal and current systems of the shelf and Gulf Stream, and subsequent changes in thermal conditions and ecosystem structure over the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB). This study aims to forecast the ocean state and nutrients in the MAB, and to investigate how cross-shelf exchanges of different water masses could affect nutrient budgets, primary and secondary production, and fish populations in coastal and shelf marine ecosystems. Preliminary results are shown for a regional MAB model nested to the global 1/12o HYCOM run at NOAA/NCEP/EMC using Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVO) daily initialization. Elements of this simulation are nutrient influx condition at the northern and southern boundaries through regression to ocean thermodynamic variables, and nutrient input at the river mouths.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Upgrading Marine Ecosystem Restoration Using Ecological-Social Concepts.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  2. Upgrading Marine Ecosystem Restoration Using Ecological‐Social Concepts

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Impacts of fishing low-trophic level species on marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Smith, Anthony D M; Brown, Christopher J; Bulman, Catherine M; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Johnson, Penny; Kaplan, Isaac C; Lozano-Montes, Hector; Mackinson, Steven; Marzloff, Martin; Shannon, Lynne J; Shin, Yunne-Jai; Tam, Jorge

    2011-08-26

    Low-trophic level species account for more than 30% of global fisheries production and contribute substantially to global food security. We used a range of ecosystem models to explore the effects of fishing low-trophic level species on marine ecosystems, including marine mammals and seabirds, and on other commercially important species. In five well-studied ecosystems, we found that fishing these species at conventional maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels can have large impacts on other parts of the ecosystem, particularly when they constitute a high proportion of the biomass in the ecosystem or are highly connected in the food web. Halving exploitation rates would result in much lower impacts on marine ecosystems while still achieving 80% of MSY.

  4. Experimenting with ecosystem interaction networks in search of threshold potentials in real-world marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Thrush, Simon F; Hewitt, Judi E; Parkes, Samantha; Lohrer, Andrew M; Pilditch, Conrad; Woodin, Sarah A; Wethey, David S; Chiantore, Mariachiara; Asnaghi, Valentina; De Juan, Silvia; Kraan, Casper; Rodil, Ivan; Savage, Candida; Van Colen, Carl

    2014-06-01

    Thresholds profoundly affect our understanding and management of ecosystem dynamics, but we have yet to develop practical techniques to assess the risk that thresholds will be crossed. Combining ecological knowledge of critical system interdependencies with a large-scale experiment, we tested for breaks in the ecosystem interaction network to identify threshold potential in real-world ecosystem dynamics. Our experiment with the bivalves Macomona liliana and Austrovenus stutchburyi on marine sandflats in New Zealand demonstrated that reductions in incident sunlight changed the interaction network between sediment biogeochemical fluxes, productivity, and macrofauna. By demonstrating loss of positive feedbacks and changes in the architecture of the network, we provide mechanistic evidence that stressors lead to break points in dynamics, which theory predicts predispose a system to a critical transition.

  5. Resilience and stability of a pelagic marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-13

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

  6. Extremophiles in an Antarctic Marine Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Dickinson, Iain; Goodall-Copestake, William; Thorne, Michael A.S.; Schlitt, Thomas; Ávila-Jiménez, Maria L.; Pearce, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Recent attempts to explore marine microbial diversity and the global marine microbiome have indicated a large proportion of previously unknown diversity. However, sequencing alone does not tell the whole story, as it relies heavily upon information that is already contained within sequence databases. In addition, microorganisms have been shown to present small-to-large scale biogeographical patterns worldwide, potentially making regional combinations of selection pressures unique. Here, we focus on the extremophile community in the boundary region located between the Polar Front and the Southern Antarctic Circumpolar Current in the Southern Ocean, to explore the potential of metagenomic approaches as a tool for bioprospecting in the search for novel functional activity based on targeted sampling efforts. We assessed the microbial composition and diversity from a region north of the current limit for winter sea ice, north of the Southern Antarctic Circumpolar Front (SACCF) but south of the Polar Front. Although, most of the more frequently encountered sequences  were derived from common marine microorganisms, within these dominant groups, we found a proportion of genes related to secondary metabolism of potential interest in bioprospecting. Extremophiles were rare by comparison but belonged to a range of genera. Hence, they represented interesting targets from which to identify rare or novel functions. Ultimately, future shifts in environmental conditions favoring more cosmopolitan groups could have an unpredictable effect on microbial diversity and function in the Southern Ocean, perhaps excluding the rarer extremophiles. PMID:27681902

  7. Extremophiles in an Antarctic Marine Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Dickinson, Iain; Goodall-Copestake, William; Thorne, Michael A S; Schlitt, Thomas; Ávila-Jiménez, Maria L; Pearce, David A

    2016-01-11

    Recent attempts to explore marine microbial diversity and the global marine microbiome have indicated a large proportion of previously unknown diversity. However, sequencing alone does not tell the whole story, as it relies heavily upon information that is already contained within sequence databases. In addition, microorganisms have been shown to present small-to-large scale biogeographical patterns worldwide, potentially making regional combinations of selection pressures unique. Here, we focus on the extremophile community in the boundary region located between the Polar Front and the Southern Antarctic Circumpolar Current in the Southern Ocean, to explore the potential of metagenomic approaches as a tool for bioprospecting in the search for novel functional activity based on targeted sampling efforts. We assessed the microbial composition and diversity from a region north of the current limit for winter sea ice, north of the Southern Antarctic Circumpolar Front (SACCF) but south of the Polar Front. Although, most of the more frequently encountered sequences  were derived from common marine microorganisms, within these dominant groups, we found a proportion of genes related to secondary metabolism of potential interest in bioprospecting. Extremophiles were rare by comparison but belonged to a range of genera. Hence, they represented interesting targets from which to identify rare or novel functions. Ultimately, future shifts in environmental conditions favoring more cosmopolitan groups could have an unpredictable effect on microbial diversity and function in the Southern Ocean, perhaps excluding the rarer extremophiles.

  8. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) ecotoxicology in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hylland, Ketil

    2006-01-08

    Low levels of oil and hence polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are naturally present in the marine environment, although levels have increased significantly following human extraction and use of oil and gas. Other major anthropogenic sources of PAHs include smelters, the use of fossil fuels in general, and various methods of waste disposal, especially incineration. There are two major sources for PAHs to marine ecosystems in Norway: the inshore smelter industry, and offshore oil and gas production activities. A distinction is generally made between petrogenic (oil-derived) and pyrogenic (combustion-derived) PAHs. Although petrogenic PAHs appear to be bioavailable to a large extent, pyrogenic PAHs are often associated with soot particles and less available for uptake into organisms. There is extensive evidence linking sediment-associated PAHs to induction of phase-I enzymes, development of DNA adducts, and eventually neoplastic lesions in fish. Most studies have focused on high-molecular-weight, carcinogenic PAHs such as benzo[a]pyrene. It is less clear how two- and three-ring PAHs affect fish, and there is even experimental evidence to indicate that these chemicals may inhibit some components of the phase I system rather than produce induction. There is a need for increased research efforts to clarify biological effects of two- and three-ring PAHs, PAH mixtures, and adaptation processes in marine ecosystems.

  9. Experiments with large enclosed ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Davies, J M; Gamble, J C

    1979-08-08

    conclusion that the levels of mercury found in surface waters around the coast of the U.K. (0.001--0.022 microgram Hg/l) are one or two orders of magnitude below the levels at which a response of the biological population can be demonstrated. The usefulness of large scale enclosed ecosystems for further pollution research is discussed and it is concluded that those facilities that provided a link between the water column and the sediments would be most useful since they would (1) enable estimates to be made of the flux rates of pollutants from the water column to the sediments; and (2) allow experiments to be carried out with the pollutant in contact with sediment in its natural form.

  10. Marine ecosystem modeling beyond the box: using GIS to study carbon fluxes in a coastal ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Wijnbladh, Erik; Jönsson, Bror Fredrik; Kumblad, Linda

    2006-12-01

    Studies of carbon fluxes in marine ecosystems are often done by using box model approaches with basin size boxes, or highly resolved 3D models, and an emphasis on the pelagic component of the ecosystem. Those approaches work well in the ocean proper, but can give rise to considerable problems when applied to coastal systems, because of the scale of certain ecological niches and the fact that benthic organisms are the dominant functional group of the ecosystem. In addition, 3D models require an extensive modeling effort. In this project, an intermediate approach based on a high resolution (20x20 m) GIS data-grid has been developed for the coastal ecosystem in the Laxemar area (Baltic Sea, Sweden) based on a number of different site investigations. The model has been developed in the context of a safety assessment project for a proposed nuclear waste repository, in which the fate of hypothetically released radionuclides from the planned repository is estimated. The assessment project requires not only a good understanding of the ecosystem dynamics at the site, but also quantification of stocks and flows of matter in the system. The data-grid was then used to set up a carbon budget describing the spatial distribution of biomass, primary production, net ecosystem production and thus where carbon sinks and sources are located in the area. From these results, it was clear that there was a large variation in ecosystem characteristics within the basins and, on a larger scale, that the inner areas are net producing and the outer areas net respiring, even in shallow phytobenthic communities. Benthic processes had a similar or larger influence on carbon fluxes as advective processes in inner areas, whereas the opposite appears to be true in the outer basins. As many radionuclides are expected to follow the pathways of organic matter in the environment, these findings enhance our abilities to realistically describe and predict their fate in the ecosystem.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Luoma, Samuel N.

    1996-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Comparative analysis of marine ecosystems: international production modelling workshop.

    PubMed

    Link, Jason S; Megrey, Bernard A; Miller, Thomas J; Essington, Tim; Boldt, Jennifer; Bundy, Alida; Moksness, Erlend; Drinkwater, Ken F; Perry, R Ian

    2010-12-23

    Understanding the drivers that dictate the productivity of marine ecosystems continues to be a globally important issue. A vast literature identifies three main processes that regulate the production dynamics of such ecosystems: biophysical, exploitative and trophodynamic. Exploring the prominence among this 'triad' of drivers, through a synthetic analysis, is critical for understanding how marine ecosystems function and subsequently produce fisheries resources of interest to humans. To explore this topic further, an international workshop was held on 10-14 May 2010, at the National Academy of Science's Jonsson Center in Woods Hole, MA, USA. The workshop compiled the data required to develop production models at different hierarchical levels (e.g. species, guild, ecosystem) for many of the major Northern Hemisphere marine ecosystems that have supported notable fisheries. Analyses focused on comparable total system biomass production, functionally equivalent species production, or simulation studies for 11 different marine fishery ecosystems. Workshop activities also led to new analytical tools. Preliminary results suggested common patterns driving overall fisheries production in these ecosystems, but also highlighted variation in the relative importance of each among ecosystems.

  15. Marine ecosystem response to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Martin; Beaugrand, Gregory; Helaouët, Pierre; Alheit, Jürgen; Coombs, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Against the backdrop of warming of the Northern Hemisphere it has recently been acknowledged that North Atlantic temperature changes undergo considerable variability over multidecadal periods. The leading component of natural low-frequency temperature variability has been termed the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). Presently, correlative studies on the biological impact of the AMO on marine ecosystems over the duration of a whole AMO cycle (∼60 years) is largely unknown due to the rarity of continuously sustained biological observations at the same time period. To test whether there is multidecadal cyclic behaviour in biological time-series in the North Atlantic we used one of the world's longest continuously sustained marine biological time-series in oceanic waters, long-term fisheries data and historical records over the last century and beyond. Our findings suggest that the AMO is far from a trivial presence against the backdrop of continued temperature warming in the North Atlantic and accounts for the second most important macro-trend in North Atlantic plankton records; responsible for habitat switching (abrupt ecosystem/regime shifts) over multidecadal scales and influences the fortunes of various fisheries over many centuries.

  16. Deep time ocean hypoxia: The impact on Jurassic marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caswell, B. A.; Frid, C. L. J.

    2016-02-01

    In order to understand how the environment will change over the next 100-1000 years and how this will impact the biosphere we need long-term data from a range of scenarios. This long-term perspective can be achieved by looking at periods of comparable environmental change in Earth history. Two past periods of ocean deoxygenation, 150 and 183 million years ago, are compared: (1) a period of global climate change, analogous to that occurring today, and (2) a period of regional hypoxia associated with changing circulation and nutrient supply. Palaeoecological changes in populations, communities, and seafloor functioning were investigated using data spanning millions of years at high resolution (100s-1000s years). Large shifts in biodiversity, body-size and the population-size of the dominant benthic taxa occurred in response to ocean anoxia. Ecological change spanned multiple trophic levels and suggest that changes in primary productivity impacted macrobenthos and their pelagic predators resulting in biogeographic range shifts. Quantitative analyses of changes in biological traits and core ecosystem functions show changes in nutrient regeneration, food web dynamics, and benthic-pelagic coupling. During ocean deoxygenation Jurassic ecosystems showed functional resilience and redundancy, but ultimately functioning collapsed. Quantification of the relationships between ecological change and various proxies for palaeoenvironmental change show that both hypoxia and primary productivity were important drivers. Environmental thresholds for local ecosystem change are identified. The patterns of Jurassic ecosystem change share many similarities with present-day hypoxic systems. Critically, the recovery from global anoxia was very slow and connectivity, with potential sources of new recruits, was an important contributor to ecosystem recovery. This emphasises the risks of relying on patterns of short-term and small-scale resilience when managing modern marine systems.

  17. Impacts of climate change on marine organisms and ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Brierley, Andrew S; Kingsford, Michael J

    2009-07-28

    Human activities are releasing gigatonnes of carbon to the Earth's atmosphere annually. Direct consequences of cumulative post-industrial emissions include increasing global temperature, perturbed regional weather patterns, rising sea levels, acidifying oceans, changed nutrient loads and altered ocean circulation. These and other physical consequences are affecting marine biological processes from genes to ecosystems, over scales from rock pools to ocean basins, impacting ecosystem services and threatening human food security. The rates of physical change are unprecedented in some cases. Biological change is likely to be commensurately quick, although the resistance and resilience of organisms and ecosystems is highly variable. Biological changes founded in physiological response manifest as species range-changes, invasions and extinctions, and ecosystem regime shifts. Given the essential roles that oceans play in planetary function and provision of human sustenance, the grand challenge is to intervene before more tipping points are passed and marine ecosystems follow less-buffered terrestrial systems further down a spiral of decline. Although ocean bioengineering may alleviate change, this is not without risk. The principal brake to climate change remains reduced CO(2) emissions that marine scientists and custodians of the marine environment can lobby for and contribute to. This review describes present-day climate change, setting it in context with historical change, considers consequences of climate change for marine biological processes now and in to the future, and discusses contributions that marine systems could play in mitigating the impacts of global climate change.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    A key question in ecology is under which conditions ecosystem structure tends to be controlled by resource availability vs. consumer pressure. Several hypotheses derived from theory, experiments and observational field studies have been advanced, yet a unified explanation remains elusive. Here, we identify common predictors of trophic control in a synthetic analysis of 52 observational field studies conducted within marine ecosystems across the Northern Hemisphere and published between 1951 and 2014. Spatial regression analysis of 45 candidate variables revealed temperature to be the dominant predictor, with unimodal effects on trophic control operating both directly (r(2) = 0.32; P < 0.0001) and indirectly through influences on turnover rate and quality of primary production, biodiversity and omnivory. These findings indicate that temperature is an overarching determinant of the trophic dynamics of marine ecosystems, and that variation in ocean temperature will affect the trophic structure of marine ecosystems through both direct and indirect mechanisms. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Marine ecosystem dynamics, ocean circulation and horizontal stirring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, V.; Tewkai, E.; López, C.; Sudre, J.; Hernández-García, E.; Garcon, V.

    2009-04-01

    The oceanic submeso and mesoscale circulation and its eddies, filaments, meanders play a major role in marine ecosystems dynamics from the lower trophic levels to the marine top predators. We study here the interplay between turbulence in fluid dynamics on these scales and biological activity at different trophic levels using two cases study. The first example focuses on the four eastern boundary upwelling zones, the Canary, Benguela, California and Humboldt upwelling systems which constitute the largest contribution to the world ocean productivity. These areas are spatially heterogeneous, populated with a large variety of mesoscale and sub-mesoscale structures such as filaments, plumes and eddies, which control exchange processes between the shelf and open ocean and play a major role in modulating the biomass, rates and structure of marine ecosystems. We will present here results from a lagrangian approach based on Finite Size Lyapunov Exponents (FSLE) using altimetric and scatterometric data to estimate the spatial and temporal variations in the lateral stirring and mixing of tracers in the upper ocean within the four areas. When investigating links with chlorophyll a concentration as a proxy for biological activity in these upwelling systems, results show that surface horizontal stirring and mixing vary inversely with chlorophyll standing stocks. FSLEs lead to a clear clustering of the systems suggesting that one may use them as integrated and comparative indices for characterizing horizontal dynamical features in all eastern boundary upwellings. Then we investigate the role of submesoscale structures in the Mozambique Channel on the distribution of a top marine predator, the Great Frigatebird. Using similar dynamical concept, the FSLE, we have identified Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCSs) present in the surface flow in the Channel. By comparing seabirds' satellite positions with LCSs locations, we demonstrate that frigatebirds track precisely these

  2. Diffusion of microcystins (cyanobacteria hepatotoxins) from the reservoir of Isahaya Bay, Japan, into the marine and surrounding ecosystems as a result of large-scale drainage.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Tohru; Umehara, Akira; Tsutsumi, Hiroaki

    2014-12-15

    In the artificial reservoir of the Isahaya reclaimed land, Nagasaki, Japan, algal blooms have become an annual event, dominated primarily by the microcystin (MC) producing cyanobacteria Microcystis aeruginosa. Although the majority of MCs are either degraded by bacteria or washed out to sea, some remain in the sediment of the reservoir and bay throughout the year. As a result, they also accumulate in aquatic organisms (mullet, oyster, etc.) that inhabit the reservoir and surrounding areas, as well as midge flies that spend their larval period in the bottom of the reservoir. Accordingly, MCs also accumulate in the predators of these organisms, allowing the toxin to spread from the hydrosphere to terrestrial ecosystems. The most effective method for resolving this potentially dangerous condition is to introduce seawater into the reservoir by opening the drainage gates at high tide. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  3. Interractions between Atmosphere,Ecosystem and Marine environment in Nigeria.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salami, Tairu

    Over the past decades we have witnessed extra-ordinary natural and anthropogenically-driven changes in Ocean Biogeochemical composition.Most of atmospheric and oceanic climatic variability have been related to interaction between Ecosystem,Atmosphere and Marine environment. Between 2004-2006 we studied the Interconnection and Teleconnection between ecosystem,atmosphere and marine environment.We noted that critical imput of nutrients by Riverine and increase in Green house gases caused significant changes in Biogeochemical properties of ocean around Lagos area of Nigeria.In turn, the feedback to local communities has resulted in changes in their economies and diets. More practical issues will be presented.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. [Effects of fishing on the marine ecosystem of Beibu Gulf].

    PubMed

    Chen, Zuo-Zhi; Qiu, Yong-Song; Jia, Xiao-Ping; Zhong, Zhi-Hui

    2008-07-01

    By using Ecopath with Ecosim 5.1 software, the Ecosim model of Beibu Gulf marine ecosystem in 1959-1960 was constructed, which included about 20 functional groups such as fishery, marine mammals, sea-birds, sharks, pelagic fishes, demersal fishes, and benthic crustaceans, etc. Through the comparison with the investigation data in 1997-1999, the effects of fishing on the structure and function of Beibu Gulf marine ecosystem were analyzed. The results indicated that with the increasing fishing pressure in past forty years, the ecosystem structure and function shifted drastically, with the biomass of long-lived, high trophic level and piscivorous fishes declined while short-lived and small fishes and benthic invertebrates dominated gradually. The biomass of piscivorous species in 1999 was only 6% of that in 1960, while cephalopods increased 2.7 times or more. The trophic level of the catch declined from 3.2 in 1960 to 2.98 in 1999, which fitted the rule of "fishing down the food web" and suggested that the present exploitation patterns were unsustainable. Based on the data of the 1990s, the changes of the ecosystem under decreasing fishing pressure were predicted. This study validated the feasibility of Ecosim model in predicting the effects of fishing pressure on marine ecosystem.

  6. Regularity underlies erratic population abundances in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-06

    The abundance of a species' population in an ecosystem is rarely stationary, often exhibiting large fluctuations over time. Using historical data on marine species, we show that the year-to-year fluctuations of population growth rate obey a well-defined double-exponential (Laplace) distribution. This striking regularity allows us to devise a stochastic model despite seemingly irregular variations in population abundances. The model identifies the effect of reduced growth at low population density as a key factor missed in current approaches of population variability analysis and without which extinction risks are severely underestimated. The model also allows us to separate the effect of demographic stochasticity and show that single-species growth rates are dominantly determined by stochasticity common to all species. This dominance-and the implications it has for interspecies correlations, including co-extinctions-emphasizes the need for ecosystem-level management approaches to reduce the extinction risk of the individual species themselves. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  7. Ediacaran Marine Redox Heterogeneity and Early Animal Ecosystems.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-24

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

  8. Ediacaran Marine Redox Heterogeneity and Early Animal Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  9. Ediacaran Marine Redox Heterogeneity and Early Animal Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Quantifying patterns of change in marine ecosystem response to multiple pressures.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, George L.; McKinnell, Skip

    2006-02-01

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

  13. Marine mycoflora in backwater ecosystem of Kerala, India.

    PubMed

    Nambiar, Gayatri R; Raveendran, K

    2009-09-01

    Back water system of Kerala is well known for its fertility. Fungi play a vital role in detritus decomposition, nutrient cycling and energy flow in marine food web including backwater ecosystem. Present investigation on the diversity of marine fungi from two back waters of Kerala resulted in the isolation of 20 marine fungi. These include 11 Ascomycetes, 1 Basidiomycete and 8 Mitosporic fungi. In terms of percent frequency of occurrence the most common species obtained were Aniptodera chesapeakensis, Verruculina enalia, Savoryella lignicola and Clavatospora bulbosa. Ascochyta sp. was represented by only a single isolate.

  14. Microbial Dysbiosis: Rethinking Disease in Marine Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Egan, Suhelen; Gardiner, Melissa

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Microbial Dysbiosis: Rethinking Disease in Marine Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Egan, Suhelen; Gardiner, Melissa

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  17. Fish, human health and marine ecosystem health: policies in collision.

    PubMed

    Brunner, Eric J; Jones, Peter J S; Friel, Sharon; Bartley, Mel

    2009-02-01

    Health recommendations advocating increased fish consumption need to be placed in the context of the potential collapse of global marine capture fisheries. Literature overview. In economically developed countries, official healthy eating advice is to eat more fish, particularly that rich in omega-3 oils. In many less economically developed countries, fish is a key human health asset, contributing >20% of animal protein intake for 2.6 billion people. Marine ecologists predict on current trends that fish stocks are set to collapse in 40 years, and propose increased restrictions on fishing, including no-take zones, in order to restore marine ecosystem health. Production of fishmeal for aquaculture and other non-food uses (22 MT in 2003) appears to be unsustainable. Differences in fish consumption probably contribute to within-country and international health inequalities. Such inequalities are likely to increase if fish stocks continue to decline, while increasing demand for fish will accelerate declines in fish stocks and the health of marine ecosystems. Urgent national and international action is necessary to address the tensions arising from increasing human demand for fish and seafood, and rapidly declining marine ecosystem health.

  18. Effect of climate change on marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vikebo, F. B.; Sundby, S.; Aadlandsvik, B.; Fiksen, O.

    2003-04-01

    As a part of the INTEGRATION project, headed by Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, funded by the German Research Council, the impact of climate change scenarios on marine fish populations will be addressed on a spesific population basis and will focus on fish populations in the northern North Atlantic with special emphasis on cod. The approach taken will mainly be a modelling study supported by analysis of existing data on fish stocks and climate. Through down-scaling and nesting techniques, various climate change scenarios with reduced THC in the North Atlantic will be investigated with higher spatial resolution for selected shelf areas. The hydrodynamical model used for the regional ocean modeling is ROMS (http://marine.rutgers.edu/po/models/roms/). An individual based model will be implemented into the larval drift module to simulate growth of the larvae along the drift paths.

  19. How do polar marine ecosystems respond to rapid climate change?

    PubMed

    Schofield, Oscar; Ducklow, Hugh W; Martinson, Douglas G; Meredith, Michael P; Moline, Mark A; Fraser, William R

    2010-06-18

    Climate change will alter marine ecosystems; however, the complexity of the food webs, combined with chronic undersampling, constrains efforts to predict their future and to optimally manage and protect marine resources. Sustained observations at the West Antarctic Peninsula show that in this region, rapid environmental change has coincided with shifts in the food web, from its base up to apex predators. New strategies will be required to gain further insight into how the marine climate system has influenced such changes and how it will do so in the future. Robotic networks, satellites, ships, and instruments mounted on animals and ice will collect data needed to improve numerical models that can then be used to study the future of polar ecosystems as climate change progresses.

  20. Squid as nutrient vectors linking Southwest Atlantic marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arkhipkin, Alexander I.

    2013-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Bringing the ecosystem services concept into marine management decisions, supporting ecosystems-based management.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tweddle, J. F.; Byg, A.; Davies, I.; Gubbins, M.; Irvine, K.; Kafas, A.; Kenter, J.; MacDonald, A.; Murray, R. B. O.; Potts, T.; Slater, A. M.; Wright, K.; Scott, B. E.

    2016-12-01

    The marine environment is under increasing use, putting pressure on marine ecosystems and increasing competition for space. New activities (e.g. renewable energy developments), evolving marine policies (e.g. implementation of marine protected areas), and climate change may drive changes in biodiversity and resulting ecosystem services (ES) that society and business utilise from coastal and marine systems. A process is needed that integrates ecological assessment of changes with stakeholder perceptions and valuation of ES, whilst balancing ease of application with the ability to deal with complex social-economic-ecological issues. The project "Cooperative participatory assessment of the impact of renewable technology on ecosystem services: CORPORATES" involved natural and social scientists, law and policy experts, and marine managers, with the aim of promoting more integrated decision making using ES concepts in marine management. CORPORATES developed a process to bring ES concepts into stakeholders' awareness. The interactive process, involving 2 workshops, employs interludes of knowledge exchange by experts on ecological processes underpinning ES and on law and policy. These enable mapping of benefits linked to activities, participatory system modelling, and deliberation of policy impacts on different sectors. The workshops were attended by industry representatives, regulatory/advisory partners, and other stakeholders (NGOs, SMEs, recreationalists, local government). Mixed sector groups produced new insights into links between activities and ES, and highlighted cross-sector concerns. Here we present the aspects of the process that successfully built shared understanding between industry and stakeholders of inter-linkages and interactions between ES, benefits, activities, and economic and cultural values. These methods provide an ES-based decision-support model for exchanging societal-ecological knowledge and providing stakeholder interaction in marine planning

  5. Bringing the ecosystem services concept into marine management decisions, supporting ecosystems-based management.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tweddle, J. F.; Byg, A.; Davies, I.; Gubbins, M.; Irvine, K.; Kafas, A.; Kenter, J.; MacDonald, A.; Murray, R. B. O.; Potts, T.; Slater, A. M.; Wright, K.; Scott, B. E.

    2016-02-01

    The marine environment is under increasing use, putting pressure on marine ecosystems and increasing competition for space. New activities (e.g. renewable energy developments), evolving marine policies (e.g. implementation of marine protected areas), and climate change may drive changes in biodiversity and resulting ecosystem services (ES) that society and business utilise from coastal and marine systems. A process is needed that integrates ecological assessment of changes with stakeholder perceptions and valuation of ES, whilst balancing ease of application with the ability to deal with complex social-economic-ecological issues. The project "Cooperative participatory assessment of the impact of renewable technology on ecosystem services: CORPORATES" involved natural and social scientists, law and policy experts, and marine managers, with the aim of promoting more integrated decision making using ES concepts in marine management. CORPORATES developed a process to bring ES concepts into stakeholders' awareness. The interactive process, involving 2 workshops, employs interludes of knowledge exchange by experts on ecological processes underpinning ES and on law and policy. These enable mapping of benefits linked to activities, participatory system modelling, and deliberation of policy impacts on different sectors. The workshops were attended by industry representatives, regulatory/advisory partners, and other stakeholders (NGOs, SMEs, recreationalists, local government). Mixed sector groups produced new insights into links between activities and ES, and highlighted cross-sector concerns. Here we present the aspects of the process that successfully built shared understanding between industry and stakeholders of inter-linkages and interactions between ES, benefits, activities, and economic and cultural values. These methods provide an ES-based decision-support model for exchanging societal-ecological knowledge and providing stakeholder interaction in marine planning

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  7. Characterising meso-marine ecosystems of the North Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batten, Sonia D.; David Hyrenbach, K.; Sydeman, William J.; Morgan, Ken H.; Henry, Michael F.; Yen, Peggy P. Y.; Welch, David W.

    2006-02-01

    To delineate mesoscale variability in marine ecosystems of the subarctic North Pacific and identify "hotspots" of biological activity, we conducted contemporaneous surveys of plankton and avifaunal communites in 2000-2003. Plankton samples were collected with a continuous plankton recorder (CPR) towed by a commercial vessel while a trained observer recorded marine bird distributions using strip-transect techniques. Near- and sub-surface physical oceanographic properties and productivity patterns were measured using a temperature data logger and satellite-derived chlorophyll a concentrations. We identified 10 distinct biological communities across the North Pacific, which we refer to as 'meso-marine ecosystems' (MME). We examined the characteristics of MME over multiple years to assess temporal persistence. MME were associated with different bathymetric domains and current systems. MME differed in the overall abundance and species composition of their fauna and, therefore, almost certainly in productivity. Regular monitoring of the spatial and temporal variability of MME will enhance our ability to detect and understand coupled climate-ecosystem responses, and, in turn, help guide ecosystem-based fisheries and wildlife management.

  8. Eutrophication of freshwater and marine ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  9. Viral metabolic reprogramming in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hurwitz, Bonnie L; U'Ren, Jana M

    2016-06-01

    Marine viruses often contain host-derived metabolic genes (i.e., auxiliary metabolic genes; AMGs), which are hypothesized to increase viral replication by augmenting key steps in host metabolism. Currently described AMGs encompass a wide variety of metabolic functions, including amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism, energy production, and iron-sulfur cluster assembly and modification, and their community-wide gene content and abundance vary as a function of environmental conditions. Here, we describe different AMGs classes, their hypothesized role in redirecting host carbon metabolism, and their ecological importance. Focusing on metagenomic ocean surveys, we propose a new model where a suite of phage-encoded genes activate host pathways that respond rapidly to environmental cues, presumably resulting in rapid changes to host metabolic flux for phage production. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    Hay, Mark E.

    2012-01-01

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

  11. The Future of Marine Biogeochemistry, Ecosystems, and Societies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bundy, Alida; Liu, Kon-Kee; Thomas, Helmuth

    2013-05-01

    The international project Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER) convenes an IMBIZO (a Zulu word meaning "a gathering") biennially, with a format of three concurrent, interacting workshops designed to synthesize information on topical research areas in marine science. IMBIZO III, held at the National Institute of Oceanography in Goa, India, focused on multidimensional approaches to challenges of global change in continental margins (CM), open ocean systems, and dependent human societies. More than 120 participants from 29 nations attended the meeting; the smaller workshop groups allowed in-depth discussions, and daily plenary sessions facilitated discussion among interdisciplinary experts.

  12. Modelling marine ecosystems as a discipline in Earth Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nihoul, Jacques C. J.

    1998-07-01

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

  13. Spreading dead zones and consequences for marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Diaz, Robert J; Rosenberg, Rutger

    2008-08-15

    Dead zones in the coastal oceans have spread exponentially since the 1960s and have serious consequences for ecosystem functioning. The formation of dead zones has been exacerbated by the increase in primary production and consequent worldwide coastal eutrophication fueled by riverine runoff of fertilizers and the burning of fossil fuels. Enhanced primary production results in an accumulation of particulate organic matter, which encourages microbial activity and the consumption of dissolved oxygen in bottom waters. Dead zones have now been reported from more than 400 systems, affecting a total area of more than 245,000 square kilometers, and are probably a key stressor on marine ecosystems.

  14. Spatially variable effects of a marine pest on ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Ross, D Jeff; Longmore, Andy R; Keough, Michael J

    2013-06-01

    The broad spectrum of anthropogenic pressures on many of the world's coastal bays and estuaries rarely act in isolation, yet few studies have directly addressed the interactive effects of multiple pressures. Port Phillip Bay in southeastern Australia is a semi-enclosed bay in which nutrient management is a major concern. In recent years it has been heavily invaded by marine pests. We manipulated the density of one such invader, the European fanworm Sabella spallanzanii, and showed that it causes changes in the composition of macrofauna in the surrounding sediments, provides habitat for epibiota (both fauna and flora) on Sabella tubes, and reduces the biomass of microphytobenthos on the surrounding sediments. Of greatest concern, however, was the indirect impact on nutrient cycling. We suggest that the impacts on nutrient cycling are largely due to the feeding of Sabella and the epifauna on its tubes, capturing organic N before it reaches the sediment, excreting it back up into the water column as NH4, thereby bypassing sedimentary processes such as denitrification. Most notably, the efficiency of denitrification, the key ecosystem process that permanently removes N from the system, fell by 37-53 % in the presence of Sabella. Importantly though, this study also demonstrated significant spatial variability in fauna, geochemistry and the magnitude of Sabella effects. Given that the effect of Sabella is also likely to vary in time and with changes in density, all of these sources of variability need to be considered when incorporating the effects of Sabella in nutrient management strategies.

  15. Merging Marine Ecosystem Models and Genomics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Marine Heat Waves and Their Impacts on Fisheries and Marine Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bond, N. A.

    2016-12-01

    Recent years have featured some prominent warm ocean events, also known as marine heat waves. Notable examples occurred in the northwest Atlantic in 2012, in the northeast Pacific in 2014-16, and of course, in the tropical Pacific in association with the 2015-16 El Nino. These episodic events can have profound impacts on marine ecosystems, with implications for fisheries. This paper will review the mechanistic linkages between marine heat waves and living marine resources drawing mostly on examples from the Pacific Ocean. Typically these events cause changes at lower-trophic levels that then ripple through the food web, i.e., are cases of bottom-up forcing. But how this happens varies regionally with the background oceanography, and the oceanographic properties crucial to the ecosystem. Because the effects of warm episodes can be substantial, their ramifications on ecosystems and fisheries are important from a host of perspectives (economic, conservation, cultural, etc.). In addition, to a certain extent they can provide insight into how marine ecosystems are liable to respond to global climate change.

  17. Marine Socio-Environmental Covariates: queryable global layers of environmental and anthropogenic variables for marine ecosystem studies.

    PubMed

    Yeager, Lauren A; Marchand, Philippe; Gill, David A; Baum, Julia K; McPherson, Jana M

    2017-07-01

    Biophysical conditions, including climate, environmental stress, and habitat availability, are key drivers of many ecological processes (e.g., community assembly and productivity) and associated ecosystem services (e.g., carbon sequestration and fishery production). Furthermore, anthropogenic impacts such as coastal development and fishing can have drastic effects on the structure and function of marine ecosystems. Scientists need to account for environmental variation and human impacts to accurately model, manage, and conserve marine ecosystems. Although there are many types of environmental data available from global remote sensing and open-source data products, some are inaccessible to potential end-users because they exist as global layers in high temporal and spatial resolutions which require considerable computational power to process. Additionally, coastal locations often suffer from missing data or data quality issues which limit the utility of some global marine products for coastal sites. Herein we present the Marine Socio-Environmental Covariates dataset for the global oceans, which consists of environmental and anthropogenic variables summarized in ecologically relevant ways. The dataset includes four sets of environmental variables related to biophysical conditions (net primary productivity models corrected for shallow-water reflectance, wave energy including sheltered-coastline corrections) and landscape context (coral reef and land cover within varying radii). We also present two sets of anthropogenic variables, human population density (within varying radii) and distance to large population center, which can serve as indicators of local human impacts. We have paired global, summarized layers available for download with an online data querying platform that allows users to extract data for specific point locations with finer control of summary statistics. In creating these global layers and online platform, we hope to make the data accessible to a

  18. Calcium Isotopic Evidence for Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem Structure Prior to the K/Pg Extinction.

    PubMed

    Martin, Jeremy E; Vincent, Peggy; Tacail, Théo; Khaldoune, Fatima; Jourani, Essaid; Bardet, Nathalie; Balter, Vincent

    2017-06-05

    The collapse of marine ecosystems during the end-Cretaceous mass extinction involved the base of the food chain [1] up to ubiquitous vertebrate apex predators [2-5]. Large marine reptiles became suddenly extinct at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary, whereas other contemporaneous groups such as bothremydid turtles or dyrosaurid crocodylomorphs, although affected at the familial, genus, or species level, survived into post-crisis environments of the Paleocene [5-9] and could have found refuge in freshwater habitats [10-12]. A recent hypothesis proposes that the extinction of plesiosaurians and mosasaurids could have been caused by an important drop in sea level [13]. Mosasaurids are unusually diverse and locally abundant in the Maastrichtian phosphatic deposits of Morocco, and with large sharks and one species of elasmosaurid plesiosaurian recognized so far, contribute to an overabundance of apex predators [3, 7, 14, 15]. For this reason, high local diversity of marine reptiles exhibiting different body masses and a wealth of tooth morphologies hints at complex trophic interactions within this latest Cretaceous marine ecosystem. Using calcium isotopes, we investigated the trophic structure of this extinct assemblage. Our results are consistent with a calcium isotope pattern observed in modern marine ecosystems and show that plesiosaurians and mosasaurids indiscriminately fall in the tertiary piscivore group. This suggests that marine reptile apex predators relied onto a single dietary calcium source, compatible with the vulnerable wasp-waist food webs of the modern world [16]. This inferred peculiar ecosystem structure may help explain plesiosaurian and mosasaurid extinction following the end-Cretaceous biological crisis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Obstacles to bottom-up implementation of marine ecosystem management.

    PubMed

    Evans, Kirsten E; Klinger, Terrie

    2008-10-01

    Ecosystem management (EM) offers a means to address multiple threats to marine resources. Despite recognition of the importance of stakeholder involvement, most efforts to implement EM in marine systems are the product of top-down regulatory control. We describe a rare, stakeholder-driven attempt to implement EM from the bottom up in San Juan County, Washington (U.S.A.). A citizens advisory group led a 2-year, highly participatory effort to develop an ecosystem-based management plan, guided by a preexisting conservation-planning framework. A key innovation was to incorporate social dimensions by designating both sociocultural and biodiversity targets in the planning process. Multiple obstacles hindered implementation of EM in this setting. Despite using a surrogate scheme, the information-related transaction costs of planning were substantial: information deficits prevented assessment of some biodiversity targets and insufficient resources combined with information deficits prevented scientific assessment of the sociocultural targets. Substantial uncertainty, practical constraints to stakeholder involvement, and the existence of multiple, potentially conflicting, objectives increased negotiation-related costs. Although information deficits and uncertainty, coupled with underinvestment in the transaction costs of planning, could reduce the long-term effectiveness of the plan itself, the social capital and momentum developed through the planning process could yield unforeseeable future gains in protection of marine resources. The obstacles we identified here will require early and sustained attention in efforts to implement ecosystem management in other grassroots settings.

  20. Recreational impacts on the fauna of Australian coastal marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hardiman, Nigel; Burgin, Shelley

    2010-11-01

    This paper reviews recent research into the ecological impacts of recreation and tourism on coastal marine fauna in Australia. Despite the high and growing importance of water-based recreation to the Australian economy, and the known fragility of many Australian ecosystems, there has been relatively limited research into the effects of marine tourism and recreation, infrastructure and activities, on aquatic resources. In this paper we have reviewed the ecological impacts on fauna that are caused by outdoor recreation (including tourism) in Australian coastal marine ecosystems. We predict that the single most potentially severe impact of recreation may be the introduction and/or dispersal of non-indigenous species of marine organisms by recreational vessels. Such introductions, together with other impacts due to human activities have the potential to increasingly degrade recreation destinations. In response, governments have introduced a wide range of legislative tools (e.g., impact assessment, protected area reservation) to manage the recreational industry. It would appear, however, that these instruments are not always appropriately applied.

  1. Damped trophic cascades driven by fishing in model marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Andersen, K H; Pedersen, M

    2010-03-07

    The largest perturbation on upper trophic levels of many marine ecosystems stems from fishing. The reaction of the ecosystem goes beyond the trophic levels directly targeted by the fishery. This reaction has been described either as a change in slope of the overall size spectrum or as a trophic cascade triggered by the removal of top predators. Here we use a novel size- and trait-based model to explore how marine ecosystems might react to perturbations from different types of fishing pressure. The model explicitly resolves the whole life history of fish, from larvae to adults. The results show that fishing does not change the overall slope of the size spectrum, but depletes the largest individuals and induces trophic cascades. A trophic cascade can propagate both up and down in trophic levels driven by a combination of changes in predation mortality and food limitation. The cascade is damped as it comes further away from the perturbed trophic level. Fishing on several trophic levels leads to a disappearance of the signature of the trophic cascade. Differences in fishing patterns among ecosystems might influence whether a trophic cascade is observed.

  2. Resilience to climate change in coastal marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Bernhardt, Joanna R; Leslie, Heather M

    2013-01-01

    Ecological resilience to climate change is a combination of resistance to increasingly frequent and severe disturbances, capacity for recovery and self-organization, and ability to adapt to new conditions. Here, we focus on three broad categories of ecological properties that underlie resilience: diversity, connectivity, and adaptive capacity. Diversity increases the variety of responses to disturbance and the likelihood that species can compensate for one another. Connectivity among species, populations, and ecosystems enhances capacity for recovery by providing sources of propagules, nutrients, and biological legacies. Adaptive capacity includes a combination of phenotypic plasticity, species range shifts, and microevolution. We discuss empirical evidence for how these ecological and evolutionary mechanisms contribute to the resilience of coastal marine ecosystems following climate change-related disturbances, and how resource managers can apply this information to sustain these systems and the ecosystem services they provide.

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

    PubMed

    Cornwall, Christopher E; Eddy, Tyler D

    2015-02-01

    Understanding ecosystem responses to global and local anthropogenic impacts is paramount to predicting future ecosystem states. We used an ecosystem modeling approach to investigate the independent and cumulative effects of fishing, marine protection, and ocean acidification on a coastal ecosystem. To quantify the effects of ocean acidification at the ecosystem level, we used information from the peer-reviewed literature on the effects of ocean acidification. Using an Ecopath with Ecosim ecosystem model for the Wellington south coast, including the Taputeranga Marine Reserve (MR), New Zealand, we predicted ecosystem responses under 4 scenarios: ocean acidification + fishing; ocean acidification + MR (no fishing); no ocean acidification + fishing; no ocean acidification + MR for the year 2050. Fishing had a larger effect on trophic group biomasses and trophic structure than ocean acidification, whereas the effects of ocean acidification were only large in the absence of fishing. Mortality by fishing had large, negative effects on trophic group biomasses. These effects were similar regardless of the presence of ocean acidification. Ocean acidification was predicted to indirectly benefit certain species in the MR scenario. This was because lobster (Jasus edwardsii) only recovered to 58% of the MR biomass in the ocean acidification + MR scenario, a situation that benefited the trophic groups lobsters prey on. Most trophic groups responded antagonistically to the interactive effects of ocean acidification and marine protection (46%; reduced response); however, many groups responded synergistically (33%; amplified response). Conservation and fisheries management strategies need to account for the reduced recovery potential of some exploited species under ocean acidification, nonadditive interactions of multiple factors, and indirect responses of species to ocean acidification caused by declines in calcareous predators. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  4. Introduction to the symposium "New frontiers from marine snakes to marine ecosystems".

    PubMed

    Lillywhite, Harvey B; Brischoux, François

    2012-08-01

    Interest in sea snakes and mythological "sea serpents" dates to ancient times and is represented in the writings of Aristotle, early voyagers, and explorers, and references in the Bible. Since then, awareness of the myriad species of snakes inhabiting the oceans has grown at a gradual pace. Scientific investigations into the biology of marine snakes-especially those in behavior, physiology, and other disciplines requiring living animals or tissues-have been comparatively challenging owing to difficulties in acquiring, transporting, handling, and husbanding these secondarily marine vertebrates. A broadening perspective with increasing interest in these animals peaked during the 1960s and 1970s, and literature from this period contributed to a growing knowledge that marine snakes comprise a very diverse fauna and are a significant part of marine ecosystems. Two persons figured prominently as influential drivers of research on sea snakes during this period, namely William Dunson and Harold Heatwole, and this symposium recognizes the contributions of these two individuals. Following a decline in scientific publications on sea snakes during the 1980s and 1990s, there has been a renaissance of scientific interest in recent years, and a wealth of new research findings has improved the understanding of phylogeny and diversity of marine snakes while simultaneously recognizing threats to marine ecosystems arising from climate change and other anthropogenic causes. The purposes of the symposium are to (1) illustrate the importance and relevance of sea snakes as contributors to better understanding a range of issues in marine biology, (2) establish and promote the use of marine systems as models for investigating conceptual issues related to environment, changing climate, and persistence of biological communities, with focus on marine snakes as novel or useful examples, (3) promote interest in sea snakes as useful organisms for study by scientists in a range of disciplines who

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  8. Perceptions of rule-breaking related to marine ecosystem health.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Ocean Acoustic Waveguide Remote Sensing (OAWRS) of Marine Ecosystems

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-12-03

    the ecosystem- based approach to fisheries management. KEY WORDS: Ecosystem · Acoustic sensing · Instantaneous wide-area · Continuous monitoring...technical description of the OAWRS approach appears in Appendices A to F. BACKGROUND The use of acoustics to detect oceanic fish dates back to the...scales  m; Freon & Misund 1999); large shoals (Fig. 2) are far more horizontally contiguous in 2D than was previ- ously believed based on 1D line

  11. Typology and indicators of ecosystem services for marine spatial planning and management.

    PubMed

    Böhnke-Henrichs, Anne; Baulcomb, Corinne; Koss, Rebecca; Hussain, S Salman; de Groot, Rudolf S

    2013-11-30

    The ecosystem services concept provides both an analytical and communicative tool to identify and quantify the link between human welfare and the environment, and thus to evaluate the ramifications of management interventions. Marine spatial planning (MSP) and Ecosystem-based Management (EBM) are a form of management intervention that has become increasingly popular and important globally. The ecosystem service concept is rarely applied in marine planning and management to date which we argue is due to the lack of a well-structured, systematic classification and assessment of marine ecosystem services. In this paper we not only develop such a typology but also provide guidance to select appropriate indicators for all relevant ecosystem services. We apply this marine-specific ecosystem service typology to MSP and EBM. We thus provide not only a novel theoretical construct but also show how the ecosystem services concept can be used in marine planning and management.

  12. The impact of climate change on the world's marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove; Bruno, John F

    2010-06-18

    Marine ecosystems are centrally important to the biology of the planet, yet a comprehensive understanding of how anthropogenic climate change is affecting them has been poorly developed. Recent studies indicate that rapidly rising greenhouse gas concentrations are driving ocean systems toward conditions not seen for millions of years, with an associated risk of fundamental and irreversible ecological transformation. The impacts of anthropogenic climate change so far include decreased ocean productivity, altered food web dynamics, reduced abundance of habitat-forming species, shifting species distributions, and a greater incidence of disease. Although there is considerable uncertainty about the spatial and temporal details, climate change is clearly and fundamentally altering ocean ecosystems. Further change will continue to create enormous challenges and costs for societies worldwide, particularly those in developing countries.

  13. Differences in biomass structure between oligotrophic and eutrophic marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dortch, Quay; Packard, Theodore T.

    1989-02-01

    A normal trophic pyramid, with most living biomass comprised of plants, is widely assumed to represent marine ecosystems. Oligotrophic and eutrophic environments differ markedly in phytoplankton biomass, but, due to difficulties sampling and quantifying the small, non-plant organisms, it has been difficult to determine the relative plant and non-plant biomass. In eutrophic areas the chlorophyll α/protein ratio (Chl/Pr) of particulate matter, a relative index of phytoplankton to total biomass, approaches that of pure phytoplankton cultures, suggesting that plants constitute most of the biomass. In contrast, in oligotrophic areas the Chl/Pr ratio is low, indicating that most of the biomass consists of bacteria and zooplankton and that an inverted biomass pyramid better describes the system. Thus, ecosystem structure must be fundamentally different between eutrophic and oligotrophic areas.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    Natural ecosystems have experienced widespread degradation due to human activities. Consequently, enhancing resilience has become a primary objective for conservation. Nature reserves are a favored management tool, but we need clearer empirical tests of whether they can impart resilience. Catastrophic flooding in early 2011 impacted coastal ecosystems across eastern Australia. We demonstrate that marine reserves enhanced the capacity of coral reefs to withstand flood impacts. Reserve reefs resisted the impact of perturbation, whilst fished reefs did not. Changes on fished reefs were correlated with the magnitude of flood impact, whereas variation on reserve reefs was related to ecological variables. Herbivory and coral recruitment are critical ecological processes that underpin reef resilience, and were greater in reserves and further enhanced on reserve reefs near mangroves. The capacity of reserves to mitigate external disturbances and promote ecological resilience will be critical to resisting an increased frequency of climate-related disturbance. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-08

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

  17. Extinction and ecosystem function in the marine benthos.

    PubMed

    Solan, Martin; Cardinale, Bradley J; Downing, Amy L; Engelhardt, Katharina A M; Ruesink, Jennifer L; Srivastava, Diane S

    2004-11-12

    Rapid changes in biodiversity are occurring globally, yet the ecological impacts of diversity loss are poorly understood. Here we use data from marine invertebrate communities to parameterize models that predict how extinctions will affect sediment bioturbation, a process vital to the persistence of aquatic communities. We show that species extinction is generally expected to reduce bioturbation, but the magnitude of reduction depends on how the functional traits of individual species covary with their risk of extinction. As a result, the particular cause of extinction and the order in which species are lost ultimately govern the ecosystem-level consequences of biodiversity loss.

  18. Impacts of marine-derived nutrients on stream ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yixin; Negishi, Junjiro N; Richardson, John S; Kolodziejczyk, Renata

    2003-01-01

    Energy and nutrient subsidies transported across ecosystem boundaries are increasingly appreciated as key drivers of consumer-resource dynamics. As purveyors of pulsed marine-derived nutrients (MDN), spawning salmon are one such cross-ecosystem subsidy to freshwaters connected to the north Pacific. We examined how salmon carcasses influenced detrital processing in an oligotrophic stream. Experimental manipulations of MDN inputs revealed that salmon carcasses indirectly reduced detrital processing in streams through temporarily decoupling the detrital resource-consumer relationship, in which detrital consumers shifted their diet to the high-nutrient resource, i.e. salmon carcasses. The average decomposition rate of alder leaves with salmon carcass addition was significantly lower than that without the carcass, which was associated with lower abundance and biomass of detritivorous Trichoptera on the carcass-treated leaves. There were generally larger in size Trichopteran detritivores on the carcasses than on leaves. These results imply that cross-boundary MDN subsidies indirectly retard the ecosystem processing of leaf litter within the short term, but may enhance those food-limited detritivorous consumers. Because unproductive freshwaters in the Pacific northwest are highly dependent upon the organic matter inputs from surrounding forests, this novel finding has implications for determining conservation and management strategies of salmon-related aquatic ecosystems, in terms of salmon habitat protection and fisheries exploitation. PMID:14561274

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in marine ecosystems of the American continents: foresight from current knowledge.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Susan D; Kannan, Kurunthachalam

    2009-01-01

    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a class of synthetic halogenated organic compounds used in commercial and household products, such as textiles, furniture, and electronics, to increase their flame ignition resistance and to meet fire safety standards. The demonstrated persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxic potential of these compounds in animals and in humans are of increasing concern. The oceans are considered global sinks for PBDEs, as higher levels are found in marine organisms than in terrestrial biota. For the past three decades, North America has dominated the world market demand for PBDEs, consuming 95% of the penta-BDE formulation. Accordingly, the PBDE concentrations in marine biota and people from North America are the highest in the world and are increasing. Despite recent restrictions on penta- and octa-BDE commercial formulations, penta-BDE containing products will remain a reservoir for PBDE release for years to come, and the deca-BDE formulation is still in high-volume use. In this paper, we review all available data on the occurrence and trends of PBDEs in the marine ecosystems (air, water, sediments, invertebrates, fish, seabirds, and marine mammals) of North and South America. We outline here our concerns about the potential future impacts of large existing stores of banned PBDEs in consumer products, and the vast and growing reservoirs of deca-BDE as well as new and naturally occurring brominated compounds on marine ecosystems.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Reviews and syntheses: parameter identification in marine planktonic ecosystem modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schartau, Markus; Wallhead, Philip; Hemmings, John; Löptien, Ulrike; Kriest, Iris; Krishna, Shubham; Ward, Ben A.; Slawig, Thomas; Oschlies, Andreas

    2017-03-01

    To describe the underlying processes involved in oceanic plankton dynamics is crucial for the determination of energy and mass flux through an ecosystem and for the estimation of biogeochemical element cycling. Many planktonic ecosystem models were developed to resolve major processes so that flux estimates can be derived from numerical simulations. These results depend on the type and number of parameterizations incorporated as model equations. Furthermore, the values assigned to respective parameters specify a model's solution. Representative model results are those that can explain data; therefore, data assimilation methods are utilized to yield optimal estimates of parameter values while fitting model results to match data. Central difficulties are (1) planktonic ecosystem models are imperfect and (2) data are often too sparse to constrain all model parameters. In this review we explore how problems in parameter identification are approached in marine planktonic ecosystem modelling. We provide background information about model uncertainties and estimation methods, and how these are considered for assessing misfits between observations and model results. We explain differences in evaluating uncertainties in parameter estimation, thereby also discussing issues of parameter identifiability. Aspects of model complexity are addressed and we describe how results from cross-validation studies provide much insight in this respect. Moreover, approaches are discussed that consider time- and space-dependent parameter values. We further discuss the use of dynamical/statistical emulator approaches, and we elucidate issues of parameter identification in global biogeochemical models. Our review discloses many facets of parameter identification, as we found many commonalities between the objectives of different approaches, but scientific insight differed between studies. To learn more from results of planktonic ecosystem models we recommend finding a good balance in the level

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  7. Placing marine protected areas onto the ecosystem-based management seascape

    PubMed Central

    Halpern, Benjamin S.; Lester, Sarah E.; McLeod, Karen L.

    2010-01-01

    The rapid increase in the science and implementation of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world in the past 15 years is now being followed by similar increases in the science and application of marine ecosystem-based management (EBM). Despite important overlaps and some common goals, these two approaches have remained either separated in the literature and in conservation and management efforts or treated as if they are one and the same. In the cases when connections are acknowledged, there is often little assessment of if or how well MPAs can achieve specific EBM goals. Here we start by critically evaluating commonalities and differences between MPAs and EBM. Next, we use global analyses to show where and how much no-take marine reserves can be expected to contribute to EBM goals, specifically by reducing the cumulative impacts of stressors on ocean ecosystems. These analyses revealed large stretches of coastal oceans where reserves can play a major role in reducing cumulative impacts and thus improving overall ocean condition, at the same time highlighting the limitations of marine reserves as a single tool to achieve comprehensive EBM. Ultimately, better synergies between these two burgeoning approaches provide opportunities to greatly benefit ocean health. PMID:20176945

  8. Placing marine protected areas onto the ecosystem-based management seascape.

    PubMed

    Halpern, Benjamin S; Lester, Sarah E; McLeod, Karen L

    2010-10-26

    The rapid increase in the science and implementation of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the world in the past 15 years is now being followed by similar increases in the science and application of marine ecosystem-based management (EBM). Despite important overlaps and some common goals, these two approaches have remained either separated in the literature and in conservation and management efforts or treated as if they are one and the same. In the cases when connections are acknowledged, there is often little assessment of if or how well MPAs can achieve specific EBM goals. Here we start by critically evaluating commonalities and differences between MPAs and EBM. Next, we use global analyses to show where and how much no-take marine reserves can be expected to contribute to EBM goals, specifically by reducing the cumulative impacts of stressors on ocean ecosystems. These analyses revealed large stretches of coastal oceans where reserves can play a major role in reducing cumulative impacts and thus improving overall ocean condition, at the same time highlighting the limitations of marine reserves as a single tool to achieve comprehensive EBM. Ultimately, better synergies between these two burgeoning approaches provide opportunities to greatly benefit ocean health.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  10. Underwater experiments on the effects of sewage sludge on a marine ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eleftheriou, A.; Moore, D. C.; Basford, D. J.; Robertson, M. R.

    The experimental addition of different concentrations of sewage sludge to clean marine deposits resulted in a degradation of the sediments and a modified benthic macrofauna. The addition of a large amount of sludge (100 l·m -2·a -1) resulted in a sparse Capitella dominated fauna of low density and high biomass. The lower amount (50 l·m -2·a -1) allowed the presence of a normal fauna but of an enhanced abundance and biomass. Though recovery was good there was evidence that the addition of large amounts of sludge had lasting toxic effects. Comparisons of the results of these experiments with the effects observed in sludge dumping grounds are made and the significance of the different input levels in a marine ecosystem is discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Meskhidze, Nicholas; Nenes, Athanasios

    2010-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. A large-scale perspective on ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mizutani, Hiroshi

    1987-01-01

    Interactions between ecological elements must be better understood in order to construct an ecological life support system in space. An index was devised to describe the complexity of material cyclings within a given ecosystem. It was then applied to the cyclings of bioelements in various systems of material cyclings including the whole Earth and national economies. The results show interesting characteristics of natural and man-made systems.

  17. Large animal grazing and temporal patterns in ecosystem services

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The shortgrass steppe ecosystem has a long evolutionary history of large animal grazing by bison, which were replaced by domesticated livestock in the mid 1800s. In addition, this ecosystem is characterized by a semi-arid environment with low annual precipitation amounts, but high inter- and intra-a...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  20. Synchronous response of marine plankton ecosystems to climate in the Northeast Atlantic and the North Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goberville, Eric; Beaugrand, Gregory; Edwards, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Over the last few decades, global warming has accelerated both the rate and magnitude of changes observed in many functional units of the Earth System. In this context, plankton are sentinel organisms because they are sensitive to subtle levels of changes in temperature and might help in identifying the current effects of climate change on pelagic ecosystems. In this paper, we performed a comparative approach in two regions of the North Atlantic (i.e. the Northeast Atlantic and the North Sea) to explore the relationships between changes in marine plankton, the regional physico-chemical environment and large-scale hydro-climatic forcing using four key indices: the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), the East Atlantic (EA) pattern and Northern Hemisphere Temperature (NHT) anomalies. Our analyses suggest that long-term changes in the states of the two ecosystems were synchronous and correlated to the same large-scale hydro-climatic variables: NHT anomalies, the AMO and to a lesser extent the EA pattern. No significant correlation was found between long-term ecosystem modifications and the state of the NAO. Our results suggest that the effect of climate on these ecosystems has mainly occurred in both regions through the modulation of the thermal regime.

  1. Top-down control of marine phytoplankton diversity in a global ecosystem model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prowe, A. E. Friederike; Pahlow, Markus; Dutkiewicz, Stephanie; Follows, Michael; Oschlies, Andreas

    2012-08-01

    The potential of marine ecosystems to adapt to ongoing environmental change is largely unknown, making prediction of consequences for nutrient and carbon cycles particularly challenging. Realizing that biodiversity might influence the adaptation potential, recent model approaches have identified bottom-up controls on patterns of phytoplankton diversity regulated by nutrient availability and seasonality. Top-down control of biodiversity, however, has not been considered in depth in such models. Here we demonstrate how zooplankton predation with prey-ratio based food preferences can enhance phytoplankton diversity in a ecosystem-circulation model with self-assembling community structure. Simulated diversity increases more than threefold under preferential grazing relative to standard density-dependent predation, and yields better agreement with observed distributions of phytoplankton diversity. The variable grazing pressure creates refuges for less competitive phytoplankton types, which reduces exclusion and improves the representation of seasonal phytoplankton succession during blooms. The type of grazing parameterization also has a significant impact on primary and net community production. Our results demonstrate how a simple parameterization of a zooplankton community response affects simulated phytoplankton community structure, diversity and dynamics, and motivates development of more detailed representations of top-down processes essential for investigating the role of diversity in marine ecosystems.

  2. Combined effects of global climate change and regional ecosystem drivers on an exploited marine food web.

    PubMed

    Niiranen, Susa; Yletyinen, Johanna; Tomczak, Maciej T; Blenckner, Thorsten; Hjerne, Olle; Mackenzie, Brian R; Müller-Karulis, Bärbel; Neumann, Thomas; Meier, H E Markus

    2013-11-01

    Changes in climate, in combination with intensive exploitation of marine resources, have caused large-scale reorganizations in many of the world's marine ecosystems during the past decades. The Baltic Sea in Northern Europe is one of the systems most affected. In addition to being exposed to persistent eutrophication, intensive fishing, and one of the world's fastest rates of warming in the last two decades of the 20th century, accelerated climate change including atmospheric warming and changes in precipitation is projected for this region during the 21st century. Here, we used a new multimodel approach to project how the interaction of climate, nutrient loads, and cod fishing may affect the future of the open Central Baltic Sea food web. Regionally downscaled global climate scenarios were, in combination with three nutrient load scenarios, used to drive an ensemble of three regional biogeochemical models (BGMs). An Ecopath with Ecosim food web model was then forced with the BGM results from different nutrient-climate scenarios in combination with two different cod fishing scenarios. The results showed that regional management is likely to play a major role in determining the future of the Baltic Sea ecosystem. By the end of the 21st century, for example, the combination of intensive cod fishing and high nutrient loads projected a strongly eutrophicated and sprat-dominated ecosystem, whereas low cod fishing in combination with low nutrient loads resulted in a cod-dominated ecosystem with eutrophication levels close to present. Also, nonlinearities were observed in the sensitivity of different trophic groups to nutrient loads or fishing depending on the combination of the two. Finally, many climate variables and species biomasses were projected to levels unseen in the past. Hence, the risk for ecological surprises needs to be addressed, particularly when the results are discussed in the ecosystem-based management context.

  3. Arctic Ecosystem Integrated Survey (Arctic Eis): Marine ecosystem dynamics in the rapidly changing Pacific Arctic Gateway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueter, Franz J.; Weems, Jared; Farley, Edward V.; Sigler, Michael F.

    2017-01-01

    Arctic Marine Ecosystems are undergoing rapid changes associated with ice loss and surface warming resulting from human activities (IPCC, 2013). The most dramatic changes include an earlier ice retreat and a longer ice-free season, particularly on Arctic inflow shelves such as the Barents Sea in the Atlantic Arctic and the northern Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea in the Pacific Arctic, the two major gateways into the Arctic (Danielson et al., 2016; Frey et al., 2015; Serreze et al., 2007; Wood et al., 2015). The retreat of Arctic sea ice has opened access to the Arctic marine environment and its resources, particularly during summer, and among other changes has brought with it increased research activities. For the Pacific Arctic region, these activities have led to several recent compendiums examining physical, biogeochemical, and biological patterns and trends in this rapidly changing environment (Arrigo, 2015, 2016; Arrigo et al., 2014; Bluhm et al., 2010; Dunton et al., 2014; Grebmeier and Maslowski, 2014; Hopcroft and Day, 2013; Moore and Stabeno, 2015).

  4. Shallow marine ecosystem feedback to the Permian/Triassic mass extinction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yongbiao; Meng, Zheng; Liao, Wei; Weng, Zeting; Yang, Hao

    2011-03-01

    Late Permian reefs developed widely on shallow marine carbonate platforms in South China but disappeared far below the main mass extinction level of the latest Permian. The collapse of reef ecosystem may be related to the enhanced volcanism at the end of Late Permian. Notably, some colony corals and reef-building sponges were found to occur near the mass extinction boundary, inferring the eclipse of reef ecosystem is ahead of the disappearance of reef-building organisms, and the triggers would be present long before the main mass extinction. As the primary producers, the calcareous algae are rich in platform limestones of Late Permian and played a very important role in maintaining the shallow benthic ecosystems. The calcareous algae were found to disappear synchronously with the great reduction of foraminifers, which were ecologically associated with these algae. The extinction of Late Permian calcareous algae greatly reduced the biodiversity of primary producers in the shallow marine environment and destroyed in part the structure and the base of the shallow marine ecosystems, which in turn cause the extinction of ecologically associated metazoan. Microbialites developed on carbonate platforms immediately after the end-Permian mass extinction, representing a simple and unique microbial ecosystem. Widespread occurrence of microbialites symbolized the deterioration of marine environmental conditions and the dramatic revolution of marine ecosystems. As the new primary producers instead of the extinguished calcareous algae, cyanobacteria in the microbialites were an important base of this peculiar ecosystem and contributed greatly to the survival of the remnant faunas after the mass extinction. Widespread occurrence of microbialites in shallow marine environment is suggested to be related to the elevated level of volcanism-induced greenhouse gases and enhanced evaporation and hypersaline condition in addition to the decrease of metazoan grazing pressure. The change

  5. Crab regulation of cross-ecosystem resource transfer by marine foraging fire ants.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Erica A; Bertness, Mark D; Alberti, Juan; Silliman, Brian R

    2011-08-01

    Permeability of boundaries in biological systems is regulated by biotic and/or abiotic factors. Despite this knowledge, the role of biotic factors in regulating resource transfer across ecosystem boundaries has received little study. Additionally, little is known about how cross-ecosystem resource transfer affects source populations. We used experiments, observations and stable isotopes, to evaluate: (1) the proportion of intertidal-foraging black fire ant (Solenopsis richteri) diet derived from marine sources, (2) how black fire ant cross-ecosystem resource transfer is altered by the dominant bioengineer in the intertidal, a burrowing crab (Neohelice granulata), (3) the top-down impact of these terrestrial ants on a marine resource, and (4) the effect of marine resources on recipient black fire ants. We found that more than 85% of the black fire ant diet is derived from marine sources, the number of intertidal foraging ants doubles in the absence of crab burrows, and that ants cause a 50% reduction in intertidal polychaetes. Also, ant mound density is three times greater adjacent to marine systems. This study reveals that cross-ecosystem foraging terrestrial ants can clearly have strong impacts on marine resources. Furthermore, ecosystem engineers that modify and occupy habitat in these ecosystem boundaries can strongly regulate the degree of cross-ecosystem resource transfer and resultant top down impacts.

  6. Climate warming and estuarine and marine coastal ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Kennedy, V.S.

    1994-12-31

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-05

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  11. Draft Genome Sequences of Gammaproteobacterial Methanotrophs Isolated from Marine Ecosystems: TABLE 1 

    DOE PAGES

    Flynn, James D.; Hirayama, Hisako; Sakai, Yasuyoshi; ...

    2016-01-21

    The genome sequences ofMethylobacter marinusA45,Methylobactersp. strain BBA5.1, andMethylomarinum vadiIT-4 were obtained. These aerobic methanotrophs are typical members of coastal and hydrothermal vent marine ecosystems.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  14. Modeling the role and impact of alien species and fisheries on the Israeli marine continental shelf ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corrales, X.; Ofir, E.; Coll, M.; Goren, M.; Edelist, D.; Heymans, J. J.; Gal, G.

    2017-06-01

    The ecosystems of the Israeli Mediterranean coast have undergone significant changes in recent decades mainly due to species invasions and fishing. In order to characterize the structure and functioning of the marine continental shelf of the Israeli Mediterranean coast and assess temporal changes, we developed a food web model representing two time periods: 1990-1994 and 2008-2012. The 1990-1994 and 2008-2012 food web models were composed of 39 and 41 functional groups, respectively. Functional groups ranged from primary producers to top predators, and included six and eight alien functional groups, respectively, encompassing several crustacean and fish species. Input data included local surveys and fishery statistics, published data on stomach content analyses, and the application of empirical equations to estimate consumption and production rates. Results of the competitive interactions between alien and native species and changes in trophic flows between food web components highlight the increasing impact of alien species over time. Fishing had noticeable impacts in both time periods and played an important role in the ecosystem. Despite different productivity rates and other environmental differences, the Israeli marine ecosystem shared common structural and functional traits with other Mediterranean marine ecosystems. This is the first attempt to study the ecosystem of the Levant region using mass-balance models and to integrate such a large amount of alien species into food web analyses.

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

    PubMed

    Ogden, John C

    2010-10-01

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

  16. Climate Warming, Marine Protected Areas and the Ocean-Scale Integrity of Coral Reef Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Nicholas A. J.; McClanahan, Tim R.; MacNeil, M. Aaron; Wilson, Shaun K.; Polunin, Nicholas V. C.; Jennings, Simon; Chabanet, Pascale; Clark, Susan; Spalding, Mark D.; Letourneur, Yves; Bigot, Lionel; Galzin, René; Öhman, Marcus C.; Garpe, Kajsa C.; Edwards, Alasdair J.; Sheppard, Charles R. C.

    2008-01-01

    Coral reefs have emerged as one of the ecosystems most vulnerable to climate variation and change. While the contribution of a warming climate to the loss of live coral cover has been well documented across large spatial and temporal scales, the associated effects on fish have not. Here, we respond to recent and repeated calls to assess the importance of local management in conserving coral reefs in the context of global climate change. Such information is important, as coral reef fish assemblages are the most species dense vertebrate communities on earth, contributing critical ecosystem functions and providing crucial ecosystem services to human societies in tropical countries. Our assessment of the impacts of the 1998 mass bleaching event on coral cover, reef structural complexity, and reef associated fishes spans 7 countries, 66 sites and 26 degrees of latitude in the Indian Ocean. Using Bayesian meta-analysis we show that changes in the size structure, diversity and trophic composition of the reef fish community have followed coral declines. Although the ocean scale integrity of these coral reef ecosystems has been lost, it is positive to see the effects are spatially variable at multiple scales, with impacts and vulnerability affected by geography but not management regime. Existing no-take marine protected areas still support high biomass of fish, however they had no positive affect on the ecosystem response to large-scale disturbance. This suggests a need for future conservation and management efforts to identify and protect regional refugia, which should be integrated into existing management frameworks and combined with policies to improve system-wide resilience to climate variation and change. PMID:18728776

  17. Climate warming, marine protected areas and the ocean-scale integrity of coral reef ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Graham, Nicholas A J; McClanahan, Tim R; MacNeil, M Aaron; Wilson, Shaun K; Polunin, Nicholas V C; Jennings, Simon; Chabanet, Pascale; Clark, Susan; Spalding, Mark D; Letourneur, Yves; Bigot, Lionel; Galzin, René; Ohman, Marcus C; Garpe, Kajsa C; Edwards, Alasdair J; Sheppard, Charles R C

    2008-08-27

    Coral reefs have emerged as one of the ecosystems most vulnerable to climate variation and change. While the contribution of a warming climate to the loss of live coral cover has been well documented across large spatial and temporal scales, the associated effects on fish have not. Here, we respond to recent and repeated calls to assess the importance of local management in conserving coral reefs in the context of global climate change. Such information is important, as coral reef fish assemblages are the most species dense vertebrate communities on earth, contributing critical ecosystem functions and providing crucial ecosystem services to human societies in tropical countries. Our assessment of the impacts of the 1998 mass bleaching event on coral cover, reef structural complexity, and reef associated fishes spans 7 countries, 66 sites and 26 degrees of latitude in the Indian Ocean. Using Bayesian meta-analysis we show that changes in the size structure, diversity and trophic composition of the reef fish community have followed coral declines. Although the ocean scale integrity of these coral reef ecosystems has been lost, it is positive to see the effects are spatially variable at multiple scales, with impacts and vulnerability affected by geography but not management regime. Existing no-take marine protected areas still support high biomass of fish, however they had no positive affect on the ecosystem response to large-scale disturbance. This suggests a need for future conservation and management efforts to identify and protect regional refugia, which should be integrated into existing management frameworks and combined with policies to improve system-wide resilience to climate variation and change.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erlandson, Jon M.; Rick, Torben C.

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Archaeology meets marine ecology: the antiquity of maritime cultures and human impacts on marine fisheries and ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Erlandson, Jon M; Rick, Torben C

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Danling; Yi, Sui

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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

  6. Bubble Stripping as a Tool to Reduce High Dissolved CO2 in Coastal Marine Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koweek, D.; Mucciarone, D. A.; Dunbar, R. B.

    2016-02-01

    High dissolved CO2 concentrations in coastal ecosystems are a common occurrence due to a combination of large ecosystem metabolism and long residence times. Many of the socially, commercially, and recreationally important species may have adapted to this natural variability over time. However, eutrophication and ocean acidification may be perturbing the water chemistry beyond the bounds of tolerance for these organisms. We are currently limited in our ability to deal with the geochemical changes unfolding in our coastal ocean. This study helps to address this deficit of solutions by introducing bubble stripping as a novel geochemical engineering approach to reducing high CO2 in coastal marine ecosystems. We use an empirically validated numerical model to find that air/sea gas exchange rates within a bubbled system are 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than within a non-bubbled system. By coupling bubbling-enhanced ventilation to a coastal ecosystem metabolism model, we demonstrate that strategically timed bubble plumes can mitigate exposure to high CO2 under present-day conditions and that exposure mitigation is enhanced in the more acidic conditions predicted by the end of the century. The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change emphasizes the need to both adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change and ocean acidification. We believe shallow water bubble stripping could be one approach for reducing high CO2 conditions in coastal ecosystems and should be added to the growing list of engineering approaches intended to increase coastal resilience in a changing ocean.

  7. 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.

  8. Simple rules can guide whether land- or ocean-based conservation will best benefit marine ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Bode, Michael; Atkinson, Scott; Klein, Carissa J.; Metaxas, Anna; Beher, Jutta; Beger, Maria; Mills, Morena; Giakoumi, Sylvaine; Tulloch, Vivitskaia; Possingham, Hugh P.

    2017-01-01

    Coastal marine ecosystems can be managed by actions undertaken both on the land and in the ocean. Quantifying and comparing the costs and benefits of actions in both realms is therefore necessary for efficient management. Here, we quantify the link between terrestrial sediment runoff and a downstream coastal marine ecosystem and contrast the cost-effectiveness of marine- and land-based conservation actions. We use a dynamic land- and sea-scape model to determine whether limited funds should be directed to 1 of 4 alternative conservation actions—protection on land, protection in the ocean, restoration on land, or restoration in the ocean—to maximise the extent of light-dependent marine benthic habitats across decadal timescales. We apply the model to a case study for a seagrass meadow in Australia. We find that marine restoration is the most cost-effective action over decadal timescales in this system, based on a conservative estimate of the rate at which seagrass can expand into a new habitat. The optimal decision will vary in different social–ecological contexts, but some basic information can guide optimal investments to counteract land- and ocean-based stressors: (1) marine restoration should be prioritised if the rates of marine ecosystem decline and expansion are similar and low; (2) marine protection should take precedence if the rate of marine ecosystem decline is high or if the adjacent catchment is relatively intact and has a low rate of vegetation decline; (3) land-based actions are optimal when the ratio of marine ecosystem expansion to decline is greater than 1:1.4, with terrestrial restoration typically the most cost-effective action; and (4) land protection should be prioritised if the catchment is relatively intact but the rate of vegetation decline is high. These rules of thumb illustrate how cost-effective conservation outcomes for connected land–ocean systems can proceed without complex modelling. PMID:28877168

  9. Simple rules can guide whether land- or ocean-based conservation will best benefit marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Saunders, Megan I; Bode, Michael; Atkinson, Scott; Klein, Carissa J; Metaxas, Anna; Beher, Jutta; Beger, Maria; Mills, Morena; Giakoumi, Sylvaine; Tulloch, Vivitskaia; Possingham, Hugh P

    2017-09-01

    Coastal marine ecosystems can be managed by actions undertaken both on the land and in the ocean. Quantifying and comparing the costs and benefits of actions in both realms is therefore necessary for efficient management. Here, we quantify the link between terrestrial sediment runoff and a downstream coastal marine ecosystem and contrast the cost-effectiveness of marine- and land-based conservation actions. We use a dynamic land- and sea-scape model to determine whether limited funds should be directed to 1 of 4 alternative conservation actions-protection on land, protection in the ocean, restoration on land, or restoration in the ocean-to maximise the extent of light-dependent marine benthic habitats across decadal timescales. We apply the model to a case study for a seagrass meadow in Australia. We find that marine restoration is the most cost-effective action over decadal timescales in this system, based on a conservative estimate of the rate at which seagrass can expand into a new habitat. The optimal decision will vary in different social-ecological contexts, but some basic information can guide optimal investments to counteract land- and ocean-based stressors: (1) marine restoration should be prioritised if the rates of marine ecosystem decline and expansion are similar and low; (2) marine protection should take precedence if the rate of marine ecosystem decline is high or if the adjacent catchment is relatively intact and has a low rate of vegetation decline; (3) land-based actions are optimal when the ratio of marine ecosystem expansion to decline is greater than 1:1.4, with terrestrial restoration typically the most cost-effective action; and (4) land protection should be prioritised if the catchment is relatively intact but the rate of vegetation decline is high. These rules of thumb illustrate how cost-effective conservation outcomes for connected land-ocean systems can proceed without complex modelling.

  10. Large-scale degradation of Amazonian freshwater ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castello, L.; Macedo, M.

    2016-12-01

    The integrity of freshwater ecosystems depends on their hydrological connectivity with land, water, and climate systems. Hydrological connectivity regulates the structure and function of Amazonian freshwater ecosystems and the provisioning of services that sustain local populations. However, the hydrological connectivity of Amazonian freshwater ecosystems is increasingly disrupted by construction of dams, mining, land-cover changes, and global climate change. This review analyzes these drivers of degradation; evaluates their impacts on hydrological connectivity; and identifies policy deficiencies that hinder freshwater ecosystem protection. There are 155 large hydroelectric dams in operation, 21 dams under construction, and there will be only three free-flowing tributaries if all 277 planned dams for the Basin are built. Land-cover changes driven by mining, dam and road construction, and agriculture and cattle ranching have already affected 20% of the Basin and up to 50% of riparian forests in some regions. Global climate change will likely exacerbate these impacts by creating warmer and dryer conditions, with less predictable rainfall and more extreme events (e.g. droughts and floods). The resulting hydrological alterations are rapidly degrading freshwater ecosystems both independently and via complex feedbacks and synergistic interactions. The ecosystem impacts include biodiversity loss, warmer stream temperatures, stronger and more frequent floodplain fires, and changes to biogeochemical cycles, transport of organic and inorganic materials, and freshwater community structure and function. The impacts also include reductions in water quality, fish yields, and availability of water for navigation, power generation, and human use. This degradation of Amazonian freshwater ecosystems cannot be curbed presently because existing policies are inconsistent across the Basin, ignore cumulative effects, and do not consider the hydrological connectivity of freshwater

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  12. Marine habitat classification for ecosystem-based management: a proposed hierarchical framework.

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

  13. What did we learn from PEGASEAS forum "Science and Governance of the Channel Marine Ecosystem"?

    PubMed

    Evariste, Emmanuelle; Claquin, Pascal; Robin, Jean-Paul; Auber, Arnaud; McQuatters-Gollop, Abigail; Fletcher, Stephen; Glegg, Gillian; Dauvin, Jean-Claude

    2015-04-15

    As one of the busiest marine ecosystems in the world, the English Channel is subjected to strong pressures due to the human activities occurring within it. Effective governance is required to improve the combined management of different activities and so secure the benefits provided by the Channel ecosystem. In July 2014, a Cross-Channel Forum, entitled "Science and Governance of the Channel Marine Ecosystem", was held in Caen (France) as part of the INTERREG project "Promoting Effective Governance of the Channel Ecosystem" (PEGASEAS). Here we use outputs from the Forum as a framework for providing Channel-specific advice and recommendations on marine governance themes, including the identification of knowledge gaps, which may form the foundation of future projects for the next INTERREG project call (2015-2020). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Persistence of trophic hotspots and relation to human impacts within an upwelling marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Santora, Jarrod A; Sydeman, William J; Schroeder, Isaac D; Field, John C; Miller, Rebecca R; Wells, Brian K

    2017-03-01

    Human impacts (e.g., fishing, pollution, and shipping) on pelagic ecosystems are increasing, causing concerns about stresses on marine food webs. Maintaining predator-prey relationships through protection of pelagic hotspots is crucial for conservation and management of living marine resources. Biotic components of pelagic, plankton-based, ecosystems exhibit high variability in abundance in time and space (i.e., extreme patchiness), requiring investigation of persistence of abundance across trophic levels to resolve trophic hotspots. Using a 26-yr record of indicators for primary production, secondary (zooplankton and larval fish), and tertiary (seabirds) consumers, we show distributions of trophic hotspots in the southern California Current Ecosystem result from interactions between a strong upwelling center and a productive retention zone with enhanced nutrients, which concentrate prey and predators across multiple trophic levels. Trophic hotspots also overlap with human impacts, including fisheries extraction of coastal pelagic and groundfish species, as well as intense commercial shipping traffic. Spatial overlap of trophic hotspots with fisheries and shipping increases vulnerability of the ecosystem to localized depletion of forage fish, ship strikes on marine mammals, and pollution. This study represents a critical step toward resolving pelagic areas of high conservation interest for planktonic ecosystems and may serve as a model for other ocean regions where ecosystem-based management and marine spatial planning of pelagic ecosystems is warranted.

  15. One size does not fit all: the emerging frontier in large-scale marine conservation.

    PubMed

    Toonen, Robert J; Wilhelm, T 'Aulani; Maxwell, Sara M; Wagner, Daniel; Bowen, Brian W; Sheppard, Charles R C; Taei, Sue M; Teroroko, Tukabu; Moffitt, Russell; Gaymer, Carlos F; Morgan, Lance; Lewis, Nai'a; Sheppard, Anne L S; Parks, John; Friedlander, Alan M

    2013-12-15

    On the 20th anniversary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, a network of very large marine protected areas (the Big Ocean network) has emerged as a key strategy in the move to arrest marine decline and conserve some of the last remaining relatively undisturbed marine areas on the globe. Here we outline the ecological, economic and policy benefits of very large-scale MPAs and show their disproportionate value to global marine conservation targets. In particular we point out that very large-scale MPAs are a critical component of reaching the Aichi targets of protecting 10% of global marine habitats by 2020, because in addition to encompassing entire ecosystems, they will bring forward the expected date of achievement by nearly three decades (2025 as opposed to 2054). While the need for small MPAs remains critical, large MPAs will complement and enhance these conservation efforts. Big Ocean sites currently contain more than 80% of managed area in the sea, and provide our best hope for arresting the global decline in marine biodiversity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Economic valuation of ecosystem services is widely advocated as being useful to support ecosystem management decision-making. However, the extent to which it is actually used or considered useful in decision-making is poorly documented. This literature blindspot is explored with an application to coastal and marine ecosystems management in Australia. Based on a nation-wide survey of eighty-eight decision-makers representing a diversity of management organizations, the perceived usefulness and level of use of economic valuation of ecosystem services, in support of coastal and marine management, are examined. A large majority of decision-makers are found to be familiar with economic valuation and consider it useful - even necessary - in decision-making, although this varies across groups of decision-makers. However, most decision-makers never or rarely use economic valuation. The perceived level of importance and trust in estimated dollar values differ across ecosystem services, and are especially high for values that relate to commercial activities. A number of factors are also found to influence respondent's use of economic valuation. Such findings concur with conclusions from other studies on the usefulness and use of ESV in environmental management decision-making. They also demonstrate the strength of the survey-based approach developed in this application to examine this issue in a variety of contexts. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Machumu, Milali Ernest; Yakupitiyage, Amararatne

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  2. Collateral damage to marine and terrestrial ecosystems from Yankee whaling in the 19th century.

    PubMed

    Drew, Joshua; López, Elora H; Gill, Lucy; McKeon, Mallory; Miller, Nathan; Steinberg, Madeline; Shen, Christa; McClenachan, Loren

    2016-11-01

    Yankee whalers of the 19th century had major impacts on populations of large whales, but these leviathans were not the only taxa targeted. Here, we describe the "collateral damage," the opportunistic or targeted taking of nongreat whale species by the American whaling industry. Using data from 5,064 records from 79 whaling logs occurring between 1840 and 1901, we show that Yankee whalers captured 5,255 animals across three large ocean basins from 32 different taxonomic categories, including a wide range of marine and terrestrial species. The taxa with the greatest number of individuals captured were walruses (Odobenus rosmarus), ducks (family Anatidae), and cod (Gadus sp.). By biomass, the most captured species were walruses, grampus (a poorly defined group within Odontoceti), and seals (family Otariidae). The whalers captured over 2.4 million kg of nongreat whale meat equaling approximately 34 kg of meat per ship per day at sea. The species and areas targeted shifted over time in response to overexploitation of whale populations, with likely intensive local impacts on terrestrial species associated with multiyear whaling camps. Our results show that the ecosystem impacts of whaling reverberated on both marine and coastal environments.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Large-scale degradation of Amazonian freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Castello, Leandro; Macedo, Marcia N

    2016-03-01

    Hydrological connectivity regulates the structure and function of Amazonian freshwater ecosystems and the provisioning of services that sustain local populations. This connectivity is increasingly being disrupted by the construction of dams, mining, land-cover changes, and global climate change. This review analyzes these drivers of degradation, evaluates their impacts on hydrological connectivity, and identifies policy deficiencies that hinder freshwater ecosystem protection. There are 154 large hydroelectric dams in operation today, and 21 dams under construction. The current trajectory of dam construction will leave only three free-flowing tributaries in the next few decades if all 277 planned dams are completed. Land-cover changes driven by mining, dam and road construction, agriculture and cattle ranching have already affected ~20% of the Basin and up to ~50% of riparian forests in some regions. Global climate change will likely exacerbate these impacts by creating warmer and dryer conditions, with less predictable rainfall and more extreme events (e.g., droughts and floods). The resulting hydrological alterations are rapidly degrading freshwater ecosystems, both independently and via complex feedbacks and synergistic interactions. The ecosystem impacts include biodiversity loss, warmer stream temperatures, stronger and more frequent floodplain fires, and changes to biogeochemical cycles, transport of organic and inorganic materials, and freshwater community structure and function. The impacts also include reductions in water quality, fish yields, and availability of water for navigation, power generation, and human use. This degradation of Amazonian freshwater ecosystems cannot be curbed presently because existing policies are inconsistent across the Basin, ignore cumulative effects, and overlook the hydrological connectivity of freshwater ecosystems. Maintaining the integrity of these freshwater ecosystems requires a basinwide research and policy framework

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Corkeron, Peter J

    2009-04-23

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Corkeron, Peter J.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vandyke, H.; Worrest, R. C.

    1976-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), in particular dimethyl sulphide (DMS) and isoprene, have fundamental ecological, physiological and climatic roles. Our current understanding of these roles is almost exclusively established from terrestrial or oceanic environments but signifies a potentially major, but largely unknown, role for BVOCs in tropical coastal marine ecosystems. The tropical coast is a transition zone between the land and ocean, characterized by highly productive and biodiverse coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves, which house primary producers that are amongst the greatest emitters of BVOCs on the planet. Here, we synthesize our existing understanding of BVOC emissions to produce a novel conceptual framework of the tropical marine coast as a continuum from DMS-dominated reef producers to isoprene-dominated mangroves. We use existing and previously unpublished data to consider how current environmental conditions shape BVOC production across the tropical coastal continuum, and in turn how BVOCs can regulate environmental stress tolerance or species interactions via infochemical networks. We use this as a framework to discuss how existing predictions of future tropical coastal BVOC emissions, and the roles they play, are effectively restricted to present day 'baseline' trends of BVOC production across species and environmental conditions; as such, there remains a critical need to focus research efforts on BVOC responses to rapidly accelerating anthropogenic impacts at local and regional scales. We highlight the complete lack of current knowledge required to understand the future ecological functioning of these important systems, and to predict whether feedback mechanisms are likely to regulate or exacerbate current climate change scenarios through environmentally and ecologically mediated changes to BVOC budgets at the ecosystem level. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Multi-level trophic cascades in a heavily exploited open marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Casini, Michele; Lövgren, Johan; Hjelm, Joakim; Cardinale, Massimiliano; Molinero, Juan-Carlos; Kornilovs, Georgs

    2008-08-07

    Anthropogenic disturbances intertwined with climatic changes can have a large impact on the upper trophic levels of marine ecosystems, which may cascade down the food web. So far it has been difficult to demonstrate multi-level trophic cascades in pelagic marine environments. Using field data collected during a 33-year period, we show for the first time a four-level community-wide trophic cascade in the open Baltic Sea. The dramatic reduction of the cod (Gadus morhua) population directly affected its main prey, the zooplanktivorous sprat (Sprattus sprattus), and indirectly the summer biomass of zooplankton and phytoplankton (top-down processes). Bottom-up processes and climate-hydrological forces had a weaker influence on sprat and zooplankton, whereas phytoplankton variation was explained solely by top-down mechanisms. Our results suggest that in order to dampen the occasionally harmful algal blooms of the Baltic, effort should be addressed not only to control anthropogenic nutrient inputs but also to preserve structure and functioning of higher trophic levels.

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

    PubMed

    Schmittner, Andreas

    2005-03-31

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, William J.; Twitchett, Richard J.

    2014-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakun, Andrew; Weeks, Scarla J.

    2008-10-01

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

  4. Using expert judgment to estimate marine ecosystem vulnerability in the California Current.

    PubMed

    Teck, Sarah J; Halpern, Benjamin S; Kappel, Carrie V; Micheli, Fiorenza; Selkoe, Kimberly A; Crain, Caitlin M; Martone, Rebecca; Shearer, Christine; Arvai, Joe; Fischhoff, Baruch; Murray, Grant; Neslo, Rabin; Cooke, Roger

    2010-07-01

    As resource management and conservation efforts move toward multi-sector, ecosystem-based approaches, we need methods for comparing the varying responses of ecosystems to the impacts of human activities in order to prioritize management efforts, allocate limited resources, and understand cumulative effects. Given the number and variety of human activities affecting ecosystems, relatively few empirical studies are adequately comprehensive to inform these decisions. Consequently, management often turns to expert judgment for information. Drawing on methods from decision science, we offer a method for eliciting expert judgment to (1) quantitatively estimate the relative vulnerability of ecosystems to stressors, (2) help prioritize the management of stressors across multiple ecosystems, (3) evaluate how experts give weight to different criteria to characterize vulnerability of ecosystems to anthropogenic stressors, and (4) identify key knowledge gaps. We applied this method to the California Current region in order to evaluate the relative vulnerability of 19 marine ecosystems to 53 stressors associated with human activities, based on surveys from 107 experts. When judging the relative vulnerability of ecosystems to stressors, we found that experts primarily considered two criteria: the ecosystem's resistance to the stressor and the number of species or trophic levels affected. Four intertidal ecosystems (mudflat, beach, salt marsh, and rocky intertidal) were judged most vulnerable to the suite of human activities evaluated here. The highest vulnerability rankings for coastal ecosystems were invasive species, ocean acidification, sea temperature change, sea level rise, and habitat alteration from coastal engineering, while offshore ecosystems were assessed to be most vulnerable to ocean acidification, demersal destructive fishing, and shipwrecks. These results provide a quantitative, transparent, and repeatable assessment of relative vulnerability across ecosystems to

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Marine biodiversity–ecosystem functions under uncertain environmental futures

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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 NH4-N into the water column, but no effect of species richness on the release of PO4-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. PMID:20513718

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

    PubMed Central

    Goulitquer, Sophie; Potin, Philippe; Tonon, Thierry

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Hydrodynamic Environment and Ecosystem Diversity at two Deep-Sea Marine Protected Areas in Southern Biscay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Pola, C.; Ivey, G. N.; Jones, N. L.; Sanchez, F.; Kelly, S. M.; Bluteau, C.; Somavilla, R.

    2016-02-01

    Two nearby offshore deep sea areas in Southern Bay of Biscay (northern Spain), hosting valuable ecosystems, have been recently declared marine protected areas. The first one is Le Danois Bank, a seamount-like feature connected to the continental shelf by a saddle. The second one is the Aviles Canyon System (ACS) that breaks the continuity of the northern Spanish continental shelf. A number of observational multidisciplinary programs carried out within the last decade allowed a detailed identification of habitats and biological communities. As a long-term goal these programs aimed to understand the ecosystem functioning as a whole with the implicit focus in associated circulation and dynamics. The observational record includes deep sea photogrametry as well as standard hydrography and long-term mooring lines. A lander system provided high-frequency currents and thermal structure tens meters above bottom together with time lapse photographs at selected sites. Different characteristic habitats from sedimentary to rocky, associated with different fisheries, were described both in Le Danois Bank and the ACS. These include sponge aggregations and deep water corals. Noteworthy structured coral reefs only appeared in a relatively small area in one of the tributaries of the ACS (La Gaviera Canyon), where local near-bottom currents were stronger than anywhere else in the region. The development and violent breaking of an internal tidal bore was the main feature of such hotspot. Analytic estimates confirmed that La Gaviera is the only canyon were large patches of the seafloor are critical or near-critical to the semidiurnal internal tide and nearby upper flanks show also large patches of critical seafloor and large body forcing. A year-long near-bottom current record captured the development of three benthic storms, events lasting several days in which currents increases up to 3-fold the tidal max speeds and direction swings rapidly, losing the uniformity of tidal regime.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  11. Ecosystem model of the entire Beaufort Sea marine ecosystem: a tool for assessing food-web structure and ecosystem changes from 1970 to 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suprenand, P. M.; Hoover, C.

    2016-02-01

    The Beaufort Sea coastal-marine ecosystem is approximately a 476,000 km2 area in the Arctic Ocean, which extends from -112.5 to -158° longitude to 67.5 to 75° latitude. Within this Arctic Ocean area the United States (Alaskan) indigenous communities of Barrow, Kaktovik, and Nuiqsut, and the Canadian (Northwest Territories) indigenous communities of Aklavik, Inuvik, Tuktoyaktuk, Paulatuk, Ulukhaktok, and Sachs Harbour, subsist by harvesting marine mammals, fish, and invertebrates from the Beaufort Sea to provide the majority of their community foods annually. The ecosystem in which the indigenous communities harvest is considered a polar habitat that includes many specialized species, such as polar bears that rely on sea-ice for foraging activities and denning, or ice algae that are attached to the cryosphere. However, the polar habitat has been experiencing a diminishing sea-ice extent, age, and seasonal duration, with concomitant increases in sea surface temperatures (SSTs), since the 1970s. Changes in sea-ice and SST have consequences to the Beaufort Sea coastal-marine ecosystem, which includes animal habitat losses, alterations to trophodynamics, and impacts to subsistence community harvesting. The present study was aimed at capturing trophodynamic changes in the Beaufort Sea coastal-marine ecosystem from 1970 to 2014 using a fitted spatial-temporal model (Ecopath with Ecosim and Ecospace) that utilizes forcing and mediation functions to describe animal/trophodynamic relationships with sea-ice and sea surface temperature, as well as individual community harvesting efforts. Model outputs reveals similar trends in animals population changes (e.g., increasing bowhead whale stock), changes in apex predator diets (e.g., polar bears eating less ringed seal), and changes in animal distributions (e.g., polar bears remaining closer to land over time). The Beaufort Sea model is a dynamic tool for Arctic Ocean natural resource management in the years to come.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  14. Draft Genome Sequences of Gammaproteobacterial Methanotrophs Isolated from Marine Ecosystems: TABLE 1 

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-01-21

    The genome sequences ofMethylobacter marinusA45,Methylobactersp. strain BBA5.1, andMethylomarinum vadiIT-4 were obtained. These aerobic methanotrophs are typical members of coastal and hydrothermal vent marine ecosystems.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-27

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

  20. Ecosystem resilience despite large-scale altered hydroclimatic conditions.

    PubMed

    Ponce Campos, Guillermo E; Moran, M Susan; Huete, Alfredo; Zhang, Yongguang; Bresloff, Cynthia; Huxman, Travis E; Eamus, Derek; Bosch, David D; Buda, Anthony R; Gunter, Stacey A; Scalley, Tamara Heartsill; Kitchen, Stanley G; McClaran, Mitchel P; McNab, W Henry; Montoya, Diane S; Morgan, Jack A; Peters, Debra P C; Sadler, E John; Seyfried, Mark S; Starks, Patrick J

    2013-02-21

    Climate change is predicted to increase both drought frequency and duration, and when coupled with substantial warming, will establish a new hydroclimatological model for many regions. Large-scale, warm droughts have recently occurred in North America, Africa, Europe, Amazonia and Australia, resulting in major effects on terrestrial ecosystems, carbon balance and food security. Here we compare the functional response of above-ground net primary production to contrasting hydroclimatic periods in the late twentieth century (1975-1998), and drier, warmer conditions in the early twenty-first century (2000-2009) in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. We find a common ecosystem water-use efficiency (WUE(e): above-ground net primary production/evapotranspiration) across biomes ranging from grassland to forest that indicates an intrinsic system sensitivity to water availability across rainfall regimes, regardless of hydroclimatic conditions. We found higher WUE(e) in drier years that increased significantly with drought to a maximum WUE(e) across all biomes; and a minimum native state in wetter years that was common across hydroclimatic periods. This indicates biome-scale resilience to the interannual variability associated with the early twenty-first century drought--that is, the capacity to tolerate low, annual precipitation and to respond to subsequent periods of favourable water balance. These findings provide a conceptual model of ecosystem properties at the decadal scale applicable to the widespread altered hydroclimatic conditions that are predicted for later this century. Understanding the hydroclimatic threshold that will break down ecosystem resilience and alter maximum WUE(e) may allow us to predict land-surface consequences as large regions become more arid, starting with water-limited, low-productivity grasslands.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-01-01

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

  2. Consequences of natural upwelling in oligotrophic marine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Walsh, J J

    1980-03-01

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

  3. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the ecosystem-based approach – pitfalls and solutions.

    PubMed

    Berg, Torsten; Fürhaupter, Karin; Teixeira, Heliana; Uusitalo, Laura; Zampoukas, Nikolaos

    2015-07-15

    The European Marine Strategy Framework Directive aims at good environmental status (GES) in marine waters, following an ecosystem-based approach, focused on 11 descriptors related to ecosystem features, human drivers and pressures. Furthermore, 29 subordinate criteria and 56 attributes are detailed in an EU Commission Decision. The analysis of the Decision and the associated operational indicators revealed ambiguity in the use of terms, such as indicator, impact and habitat and considerable overlap of indicators assigned to various descriptors and criteria. We suggest re-arrangement and elimination of redundant criteria and attributes avoiding double counting in the subsequent indicator synthesis, a clear distinction between pressure and state descriptors and addition of criteria on ecosystem services and functioning. Moreover, we suggest the precautionary principle should be followed for the management of pressures and an evidence-based approach for monitoring state as well as reaching and maintaining GES.

  4. Marine Biogeochemistry Under The Influence of Fish And Fisheries: An Ecosystem Modeling Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Disa, Deniz; Akoglu, Ekin; Salihoglu, Baris

    2017-04-01

    The ocean and the marine ecosystems are important controllers of the global carbon cycle. They play a pivotal role in capturing atmospheric carbon into the ocean body, transforming it into organic carbon through photosynthesis and transporting it to the depths of the ocean. Fish, which has a significant role in the marine food webs, is thought to have a considerable impact on carbon export. More specifically, fish has a control on plankton dynamics as a predator, it provides nutrient to the ecosystem by its metabolic activities and it has the ability of moving actively and transporting materials. Fishing is also expected to impact carbon cycle because it directly changes the fish biomasses. However, how fish impacts the biogeochemistry of marine ecosystems is not studied extensively. The aim of this study is to analyze the impact of fish and fisheries on marine biogeochemical processes by setting up an end-to-end model, which simulates lower and higher tropic levels of marine ecosystems simultaneously. For this purpose, a one dimensional biogeochemical model simulating lower tropic level dynamics (e.g. carbon export, nutrient cycles) and an food web model simulating fisheries exploitation and higher tropic level dynamics were online and two-way coupled. Representing the marine ecosystem from one end to the other, the coupled model served as a tool for the analysis of fishing impacts on marine biogeochemical dynamics. Results obtained after incorporation of higher trophic level model changed the plankton compositions and enhanced detritus pools and increased carbon export. Additionally, our model showed that active movement of fish contributed to transport of carbon from surface to the deeper parts of the ocean. Moreover, results after applying different fishing intensities indicated that changes in fisheries exploitation levels directly influence the marine nutrient cycles and hence, the carbon export. Depending on the target and the intensity of fisheries

  5. Nutrient supply and mercury dynamics in marine ecosystems: a conceptual model.

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the link between community diversity and ecosystem function is a fundamental aspect of ecology. Systematic losses in biodiversity are widely acknowledged but the impact this may exert on ecosystem functioning remains ambiguous. There is growing evidence of a positive relationship between species richness and ecosystem productivity for terrestrial macro-organisms, but similar links for marine micro-organisms, which help drive global climate, are unclear. Community manipulation experiments show both positive and negative relationships for microbes. These previous studies rely, however, on artificial communities and any links between the full diversity of active bacterial communities in the environment, their phylogenetic relatedness and ecosystem function remain hitherto unexplored. Here, we test the hypothesis that productivity is associated with diversity in the metabolically active fraction of microbial communities. We show in natural assemblages of active bacteria that communities containing more distantly related members were associated with higher bacterial production. The positive phylogenetic diversity-productivity relationship was independent of community diversity calculated as the Shannon index. From our long-term (7-year) survey of surface marine bacterial communities, we also found that similarly, productive communities had greater phylogenetic similarity to each other, further suggesting that the traits of active bacteria are an important predictor of ecosystem productivity. Our findings demonstrate that the evolutionary history of the active fraction of a microbial community is critical for understanding their role in ecosystem functioning. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Emergence of multiple ocean ecosystem drivers in a large ensemble suite with an Earth system model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodgers, K. B.; Lin, J.; Frölicher, T. L.

    2015-06-01

    Marine ecosystems are increasingly stressed by human-induced changes. Marine ecosystem drivers that contribute to stressing ecosystems - including warming, acidification, deoxygenation and perturbations to biological productivity - can co-occur in space and time, but detecting their trends is complicated by the presence of noise associated with natural variability in the climate system. Here we use large initial-condition ensemble simulations with an Earth system model under a historical/RCP8.5 (representative concentration pathway 8.5) scenario over 1950-2100 to consider emergence characteristics for the four individual and combined drivers. Using a 1-standard-deviation (67% confidence) threshold of signal to noise to define emergence with a 30-year trend window, we show that ocean acidification emerges much earlier than other drivers, namely during the 20th century over most of the global ocean. For biological productivity, the anthropogenic signal does not emerge from the noise over most of the global ocean before the end of the 21st century. The early emergence pattern for sea surface temperature in low latitudes is reversed from that of subsurface oxygen inventories, where emergence occurs earlier in the Southern Ocean. For the combined multiple-driver field, 41% of the global ocean exhibits emergence for the 2005-2014 period, and 63% for the 2075-2084 period. The combined multiple-driver field reveals emergence patterns by the end of this century that are relatively high over much of the Southern Ocean, North Pacific, and Atlantic, but relatively low over the tropics and the South Pacific. For the case of two drivers, the tropics including habitats of coral reefs emerges earliest, with this driven by the joint effects of acidification and warming. It is precisely in the regions with pronounced emergence characteristics where marine ecosystems may be expected to be pushed outside of their comfort zone determined by the degree of natural background variability

  10. The impact of large terrestrial carnivores on Pleistocene ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Van Valkenburgh, Blaire; Ripple, William J.; Meloro, Carlo; Roth, V. Louise

    2016-01-01

    Large mammalian terrestrial herbivores, such as elephants, have dramatic effects on the ecosystems they inhabit and at high population densities their environmental impacts can be devastating. Pleistocene terrestrial ecosystems included a much greater diversity of megaherbivores (e.g., mammoths, mastodons, giant ground sloths) and thus a greater potential for widespread habitat degradation if population sizes were not limited. Nevertheless, based on modern observations, it is generally believed that populations of megaherbivores (>800 kg) are largely immune to the effects of predation and this perception has been extended into the Pleistocene. However, as shown here, the species richness of big carnivores was greater in the Pleistocene and many of them were significantly larger than their modern counterparts. Fossil evidence suggests that interspecific competition among carnivores was relatively intense and reveals that some individuals specialized in consuming megaherbivores. To estimate the potential impact of Pleistocene large carnivores, we use both historic and modern data on predator–prey body mass relationships to predict size ranges of their typical and maximum prey when hunting as individuals and in groups. These prey size ranges are then compared with estimates of juvenile and subadult proboscidean body sizes derived from extant elephant growth data. Young proboscideans at their most vulnerable age fall within the predicted prey size ranges of many of the Pleistocene carnivores. Predation on juveniles can have a greater impact on megaherbivores because of their long interbirth intervals, and consequently, we argue that Pleistocene carnivores had the capacity to, and likely did, limit megaherbivore population sizes. PMID:26504224

  11. The impact of large terrestrial carnivores on Pleistocene ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Van Valkenburgh, Blaire; Hayward, Matthew W; Ripple, William J; Meloro, Carlo; Roth, V Louise

    2016-01-26

    Large mammalian terrestrial herbivores, such as elephants, have dramatic effects on the ecosystems they inhabit and at high population densities their environmental impacts can be devastating. Pleistocene terrestrial ecosystems included a much greater diversity of megaherbivores (e.g., mammoths, mastodons, giant ground sloths) and thus a greater potential for widespread habitat degradation if population sizes were not limited. Nevertheless, based on modern observations, it is generally believed that populations of megaherbivores (>800 kg) are largely immune to the effects of predation and this perception has been extended into the Pleistocene. However, as shown here, the species richness of big carnivores was greater in the Pleistocene and many of them were significantly larger than their modern counterparts. Fossil evidence suggests that interspecific competition among carnivores was relatively intense and reveals that some individuals specialized in consuming megaherbivores. To estimate the potential impact of Pleistocene large carnivores, we use both historic and modern data on predator-prey body mass relationships to predict size ranges of their typical and maximum prey when hunting as individuals and in groups. These prey size ranges are then compared with estimates of juvenile and subadult proboscidean body sizes derived from extant elephant growth data. Young proboscideans at their most vulnerable age fall within the predicted prey size ranges of many of the Pleistocene carnivores. Predation on juveniles can have a greater impact on megaherbivores because of their long interbirth intervals, and consequently, we argue that Pleistocene carnivores had the capacity to, and likely did, limit megaherbivore population sizes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  14. Spatial distribution of fishes in a Northwest Atlantic ecosystem in relation to risk of predation by a marine mammal.

    PubMed

    Swain, Douglas P; Benoît, Hugues P; Hammill, Mike O

    2015-09-01

    1. Numerous studies have shown that, at spatial scales of metres to several kilometres, animals balance the trade-off between foraging success and predation mortality by increasing their use of safer but less profitable habitats as predation risk increases. However, it is less clear whether prey respond similarly at the larger spatiotemporal scales of many ecosystems. 2. We determine whether this behaviour is evident in a large marine ecosystem, the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (sGSL, 75 000 km(2) ) over a 42-year period. This ecosystem is characterized by a recent increase in the abundance of a large marine predator, the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus Fabricius), by more than an order of magnitude. 3. We compared changes in spatial distribution over the 1971-2012 period between important prey of grey seals (Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua L.; white hake, Urophycis tenuis Mitchill; and thorny skate, Amblyraja radiata Donovan) and non-prey fishes. 4. Distribution was modelled using generalized additive models incorporating spatially variable effects of predation risk, density dependence and water temperature. Distributions of cod, hake and skate were strongly related to risk of predation by seals, with distribution shifting into lower risk areas as predation risk increased. Non-prey species did not show similar changes in habitat use. Spatial variation in fish condition suggests that these low-risk areas are also less profitable for cod and skate in terms of food availability. The effects of density dependence and water temperature were also important in models, but did not account for the changes in habitat use as the risk of predation increased. 5. These results indicate that these fish are able to assess and respond to spatial variation in predation risk at very large spatial scales. They also suggest that non-consumptive 'risk' effects may be an important component of the declines in productivity of seal prey in this ecosystem, and of the indirect effects at lower

  15. Large-scale genotoxicity assessments in the marine environment.

    PubMed

    Hose, J E

    1994-12-01

    There are a number of techniques for detecting genotoxicity in the marine environment, and many are applicable to large-scale field assessments. Certain tests can be used to evaluate responses in target organisms in situ while others utilize surrogate organisms exposed to field samples in short-term laboratory bioassays. Genotoxicity endpoints appear distinct from traditional toxicity endpoints, but some have chemical or ecotoxicologic correlates. One versatile end point, the frequency of anaphase aberrations, has been used in several large marine assessments to evaluate genotoxicity in the New York Bight, in sediment from San Francisco Bay, and following the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

  16. Large-scale genotoxicity assessments in the marine environment.

    PubMed Central

    Hose, J E

    1994-01-01

    There are a number of techniques for detecting genotoxicity in the marine environment, and many are applicable to large-scale field assessments. Certain tests can be used to evaluate responses in target organisms in situ while others utilize surrogate organisms exposed to field samples in short-term laboratory bioassays. Genotoxicity endpoints appear distinct from traditional toxicity endpoints, but some have chemical or ecotoxicologic correlates. One versatile end point, the frequency of anaphase aberrations, has been used in several large marine assessments to evaluate genotoxicity in the New York Bight, in sediment from San Francisco Bay, and following the Exxon Valdez oil spill. PMID:7713029

  17. Large-scale genotoxicity assessments in the marine environment

    SciTech Connect

    Hose, J.E.

    1994-12-01

    There are a number of techniques for detecting genotoxicity in the marine environment, and many are applicable to large-scale field assessments. Certain tests can be used to evaluate responses in target organisms in situ while others utilize surrogate organisms exposed to field samples in short-term laboratory bioassays. Genotoxicity endpoints appear distinct from traditional toxicity endpoints, but some have chemical or ecotoxicologic correlates. One versatile end point, the frequency of anaphase aberrations, has been used in several large marine assessments to evaluate genotoxicity in the New York Bight, in sediment from San Francisco Bay, and following the Exxon Valdez oil spill. 31 refs., 2 tabs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-01

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

  19. Management of the marine environment: integrating ecosystem services and societal benefits with the DPSIR framework in a systems approach.

    PubMed

    Atkins, Jonathan P; Burdon, Daryl; Elliott, Mike; Gregory, Amanda J

    2011-02-01

    Ever increasing and diverse use of the marine environment is leading to human-induced changes in marine life, habitats and landscapes, making necessary the development of marine policy that considers all members of the user community and addresses current, multiple, interacting uses. Taking a systems approach incorporating an understanding of The Ecosystem Approach, we integrate the DPSIR framework with ecosystem services and societal benefits, and the focus this gives allows us to create a specific framework for supporting decision making in the marine environment. Based on a linking of these three concepts, we present a set of basic postulates for the management of the marine environment and emphasise that these postulates should hold for marine management to be achieved. We illustrate these concepts using two case studies: the management of marine aggregates extraction in UK waters and the management of marine biodiversity at Flamborough Head, UK.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  1. The Smithsonian-led Marine Global Earth Observatory (MarineGEO): Proposed Model for a Collaborative Network Linking Marine Biodiversity to Ecosystem Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffy, J. E.

    2016-02-01

    Biodiversity - the variety of functional types of organisms - is the engine of marine ecosystem processes, including productivity, nutrient cycling, and carbon sequestration. Biodiversity remains a black box in much of ocean science, despite wide recognition that effectively managing human interactions with marine ecosystems requires understanding both structure and functional consequences of biodiversity. Moreover, the inherent complexity of biological systems puts a premium on data-rich, comparative approaches, which are best met via collaborative networks. The Smithsonian Institution's MarineGEO program links a growing network of partners conducting parallel, comparative research to understand change in marine biodiversity and ecosystems, natural and anthropogenic drivers of that change, and the ecological processes mediating it. The focus is on nearshore, seabed-associated systems where biodiversity and human population are concentrated and interact most, yet which fall through the cracks of existing ocean observing programs. MarineGEO offers a standardized toolbox of research modules that efficiently capture key elements of biological diversity and its importance in ecological processes across a range of habitats. The toolbox integrates high-tech (DNA-based, imaging) and low-tech protocols (diver surveys, rapid assays of consumer activity) adaptable to differing institutional capacity and resources. The model for long-term sustainability involves leveraging in-kind support among partners, adoption of best practices wherever possible, engagement of students and citizen scientists, and benefits of training, networking, and global relevance as incentives for participation. Here I highlight several MarineGEO comparative research projects demonstrating the value of standardized, scalable assays and parallel experiments for measuring fish and invertebrate diversity, recruitment, benthic herbivory and generalist predation, decomposition, and carbon sequestration. Key

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  3. A Demonstration Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON): Understanding Marine Life and its Role in Maintaining Ecosystem Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muller-Karger, F. E.; Iken, K.; Miller, R. J.; Duffy, J. E.; Chavez, F.; Montes, E.

    2016-02-01

    The U.S. Federal government (NOAA, NASA, BOEM, and the Smithsonian Institution), academic researchers, and private partners are laying the foundation for a Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON). The goals of the network are to: 1) Observe and understand life, from microbes to whales, in different coastal and continental shelf habitats; 2) Define an efficient set of observations required for implementing a useful MBON; 3) Develop technology for biodiversity assessments including emerging environmental DNA (eDNA), remote sensing, and image analysis methods to coordinate with classical sampling; 4) Integrate and synthesize information in coordination with the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), the international Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network(GEO BON), and the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) sponsored by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC); and 5) Understand the linkages between marine biodiversity, ecosystem processes, and the social-economic context of a region. Pilot projects have been implemented within three NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries (Florida Keys, Monterey Bay, and Channel Islands), the wider Santa Barbara Channel, in the Chukchi Sea, and through the Smithsonian's Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network (TMON) at several sites in the U.S. and collaborating countries. Together, these MBON sites encompass a wide range of marine environments, including deep sea, continental shelves, and coastal habitats including estuaries, wetlands, and coral reefs. The present MBON partners are open to growth of the MBON through additional collaborations. Given these initiatives, GEO BON is proposing an MBON effort that spans from pole to pole, with a pathfinder effort among countries in the Americas. By specializing in coastal ecosystems—where marine biodiversity and people are concentrated and interact most—the MBON and TMON initiatives aim to provide policymakers with the science to

  4. From Bacteria to Whales: Using Functional Size Spectra to Model Marine Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Blanchard, Julia L; Heneghan, Ryan F; Everett, Jason D; Trebilco, Rowan; Richardson, Anthony J

    2017-03-01

    Size-based ecosystem modeling is emerging as a powerful way to assess ecosystem-level impacts of human- and environment-driven changes from individual-level processes. These models have evolved as mechanistic explanations for observed regular patterns of abundance across the marine size spectrum hypothesized to hold from bacteria to whales. Fifty years since the first size spectrum measurements, we ask how far have we come? Although recent modeling studies capture an impressive range of sizes, complexity, and real-world applications, ecosystem coverage is still only partial. We describe how this can be overcome by unifying functional traits with size spectra (which we call functional size spectra) and highlight the key knowledge gaps that need to be filled to model ecosystems from bacteria to whales. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  8. Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES) - An Integrated Approach to the Dynamics of the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiese, F. K.; Gryba, R.; Kelly, B. P.

    2016-02-01

    MARES is an integrated ecosystem research initiative coordinated and planned by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Office of Naval Research, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Shell through the National Oceanographic Partnership Program. The overarching goal is to advance our knowledge of the structure and function of the Beaufort Sea marine ecosystem so as to link atmospheric and oceanic drivers to sea ice patterns and marine mammal distribution and availability to local subsistence communities. The study, funded in 2014, focuses on the marine ecosystem along the Beaufort Sea shelf from Barrow, Alaska to the Mackenzie River delta in Canada and is scheduled to include bio-physical moorings along the US-Canadian border, glider deployments packed with bio-physical sensors, tagging of whales and ice-associated seals with satellite CTD-Fluorometer tags, biophysical and chemical cruises including the measurement and characterization of hydrography, ice, nutrients, primary and secondary production, carbon budgets, benthic fauna, fish, as well as analysis of freshwater input and chemical loadings, and ecosystem modeling. This presentation will focus on preliminary results from the ice seal tagging that started in the summer of 2015 and describe some of the planning and possibilities for partnerships for the more comprehensive 2016 field season and beyond.

  9. Rapid emergence of climate change in environmental drivers of marine ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Henson, Stephanie A.; Beaulieu, Claudie; Ilyina, Tatiana; John, Jasmin G.; Long, Matthew; Séférian, Roland; Tjiputra, Jerry; Sarmiento, Jorge L.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change is expected to modify ecological responses in the ocean, with the potential for important effects on the ecosystem services provided to humankind. Here we address the question of how rapidly multiple drivers of marine ecosystem change develop in the future ocean. By analysing an ensemble of models we find that, within the next 15 years, the climate change-driven trends in multiple ecosystem drivers emerge from the background of natural variability in 55% of the ocean and propagate rapidly to encompass 86% of the ocean by 2050 under a ‘business-as-usual' scenario. However, we also demonstrate that the exposure of marine ecosystems to climate change-induced stress can be drastically reduced via climate mitigation measures; with mitigation, the proportion of ocean susceptible to multiple drivers within the next 15 years is reduced to 34%. Mitigation slows the pace at which multiple drivers emerge, allowing an additional 20 years for adaptation in marine ecological and socio-economic systems alike. PMID:28267144

  10. Rapid emergence of climate change in environmental drivers of marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henson, Stephanie A.; Beaulieu, Claudie; Ilyina, Tatiana; John, Jasmin G.; Long, Matthew; Séférian, Roland; Tjiputra, Jerry; Sarmiento, Jorge L.

    2017-03-01

    Climate change is expected to modify ecological responses in the ocean, with the potential for important effects on the ecosystem services provided to humankind. Here we address the question of how rapidly multiple drivers of marine ecosystem change develop in the future ocean. By analysing an ensemble of models we find that, within the next 15 years, the climate change-driven trends in multiple ecosystem drivers emerge from the background of natural variability in 55% of the ocean and propagate rapidly to encompass 86% of the ocean by 2050 under a `business-as-usual' scenario. However, we also demonstrate that the exposure of marine ecosystems to climate change-induced stress can be drastically reduced via climate mitigation measures; with mitigation, the proportion of ocean susceptible to multiple drivers within the next 15 years is reduced to 34%. Mitigation slows the pace at which multiple drivers emerge, allowing an additional 20 years for adaptation in marine ecological and socio-economic systems alike.

  11. Rapid emergence of climate change in environmental drivers of marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Henson, Stephanie A; Beaulieu, Claudie; Ilyina, Tatiana; John, Jasmin G; Long, Matthew; Séférian, Roland; Tjiputra, Jerry; Sarmiento, Jorge L

    2017-03-07

    Climate change is expected to modify ecological responses in the ocean, with the potential for important effects on the ecosystem services provided to humankind. Here we address the question of how rapidly multiple drivers of marine ecosystem change develop in the future ocean. By analysing an ensemble of models we find that, within the next 15 years, the climate change-driven trends in multiple ecosystem drivers emerge from the background of natural variability in 55% of the ocean and propagate rapidly to encompass 86% of the ocean by 2050 under a 'business-as-usual' scenario. However, we also demonstrate that the exposure of marine ecosystems to climate change-induced stress can be drastically reduced via climate mitigation measures; with mitigation, the proportion of ocean susceptible to multiple drivers within the next 15 years is reduced to 34%. Mitigation slows the pace at which multiple drivers emerge, allowing an additional 20 years for adaptation in marine ecological and socio-economic systems alike.

  12. Taylor's law and body size in exploited marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Joel E; Plank, Michael J; Law, Richard

    2012-12-01

    Taylor's law (TL), which states that variance in population density is related to mean density via a power law, and density-mass allometry, which states that mean density is related to body mass via a power law, are two of the most widely observed patterns in ecology. Combining these two laws predicts that the variance in density is related to body mass via a power law (variance-mass allometry). Marine size spectra are known to exhibit density-mass allometry, but variance-mass allometry has not been investigated. We show that variance and body mass in unexploited size spectrum models are related by a power law, and that this leads to TL with an exponent slightly <2. These simulated relationships are disrupted less by balanced harvesting, in which fishing effort is spread across a wide range of body sizes, than by size-at-entry fishing, in which only fish above a certain size may legally be caught.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Matishov, G.G.

    1996-12-31

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

  14. Taylor's law and body size in exploited marine ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Joel E; Plank, Michael J; Law, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Taylor's law (TL), which states that variance in population density is related to mean density via a power law, and density-mass allometry, which states that mean density is related to body mass via a power law, are two of the most widely observed patterns in ecology. Combining these two laws predicts that the variance in density is related to body mass via a power law (variance-mass allometry). Marine size spectra are known to exhibit density-mass allometry, but variance-mass allometry has not been investigated. We show that variance and body mass in unexploited size spectrum models are related by a power law, and that this leads to TL with an exponent slightly <2. These simulated relationships are disrupted less by balanced harvesting, in which fishing effort is spread across a wide range of body sizes, than by size-at-entry fishing, in which only fish above a certain size may legally be caught. PMID:23301181

  15. Invasive species: an increasing threat to marine ecosystems under climate change?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artioli, Yuri; Galienne, Chris; Holt, Jason; Wakelin, Sarah; Butenschön, Momme; Schrum, Corinna; Daewel, Ute; Pushpadas, Dhania; Cannaby, Heather; Salihoglu, Baris; Zavatarelli, Marco; Clementi, Emanuela; Olenin, Sergej; Allen, Icarus

    2013-04-01

    Planktonic Non-Indigenous Species (NIS) are a potential threat to marine ecosystems: a successful invasion of such organisms can alter significantly the ecosystem structure with shift in species composition that can affect different levels of the trophic network and also with local extinction of native species in the more extreme cases. Such changes will also impact some ecosystem functions like primary and secondary production or nutrient cycling, and services, like fishery, aquaculture or carbon sequestration. Understanding how climate change influences the susceptibility of a marine ecosystem to invasion is challenging as the success and the impact of an invasion depend on many different factors all tightly interconnected (e.g. time of the invasion, location, state of the ecosystem…). Here we present DivERSEM, a new version of the biogeochemical model ERSEM modified in order to account for phytoplankton diversity. With such a model, we are able to simulate invasion from phytoplankton NIS, to assess the likelihood of success of such an invasion and to estimate the potential impact on ecosystem structure, using indicator like the Biopollution index. In the MEECE project (www.meece.eu), the model has been coupled to a 1D water column model (GOTM) in two different climate scenarios (present day and the IPCC SRES A1B scenario for 2100) in 4 different European shelf seas (North Sea, Baltic Sea, Black Sea and Adriatic Sea). The model has been forced with atmospheric data coming from the IPSL climate model, and nutrient concentration extracted from a set of 3D biogeochemical models running under the same climate scenario. The response of the ecosystem susceptibility to invasion to climate change has been analysed comparing the successfulness of invasions in the two time slices and its impact on community structure and ecosystem functions. At the same time, the comparison among the different basins allowed to highlight some of the characteristics that make the

  16. Seabirds as indicators of marine ecosystems: Introduction: A modern role for seabirds as indicators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Piatt, John F.; Sydeman, William J.; Wiese, Francis

    2007-01-01

    A key requirement for implementing ecosystem-based management is to obtain timely information on significant fluctuations in the ecosystem (Botsford et al. 1997). However, obtaining all necessary information about physical and biological changes at appropriate temporal and spatial scales is a daunting task. Intuitively, one might assume that physical data are more important for the interpretation of ecosystem changes than biological data, but analyses of time series data suggest otherwise: physical data are more erratic and often confusing over the short term compared to biological data, which tend to fluctuate less on annual time scales (Hare & Mantua 2000). Even so, biological time-series may also be confusing when coexisting marine species respond differently to ecosystem variability. For example, while warming temperatures in the Gulf of Alaska following the 1976 to 1977 regime shift favored an increase in gadoids and flatfish, a variety of forage fish and pandalid shrimp species virtually disappeared (Anderson & Piatt 1999). Zooplankton communities in the Gulf of Alaska also demonstrated similar patterns of response (Francis et al. 1998). At the basin scale, favorable conditions for salmon in Alaska following the regime shift were matched inversely by poor conditions in the California Current (Francis et al. 1998). In marine birds, subtropical species increased, while subarctic ones decreased during a warming phase in the southern California Bight. Clearly, no single index can tell the whole story accurately. Multi-species, multi-region, and multi-trophic level approaches are needed to quantify fluctuations in marine ecosystem processes and in the distribution and abundance of its inhabitants, to determine critical parameter thresholds and to use this information in management and marine conservation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  18. Restoration of marine coastal ecosystem health as a new goal for integrated catchment management in Tolo Harbor, Hong Kong, China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Fu-Liu; Hao, Jun-Yi; Tao, Shu; Dawson, Richard W; Lam, K C; Chen, Yongqin David

    2006-04-01

    This article demonstrates why it is necessary to have the restoration of marine coastal ecosystem health as a new goal for integrated catchment management in the coastal area of Tolo Harbor. The present goal of integrated catchment management (ICM) in the Tolo Harbor is based on water quality objectives. The performance of the ICM plan, the Tolo Harbor Action Plan (THAP), was evaluated using marine coastal ecosystem health indicators including both stress and response indicators. Since the implementation of THAP in 1988, some significant reductions in pollution loading have been observed: reduction of 83% of biological oxygen demand load and 82% of total nitrogen between 1988 and 1999. There has also been an improvement in the health of Tolo Harbor's marine coastal ecosystem as evidenced by trends in physical, chemical, and biological indicators, although reverse fluctuations in some periods exist. However, such improvement can only be considered as the first sign of complete ecosystem health restoration, because ecosystem health covers not only physical, chemical, and biological aspects of an ecosystem, but also ecosystem service functions. The findings support the need to take the restoration and protection of marine coastal ecosystem health as a new goal rather than using water quality objectives. Steps necessary to further improve Tolo Harbor's marine coastal ecosystem health are also discussed.

  19. Benthic Marine Cyanobacterial Mat Ecosystems: Biogeochemistry and Biomarkers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  20. Benthic Marine Cyanobacterial Mat Ecosystems: Biogeochemistry and Biomarkers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  3. Shrinking of fishes exacerbates impacts of global ocean changes on marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheung, William W. L.; Sarmiento, Jorge L.; Dunne, John; Frölicher, Thomas L.; Lam, Vicky W. Y.; Deng Palomares, M. L.; Watson, Reg; Pauly, Daniel

    2013-03-01

    Changes in temperature, oxygen content and other ocean biogeochemical properties directly affect the ecophysiology of marine water-breathing organisms. Previous studies suggest that the most prominent biological responses are changes in distribution, phenology and productivity. Both theory and empirical observations also support the hypothesis that warming and reduced oxygen will reduce body size of marine fishes. However, the extent to which such changes would exacerbate the impacts of climate and ocean changes on global marine ecosystems remains unexplored. Here, we employ a model to examine the integrated biological responses of over 600 species of marine fishes due to changes in distribution, abundance and body size. The model has an explicit representation of ecophysiology, dispersal, distribution, and population dynamics. We show that assemblage-averaged maximum body weight is expected to shrink by 14-24% globally from 2000 to 2050 under a high-emission scenario. About half of this shrinkage is due to change in distribution and abundance, the remainder to changes in physiology. The tropical and intermediate latitudinal areas will be heavily impacted, with an average reduction of more than 20%. Our results provide a new dimension to understanding the integrated impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  5. the response of marine ecosystems to climate variability associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drinkwater, Kenneth F.; Belgrano, Andrea; Borja, Angel; Conversi, Alessandra; Edwards, Martin; Greene, Charles H.; Ottersen, Geir; Pershing, Andrew J.; Walker, Henry

    A strong association is documented between variability of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and changes in various trophic levels of the marine ecosystems of the North Atlantic. Examples are presented for phytoplankton, zoopiankton, benthos, fish, marine diseases, whales and seabirds. NAO variability is shown to influence abundance, biomass, distribution, species assemblages, growth rates, and survival rates. Examples are drawn from across the North Atlantic. The impacts of the NAO are generally mediated through local changes in the physical environment, such as winds, ocean temperatures, and circulation patterns. The spatial variability in the physical oceanographic responses to NAO forcing leads to spatial differences in biological responses.

  6. Emergence of multiple ocean ecosystem drivers in a large ensemble suite with an earth system model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodgers, K. B.; Lin, J.; Frölicher, T. L.

    2014-12-01

    Marine ecosystems are increasingly impacted by human-induced changes. Ocean ecosystem drivers - including warming, acidification, deoxygenation and perturbations to biological productivity - can co-occur in space and time, but detecting their trends is complicated by the presence of noise associated with natural variability in the climate system. Here we use Large Initial-Condition Ensemble Simulations with a comprehensive Earth System Model under a historical/RCP8.5 pathway over 1950-2100 to consider emergence characteristics for the four individual and combined drivers. Using a one-standard deviation (67% confidence) threshold of signal-to-noise to define emergence with a 30 yr trend window, we show that ocean acidification emerges much earlier than other drivers, namely during the 20th century over most of the global ocean. For biological productivity, the anthropogenic signal does not emerge from the noise over most of the global ocean before the end of the 21st century. The early emergence pattern for sea surface temperature in low latitudes is reversed from that of subsurface oxygen inventories, where emergence occurs earlier in the Southern Ocean. For the combined multiple-driver field, 41% of the global ocean exhibits emergence for the 2005-2014 period, and 63% for the 2075-2084 period. The combined multiple-driver field reveals emergence patterns by the end of this century that are relatively high over much of the Southern Ocean, North Pacific, and Atlantic, but relatively low over the tropics and the South Pacific. In regions with pronounced emergence characteristics, marine ecosystems can be expected to be pushed outside of their comfort zone determined by the degree of natural background variability to which they are adapted. The results here thus have implications not only for optimization of the ocean observing system, but also for risk assessment and mitigation strategies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  8. Trophic network model of exposed sandy coast: Linking continental and marine water ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Razinkovas-Baziukas, Artūras; Morkūnė, Rasa; Bacevičius, Egidijus; Gasiūnaitė, Zita Rasuolė

    2017-08-01

    A macroscopic food web network for the exposed sandy coastal zone of the south-eastern Baltic Sea was reconstructed using ECOPATH software to assess the matter and energy balance in the ecosystem. The model incorporated 40 living functional groups representing the Baltic Sea coastal system of Lithuania during the first decade of 21rst century. The overall pedigree index of our model was relatively high (0.66) as much of the input data originated from the study area. The results indicate net heterotrophy of the coastal zone due to strong influences from the nearby river - lagoon system (Curonian Lagoon). The majority of fish species and waterbirds were present in the coastal system on a seasonal basis and their migrations contributed to heterotrophic conditions. Among fish, the freshwater stragglers possibly contribute to the reversal of flow in biomass and energy from the coastal zone to the river-lagoon system. Top predators such as breeding and wintering piscivorous waterbirds and large pike-perch were identified as keystone species. There was a clear negative balance for the biomass of small marine pelagic fishes such as smelt, sprat and Baltic herring which represent the main prey items in this system.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmittner, Andreas

    2005-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Byrne, S.M.

    1985-01-01

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

  11. Advection in polar and sub-polar environments: Impacts on high latitude marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, George L.; Drinkwater, Kenneth F.; Arrigo, Kevin; Berge, Jørgen; Daly, Kendra L.; Danielson, Seth; Daase, Malin; Hop, Haakon; Isla, Enrique; Karnovsky, Nina; Laidre, Kristin; Mueter, Franz J.; Murphy, Eugene J.; Renaud, Paul E.; Smith, Walker O.; Trathan, Philip; Turner, John; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter

    2016-12-01

    We compare and contrast the ecological impacts of atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns on polar and sub-polar marine ecosystems. Circulation patterns differ strikingly between the north and south. Meridional circulation in the north provides connections between the sub-Arctic and Arctic despite the presence of encircling continental landmasses, whereas annular circulation patterns in the south tend to isolate Antarctic surface waters from those in the north. These differences influence fundamental aspects of the polar ecosystems from the amount, thickness and duration of sea ice, to the types of organisms, and the ecology of zooplankton, fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Meridional flows in both the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans transport heat, nutrients, and plankton northward into the Chukchi Sea, the Barents Sea, and the seas off the west coast of Greenland. In the North Atlantic, the advected heat warms the waters of the southern Barents Sea and, with advected nutrients and plankton, supports immense biomasses of fish, seabirds and marine mammals. On the Pacific side of the Arctic, cold waters flowing northward across the northern Bering and Chukchi seas during winter and spring limit the ability of boreal fish species to take advantage of high seasonal production there. Southward flow of cold Arctic waters into sub-Arctic regions of the North Atlantic occurs mainly through Fram Strait with less through the Barents Sea and the Canadian Archipelago. In the Pacific, the transport of Arctic waters and plankton southward through Bering Strait is minimal. In the Southern Ocean, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and its associated fronts are barriers to the southward dispersal of plankton and pelagic fishes from sub-Antarctic waters, with the consequent evolution of Antarctic zooplankton and fish species largely occurring in isolation from those to the north. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current also disperses biota throughout the Southern Ocean

  12. Unexpected Early Triassic marine ecosystem and the rise of the Modern evolutionary fauna

    PubMed Central

    Brayard, Arnaud; Krumenacker, L. J.; Botting, Joseph P.; Jenks, James F.; Bylund, Kevin G.; Fara, Emmanuel; Vennin, Emmanuelle; Olivier, Nicolas; Goudemand, Nicolas; Saucède, Thomas; Charbonnier, Sylvain; Romano, Carlo; Doguzhaeva, Larisa; Thuy, Ben; Hautmann, Michael; Stephen, Daniel A.; Thomazo, Christophe; Escarguel, Gilles

    2017-01-01

    In the wake of the end-Permian mass extinction, the Early Triassic (~251.9 to 247 million years ago) is portrayed as an environmentally unstable interval characterized by several biotic crises and heavily depauperate marine benthic ecosystems. We describe a new fossil assemblage—the Paris Biota—from the earliest Spathian (middle Olenekian, ~250.6 million years ago) of the Bear Lake area, southeastern Idaho, USA. This highly diversified assemblage documents a remarkably complex marine ecosystem including at least seven phyla and 20 distinct metazoan orders, along with algae. Most unexpectedly, it combines early Paleozoic and middle Mesozoic taxa previously unknown from the Triassic strata, among which are primitive Cambrian-Ordovician leptomitid sponges (a 200–million year Lazarus taxon) and gladius-bearing coleoid cephalopods, a poorly documented group before the Jurassic (~50 million years after the Early Triassic). Additionally, the crinoid and ophiuroid specimens show derived anatomical characters that were thought to have evolved much later. Unlike previous works that suggested a sluggish postcrisis recovery and a low diversity for the Early Triassic benthic organisms, the unexpected composition of this exceptional assemblage points toward an early and rapid post-Permian diversification for these clades. Overall, it illustrates a phylogenetically diverse, functionally complex, and trophically multileveled marine ecosystem, from primary producers up to top predators and potential scavengers. Hence, the Paris Biota highlights the key evolutionary position of Early Triassic fossil ecosystems in the transition from the Paleozoic to the Modern marine evolutionary fauna at the dawn of the Mesozoic era. PMID:28246643

  13. Unexpected Early Triassic marine ecosystem and the rise of the Modern evolutionary fauna.

    PubMed

    Brayard, Arnaud; Krumenacker, L J; Botting, Joseph P; Jenks, James F; Bylund, Kevin G; Fara, Emmanuel; Vennin, Emmanuelle; Olivier, Nicolas; Goudemand, Nicolas; Saucède, Thomas; Charbonnier, Sylvain; Romano, Carlo; Doguzhaeva, Larisa; Thuy, Ben; Hautmann, Michael; Stephen, Daniel A; Thomazo, Christophe; Escarguel, Gilles

    2017-02-01

    In the wake of the end-Permian mass extinction, the Early Triassic (~251.9 to 247 million years ago) is portrayed as an environmentally unstable interval characterized by several biotic crises and heavily depauperate marine benthic ecosystems. We describe a new fossil assemblage-the Paris Biota-from the earliest Spathian (middle Olenekian, ~250.6 million years ago) of the Bear Lake area, southeastern Idaho, USA. This highly diversified assemblage documents a remarkably complex marine ecosystem including at least seven phyla and 20 distinct metazoan orders, along with algae. Most unexpectedly, it combines early Paleozoic and middle Mesozoic taxa previously unknown from the Triassic strata, among which are primitive Cambrian-Ordovician leptomitid sponges (a 200-million year Lazarus taxon) and gladius-bearing coleoid cephalopods, a poorly documented group before the Jurassic (~50 million years after the Early Triassic). Additionally, the crinoid and ophiuroid specimens show derived anatomical characters that were thought to have evolved much later. Unlike previous works that suggested a sluggish postcrisis recovery and a low diversity for the Early Triassic benthic organisms, the unexpected composition of this exceptional assemblage points toward an early and rapid post-Permian diversification for these clades. Overall, it illustrates a phylogenetically diverse, functionally complex, and trophically multileveled marine ecosystem, from primary producers up to top predators and potential scavengers. Hence, the Paris Biota highlights the key evolutionary position of Early Triassic fossil ecosystems in the transition from the Paleozoic to the Modern marine evolutionary fauna at the dawn of the Mesozoic era.

  14. Exploring confidence and uncertainty in projections of potential marine ecosystem stressors under climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

    Marine ecosystems are increasingly stressed by human-induced climate change affecting their physical and biogeochemical environment. Future projections of potential marine ecosystem stressors - including warming, acidification, nutrient availability and declining oxygen levels-are inherently uncertain, however, complicating assessments of climate change impacts. Here we combine data from a novel 30-member ensemble simulation from the GFDL's Earth System Model with data from CMIP5 Earth System models that were run under a high- and low-carbon-emissions scenario to assess the different sources of uncertainty (internal, model and scenario) in projections of marine ecosystem drivers.We show that the uncertainty in century-scale global and regional surface pH projections is dominated by scenario uncertainty, highlighting the critical importance of policy decisions on carbon emissions. In contrast, uncertainty in century-scale sea surface temperature projections in polar regions, oxygen levels in low oxygen waters, and regional nutrient availability is dominated by model uncertainty, underscoring that overcoming deficiencies in scientific understanding and improved process representation in Earth System Models are critical for making more robust predictions. For smaller spatial and temporal scales, uncertainty associated with internal variability also constitutes an important source of uncertainty, suggesting irreducible uncertainty inherent in these projections. We also show that changes in the combined multiple ecosystem drivers emerges from the noise in 44% of the ocean in the next decade and in 57% of the ocean by the end of the century following a high carbon emissions scenario. Changes in pH and sea surface temperature can be reduced substantially and rapidly by the end of 21st century with aggressive carbon emission mitigation, but only marginally for oxygen and net primary productivity. Implications for downscaling of Earth system model output and for projecting

  15. Macroalgal blooms alter community structure and primary productivity in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lyons, Devin A; Arvanitidis, Christos; Blight, Andrew J; Chatzinikolaou, Eva; Guy-Haim, Tamar; Kotta, Jonne; Orav-Kotta, Helen; Queirós, Ana M; Rilov, Gil; Somerfield, Paul J; Crowe, Tasman P

    2014-09-01

    Eutrophication, coupled with loss of herbivory due to habitat degradation and overharvesting, has increased the frequency and severity of macroalgal blooms worldwide. Macroalgal blooms interfere with human activities in coastal areas, and sometimes necessitate costly algal removal programmes. They also have many detrimental effects on marine and estuarine ecosystems, including induction of hypoxia, release of toxic hydrogen sulphide into the sediments and atmosphere, and the loss of ecologically and economically important species. However, macroalgal blooms can also increase habitat complexity, provide organisms with food and shelter, and reduce other problems associated with eutrophication. These contrasting effects make their overall ecological impacts unclear. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the overall effects of macroalgal blooms on several key measures of ecosystem structure and functioning in marine ecosystems. We also evaluated some of the ecological and methodological factors that might explain the highly variable effects observed in different studies. Averaged across all studies, macroalgal blooms had negative effects on the abundance and species richness of marine organisms, but blooms by different algal taxa had different consequences, ranging from strong negative to strong positive effects. Blooms' effects on species richness also depended on the habitat where they occurred, with the strongest negative effects seen in sandy or muddy subtidal habitats and in the rocky intertidal. Invertebrate communities also appeared to be particularly sensitive to blooms, suffering reductions in their abundance, species richness, and diversity. The total net primary productivity, gross primary productivity, and respiration of benthic ecosystems were higher during macroalgal blooms, but blooms had negative effects on the productivity and respiration of other organisms. These results suggest that, in addition to their direct social and

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-05

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

  17. Reference independent species level profiling of the largest marine microbial ecosystem.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mende, D. R.; DeLong, E.; Aylward, F.

    2016-02-01

    Marine microbes are of immense importance for the flux of matter and energy within the global oceans. Yet, the temporal variability of microbial communities in response to seasonal and environmental changes remains understudied. In addition, there is only a very limited understanding of the effects that changes within microbial communities at a certain depth have on the other microbes within the water column. Further, existing studies have mostly been limited by the lack of good reference databases. Here we present an reference independent analysis of a year long time series at 5 different water depth of the microbial communities at Station ALOHA, a sampling location representative of the largest contiguous ecosystem on earth, the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPSG). Due to the lack the lack of closely related reference genomes most recent meta-genomic studies of marine microbial ecosystems have been limited to a coarse grained view at higher taxonomic levels. In order to gain a fine grained picture of the microbial communities and their dynamics within the NPSG, we extended the mOTU approach that has been successfully applied to the human microbiome to this marine ecosystem using more than 60 deeply sequenced metagenomic samples. This method allows for species level community profiling and diversity estimates, revealing seasonal shifts within the microbial communities. Additionally, we detected a number of microbes that respond to changes of different changing environmental conditions. We further surveyed the depth specificity of microbes at station ALOHA, showing species specific patterns of presence at different depths.

  18. 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.

  19. Ecological roles of the parasitic phytomyxids (plasmodiophorids) in marine ecosystems - a review.

    PubMed

    Neuhauser, Sigrid; Kirchmair, Martin; Gleason, Frank H

    2011-04-01

    Phytomyxea (plasmodiophorids) is an enigmatic group of obligate biotrophic parasites. Most of the known 41 species are associated with terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. However, the potential of phytomyxean species to influence marine ecosystems either directly by causing diseases of their hosts or indirectly as vectors of viruses is enormous, although still unexplored. In all, 20% of the currently described phytomyxean species are parasites of some of the key primary producers in the ocean, such as seagrasses, brown algae and diatoms; however, information on their distribution, abundance and biodiversity is either incomplete or lacking. Phytomyxean species influence fitness by altering the metabolism and/or the reproductive success of their hosts. The resulting changes can (1) have an impact on the biodiversity within host populations, and (2) influence microbial food webs because of altered availability of nutrients (e.g. changed metabolic status of host, transfer of organic matter). Also, phytomyxean species may affect their host populations indirectly by transmitting viruses. The majority of the currently known single-stranded RNA marine viruses structurally resemble the viruses transmitted by phytomyxean species to crops in agricultural environments. Here, we explore possible ecological roles of these parasites in marine habitats; however, only the inclusion of Phytomyxea in marine biodiversity studies will allow estimation of the true impact of these species on global primary production in the oceans.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Worrest, R. C.; Vandyke, H.

    1978-01-01

    Reduction of the earth's ozone layer, with a resultant increase in transmission of solar ultraviolet radiation in the 290 to 320nm waveband (UV-B), via space shuttle operations through the stratosphere is considered. It is shown that simulated solar ultraviolet radiation can, under experimental conditions, detrimentally affect the marine organisms that form the base of the food web of oceanic and estuarine ecosystems. Whether a small increase in biologically harmful ultraviolet radiation might overwhelm these mechanisms and produce changes that will have damaging consequences to the biosphere is discussed. The potential for irreversible damage to the productivity, structure and/or functioning of a model estuarine ecosystem by increased UV-B radiation and whether these ecosystems are highly stable or amenable to adaptive change is studied. Data are provided to assess the potential impact upon marine ecosystems if space shuttle operations contribute to a reduction of the stratospheric ozone layer and the sensitivity of key community components to increased UV-B radiation is examined.

  1. Rapid assessment of risks to a mobile marine mammal in an ecosystem-scale marine protected area.

    PubMed

    Grech, A; Marsh, H

    2008-06-01

    Ecosystem-scale networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) are important conservation tools, but their effectiveness is difficult to quantify in a time frame appropriate to species conservation because of uncertainties in the data available. The dugong (Dugong dugon) is a mobile marine species that occurs in shallow inshore waters of an ecosystem-scale network of MPAs (the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area [GBRWHA]). We developed a rapid approach to assess risk to dugongs in the region and evaluate options to ameliorate that risk. We used expert opinion and a Delphi technique to identify and rank 5 human factors with the potential to adversely affect dugongs and their sea grass habitats: netting, indigenous hunting, trawling, vessel traffic, and poor-quality terrestrial runoff. We then quantified and compared the distribution of these factors with a spatially explicit model of dugong distribution. We estimated that approximately 96% of habitat of high conservation value for dugongs in the GBRWHA is at low risk from human activities. Using a sensitivity analysis, we found that to decrease risk, commercial netting or indigenous hunting had to be reduced in remote areas and the effects of vessel traffic, terrestrial runoff, and commercial netting had to be reduced in urban areas. This approach enabled us to compare and rank risks so as to identify the most severe risks and locate specific sites that require further management attention.

  2. Assessment of Metal Toxicity in Marine Ecosystems: Comparative Toxicity Potentials for Nine Cationic Metals in Coastal Seawater.

    PubMed

    Dong, Yan; Rosenbaum, Ralph K; Hauschild, Michael Z

    2016-01-05

    This study is a first attempt to develop globally applicable and spatially differentiated marine comparative toxicity potentials (CTPs) or ecotoxicity characterization factors for metals in coastal seawater for use in life cycle assessment. The toxicity potentials are based exclusively on marine ecotoxicity data and take account of metal speciation and bioavailability. CTPs were developed for nine cationic metals (Cd, Cr(III), Co, Cu(II), Fe(III), Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in 64 large marine ecosystems (LMEs) covering all coastal waters in the world. The results showed that the CTP of a specific metal varies 3-4 orders of magnitude across LMEs, largely due to different seawater residence times. Therefore, the highest toxicity potential for metals was found in the LMEs with the longest seawater residence times. Across metals, the highest CTPs were observed for Cd, Pb, and Zn. At the concentration levels occurring in coastal seawaters, Fe acts not as a toxic agent but as an essential nutrient and thus has CTPs of zero.

  3. When 1+1 can be >2: Uncertainties compound when simulating climate, fisheries and marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Karen; Brown, Jaclyn N.; Sen Gupta, Alex; Nicol, Simon J.; Hoyle, Simon; Matear, Richard; Arrizabalaga, Haritz

    2015-03-01

    Multi-disciplinary approaches that combine oceanographic, biogeochemical, ecosystem, fisheries population and socio-economic models are vital tools for modelling whole ecosystems. Interpreting the outputs from such complex models requires an appreciation of the many different types of modelling frameworks being used and their associated limitations and uncertainties. Both users and developers of particular model components will often have little involvement or understanding of other components within such modelling frameworks. Failure to recognise limitations and uncertainties associated with components and how these uncertainties might propagate throughout modelling frameworks can potentially result in poor advice for resource management. Unfortunately, many of the current integrative frameworks do not propagate the uncertainties of their constituent parts. In this review, we outline the major components of a generic whole of ecosystem modelling framework incorporating the external pressures of climate and fishing. We discuss the limitations and uncertainties associated with each component of such a modelling system, along with key research gaps. Major uncertainties in modelling frameworks are broadly categorised into those associated with (i) deficient knowledge in the interactions of climate and ocean dynamics with marine organisms and ecosystems; (ii) lack of observations to assess and advance modelling efforts and (iii) an inability to predict with confidence natural ecosystem variability and longer term changes as a result of external drivers (e.g. greenhouse gases, fishing effort) and the consequences for marine ecosystems. As a result of these uncertainties and intrinsic differences in the structure and parameterisation of models, users are faced with considerable challenges associated with making appropriate choices on which models to use. We suggest research directions required to address these uncertainties, and caution against overconfident predictions

  4. The Sea Around Us Project: documenting and communicating global fisheries impacts on marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Pauly, Daniel

    2007-06-01

    The Sea Around Us Project, initiated by the Pew Charitable Trusts in Philadelphia, PA, and located at the Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, started in mid 1999. Its goal was (and still is) to investigate the impact of fisheries on marine ecosystems and to propose policies to mitigate these impacts. Although conceived as a global activity, the project first emphasized the data-rich North Atlantic as a test bed for developing its approaches, which rely on mapping of catch data and indicators of ecosystem health derived from the analysis of long catch time series data. Initial achievements included mapping the decline, throughout the North Atlantic basin, of high-trophic level fishes from 1900 to the present and the presentation of compelling evidence of change in the functioning of the North Atlantic ecosystems, summarized in a 2003 book. The Central and South Atlantic were the next basins to be tackled, with emphasis on the distant-water fleet off West Africa, culminating in a major conference in Dakar, Senegal, in 2002. The project then emphasized the North Pacific, Antarctica, and marine mammals and the multiplicity of tropical Indo-Pacific fisheries before it turned completely global, with all our major analyses and reports (e.g., on the interactions between marine mammals and fisheries, on fuel consumption by fleets, on the catches of small-scale fisheries, on subsidies to fisheries) being based on global studies. Broadly, the work of the project is aimed at a reappraisal of fisheries, from the benign activity that many interested people still perceive them to be, to a realization that they have become the driver for massive loss of biodiversity in the ocean. Moreover, the emphasis on global estimates (rather than local estimates of dubious generality) has allowed the project to contribute to various global initiatives (e.g., developing the Marine Trophic Index for the Convention on Biological Diversity, quantifying marine

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Despite the merit of managing natural resources on the scale of ecosystems, evaluating threats and managing risk in ecosystems that span multiple countries or jurisdictions can be challenging. This requires each government involved to consider actions in concert with actions being taken in other countries by co-managing entities. Multiple proposed fossil fuel-related and port development projects in the Salish Sea, a 16,925 km2 inland sea shared by Washington State (USA), British Columbia (Canada), and Indigenous Coast Salish governments, have the potential to increase marine vessel traffic and negatively impact natural resources. There is no legal mandate or management mechanism requiring a comprehensive review of the potential cumulative impacts of these development activities throughout the Salish Sea and across the international border. This project identifies ongoing and proposed energy-related development projects that will increase marine vessel traffic in the Salish Sea and evaluates the threats each project poses to natural resources important to the Coast Salish. While recognizing that Coast Salish traditions identify all species as important and connected, we used expert elicitation to identify 50 species upon which we could evaluate impact. These species were chosen because Coast Salish depend upon them heavily for harvest revenue or as a staple food source, they were particularly culturally or spiritually significant, or they were historically part of Coast Salish lifeways. We identified six development projects, each of which had three potential impacts (pressures) associated with increased marine vessel traffic: oil spill, vessel noise and vessel strike. Projects varied in their potential for localized impacts (pressures) including shoreline development, harbor oil spill, pipeline spill, coal dust accumulation and nearshore LNG explosion. Based on available published data, impact for each pressure/species interaction was rated as likely, possible or

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Despite the merit of managing natural resources on the scale of ecosystems, evaluating threats and managing risk in ecosystems that span multiple countries or jurisdictions can be challenging. This requires each government involved to consider actions in concert with actions being taken in other countries by co-managing entities. Multiple proposed fossil fuel-related and port development projects in the Salish Sea, a 16,925 km2 inland sea shared by Washington State (USA), British Columbia (Canada), and Indigenous Coast Salish governments, have the potential to increase marine vessel traffic and negatively impact natural resources. There is no legal mandate or management mechanism requiring a comprehensive review of the potential cumulative impacts of these development activities throughout the Salish Sea and across the international border. This project identifies ongoing and proposed energy-related development projects that will increase marine vessel traffic in the Salish Sea and evaluates the threats each project poses to natural resources important to the Coast Salish. While recognizing that Coast Salish traditions identify all species as important and connected, we used expert elicitation to identify 50 species upon which we could evaluate impact. These species were chosen because Coast Salish depend upon them heavily for harvest revenue or as a staple food source, they were particularly culturally or spiritually significant, or they were historically part of Coast Salish lifeways. We identified six development projects, each of which had three potential impacts (pressures) associated with increased marine vessel traffic: oil spill, vessel noise and vessel strike. Projects varied in their potential for localized impacts (pressures) including shoreline development, harbor oil spill, pipeline spill, coal dust accumulation and nearshore LNG explosion. Based on available published data, impact for each pressure/species interaction was rated as likely, possible or

  7. Methodological challenges in assessing the environmental status of a marine ecosystem: case study of the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Ojaveer, Henn; Eero, Margit

    2011-04-29

    Assessments of the environmental status of marine ecosystems are increasingly needed to inform management decisions and regulate human pressures to meet the objectives of environmental policies. This paper addresses some generic methodological challenges and related uncertainties involved in marine ecosystem assessment, using the central Baltic Sea as a case study. The objectives of good environmental status of the Baltic Sea are largely focusing on biodiversity, eutrophication and hazardous substances. In this paper, we conduct comparative evaluations of the status of these three segments, by applying different methodological approaches. Our analyses indicate that the assessment results are sensitive to a selection of indicators for ecological quality objectives that are affected by a broad spectrum of human activities and natural processes (biodiversity), less so for objectives that are influenced by a relatively narrow array of drivers (eutrophications, hazardous substances). The choice of indicator aggregation rule appeared to be of essential importance for assessment results for all three segments, whereas the hierarchical structure of indicators had only a minor influence. Trend-based assessment was shown to be a useful supplement to reference-based evaluation, being independent of the problems related to defining reference values and indicator aggregation methodologies. Results of this study will help in setting priorities for future efforts to improve environmental assessments in the Baltic Sea and elsewhere, and to ensure the transparency of the assessment procedure.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    step in integrating stranding records to monitor the consequences of environmental changes in marine ecosystems over long time scales.

  11. The contribution of very large marine protected areas to marine conservation: giant leaps or smoke and mirrors?

    PubMed

    Singleton, Rebecca L; Roberts, Callum M

    2014-10-15

    In recent years, marine protected areas have been "super-sized". At first glance, this seems a gift to marine conservation. Yet, the new wave of very large marine protected areas ("VLMPAs") have faced criticism from the scientific community. In this article we examine the merits and the criticisms of VLMPAS, and consider whether they provide a much-needed boost to marine conservation, or are simply too good to be true. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Marine-derived nutrients, bioturbation, and ecosystem metabolism: reconsidering the role of salmon in streams.

    PubMed

    Holtgrieve, Gordon W; Schindler, Daniel E

    2011-02-01

    that management efforts to restore salmon ecosystems should consider effects on ecosystem metabolic properties and how salmon disturbance affects the incorporation of marine-derived nutrients into food webs.

  13. Multiscale socioeconomic assessment across large ecosystems: lessons from practice

    Treesearch

    Rebecca J. McLain; Ellen M. Donoghue; Jonathan Kusel; Lita Buttolph; Susan Charnley

    2008-01-01

    Implementation of ecosystem management projects has created a demand for socioeconomic assessments to predict or evaluate the impacts of ecosystem policies. Social scientists for these assessments face challenges that, although not unique to such projects, are more likely to arise than in smaller scale ones. This article summarizes lessons from our experiences with...

  14. Modelling potential changes in marine biogeochemistry due to large-scale offshore wind farms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Molen, Johan; Rees, Jon; Limpenny, Sian

    2013-04-01

    Large-scale renewable energy generation by offshore wind farms may lead to changes in marine ecosystem processes through the following mechanism: 1) wind-energy extraction leads to a reduction in local surface wind speeds; 2) these lead to a reduction in the local wind wave height; 3) as a consequence there's a reduction in SPM resuspension and concentrations; 4) this results in an improvement in under-water light regime, which 5) may lead to increased primary production, which subsequently 6) cascades through the ecosystem. A three-dimensional coupled hydrodynamics-biogeochemistry model (GETM_ERSEM) was used to investigate this process for a hypothetical wind farm in the central North Sea, by running a reference scenario and a scenario with a 10% reduction (as was found in a case study of a small farm in Danish waters) in surface wind velocities in the area of the wind farm. The ERSEM model included both pelagic and benthic processes. The results showed that, within the farm area, the physical mechanisms were as expected, but with variations in the magnitude of the response depending on the ecosystem variable or exchange rate between two ecosystem variables (3-28%, depending on variable/rate). Benthic variables tended to be more sensitive to the changes than pelagic variables. Reduced, but noticeable changes also occurred for some variables in a region of up to two farm diameters surrounding the wind farm. An additional model run in which the 10% reduction in surface wind speed was applied only for wind speeds below the generally used threshold of 25 m/s for operational shut-down showed only minor differences from the run in which all wind speeds were reduced. These first results indicate that there is potential for measurable effects of large-scale offshore wind farms on the marine ecosystem, mainly within the farm but for some variables up to two farm diameters away. However, the wave and SPM parameterisations currently used in the model are crude and need to be

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-10

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zalesny, V. B.; Tamsalu, R.

    2009-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Occhipinti-Ambrogi, A; Savini, D

    2003-05-01

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

  20. Divergent ecosystem responses within a benthic marine community to ocean acidification.

    PubMed

    Kroeker, Kristy J; Micheli, Fiorenza; Gambi, Maria Cristina; Martz, Todd R

    2011-08-30

    Ocean acidification is predicted to impact all areas of the oceans and affect a diversity of marine organisms. However, the diversity of responses among species prevents clear predictions about the impact of acidification at the ecosystem level. Here, we used shallow water CO(2) vents in the Mediterranean Sea as a model system to examine emergent ecosystem responses to ocean acidification in rocky reef communities. We assessed in situ benthic invertebrate communities in three distinct pH zones (ambient, low, and extreme low), which differed in both the mean and variability of seawater pH along a continuous gradient. We found fewer taxa, reduced taxonomic evenness, and lower biomass in the extreme low pH zones. However, the number of individuals did not differ among pH zones, suggesting that there is density compensation through population blooms of small acidification-tolerant taxa. Furthermore, the trophic structure of the invertebrate community shifted to fewer trophic groups and dominance by generalists in extreme low pH, suggesting that there may be a simplification of food webs with ocean acidification. Despite high variation in individual species' responses, our findings indicate that ocean acidification decreases the diversity, biomass, and trophic complexity of benthic marine communities. These results suggest that a loss of biodiversity and ecosystem function is expected under extreme acidification scenarios.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-31

    Phytophthora species are potent pathogens that can devastate terrestrial plants, causing billions of dollars of damage yearly to agricultural crops and harming fragile ecosystems worldwide. Yet, virtually nothing is known about the distribution and pathogenicity of their marine relatives. This is surprising, as marine plants form vital habitats in coastal zones worldwide (i.e. mangrove forests, salt marshes, seagrass beds), and disease may be an important bottleneck for the conservation and restoration of these rapidly declining ecosystems. We are the first to report on widespread infection of Phytophthora and Halophytophthora species on a common seagrass species, Zostera marina (eelgrass), across the northern Atlantic and Mediterranean. In addition, we tested the effects of Halophytophthora sp. Zostera and Phytophthora gemini on Z. marina seed germination in a full-factorial laboratory experiment under various environmental conditions. Results suggest that Phytophthora species are widespread as we found these oomycetes in eelgrass beds in six countries across the North Atlantic and Mediterranean. Infection by Halophytophthora sp. Zostera, P. gemini, or both, strongly affected sexual reproduction by reducing seed germination sixfold. Our findings have important implications for seagrass ecology, because these putative pathogens probably negatively affect ecosystem functioning, as well as current restoration and conservation efforts. © 2016 The Author(s).

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-29

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  4. Divergent ecosystem responses within a benthic marine community to ocean acidification

    PubMed Central

    Kroeker, Kristy J.; Micheli, Fiorenza; Gambi, Maria Cristina; Martz, Todd R.

    2011-01-01

    Ocean acidification is predicted to impact all areas of the oceans and affect a diversity of marine organisms. However, the diversity of responses among species prevents clear predictions about the impact of acidification at the ecosystem level. Here, we used shallow water CO2 vents in the Mediterranean Sea as a model system to examine emergent ecosystem responses to ocean acidification in rocky reef communities. We assessed in situ benthic invertebrate communities in three distinct pH zones (ambient, low, and extreme low), which differed in both the mean and variability of seawater pH along a continuous gradient. We found fewer taxa, reduced taxonomic evenness, and lower biomass in the extreme low pH zones. However, the number of individuals did not differ among pH zones, suggesting that there is density compensation through population blooms of small acidification-tolerant taxa. Furthermore, the trophic structure of the invertebrate community shifted to fewer trophic groups and dominance by generalists in extreme low pH, suggesting that there may be a simplification of food webs with ocean acidification. Despite high variation in individual species’ responses, our findings indicate that ocean acidification decreases the diversity, biomass, and trophic complexity of benthic marine communities. These results suggest that a loss of biodiversity and ecosystem function is expected under extreme acidification scenarios. PMID:21844331

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Predicting the distribution of vulnerable marine ecosystems in the deep sea using presence-background models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vierod, Alexander D. T.; Guinotte, John M.; Davies, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    In 2006 the United Nations called on states to implement measures to prevent significant adverse impacts to vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) in the deep sea. It has been widely recognised that a major limitation to the effective application of these measures to date is uncertainty regarding the distribution of VMEs. Conservationists, researchers, resource managers and governmental bodies are increasingly turning to predictive species distribution models (SDMs) to identify the potential presence of species in areas that have not been sampled. In particular, the development of robust ‘presence-background' model algorithms has accelerated the application of these techniques for working with presence-only species data. This has allowed scientists to exploit the large amounts of species data held in global biogeographic databases. Despite improvements in model algorithms, environmental data and species presences, there are still limitations to the reliability of these techniques, especially in poorly studied areas such as the deep sea. Recent studies have begun to address a key limitation, the quality of data, by using multibeam echosounder surveys and species data from video surveys to acquire high-resolution data. Whilst these data are often amongst the very best that can be acquired, the surveys are highly localised, often targeted towards known VME-containing areas, are very expensive and time consuming. It is financially prohibitive to survey whole regions or ocean basins using these techniques, so alternative cost-effective approaches are required. Here, we review ‘presence-background' SDMs in the context of those studies conducted in the deep sea. The issues of sampling bias, spatial autocorrelation, spatial scale, model evaluation and validation are considered in detail, and reference is made to recent developments in species distribution modelling literature. Further information is provided on how these approaches are being used to influence ocean

  7. Marine Ecosystem Response to Rapid Climate Warming on the West Antarctic Peninsula (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ducklow, H.; Baker, K. S.; Doney, S. C.; Fraser, B.; Martinson, D. G.; Meredith, M. P.; Montes-Hugo, M. A.; Sailley, S.; Schofield, O.; Sherrell, R. M.; Stammerjohn, S. E.; Steinberg, D. K.

    2010-12-01

    The Palmer, Antarctica LTER builds on meteorological, ocean color and seabird observations since the late 1970s. It occupies annually in summer a regional-scale grid extending 700 km northward from Charcot Island to Anvers Island, and 200 km cross-shelf from the coast to the shelfbreak. In addition to routine CTD profiles and zooplankton tows throughout the grid, the observing system also includes Slocum Glider surveys and thermistor moorings. Geophysical changes include +6C atmospheric warming in winter since 1950, a 20% increase in heat content over the continental shelf since 1990, a surface ocean warming of +1C since 1950, an 83-day reduction in sea ice duration (advance 48 days later, retreat 35 days earlier) over the greater southern Bellingshausen Sea region from 1979-2007, intensification of westerly winds and differential changes in cloudiness. In response to these large changes in the regional climate, the marine ecosystem of the western Peninsula is changing at all trophic levels from diatoms to penguins. Ocean color indicates differential changes in phytoplankton stocks in response to regional decreases in sea ice cover. Surface chlorophyll has declined 89% in the north and increased 67% in the south. Antarctic krill and salps have declined and increased in our study area, respectively. Penguin diet sampling suggests changes in populations or distributions of the Antarctic Silverfish in the Anvers Island vicinity, possibly in response to ocean warming. Adélie penguins have declined 75% from 15000 to <3000 pairs at since 1975 in response to changes in food availability and increased late spring snow accumulation. Changes in pygoscelid penguin breeding populations in the Anvers Island vicinity of the West Antarctic Peninsula

  8. Identification, definition and quantification of goods and services provided by marine biodiversity: implications for the ecosystem approach.

    PubMed

    Beaumont, N J; Austen, M C; Atkins, J P; Burdon, D; Degraer, S; Dentinho, T P; Derous, S; Holm, P; Horton, T; van Ierland, E; Marboe, A H; Starkey, D J; Townsend, M; Zarzycki, T

    2007-03-01

    This paper identifies and defines ecosystem goods and services provided by marine biodiversity. Case studies have been used to provide an insight into the practical issues associated with the assessment of marine ecosystem goods and services at specific locations. The aim of this research was to validate the definitions of goods and services, and to identify knowledge gaps and likely difficulties of quantifying the goods and services. A validated theoretical framework for the assessment of goods and services is detailed, and examples of the goods and services at a variety of case study areas are documented. These results will enable future assessments of marine ecosystem goods and services. It is concluded that the utilisation of this goods and services approach has the capacity to play a fundamental role in the Ecosystem Approach, by enabling the pressures and demands of society, the economy and the environment to be integrated into environmental management.

  9. Integrated mercury monitoring program for temperate estuarine and marine ecosystems on the North American Atlantic coast.

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-19

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

  11. Detection of environmental change in a marine ecosystem--evidence from the western English Channel.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, Stephen J; Southward, Alan J; Genner, Martin J

    2003-07-01

    To separate human-induced changes from natural fluctuations in marine life requires long-term research. The western English Channel has been investigated from Plymouth for over 100 years. The abundance of marine life has been recorded and related to physical changes in the environment. By comparing different parts of the ecosystem we can demonstrate historic natural fluctuations, allowing prediction of effects of future global change. From the 1920s to the 1950s there was a period of warming of the sea, with increases in abundance of species of fish, plankton and intertidal organisms that are typically common in warmer waters to the south of Britain. After 1962 the sea cooled down and northern cold-water species became more abundant. Since the 1980s regional sea surface temperature has increased again and warm-water species are once more becoming abundant.

  12. Understanding modern extinctions in marine ecosystems: the role of palaeoecological data.

    PubMed

    Kosnik, Matthew A; Kowalewski, Michał

    2016-04-01

    Because anthropogenic impacts on ecological systems pre-date the oldest scientific observations, historical documents and archaeological records, understanding modern extinctions requires additional data sources that extend further back in time. Palaeoecological records, which provide quantitative proxy records of ecosystems prior to human impact, are essential for understanding recent extinctions and future extinction risks. Here we critically review the value of the most recent fossil record in contributing to our understanding of modern extinctions and illustrate through case studies how naturally occurring death assemblages and Holocene sedimentary records provide context to the plight of marine ecosystems. While palaeoecological data are inherently restricted censuses of past communities (manipulative experiments are not possible), they yield quantitative records over temporal scales that are beyond the reach of ecology. Only by including palaeoecological data is it possible to fully assess the role of long-term anthropogenic processes in driving modern extinction risk. © 2016 The Author(s).

  13. Herbivore and predator diversity interactively affect ecosystem properties in an experimental marine community.

    PubMed

    Douglass, James G; Duffy, J Emmett; Bruno, John F

    2008-06-01

    Interacting changes in predator and prey diversity likely influence ecosystem properties but have rarely been experimentally tested. We manipulated the species richness of herbivores and predators in an experimental benthic marine community and measured their effects on predator, herbivore and primary producer performance. Predator composition and richness strongly affected several community and population responses, mostly via sampling effects. However, some predators survived better in polycultures than in monocultures, suggesting complementarity due to stronger intra- than interspecific interactions. Predator effects also differed between additive and substitutive designs, emphasizing that the relationship between diversity and abundance in an assemblage can strongly influence whether and how diversity effects are realized. Changing herbivore richness and predator richness interacted to influence both total herbivore abundance and predatory crab growth, but these interactive diversity effects were weak. Overall, the presence and richness of predators dominated biotic effects on community and ecosystem properties.

  14. Biogeochemical cycling of lignocellulosic carbon in marine and freshwater ecosystems: relative contributions of procaryotes and eucaryotes

    SciTech Connect

    Benner, R.; Moran, M.A.; Hodson, R.E.

    1986-01-01

    The relative contributions of procaryotes and eucaryotes to the degradation of the lignin and polysaccharide components of lignocellulosic detritus in two marine and two freshwater wetland ecosystems were determined. Two independent methods - physical separation of bacteria from fungi and other eucaryotes by size fractionation, and antibiotic treatments - were used to estimate procaryotic and eucaryotic contributions to the degradation of (/sup 14/C-lignin)lignocelluloses and (/sup 13/C-polysaccharide)lignocelluloses in samples of water and decaying plant material from each environment. Both methods yielded similar results; bacteria were the predominant degraders of lignocellulose in each of the aquatic ecosystems. These results indicate a basic difference between the microbial degradation of lignocellulosic material in terrestrial and aquatic environments. Fungi have long been considered the predominant degraders of lignocellulose in terrestrial systems; our results indicate that in aquatic systems bacteria are the predominant degraders of lignocellulose.

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

    PubMed Central

    Lafferty, Kevin D

    2004-01-01

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

  16. The elusive baseline of marine disease: Are diseases in ocean ecosystems increasing?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ward, Jessica R.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2004-01-01

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

  17. The Influence of Mean Trophic Level on Biomass and Production in Marine Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woodson, C. B.; Schramski, J.

    2016-02-01

    The oceans have faced rapid removal of top predators causing a reduction in the mean trophic level of many marine ecosystems due to fishing down the food web. However, estimating the pre-exploitation biomass of the ocean has been difficult. Historical population sizes have been estimated using population dynamics models, archaeological or historical records, fisheries data, living memory, ecological monitoring data, genetics, and metabolic theory. In this talk, we expand on the use of metabolic theory by including complex trophic webs to estimate pre-exploitation levels of marine biomass. Our results suggest that historical marine biomass could be as much as 10 times higher than current estimates and that the total carrying capacity of the ocean is sensitive to mean trophic level and trophic web complexity. We further show that the production levels needed to support the added biomass are possible due to biomass accumulation and predator-prey overlap in regions such as fronts. These results have important implications for marine biogeochemical cycling, fisheries management, and conservation efforts.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  2. Architecture of collapse: regime shift and recovery in an hierarchically structured marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Daskalov, Georgi M; Boicenco, Laura; Grishin, Alexandre N; Lazar, Luminita; Mihneva, Vesselina; Shlyakhov, Vladislav A; Zengin, Mustafa

    2017-04-01

    By the late 20th century, a series of events or 'natural experiments', for example the depletion of apex predators, extreme eutrophication and blooms of invasive species, had suggested that the Black Sea could be considered as a large ecosystem 'laboratory'. The events resulted in regime shifts cascading through all trophic levels, disturbing ecosystem functioning and damaging the water environment. Causal pathways by which the external (hydroclimate, overfishing) and internal (food web interactions) drivers provoke regime shifts are investigated. Statistical data analyses supported by an interpretative framework based on hierarchical ecosystem theory revealed mechanisms of hierarchical incorporation of environmental factors into the ecosystem. Evidence links Atlantic teleconnections to Black Sea hydroclimate, which together with fishing shapes variability in fish stocks. The hydroclimatic signal is conveyed through the food web via changes in productivity at all levels, to planktivorous fish. Fluctuating fish abundance is believed to induce a lagged change in competitor jelly plankton that cascades down to phytoplankton and influences water quality. Deprived of the stabilising role of apex predators, the Black Sea's hierarchical ecosystem organisation is susceptible to both environmental and anthropogenic stresses, and increased fishing makes fish stock collapses highly probable. When declining stocks are confronted with burgeoning fishing effort associated with the inability of fishery managers and decision-makers to adapt rapidly to changes in fish abundance, there is overfishing and stock collapse. Management procedures are ineffective at handling complex phenomena such as ecosystem regime shifts because of the shortage of suitable explanatory models. The proposed concepts and models reported here relate the hydroclimate, overfishing and invasive species to shifts in ecosystem functioning and water quality, unravelling issues such as the causality of ecosystem

  3. Paleoecological studies on variability in marine fish populations: A long-term perspective on the impacts of climatic change on marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finney, Bruce P.; Alheit, Jürgen; Emeis, Kay-Christian; Field, David B.; Gutiérrez, Dimitri; Struck, Ulrich

    2010-02-01

    The use of historical fishing records to understand relationships between climatic change and fish abundance is limited by the relatively short duration of these records, and complications due to the strong influence of human activity in addition to climatic change. Sedimentary records containing scales, bones or geochemical proxies of variability in fish populations provide unique insights on long-term ecosystem dynamics and relationships with climatic change. Available records from Holocene sediments are summarized and synthesized. The records are from several widespread locations near or along the continental margins of the South Atlantic and Pacific oceans, including Alaska, USA (Pacific salmon), Saanich and Effingham Inlets, British Columbia, Canada (pelagic fish), Santa Barbara Basin, California, USA (Northern anchovies and Pacific sardines), Gulf of California, Mexico (Pacific sardines, Northern anchovies and Pacific hake), Peru upwelling system (sardines, anchovies and hake), and Benguela Current System, South Africa (sardines, anchovies and hake). These records demonstrate that fish population sizes are not constant, and varied significantly over a range of time scales prior to the advent of large-scale commercial fishing. In addition to the decadal-scale variability commonly observed in historical records, the long-term records reveal substantial variability over centennial and millennial time scales. Shifts in abundance are often, but not always, correlated with regional and/or global climatic changes. The long-term perspective reveals different patterns of variability in fish populations, as well as fish-climate relationships, than suggested by analysis of historical records. Many records suggest prominent changes in fish abundance at ca. 1000-1200 AD, during the Little Ice Age, and during the transition at the end of the Little Ice Age in the 19th century that may be correlative, and that were likely driven by major hemispheric or global

  4. Metrics of ecosystem status for large aquatic systems: a global comparison

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dobiesz, N.E.; Hecky, R.E.; Johnson, T.B.; Sarvala, J.; Dettmers, J.M.; Lehtiniemi, M.; Rudstam, L. G.; Madenjian, C.P.; Witte, F.

    2010-01-01

    We identified an objective set of 25 commonly available ecosystem metrics applicable across the world's large continental freshwater and brackish aquatic ecosystem. These metrics measure trophic structure, exploited species, habitat alteration, and catchment changes. We used long-term trends in these metrics as indicators of perturbations that represent an ecosystem not in homeostasis. We defined a healthy ecosystem as being in a homeostatic state; therefore, ecosystems with many changing trends were defined as more disturbed than ecosystems with fewer changing trends. Healthy ecosystems (lakes Baikal, Superior, and Tanganyika) were large, deep lakes in relatively unpopulated areas with no signs of eutrophication and no changes to their trophic structure. Disturbed ecosystems (lakes Michigan, Ontario, and Victoria) had shallow to moderately deep basins with high watershed population pressure and intense agricultural and residential land use. Transitioning systems had widely varying trends and faced increasing anthropogenic pressures. Standardized methodologies for capturing data could improve our understanding of the current state of these ecosystems and allow for comparisons of the response of large aquatic ecosystems to local and global stressors thereby providing more reliable insights into future changes in ecosystem health.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rogers, C.S.; Beets, J.

    2001-01-01

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

  6. The stratigraphic distribution of large marine vertebrates and shell beds in the Pliocene of Tuscany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dominici, Stefano; Benvenuti, Marco; Danise, Silvia

    2015-04-01

    , within an otherwise oligotrophic Mediterranean Sea, sustain a rich and diverse cetacean and shark, epipelagic and mesopelagic community. The modern steep bathymetric gradient was displaced towards the East during the Pliocene, before the latest phases of uplift of the Northern Apennines. An open marine, nutrient-rich ecosystem influenced hinterland basins during major transgressive pulses, leading to a higher productivity and the formation of laterally-continuos accumulations of biogenic hard parts. A comparison with the few available studies on the sequence-stratigraphic distribution of large marine vertebrates and shell beds suggests that a model integrating high-productivity and sea level rise, favouring bone bed and shell bed formation, can be applied at other settings, and other geologic intervals.

  7. Climate change and Southern Ocean ecosystems I: how changes in physical habitats directly affect marine biota.

    PubMed

    Constable, Andrew J; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Corney, Stuart P; Arrigo, Kevin R; Barbraud, Christophe; Barnes, David K A; Bindoff, Nathaniel L; Boyd, Philip W; Brandt, Angelika; Costa, Daniel P; Davidson, Andrew T; Ducklow, Hugh W; Emmerson, Louise; Fukuchi, Mitsuo; Gutt, Julian; Hindell, Mark A; Hofmann, Eileen E; Hosie, Graham W; Iida, Takahiro; Jacob, Sarah; Johnston, Nadine M; Kawaguchi, So; Kokubun, Nobuo; Koubbi, Philippe; Lea, Mary-Anne; Makhado, Azwianewi; Massom, Rob A; Meiners, Klaus; Meredith, Michael P; Murphy, Eugene J; Nicol, Stephen; Reid, Keith; Richerson, Kate; Riddle, Martin J; Rintoul, Stephen R; Smith, Walker O; Southwell, Colin; Stark, Jonathon S; Sumner, Michael; Swadling, Kerrie M; Takahashi, Kunio T; Trathan, Phil N; Welsford, Dirk C; Weimerskirch, Henri; Westwood, Karen J; Wienecke, Barbara C; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter; Wright, Simon W; Xavier, Jose C; Ziegler, Philippe

    2014-10-01

    Antarctic and Southern Ocean (ASO) marine ecosystems have been changing for at least the last 30 years, including in response to increasing ocean temperatures and changes in the extent and seasonality of sea ice; the magnitude and direction of these changes differ between regions around Antarctica that could see populations of the same species changing differently in different regions. This article reviews current and expected changes in ASO physical habitats in response to climate change. It then reviews how these changes may impact the autecology of marine biota of this polar region: microbes, zooplankton, salps, Antarctic krill, fish, cephalopods, marine mammals, seabirds, and benthos. The general prognosis for ASO marine habitats is for an overall warming and freshening, strengthening of westerly winds, with a potential pole-ward movement of those winds and the frontal systems, and an increase in ocean eddy activity. Many habitat parameters will have regionally specific changes, particularly relating to sea ice characteristics and seasonal dynamics. Lower trophic levels are expected to move south as the ocean conditions in which they are currently found move pole-ward. For Antarctic krill and finfish, the latitudinal breadth of their range will depend on their tolerance of warming oceans and changes to productivity. Ocean acidification is a concern not only for calcifying organisms but also for crustaceans such as Antarctic krill; it is also likely to be the most important change in benthic habitats over the coming century. For marine mammals and birds, the expected changes primarily relate to their flexibility in moving to alternative locations for food and the energetic cost of longer or more complex foraging trips for those that are bound to breeding colonies. Few species are sufficiently well studied to make comprehensive species-specific vulnerability assessments possible. Priorities for future work are discussed. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Saharan dust inputs and high UVR levels jointly alter the metabolic balance of marine oligotrophic ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Cabrerizo, Marco J.; Medina-Sánchez, Juan Manuel; González-Olalla, Juan Manuel; Villar-Argaiz, Manuel; Carrillo, Presentación

    2016-01-01

    The metabolic balance of the most extensive bioma on the Earth is a controversial topic of the global-change research. High ultraviolet radiation (UVR) levels by the shoaling of upper mixed layers and increasing atmospheric dust deposition from arid regions may unpredictably alter the metabolic state of marine oligotrophic ecosystems. We performed an observational study across the south-western (SW) Mediterranean Sea to assess the planktonic metabolic balance and a microcosm experiment in two contrasting areas, heterotrophic nearshore and autotrophic open sea, to test whether a combined UVR × dust impact could alter their metabolic balance at mid-term scales. We show that the metabolic state of oligotrophic areas geographically varies and that the joint impact of UVR and dust inputs prompted a strong change towards autotrophic metabolism. We propose that this metabolic response could be accentuated with the global change as remote-sensing evidence shows increasing intensities, frequencies and number of dust events together with variations in the surface UVR fluxes on SW Mediterranean Sea. Overall, these findings suggest that the enhancement of the net carbon budget under a combined UVR and dust inputs impact could contribute to boost the biological pump, reinforcing the role of the oligotrophic marine ecosystems as CO2 sinks. PMID:27775100

  9. Developing an optimal sampling design. A case study in a coastal marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Kitsiou, D; Tsirtsis, G; Karydis, M

    2001-09-01

    The development of a sampling design for optimising sampling site locations collected from a coastal marine environment has been the purpose of the present work; application of statistical analysis and spatial autocorrelation methods have been carried out. The dataset included data collected from 34 sampling sites spaced out in the Strait of Lesbos, Greece, arranged in a 1 x 1 NM grid. The coastal shallow ecosystem was subdivided into three zones, an inner one (7 stations), a middle one (16 stations) and an offshore zone (11 stations). The standard error of the chlorophyll-a concentrations in each zone has been used as the criterion for the sampling design optimisation, resulting into reallocation of the sampling sites into the three zones. The positions of the reallocated stations have been assessed by estimation of the spatial heterogeneity and anisotropy of chlorophyll-a concentrations using variograms. Study of the variance of the initial dataset of the inner zone taking into account spatial heterogeneity, revealed two different sub-areas and therefore, the number of the inner stations has been reassessed. The proposed methodology eliminates the number of sampling sites and maximises the information of spatial data from marine ecosystems. It is described as a step-by-step procedure and could be widely applied in sampling design concerning coastal pollution problems.

  10. Saharan dust inputs and high UVR levels jointly alter the metabolic balance of marine oligotrophic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabrerizo, Marco J.; Medina-Sánchez, Juan Manuel; González-Olalla, Juan Manuel; Villar-Argaiz, Manuel; Carrillo, Presentación

    2016-10-01

    The metabolic balance of the most extensive bioma on the Earth is a controversial topic of the global-change research. High ultraviolet radiation (UVR) levels by the shoaling of upper mixed layers and increasing atmospheric dust deposition from arid regions may unpredictably alter the metabolic state of marine oligotrophic ecosystems. We performed an observational study across the south-western (SW) Mediterranean Sea to assess the planktonic metabolic balance and a microcosm experiment in two contrasting areas, heterotrophic nearshore and autotrophic open sea, to test whether a combined UVR × dust impact could alter their metabolic balance at mid-term scales. We show that the metabolic state of oligotrophic areas geographically varies and that the joint impact of UVR and dust inputs prompted a strong change towards autotrophic metabolism. We propose that this metabolic response could be accentuated with the global change as remote-sensing evidence shows increasing intensities, frequencies and number of dust events together with variations in the surface UVR fluxes on SW Mediterranean Sea. Overall, these findings suggest that the enhancement of the net carbon budget under a combined UVR and dust inputs impact could contribute to boost the biological pump, reinforcing the role of the oligotrophic marine ecosystems as CO2 sinks.

  11. Biogeochemistry of hypersaline springs supporting a mid-continent marine ecosystem: an analogue for martian springs?

    PubMed

    Grasby, Stephen E; Londry, Kathleen L

    2007-08-01

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

  12. Saharan dust inputs and high UVR levels jointly alter the metabolic balance of marine oligotrophic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Cabrerizo, Marco J; Medina-Sánchez, Juan Manuel; González-Olalla, Juan Manuel; Villar-Argaiz, Manuel; Carrillo, Presentación

    2016-10-24

    The metabolic balance of the most extensive bioma on the Earth is a controversial topic of the global-change research. High ultraviolet radiation (UVR) levels by the shoaling of upper mixed layers and increasing atmospheric dust deposition from arid regions may unpredictably alter the metabolic state of marine oligotrophic ecosystems. We performed an observational study across the south-western (SW) Mediterranean Sea to assess the planktonic metabolic balance and a microcosm experiment in two contrasting areas, heterotrophic nearshore and autotrophic open sea, to test whether a combined UVR × dust impact could alter their metabolic balance at mid-term scales. We show that the metabolic state of oligotrophic areas geographically varies and that the joint impact of UVR and dust inputs prompted a strong change towards autotrophic metabolism. We propose that this metabolic response could be accentuated with the global change as remote-sensing evidence shows increasing intensities, frequencies and number of dust events together with variations in the surface UVR fluxes on SW Mediterranean Sea. Overall, these findings suggest that the enhancement of the net carbon budget under a combined UVR and dust inputs impact could contribute to boost the biological pump, reinforcing the role of the oligotrophic marine ecosystems as CO2 sinks.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grasby, Stephen E.; Londry, Kathleen L.

    2007-08-01

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

  14. Stable Isotope Investigation of Marine-Terrestrial Nitrogen Linkages in Salmon Stream Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sayer, A. M.; Welker, J. M.; Rogers, M.; Rinella, D. J.; Sveinbjornsson, B.; Wipfli, M.

    2005-12-01

    Our research is addressing marine-terrestrial nitrogen linkages using stable isotope techniques (δ15N). Throughout coastal Alaska, salmon migrate each year into riparian systems transporting marine-produced biomass (carbon, phosphorous and nitrogen) that is decomposed, recycled and used by juvenile fish, invertebrates, carnivores and in some cases aquatic and terrestrial vegetation. These inputs of N into the terrestrial landscape have a host of cascading implications including the maintenance of biodiversity, enhanced survivorship of juvenile salmon and support of a complex food web that includes primary and secondary consumers (bears and eagles) and herbivores such as moose. A central question regarding this marine-terrestrial linkage is whether vegetation (aquatic or terrestrial) uses marine-derived N in metabolism and whether this fertilization effect increases leaf N contents, leads to higher rates of plant growth, results in higher rates of leaf gas exchange, and increases forage quantity and quality. By analyzing the δ15N-values of plants we will be able to fingerprint marine N use by plants and the degree to which this N contributes to the nitrogen budget of riparian vegetation.We are quantifying marine N use by aquatic and terrestrial vegetation (trees, shrubs and grasses) within the Kenai River watershed using a comparative approach sampling streams with annual salmon runs and streams without runs (waterfall inhibiting salmon spawning). We will determine the relationship between local hydrology and marine nutrient access using a multi-isotope approach which examines the relationship between plant water sources and relations and marine N use. We will ascertain the ecological importance of this N source by comparing the growth and ecophysiology of riparian vegetation along salmon impacted and non impacted streams. Initial results indicate that riparian vegetation along streams with large salmon runs have higher leaf N contents and enriched δ15N values

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallmann, K. J.

    2013-12-01

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

  16. Ecosystem resilience despite large-scale altered hydroclimatic conditions

    Treesearch

    G. E. Ponce Campos; M. S. Moran; A. Huete; Y. Zhang; C. Bresloff; T.E. Huxman; D. Eamus; D. D. Bosch; A. R. Buda; S. A. Gunter; T. Heartsill Scalley; S. G. Kitchen; M. P. McClaran; W. H. McNab; D. S. Montoya; J. A. Morgan; D. P. C. Peters; E. J. Sadler; M. S. Seyfried; P. J. Starks

    2013-01-01

    Climate change is predicted to increase both drought frequency and duration, and when coupled with substantial warming, will establish a new hydroclimatological model for many regions1. Largescale, warm droughts have recently occurred in North America, Africa, Europe, Amazonia and Australia, resulting in major effects on terrestrial ecosystems, carbon balance and food...

  17. Ecosystem resilience despite large-scale altered hydroclimatic conditions

    Treesearch

    Guillermo E. Ponce Campos; M. Susan Moran; Alfredo Huete; Yongguang Zhang; Cynthia Bresloff; Travis E. Huxman; Derek Eamus; David D. Bosch; Anthony R. Buda; Stacey A. Gunter; Tamara Heartsill Scalley; Stanley G. Kitchen; Mitchel P. McClaran; W. Henry McNab; Diane S. Montoya; Jack A. Morgan; Debra P. C. Peters; E. John Sadler; Mark S. Seyfried; Patrick J. Starks

    2013-01-01

    Climate change is predicted to increase both drought frequency and duration, and when coupled with substantial warming, will establish a new hydroclimatological model for many regions. Largescale, warm droughts have recently occurred in North America, Africa, Europe, Amazonia and Australia, resulting in major effects on terrestrial ecosystems, carbon balance and food...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-29

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    step in integrating stranding records to monitor the consequences of environmental changes in marine ecosystems over long time scales. PMID:23544059

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    Sulfur, a nutrient required by terrestrial ecosystems, is likely to be regulated by atmospheric processes in well-drained, upland settings because of its low concentration in most bedrock and generally poor retention by inorganic reactions within soils. Environmental controls on sulfur sources in unpolluted ecosystems have seldom been investigated in detail, even though the possibility of sulfur limiting primary production is much greater where atmospheric deposition of anthropogenic sulfur is low. Here we measure sulfur isotopic compositions of soils, vegetation and bulk atmospheric deposition from the Hawaiian Islands for the purpose of tracing sources of ecosystem sulfur. Hawaiian lava has a mantle-derived sulfur isotopic composition (δ(34)S VCDT) of -0.8‰. Bulk deposition on the island of Maui had a δ(34)S VCDT that varied temporally, spanned a range from +8.2 to +19.7‰, and reflected isotopic mixing from three sources: sea-salt (+21.1‰), marine biogenic emissions (+15.6‰), and volcanic emissions from active vents on Kilauea Volcano (+0.8‰). A straightforward, weathering-driven transition in ecosystem sulfur sources could be interpreted in the shift from relatively low (0.0 to +2.7‰) to relatively high (+17.8 to +19.3‰) soil δ(34)S values along a 0.3 to 4100 ka soil age-gradient, and similar patterns in associated vegetation. However, sub-kilometer scale spatial variation in soil sulfur isotopic composition was found along soil transects assumed by age and mass balance to be dominated by atmospheric sulfur inputs. Soil sulfur isotopic compositions ranged from +8.1 to +20.3‰ and generally decreased with increasing elevation (0-2000 m), distance from the coast (0-12 km), and annual rainfall (180-5000 mm). Such trends reflect the spatial variation in marine versus volcanic inputs from atmospheric deposition. Broadly, these results illustrate how the sources and magnitude of atmospheric deposition can exert controls over ecosystem sulfur

  5. Spring fasting behavior in a marine apex predator provides an index of ecosystem productivity.

    PubMed

    Rode, Karyn D; Wilson, Ryan R; Douglas, David C; Muhlenbruch, Vanessa; Atwood, Todd C; Regehr, Eric V; Richardson, Evan S; Pilfold, Nicholas W; Derocher, Andrew E; Durner, George M; Stirling, Ian; Amstrup, Steven C; St Martin, Michelle; Pagano, Anthony M; Simac, Kristin

    2017-10-10

    The effects of declining Arctic sea ice on local ecosystem productivity are not well understood but have been shown to vary inter-specifically, spatially, and temporally. Because marine mammals occupy upper trophic-levels in Arctic food webs, they may be useful indicators for understanding variation in ecosystem productivity. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are apex predators that primarily consume benthic and pelagic-feeding ice-associated seals. As such, their productivity integrates sea ice conditions and the ecosystem supporting them. Declining sea ice availability has been linked to negative population effects for polar bears but does not fully explain observed population changes. We examined relationships between spring foraging success of polar bears and sea ice conditions, prey productivity, and general patterns of ecosystem productivity in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Fasting status (≥ 7 days) was estimated using serum urea and creatinine levels of 1,448 samples collected from 1,177 adult and subadult bears across three subpopulations. Fasting increased in the Beaufort Sea between 1983-1999 and 2000-2016 and was related to an index of ringed seal body condition. This change was concurrent with declines in body condition of polar bears and observed changes in the diet, condition and/or reproduction of four other vertebrate consumers within the food chain. In contrast, fasting declined in Chukchi Sea polar bears between periods and was less common than in the two Beaufort Sea subpopulations consistent with studies demonstrating higher primary productivity and maintenance or improved body condition in polar bears, ringed seals, and bearded seals despite recent sea ice loss in this region. Consistency between regional and temporal variation in spring polar bear fasting and food web productivity suggest that polar bears may be a useful indicator species. Further, our results suggest that spatial and temporal ecological variation is important in affecting

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-07

    Ocean acidification is receiving increasing attention because of its potential to affect marine ecosystems. Rare CO2 vents offer a unique opportunity to investigate the response of benthic ecosystems to acidification. However, the benthic habitats investigated so far are mainly found at very shallow water (less than or equal to 5 m depth) and therefore are not representative of the broad range of continental shelf habitats. Here, we show that a decrease from pH 8.1 to 7.9 observed in a CO2 vent system at 40 m depth leads to a dramatic shift in highly diverse and structurally complex habitats. Forests of the kelp Laminaria rodriguezii usually found at larger depths (greater than 65 m) replace the otherwise dominant habitats (i.e. coralligenous outcrops and rhodolith beds), which are mainly characterized by calcifying organisms. Only the aragonite-calcifying algae are able to survive in acidified waters, while high-magnesium-calcite organisms are almost completely absent. Although a long-term survey of the venting area would be necessary to fully understand the effects of the variability of pH and other carbonate parameters over the structure and functioning of the investigated mesophotic habitats, our results suggest that in addition of significant changes at species level, moderate ocean acidification may entail major shifts in the distribution and dominance of key benthic ecosystems at regional scale, which could have broad ecological and socio-economic implications. © 2015 The Author(s).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Size matters: implications of the loss of large individuals for ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Norkko, Alf; Villnäs, Anna; Norkko, Joanna; Valanko, Sebastian; Pilditch, Conrad

    2013-01-01

    Size is a fundamental organismal trait and an important driver of ecosystem functions. Although large individuals may dominate some functions and provide important habitat structuring effects, intra-specific body size effects are rarely investigated in the context of BEF relationships. We used an in situ density manipulation experiment to explore the contribution of large, deep-burrowing bivalves to oxygen and nutrient fluxes across the sediment-water interface. By manipulating bivalve size structure through the removal of large individuals, we held species identity constant, but altered the trait characteristics of the community. The number of large bivalves was the best predictor of ecosystem functioning. Our results highlight that (a) accounting for body size provides important insights into the mechanisms underpinning biodiversity effects on ecosystem function, and (b) if local disturbances are recurrent, preventing individuals from reaching large sizes, the contribution of large adults may be lost, with largely unknown implications for ecosystem functionality.

  10. The Bolivar Channel Ecosystem of the Galapagos Marine Reserve: Energy flow structure and role of keystone groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz, Diego J.; Wolff, Matthias

    2011-08-01

    The Bolivar Channel Ecosystem (BCE) is among the most productive zones in the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR). It is exposed to relatively cool, nutrient-rich waters of the Cromwell current, which are brought to the photic zone through topographic upwelling. The BCE is characterized by a heterogeneous rocky reef habitat covered by dense algae beds and inhabited by numerous invertebrate and fish species, which represent the food for higher predators including seals and sharks and exploited fish species. In addition, plankton and detritus based food chains channel large amounts of energy through the complex food web. Important emblematic species of the Galapagos archipelagos reside in this area such as the flightless cormorant, the Galapagos penguin and the marine iguanas. A trophic model of BCE was constructed for the habitats < 30 m depth that fringe the west coast of Isabela and east coast of Fernandina islands covering 14% of the total BCE area (44 km 2). The model integrates data sets from sub tidal ecological monitoring and marine vertebrate population monitoring (2004 to 2008) programs of the Charles Darwin Foundation and consists of 30 compartments, which are trophically linked through a diet matrix. Results reveal that the BCE is a large system in terms of flows (38 695 t km - 2 yr - 1 ) comparable to Peruvian Bay Systems of the Humboldt upwelling system. A very large proportion of energy flows from the primary producers (phytoplankton and macro-algae) to the second level and to the detritus pool. Catches are high (54.3 t km - 2 yr - 1 ) and are mainly derived from the second and third trophic levels (mean TL of catch = 2.45) making the fisheries gross efficiency high (0.3%). The system's degree of development seems rather low as indicated by a P/R ratio of 4.19, a low ascendency (37.4%) and a very low Finn's cycling index (1.29%). This is explained by the system's exposure to irregular changes in oceanographic conditions as related to the EL Niño Southern

  11. Current status and future prospects for the assessment of marine and coastal ecosystem services: a systematic review.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Predicting the distribution of deep-sea vulnerable marine ecosystems using high-resolution data: Considerations and novel approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rengstorf, Anna M.; Mohn, Christian; Brown, Colin; Wisz, Mary S.; Grehan, Anthony J.

    2014-11-01

    Little is known about species distribution patterns in deep-sea environments, primarily because sampling surveys in the high seas are expensive and time consuming. The increasing need to manage and protect vulnerable marine ecosystems, such as cold-water corals, has motivated the use of predictive modelling tools, which produce continuous maps of potential species or habitat distribution from limited point observations and full coverage environmental data. Rapid advances in acoustic remote sensing, oceanographic modelling and sampling technology now provide high quality datasets, facilitating model development with high spatial detail. This paper provides a short overview of existing methodologies for predicting deep-sea benthic species distribution, and illustrates emerging issues related to spatial and thematic data resolution, and the use of transect-derived species distribution data. In order to enhance the ecological relevance and reliability of deep-sea species distribution models, novel techniques are presented based on a case study predicting the distribution of the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa in three carbonate mound provinces in Irish waters. Specifically, the study evaluates (1) the capacity of newly developed high-resolution (250 m grid cell size) hydrodynamic variables to explain local scale cold-water coral distribution patterns, (2) the potential value of species occurrence proportion data to maintain semi-quantitative information of coral prevalence (i.e. coverage) and sampling effort per grid cell within the response variable, and (3) mixed effect modelling to deal with spatially grouped transect data. The study shows that predictive models using vertical and horizontal flow parameters perform significantly better than models based on terrain parameters only. Semi-quantitative proportion data may decrease model uncertainty and increase model reliability, and provide a fruitful avenue of research for analysing large quantities of video data in

  14. 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.

  15. Modeling catchment nutrients and sediment loads to inform regional management of water quality in coastal-marine ecosystems: a comparison of two approaches.

    PubMed

    Álvarez-Romero, Jorge G; Wilkinson, Scott N; Pressey, Robert L; Ban, Natalie C; Kool, Johnathan; Brodie, Jon

    2014-12-15

    Human-induced changes in flows of water, nutrients, and sediments have impacts on marine ecosystems. Quantifying these changes to systematically allocate management actions is a priority for many areas worldwide. Modeling nutrient and sediment loads and contributions from subcatchments can inform prioritization of management interventions to mitigate the impacts of land-based pollution on marine ecosystems. Among the catchment models appropriate for large-scale applications, N-SPECT and SedNet have been used to prioritize areas for management of water quality in coastal-marine ecosystems. However, an assessment of their relative performance, parameterization, and utility for regional-scale planning is needed. We examined how these considerations can influence the choice between the two models and the areas identified as priorities for management actions. We assessed their application in selected catchments of the Gulf of California, where managing land-based threats to marine ecosystems is a priority. We found important differences in performance between models. SedNet consistently estimated spatial variations in runoff with higher accuracy than N-SPECT and modeled suspended sediment (TSS) loads mostly within the range of variation in observed loads. N-SPECT overestimated TSS loads by orders of magnitude when using the spatially-distributed sediment delivery ratio (SDR), but outperformed SedNet when using a calibrated SDR. Differences in subcatchments' contribution to pollutant loads were principally due to explicit representation of sediment sinks and particulate nutrients by SedNet. Improving the floodplain extent model, and constraining erosion estimates by local data including gully erosion in SedNet, would improve results of this model and help identify effective management responses. Differences between models in the patterns of modeled pollutant supply were modest, but significantly influenced the prioritization of subcatchments for management.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Z.

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    polimene, Luca

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  19. Valuing trade-offs of river ecosystem services in large hydropower development in Tibet, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, B.; Xu, L.

    2015-12-01

    Hydropower development can be considered as a kind of trade-offs of ecosystem services generated by human activity for their economic and energy demand, because it can increase some river ecosystem services but decrease others. In this context, an ecosystem service trade-off framework in hydropower development was proposed in this paper. It aims to identify the ecological cost of river ecosystem and serve for the ecological compensation during hydropower development, for the hydropower services cannot completely replace the regulating services of river ecosystem. The valuing trade-offs framework was integrated by the influenced ecosystem services identification and ecosystem services valuation, through ecological monitoring and ecological economic methods, respectively. With a case study of Pondo hydropower project in Tibet, China, the valuing trade-offs of river ecosystem services in large hydropower development was illustrated. The typical ecological factors including water, sediment and soil were analyzed in this study to identify the altered river ecosystem services by Pondo hydropower project. Through the field monitoring and valuation, the results showed that the Lhasa River ecosystem services value could be changed annually by Pondo hydropower project with the increment of 5.7E+8CNY, and decrement of 5.1E+7CNY. The ecological compensation for river ecosystem should be focus on water and soil conservation, reservoir dredging and tributaries habitat protection.

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

    PubMed

    Gobler, Christopher J; Baumann, Hannes

    2016-05-01

    There is increasing recognition that low dissolved oxygen (DO) and low pH conditions co-occur in many coastal and open ocean environments. Within temperate ecosystems, these conditions not only develop seasonally as temperatures rise and metabolic rates accelerate, but can also display strong diurnal variability, especially in shallow systems where photosynthetic rates ameliorate hypoxia and acidification by day. Despite the widespread, global co-occurrence of low pH and low DO and the likelihood that these conditions may negatively impact marine life, very few studies have actually assessed the extent to which the combination of both stressors elicits additive, synergistic or antagonistic effects in marine organisms. We review the evidence from published factorial experiments that used static and/or fluctuating pH and DO levels to examine different traits (e.g. survival, growth, metabolism), life stages and species across a broad taxonomic spectrum. Additive negative effects of combined low pH and low DO appear to be most common; however, synergistic negative effects have also been observed. Neither the occurrence nor the strength of these synergistic impacts is currently predictable, and therefore, the true threat of concurrent acidification and hypoxia to marine food webs and fisheries is still not fully understood. Addressing this knowledge gap will require an expansion of multi-stressor approaches in experimental and field studies, and the development of a predictive framework. In consideration of marine policy, we note that DO criteria in coastal waters have been developed without consideration of concurrent pH levels. Given the persistence of concurrent low pH-low DO conditions in estuaries and the increased mortality experienced by fish and bivalves under concurrent acidification and hypoxia compared with hypoxia alone, we conclude that such DO criteria may leave coastal fisheries more vulnerable to population reductions than previously anticipated. © 2016

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  2. ODIP II: An International Effort Promoting the Development of a Global Framework for Marine Data Management to Support Large-scale Ocean Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glaves, H.; Schaap, D.

    2016-12-01

    Marine ecosystem services are the societal and economic benefits derived from the use and exploitation of the ocean, but they are under threat from the increasingly widespread and growing demands being made on the marine environment. The implications of these growing pressures on marine ecosystems can be demonstrated by assessing the impacts of human activity on these services at the national and regional level. The accuracy and efficacy of marine ecosystem assessments or forecasts of potential changes due to the impacts of the use and exploitation of the ocean are partly dependent on the availability of large volumes of high quality and well documented data. This data must be discoverable, accessible and have adequate metadata including any additional supporting information - all of which are are essential for ensuring the data is fit for purpose and that the user is able to combine multidisciplinary data from different sources to produce valid results. To underpin this re-use of marine data in large-scale ecosystem level research a number of regional marine data infrastructures have been established but they have often been created to serve their own research community and developed in isolation from those in other regions. Moving towards large-scale ocean research that supports sustainable use and exploitation of the oceans requires the integration of these regional systems into a global framework for marine data management. Furthermore, experience tells us that to be successful this framework must build on existing marine data systems and the benefits of any modifications necessary for its implementation must outweigh the potential impacts for the regional systems and their users. The Ocean Data Interoperability Platform (ODIP II) project is working with partners in Europe, the USA, Australia and Canada to develop a series of prototype solutions that demonstrate this integrated approach to creating a common global framework for marine data management. By

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  4. Investigation of XoxF methanol dehydrogenases reveals new methylotrophic bacteria in pelagic marine and freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Ramachandran, Arthi; Walsh, David A

    2015-10-01

    The diversity and distribution of methylotrophic bacteria have been investigated in the oceans and lakes using the methanol dehydrogenase mxaF gene as a functional marker. However, pelagic marine (OM43) and freshwater (LD28 and PRD01a001B) methylotrophs within the Betaproteobacteria lack mxaF, instead possessing a related xoxF4-encoded methanol dehydrogenase. Here, we developed and employed xoxF4 as a complementary functional gene marker to mxaF for studying methylotrophs in aquatic environment. Using xoxF4, we detected OM43-related and LD28-related methylotrophs in the ocean and freshwaters of North America, respectively, and showed the coexistence of these two lineages in a large estuarine system (St Lawrence Estuary). Gene expression patterns of xoxF4 supported a positive relationship between xoxF4-containing methylotroph activity and spring time productivity, suggesting phytoplankton blooms are a source of methylotrophic substrates. Further investigation of methanol dehydrogenase diversity in pelagic ecosystems using comparative metagenomics provided strong support for a widespread distribution of xoxF4 (as well as several distinct xoxF5) containing methylotrophs in marine and freshwater surface waters. In total, these results demonstrate a geographical distribution of OM43/LD28-related methylotrophs that includes marine and freshwaters and suggest that methylotrophy occurring in the water column is an important component of lake and estuary carbon cycling and biogeochemistry. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Protection of large predators in a marine reserve alters size-dependent prey mortality.

    PubMed

    Selden, Rebecca L; Gaines, Steven D; Hamilton, Scott L; Warner, Robert R

    2017-01-25

    Where predator-prey interactions are size-dependent, reductions in predator size owing to fishing has the potential to disrupt the ecological role of top predators in marine ecosystems. In southern California kelp forests, we investigated the size-dependence of the interaction between herbivorous sea urchins and one of their predators, California sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher). Empirical tests examined how differences in predator size structure between reserve and fished areas affected size-specific urchin mortality. Sites inside marine reserves had greater sheephead size and biomass, while empirical feeding trials indicated that larger sheephead were required to successfully consume urchins of increasing test diameter. Evaluations of the selectivity of sheephead for two urchin species indicated that shorter-spined purple urchins were attacked more frequently and successfully than longer-spined red urchins of the same size class, particularly at the largest test diameters. As a result of these size-specific interactions and the higher biomass of large sheephead inside reserves, urchin mortality rates were three times higher inside the reserve for both species. In addition, urchin mortality rates decreased with urchin size, and very few large urchins were successfully consumed in fished areas. The truncation of sheephead size structure that commonly occurs owing to fishing will probably result in reductions in urchin mortality, which may reduce the resilience of kelp beds to urchin barren formation. By contrast, the recovery of predator size structure in marine reserves may restore this resilience, but may be delayed until fish grow to sizes capable of consuming larger urchins.

  6. Environmental recovery in a marine ecosystem impacted by a sulfite process pulp mill

    SciTech Connect

    Cross, S.F.; Ellis, D.V.

    1981-08-01

    Recovery of an impacted marine ecosystem has been monitored by progressive advance of biologically distinguishable zones toward a waste discharge point from a pulp mill brought under specific pollution controls. The relative distribution of enchytraeid/tubificid oligochaetes monitored a 0.5-km retreat of a depauperated zone initially extending 1 km around the discharge point. Distribution and abundance of Fucus-epifaunal amphipods monitored recovery of a less impacted zone, particularly by a 7-km advance of a Peak of Opportunists point involving the species Allorchestes angusta. Shoreline organism diversity provided a biologically based estimate (approximately 12 km from the discharge source) of the region distinguishably influenced by the pulp mill effluent. (Refs. 10).

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-30

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

  8. Sampling frequency of ciliated protozoan microfauna for seasonal distribution research in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Xu, Henglong; Yong, Jiang; Xu, Guangjian

    2015-12-30

    Sampling frequency is important to obtain sufficient information for temporal research of microfauna. To determine an optimal strategy for exploring the seasonal variation in ciliated protozoa, a dataset from the Yellow Sea, northern China was studied. Samples were collected with 24 (biweekly), 12 (monthly), 8 (bimonthly per season) and 4 (seasonally) sampling events. Compared to the 24 samplings (100%), the 12-, 8- and 4-samplings recovered 94%, 94%, and 78% of the total species, respectively. To reveal the seasonal distribution, the 8-sampling regime may result in >75% information of the seasonal variance, while the traditional 4-sampling may only explain <65% of the total variance. With the increase of the sampling frequency, the biotic data showed stronger correlations with seasonal variables (e.g., temperature, salinity) in combination with nutrients. It is suggested that the 8-sampling events per year may be an optimal sampling strategy for ciliated protozoan seasonal research in marine ecosystems.

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

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Pamela L.; Bruno, John F.

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Effects of trophic skewing of species richness on ecosystem functioning in a diverse marine community.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Pamela L; Bruno, John F

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Predicting Consumer Biomass, Size-Structure, Production, Catch Potential, Responses to Fishing and Associated Uncertainties in the World's Marine Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Jennings, Simon; Collingridge, Kate

    2015-01-01

    Existing estimates of fish and consumer biomass in the world's oceans are disparate. This creates uncertainty about the roles of fish and other consumers in biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem processes, the extent of human and environmental impacts and fishery potential. We develop and use a size-based macroecological model to assess the effects of parameter uncertainty on predicted consumer biomass, production and distribution. Resulting uncertainty is large (e.g. median global biomass 4.9 billion tonnes for consumers weighing 1 g to 1000 kg; 50% uncertainty intervals of 2 to 10.4 billion tonnes; 90% uncertainty intervals of 0.3 to 26.1 billion tonnes) and driven primarily by uncertainty in trophic transfer efficiency and its relationship with predator-prey body mass ratios. Even the upper uncertainty intervals for global predictions of consumer biomass demonstrate the remarkable scarcity of marine consumers, with less than one part in 30 million by volume of the global oceans comprising tissue of macroscopic animals. Thus the apparently high densities of marine life seen in surface and coastal waters and frequently visited abundance hotspots will likely give many in society a false impression of the abundance of marine animals. Unexploited baseline biomass predictions from the simple macroecological model were used to calibrate a more complex size- and trait-based model to estimate fisheries yield and impacts. Yields are highly dependent on baseline biomass and fisheries selectivity. Predicted global sustainable fisheries yield increases ≈4 fold when smaller individuals (< 20 cm from species of maximum mass < 1 kg) are targeted in all oceans, but the predicted yields would rarely be accessible in practice and this fishing strategy leads to the collapse of larger species if fishing mortality rates on different size classes cannot be decoupled. Our analyses show that models with minimal parameter demands that are based on a few established ecological principles

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  13. 52 Million Points and Counting: A New Stratification Approach for Mapping Global Marine Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, D. J.; Sayre, R.; Breyer, S.; Butler, K. A.; VanGraafeiland, K.; Goodin, K.; Kavanaugh, M.; Costello, M. J.; Cressie, N.; Basher, Z.; Harris, P. T.; Guinotte, J. M.

    2016-12-01

    We report progress on the Ecological Marine Units (EMU) project, a new undertaking commissioned by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) as a means of developing a standardized and practical global ecosystems classification and map for the oceans, and thus a key outcome of the GEO Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON). The project is one of four components of the new GI-14 GEO Ecosystems Initiative within the GEO 2016 Transitional Work plan, and for eventual use by the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). The project is also the follow-on to a comprehensive Ecological Land Units project (ELU), also commissioned by GEO. The EMU is comprised of a global point mesh framework, created from 52,487,233 points from the NOAA World Ocean Atlas; spatial resolution is ¼° by ¼° by varying depth; temporal resolution is currently decadal; each point has x, y, z, as well as six attributes of chemical and physical oceanographic structure (temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, nitrate, silicate, phosphate) that are likely drivers of many ecosystem responses. We implemented a k-means statistical clustering of the point mesh (using the pseudo-F statistic to help determine the numbers of clusters), allowing us to identify and map 37 environmentally distinct 3D regions (candidate `ecosystems') within the water column. These units can be attributed according to their productivity, direction and velocity of currents, species abundance, global seafloor geomorphology (from Harris et al.), and much more. A series of data products for open access will share the 3D point mesh and EMU clusters at the surface, bottom, and within the water column, as well as 2D and 3D web apps for exploration of the EMUs and the original World Ocean Atlas data. Future plans include a global delineation of Ecological Coastal Units (ECU) at a much finer spatial resolution (not yet commenced), as well as global ecological freshwater ecosystems (EFUs; in earliest planning stages). We will

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danise, Silvia; Twitchett, Richard J.

    2015-04-01

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

  16. High latitude changes in ice dynamics and their impact on polar marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Moline, Mark A; Karnovsky, Nina J; Brown, Zachary; Divoky, George J; Frazer, Thomas K; Jacoby, Charles A; Torres, Joseph J; Fraser, William R

    2008-01-01

    Polar regions have experienced significant warming in recent decades. Warming has been most pronounced across the Arctic Ocean Basin and along the Antarctic Peninsula, with significant decreases in the extent and seasonal duration of sea ice. Rapid retreat of glaciers and disintegration of ice sheets have also been documented. The rate of warming is increasing and is predicted to continue well into the current century, with continued impacts on ice dynamics. Climate-mediated changes in ice dynamics are a concern as ice serves as primary habitat for marine organisms central to the food webs of these regions. Changes in the timing and extent of sea ice impose temporal asynchronies and spatial separations between energy requirements and food availability for many higher trophic levels. These mismatches lead to decreased reproductive success, lower abundances, and changes in distribution. In addition to these direct impacts of ice loss, climate-induced changes also facilitate indirect effects through changes in hydrography, which include introduction of species from lower latitudes and altered assemblages of primary producers. Here, we review recent changes and trends in ice dynamics and the responses of marine ecosystems. Specifically, we provide examples of ice-dependent organisms and associated species from the Arctic and Antarctic to illustrate the impacts of the temporal and spatial changes in ice dynamics.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-15

    Im*plications due to oil spills on marine ecosystems have created a great interest toward developing more efficient and selective materials for oil spill toxins detection and remediation. This research paper highlights the application of highly efficient molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) adsorbents based on a newly developed functional crosslinker (N,O-bismethacryloyl ethanolamine, NOBE) for detection of highly toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in seawater. The binding capacity of MIP for oil spill toxin pyrene is 35 mg/g as compared to the value of 3.65 mg/g obtained using a non-imprinted polymer (NIP). The selectivity of all three high molecular weight PAHs (pyrene, chrysene and benzo[a]pyrene) on the NOBE-MIP shows an excellent selective binding with only 5.5% and 7% cross-reactivity for chrysene and benzo[a]pyrene, respectively. Not only is this particularly significant because the rebinding solvent is water, which is known to promote non-selective hydrophobic interactions; the binding remains comparable under salt-water conditions. These selective and high capacity adsorbents will find wide application in industrial and marine water monitoring/remediation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  19. GIS-based health assessment of the marine ecosystem in Laizhou Bay, China.

    PubMed

    Song, Debin; Gao, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Hua; Xu, Fuxiang; Zheng, Xiangyu; Ai, Jinquan; Hu, Xiaoke; Huang, Guopei; Zhang, Haibo

    2017-08-17

    According to 2014-2016 monitoring data, an assessment index system including water quality, depositional environment and ecosystem was built to evaluate the health statue of marine ecosystem in the Laizhou Bay using analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method. The results, spatialized in ArcGIS software, show: while the comprehensive ecological health index is 0.62, the ecological environmental quality in the Laizhou Bay is in a sub-healthy state; the unhealthy area is mainly concentrated in southwestern inshore region, and impacted by serious environmental problems, such as water eutrophication and heavy metal pollution; the northwestern and southeastern inshore regions are in a sub-healthy state, while the eastern inshore and northern areas are in the healthiest state. The land-based pollutants that discharge into the sea may be the leading factors that are causing ecological environment deterioration in the Laizhou Bay, and the reclamation work ongoing around the port has exacerbated the ecological risk. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Widespread dispersal and bio-accumulation of toxic microcystins in benthic marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Umehara, Akira; Takahashi, Tohru; Komorita, Tomohiro; Orita, Ryo; Choi, Jin-Woo; Takenaka, Risa; Mabuchi, Rie; Park, Ho-Dong; Tsutsumi, Hiroaki

    2017-01-01

    Freshwater cyanobacteria produce toxic microcystins (MCs), which travel from freshwater areas into the sea. The MCs produced by cyanobacteria in a freshwater reservoir were discharged frequently into the adjacent Isahaya Bay, remained in the surface sediments, and then accumulated in various macrobenthic animals on the seafloor. The MCs were transported further outside of Isahaya Bay (Ariake Bay), and the median values of the MC contents in the sediments were in the same levels in both bays, while their temporal variations were also similar during the study period. Therefore, the fluctuations of the MC contents in the surface sediments were physically controlled by the timing of the discharge from the reservoir. The MC contents in polychaetes and oysters collected in Isahaya Bay increased markedly during winter. The median values of the carbon-based MC contents in the sediments, primary consumers, and secondary consumers in the bay were 87, 160, and 250 ngMC gC(-1), respectively. These results demonstrated bio-accumulation at lower trophic levels in benthic marine ecosystems. An understanding of the processes occurring between sediments and macrobenthic animals is important for clarifying MC dynamics in ecosystems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakun, Andrew

    2006-02-01

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

  7. Rare earth elements in freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems in the eastern Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    MacMillan, Gwyneth Anne; Chételat, John; Heath, Joel P; Mickpegak, Raymond; Amyot, Marc

    2017-09-07

    Few ecotoxicological studies exist for rare earth elements (REEs), particularly field-based studies on their bioaccumulation and food web dynamics. REE mining has led to significant environmental impacts in several countries (China, Brazil, U.S.), yet little is known about the fate and transport of these contaminants of emerging concern. Northern ecosystems are potentially vulnerable to REE enrichment from prospective mining projects at high latitudes. To understand how REEs behave in remote northern food webs, we measured REE concentrations and carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios (∂(15)N, ∂(13)C) in biota from marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems of the eastern Canadian Arctic (N = 339). Wildlife harvesting and tissue sampling was partly conducted by local hunters through a community-based monitoring project. Results show that REEs generally follow a coherent bioaccumulation pattern for sample tissues, with some anomalies for redox-sensitive elements (Ce, Eu). Highest REE concentrations were found at low trophic levels, especially in vegetation and aquatic invertebrates. Terrestrial herbivores, ringed seal, and fish had low total REE levels in muscle tissue (∑REE for 15 elements <0.1 nmol g(-1)), yet accumulation was an order of magnitude higher in liver tissues. Age- and length-dependent REE accumulation also suggest that REE uptake is faster than elimination for some species. Overall, REE bioaccumulation patterns appear to be species- and tissue-specific, with limited potential for biomagnification. This study provides novel data on the behaviour of REEs in ecosystems and will be useful for environmental impact assessment of REE enrichment in northern regions.

  8. Annihilation of ecosystems by large asteroid impacts on the early earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sleep, Norman H.; Zahnle, Kevin J.; Kasting, James F.; Morowitz, Harold J.

    1989-01-01

    Large asteroid impacts produced globally lethal conditions by evaporating large volumes of ocean water on the early earth. The earth may have been continuously habitable by ecosystems that did not depend on photosynthesis as early as 4.44 Gyr BP (before present). Only a brief interval after 3.8 Gyr exists between the time when obligate photosynthetic organisms could continuously evolve and the time when the palaeontological record indicates highly evolved photosynthetic ecosystems.

  9. Annihilation of ecosystems by large asteroid impacts on the early earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sleep, Norman H.; Zahnle, Kevin J.; Kasting, James F.; Morowitz, Harold J.

    1989-01-01

    Large asteroid impacts produced globally lethal conditions by evaporating large volumes of ocean water on the early earth. The earth may have been continuously habitable by ecosystems that did not depend on photosynthesis as early as 4.44 Gyr BP (before present). Only a brief interval after 3.8 Gyr exists between the time when obligate photosynthetic organisms could continuously evolve and the time when the palaeontological record indicates highly evolved photosynthetic ecosystems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. The importance of benthic-pelagic coupling for marine ecosystem functioning in a changing world.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Jennifer R; Kadin, Martina; Nascimento, Francisco J A; Tamelander, Tobias; Törnroos, Anna; Bonaglia, Stefano; Bonsdorff, Erik; Brüchert, Volker; Gårdmark, Anna; Järnström, Marie; Kotta, Jonne; Lindegren, Martin; Nordström, Marie C; Norkko, Alf; Olsson, Jens; Weigel, Benjamin; Žydelis, Ramunas; Blenckner, Thorsten; Niiranen, Susa; Winder, Monika

    2017-01-28

    Benthic-pelagic coupling is manifested as the exchange of energy, mass, or nutrients between benthic and pelagic habitats. It plays a prominent role in aquatic ecosystems, and it is crucial to functions from nutrient cycling to energy transfer in food webs. Coastal and estuarine ecosystem structure and function are strongly affected by anthropogenic pressures; however, there are large gaps in our understanding of the responses of inorganic nutrient and organic matter fluxes between benthic habitats and the water column. We illustrate the varied nature of physical and biological benthic-pelagic coupling processes and their potential sensitivity to three anthropogenic pressures - climate change, nutrient loading, and fishing - using the Baltic Sea as a case study and summarize current knowledge on the exchange of inorganic nutrients and organic material between habitats. Traditionally measured benthic-pelagic coupling processes (e.g., nutrient exchange and sedimentation of organic material) are to some extent quantifiable, but the magnitude and variability of biological processes are rarely assessed, preventing quantitative comparisons. Changing oxygen conditions will continue to have widespread effects on the processes that govern inorganic and organic matter exchange among habitats while climate change and nutrient load reductions may have large effects on organic matter sedimentation. Many biological processes (predation, bioturbation) are expected to be sensitive to anthropogenic drivers, but the outcomes for ecosystem function are largely unknown. We emphasize how improved empirical and experimental understanding of benthic-pelagic coupling processes and their variability are necessary to inform models that can quantify the feedbacks among processes and ecosystem responses to a changing world.

  13. Faster growth in warmer winters for large trees in a Mediterranean-climate ecosystem

    Treesearch

    Seth W. Bigelow; Michael J. Papaik; Caroline Caum; Malcolm P. North

    2014-01-01

    Large trees (>76 cm breast-height diameter) are vital components of Sierra Nevada/Cascades mixed-conifer ecosystems because of their fire resistance, ability to sequester large amounts of carbon, and role as preferred habitat for sensitive species such as the California spotted owl. To investigate the likely performance of large trees in a rapidly changing...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan--a regional programme of measures for the marine environment based on the Ecosystem Approach.

    PubMed

    Backer, Hermanni; Leppänen, Juha-Markku; Brusendorff, Anne Christine; Forsius, Kaj; Stankiewicz, Monika; Mehtonen, Jukka; Pyhälä, Minna; Laamanen, Maria; Paulomäki, Hanna; Vlasov, Nikolay; Haaranen, Tarja

    2010-05-01

    The Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) Baltic Sea Action Plan, adopted by the coastal countries of the Baltic Sea and the European Community in November 2007, is a regional intergovernmental programme of measures for the protection and management of the marine environment explicitly based on the Ecosystem Approach. The Action Plan is structured around a set of Ecological Objectives used to define indicators and targets, including effect-based nutrient input ceilings, and to monitor implementation. The Action Plan strongly links Baltic marine environmental concerns to important socio-economic fields such as agriculture and fisheries and promotes cross-sectoral tools including marine spatial planning. Due to complementarities with the European Union (EU) Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Action Plan is in essence a pilot for this process without neglecting the important role of the Russian Federation - the only Baltic coastal country not a member of the EU.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  17. Trophic calculations reveal the mechanism of population-level variation in mercury concentrations between marine ecosystems: case studies of two polar seabirds.

    PubMed

    Brasso, Rebecka L; Polito, Michael J

    2013-10-15

    The incorporation of quantitative trophic level analysis in ecotoxicological studies provides explanatory power to identify the factors, trophic or environmental, driving population-level variation in mercury exposure at large geographic scales. In the Antarctic marine ecosystem, mercury concentrations and stable isotope values in Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) were compared between the Antarctic Peninsula and the Ross Sea. Correcting tissue δ(15)N values for baseline δ(15)N values revealed population-level differences in trophic position which contributes to differences in mercury. Data from Thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) were synthesized from published values from Baffin Bay and Svalbard to demonstrate the utility of baseline δ(15)N values in identifying differences in environmental mercury exposure independent of diet. Here, we demonstrate the importance of calculating population-specific trophic level data to uncover the source of variation in mercury concentrations between geographically distinct populations of marine predators. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Ecosystem resilience despite large-scale altered hydro climatic conditions

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Climate change is predicted to increase both drought frequency and duration, and when coupled with substantial warming, will establish a new hydroclimatological paradigm for many regions. Large-scale, warm droughts have recently impacted North America, Africa, Europe, Amazonia, and Australia result...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  20. Conodont body size and diversity trends after the end-Permian extinction: implications for the recovery of pelagic vs. benthic marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaal, E. K.; Morgan, D. J.; Clapham, M.; Rego, B. L.; Wang, S. C.; Payne, J.

    2012-12-01

    Many marine clades decreased in size across the end-Permian extinction horizon, but the pattern and timing of subsequent size increase during recovery is poorly constrained. The tempo of recovery from the end-Permian extinction is key to understanding the role of evolutionary and environmental constraints in the recovery of ecosystems. However, not all marine organisms share the same recovery pattern. In this study, we document Late Permian to Late Triassic trends in size distribution of conodonts, pelagic chordates that exhibit much more rapid diversification in the Early Triassic compared to benthic clades. Because tooth size correlates with body weight in chordates over many orders of magnitude and is commonly used to predict body size in fossils, conodont elements can serve as a proxy for the size of the conodont animal. Our dataset includes both specimens from high-resolution samples through an exceptionally exposed carbonate platform in south China and size measurements from the published literature for conodonts and seven other marine clades. In platform slope sections of south China, we observe a size decrease across the P/Tr boundary, but in platform interior sections, large conodonts are prolific in the earliest Triassic. Comparison with global data shows that while there is decrease in median conodont size across the P/Tr boundary, there is little change in maximum conodont size, and pre-extinction size distributions return by the Smithian. While benthic clades show Early Triassic size reduction and slow recovery, pelagic clades such as conodonts and ammonoids show large size and rapid diversification after the extinction event. This decoupling of recovery between benthic and pelagic marine ecosystems could reflect a depth gradient in environmental parameters such as oxygen availability or intrinsic differences in the evolutionary dynamics of these clades.

  1. New Typical Vector of Neurotoxin β-N-Methylamino-l-Alanine (BMAA) in the Marine Benthic Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Li, Aifeng; Song, Jialiang; Hu, Yang; Deng, Longji; Ding, Ling; Li, Meihui

    2016-11-04

    The neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) has been identified as an environmental factor triggering neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). We investigated the possible vectors of BMAA and its isomers 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (DAB) and N-2(aminoethyl)glycine (AEG) in marine mollusks collected from the Chinese coast. Sixty-eight samples of marine mollusks were collected along the Chinese coast in 2016, and were analyzed by an HILIC-MS/MS (hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography with tandem quadrupole mass spectrometer) method without derivatization. BMAA was detected in a total of five samples from three species: Neverita didyma, Solen strictus, and Mytilus coruscus. The top three concentrations of free-form BMAA (0.99~3.97 μg·g(-1) wet weight) were detected in N. didyma. DAB was universally detected in most of the mollusk samples (53/68) with no species-specific or regional differences (0.051~2.65 μg·g(-1) wet weight). No AEG was detected in any mollusk samples tested here. The results indicate that the gastropod N. didyma might be an important vector of the neurotoxin BMAA in the Chinese marine ecosystem. The neurotoxin DAB was universally present in marine bivalve and gastropod mollusks. Since N. didyma is consumed by humans, we suggest that the origin and risk of BMAA and DAB toxins in the marine ecosystem should be further investigated in the future.

  2. New Typical Vector of Neurotoxin β-N-Methylamino-l-Alanine (BMAA) in the Marine Benthic Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Li, Aifeng; Song, Jialiang; Hu, Yang; Deng, Longji; Ding, Ling; Li, Meihui

    2016-01-01

    The neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) has been identified as an environmental factor triggering neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We investigated the possible vectors of BMAA and its isomers 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (DAB) and N-2(aminoethyl)glycine (AEG) in marine mollusks collected from the Chinese coast. Sixty-eight samples of marine mollusks were collected along the Chinese coast in 2016, and were analyzed by an HILIC-MS/MS (hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography with tandem quadrupole mass spectrometer) method without derivatization. BMAA was detected in a total of five samples from three species: Neverita didyma, Solen strictus, and Mytilus coruscus. The top three concentrations of free-form BMAA (0.99~3.97 μg·g−1 wet weight) were detected in N. didyma. DAB was universally detected in most of the mollusk samples (53/68) with no species-specific or regional differences (0.051~2.65 μg·g−1 wet weight). No AEG was detected in any mollusk samples tested here. The results indicate that the gastropod N. didyma might be an important vector of the neurotoxin BMAA in the Chinese marine ecosystem. The neurotoxin DAB was universally present in marine bivalve and gastropod mollusks. Since N. didyma is consumed by humans, we suggest that the origin and risk of BMAA and DAB toxins in the marine ecosystem should be further investigated in the future. PMID:27827914

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daines, Stuart J.; Lenton, Timothy M.

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Controls on the ratio of mesozooplankton production to primary production in marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stock, Charles; Dunne, John

    2010-01-01

    An ecosystem model was used to (1) determine the extent to which global trends in the ratio of mesozooplankton production to primary production (referred to herein as the " z-ratio") can be explained by nutrient enrichment, temperature, and euphotic zone depth, and (2) quantitatively diagnose the mechanisms driving these trends. Equilibrium model solutions were calibrated to observed and empirically derived patterns in phytoplankton biomass and growth rates, mesozooplankton biomass and growth rates, and the fraction of phytoplankton that are large (>5 μm ESD). This constrained several otherwise highly uncertain model parameters. Most notably, half-saturation constants for zooplankton feeding were constrained by the biomass and growth rates of their prey populations, and low zooplankton basal metabolic rates were required to match observations from oligotrophic ecosystems. Calibrated model solutions had no major biases and produced median z-ratios and ranges consistent with estimates. However, much of the variability around the median values in the calibration dataset (72 points) could not be explained. Model results were then compared with an extended global compilation of z-ratio estimates (>10 000 points). This revealed a modest yet significant ( r=0.40) increasing trend in z-ratios from values ˜0.01-0.04 to ˜0.1-0.2 with increasing primary productivity, with the transition from low to high z-ratios occurring at lower primary productivity in cold-water ecosystems. Two mechanisms, both linked to increasing phytoplankton biomass, were responsible: (1) zooplankton gross growth efficiencies increased as their ingestion rates became much greater than basal metabolic rates and (2) the trophic distance between primary producers and mesozooplankton shortened as primary production shifted toward large phytoplankton. Mechanism (1) was most important during the transition from low to moderate productivity ecosystems and mechanism (2) was responsible for a relatively

  7. The roles of large top predators in coastal ecosystems: new insights from long term ecological research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosenblatt, Adam E.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Mather, Martha E.; Matich, Philip; Nifong, James C.; Ripple, William J.; Silliman, Brian R.

    2013-01-01

    During recent human history, human activities such as overhunting and habitat destruction have severely impacted many large top predator populations around the world. Studies from a variety of ecosystems show that loss or diminishment of top predator populations can have serious consequences for population and community dynamics and ecosystem stability. However, there are relatively few studies of the roles of large top predators in coastal ecosystems, so that we do not yet completely understand what could happen to coastal areas if large top predators are extirpated or significantly reduced in number. This lack of knowledge is surprising given that coastal areas around the globe are highly valued and densely populated by humans, and thus coastal large top predator populations frequently come into conflict with coastal human populations. This paper reviews what is known about the ecological roles of large top predators in coastal systems and presents a synthesis of recent work from three coastal eastern US Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites where long-term studies reveal what appear to be common themes relating to the roles of large top predators in coastal systems. We discuss three specific themes: (1) large top predators acting as mobile links between disparate habitats, (2) large top predators potentially affecting nutrient and biogeochemical dynamics through localized behaviors, and (3) individual specialization of large top predator behaviors. We also discuss how research within the LTER network has led to enhanced understanding of the ecological roles of coastal large top predators. Highlighting this work is intended to encourage further investigation of the roles of large top predators across diverse coastal aquatic habitats and to better inform researchers and ecosystem managers about the importance of large top predators for coastal ecosystem health and stability.

  8. Cell turnover and detritus production in marine sponges from tropical and temperate benthic ecosystems.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    This study describes in vivo cell turnover (the balance between cell proliferation and cell loss) in eight marine sponge species from tropical coral reef, mangrove and temperate Mediterranean reef ecosystems. Cell proliferation was determined through the incorporation of 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) and measuring the percentage of BrdU-positive cells after 6 h of continuous labeling (10 h for Chondrosia reniformis). Apoptosis was identified using an antibody against active caspase-3. Cell loss through shedding was studied quantitatively