ResearchPad - salinity https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The 2015-2016 El Niño increased infection parameters of copepods on Eastern Tropical Pacific dolphinfish populations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7672 The oceanographic conditions of the Pacific Ocean are largely modified by El Niño (EN), affecting several ecological processes. Parasites and other marine organisms respond to environmental variation, but the influence of the EN cycle on the seasonal variation of parasitic copepods has not been yet evaluated. We analysed the relation between infection parameters (prevalence and mean intensity) of the widespread parasitic copepods Caligus bonito and Charopinopsis quaternia in the dolphinfish Coryphaena hippurus and oceanography during the strong 2015–16 EN. Fish were collected from capture fisheries on the Ecuadorian coast (Tropical Eastern Pacific) over a 2-year period. Variations of sea surface temperature (SST), salinity, chlorophyll a (Chl-a), Oceanic Niño Index (ONI), total host length (TL) and monthly infection parameters of both copepod species were analysed using time series and cross-correlations. We used the generalised additive models for determine the relationship between environmental variables and infection parameters. The total body length of the ovigerous females and the length of the eggs of C. bonito were measured in both periods. Infection parameters of both C. bonito and Ch. quaternia showed seasonal and annual patterns associated with the variation of environmental variables examined (SST, salinity, Chl-a and ONI 1+2). Infection parameters of both copepod species were significantly correlated with ONI 1+2, SST, TL and Chl-a throughout the GAMLSS model, and the explained deviance contribution ranged from 16%-36%. Our results suggest than an anomaly higher than +0.5°C triggers a risen in infection parameters of both parasitic copepods. This risen could be related to increases in egg length, female numbers and the total length of the ovigerous females in EN period. This study provides the first evidence showing that tropical parasitic copepods are sensitive to the influence of EN event, especially from SST variations. The observed behaviour of parasitic copepods likely affects the host populations and structure of the marine ecosystem at different scales.

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<![CDATA[Identification and expression analysis of miRNAs and elucidation of their role in salt tolerance in rice varieties susceptible and tolerant to salinity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N52f944dc-26d8-4e67-9222-1bf646d955e0

Soil salinization is a serious problem for cultivation of rice, as among cereals rice is the most salt sensitive crop, and more than 40% of the total agricultural land amounting to approximately 80 million ha the world over is salt affected. Salinity affects a plant in a varieties of ways, including ion toxicity, osmotic stress and oxidative damage. Since miRNAs occupy the top place in biochemical events determining a trait, understanding their role in salt tolerance is highly desirable, which may allow introduction of the trait in the rice cultivars of choice through biotechnological interventions. High throughput sequencing of sRNAs in the root and shoot tissues of the seedlings of the control and NaCl treated Pokkali, a salt-tolerant rice variety, identified 75 conserved miRNAs and mapped 200 sRNAs to the rice genome as novel miRNAs. Expression of nine novel miRNAs and two conserved miRNAs were confirmed by Northern blotting. Several of both conserved and novel miRNAs that expressed differentially in root and/or shoot tissues targeted transcription factors like AP2/EREBP domain protein, ARF, NAC, MYB, NF-YA, HD-Zip III, TCP and SBP reported to be involved in salt tolerance or in abiotic stress tolerance in general. Most of the novel miRNAs expressed in the salt tolerant wild rice Oryza coarctata, suggesting conservation of miRNAs in taxonomically related species. One of the novel miRNAs, osa-miR12477, also targeted L-ascorbate oxidase (LAO), indicating build-up of oxidative stress in the plant upon salt treatment, which was confirmed by DAB staining. Thus, salt tolerance might involve miRNA-mediated regulation of 1) cellular abundance of the hormone signaling components like EREBP and ARF, 2) synthesis of abiotic stress related transcription factors, and 3) antioxidative component like LAO for mitigation of oxidative damage. The study clearly indicated importance of osa-miR12477 regulated expression of LAO in salt tolerance in the plant.

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<![CDATA[Effects of the electrical conductivity of a soilless culture system on gamma linolenic acid levels in borage seed oil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac6dd5eed0c484d0875e

Borage is a well-known plant of great importance in human nutrition and health. Expanding knowledge of particular plants that have anti-cancer products is a global concern. There is substantial information regarding the benefits, presence and extraction of gamma linolenic acid (GLA; 18:3n6) in different plants around the world, especially in borage seeds. However, there is little information concerning the effects of the salinity of the nutrient solution on the growth and presence of GLA in borage seeds. The objective of this work was to determine the optimal salinity of the nutrient solution for obtaining GLA in soilless cultivation systems. Borage plants were grown in coconut fibre and provided three treatments of nutrient solution of 2.20, 3.35 and 4.50 dS m-1, increasing solution salinity with the standard nutrient solution of concentrated macronutrients as a reference. Vegetative growth, seed production and GLA ratio were measured. The results of vegetative development and GLA production doubled and tripled with the increase in salinity of the nutrient solution, respectively.

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<![CDATA[The optical and biological properties of glacial meltwater in an Antarctic fjord]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648cc0d5eed0c484c816dd

As the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region responds to a warmer climate, the impacts of glacial meltwater on the Southern Ocean are expected to intensify. The Antarctic Peninsula fjord system offers an ideal system to understand meltwater’s properties, providing an extreme in the meltwater’s spatial gradient from the glacio-marine boundary to the WAP continental shelf. Glacial meltwater discharge in Arctic and Greenland fjords is typically characterized as relatively lower temperature, fresh and with high turbidity. During two cruises conducted in December 2015 and April 2016 in Andvord Bay, we found a water lens of low salinity and low temperature along the glacio-marine interface. Oxygen isotope ratios identified this water lens as a mixture of glacial ice and deep water in Gerlache Strait suggesting this is glacial meltwater. Conventional hydrographic measurements were combined with optical properties to effectively quantify its spatial extent. Fine suspended sediments associated with meltwater (nanoparticles of ~ 5nm) had a significant impact on the underwater light field and enabled the detection of meltwater characteristics and spatial distribution. In this study, we illustrate that glacial meltwater in Andvord Bay alters the inherent and apparent optical properties of the water column, and develop statistical models to predict the meltwater content from hydrographic and optical measurements. The predicted meltwater fraction is in good agreement with in-situ values. These models offer a potential for remote sensing and high-resolution detection of glacial meltwater in Antarctic waters. Furthermore, the possible influence of meltwater on phytoplankton abundance in the surface is highlighted; a significant correlation is found between meltwater fraction and chlorophyll concentration.

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<![CDATA[Ocimum metabolomics in response to abiotic stresses: Cold, flood, drought and salinity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648ce6d5eed0c484c81a4d

Ocimum tenuiflorum is a widely used medicinal plant since ancient times and still continues to be irreplaceable due to its properties. The plant has been explored chemically and pharmacologically, however, the molecular studies have been started lately. In an attempt to get a comprehensive overview of the abiotic stress response in O. tenuiflorum, de novo transcriptome sequencing of plant leaves under the cold, drought, flood and salinity stresses was carried out. A comparative differential gene expression (DGE) study was carried out between the common transcripts in each stress with respect to the control. KEGG pathway analysis and gene ontology (GO) enrichment studies exhibited several modifications in metabolic pathways as the result of four abiotic stresses. Besides this, a comparative metabolite profiling of stress and control samples was performed. Among the cold, drought, flood and salinity stresses, the plant was most susceptible to the cold stress. Severe treatments of all these abiotic stresses also decreased eugenol which is the main secondary metabolite present in the O. tenuiflorum plant. This investigation presents a comprehensive analysis of the abiotic stress effects in O. tenuiflorum. Current study provides an insight to the status of pathway genes’ expression that help synthesizing economically valuable phenylpropanoids and terpenoids related to the adaptation of the plant. This study identified several putative abiotic stress tolerant genes which can be utilized to either breed stress tolerant O. tenuiflorum through pyramiding or generating transgenic plants.

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<![CDATA[District level estimates and mapping of prevalence of diarrhoea among under-five children in Bangladesh by combining survey and census data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df364d5eed0c4845811fe

The demand for district level statistics has increased tremendously in Bangladesh due to existence of decentralised approach to governance and service provision. The Bangladesh Demographic Health Surveys (BDHS) provide a wide range of invaluable data at the national and divisional level but they cannot be used directly to produce reliable district-level estimates due to insufficient sample sizes. The small area estimation (SAE) technique overcomes the sample size challenges and can produce reliable estimates at the district level. This paper uses SAE approach to generate model-based district-level estimates of diarrhoea prevalence among under-5 children in Bangladesh by linking data from the 2014 BDHS and the 2011 Population Census. The diagnostics measures show that the model-based estimates are precise and representative when compared to the direct survey estimates. Spatial distribution of the precise estimates of diarrhoea prevalence reveals significant inequality at district-level (ranged 1.1–13.4%) with particular emphasis in the coastal and north-eastern districts. Findings of the study might be useful for designing effective policies, interventions and strengthening local-level governance.

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<![CDATA[Dissimilarity between living and dead benthic foraminiferal assemblages in the Aveiro Continental Shelf (Portugal)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52f3d5eed0c4842bd308

This study compares living (LA) and dead (DA) benthic foraminiferal assemblages and identifies different factors that possibly cause differences in the distribution of both assemblages in the Aveiro Continental Shelf (Portugal). A total of 44 sediment samples was collected during summers of 1994 and 1995 along transects (east-west direction) and between 10 and 200 m water depth. Complex statistical analyses allow us to compare the abundance and composition of the LAs and DAs in function of depth, grain-size and total organic matter in all studied stations even in those where the numbers of individuals were rare in one or both assemblages. The highest densities and diversities of the LAs are found in the middle continental shelf on gravel deposits (coarse and very coarse sands) mostly due to the substrate stability, reduced deposition of fine sedimentary particles, availability of organic matter with high quality related to oceanic primary productivity likely induced by upwelling events, and oxygenated porewaters conditions. The DAs have, in general, higher densities and diversities than the LAs. In the outer continental shelf, the dissimilarity between both assemblages is higher due to the accumulation of tests, low dilution by sedimentary particles and scarcity of living foraminifera. Based on the comparison of LAs and DAs and considering the characteristics of the study area and the species ecology, it has been possible to understand the cause of temporal deviation between the LAs and DAs of benthic foraminifera. This deviation is much more pronounced in the inner shelf where the energy of the waves and the currents induce very dynamic sedimentary processes preventing the development of large LAs and the preservation of DAs. Some deviation also occurs in the middle shelf due to the seasonal loss of empty tests. The most well-preserved time-averaged DAs were found in the outer continental shelf.

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<![CDATA[Anaesthetic efficacy of Aqui-S, Benzoak, and MS-222 on lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) fries. Impact from temperature, salinity, and fasting]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c45bd5eed0c4845e8624

Large numbers of lumpfish are produced for the Norwegian salmon industry and are used to combat sea lice infestations. Periodically high mortality of farmed lumpfish demonstrates the need to improve farming conditions and animal welfare. As part of such efforts, the present work tested the efficacy of three anaesthetic chemicals on lumpfish fries (average weight of 0.97 g). The anaesthetic impact from salinity (15 ppt–18 ppt), temperature (12°C versus 7 and 18°C), and fasting conditions (three days) was also examined. Surgical anaesthesia was induced within 3 to 5 min (preferred time) at concentrations of 18 mg/L (Aqui-S), 37.5 mg/L (Benzoak), and 60 mg/L (buffered MS-222). Safety margins were regarded as low when using Aqui-S; therefore, this chemical was not considered suitable for prolonged exposures. The lumpfish made a rapid recovery from both Benzoak and MS-222 even after 20 min of exposure. A 6°C increase in exposure temperature (reaching 18°C) was found to delay or inhibit recovery. The effect of a 5°C decrease (down to 7°C) significantly reduced induction time for MS-222 and was insignificant for Aqui-S, while it prolonged Benzoak induction time significantly and gave a longer recovery period. Fasting resulted in 70% recovery after 20 min of Aqui-S exposure compared to 0% in fed fish but had only minor effects on Benzoak and MS-222. Use of brackish water (15 ppt–18 ppt) gave 20% recovery from Aqui-S and significantly shorter recovery time from MS-222 exposure, while the effects on Benzoak were insignificant.

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<![CDATA[Integrating ecosystem services considerations within a GIS-based habitat suitability index for oyster restoration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e667d5eed0c484ef3039

Geospatial habitat suitability index (HSI) models have emerged as powerful tools that integrate pertinent spatial information to guide habitat restoration efforts, but have rarely accounted for spatial variation in ecosystem service provision. In this study, we utilized satellite-derived chlorophyll a concentrations for Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, USA in conjunction with data on water flow velocities and dissolved oxygen concentrations to identify potential restoration locations that would maximize the oyster reef-associated ecosystem service of water filtration. We integrated these novel factors associated with oyster water filtration ecosystem services within an existing, ‘Metapopulation Persistence’ focused GIS-based, HSI model containing biophysical (e.g., salinity, oyster larval connectivity) and logistical (e.g., distance to nearest restoration material stockpile site) factors to identify suitable locations for oyster restoration that maximize long-term persistence of restored oyster populations and water filtration ecosystem service provision. Furthermore, we compared the ‘Water Filtration’ optimized HSI with the HSI optimized for ‘Metapopulation Persistence,’ as well as a hybrid model that optimized for both water filtration and metapopulation persistence. Optimal restoration locations (i.e., locations corresponding to the top 1% of suitability scores) were identified that were consistent among the three HSI scenarios (i.e., “win-win” locations), as well as optimal locations unique to a given HSI scenario (i.e., “tradeoff” locations). The modeling framework utilized in this study can provide guidance to restoration practitioners to maximize the cost-efficiency and ecosystem services value of habitat restoration efforts. Furthermore, the functional relationships between oyster water filtration and chlorophyll a concentrations, water flow velocities, and dissolved oxygen applied in this study can guide field- and lab-testing of hypotheses related to optimal conditions for oyster reef restoration to maximize water quality enhancement benefits.

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<![CDATA[The tropical-subtropical coupling in the Southeast Atlantic from the perspective of the northern Benguela upwelling system]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c468d5eed0c4845e86f5

In the Benguela upwelling system, the environmental conditions are determined to a large extent by central water masses advected from remote areas onto the shelf. The origin, spreading pathways and fate of those water masses are investigated with a regional ocean model that is analysed using Eulerian passive tracers and on the basis of Lagrangian trajectories. Two major water masses influencing the Benguela upwelling system are identified: tropical South Atlantic Central Water (SACW) and subtropical Eastern South Atlantic Central Water (ESACW). The spreading of tropical waters into the subtropical Benguela upwelling system is mediated by equatorial currents and their continuation in the Southeast Atlantic. This tropical-subtropical connection has been attributed to signal propagation in the equatorial and coastal waveguides. However, there exists an additional spreading path for tropical central water in the open ocean. This mass transport fluctuates on a seasonal scale around an averaged meridional transport in Sverdrup balance. The inter-annual variability of the advection of tropical waters is related to Benguela Niños, as evidenced by the 2010/2011 event. The northern Benguela upwelling system is a transition zone between SACW and ESACW since they encounter each other at about 20°S. Both water masses have seasonal variable shares in the upwelled water there. To summarise the main pathways of central water mass transport, an enhanced scheme for the subsurface circulation in the Southeast Atlantic is presented.

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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[Plant biomass and soil organic carbon are main factors influencing dry-season ecosystem carbon rates in the coastal zone of the Yellow River Delta]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c466518d5eed0c4845175f4

Coastal wetlands are considered as a significant sink of global carbon due to their tremendous organic carbon storage. Coastal CO2 and CH4 flux rates play an important role in regulating atmospheric CO2 and CH4 concentrations. However, the relative contributions of vegetation, soil properties, and spatial structure on dry-season ecosystem carbon (C) rates (net ecosystem CO2 exchange, NEE; ecosystem respiration, ER; gross ecosystem productivity, GEP; and CH4) remain unclear at a regional scale. Here, we compared dry-season ecosystem C rates, plant, and soil properties across three vegetation types from 13 locations at a regional scale in the Yellow River Delta (YRD). The results showed that the Phragmites australis stand had the greatest NEE (-1365.4 μmol m-2 s-1), ER (660.2 μmol m-2 s-1), GEP (-2025.5 μmol m-2 s-1) and acted as a CH4 source (0.27 μmol m-2 s-1), whereas the Suaeda heteroptera and Tamarix chinensis stands uptook CH4 (-0.02 to -0.12 μmol m-2 s-1). Stepwise multiple regression analysis demonstrated that plant biomass was the main factor explaining all of the investigated carbon rates (GEP, ER, NEE, and CH4); while soil organic carbon was shown to be the most important for explaining the variability in the processes of carbon release to the atmosphere, i.e., ER and CH4. Variation partitioning results showed that vegetation and soil properties played equally important roles in shaping the pattern of C rates in the YRD. These results provide a better understanding of the link between ecosystem C rates and environmental drivers, and provide a framework to predict regional-scale ecosystem C fluxes under future climate change.

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<![CDATA[Upwelling modulation of functional traits of a dominant planktonic grazer during “warm-acid” El Niño 2015 in a year-round upwelling area of Humboldt Current]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c46653ed5eed0c484518309

Climate change is expected to exacerbate upwelling intensity and natural acidification in Eastern Boundaries Upwelling Systems (EBUS). Conducted between January-September 2015 in a nearshore site of the northern Humboldt Current System directly exposed to year-round upwelling episodes, this study was aimed at assessing the relationship between upwelling mediated pH-changes and functional traits of the numerically dominant planktonic copepod-grazer Acartia tonsa (Copepoda). Environmental temperature, salinity, oxygen, pH, alkalinity, chlorophyll-a (Chl), copepod adult size, egg production (EP), and egg size and growth were assessed through 28 random oceanographic surveys. Agglomerative clustering and multidimensional scaling identified three main di-similitude nodes within temporal variability of abiotic and biotic variables: A) “upwelling”, B) “non-upwelling”, and C) “warm-acid” conditions. Nodes A and B represented typical features within the upwelling phenology, characterized by the transition from low temperature, oxygen, pH and Chl during upwelling to higher levels during non-upwelling conditions. However, well-oxygenated, saline and “warm-acid” node C seemed to be atypical for local climatology, suggesting the occurrence of a low frequency oceanographic perturbation. Multivariate (LDA and ANCOVA) analyses revealed upwelling through temperature, oxygen and pH were the main factors affecting variations in adult size and EP, and highlighted growth rates were significantly lower under node C. Likely buffering upwelling pH-reductions, phytoplankton biomass maintained copepod reproduction despite prevailing low temperature, oxygen and pH levels in the upwelling setting. Helping to better explain why this species is among the most recurrent ones in these variable yet productive upwelling areas, current findings also provide opportune cues on plankton responses under warm-acid conditions, which are expected to occur in productive EBUS as a consequence of climate perturbations.

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<![CDATA[Water boatman survival and fecundity are related to ectoparasitism and salinity stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c48ded5d5eed0c4841cca3c

Salinity is increasing in aquatic ecosystems in the Mediterranean region due to global change, and this is likely to have an important impact on host-parasite interactions. Here we studied the relationships between infection by ectoparasitic water mites and salinity variation, on survival and fecundity of water boatmen Corixidae in the laboratory. Larvae of Sigara lateralis parasitised by larval mites (Hydrachna skorikowi) had lower survivorship, and failed to moult to the adult stage. In adult corixids (S. lateralis and Corixa affinis) fitness was reduced at high salinities and in individuals infected by H. skorikowi, both in terms of survival and fecundity. We also found evidence for parasitism-salinity interactions. Our results suggest that ongoing increases in salinity in Mediterranean ponds due to climate change and water abstraction for agriculture or urban use have a strong impact on water bugs, and that their interactions with ectoparasites may modify salinity effects.

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<![CDATA[Dual isotopic evidence for nitrate sources and active biological transformation in the Northern South China Sea in summer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3667a8d5eed0c4841a5f49

Nitrate (NO3-) concentrations and their dual isotopic compositions (δ15N-NO3- and δ18O-NO3-) were measured to constrain N sources and their cyclic processes in summer using samples from the water column of the northern South China Sea (NSCS). Our data revealed that higher NO3- concentrations and δ15N-NO3- values were observed in the upper waters of the coastal areas near the Pearl River Estuary (PRE). The Bayesian stable isotope mixing model was used to calculated the proportion of nitrate sources, the results indicated that the nitrate in the upper waters of the coastal areas near PRE were mainly influenced by manure and sewage (63%), atmospheric deposition (19%), soil organic nitrogen (12%) and reduced N fertilizer (6%). For the upper waters of the outer areas, low NO3- concentrations and δ15N-NO3- values, but high δ18O-NO3- values, reflected that NO3- was mainly influenced by Kuroshio water intrusion (60%), atmospheric deposition (32%) and nitrogen fixation/nitrification (8%). Complex processes were found in bottom waters. Nitrification and phytoplankton assimilation may be responsible for the higher nitrate concentrations and δ15N-NO3- values. Our study, therefore, utilizes the nitrate dual isotope to help illustrate the spatial variations in nitrate sources and complex nitrogen cycles in the NSCS.

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<![CDATA[Desert plant bacteria reveal host influence and beneficial plant growth properties]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ab861d5eed0c484027d00

Deserts, such as those found in Saudi Arabia, are one of the most hostile places for plant growth. However, desert plants are able to impact their surrounding microbial community and select beneficial microbes that promote their growth under these extreme conditions. In this study, we examined the soil, rhizosphere and endosphere bacterial communities of four native desert plants Tribulus terrestris, Zygophyllum simplex, Panicum turgidum and Euphorbia granulata from the Southwest (Jizan region), two of which were also found in the Midwest (Al Wahbah area) of Saudi Arabia. While the rhizosphere bacterial community mostly resembled that of the highly different surrounding soils, the endosphere composition was strongly correlated with its host plant phylogeny. In order to assess whether any of the native bacterial endophytes might have a role in plant growth under extreme conditions, we analyzed the properties of 116 cultured bacterial isolates that represent members of the phyla Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Firmicutes. Our analysis shows that different strains have highly different biochemical properties with respect to nutrient acquisition, hormone production and growth under stress conditions. More importantly, eleven of the isolated strains could confer salinity stress tolerance to the experimental model plant Arabidopsis thaliana suggesting some of these plant-associated bacteria might be useful for improving crop desert agriculture.

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<![CDATA[Seasonality modulates the predictive skills of diatom based salinity transfer functions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bfdb3a2d5eed0c4845cb072

The value of diatoms as bioindicators in contemporary and palaeolimnological studies through transfer function development has increased in the last decades. While such models represent a tremendous advance in (palaeo) ecology, they leave behind important sources of uncertainties that are often ignored. In the present study we tackle two of the most important sources of uncertainty in the development of diatom salinity inference models: the effect of secondary variables associated to seasonality and the comparison of conventional cross-validation methods with a validation based on independent datasets. Samples (diatoms and environmental variables) were taken in spring, summer and autumn in the freshwater and brackish ditches of the province of North Holland in 1993. Different locations of the same province were sampled again in 2008–2010 to validate the models. We found that the abundance of the dominant species significantly changed between the seasons, leading to inconsistent estimates of species optima and tolerances. A model covering intra-annual variability (all seasons combined) provides averages of species optima and tolerances, reduces the effect of secondary variables due to the seasonality effects, thus providing the strongest relationship between salinity and diatom species. In addition, the ¨all-season¨ model also reduces the edge effects usually found in all unimodal-based calibration methods. While based on cross-validation all four models seem to perform relatively well, a validation with an independent dataset emphasizes the importance of using models covering intra-annual variability to perform realistic reconstructions.

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<![CDATA[Genome-wide identification and expression profiling of the auxin response factor (ARF) gene family in physic nut]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b6d94ae463d7e2f79286cba

Auxin response factors (ARF) are important transcription factors which mediate the transcription of auxin responsive genes by binding directly to auxin response elements (AuxREs) found in the promoter regions of these genes. To date, no information has been available about the genome-wide organization of the ARF transcription factor family in physic nut. In this study, 17 ARF genes (JcARFs) are identified in the physic nut genome. A detailed investigation into the physic nut ARF gene family is performed, including analysis of the exon-intron structure, conserved domains, conserved motifs, phylogeny, chromosomal locations, potential small RNA targets and expression profiles under various conditions. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the 17 JcARF proteins are clustered into 6 groups, and most JcARF proteins from the physic nut reveal closer relationships with those from Arabidopsis than those from rice. Of the 17 JcARF genes, eight are predicted to be the potential targets of small RNAs; most of the genes show differential patterns of expression among four tissues (root, stem cortex, leaf, and seed); and qRT-PCR indicates that the expression of all JcARF genes is inhibited or induced in response to exogenous auxin. Expression profile analysis based on RNA-seq data shows that in leaves, 11 of the JcARF genes respond to at least one abiotic stressor (drought and/or salinity) at, as a minimum, at least one time point. Our results provide valuable information for further studies on the roles of JcARF genes in regulating physic nut's growth, development and responses to abiotic stress.

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<![CDATA[Macrobenthic communities in a shallow normoxia to hypoxia gradient in the Humboldt upwelling ecosystem]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b600f87463d7e3af00e5a8c

Hypoxia is one of the most important stressors affecting the health conditions of coastal ecosystems. In highly productive ecosystems such as the Humboldt Current ecosystem, the oxygen minimum zone is an important abiotic factor modulating the structure of benthic communities over the continental shelf. Herein, we study soft-bottom macrobenthic communities along a depth gradient–at 10, 20, 30 and 50 m–for two years to understand how hypoxia affects the structure of shallow communities at two sites in Mejillones Bay (23°S) in northern Chile. We test the hypothesis that, during months with shallow hypoxic zones, community structure will be much more dissimilar, thereby depicting a clear structural gradient with depth and correlated abiotic variables (e.g. organic matter, temperature and salinity). Likewise, during conditions of deeper hypoxic zones, communities will be similar among habitats as they could develop structure via succession in conditions with less stress. Throughout the sampling period (October 2015 to October 2017), the water column was hypoxic (from 2 to 0.5ml/l O2) most of the time, reaching shallow depths of 20 to 10 m. Only one episode of oxygenation was detected in June 2016, where normoxia (>2ml/l O2) reached down to 50 m. The structure of the communities depicted a clear pattern of increasing dissimilarity from shallow normoxic and deep hypoxic habitat. This pattern was persistent throughout time despite the occurrence of an oxygenation episode. Contrasting species abundance and biomass distribution explained the gradient in structure, arguably reflecting variable levels of hypoxia adaptation, i.e. few polychaetes such as Magelona physilia and Paraprionospio pinnata were only located in low oxygen habitats. The multivariable dispersion of community composition as a proxy of beta diversity decreased significantly with depth, suggesting loss of community structure and variability when transitioning from normoxic to hypoxic conditions. Our results show the presence of semi-permanent shallow hypoxia at Mejillones Bay, constraining diverse and more variable communities at a very shallow depth (10–20 m). These results must be considered in the context of the current decline of dissolved oxygen in most oceans and coastal regions and their impact on seabed biota.

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<![CDATA[Bacterial Communities of Three Saline Meromictic Lakes in Central Asia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f6ab0ee8fa60b70359

Meromictic lakes located in landlocked steppes of central Asia (~2500 km inland) have unique geophysiochemical characteristics compared to other meromictic lakes. To characterize their bacteria and elucidate relationships between those bacteria and surrounding environments, water samples were collected from three saline meromictic lakes (Lakes Shira, Shunet and Oigon) in the border between Siberia and the West Mongolia, near the center of Asia. Based on in-depth tag pyrosequencing, bacterial communities were highly variable and dissimilar among lakes and between oxic and anoxic layers within individual lakes. Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria and Firmicutes were the most abundant phyla, whereas three genera of purple sulfur bacteria (a novel genus, Thiocapsa and Halochromatium) were predominant bacterial components in the anoxic layer of Lake Shira (~20.6% of relative abundance), Lake Shunet (~27.1%) and Lake Oigon (~9.25%), respectively. However, few known green sulfur bacteria were detected. Notably, 3.94% of all sequencing reads were classified into 19 candidate divisions, which was especially high (23.12%) in the anoxic layer of Lake Shunet. Furthermore, several hydro-parameters (temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, H2S and salinity) were associated (P< 0.05) with variations in dominant bacterial groups. In conclusion, based on highly variable bacterial composition in water layers or lakes, we inferred that the meromictic ecosystem was characterized by high diversity and heterogenous niches.

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