Browsing by Subject "SEA"

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  • Coppock, Rachel L.; Lindeque, Penelope K.; Cole, Matthew; Galloway, Tamara S.; Nakki, Pinja; Birgani, Hannah; Richards, Saskiya; Queiros, Ana M. (2021)
    Microplastics are ubiquitous in the marine environment, however, the mechanisms governing their uptake by, and burial within, seabed habitats are poorly understood. In this study, microplastic burial and its impact on fauna-mediated sedimentary processes was quantified at three coastal sites, and the potential contribution of burrowing faunal communities to this process assessed via functional trait diversity analysis of field data. In addition, laboratory exposures were used to assess whether sediment-processing undertaken by the brittlestar Amphiura filiformis, a key species in the sampled area, could explain the burial of microplastic fibres. Field observations confirmed broad-scale burial of microplastics across the coastal seabed, consistent across sites and seasons, with microplastic sequestration linked to benthic-pelagic exchange pathways, driven by burrowing fauna. Brittlestars were observed to bury and line their burrow walls with microfibres during experiments, and their burial activity was also modified following exposure to nylon fibres, relative to controls. Collectively, these results indicate that biodiverse and functionally important seabed habitats act as microplastic sinks, with burrowing fauna contributing to this process via well-known benthic-pelagic pathways, the rates of which are modified by plastic exposure.
  • Villnäs, Anna; Janas, Urzsula; Josefson, Alf B.; Kendzierska, Halina; Nygård, Henrik; Norkko, Joanna; Norkko, Alf (2019)
    Benthic macrofaunal communities have a profound impact on organic matter turnover and nutrient cycling in marine sediments. Their activities are of particular importance in the coastal filter, where nutrients and organic matter from land are transformed and/or retained before reaching the open sea. The benthic fauna modify the coastal filter directly (through consumption, respiration, excretion and biomass production) and indirectly (through bioturbation). It is hard to experimentally quantify faunal contribution to the coastal filter over large spatial and temporal scales that encompass significant environmental and biological heterogeneity. However, estimates can be obtained with biological trait analyses. By using benthic biological traits, we explored how the potential contribution of macrofaunal communities to the coastal filter differ between inner and outer sites in an extensive archipelago area and examine the generality of the observed pattern across contrasting coastal areas of the entire Baltic Sea. Estimates of benthic bioturbation, longevity and size (i.e. ‘stability’) and total energy and nutrient contents differed between coastal areas and inner versus outer sites. Benthic traits indicative of an enhanced nutrient turnover but a decreased capacity for temporal nutrient retention dominated inner sites, while outer sites were often dominated by larger individuals, exhibiting traits that are likely to enhance nutrient uptake and retention. The overarching similarities in benthic trait expression between more eutrophied inner vs. less affected outer coastal sites across the Baltic Sea suggest that benthic communities might contribute in a similar manner to nutrient recycling and retention in the coastal filter over large geographical scales.
  • Brandão, L. P. M.; Brighenti, L. S.; Staehr, P. A.; Asmala, E.; Massicotte, P.; Tonetta, D.; Barbosa, F. A. R.; Pujoni, D.; Bezerra-Neto, J. F. (2018)
    Despite the increasing understanding about differences in carbon cycling between temperate and tropical freshwater systems, our knowledge on the importance of organic matter (OM) pools on light absorption properties in tropical lakes is very scarce. We performed a factorial mesocosm experiment in a tropical lake (Minas Gerais, Brazil) to evaluate the effects of increased concentrations of al-lochthonous and autochthonous OM, and differences in light availability on the light absorption characteristics of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM). Autochthonous OM deriving from phytoplankton (similar to Chl a) was stimulated by addition of nutrients, while OM from degradation of terrestrial leaves increased allochthonous OM, and neutral shading was used to manipulate light availability. Effects of the additions and shading on DOC, Chl a, nutrients, total suspended solid concentrations (TSM) and spectral CDOM absorption were monitored every 3 days. CDOM quality was characterized by spectral indices (S250-450, S275-295, S350-450, S-R and SUVA(254)). Effects of carbon sources and shading on the spectral CDOM absorption was investigated through principal component (PCA) and redundancy (RDA) analyses. The two different OM sources affected CDOM quality very differently and shading had minor effects on OM levels, but significant effects on OM quality, especially in combination with nutrient additions. Spectral indices (S250-450 and S-R) were mostly affected by allochthonous OM addition. The PCA showed that enrichment by allochthonous carbon had a strong effect on the CDOM spectra in the range between 300 and 400 nm, while the increase in autochthonous carbon increased absorption at wavelengths below 350 nm. Our study shows that small inputs of allochthonous OM can have large effects on the spectral light absorption compared to large production of autochthonous OM, with important implications for carbon cycling in tropical lakes.
  • Staehr, Peter A.; Asmala, Eero; Carstensen, Jacob; Krause-Jensen, Dorte; Reader, Heather (2018)
    Long-term deterioration of water quality is known to reduce the importance of benthic ecosystem metabolism in shallow coastal ecosystems, but drivers of spatial and short-term variability in ecosystem metabolism are poorly understood. We addressed this knowledge gap through detailed seasonal measurements of ecosystem metabolism across depth gradients from shallow (2 to 3 m) eelgrass-dominated to deeper (4 to 5 m) muddy regions of a shallow, productive estuary. Combined measurements of gross primary production (GPP), respiration (R) and, by difference, net ecosystem production (NEP) by the open-water diel oxygen technique and in situ chamber incubations showed high importance of shallow eelgrass habitats for metabolism at the system scale. Seasonal variations in GPP, R and NEP increased with light availability and temperature with highest NEP in all habitats during the warm and sunny mid-summer. The shallow eelgrass-dominated and neighboring habitats were seasonally net autotrophic (NEP = 0.54 and 0.31 mg O2 m-2 d-1, respectively), compared to net heterotrophy (NEP = -0.26 mg O2 m-2 d-1) at the deeper muddy site. Detailed studies along depth gradients further confirmed the role of eelgrass as a key driver of spatial differences in ecosystem metabolism across the estuary. Strong northerly winds (>8 m s-1) caused short-term (<24 h) periods of similar oxygen dynamics and similar apparent productivity in shallow and deeper waters, indicative of efficient lateral mixing, while calm periods (<4 m s-1) enabled formation of ‘pockets’, i.e. water masses with limited connectivity, which exacerbated the metabolic differences between shallow and deep sites.
  • Salonen, I. S.; Chronopoulou, P-M; Bird, C.; Reichart, G-J; Koho, K. A. (2019)
    Benthic foraminifera are known to play an important role in marine carbon and nitrogen cycles. Here, we report an enrichment of sulphur cycle -associated bacteria inside intertidal benthic foraminifera (Ammonia sp. (T6), Haynesina sp. (S16) and Elphidium sp. (S5)), using a meta barcoding approach targeting the 16S rRNA and aprA -genes. The most abundant intracellular bacterial groups included the genus Sulfurovum and the order Desulfobacterales. The bacterial 16S OTUs are likely to originate from the sediment bacterial communities, as the taxa found inside the foraminifera were also present in the sediment. The fact that 16S rRNA and aprA -gene derived intracellular bacterial OTUs were species-specific and significantly different from the ambient sediment community implies that bacterivory is an unlikely scenario, as benthic foraminifera are known to digest bacteria only randomly. Furthermore, these foraminiferal species are known to prefer other food sources than bacteria. The detection of sulphur-cycle related bacterial genes in this study suggests a putative role for these bacteria in the metabolism of the foraminiferal host. Future investigation into environmental conditions under which transcription of S-cycle genes are activated would enable assessment of their role and the potential foraminiferal/endobiont contribution to the sulphur-cycle.
  • Radnaeva, Larisa D.; Popov, Dmitry V.; Grahl-Nielsen, Otto; Khanaev, Igor V.; Bazarsadueva, Selmeg V.; Kakela, Reijo (2017)
    Lake Baikal is a unique freshwater environment with maximum depths over 1600 m. The high water pressure at the lakebed strengthens the solidifying effect of low water temperature on animal tissue lipids, and thus the effective temperatures in the depths of the lake equal subzero temperatures in shallow waters. Cottoidei species has colonized the different water layers of the lake, and developed different ecology and physiology reflected in their tissue biochemistry. We studied by gas chromatography the composition of fatty acids (FAs), largely responsible for tissue lipid physical properties, in the white muscle tissue of 13 species of the Cottoidei fish; five benthic abyssal, six benthic eurybathic and two benthopelagic species. The FA profiles reflected habitat depth. The muscles of the deepest living species contained little polyunsaturated FAs (PUFAs) and were instead rich in monounsaturated FAs (MUFAs), which may be due to occasional weak food web links to the PUFA-rich primary producers of the photic water layer, high MUFA supply from their benthic diet, and conversion of saturated FAs (SFAs) to MUFAs in the tissues of the fish. Despite the MUFA percentage among the abyssal species reached even 50% (by weight) of total FAs, the PUFA percentage still remained above 20% in every species. The muscle MUFA/SFA ratio correlated negatively with the PUFA content of the fish muscle, suggesting viscosity control integrating the fluidity contributions from the dietary PUFAs and potentially endogenous MUFAs.
  • Haapasaari, Paivi; Ignatius, Suvi; Pihlajamaki, Mia; Sarkki, Simo; Tuomisto, Jouni; Delaney, Alyne (2019)
    This article focuses on the dioxin problem of Baltic herring and salmon fisheries and its governance that is based on natural scientific knowledge. The dioxin problem weakens the perceived quality of Baltic salmon and herring as food and affects the way the catches can be used. This influences negatively the fishing livelihood, the coastal culture, and the availability of the fish for consumers. We explored how the governance of the dioxin problem could be improved, to better address its socio-economic and cultural implications. We identified four main actions: (1) adopt environmental, economic and social sustainability, and food security and safety as shared principles between the environmental, food safety/public health, and fisheries policies, (2) establish collaboration between the environmental, public health, and fisheries sectors at the regional level, (3) enhance interaction around the dioxin problem within the fisheries sector, and (4) support the participation of the Baltic fisheries stakeholders in the EU-level food safety governance. Viewing dioxins in fish not only as a natural scientific problem but as a multidimensional one would enable a wider toolbox of governing instruments to be developed to better address the different dimensions. This would support steps towards collaborative governance and a food system approach.
  • Helle, Inari; Mäkinen, Jussi Antti-Eerikki; Nevalainen, Maisa Katariina; Afenyo, Mawuli; Vanhatalo, Jarno (2020)
    Oil spills resulting from maritime accidents pose a poorly understood risk to the Arctic environment. We propose a novel probabilistic method to quantitatively assess these risks. Our method accounts for spatiotemporally varying population distributions, the spreading of oil, and seasonally varying species-specific exposure potential and sensitivity to oil. It quantifies risk with explicit uncertainty estimates, enables one to compare risks over large geographic areas, and produces information on a meaningful scale for decision-making. We demonstrate the method by assessing the short-term risks oil spills pose to polar bears, ringed seals, and walrus in the Kara Sea, the western part of the Northern Sea Route. The risks differ considerably between species, spatial locations, and seasons. Our results support current aspirations to ban heavy fuel oil in the Arctic but show that we should not underestimate the risks of lighter oils either, as these oils can pollute larger areas than heavier ones. Our results also highlight the importance of spatially explicit season-specific oil spill risk assessment in the Arctic and that environmental variability and the lack of data are a major source of uncertainty related to the oil spill impacts.
  • Kauppinen, A.; Al-Hello, H.; Zacheus, O.; Kilponen, J.; Maunula, L.; Huusko, S.; Lappalainen, M.; Miettinen, I.; Blomqvist, S.; Rimhanen-Finne, R. (2017)
  • Ignatius, Suvi Helka Maria; Haapasaari, Päivi Elisabet (2018)
    The ecosystem approach to fisheries management requires ecosystems to be perceived in a holistic way, including the dynamics not only within an ecosystem but also between the ecosystem and society. This implies that people involved in decision-making processes should understand why fish and fisheries are important for society, that is, be aware of the socio-cultural values that people associate with fisheries. In this paper, the justification theory of Boltanski and Thevenot is applied to material collected through a literature review to identify sociocultural values relating to Baltic salmon, and the potential of the approach for fisheries governance is discussed. The analysis demonstrates that fish resources can have multiple meanings to society. Justification theory is found useful for identifying socio-cultural values related to fisheries, since it suggests shifting attention from opposing interests to the common good. Agreeing on the common good is crucial for the legitimacy of governance. However, because the common good can be defined in multiple ways, these definitions have to be made transparent through empirical analysis so that they can be further deliberated, evaluated and agreed upon by governors, stakeholders and others involved.
  • Chronopoulou, Myrsini; Salonen, Iines; Bird, Clare; Reichart, Gert-Jan; Koho, Karoliina (2019)
    Foraminifera are ubiquitous marine protists with an important role in the benthic carbon cycle. However, morphological observations often fail to resolve their exact taxonomic placement and there is a lack of field studies on their particular trophic preferences. Here, we propose the application of metabarcoding as a tool for the elucidation of the in situ feeding behavior of benthic foraminifera, while also allowing the correct taxonomic assignment of the feeder, using the V9 region of the 18S (small subunit; SSU) rRNA gene. Living foraminiferal specimens were collected from two intertidal mudflats of the Wadden Sea and DNA was extracted from foraminiferal individuals and from the surrounding sediments. Molecular analysis allowed us to confirm that our foraminiferal specimens belong to three genetic types: Ammonia sp. T6, Elphidium sp. S5 and Haynesina sp. S16. Foraminiferal intracellular eukaryote communities reflected to an extent those of the surrounding sediments but at different relative abundances. Unlike sediment eukaryote communities, which were largely determined by the sampling site, foraminiferal intracellular eukaryote communities were driven by foraminiferal species, followed by sediment depth. Our data suggests that Ammonia sp. T6 can predate on metazoan classes, whereas Elphidium sp. S5 and Haynesina sp. S16 are more likely to ingest diatoms. These observations, alongside the use of metabarcoding in similar ecological studies, significantly contribute to our overall understanding of the ecological roles of these protists in intertidal benthic environments and their position and function in the benthic food webs.
  • Vuorinen, Pekka J.; Rokka, Mervi; Nikonen, Soili; Juntunen, Esa-Pekka; Ritvanen, Tiina; Heinimaa, Petri; Keinänen, Marja (2021)
    Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency of salmonines, caused by an abundant lipid-rich fish diet and consequently, the abundance of polyunsaturated fatty acids, is called the M74 syndrome in the Baltic Sea. Because of its deleterious effects on wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) stocks and progeny production in fish cultivation, a model was developed to derive the annual female-specific mortality percentages of yolk-sac fry (YSFM) from the free thiamine concentrations of unfertilized eggs. In years with a high M74 incidence, thiamine-deficient females were larger, with a larger condition factor (CF) than non-M74 females. Otherwise, M74 females were generally smaller. The mean CF of M74 females was in most years higher than that of non-M74 females. The model compiled enables the cost-effective estimation of YSFM of individual female salmon, without the incubation of eggs and hatched yolk-sac fry for several months, thus benefitting the management of salmon stocks and their efficient utilization.
  • Plado, Juri; Preeden, Ulla; Joeleht, Argo; Pesonen, Lauri J.; Mertanen, Satu (2016)
    The hill range of Vaivara Sinimaed in northeast Estonia consists of several narrow east-to northeast-trending glaciotectonic fold structures. The folds include tilted (dips 4-75 degrees) Middle Ordovician (early Darriwilian) layered carbonate strata that were studied by mineralogical, palaeomagnetic, and rock magnetic methods in order to specify the post-sedimentational history of the area and to obtain a better control over the palaeogeographic position of Baltica during the Ordovician. Mineralogical studies revealed that (titano) magnetite, hematite, and goethite are carriers of magnetization. Based on data from 5 sites that positively passed a DC tilt test, a south-easterly downward directed component A (D-ref = 154.6 degrees +/- 15.3 degrees, I-ref = 60.9 degrees +/- 9.7 degrees) was identified. The component is carried by (titano) magnetite, dates to the Middle Ordovician (Plat = 17.9 degrees, Plon = 47.3 degrees, K = 46.7, A95 = 11.3 degrees), and places Baltica at mid-southerly latitudes. Observations suggest that in sites that do not pass the tilt test, the glaciotectonic event has caused some rotation of blocks around their vertical axis.
  • Yang, Fang; Feng, Weiying; Matti, Leppäranta; Yang, Yu; Merkouriadi, Ioanna; Cen, Rui; Bai, Yangwei; Li, Changyou; Liao, Haiqing (2020)
    The intra-annual heat exchange process has a considerable influence on the energy circulation, material metabolism, and ecological succession of lakes. The input and output of heat in an ice-covered lake provide the basic dynamic force driving changes in the biochemical state of the lake. Based on the heat balance between the lake surface and the atmosphere, we established a thermodynamic model for calculating the thermodynamic factors of shallow inland lakes during the ice and open seasons. The data of the Ulansuhai Lake, Inner Mongolia, from two years (2012 and 2013) are used to analyze the seasonal characteristics and associated influences of the heat budget on the ecosystem. The results indicated that the monthly mean lake temperature over the past 10 years was 1.7-2.2 degrees C lower than in the previous 50 years. The absorbed solar radiation reached up to 210 W/m(2) in 2012 and 179 W/m(2) in 2013, and there were clear differences in the heat budget between the ice-covered and open seasons. The mean net heat fluxes in the ice season were -33.8 and -38.5 W/m(2) in 2012 and 2013, respectively; while in the open season water, these fluxes were 62.5 and 19.1 W/m(2). In the simulations, the wind was an important factor for intensive evaporation in summer and the main driver of the ice cover formation patterns in winter, involving the transmission and diffusion of material and energy in the lake. The results provide a theoretical foundation for simulating ice cover growth and ablation processes in shallow lakes. They also present data on the ecological evolution in these lacustrine environments.
  • Weigel, Benjamin; Bonsdorff, Erik (2018)
    Increasing environmental pressures and human impacts are reshaping community structures and species interactions throughout all trophic levels. The morphological and behavioural characteristics of species communities contain key ecological information on why prey species appear attractive to predators but are rarely applied when exploring predator-prey (PP) relationships. Expanding our knowledge on how changing prey communities can alter the food resource suitability (RS) for predators is vital for understanding PP dynamics in changing ecosystems. Detailed predator diet data are commonly restricted to commercially important species and often not available over long temporal scales. To find out whether structural changes of prey communities impact the food RS for predator communities over space and time, we apply a novel framework to describe and interpret changes in predator diet-suitability based on predation-relevant traits of prey. We use information on described feeding links from the literature to compile the prey spectrum for each predator and subsequently translate the prey-species into a prey-trait spectrum. For each predator, we then calculate a frequency-based prey-trait affinity score and relate it to the available food resource pool, the community weighted means of prey traits, resulting in a prey-suitability measure. We aim to reveal whether a described multi-decadal change in the community structure of zoobenthos had an impact on the food suitability for the benthic-feeding fish in a coastal system of the Baltic Sea. We assess the direction of change in resource quality from the perspective of benthic-feeding fish and describe predator-specific responses to examine which species are likely to profit or be disadvantaged by changes in their prey spectrum. Furthermore, we test the relationship between functional diversity of prey communities and food suitability for predators, and whether predation linkage-structures are affected through prey community-changes. Our results show that changes in zoobenthic communities had a positive effect on the food suitability for most benthic-feeding fish, implying more suitable food resources. Species-specific responses of predators suggest varying plasticity to cope with prey assemblages of different trait compositions. Additionally, the functional diversity of zoobenthos had a positive effect on the food suitability for predator fish. The changing trait compositions of prey influenced the PP linkage-structure, indicating varying specialisation of benthic feeding fish towards available food resources. Our findings suggest that changing morphological characteristics of prey can impact food RS features for its predators. This approach enables long-term evaluation of prey quality characteristics where no detailed diet data is available and allows for cross-system comparison as it is not relying on taxonomic identities per se.