ResearchPad - coasts https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Two new sponge species (Demospongiae: Chalinidae and Suberitidae) isolated from hyperarid mangroves of Qatar with notes on their potential antibacterial bioactivity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14508 This study presents the taxonomic description of two new sponge species that are intimately associated with the hyperarid mangrove ecosystem of Qatar. The study includes a preliminary evaluation of the sponges’ potential bioactivity against pathogens. Chalinula qatari sp. nov. is a fragile thinly encrusting sponge with a vivid maroon colour in life, often with oscular chimneys and commonly recorded on pneumatophores in the intertidal and shallow subtidal zone. Suberites luna sp. nov. is a massive globular-lobate sponge with a greenish-black colour externally and a yellowish orange colour internally, recorded on pneumatophores in the shallow subtidal zone, with large specimens near the seagrass ecosystem that surrounds the mangrove. For both species, a drug extraction protocol and an antibacterial experiment was performed. The extract of Suberites luna sp. nov. was found to be bioactive against recognized pathogens such as Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis, but no bioactive activity was recorded for Chalinula qatari sp. nov. This study highlights the importance of increasing bioprospecting effort in hyperarid conditions and the importance of combining bioprospecting with taxonomic studies for the identification of novel marine drugs.

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<![CDATA[Tropicalization of the barrier islands of the northern Gulf of Mexico: A comparison of herbivory and decomposition rates between smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) and black mangrove (Avicennia germinans)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d0131d5eed0c484039154

The expansion of black mangrove Avicennia germinans into historically smooth cordgrass Spartina alterniflora-dominated marshes with warming temperatures heralds the migration of the marsh-mangrove ecotone northward in the northern Gulf of Mexico. With this shift, A. germinans is expected to outcompete S. alterniflora where it is able to establish, offering another prevalent food source to first order consumers. In this study, we find A. germinans leaves to be preferable to chewing herbivores, but simultaneously, chewing herbivores cause more damage to S. alterniflora leaves. Despite higher nitrogen content, A. germinans leaves decomposed slower than S. alterniflora leaves, perhaps due to other leaf constituents or a different microbial community. Other studies have found the opposite in decomposition rates of the two species’ leaf tissue. This study provides insights into basic trophic process, herbivory and decomposition, at the initial stages of black mangrove colonization into S. alterniflora salt marsh.

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<![CDATA[Mangroves in the Galapagos islands: Distribution and dynamics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5bdd5eed0c484ca7fa4

Mangrove forests provide valuable coastal protection from erosion, habitat for terrestrial and marine species, nursery grounds for commercial fisheries and are economically important for tourism. Galapagos’ mangroves usually grow directly on solid lava and fragmented rocky shores, thereby stabilizing the sediment and facilitating colonisation by other plants and many animals. However, until very recently, only inaccurate data described mangrove coverage and its distribution. We mapped mangroves using freely available Google Earth Very High Resolution images based on on-screen classification and compared this method to three semi-automatic classification algorithms. We also analysed mangrove change for the period 2004–2014. We obtained an area of 3657.1 ha of fringing mangrove that covers 35% of the coastline. Eighty percent of mangrove cover is found in Isabela island, and 90% in the western and central south-eastern bioregions. The overall accuracy of mangrove classification was 99.1% with a Kappa coefficient of 0.97 when validated with field data. On-screen digitization was significantly more accurate than other tested methods. From the semi-automated methods, Maximum Likelihood Classification with prior land-sea segmentation yielded the best results. During the 2004–2014 period, mangrove coverage increased 24% mainly by expansion of existing mangroves patches as opposed to generation of new patches. We estimate that mangrove cover and growth are inversely proportional to the geological age of the islands. However, many other factors like nutrients, currents or wave exposure protection might explain this pattern. The precise localization of mangrove cover across the Galapagos islands now enables documenting whether it is changing over time.

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<![CDATA[What are the sympatric mechanisms for three species of terrestrial hermit crab (Coenobita rugosus, C. brevimanus, and C. cavipes) in coastal forests?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ab82cd5eed0c484026fe2

Terrestrial hermit crabs play a significant role in coastal ecology. For example, as seed dispersers and debris scavengers in coastal forests, they accelerate the decomposition of organic substances. In the Indo-Pacific Ocean, Coenobita rugosus, C. brevimanus, and C. cavipes are the three most common species of terrestrial hermit crab. Because the mechanisms that contribute to the sympatry of these three species of crab have not been identified, this study investigated the three most likely explanations: niche differences, competition, and predation. The results showed that the three species displayed niche differences in terms of seasonal activity, habitat, utilization of shells, and food preference, suggesting that competition for resources is avoided. The habitat of terrestrial hermit crabs in Taiwan is closely associated with that of humans. Our study helps improve our understanding of the ecology of terrestrial hermit crabs and their conservation.

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<![CDATA[A Critical Assessment of Marine Aquarist Biodiversity Data and Commercial Aquaculture: Identifying Gaps in Culture Initiatives to Inform Local Fisheries Managers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da2cab0ee8fa60b82cfd

It is widely accepted that if well managed, the marine aquarium trade could provide socio-economic stability to local communities while incentivising the maintenance of coral reefs. However, the trade has also been implicated as having potentially widespread environmental impacts that has in part driven developments in aquaculture to relieve wild collection pressures. This study investigates the biodiversity in hobbyist aquaria (using an online survey) and those species currently available from an aquaculture source (commercial data and hobbyist initiatives) in the context of a traffic light system to highlight gaps in aquaculture effort and identify groups that require fisheries assessments. Two hundred and sixty nine species including clown fish, damsels, dotty backs, angelfish, gobies, sea horses and blennies, have reported breeding successes by hobbyists, a pattern mirrored by the European and US commercial organisations. However, there is a mismatch (high demand and low/non-existent aquaculture) for a number of groups including tangs, starfish, anemones and hermit crabs, which we recommend are priority candidates for local stock assessments. Hobbyist perception towards the concept of a sustainable aquarium trade is also explored with results demonstrating that only 40% of respondents were in agreement with industry and scientists who believe the trade could be an exemplar of a sustainable use of coral reefs. We believe that a more transparent evidence base, including the publication of the species collected and cultured, will go some way to align the concept of a sustainable trade across industry stakeholders and better inform the hobbyist when purchasing their aquaria stock. We conclude by proposing that a certification scheme established with government support is the most effective way to move towards a self-regulating industry. It would prevent industry “greenwashing” from multiple certification schemes, alleviate conservation concerns, and, ultimately, support aquaculture initiatives alongside well managed ornamental fisheries.

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<![CDATA[Distribution, Fraction, and Ecological Assessment of Heavy Metals in Sediment-Plant System in Mangrove Forest, South China Sea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db41ab0ee8fa60bd6f4c

Overlying water, sediment, rhizosphere sediment and mangrove seedlings in the Futian mangrove forest were analyzed for heavy metals. The results showed that mangrove plant acidified sediment and increased organic matter contents. Except for chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni) and copper (Cu) in Aegiceras corniculatum sediment, heavy metals in all sediments were higher than in overlying water, rhizosphere sediment and mangrove root. Heavy metals in Avicennia marina sediments were higher than other sediments. The lower heavy metal biological concentration factors (BCFs) and translocation factors (TFs) indicated that mangrove plant adopted exclusion strategy. The geo-accumulation index, potential ecological risk index and risk assessment code (RAC) demonstrated that heavy metals have posed a considerable ecological risk, especially for cadmium (Cd). Heavy metals (Cr, Ni, Cu and Cd) mainly existed in the reducible fractions. These findings provide actual heavy metal accumulations in sediment-plant ecosystems in mangrove forest, being important in designing the long-term management and conservation policies for managers of mangrove forest.

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<![CDATA[Efficient target control of complex networks based on preferential matching]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc286

Controlling a complex network towards a desired state is of great importance in many applications. Existing works present an approximate algorithm to find the input nodes used to control partial nodes of the network. However, the input nodes obtained by this algorithm depend on the node matching order and cannot achieve optimum results. Here we present a novel algorithm to find the input nodes for target control based on preferential matching. The algorithm elaborately arranges the matching order of the nodes to reduce the size of the input node set. The results on both synthetic and real networks indicate that the proposed algorithm outperforms the previous algorithm.

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<![CDATA[The Crowded Sea: Incorporating Multiple Marine Activities in Conservation Plans Can Significantly Alter Spatial Priorities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daccab0ee8fa60bb4a00

Successful implementation of marine conservation plans is largely inhibited by inadequate consideration of the broader social and economic context within which conservation operates. Marine waters and their biodiversity are shared by a host of stakeholders, such as commercial fishers, recreational users and offshore developers. Hence, to improve implementation success of conservation plans, we must incorporate other marine activities while explicitly examining trade-offs that may be required. In this study, we test how the inclusion of multiple marine activities can shape conservation plans. We used the entire Mediterranean territorial waters of Israel as a case study to compare four planning scenarios with increasing levels of complexity, where additional zones, threats and activities were added (e.g., commercial fisheries, hydrocarbon exploration interests, aquaculture, and shipping lanes). We applied the marine zoning decision support tool Marxan to each planning scenario and tested a) the ability of each scenario to reach biodiversity targets, b) the change in opportunity cost and c) the alteration of spatial conservation priorities. We found that by including increasing numbers of marine activities and zones in the planning process, greater compromises are required to reach conservation objectives. Complex plans with more activities incurred greater opportunity cost and did not reach biodiversity targets as easily as simplified plans with less marine activities. We discovered that including hydrocarbon data in the planning process significantly alters spatial priorities. For the territorial waters of Israel we found that in order to protect at least 10% of the range of 166 marine biodiversity features there would be a loss of ∼15% of annual commercial fishery revenue and ∼5% of prospective hydrocarbon revenue. This case study follows an illustrated framework for adopting a transparent systematic process to balance biodiversity goals and economic considerations within a country's territorial waters.

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<![CDATA[Diatom Cell Size, Coloniality and Motility: Trade-Offs between Temperature, Salinity and Nutrient Supply with Climate Change]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0fab0ee8fa60b790d9

Reduction in body size has been proposed as a universal response of organisms, both to warming and to decreased salinity. However, it is still controversial if size reduction is caused by temperature or salinity on their own, or if other factors interfere as well. We used natural benthic diatom communities to explore how “body size” (cells and colonies) and motility change along temperature (2–26°C) and salinity (0.5–7.8) gradients in the brackish Baltic Sea. Fourth-corner analysis confirmed that small cell and colony sizes were associated with high temperature in summer. Average community cell volume decreased linearly with 2.2% per °C. However, cells were larger with artificial warming when nutrient concentrations were high in the cold season. Average community cell volume increased by 5.2% per °C of artificial warming from 0 to 8.5°C and simultaneously there was a selection for motility, which probably helped to optimize growth rates by trade-offs between nutrient supply and irradiation. Along the Baltic Sea salinity gradient cell size decreased with decreasing salinity, apparently mediated by nutrient stoichiometry. Altogether, our results suggest that climate change in this century may polarize seasonality by creating two new niches, with elevated temperature at high nutrient concentrations in the cold season (increasing cell size) and elevated temperature at low nutrient concentrations in the warm season (decreasing cell size). Higher temperature in summer and lower salinity by increased land-runoff are expected to decrease the average cell size of primary producers, which is likely to affect the transfer of energy to higher trophic levels.

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<![CDATA[Sediment Composition Influences Spatial Variation in the Abundance of Human Pathogen Indicator Bacteria within an Estuarine Environment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db48ab0ee8fa60bd94fc

Faecal contamination of estuarine and coastal waters can pose a risk to human health, particularly in areas used for shellfish production or recreation. Routine microbiological water quality testing highlights areas of faecal indicator bacteria (FIB) contamination within the water column, but fails to consider the abundance of FIB in sediments, which under certain hydrodynamic conditions can become resuspended. Sediments can enhance the survival of FIB in estuarine environments, but the influence of sediment composition on the ecology and abundance of FIB is poorly understood. To determine the relationship between sediment composition (grain size and organic matter) and the abundance of pathogen indicator bacteria (PIB), sediments were collected from four transverse transects of the Conwy estuary, UK. The abundance of culturable Escherichia coli, total coliforms, enterococci, Campylobacter, Salmonella and Vibrio spp. in sediments was determined in relation to sediment grain size, organic matter content, salinity, depth and temperature. Sediments that contained higher proportions of silt and/or clay and associated organic matter content showed significant positive correlations with the abundance of PIB. Furthermore, the abundance of each bacterial group was positively correlated with the presence of all other groups enumerated. Campylobacter spp. were not isolated from estuarine sediments. Comparisons of the number of culturable E. coli, total coliforms and Vibrio spp. in sediments and the water column revealed that their abundance was 281, 433 and 58-fold greater in sediments (colony forming units (CFU)/100 g) when compared with the water column (CFU/100 ml), respectively. These data provide important insights into sediment compositions that promote the abundance of PIB in estuarine environments, with important implications for the modelling and prediction of public health risk based on sediment resuspension and transport.

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<![CDATA[Prioritising Mangrove Ecosystem Services Results in Spatially Variable Management Priorities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4dab0ee8fa60bdb19c

Incorporating the values of the services that ecosystems provide into decision making is becoming increasingly common in nature conservation and resource management policies, both locally and globally. Yet with limited funds for conservation of threatened species and ecosystems there is a desire to identify priority areas where investment efficiently conserves multiple ecosystem services. We mapped four mangrove ecosystems services (coastal protection, fisheries, biodiversity, and carbon storage) across Fiji. Using a cost-effectiveness analysis, we prioritised mangrove areas for each service, where the effectiveness was a function of the benefits provided to the local communities, and the costs were associated with restricting specific uses of mangroves. We demonstrate that, although priority mangrove areas (top 20%) for each service can be managed at relatively low opportunity costs (ranging from 4.5 to 11.3% of overall opportunity costs), prioritising for a single service yields relatively low co-benefits due to limited geographical overlap with priority areas for other services. None-the-less, prioritisation of mangrove areas provides greater overlap of benefits than if sites were selected randomly for most ecosystem services. We discuss deficiencies in the mapping of ecosystems services in data poor regions and how this may impact upon the equity of managing mangroves for particular services across the urban-rural divide in developing countries. Finally we discuss how our maps may aid decision-makers to direct funding for mangrove management from various sources to localities that best meet funding objectives, as well as how this knowledge can aid in creating a national mangrove zoning scheme.

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<![CDATA[Contrasting Effects of Historical Sea Level Rise and Contemporary Ocean Currents on Regional Gene Flow of Rhizophora racemosa in Eastern Atlantic Mangroves]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da46ab0ee8fa60b8bd0c

Mangroves are seafaring taxa through their hydrochorous propagules that have the potential to disperse over long distances. Therefore, investigating their patterns of gene flow provides insights on the processes involved in the spatial genetic structuring of populations. The coastline of Cameroon has a particular geomorphological history and coastal hydrology with complex contemporary patterns of ocean currents, which we hypothesize to have effects on the spatial configuration and composition of present-day mangroves within its spans. A total of 982 trees were sampled from 33 transects (11 sites) in 4 estuaries. Using 11 polymorphic SSR markers, we investigated genetic diversity and structure of Rhizophora racemosa, a widespread species in the region. Genetic diversity was low to moderate and genetic differentiation between nearly all population pairs was significant. Bayesian clustering analysis, PCoA, estimates of contemporary migration rates and identification of barriers to gene flow were used and complemented with estimated dispersal trajectories of hourly released virtual propagules, using high-resolution surface current from a mesoscale and tide-resolving ocean simulation. These indicate that the Cameroon Volcanic Line (CVL) is not a present-day barrier to gene flow. Rather, the Inter-Bioko-Cameroon (IBC) corridor, formed due to sea level rise, allows for connectivity between two mangrove areas that were isolated during glacial times by the CVL. Genetic data and numerical ocean simulations indicated that an oceanic convergence zone near the Cameroon Estuary complex (CEC) presents a strong barrier to gene flow, resulting in genetic discontinuities between the mangrove areas on either side. This convergence did not result in higher genetic diversity at the CEC as we had hypothesized. In conclusion, the genetic structure of Rhizophora racemosa is maintained by the contrasting effects of the contemporary oceanic convergence and historical climate change-induced sea level rise.

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<![CDATA[Response of Thalassia Testudinum Morphometry and Distribution to Environmental Drivers in a Pristine Tropical Lagoon]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da40ab0ee8fa60b89b13

This study was undertaken to determine the relationships between the biomass, morphometry, and density of short shoots (SS) of the tropical seagrass Thalassia testudinum and the physical-environmental forcing in the region. Seasonal sampling surveys were undertaken four times in Bahia de la Ascension, a shallow estuary in the western Mexican Caribbean, to measure plant morphology and environmental variables. The estuary has a fresh water-influenced inner bay, a large central basin and a marine zone featuring a barrier reef at the seaward margin. Leaf size was positively correlated with increasing salinity, but total biomass was not, being similar across most of the sites. Aboveground biomass exhibited seasonal differences in dry and rainy seasons along the bay, most markedly in the brackish inner bay where an abrupt decline in biomass coincided with the rainy season. The relationship between nutrients and biomass indicates that the aboveground/belowground biomass ratio increases as nutrient availability increases. Areal cover was inversely correlated with SS density during both dry and rainy seasons. Maximum SS recruitment coincided with the rainy season. Peaks in SS density were recorded in the freshwater-influenced inner bay during an ENSO cold phase in 2007 (“La Niña”) which is associated with a wetter dry season and following a strong storm (Hurricane Dean). The onset of the rainy season influences both shoot density and T. testudinum biomass by controlling the freshwater input to the bay and thus, the system’s salinity gradient and external nutrients supply from the coastal wetland.

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<![CDATA[Interactions between Seagrass Complexity, Hydrodynamic Flow and Biomixing Alter Food Availability for Associated Filter-Feeding Organisms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db48ab0ee8fa60bd954b

Seagrass shoots interact with hydrodynamic forces and thereby a positively or negatively influence the survival of associated species. The modification of these forces indirectly alters the physical transport and flux of edible particles within seagrass meadows, which will influence the growth and survivorship of associated filter-feeding organisms. The present work contributes to gaining insight into the mechanisms controlling the availability of resources for filter feeders inhabiting seagrass canopies, both from physical (influenced by seagrass density and patchiness) and biological (regulated by filter feeder density) perspectives. A factorial experiment was conducted in a large racetrack flume, which combined changes in hydrodynamic conditions, chlorophyll a concentration in the water and food intake rate (FIR) in a model active filter-feeding organism (the cockle). Results showed that seagrass density and patchiness modified both hydrodynamic forces and availability of resources for filter feeders. Chlorophyll a water content decreased to 50% of the initial value when densities of both seagrass shoots and cockles were high. Also, filter feeder density controlled resource availability within seagrass patches, depending on its spatial position within the racetrack flume. Under high density of filter-feeding organisms, chlorophyll a levels were lower between patches. This suggests that the pumping activity of cockles (i.e. biomixing) is an emergent key factor affecting both resource availability and FIR for filter feeders in dense canopies. Applying our results to natural conditions, we suggest the existence of a direct correlation between habitat complexity (i.e. shoot density and degree of patchiness) and filter feeders density. Fragmented and low-density patches seem to offer both greater protection from hydrodynamic forces and higher resource availability. In denser patches, however, resources are allocated mostly within the canopy, which would benefit filter feeders if they occurred at low densities, but would be limiting when filter feeder were at high densities.

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<![CDATA[Carbon storage in the seagrass meadows of Gazi Bay, Kenya]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf6c0

Vegetated marine habitats are globally important carbon sinks, making a significant contribution towards mitigating climate change, and they provide a wide range of other ecosystem services. However, large gaps in knowledge remain, particularly for seagrass meadows in Africa. The present study estimated biomass and sediment organic carbon (Corg) stocks of four dominant seagrass species in Gazi Bay, Kenya. It compared sediment Corg between seagrass areas in vegetated and un-vegetated ‘controls’, using the naturally patchy occurence of seagrass at this site to test the impacts of seagrass growth on sediment Corg. It also explored relationships between the sediment and above-ground Corg, as well as between the total biomass and above-ground parameters. Sediment Corg was significantly different between species, range: 160.7–233.8 Mg C ha-1 (compared to the global range of 115.3 to 829.2 Mg C ha-1). Vegetated areas in all species had significantly higher sediment Corg compared with un-vegetated controls; the presence of seagrass increased Corg by 4–6 times. Biomass carbon differed significantly between species with means ranging between 4.8–7.1 Mg C ha-1 compared to the global range of 2.5–7.3 Mg C ha-1. To our knowledge, these are among the first results on seagrass sediment Corg to be reported from African seagrass beds; and contribute towards our understanding of the role of seagrass in global carbon dynamics.

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<![CDATA[Effects of Detrital Subsidies on Soft-Sediment Ecosystem Function Are Transient and Source-Dependent]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf3ab0ee8fa60bc1ffd

Detrital subsidies from marine macrophytes are prevalent in temperate estuaries, and their role in structuring benthic macrofaunal communities is well documented, but the resulting impact on ecosystem function is not understood. We conducted a field experiment to test the effects of detrital decay on soft-sediment primary production, community metabolism and nutrient regeneration (measures of ecosystem function). Twenty four (2 m2) plots were established on an intertidal sandflat, to which we added 0 or 220 g DW m-2 of detritus from either mangroves (Avicennia marina), seagrass (Zostera muelleri), or kelp (Ecklonia radiata) (n = 6 plots per treatment). Then, after 4, 17 and 46 d we measured ecosystem function, macrofaunal community structure and sediment properties. We hypothesized that (1) detrital decay would stimulate benthic primary production either by supplying nutrients to the benthic macrophytes, or by altering the macrofaunal community; and (2) ecosystem responses would depend on the stage and rate of macrophyte decay (a function of source). Avicennia detritus decayed the slowest with a half-life (t50) of 46 d, while Zostera and Ecklonia had t50 values of 28 and 2.6 d, respectively. However, ecosystem responses were not related to these differences. Instead, we found transient effects (up to 17 d) of Avicennia and Ecklonia detritus on benthic primary production, where initially (4 d) these detrital sources suppressed primary production, but after 17 d, primary production was stimulated in Avicennia plots relative to controls. Other ecosystem function response variables and the macrofaunal community composition were not altered by the addition of detritus, but did vary with time. By sampling ecosystem function temporally, we were able to capture the in situ transient effects of detrital subsidies on important benthic ecosystem functions.

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<![CDATA[Influence of Coastal Upwelling on SST Trends along the South Coast of Java]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa2ab0ee8fa60ba65e5

The south coast of Java has warmed at a much lower rate than adjacent ocean locations over the last three decades (1982–2015). This behavior can be observed during the upwelling season (July-October) and it is especially patent in August and September when upwelling attains the highest values. Although different warming rates (ocean-coast) had been previously observed in other areas around the world, this behavior was always linked to situations where upwelling increased or remained unchanged. South Java warming is observed at ocean locations and cooling near shore but under a scenario of decreasing upwelling (~30% in some cases). The origin of coastal cooling is due to changes in the vertical structure of the water column. A vein of subsurface water, which has cooled at a rate higher than 0.3°C per decade, is observed to enter from the northwestern part of the study area following the South Java Current. This water only manifests at surface near coast, where it is pumped up by coastal upwelling.

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<![CDATA[Ecosystem Service Valuations of Mangrove Ecosystems to Inform Decision Making and Future Valuation Exercises]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db14ab0ee8fa60bccc11

The valuation of ecosystem services is a complex process as it includes several dimensions (ecological, socio-cultural and economic) and not all of these can be quantified in monetary units. The aim of this paper is to conduct an ecosystem services valuation study for mangroves ecosystems, the results of which can be used to inform governance and management of mangroves. We used an expert-based participatory approach (the Delphi technique) to identify, categorize and rank the various ecosystem services provided by mangrove ecosystems at a global scale. Subsequently we looked for evidence in the existing ecosystem services literature for monetary valuations of these ecosystem service categories throughout the biogeographic distribution of mangroves. We then compared the relative ranking of ecosystem service categories between the monetary valuations and the expert based analysis. The experts identified 16 ecosystem service categories, six of which are not adequately represented in the literature. There was no significant correlation between the expert based valuation (the Delphi technique) and the economic valuation, indicating that the scope of valuation of ecosystem services needs to be broadened. Acknowledging this diversity in different valuation approaches, and developing methodological frameworks that foster the pluralism of values in ecosystem services research, are crucial for maintaining the credibility of ecosystem services valuation. To conclude, we use the findings of our dual approach to valuation to make recommendations on how to assess and manage the ecosystem services provided by mangrove ecosystems.

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<![CDATA[Inoculum composition determines microbial community and function in an anaerobic sequential batch reactor]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcac8

The sustainable recovery of resources from wastewater streams can provide many social and environmental benefits. A common strategy to recover valuable resources from wastewater is to harness the products of fermentation by complex microbial communities. In these fermentation bioreactors high microbial community diversity within the inoculum source is commonly assumed as sufficient for the selection of a functional microbial community. However, variability of the product profile obtained from these bioreactors is a persistent challenge in this field. In an attempt to address this variability, the impact of inoculum on the microbial community structure and function within the bioreactor was evaluated using controlled laboratory experiments. In the course of this work, sequential batch reactors were inoculated with three complex microbial inocula and the chemical and microbial compositions were monitored by HPLC and 16S rRNA amplicon analysis, respectively. Microbial community dynamics and chemical profiles were found to be distinct to initial inoculate and highly reproducible. Additionally we found that the generation of a complex volatile fatty acid profile was not specific to the diversity of the initial microbial inoculum. Our results suggest that the composition of the original inoculum predictably contributes to bioreactor community structure and function.

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<![CDATA[The Contribution of Nearshore Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) to Food Security and Livelihoods in Solomon Islands]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0fab0ee8fa60b79104

Fish aggregating devices, or FADs, are used widely in developing countries to concentrate pelagic fish, making them easier to catch. Nearshore FADs anchored close to the coast allow access for rural communities, but despite their popularity among policy makers, there is a dearth of empirical analysis of their contributions to the supply of fish and to fisheries management. In this paper we demonstrate that nearshore FADs increased the supply of fish to four communities in Solomon Islands. Estimated total annual fish catch ranged from 4300 to 12 000 kg across the study villages, with nearshore FADs contributing up to 45% of the catch. While it is clear that FADs increased the supply of fish, FAD catch rates were not consistently higher than other fishing grounds. Villages with limited access to diverse or productive fishing grounds seemingly utilized FADs to better effect. Villagers believed FADs increased household income and nutrition, as well as providing a source of fish for community events. FADs were also perceived to increase intra-household conflict and reduce fishers' participation in community activities. FADs need to be placed within a broader rural development context and treated as another component in the diversified livelihoods of rural people; as with other livelihood options they bring trade-offs and risks.

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