Browsing by Subject "BENTHIC FAUNA"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-4 of 4
  • Norkko, Joanna; Pilditch, Conrad A.; Gammal, Johanna; Rosenberg, Rutger; Enemar, Arvid; Magnussond, Marina; Granberg, Maria E.; Lindgren, J. Fredrik; Agrenius, Stefan; Norkko, Alf (2019)
    Marine ecosystems world-wide are threatened by oxygen deficiency, with potential serious consequences for ecosystem functioning and the goods and services they provide. While the effects of hypoxia on benthic species diversity are well documented, the effects on ecosystem function have only rarely been assessed in real-world settings. To better understand the links between structural changes in macro- and meiofaunal communities, hypoxic stress and benthic ecosystem function (benthic nutrient fluxes, community metabolism), we sampled a total of 11 sites in Haystensfjord and Askerofjord (Swedish west coast) in late summer, coinciding with the largest extent and severity of seasonal hypoxia in the area. The sites spanned oxic to anoxic bottom water, and a corresponding gradient in faunal diversity. Intact sediment cores were incubated to measure fluxes of oxygen and nutrients (NO3-, NO2-, NH4+, PO43-, SiO4) across the sediment-water interface. Sediment profile imaging (SPI) footage was obtained from all sites to assess structural elements and the bioturbadon depth, and additional samples were collected to characterise sediment properties and macro- and meiofaunal community composition. Bottom-water O-2 concentration was the main driver of macrofauna communities, with highest abundance and biomass, as well as variability, at the sites with intermediate O-2 concentration. Meiofauna on the other hand was less sensitive to bottom-water O-2 concentration. Oxygen was the main driver of nutrient fluxes too, but macrofauna as well meiofauna were also significant predictors; DistLM analyses indicated that O-2 concentration, macrofaunal abundance or biomass, and meiofaunal abundance collectively explained 63%, 30% and 28% of the variation in sediment O-2 consumption, NH4+ flux and PO43+ flux, respectively. The study provides a step towards a more realistic understanding of the link between benthic fauna and ecosystem functioning, and the influence of disturbance on this relationship, which is important for management decisions aimed at protecting the dwindling biodiversity in the coastal zones around the world.
  • Jansson, Anna; Klais-Peets, Riina; Griniene, Evelina; Rubene, Gunta; Semenova, Anna; Lewandowska, Aleksandra; Engstrom-Öst, Jonna (2020)
    Functional traits are becoming more common in the analysis of marine zooplankton community dynamics associated with environmental change. We used zooplankton groups with common functional properties to assess long-term trends in the zooplankton caused by certain environmental conditions in a highly eutrophicated gulf. Time series of zooplankton traits have been collected since the 1960s in the Gulf of Riga, Baltic Sea, and were analyzed using a combination of multivariate methods (principal coordinate analysis) and generalized additive models. One of the most significant changes was the considerable increase in the amount of the zooplankton functional groups (FGR) in coastal springtime communities, and dominance shifts from more complex to simpler organism groups-cladocerans and rotifers. The results also show that functional trait organism complexity (body size) decreased considerably due to cladoceran and rotifer increase following elevated water temperature. Salinity and oxygen had negligible effects on the zooplankton community.
  • Villnäs, Anna; Norkko, Alf; Lehtonen, Kari K. (2019)
    The frequency of seasonal and short-term hypoxia is increasing in coastal seas. How such repeated disturbances affect key species that have important roles for ecosystem processes and functions remains, however, unknown. By performing a field experiment we explored if the bivalve Macoma balthica can cope with short-term, recurring hypoxic stress, and investigated how hypoxia affects the condition of surviving bivalves. By combining data on different levels of biological organization, i.e., on physiology (biomarker response), behaviour and demography, we identified stress responses before the population declined. One pulse of hypoxic disturbance (3 days) resulted in behavioural alterations, as adult M. balthica extended their siphons, emerged towards the sediment surface and expressed decreased reburial rates. However, the demographic structure of the population remained unaltered. Several pulses of recurring hypoxic stress resulted in physiological response with changes in glutathione reductase and acetylcholinesterase enzyme activities. The recurring hypoxic disturbance was observed to affect juvenile bivalves before adults, while pro-longed hypoxia reduced the entire bivalve population. Our results clearly show that hypoxic stress changes the behaviour and physiology of M. balthica before demographic changes occur, which is likely to have severe implications for the contribution of this key species to ecosystem functioning. That a combination of measures at different levels of organization can detect disturbances at an early stage suggests that such an approach would be useful for assessing the effects of disturbances on marine ecosystems that are increasingly affected by anthropogenic change.
  • Hajializadeh, Parima; Safaie, Mohsen; Naderloo, Reza; Shojaei, Mehdi Ghodrati; Gammal, Johanna; Villnäs, Anna; Norkko, Alf (2020)
    Macrofauna play a key role in the functioning of mangrove ecosystems. Nevertheless, our understanding of the diversity and functional structure of macrofaunal communities across different habitats in the mangrove forests of the Persian Gulf is limited. In this study, we investigated species diversity and biological trait patterns of macrofauna in different mangrove-associated habitats, i.e., encompassing actual mangrove forests, and adjacent Beaches and Creeks, which exhibit different levels of habitat heterogeneity. Samples were collected from the different habitats in five different locations, over four seasons. A total of 122 macrofauna taxa were identified. The diversity of species was higher in summer than in winter. In the Beach habitats, species diversity showed an increasing trend from land toward the mangrove, whereas in Creek habitats diversity decreased from the Creek toward the mangrove. Multivariate community analysis showed differences in the distribution of abundant species and biological traits across all habitats. Deposit-feeding, crawlers, medium-size, and free-living were the dominant trait modalities in all habitats. The similarities within habitats over the four seasons had the same specific pattern of species and biological trait abundance in the Beach and the Creek, increasing from the non-covered habitat into the mangrove trees. Although many species shared similar traits, the abundance-driven differences in trait expression between habitats showed the importance of habitat filtering. The results of this study will be useful in the conservation of mangrove forests and they give a deeper understanding of the ecological patterns and functions of benthic macrofaunal communities in the Persian Gulf.