Browsing by Subject "AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS"

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  • Paloniemi, Riikka; Niemelä, Jari; Soininen, Niko; Laatikainen, Tiina; Vierikko, Kati; Rekola, Aino; Viinikka, Arto; Yli-Pelkonen, Vesa; Assmuth, Timo; Kopperoinen, Leena; Peltonen, Lasse; Kuokkanen, Tuomas; Kyttä, Marketta (2018)
    Environmental justice sheds light on the distributive and procedural aspects of planning and decision-making. We examined the challenges arising from the perspective of environmental justice on multi-level and participatory environmental governance by exploring the governance of aquatic environments in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. We found three main challenges and potential responses to them. First, even though most of Helsinki’s shoreline is free and/or accessible by road and accordingly used actively by people for recreational purposes, many parts of the shoreline are perceived as inaccessible, reflecting a need to combine factual and perceived accessibility of aquatic environments in detail during the planning processes and to discuss reasons for possible discrepancies between these two. Second, there was a remarkable seasonal variation in the use of aquatic environments, so more attention should be paid to social-demographic factors explaining the distribution of the use of urban nature. Third, it seems to be difficult to capture the variety of perceptions of people and to integrate them into planning and decision-making processes even on a local scale, and this challenge is likely even more pronounced on higher levels of planning and governance. Thus, better integration of regional and local-scale planning procedures should be encouraged. Building on these observations, we conclude that integration of procedural and distributive environmental justice into the practices of the governance of aquatic environments could remarkably decrease unwanted trade-offs and potential conflicts in their use and management.
  • Silva, Luis; Calleja, Maria Ll.; Ivetic, Snjezana; Huete-Stauffer, Tamara; Roth, Florian; Carvalho, Susana; Moran, Xose Anxelu G. (2021)
    In coral reefs, dissolved organic matter (DOM) cycling is a critical process for sustaining ecosystem functioning. However, global and local stressors have caused persistent shifts from coral- to algae-dominated benthic communities. The influence of such phase shifts on DOM nature and its utilization by heterotrophic bacterioplankton remains poorly studied. Every second month for one year, we retrieved seawater samples enriched in DOM produced by coral- and algae-dominated benthic communities in a central Red Sea reef during a full annual cycle. Seawater incubations were conducted in the laboratory under in situ temperature and light conditions by inoculating enriched DOM samples with bacterial assemblages collected in the surrounding waters. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations were higher in the warmer months (May-September) in both communities, resulting in higher specific growth rates and bacterial growth efficiencies (BGE). However, these high summer values were significantly enhanced in algal-DOM relative to coral-DOM, suggesting the potential for bacterioplankton biomass increase in reefs with algae replacing healthy coral cover under warmer conditions. The potential exacerbation of heterotrophic bacterial activity in the ongoing widespread regime shift from coral- to algae-dominated communities may have detrimental consequences for the overall health of tropical coral reefs. (C) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Rowe, Owen F.; Dinasquet, Julie; Paczkowska, Joanna; Figueroa, Daniela; Riemann, Lasse; Andersson, Agneta (2018)
    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) in marine waters is a complex mixture of compounds and elements that contribute substantially to the global carbon cycle. The large reservoir of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) represents a vital resource for heterotrophic bacteria. Bacteria can utilise, produce, recycle and transform components of the DOM pool, and the physicochemical characteristics of this pool can directly influence bacterial activity; with consequences for nutrient cycling and primary productivity. In the present study we explored bacterial transformation of naturally occurring DOM across an extensive brackish water gradient in the Baltic Sea. Highest DOC utilisation (indicated by decreased DOC concentration) was recorded in the more saline southerly region where waters are characterised by more autochthonous DOM. These sites expressed the lowest bacterial growth efficiency (BGE), whereas in northerly regions, characterised by higher terrestrial and allochthonous DOM, the DOC utilisation was low and BGE was highest. Bacterial processing of the DOM pool in the south resulted in larger molecular weight compounds and compounds associated with secondary terrestrial humic matter being degraded, and a processed DOM pool that was more aromatic in nature and contributed more strongly to water colour; while the opposite was true in the north. Nutrient concentration and stoichiometry and DOM characteristics affected bacterial activity, including metabolic status (BGE), which influenced DOM transformations. Our study highlights dramatic differences in DOM characteristics and microbial carbon cycling in sub-basins of the Baltic Sea. These findings are critical for our understanding of carbon and nutrient biogeochemistry, particularly in light of climate change scenarios.
  • Samadi, Afshin; Kim, Youngsam; Lee, Sang-Ah; Kim, Young Jun; Esterhuizen, Maranda (2022)
    The environmental impacts of plastic pollution have recently attracted universal attention, especially in the aquatic environment. However, research has mostly been focused on marine ecosystems, even though freshwater ecosystems are equally if not more polluted by plastics. In addition, the mechanism and extent to which plastic pollution affects aquatic biota and the rates of transfer to organisms through food webs eventually reaching humans are poorly understood, especially considering leaching hazardous chemicals. Several studies have demonstrated extreme toxicity in freshwater organisms such Daphnia. When such keystone species are affected by ambient pollution, entire food webs are destabilized and biodiversity is threatened. The unremitting increase in plastic contaminants in freshwater environments would cause impairments in ecosystem functions and structure, leading to various kinds of negative ecological consequences. As various studies have reported the effects on daphnids, a consolidation of this literature is critical to discuss the limitations and knowledge gaps and to evaluate the risk posed to the aquatic environment. This review was undertaken due to the evident need to evaluate this threat. The aims were to provide a meaningful overview of the literature relevant to the potential impact of plastic pollution and associated contaminants on freshwater daphnids as primary consumers. A critical evaluation of research gaps and perspectives is conducted to provide a comprehensive risk assessment of microplastic as a hazard to aquatic environments. We outlined the challenges and limitations to microplastic research in hampering better-focused investigations that could support the development of new plastic materials and/or establishment of new regulations.