Seafloor Geomorphology as Benthic Habitat: GeoHab Atlas of Seafloor Geomorphic Features and Benthic Habitats, Second Edition, provides an updated synthesis of seabed geomorphology and benthic habitats. This new edition includes new case studies from all geographic areas and habitats that were not included in the previous edition, including the Arctic, Asia, Africa and South America. Using multibeam sonar, the benthic ecology of submarine features, such as fjords, sand banks, coral reefs, seamounts, canyons, mud volcanoes and spreading ridges is revealed in unprecedented detail. This timely release offers new understanding for researchers in Marine Biodiversity, environmental managers, ecologists, and more.
Multiple lines of evidence, ranging from time series field observations to climate change stimulation experiments demonstrate the negative effects of global warming and ocean acidification (OA) on bivalve molluscs. The impact of global warming on bivalve aquaculture has recently been reviewed. However, the impact of OA on bivalve aquaculture has received relatively less attention. Although there are many reports on the effects of OA on bivalves, this information is poorly organized and the connection between OA and bivalve aquaculture is unclear. Therefore, understanding the potential impact of acidification on ecosystems and bivalve aquaculture is of prime importance. Here, we provide a comprehensive scientific review of the impact of OA on bivalves and propose mitigation measures for future bivalve farming. This information will help to establish aquaculture and fisheries management plans to be implemented in commercial fisheries and nature conservation. In general, scientific evidence suggests that OA threatens bivalves by diminishing the availability of carbonate minerals, which may adversely affect the development of early life stages, calcification, growth, byssus attachment and survival of bivalves. The Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) approach is a useful method in slowing the effects of climate change, thereby providing longer adaptation period for bivalves to changing ocean conditions. However, for certain regions that experience intense OA effects or for certain bivalve species that have much longer generational time, IMTA alone may not be sufficient to protect bivalves from the adverse effects of climate change. Therefore, it is highly recommended to combine IMTA and genetic breeding methods to facilitate transgenerational acclimation or evolution processes to enhance the climate resilience of bivalves.
By 2050 the world population is expected to reach 10 billion people. This population needs food, water and energy. Increasingly, opportunities are sought out at sea to accommodate these needs. As there is already competition for space, especially in the near-shore, opportunities for multi-use, including the combination of, for example, food and energy production in a single location, are sought. One issue that needs to be addressed to allow for multi-use at sea is safety. Existing frameworks for (marine) risk assessment tend to be rather sector specific and, although existing models and frameworks for risk analysis provide useful elements for an integrated analysis, none of the approaches fully caters for the need of having a framework based on a cyclical process of stakeholder input in all steps of the process of risk identification, risk management and risk evaluation and communication, identifying actions to be taken and providing tools useful in each of the steps, while integrating the three perspectives of maritime safety, food (and feed) safety, and environmental impact assessment and the different perspectives of the actors involved. This study developed a common framework for the risk assessment of multi-use at sea, consisting of six steps (Exploring, Understanding, Appraising, Deciding, Implementing and Evaluating & Communication). The framework encompasses and integrates an analysis of food and feed safety aspects, the safety of people and equipment, and environmental safety aspects. For each step, actions are defined, tools that can be of help to stakeholders are presented, and stakeholder participation measures are described. The framework is iterative and dynamic in its nature; with constant communication and evaluation of progress, decisions can be taken to either take a step forward or back. The framework is developed to assist operators and producers, policymakers, and other stakeholders in assessing and managing risks of multi-use at sea.
In this study, the occurrence and distribution of microplastics in artificial reefs around the Ma’an Archipelago, a national marine ranching area in China, were investigated. The abundance of microplastics ranged from 0.2 ± 0.1 to 0.6 ± 0.2 items L−1 in surface water, 30.0 ± 0.0 to 80.0 ± 14.1 items kg−1 dry weight in the sediment, and 2.3 ± 1.5 to 7.3 ± 3.5 items individual−1 in fish. Most of the detected microplastics were fiber-shaped, blue or transparent, and smaller than 1 mm. Polyethylene, polypropylene, and poly(ethylene:propylene:diene) copolymer were the most abundant polymer types in the surface water samples, whereas cellophane was dominant in the sediment and fish. The appearance of microplastic pollution around the artificial reefs could be attributed mainly to the activities of the fisheries in the area, whereas the microplastic ingestion by fish was affected by the extent of microplastic contamination of the sediment. The results highlight the widespread presence of microplastics in the water, sediment, and biota of the artificial reefs around the Ma’an Archipelago, thereby improving understanding of the environmental risks posed by microplastics to marine artificial reef ecosystems and fisheries in general.
Incising continental margins, submarine canyons are key issue for understanding shelf/deep sea exchange of particulate pollutant, impact on marine ecosystem and global geochemical cycling. The occurrence and distribution of 100 priority and emerging micropollutants were investigated in sediments within the first 25 km of the Capbreton submarine area. The most predominant compounds were polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), trace metals and metalloid (TMs) (e.g. mercury, lead and arsenic), synthetical musks (e.g. musk ketone, galaxolide), UV filters (e.g. octocrylene and 2-ethylhexyl 4-methoxycinnamate, EHMC) as well as some pharmaceuticals (e.g. azithromycin, acetaminophen). Highest concentrations were measured in submarine canyon sediments, distant from the coast and were correlated with both organic carbon and fine fraction contents, where PAHs, EHMC and musk ketone concentrations up to 7116, 32 and 7 ng g−1 dry weight, respectively. Those results likely demonstrate, that atmospheric inputs of pyrogenic PAHs, and both trapping and transporting of polluted particles along the continuum shore/deep sea by the Capbreton Canyon, might lead to an accumulation of anthropogenic micropollutants. The ecological risk assessment indicates that priority pollutants raise a potentially high risk for benthic organisms (e.g. PAHs, TMs). This might raised a specific concern about how the human can impact this ecosystem.
This chapter analyzes the contribution of Participative Management Plans (PMP) for the identification of ecosystem services and the protection of conservation objects from the multiple-use protected coastal marine areas (MU-CMPA). The objective of these areas is to conserve the natural capital and cultural patrimony without restricting traditional productive activities such as fishing, mollusks and algae extraction, and energy resources. There are ten MU-CMPAs areas in Chile, but their implementation has been slow and 14 years after the first areas were legally declared, some of them still do not have management plans. Here we analyze the experiences of Isla Grande de Atacama MU-CMPA (MU-CMPA IGA) in the north of Chile, including the complexities of implementing PMPs and the challenges and opportunities of generating an ecosystem perspective in the management plans for protected areas. Administrative problems and conflicts of interest have worn social relationships generating little community participation regarding the design of a management plan. Nevertheless, there is a consensus among local social actors about the benefits of the ecosystems of the MU-CMPA IGA due to the high economic and social values given by the community to the services provided by the area.
Marine shrimp fishing is an economic activity of global importance due to its high profitability, but it also presents several environmental and socioeconomic problems. In a context of increasing need for fishery sustainability, scientific basis supporting fishery resources management is essential. However, evidence-based information is frequently scarce or generated by developed countries, even when resources are most abundant in areas of developing economy. Here we present a bibliometric analysis to map each country’s scientific production in relation to its marine shrimp fishery yield, along with a hurdle model with socioeconomic factors that could influence publication of articles on this subject. We observed a geographic mismatch between research needs and the places that produce them, once tropical and subtropical regions account for most of fishery yield while knowledge is produced in temperate regions where the most developed countries are concentrated. Accordingly, our model reveled that GDP was the most influential factor in number of articles, while population density had a negative effect. Concurrently, key research interests about marine shrimp fisheries tend to be basic biology topics, despite the need for conservation solutions.
This study aims to assess the role of CTI-CFF in handling marine ecosystem problems that include coral reef conservation, fisheries, and food security in Indonesia. To achieve the objective, the research method used is a qualitative study using library research data collection techniques. The result of this study indicates that the role of CTI-CFF in environmental conservation in Indonesia can be divided into three aspects of CFF itself namely on coral reefs, fisheries and food security. A number of conservation efforts have been carried out with the implementation of national action plan and have significant impacts on the sustainability of society and the environment. On coral reefs issues, CTI-CFF runs particular programs namely CTI-COREMAP and Marine Protected Areas (MPA). On fisheries issues, CTI-CFF has a particular program called Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM). CTI-CFF in Indonesia plays an important role in implementing the strategic steps of the regional action plan which is later adopted into the national plan of actions. These plans are used as a parameter of the involvement of the CTI-CFF in efforts to save marine ecosystems in Indonesia.
Ocean acidification (OA) and heavy metals are common stress factors for marine ecosystems subject to anthropogenic impacts. OA coupled with the heavy metal is likely to affect marine species. This study investigated the single and combined effects of OA (1500 ppm) and cadmium (Cd; 0.4, 1.2 mg/L) on the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum under 7 d exposure. The results clearly indicated that either OA or Cd stress (1.2 mg/L) alone inhibited the growth of P. tricornutum. However, under the combined OA-Cd stress, the growth inhibition disappeared, and the intracellular oxidative damage was mitigated. These results indicated a significantly enhanced tolerance of P. tricornutum to Cd while under OA conditions, which could be beneficial to the survival of this diatom. This study will ultimately help us understand the responses of marine organisms to multiple stressors and have broad implications for the potential ecological risks of Cd under future OA conditions.
While fisheries science in the USA has in the past been dominated by mode 1 knowledge production that is discipline-specific and focused on basic research, it has increasingly opened up to concerns with relevance, participation, and interdisciplinary inquiry. We consider how this transition has been experienced through the analysis of oral histories conducted with marine scientists, looking at the changes they have seen to their role as scientists and to the practice of doing science at the interface of knowledge production and policy. In particular, we examine scientists’ ideas about and experiences of collaboration, public responsibility, freedom and politics in science, diversity and outreach, involvement, and relevance to society. In so doing, we explore the implications of the co-production of science and policy as traditional domain boundaries are increasingly problematized.
Life for many of the world’s marine fish begins at the ocean surface. Ocean conditions dictate food availability and govern survivorship, yet little is known about the habitat preferences of larval fish during this highly vulnerable life-history stage. Here we show that surface slicks, a ubiquitous coastal ocean convergence feature, are important nurseries for larval fish from many ocean habitats at ecosystem scales. Slicks had higher densities of marine phytoplankton (1.7-fold), zooplankton (larval fish prey; 3.7-fold), and larval fish (8.1-fold) than nearby ambient waters across our study region in Hawai‘i. Slicks contained larger, more well-developed individuals with competent swimming abilities compared to ambient waters, suggesting a physiological benefit to increased prey resources. Slicks also disproportionately accumulated prey-size plastics, resulting in a 60-fold higher ratio of plastics to larval fish prey than nearby waters. Dissections of hundreds of larval fish found that 8.6% of individuals in slicks had ingested plastics, a 2.3-fold higher occurrence than larval fish from ambient waters. Plastics were found in 7 of 8 families dissected, including swordfish (Xiphiidae), a commercially targeted species, and flying fish (Exocoetidae), a principal prey item for tuna and seabirds. Scaling up across an ∼1,000 km2 coastal ecosystem in Hawai‘i revealed slicks occupied only 8.3% of ocean surface habitat but contained 42.3% of all neustonic larval fish and 91.8% of all floating plastics. The ingestion of plastics by larval fish could reduce survivorship, compounding threats to fisheries productivity posed by overfishing, climate change, and habitat loss.
Biological invasions are one of the leading causes of biodiversity loss worldwide. Given that eradication of invasive species is not usually a practical option, conservationists may attempt to limit their impacts through the designation and management of protected areas. Here, we investigate the effect of marine protected areas on the habitat suitability of an invasive species, the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus). By modelling its environmental niche space in the Baltic Sea, we demonstrated that gobies prefer shallow, warmer waters, sheltered from significant wave action. They are more likely to be found near areas of intense shipping, this being their primary method of long-distance dispersal. Comparison of the goby's occurrences inside/outside protected areas indicated that suitable habitats within protected areas are more resistant to the round goby's invasion compared to adjacent unprotected areas, however the opposite is true for suboptimal habitats. This has important ecosystem management implications with marine conservation areas providing mitigation measures to control the spread of round goby in its optimal habitats in the Baltic Sea environment. Being subjected to reduced human impacts, native species within protected areas may be more numerous and diverse, helping to resist invasive species incursion.
Eco-engineering and the installation of green infrastructure such as artificial floating islands (AFIs), are novel techniques used to support biodiversity. The European Convention on Biological Diversity highlighted the development of green infrastructure as a key method of enhancement in degraded habitats. Research specifically on AFIs in marine environments has largely focused on their ecological functioning role and engineering outcomes, with little consideration for the social benefits or concerns. The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of public perception of coastal habitat loss in the UK and AFIs as a method of habitat creation in coastal environments. This was achieved via a survey, consisting of six closed and two open questions. Of the 200 respondents, 94.5% were concerned about the loss of coastal habitats in the UK, but less than a third were aware of habitat restoration or creation projects in their area of residence. There was a positive correlation between proximity of residency to the coast and knowledge of habitat restoration or creation projects. The majority of the respondents understood the ecological functioning role of AFIs and 62% would preferably want successful plant growth and avian species utilising the AFI. Nearly a third of the respondents had concerns about AFI installations, such as the degradation of the plastic matrix, long term maintenance and disturbance of native species. Despite 90.9% of the respondents supporting the installation of AFIs, the concerns of the public must be addressed during the planning stages of any habitat creation project.
Most assessments of coastal vulnerability are undertaken from the perspective of the risk posed to humans, their property and activities. This anthropocentric view is based on widespread public perception (a) that coastal change is primarily a hazard to property and infrastructure and (b) that sea defences (whether soft or hard) are required to mitigate and eliminate coastal hazards. From the perspective of coastal ecosystems such a view is both perverse and damaging. In this paper we present an alternative approach to coastal assessment that centres on the physical integrity of the coast and its associated ecosystems both now and in the near-future. The shoreline health approach represents a new paradigm for coastal management and is intended to provide a much-needed ecosystem perspective. Its premise is to categorize coasts on the degree to which their ability to function morphodynamically has been compromised by human intervention. We present an expert assessment approach involving five categories that range from "Good Heath" (with "Heath Warning" and "Minor Wounds" sub-divisions), through "Minor Injury", "Major Injury", "On Life Support" to "Deceased". We illustrate the concept using tabulated examples of each category from cliffed, clastic and delta coasts and demonstrate its utility through two applications. This approach has the potential to quantify the degree to which coastal ecosystems have been damaged and to focus attention on the cumulative impact of human activities on coastal ecosystems.
Globally increasing sea surface temperatures threaten coral reefs, both directly and through interactions with local stressors. More resilient reefs have a higher likelihood of returning to a coral-dominated state following a disturbance, such as a mass bleaching event. To advance practical approaches to reef resilience assessments and aid resilience-based management of coral reefs, we conducted a resilience assessment for Puerto Rico’s coral reefs, modified from methods used in other U.S. jurisdictions. We calculated relative resilience scores for 103 sites from an existing commonwealth-wide survey using eight resilience indicators—such as coral diversity, macroalgae percent cover, and herbivorous fish biomass—and assessed which indicators most drove resilience. We found that sites of very different relative resilience were generally highly spatially intermixed, underscoring the importance and necessity of decision making and management at fine scales. In combination with information on levels of two localized stressors (fishing pressure and pollution exposure), we used the resilience indicators to assess which of seven potential management actions could be used at each site to maintain or improve resilience. Fishery management was the management action that applied to the most sites. Furthermore, we combined sites’ resilience scores with projected ocean warming to assign sites to vulnerability categories. Island-wide or community-level managers can use the actions and vulnerability information as a starting point for resilience-based management of their reefs. This assessment differs from many previous ones because we tested how much information could be yielded by a “desktop” assessment using freely-available, existing data rather than from a customized, resilience-focused field survey. The available data still permitted analyses comparable to previous assessments, demonstrating that desktop resilience assessments can substitute for assessments with field components under some circumstances.
Strategies to reduce, halt, and reverse global declines in marine biodiversity are needed urgently. We reviewed, coded, and synthesized historical and contemporary marine conservation strategies of the Kitasoo/Xai'xais First Nation in British Columbia, Canada, to show how their approaches work. We assessed whether the conservation actions classification system by the Conservation Measures Partnership was able to encompass this nation's conservation approaches. All first‐order conservation actions aligned with the Kitasoo/Xai'xais First Nation's historical and contemporary marine conservation actions; hereditary chief management responsibility played a key role. A conservation ethic permeates Kitasoo/Xai'xais culture, and indigenous resource management and conservation existed historically and remains strong despite extreme efforts by colonizers to suppress all indigenous practices. The Kitasoo/Xai'xais's embodiment of conservation actions as part of their worldview, rather than as requiring actions separate from everyday life (the norm in nonindigenous cultures), was missing from the conservation action classification system. The Kitasoo/Xai'xais are one of many indigenous peoples working to revitalize their governance and management authorities. With the Canadian government's declared willingness to work toward reconciliation, there is an opportunity to enable First Nations to lead on marine and other conservation efforts. Global conservation efforts would also benefit from enhanced support for indigenous conservation approaches, including expanding the conservation actions classification to encompass a new category of conservation or sacredness ethic.
Macroalgal communities have an essential role in the shallow benthic habitats of temperate seas, where changes in their composition can resonate through entire coastal ecosystems. As all major ecosystems on Earth, algal beds have already been affected by multiple disturbances. Passive conservation tools, such as marine protected areas or No-take zones, have the potential to reduce some of the anthropogenic impacts by limiting human activity. However, without a good knowledge of the natural community dynamics, it is not easy to discern between changes fruit of the intrinsic variability of biological communities and the ones caused by human-related stressors. In this study, we evaluated the natural variability of macroalgal communities' composition inside and outside a Mediterranean No-Take marine reserve during 15 years. We described their temporal dynamics considering their main drivers and we tested the effect of protection in seaweed beds. We did not find differences either in the composition of the macroalgal assemblages or the total algal cover between protected and non-protected locations over the fifteen years of study. Nevertheless, we observed a positive effect of the protection increasing the cover of some specific species, such as the canopy-forming Treptacantha elegans. Our results highlight the importance of obtaining long-term data in ecological studies to better understand the natural variability of marine communities. Accordingly, a robust understanding of the community dynamics would help us to avoid misinterpretations between ‘impacted’ or ‘in-recovery’ communities when recovery times are longer than the study periods.
Integrated approaches to engage coastal communities in management are urgently needed to address coastal change and associated uncertainty. Towards this aim, understanding the complex relationships between coastal well-being and ecosystem services provides a foundation for a range of management and governance interventions. While these relationships are considered in a growing number of case-based studies, the complexity of these linkages has not been comprehensively assessed. We use a systematic review protocol of 50 articles published between 2008 and 2018 to assess the evidence about the interplay among coastal well-being and ecosystem services. We find that empirical research has fallen behind theoretical development in five key areas: 1) geographic diversity; 2) disaggregated data; 3) temporal dynamics; 4) co-production, and; 5) uncertainty of outcomes. We highlight these gaps as frontiers for interdisciplinary coastal well-being and ecosystem service research. Together, the five frontiers chart a potential new research agenda for coastal well-being and ecosystem services research, namely one that involves more cases and authors from the Global South, that explicitly explores social differentiation and changes overtime, that is collaborative from the start, and that engages empirically with the complexity and uncertainty of well-being-ecosystem service interactions and their implications for enhancing management. Our proposed agenda is vital to inform management that effectively supports the health and sustainability of coastal social-ecological systems.
The US Northeast is vulnerable to ocean and coastal acidification because of low alkalinity freshwater discharge that naturally acidifies the region, and high anthropogenic nutrient loads that lead to eutrophication in many estuaries. This study describes a combined nutrient and carbonate chemistry monitoring program in 5 embayments of Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts to quantify the effects of nutrient loading and freshwater discharge on aragonite saturation state (Ω). Monitoring occurred monthly from June 2015 – September 2017 with higher frequency at two embayments (Quissett and West Falmouth Harbors) and across nitrogen loading and freshwater discharge gradients. The more eutrophic stations experienced seasonal aragonite undersaturation, and at one site, nearly every measurement collected was undersaturated. We present an analytical framework to decompose variability in aragonite Ω into components driven by temperature, salinity, freshwater endmember mixing, and biogeochemical processes. We observed strong correlations between apparent oxygen utilization and the portion of aragonite Ω variation that we attribute to biogeochemistry. The regression slopes were consistent with Redfield ratios of dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity to dissolved oxygen. Total nitrogen and the contribution of biogeochemical processes to aragonite Ω were highly correlated, and this relationship was used to estimate the likely effects of nitrogen loading improvements on aragonite Ω. Under nitrogen loading reduction scenarios, aragonite Ω in the most eutrophic estuaries could be raised by nearly 0.6 units, potentially increasing several stations above the critical threshold of 1. This analysis provides a quantitative framework for incorporating ocean and coastal acidification impacts into regulatory and management discussions.
Global urbanization and plastic pollution has increased the availability and variety of substrates for sessile organisms, and are intensively used by invasive species for settlement. Despite extensive literature describing the strong association between artificial structures and invasive species, little effort has been directed towards identifying the larval traits that favor this selection. Larval selection and settlement are crucial as larvae actively search and interpret environmental cues to identify suitable habitats to settle. The aim of this research was to investigate if invertebrate larvae have a preference for a particular anthropogenic substrate, and how pre-settlement behaviors vary when encountering different substrates. We used two invasive bryozoan species, Bugula flabellata and Bugula neritina, which are commonly found in urbanized areas around the world. Energy expenditure during planktonic and benthonic stages, pre-settlement swimming/exploring behaviors, settlement and larval selectivity were quantified under laboratory conditions on different substrates (concrete, wood, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene terephthalate and polycarbonate). The energy expenditure measured was higher in planktonic larvae than in early settled larvae. Larvae of both species swam less and explored more when exposed to plastic surfaces, suggesting a preference for this substrate and resulting in lower energy expenditures associated with searching for habitat. Larvae actively chose to settle on plastics rather than on wood or concrete substrates. The results suggest that for Bugula larvae, the likelihood of colonizing plastic surfaces is higher than other materials commonly found in urbanized coastal areas. The more quickly they adhere to artificial substrates the lower the energy expenditure, contributing to higher fitness in these individuals. The strong preference of invertebrate larvae for plastics can potentially extend the distribution range of many invasive marine species as they are able to travel long distances attached to floating debris. This phenomenon will likely exacerbate the introduction of exotic species into novel habitats.