ResearchPad - crabs https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Ontogenetic changes in energetic reserves, digestive enzymes, amino acid and energy content of <i>Lithodes santolla</i> (Anomura: Lithodidae): Baseline for culture]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14500 The southern king crab (SKC) Lithodes santolla is an important commercial species in southern South America. Fishing pressure has caused the deterioration of its stocks. Currently, culture techniques are being developed for producing SKC juveniles to enhance the natural population and to recover the fishing stock. Therefore, it is necessary to know about physiology, energetic and nutritional requirements for SKC maintenance in hatchery. Thus, this study aims to evaluate the biochemical and physiological changes in the midgut gland, muscle and hemolymph of juveniles, pre-adults and adults of wild SKC. The energetic reserves, digestive enzymes activity, amino acid profile and energy were quantified in twelve juveniles, ten pre-adult, and ten adult crabs. Juveniles showed high glycogen and low lipids in the midgut gland, and low proteins and low lactate in muscle. In the hemolymph, juveniles had high lipids. Pre-adults had high glycogen and lipids in the midgut gland, and both high protein and lactate in muscle. In the hemolymph, pre-adults had high lipids. Adults had low glycogen and high lipids in midgut gland, and both high proteins and high lactate in muscle. In hemolymph, adults had high glucose and lactate. Juveniles and pre-adults had high proteinase activity, whereas adults had high lipase activity. Major essential amino acids of SKC were arginine, methionine, and tryptophan, and the non-essential amino acids were glycine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid. On another hand, SKC had similar energy in the midgut gland and muscle, regardless of the ontogenetic stage. Moreover, we demonstrated that the biochemical energy calculation underestimates the actual measured values by a calorimeter. Thus, our results help to understand the physiological changes, energetic and nutritional requirements of L. santolla, and this study is a baseline for research on diet formulation for maintaining this species under culture conditions.

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<![CDATA[Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals osmotic-regulated genes in the gill of Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f75ad5eed0c484385f57

Salinity is one of the most important abiotic factors directly affecting the reproduction, molting, growth, immune, physiological and metabolic activities of Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis). This species has strong osmoregulatory capacity and can maintain stringent internal homeostasis. However, the mechanisms conferring tolerance to salinity fluctuations are not well understood. To reveal the genes and pathways involved in osmoregulation, adult male crabs (body weight = 110 ± 5 g) were acclimated for 144 h in freshwater (FW, 0 ppt) or seawater (SW, 25 ppt). Changes in the transcriptome of crab gills were then analysed by RNA-Seq, and 174,903 unigenes were obtained. Comparison of genes between FW- SW-acclimated groups identified 932 genes that were significantly differentially expressed in the gill, comprising 433 and 499 up- and downregulated transcripts. Gene Ontology functional enrichment analysis revealed that important biological processes related to salt stress were significantly enriched, including energy metabolism, ion transport, signal transduction and antioxidant activity. Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes enrichment analysis mapped the differentially expressed genes to 241 specific metabolic pathways, and pathways related to energy metabolism, oxidative phosphorylation and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA)/citrate cycle were significantly enriched. Salinity stress altered the expression of many enzymes involved in energy metabolism, ion transport, signal transduction and antioxidant pathways, including citrate synthase (CS), Na+/K+-ATPase (NKA), Na+-K+-2Cl cotransporter-1 (NKCC1), dopamine receptor D1 (DRD1), synaptic binding protein 1 (STXBP1), Cu2+/Zn2+ superoxide dismutase (SOD1) and glutathione S-transferase (GST). Additionally, the obtained transcriptomic sequencing data provided a useful resource for identification of novel genes, and further physiological analysis of Chinese mitten crab.

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<![CDATA[The transcriptome sequencing and functional analysis of eyestalk ganglions in Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) treated with different photoperiods]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c7bd5eed0c484bd294c

Photoperiod plays an important role in individual growth, development, and metabolism in crustaceans. The growth and reproduction of crabs are closely related to the photoperiod. However, as of yet, there are still no transcriptomic reports of eyestalk ganglions treated under different photoperiods in the Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis), which is a benthonic crab with high commercial value in Asia. In this study, we collected the eyestalk ganglions of crabs that were reared under different photoperiods, including a control group (L: D = 12 h: 12 h, named CC), a constant light group (L: D = 24 h: 0 h, named LL) and a constant darkness group (L: D = 0 h: 24 h, named DD). RNA sequencing was performed on these tissues in order to examine the effects of different photoperiods. The total numbers of clean reads from the CC, LL and DD groups were 48,772,584 bp, 53,943,281 bp and 53,815,178 bp, respectively. After de novo assembly, 161,380 unigenes were obtained and were matched with different databases. The DEGs were significantly enriched in phototransduction and energy metabolism pathways. Results from RT-qPCR showed that TRP channel protein (TRP) in the phototransduction pathway had a significantly higher level of expression in LL and DD groups than in the CC group. We found that the downregulation of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) gene and the upregulation phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PPC) gene were involved in energy metabolism processes in LL or DD. In addition, we also found that the upregulation of the expression level of the genes Gαq, pyruvate kinase (PK), NADH peroxidase (NADH) and ATPase is involved in phototransduction and energy metabolism. These results may shed some light on the molecular mechanism underlying the effect of photoperiod in physiological activity of E. sinensis.

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<![CDATA[Individual and combined effects of low dissolved oxygen and low pH on survival of early stage larval blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141eded5eed0c484d289a2

A large number of coastal ecosystems globally are subjected to concurrent hypoxic and acidified conditions that will likely intensify and expand with continued climate change. In temperate regions, the spawning of many important organisms including the Atlantic blue crab Callinectes sapidus occurs during the summer months when the severity of coastal hypoxia and acidification is the greatest. While the blue crab earliest larval stage can be exposed to co-occurring hypoxia and acidification observed in many coastal ecosystems, the effects of these concurrent stressors on larval blue crab survival is unknown. This study investigated the individual and combined consequences of low dissolved oxygen (DO) and low pH on blue crab larvae survival through a series of short-term experiments. During 14-day experiments with moderately hypoxic conditions (117–127 μM O2 or 3.74–4.06 mg L-1) and acidified conditions (pH on total scale of 7.16–7.33), low DO and low pH individually and significantly reduced larval survival by 60% and 49%, respectively, with the combination of stressors reducing survival by 87% compared to the control treatment (210–269 μM O2 or 6.72–8.61 mg L-1, 7.91–7.94 DO and pH, respectively). During 4-day experiments with lower DO levels (68–83 μM O2 or 2.18–2.62 mg L-1) and comparable pH levels of 7.29–7.39, low DO individually reduced survival by >90% compared to the control (261–267 μM O2 or 8.35–8.54 mg L-1, 7.92–7.97 DO and pH, respectively), whereas low pH had no effect and there was no interaction between stressors. Over a 4-day period, the DO threshold at which 50% of the larval blue crab population died (LC50) was 121 μM O2 (3.86 mgL-1). In 14-day experiments, the DO and pH effects were additive, yielding survival rates lower than the individual treatments, and significantly correlated with DO and pH concentrations. Collectively, these findings indicate that blue crab sensitivity to both low DO and low pH are acute within the larval stage, depend on the intensity and duration of exposure, and leads to mortality, thereby potentially contributing to the interannual variability and possible regional declines of this fishery.

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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[Molecular characterization and tissue distribution of carnitine palmitoyltransferases in Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis and the effect of dietary fish oil replacement on their expression in the hepatopancreas]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b6d94be463d7e2f79286cc3

The carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT) family includes CPT 1 and CPT 2 that transport long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondrial compartment for β-oxidation. In this study, three isoforms (CPT 1α, CPT 1β and CPT 2) of the CPT family were cloned from Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) and their complete coding sequences (CDS) were obtained. Sequence analysis revealed deduced amino acid sequences of 915, 775 and 683 amino acids, respectively. Gene expression analysis revealed a broad tissue distribution for all three isoforms, with high CPT 1α and CPT 2 mRNA levels in the hepatopancreas of males and females. In males, CPT 1β was highly expressed in gill, heart, brain ganglia and muscle, while in females, CPT 1β-mRNA levels were relatively high in muscle, hepatopancreas and ovary tissue. The effects of dietary fish oil replacement on the expression of the three CPT isoforms in the hepatopancreas during gonadal development were investigated using five experimental diets formulated with replacement of 0, 25, 50, 75 and 100% fish oil by 1:1 rapeseed oil: soybean oil. The results showed that Diets 2# and 5# yielded higher CPT 1α and CPT 2 mRNA expression in males (P < 0.05), while in females, expression of all three CPT isoforms increased then declined in the hepatopancreas with increasing dietary fish oil replacement. The observed changes in CPT gene expression varied in different isoforms and gender, suggesting the three CPT genes might play different roles in fatty acid β-oxidation in E. sinensis.

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<![CDATA[High Connectivity among Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) Populations in the Western South Atlantic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f9ab0ee8fa60b71723

Population connectivity in the blue crab Callinectes sapidus was evaluated along 740 km of the Western South Atlantic coast. Blue crabs are the most exploited portunid in Brazil. Despite their economic importance, few studies report their ecology or population structure. Here we sampled four estuarine areas in southern Brazil during winter 2013 and summer 2014 in order to evaluate diversity, gene flow and structure of these populations. Nine microsatellite markers were evaluated for 213 adult crabs, with identification of seven polymorphic loci and 183 alleles. Pairwise FST values indicated low population structure ranging from -0.00023 to 0.01755. A Mantel test revealed that the geographic distance does not influence genetic (r = -0.48), and structure/migration rates confirmed this, showing that even the populations located at the opposite extremities of our covered region presented low FST and exchanged migrants. These findings show that there is a significant amount of gene flow between blue crab populations in South Brazil, likely influenced by local current dynamics that allow the transport of a high number of larvae between estuaries. Considering the elevated gene flow, the populations can be considered a single genetic stock. However, further information on population size and dynamics, as well as fishery demands and impacts at different regions, are necessary for harvest management purposes.

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<![CDATA[High-Frequency Patterns in the Abundance of Benthic Species near a Cold-Seep – An Internet Operated Vehicle Application]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da64ab0ee8fa60b9193f

Three benthic megafaunal species (i.e. sablefish Anoplopoma fimbria; pacific hagfish Eptatretus stoutii and a group of juvenile crabs) were tested for diel behavioral patterns at the methane hydrates site of Barkley Canyon (890 m depth), off Vancouver Island (BC, Canada). Fluctuations of animal counts in linear video-transects conducted with the Internet Operated Deep-Sea Crawler “Wally” in June, July and December of 2013, were used as proxy of population activity rhythms. Count time series and environmental parameters were analyzed under the hypothesis that the environmental conditioning of activity rhythms depends on the life habits of particular species (i.e. movement type and trophic level). Non-linear least squares modeling of biological time series revealed significant diel periods for sablefish in summer and for hagfish and crabs in December. Combined cross-correlation and redundancy (RDA) analyses showed strong relationships among environmental fluctuations and detected megafauna. In particular, sablefish presence during summer months was related to flow magnitude, while the activity of pacific hagfish and juvenile crabs in December correlated with change in chemical parameters (i.e. chlorophyll and oxygen concentrations, respectively). Waveform analyses of animal counts and environmental variables confirmed the phase delay during the 24 h cycle. The timing of detection of sablefish occurred under low flow velocities, a possible behavioral adaptation to the general hypoxic conditions. The proposed effect of chlorophyll concentrations on hagfish counts highlights the potential role of phytodetritus as an alternative food source for this opportunistic feeder. The juvenile crabs seemed to display a cryptic behavior, possibly to avoid predation, though this was suppressed when oxygen levels were at a minimum. Our results highlight the potential advantages such mobile observation platforms offer in multiparametric deep-sea monitoring in terms of both spatial and temporal resolution and add to the vastly understudied field of diel rhythms of deep-sea megafauna.

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<![CDATA[Differences in Biofilm Mass, Expression of Biofilm-Associated Genes, and Resistance to Desiccation between Epidemic and Sporadic Clones of Carbapenem-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii Sequence Type 191]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da5bab0ee8fa60b8ff3c

Understanding the biology behind the epidemicity and persistence of Acinetobacter baumannii in the hospital environment is critical to control outbreaks of infection. This study investigated the contributing factors to the epidemicity of carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii (CRAB) sequence type (ST) 191 by comparing the differences in biofilm formation, expression of biofilm-associated genes, and resistance to desiccation between major epidemic (n = 16), minor epidemic (n = 12), and sporadic (n = 12) clones. Biofilm mass was significantly greater in the major epidemic than the minor epidemic and sporadic clones. Major and minor epidemic clones expressed biofilm-associated genes, abaI, bap, pgaABCD, and csuA/BABCDE, higher than the sporadic clones in sessile conditions. The csuC, csuD, and csuE genes were more highly expressed in the major epidemic than minor epidemic clones. Interestingly, minor epidemic clones expressed more biofilm-associated genes than the major epidemic clone under planktonic conditions. Major epidemic clones were more resistant to desiccation than minor epidemic and sporadic clones on day 21. In conclusion, the epidemic CRAB ST191 clones exhibit a higher capacity to form biofilms, express the biofilm-associated genes under sessile conditions, and resist desiccation than sporadic clones. These phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of CRAB ST191 may account for the epidemicity of specific CRAB ST191 clones in the hospital.

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<![CDATA[Effects of salinity on gonadal development, osmoregulation and metabolism of adult male Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheir sinensis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5fab0ee8fa60be1127

As a catadromous species, salinity is a key parameter that affects gonadal development of Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis during reproductive migration. It is however unclear the effects of salinity on the gonadal development of male E. sinensis as well as their physiological responses to salinity during reproductive migration. This study investigated the effects of four salinities (0 ‰, 6 ‰, 12 ‰ and 18 ‰) on gonadal development, osmoregulation and metabolism of adult male E. sinensis over a 40-day period. The results showed that elevating salinity promote gonadal development, increase hemolymph osmolality and K+ and Mg2+ concentrations (P < 0.05). The 12 ‰ salinity resulted in the highest contents of taurine and arginine in the hemolymph while the highest contents of threonine, phenylalanine, lysine, ß-alanine, tryptophan, ornithine and total free amino acids were found for 0 ‰ treatment (P < 0.05). A decreasing trend was detected for the Na+/K+-ATPase activity and its mRNA expression level in the posterior gills with salinity (P < 0.05). Total saturated fatty acids in the anterior gills decreased with increasing salinity (P < 0.05); the 0 ‰ treatment had the highest total polyunsaturated fatty acids in the posterior gills while total n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids increased with salinity (P < 0.05). The hemolymph glucose and uric acid showed a decreasing trend as salinity while an increasing trend was found for the hemolymph triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P < 0.05). The 12 ‰ treatment had the highest levels of hemolymph malonaldehyde and hepatopancreatic γ-glutamyltranspeptidase (P < 0.05). In conclusion, these results suggested that the brackish water promote gonadal development of male E. sinensis, and increase osmolality and ionic concentrations in hemolymph while reduced the activity of Na+ /K+- ATPase and its mRNA expression in the posterior gills as well as metabolism.

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<![CDATA[Chemical Tools of Octopus maya during Crab Predation Are Also Active on Conspecifics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db06ab0ee8fa60bc83f3

Octopus maya is a major socio-economic resource from the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. In this study we report for the first time the chemical composition of the saliva of O. maya and its effect on natural prey, i.e. the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), the crown conch snail (Melongena corona bispinosa), as well as conspecifics. Salivary posterior glands were collected from octopus caught by local fishers and extracted with water; this extract paralyzed and predigested crabs when it was injected into the third pereiopod. The water extract was fractionated by membrane ultrafiltration with a molecular weight cut-off of 3kDa leading to a metabolic phase (>3kDa) and a neurotoxic fraction (<3kDa). The neurotoxic fraction injected in the crabs caused paralysis and postural changes. Crabs recovered to their initial condition within two hours, which suggests that the effects of the neurotoxic fraction were reversible. The neurotoxic fraction was also active on O. maya conspecifics, partly paralyzing and sedating them; this suggests that octopus saliva might be used among conspecifics for defense and for reduction of competition. Bioguided separation of the neurotoxic fraction by chromatography led to a paralysis fraction and a relaxing fraction. The paralyzing activity of the saliva was exerted by amino acids, while the relaxing activity was due to the presence of serotonin. Prey-handling studies revealed that O. maya punctures the eye or arthrodial membrane when predating blue crabs and uses the radula to bore through crown conch shells; these differing strategies may help O. maya to reduce the time needed to handle its prey.

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<![CDATA[Community Structure of Macrobiota and Environmental Parameters in Shallow Water Hydrothermal Vents off Kueishan Island, Taiwan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da74ab0ee8fa60b9627b

Hydrothermal vents represent a unique habitat in the marine ecosystem characterized with high water temperature and toxic acidic chemistry. Vents are distributed at depths ranging from a few meters to several thousand meters. The biological communities of shallow-water vents have, however, been insufficiently studied in most biogeographic areas. We attempted to characterize the macrofauna and macroflora community inhabiting the shallow-water vents off Kueishan Island, Taiwan, to identify the main abiotic factors shaping the community structure and the species distribution. We determined that positively buoyant vent fluid exhibits a more pronounced negative impact to species on the surface water than on the bottom layer. Species richness increased with horizontal distance from the vent, and continuing for a distance of 2000 m, indicating that the vent fluid may exert a negative impact over several kilometers. The community structure off Kueishan Island displayed numerous transitions along the horizontal gradient, which were broadly congruent with changes in environmental conditions. Combination of variation in Ca2+, Cl-, temperature, pH and depth were revealed to show the strongest correlation with the change in benthic community structure, suggesting multiple factors of vent fluid were influencing the associated fauna. Only the vent crabs of Kueishan Island may have an obligated relationship with vents and inhabit the vent mouths because other fauna found nearby are opportunistic taxa that are more tolerant to acidic and toxic environments.

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<![CDATA[Females are the brighter sex: Differences in external fluorescence across sexes and life stages of a crab spider]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf4f6

Fluorescence is increasingly recognized to be widespread in nature. In particular, some arachnids fluoresce externally, and in spiders the hemolymph fluoresces. In this study, we examined the external fluorescence and the fluorophores of different sexes and life stages of the crab spider Misumena vatia (Clerk 1757), a sit-and-wait predator that feeds on insects as they visit flowers. We designed novel instrumentation to measure external fluorescence in whole specimens. We found that although males and females possess internal fluorophores with similar properties, the external expression of fluorescence varies across sexes and life stages. Spiders fluoresce brightly as immatures. Females maintain their brightness to adulthood, whereas males become increasingly dim as they mature. We suggest that external fluorescence likely contributes to visual signaling in these animals, and that it differs between the sexes as a result of differences in foraging ecology and behavior.

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<![CDATA[Seed Predation by the Shore Crab Carcinus maenas: A Positive Feedback Preventing Eelgrass Recovery?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9aab0ee8fa60ba3680

There is an increasing interest to restore the ecosystem services that eelgrass provides, after their continuous worldwide decline. Most attempts to restore eelgrass using seeds are challenged by very high seed losses and the reasons for these losses are not all clear. We assess the impact of predation on seed loss and eelgrass establishment, and explore methods to decrease seed loss during restoration in the Swedish northwest coast. In a laboratory study we identified three previously undescribed seed predators, the shore crab Carcinus maenas, the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus and the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, of which shore crabs consumed 2–7 times more seeds than the other two species. The importance of shore crabs as seed predators was supported in field cage experiments where one enclosed crab caused 73% loss of seeds over a 1-week period on average (~ 21 seeds per day). Seedling establishment was significantly higher (14%) in cages that excluded predators over an 8-month period than in uncaged plots and cages that allowed predators but prevented seed-transport (0.5%), suggesting that seed predation constitutes a major source of seed loss in the study area. Burying the seeds 2 cm below the sediment surface prevented seed predation in the laboratory and decreased predation in the field, constituting a way to decrease seed loss during restoration. Shore crabs may act as a key feedback mechanism that prevent the return of eelgrass both by direct consumption of eelgrass seeds and as a predator of algal mesograzers, allowing algal mats to overgrow eelgrass beds. This shore crab feedback mechanism could become self-generating by promoting the growth of its own nursery habitat (algal mats) and by decreasing the nursery habitat (seagrass meadow) of its dominant predator (cod). This double feedback-loop is supported by a strong increase of shore crab abundance in the last decades and may partly explain the regime shift in vegetation observed along the Swedish west coast.

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<![CDATA[Seasonal monitoring of deep-sea megabenthos in Barkley Canyon cold seep by internet operated vehicle (IOV)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be00bb

Knowledge of the processes shaping deep-sea benthic communities at seasonal scales in cold-seep environments is incomplete. Cold seeps within highly dynamic regions, such as submarine canyons, where variable current regimes may occur, are particularly understudied. Novel Internet Operated Vehicles (IOVs), such as tracked crawlers, provide new techniques for investigating these ecosystems over prolonged periods. In this study a benthic crawler connected to the NEPTUNE cabled infrastructure operated by Ocean Networks Canada was used to monitor community changes across 60 m2 of a cold-seep area of the Barkley Canyon, North East Pacific, at ~890 m depth within an Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ). Short video-transects were run at 4-h intervals during the first week of successive calendar months, over a 14 month period (February 14th 2013 to April 14th 2014). Within each recorded transect video megafauna abundances were computed and changes in environmental conditions concurrently measured. The responses of fauna to environmental conditions as a proxy of seasonality were assessed through analysis of abundances in a total of 438 video-transects (over 92 h of total footage). 7698 fauna individuals from 6 phyla (Cnidaria, Ctenophora, Arthropoda, Echinodermata, Mollusca, and Chordata) were logged and patterns in abundances of the 7 most abundant taxa (i.e. rockfish Sebastidae, sablefish Anoplopoma fimbria, hagfish Eptatretus stoutii, buccinids (Buccinoidea), undefined small crabs, ctenophores Bolinopsis infundibulum, and Scyphomedusa Poralia rufescens) were identified. Patterns in the reproductive behaviour of the grooved tanner crab (Chionnecetes tanneri) were also indicated. Temporal variations in biodiversity and abundance in megabenthic fauna was significantly influenced by variabilities in flow velocity flow direction (up or down canyon), dissolved oxygen concentration and month of study. Also reported here for the first time are transient mass aggregations of grooved tanner crabs through these depths of the canyon system, in early spring and likely linked to the crab’s reproductive cycle.

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<![CDATA[Putting Temperature and Oxygen Thresholds of Marine Animals in Context of Environmental Change: A Regional Perspective for the Scotian Shelf and Gulf of St. Lawrence]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7fab0ee8fa60b9a063

We conducted a literature review of reported temperature, salinity, pH, depth and oxygen preferences and thresholds of important marine species found in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Scotian Shelf region. We classified 54 identified fishes and macroinvertebrates as important either because they support a commercial fishery, have threatened or at risk status, or meet one of the following criteria: bycatch, baitfish, invasive, vagrant, important for ecosystem energy transfer, or predators or prey of the above species. The compiled data allow an assessment of species-level impacts including physiological stress and mortality given predictions of future ocean physical and biogeochemical conditions. If an observed, multi-decadal oxygen trend on the central Scotian Shelf continues, a number of species will lose favorable oxygen conditions, experience oxygen-stress, or disappear due to insufficient oxygen in the coming half-century. Projected regional trends and natural variability are both large, and natural variability will act to alternately amplify and dampen anthropogenic changes. When estimates of variability are included with the trend, species encounter unfavourable oxygen conditions decades sooner. Finally, temperature and oxygen thresholds of adult Atlantic wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) and adult Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) are assessed in the context of a potential future scenario derived from high-resolution ocean models for the central Scotian Shelf.

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<![CDATA[Effects of an Offshore Wind Farm (OWF) on the Common Shore Crab Carcinus maenas: Tagging Pilot Experiments in the Lillgrund Offshore Wind Farm (Sweden)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac7ab0ee8fa60bb2d5e

Worldwide growth of offshore renewable energy production will provide marine organisms with new hard substrate for colonization in terms of artificial reefs. The artificial reef effect is important when planning offshore installations since it can create habitat enhancement. Wind power is the most advanced technology within offshore renewable energy sources and there is an urgent need to study its impacts on the marine environment. To test the hypothesis that offshore wind power increases the abundance of reef species relative to a reference area, we conduct an experiment on the model species common shore crab (Carcinus maenas).Overall, 3962 crabs were captured, observed, marked and released in 2011 and 1995 crabs in 2012. Additionally, carapace size, sex distribution, color morphs and body condition was recorded from captured crabs. We observed very low recapture rates at all sites during both years which made evaluating differences in population sizes very difficult. However, we were able to estimate population densities from the capture record for all three sites. There was no obvious artificial reef effect in the Lillgrund wind farm, but a spill-over effect to nearby habitats cannot be excluded. We could not find any effect of the wind farm on either, morphs, sex distribution or condition of the common shore crab. Our study found no evidence that Lillgrund wind farm has a negative effect on populations of the common shore crab. This study provides the first quantitative and experimental data on the common shore crab in relation to offshore wind farms.

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<![CDATA[A Mighty Claw: Pinching Force of the Coconut Crab, the Largest Terrestrial Crustacean]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadaab0ee8fa60bb97ac

Crustaceans can exert a greater force using their claws than many animals can with other appendages. Furthermore, in decapods, the chela is a notable organ with multifunctional roles. The coconut crab, Birgus latro, is the largest terrestrial crustacean and has a remarkable ability to lift weights up to approximately 30 kg. However, the pinching force of this crab’s chelae has not been previously investigated. In the present study, we measured the pinching force of the chelae in 29 wild coconut crabs (33–2,120 g in body weight). The maximum force ranged from 29.4 to 1,765.2 N, and showed a strong positive correlation with body mass. Based on the correlation between pinching force and body weight, the force potentially exerted by the largest crab (4 kg weight) reported in a previous study would be 3300 N, which greatly exceeds the pinching force of other crustaceans as well as the bite force of most terrestrial predators. The mighty claw is a terrestrial adaptation that is not only a weapon, which can be used to prevent predator attack and inhibit competitors, but is also a tool to hunt other terrestrial organisms with rigid exteriors, aiding in these organisms to be omnivores.

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<![CDATA[Habitat-specific differences alter traditional biogeographic patterns of life history in a climate-change induced range expansion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf5e2

Range shifts and expansions resulting from global climate change have the potential to create novel communities with unique plant-animal interactions. Organisms expanding their range into novel biotic and abiotic environments may encounter selection pressures that alter traditional biogeographic patterns of life history traits. Here, we used field surveys to examine latitudinal patterns of life history traits in a broadly distributed ectotherm (mangrove tree crab Aratus pisonii) that has recently experienced a climate change-induced range expansion into a novel habitat type. Additionally, we conducted laboratory and field experiments to investigate characteristics associated with these life history traits (e.g. fecundity, offspring quality, and potential selection pressures). We compared these characteristics in native mangrove habitats in which the species has historically dwelled and novel salt marsh habitats into which the species has recently expanded its range. Consistent with traditional biogeographic concepts (i.e. Bergmann’s clines), size at maturity and mean body size of reproductive females increased with latitude within the native habitat. However, they decreased significantly in novel habitats at the highest latitudes of the species’ range, which was consistent with habitat-specific differences in both biotic (predation) and abiotic (temperature) selection pressures. Although initial maternal investment (egg volume and weight) did not differ between habitats, fecundity was lower in novel habitats as a result of differences in size at reproduction. Offspring quality, as measured by larval starvation resistance, was likewise diminished in novel habitats relative to native habitats. These differences in offspring quality may have enduring consequences for species success and persistence in novel habitats. Life history characteristics such as those investigated here are fundamental organismal traits; consequently, understanding the potential impacts of climate change responses on latitudinal patterns of these traits is key to understanding climate change impacts on natural systems.

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<![CDATA[Symbiotic Bacteria in Gills and Guts of Chinese Mitten Crab (Eriocheir sinensis) Differ from the Free-Living Bacteria in Water]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9eab0ee8fa60ba4c0d

Aquatic animals have a close relationship with water, but differences in their symbiotic bacteria and the bacterial composition in water remains unclear. Wild or domestic Chinese mitten crabs (Eriocheir sinensis) and the water in which they live were collected from four sampling sites in Jiangsu and Shanghai, China. Bacterial composition in water, gills or guts of E. sinensis, were compared by high-throughput sequencing using 16S rRNA genes. Analysis of >660,000 sequences indicated that bacterial diversity was higher in water than in gills or guts. Tenericutes and Proteobacteria were dominant phyla in guts, while Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were dominant in gills and water. Non-metric multidimensional scaling analysis indicated that microbiota from gills, guts or water clearly separated into three groups, suggesting that crabs harbor a more specific microbial community than the water in which they live. The dominant OTUs in crab gut were related to Mycoplasmataceae, which were low in abundance in gills, showing that, like mammals, crabs have body-site specific microbiota. OTUs related to Ilumatobacter and Albimonas, which are commonly present in sediment and seawater, were dominant in gills but almost absent from the sampled water. Considering E. sinensis are bottom-dwelling crustacean and they mate in saline water or seawater, behavior and life cycle of crabs may play an important role in shaping the symbiotic bacterial pattern. This study revealed the relationship between the symbiotic bacteria of Chinese mitten crab and their habitat, affording information on the assembly factors of commensal bacteria in aquatic animals.

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