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276 Research products, page 1 of 28

  • European Marine Science
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  • 2013-2022
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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Romero-Alvarez, Johana; Lupaşcu, Aurelia; Lowe, Douglas; Badia, Alba; Acher-Nicholls, Scott; Dorling, Steve R.; Reeves, Claire E.; Butler, Tim;
    Project: EC | ASIBIA (616938)

    Tropospheric ozone (O3) concentrations depend on a combination of hemispheric, regional, and local-scale processes. Estimates of how much O3 is produced locally vs. transported from further afield are essential in air quality management and regulatory policies. Here, a tagged-ozone mechanism within the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with chemistry (WRF-Chem) is used to quantify the contributions to surface O3 in the UK from anthropogenic nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from inside and outside the UK during May–August 2015. The contribution of the different source regions to three regulatory O3 metrics is also examined. It is shown that model simulations predict the concentration and spatial distribution of surface O3 with a domain-wide mean bias of −3.7 ppbv. Anthropogenic NOx emissions from the UK and Europe account for 13 % and 16 %, respectively, of the monthly mean surface O3 in the UK, as the majority (71 %) of O3 originates from the hemispheric background. Hemispheric O3 contributes the most to concentrations in the north and the west of the UK with peaks in May, whereas European and UK contributions are most significant in the east, south-east, and London, i.e. the UK's most populated areas, intensifying towards June and July. Moreover, O3 from European sources is generally transported to the UK rather than produced in situ. It is demonstrated that more stringent emission controls over continental Europe, particularly in western Europe, would be necessary to improve the health-related metric MDA8 O3 above 50 and 60 ppbv. Emission controls over larger areas, such as the Northern Hemisphere, are instead required to lessen the impacts on ecosystems as quantified by the AOT40 metric.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    McLean, Dianne L.; Ferreira, Luciana C.; Benthuysen, Jessica A.; Miller, Karen J.; Schlappy, Marie-Lise; Ajemian, Matthew J.; Berry, Oliver; Birchenough, Silvana N. R.; Bond, Todd; Boschetti, Fabio; +36 more
    Country: United Kingdom

    This research was supported by the National Decommissioning Research Initiative (NDRI Australia). We acknowledge the time contribution of all co-authors and additionally via research undertaken through the UKRI INSITE Programme including projects ANChor, CHASANS (NE/T010886/1), EcoConnect, EcoSTAR (NE/T010614/1), FuECoMMS (NE/T010800/1), MAPS, NSERC. DMP was supported through The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) funded by the Scottish Funding Council and contributing institutions. SNRB and KH (Cefas) were funded by Cefas and the UK INSITE North Sea programme. Offshore platforms, subsea pipelines, wells and related fixed structures supporting the oil and gas (O&G) industry are prevalent in oceans across the globe, with many approaching the end of their operational life and requiring decommissioning. Although structures can possess high ecological diversity and productivity, information on how they interact with broader ecological processes remains unclear. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on the role of O&G infrastructure in maintaining, altering or enhancing ecological connectivity with natural marine habitats. There is a paucity of studies on the subject with only 33 papers specifically targeting connectivity and O&G structures, although other studies provide important related information. Evidence for O&G structures facilitating vertical and horizontal seascape connectivity exists for larvae and mobile adult invertebrates, fish and megafauna; including threatened and commercially important species. The degree to which these structures represent a beneficial or detrimental net impact remains unclear, is complex and ultimately needs more research to determine the extent to which natural connectivity networks are conserved, enhanced or disrupted. We discuss the potential impacts of different decommissioning approaches on seascape connectivity and identify, through expert elicitation, critical knowledge gaps that, if addressed, may further inform decision making for the life cycle of O&G infrastructure, with relevance for other industries (e.g. renewables). The most highly ranked critical knowledge gap was a need to understand how O&G structures modify and influence the movement patterns of mobile species and dispersal stages of sessile marine species. Understanding how different decommissioning options affect species survival and movement was also highly ranked, as was understanding the extent to which O&G structures contribute to extending species distributions by providing rest stops, foraging habitat, and stepping stones. These questions could be addressed with further dedicated studies of animal movement in relation to structures using telemetry, molecular techniques and movement models. Our review and these priority questions provide a roadmap for advancing research needed to support evidence-based decision making for decommissioning O&G infrastructure. Publisher PDF Peer reviewed

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Healy, Susan D.; Patton, B. Wren;
    Country: United Kingdom

    But fish cognitive ecology did not begin in rivers and streams. Rather, one of the starting points for work on fish cognitive ecology was work done on the use of visual cues by homing pigeons. Prior to working with fish, Victoria Braithwaite helped to establish that homing pigeons rely not just on magnetic and olfactory cues but also on visual cues for successful return to their home loft. Simple, elegant experiments on homing established Victoria's ability to develop experimental manipulations to examine the role of visual cues in navigation by fish in familiar areas. This work formed the basis of a rich seam of work whereby a fish's ecology was used to propose hypotheses and predictions as to preferred cue use, and then cognitive abilities in a variety of fish species, from model systems (Atlantic salmon and sticklebacks) to the Panamanian Brachyraphis episcopi. Cognitive ecology in fish led to substantial work on fish pain and welfare, but was never left behind, with some of Victoria's last work addressed to determining the neural instantiation of cognitive variation. Publisher PDF Peer reviewed

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Iyer, Ram Balam;
    Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
    Country: United States

    Time and energy are finite resources in any environment, and how and when organisms use their available resources to survive and reproduce is the crux of life history theory (Gadgil and Bossert 1970; Balon 1975; Stearns 1976). The different survival strategies used by animals are often shaped by their environment in addition to their biology (Winemiller and Rose 1992), which allows for exploration into biological variability when environmental factors are known. For this reason, the Line Islands in the Central Pacific provide an ideal location to perform observational studies due to their unique productivity gradient and fish assemblage structures across the island chain (Sandin et al. 2008; DeMartini et al. 2008; Fox et al. 2018; Zgliczynski et al. 2019). Many of the world’s coral reefs are in remote regions that lack monitoring programs or even local populations, so conducting ecological surveys on fish communities in these regions can require extensive amounts of time, energy, resources and people. The inherent variability an environment exerts on the many factors that contribute to growth over a lifetime make it difficult to generate a directly proportional formula that calculates age. A novel age estimation method was developed that utilizes in-situ visual census data to estimate the age of fishes, and as a case study, several fish were chosen as representative species to explore its capabilities. Through this process, new ecological information and insight can be gained about the age structures of fish populations both between and throughout the Line Islands.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Labare, Michaela Faith;
    Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
    Country: United States

    Understanding fish diversity patterns is critical for fisheries management amidst overfishing and climate change. Fish egg surveys have been used to characterize pelagic spawning fish communities, estimate biomass, and track population trends in response to perturbations. Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding has been implemented to rapidly and non-invasively survey marine ecosystems. To understand the efficacy of eDNA metabarcoding for assessing pelagic spawning fish community composition, concurrent eDNA metabarcoding and fish egg DNA barcoding off Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Pier (La Jolla, CA) were conducted. Both methods revealed seasonal patterns in agreement with previous fish and fish egg surveys. Species richness was highest in late spring and summer. The presence and spawning of commercially important species and species of conservation concern were detected. Both methods showed overlap for pelagic spawning fishes for broadcast spawners, schooling fish, and locally abundant species. Some actively spawning species were not co-detected with eDNA, likely due to different sampling strategies, taxonomic biases, and abiotic/biotic factors influencing eDNA transport, shedding, and degradation. We identified key advantages and disadvantages of each method. Fish egg barcoding provided information on spawning trends but did not detect taxa with alternate reproduction strategies. Metabarcoding eDNA detected species not found in fish egg sampling, including demersal and viviparous bony fishes, non-spawning adults, Chondrichthyan, and Mammalian species, but missed abundant pelagic fish eggs. This study demonstrates that DNA barcoding of fish eggs and eDNA metabarcoding work best in tandem as each method identified unique fish taxa and provided complementary ecological and biological insight.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Cohen, Rebecca Emily;
    Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
    Country: United States

    The western North Atlantic is a dynamic region characterized by the Gulf Stream western boundary current and inhabited by a diverse host of odontocete, or toothed whale, top predators. Their habitats are highly exploited by commercial fisheries, shipping, marine energy extraction, and naval exercises, subjecting them to a variety of potentially harmful interactions. Many of these species remain poorly understood due to the difficulties of observing them in the pelagic environment. Their habitat utilization and the impacts of anthropogenic activities are not well known. Over the past decade, passive acoustic data has become increasingly utilized for the study of a wide variety of marine animals, and offers several advantages over traditional line-transect visual survey methods. Passive acoustic devices can be deployed at offshore monitoring sites for long periods of time, enabling detection of even rare and cryptic species across seasons and sea states, and without altering animal behaviors. Here we utilized a large passive acoustic data set collected across a latitudinal habitat gradient in the western North Atlantic to address fundamental knowledge gaps in odontocete ecology. I approached the problem of discriminating between species based on spectral and temporal features of echolocation clicks by using machine learning to identify novel click types, and then matching these click types to species using spatiotemporal correlates. I was able to identify novel click types associated with short-beaked common dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, and short-finned pilot whales in this way. Next I characterized temporal patterns in presence and activity for ten different species across our monitoring sites at three different temporal scales: seasonal, lunar, and diel. I observed spatiotemporal separation of apparent competitors, and complex behavioral patterns modulated by interactions between the seasonal, lunar, and diel cycles. Finally I investigated the relationships between species presence and oceanographic covariates to predict habitat suitability across the region, and explored niche partitioning between potentially competitive species. The insights gained here significantly advance our understanding of toothed whale ecology in this region, and can be used for more effective population assessments and management in the face of anthropogenic threats and climate change.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Fairbank, Daniella;
    Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
    Country: United States

    Parasites and pathogens exert strong selection on their hosts and alter the structure, diversity, and productivity of communities of ecosystems. This paper presents results of a survey of parasite composition and prevalence observed on and within the freshwater hybrids Owens (Siphateles bicolor snyderi) and Lahontan (Siphateles bicolor obesa) Tui Chubs, a native minnow species, in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The Owen and Lahontan Tui Chub is present in many lakes and rivers in Northern California and its parasite community has yet to be characterized. My thesis asks what kinds of parasites are found in the freshwater Tui Chub, which lakes or streams held the highest parasitic loads, and which features of individual fish and the habitat influence parasite density and/or types of parasites. Fish samples were collected in Summer 2019 by PhD student Henry Baker at 10 different sampling sites including freshwater lakes and streams that vary in size, temperature, water chemistry and species present across Owens Valley, California. I dissected 134 individual fish to characterize the ecto- and endo-parasite communities. My results show that two of the locations had significantly higher parasite infection rates than the others, where few macroscopic parasites were observed. These two locations were both geothermal with warmer waters and distinct water chemistry with high salinity and alkalinity. This pattern suggests that some aspects of geothermal habitat favor the parasite life cycle and makes fish in these sites more easily accessible as a host, though the mechanism behind the pattern is unknown. Four main types of visually distinct parasites were found: one adult life-stage tapeworm, one adult life- stage nematode and two metacercaria trematodes, though none were identified taxonomically. The greater parasite infection rates in geothermal habitats may be related to the greater abundance of snails in these sites, which may serve as intermediate hosts to fish parasites. No differences in parasite infection rates or composition were observed between lake and stream habitats. My thesis suggests that the atypical thermal and chemical environment of geothermal springs promotes parasitism in Tui Chub, but that lakes and streams are similar in containing low rates of infection by any parasites among fish.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Degregori, Samuel;
    Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
    Country: United States

    Gut microbes provide vital functions for animal hosts. While it is known that host ecology and evolutionary history play a role in shaping gut microbiomes, a majority of studies have focused on mammal hosts. Other vertebrates, including fish, have received little attention. Coral reef fish, in particular, exhibit a wide range of distinct feeding behaviors, evolutionary histories, and geographic distributions that likely correlate with gut microbiome composition and diversity. They also inhabit a fragile ecosystem that is highly sensitive to anthropogenic disturbance—disturbances that are known to impact coral microbiomes but may or may not affect fish gut microbiomes. My thesis leverages a large unprecedented coral reef fish gut microbiome dataset (N=550), where I sampled the gut microbiomes of 20 host species of fish with robust replication spanning three islands across the South Pacific, to better understand how host phylogeny, host diet, and host environment shape vertebrate gut microbiomes. Comparing the gut microbiomes of distantly related hosts can reveal evolutionary and ecological dynamics that govern gut microbiomes across the animal kingdom. Chapter 1 investigates the possible similarities between coral reef fish and mammal gut microbiomes to elucidate any microbial features that may have converged between the two distantly related hosts. Through multivariate and Bayesian analyses, I show that fish and mammal gut microbiomes exhibit striking similarities in composition, particularly within carnivores and herbivores. Specifically, carnivores and herbivore gut microbiomes show more similarities within their diet groups than within their host phylogenies, and share a significant number of ASVs. Herbivore fish and mammal gut microbiomes, in particular, share a significant number of amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) associated with the functional requirements of herbivory, such as Ruminococcus and Treponema. My results indicate that despite 365 million years of evolution and two drastically distinct habitats (terrestrial vs. marine), fish and mammal gut microbiomes have converged on the basis of diet. Expanding on Chapter 1, Chapter 2 moves beyond host phylogeny and diet and aims to isolate and analyze the effects of host habitat on gut microbiome composition and diversity. Previous work on environmental effects acting on animal gut microbiomes largely focused on captive hosts or wild hosts of a single species, potentially ignoring any interactions between host environment and host phylogeny in the wild. Here, I leverage my dataset of coral reef fish gut microbiomes from a diverse range of hosts from three geographically distinct habitats to better understand how host habitat shapes vertebrate gut microbiomes. I find that host habitat significantly shapes fish gut microbiome composition and diversity and these effects are highly dependent on host phylogeny. For example, within the same analyses, a fish such as R. aculeatus, had significantly different gut microbiomes between the three islands, whereas E. merra gut microbiomes were largely unaffected by island location. For the fish gut microbiomes that were significantly impacted by host habitat, many of the associated ASVs were ASVs found in Chapter 1, suggesting that host habitat may also shape gut microbiome function. While comparative approaches on wild hosts are crucial in elucidating generalizable rules that govern animal gut microbiomes, experimental approaches are also imperative to unpack the finer-scale qualities and mechanisms of these rules. Chapter 3 builds on Chapter 2 by leveraging a simulated nutrient enrichment experimental design to further investigate the effects of host environment on gut microbiome composition and diversity. Nutrient enrichment is one of the most threatening consequences of anthropogenic stress on coral reef ecosystems, and the effects of nutrient enrichment on reef fauna gut microbiomes are largely unknown. Here, I artificially enrich the territories (N=40) of a highly abundant, territorial gardening fish, Stegastes nigricans, and use multivariate and differential abundance analyses to elucidate how nutrient enrichment impacts animal gut microbiome composition and diversity. I find that nutrient enrichment effectively “enriches” the gut microbiome, with S. nigricans gut microbiomes in enriched territories exhibiting significantly higher alpha diversities than those in control territories. I also find that these changes are specific to the hindgut and do not occur in the microbiomes of the food source that S. nigricans gardens.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Bell, Heather Nicole;
    Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
    Country: United States

    In late 2019, at multiple hatcheries in California’s Central Valley (CCV), offspring of recently spawned fall-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) exhibited abnormalities in swimming, lethargy, and high early life-stage mortality; the combination of these symptoms is commonly referred to as thiamine deficiency complex (TDC). The cause of thiamine deficiency in Pacific salmonids is hypothesized to be due to a lack of diet heterogeneity and reliance on northern anchovies (Engraulis mordax), containing high levels of thiaminase, a thiamine-cleaving enzyme. Of CCV’s four runs, the endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon (WRCS) is perhaps the most vulnerable to thiamine deficiency as any additional stressor will exacerbate current threats to survival. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of thiamine supplementation in pre-spawn WRCS females on their offspring egg thiamine concentrations, survival, prevalence of TDC-related symptoms, and physiological performance and behavioral traits. Sixty female WRCS at Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery were randomly administered either a thiamine injection (n=33; 500 mg/ml thiamine hydrochloride) at a dose of 50 mg/kg body weight or a sham injection (n=27; sterile saline solution) at a volume of 0.127 ml/kg body weight. After spawn, a subset of fertilized eggs from each female were analyzed for thiamine concentration. Eyed embryos were transferred to the University of California, Davis and kept for observations of TDC, survival, and to assess the effects of maternal thiamine treatments on offspring physiology and behavior. Upper thermal tolerance, routine metabolic rate, spontaneous swimming activity, boldness, and anti-predator responses were evaluated in swim-up fry. On average, total egg thiamine concentrations were 5.02 and 34.91 nmol/g for untreated (n=27) and thiamine treated (n=33) females, respectively. Mortality rate of offspring from untreated females averaged 32.97 ± 0.33 %, with rates ranging from 0 to 100%, while offspring from thiamine treated females had a mean mortality rate of less than 1%. Using a binomial logistic regression model, we predicted that a mean total egg thiamine concentration of ~5 nmol/g supports 95% survival within a family (EC95). There were no statistically significant effects of maternal treatment on any of the physiological or behavioral metrics assessed in this study. Overall, we recommend the administration of supplemental thiamine to increase thiamine concentrations past the threshold at which TDC symptoms are commonly observed; however, additional research should be conducted to further examine potential latent effects of thiamine deficiency in Pacific salmonids.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Berta, Veronica Zsazsa;
    Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
    Country: United States

    Amines were measured by aerosol mass spectrometry (AMS) and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy during the North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES) cruises. Both AMS non-refractory (NR) amine ion fragments comprising the AMS CxHyNz family and FTIR non-volatile (NV) amine measured as primary (C-NH2) amine groups typically had greater concentrations in continental air masses than marine air masses. Secondary continental sources of AMS NR amine fragments were identified by consistent correlations to AMS NR nitrate, AMS NR m/z 44, IC non-sea salt potassium, and radon for most air masses. FTIR NV amine group mass concentrations for particles with diameters <1 μm showed large contributions from a primary marine source that was identified by significant correlations with measurements of wind speed, chlorophyll a, seawater dimethylsulfide (DMS), AMS NR chloride, and ion chromatography (IC) sea salt as well as FTIR NV alcohol groups in both marine and continental air masses. FTIR NV amine group mass concentrations in <0.18 μm and <0.5 μm particle samples in marine air masses likely have a biogenic secondary source associated with strong correlations to FTIR NV acid groups, which are not present for <1 μm particle samples. The average seasonal contribution of AMS NR amine fragments and FTIR NV amine groups ranged from 27% primary marine amine and 73% secondary continental amine during Early Spring to 53% primary amine and 47% secondary continental amine during Winter. These results demonstrate that AMS NR and FTIR NV amine measurements are complementary and can be used together to investigate the variety and sources of amines in the marine environment.

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The following results are related to European Marine Science. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
276 Research products, page 1 of 28
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Romero-Alvarez, Johana; Lupaşcu, Aurelia; Lowe, Douglas; Badia, Alba; Acher-Nicholls, Scott; Dorling, Steve R.; Reeves, Claire E.; Butler, Tim;
    Project: EC | ASIBIA (616938)

    Tropospheric ozone (O3) concentrations depend on a combination of hemispheric, regional, and local-scale processes. Estimates of how much O3 is produced locally vs. transported from further afield are essential in air quality management and regulatory policies. Here, a tagged-ozone mechanism within the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with chemistry (WRF-Chem) is used to quantify the contributions to surface O3 in the UK from anthropogenic nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from inside and outside the UK during May–August 2015. The contribution of the different source regions to three regulatory O3 metrics is also examined. It is shown that model simulations predict the concentration and spatial distribution of surface O3 with a domain-wide mean bias of −3.7 ppbv. Anthropogenic NOx emissions from the UK and Europe account for 13 % and 16 %, respectively, of the monthly mean surface O3 in the UK, as the majority (71 %) of O3 originates from the hemispheric background. Hemispheric O3 contributes the most to concentrations in the north and the west of the UK with peaks in May, whereas European and UK contributions are most significant in the east, south-east, and London, i.e. the UK's most populated areas, intensifying towards June and July. Moreover, O3 from European sources is generally transported to the UK rather than produced in situ. It is demonstrated that more stringent emission controls over continental Europe, particularly in western Europe, would be necessary to improve the health-related metric MDA8 O3 above 50 and 60 ppbv. Emission controls over larger areas, such as the Northern Hemisphere, are instead required to lessen the impacts on ecosystems as quantified by the AOT40 metric.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    McLean, Dianne L.; Ferreira, Luciana C.; Benthuysen, Jessica A.; Miller, Karen J.; Schlappy, Marie-Lise; Ajemian, Matthew J.; Berry, Oliver; Birchenough, Silvana N. R.; Bond, Todd; Boschetti, Fabio; +36 more
    Country: United Kingdom

    This research was supported by the National Decommissioning Research Initiative (NDRI Australia). We acknowledge the time contribution of all co-authors and additionally via research undertaken through the UKRI INSITE Programme including projects ANChor, CHASANS (NE/T010886/1), EcoConnect, EcoSTAR (NE/T010614/1), FuECoMMS (NE/T010800/1), MAPS, NSERC. DMP was supported through The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) funded by the Scottish Funding Council and contributing institutions. SNRB and KH (Cefas) were funded by Cefas and the UK INSITE North Sea programme. Offshore platforms, subsea pipelines, wells and related fixed structures supporting the oil and gas (O&G) industry are prevalent in oceans across the globe, with many approaching the end of their operational life and requiring decommissioning. Although structures can possess high ecological diversity and productivity, information on how they interact with broader ecological processes remains unclear. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on the role of O&G infrastructure in maintaining, altering or enhancing ecological connectivity with natural marine habitats. There is a paucity of studies on the subject with only 33 papers specifically targeting connectivity and O&G structures, although other studies provide important related information. Evidence for O&G structures facilitating vertical and horizontal seascape connectivity exists for larvae and mobile adult invertebrates, fish and megafauna; including threatened and commercially important species. The degree to which these structures represent a beneficial or detrimental net impact remains unclear, is complex and ultimately needs more research to determine the extent to which natural connectivity networks are conserved, enhanced or disrupted. We discuss the potential impacts of different decommissioning approaches on seascape connectivity and identify, through expert elicitation, critical knowledge gaps that, if addressed, may further inform decision making for the life cycle of O&G infrastructure, with relevance for other industries (e.g. renewables). The most highly ranked critical knowledge gap was a need to understand how O&G structures modify and influence the movement patterns of mobile species and dispersal stages of sessile marine species. Understanding how different decommissioning options affect species survival and movement was also highly ranked, as was understanding the extent to which O&G structures contribute to extending species distributions by providing rest stops, foraging habitat, and stepping stones. These questions could be addressed with further dedicated studies of animal movement in relation to structures using telemetry, molecular techniques and movement models. Our review and these priority questions provide a roadmap for advancing research needed to support evidence-based decision making for decommissioning O&G infrastructure. Publisher PDF Peer reviewed

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Healy, Susan D.; Patton, B. Wren;
    Country: United Kingdom

    But fish cognitive ecology did not begin in rivers and streams. Rather, one of the starting points for work on fish cognitive ecology was work done on the use of visual cues by homing pigeons. Prior to working with fish, Victoria Braithwaite helped to establish that homing pigeons rely not just on magnetic and olfactory cues but also on visual cues for successful return to their home loft. Simple, elegant experiments on homing established Victoria's ability to develop experimental manipulations to examine the role of visual cues in navigation by fish in familiar areas. This work formed the basis of a rich seam of work whereby a fish's ecology was used to propose hypotheses and predictions as to preferred cue use, and then cognitive abilities in a variety of fish species, from model systems (Atlantic salmon and sticklebacks) to the Panamanian Brachyraphis episcopi. Cognitive ecology in fish led to substantial work on fish pain and welfare, but was never left behind, with some of Victoria's last work addressed to determining the neural instantiation of cognitive variation. Publisher PDF Peer reviewed

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Iyer, Ram Balam;
    Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
    Country: United States

    Time and energy are finite resources in any environment, and how and when organisms use their available resources to survive and reproduce is the crux of life history theory (Gadgil and Bossert 1970; Balon 1975; Stearns 1976). The different survival strategies used by animals are often shaped by their environment in addition to their biology (Winemiller and Rose 1992), which allows for exploration into biological variability when environmental factors are known. For this reason, the Line Islands in the Central Pacific provide an ideal location to perform observational studies due to their unique productivity gradient and fish assemblage structures across the island chain (Sandin et al. 2008; DeMartini et al. 2008; Fox et al. 2018; Zgliczynski et al. 2019). Many of the world’s coral reefs are in remote regions that lack monitoring programs or even local populations, so conducting ecological surveys on fish communities in these regions can require extensive amounts of time, energy, resources and people. The inherent variability an environment exerts on the many factors that contribute to growth over a lifetime make it difficult to generate a directly proportional formula that calculates age. A novel age estimation method was developed that utilizes in-situ visual census data to estimate the age of fishes, and as a case study, several fish were chosen as representative species to explore its capabilities. Through this process, new ecological information and insight can be gained about the age structures of fish populations both between and throughout the Line Islands.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Labare, Michaela Faith;
    Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
    Country: United States

    Understanding fish diversity patterns is critical for fisheries management amidst overfishing and climate change. Fish egg surveys have been used to characterize pelagic spawning fish communities, estimate biomass, and track population trends in response to perturbations. Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding has been implemented to rapidly and non-invasively survey marine ecosystems. To understand the efficacy of eDNA metabarcoding for assessing pelagic spawning fish community composition, concurrent eDNA metabarcoding and fish egg DNA barcoding off Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Pier (La Jolla, CA) were conducted. Both methods revealed seasonal patterns in agreement with previous fish and fish egg surveys. Species richness was highest in late spring and summer. The presence and spawning of commercially important species and species of conservation concern were detected. Both methods showed overlap for pelagic spawning fishes for broadcast spawners, schooling fish, and locally abundant species. Some actively spawning species were not co-detected with eDNA, likely due to different sampling strategies, taxonomic biases, and abiotic/biotic factors influencing eDNA transport, shedding, and degradation. We identified key advantages and disadvantages of each method. Fish egg barcoding provided information on spawning trends but did not detect taxa with alternate reproduction strategies. Metabarcoding eDNA detected species not found in fish egg sampling, including demersal and viviparous bony fishes, non-spawning adults, Chondrichthyan, and Mammalian species, but missed abundant pelagic fish eggs. This study demonstrates that DNA barcoding of fish eggs and eDNA metabarcoding work best in tandem as each method identified unique fish taxa and provided complementary ecological and biological insight.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Cohen, Rebecca Emily;
    Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
    Country: United States

    The western North Atlantic is a dynamic region characterized by the Gulf Stream western boundary current and inhabited by a diverse host of odontocete, or toothed whale, top predators. Their habitats are highly exploited by commercial fisheries, shipping, marine energy extraction, and naval exercises, subjecting them to a variety of potentially harmful interactions. Many of these species remain poorly understood due to the difficulties of observing them in the pelagic environment. Their habitat utilization and the impacts of anthropogenic activities are not well known. Over the past decade, passive acoustic data has become increasingly utilized for the study of a wide variety of marine animals, and offers several advantages over traditional line-transect visual survey methods. Passive acoustic devices can be deployed at offshore monitoring sites for long periods of time, enabling detection of even rare and cryptic species across seasons and sea states, and without altering animal behaviors. Here we utilized a large passive acoustic data set collected across a latitudinal habitat gradient in the western North Atlantic to address fundamental knowledge gaps in odontocete ecology. I approached the problem of discriminating between species based on spectral and temporal features of echolocation clicks by using machine learning to identify novel click types, and then matching these click types to species using spatiotemporal correlates. I was able to identify novel click types associated with short-beaked common dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, and short-finned pilot whales in this way. Next I characterized temporal patterns in presence and activity for ten different species across our monitoring sites at three different temporal scales: seasonal, lunar, and diel. I observed spatiotemporal separation of apparent competitors, and complex behavioral patterns modulated by interactions between the seasonal, lunar, and diel cycles. Finally I investigated the relationships between species presence and oceanographic covariates to predict habitat suitability across the region, and explored niche partitioning between potentially competitive species. The insights gained here significantly advance our understanding of toothed whale ecology in this region, and can be used for more effective population assessments and management in the face of anthropogenic threats and climate change.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Fairbank, Daniella;
    Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
    Country: United States

    Parasites and pathogens exert strong selection on their hosts and alter the structure, diversity, and productivity of communities of ecosystems. This paper presents results of a survey of parasite composition and prevalence observed on and within the freshwater hybrids Owens (Siphateles bicolor snyderi) and Lahontan (Siphateles bicolor obesa) Tui Chubs, a native minnow species, in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The Owen and Lahontan Tui Chub is present in many lakes and rivers in Northern California and its parasite community has yet to be characterized. My thesis asks what kinds of parasites are found in the freshwater Tui Chub, which lakes or streams held the highest parasitic loads, and which features of individual fish and the habitat influence parasite density and/or types of parasites. Fish samples were collected in Summer 2019 by PhD student Henry Baker at 10 different sampling sites including freshwater lakes and streams that vary in size, temperature, water chemistry and species present across Owens Valley, California. I dissected 134 individual fish to characterize the ecto- and endo-parasite communities. My results show that two of the locations had significantly higher parasite infection rates than the others, where few macroscopic parasites were observed. These two locations were both geothermal with warmer waters and distinct water chemistry with high salinity and alkalinity. This pattern suggests that some aspects of geothermal habitat favor the parasite life cycle and makes fish in these sites more easily accessible as a host, though the mechanism behind the pattern is unknown. Four main types of visually distinct parasites were found: one adult life-stage tapeworm, one adult life- stage nematode and two metacercaria trematodes, though none were identified taxonomically. The greater parasite infection rates in geothermal habitats may be related to the greater abundance of snails in these sites, which may serve as intermediate hosts to fish parasites. No differences in parasite infection rates or composition were observed between lake and stream habitats. My thesis suggests that the atypical thermal and chemical environment of geothermal springs promotes parasitism in Tui Chub, but that lakes and streams are similar in containing low rates of infection by any parasites among fish.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Degregori, Samuel;
    Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
    Country: United States

    Gut microbes provide vital functions for animal hosts. While it is known that host ecology and evolutionary history play a role in shaping gut microbiomes, a majority of studies have focused on mammal hosts. Other vertebrates, including fish, have received little attention. Coral reef fish, in particular, exhibit a wide range of distinct feeding behaviors, evolutionary histories, and geographic distributions that likely correlate with gut microbiome composition and diversity. They also inhabit a fragile ecosystem that is highly sensitive to anthropogenic disturbance—disturbances that are known to impact coral microbiomes but may or may not affect fish gut microbiomes. My thesis leverages a large unprecedented coral reef fish gut microbiome dataset (N=550), where I sampled the gut microbiomes of 20 host species of fish with robust replication spanning three islands across the South Pacific, to better understand how host phylogeny, host diet, and host environment shape vertebrate gut microbiomes. Comparing the gut microbiomes of distantly related hosts can reveal evolutionary and ecological dynamics that govern gut microbiomes across the animal kingdom. Chapter 1 investigates the possible similarities between coral reef fish and mammal gut microbiomes to elucidate any microbial features that may have converged between the two distantly related hosts. Through multivariate and Bayesian analyses, I show that fish and mammal gut microbiomes exhibit striking similarities in composition, particularly within carnivores and herbivores. Specifically, carnivores and herbivore gut microbiomes show more similarities within their diet groups than within their host phylogenies, and share a significant number of ASVs. Herbivore fish and mammal gut microbiomes, in particular, share a significant number of amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) associated with the functional requirements of herbivory, such as Ruminococcus and Treponema. My results indicate that despite 365 million years of evolution and two drastically distinct habitats (terrestrial vs. marine), fish and mammal gut microbiomes have converged on the basis of diet. Expanding on Chapter 1, Chapter 2 moves beyond host phylogeny and diet and aims to isolate and analyze the effects of host habitat on gut microbiome composition and diversity. Previous work on environmental effects acting on animal gut microbiomes largely focused on captive hosts or wild hosts of a single species, potentially ignoring any interactions between host environment and host phylogeny in the wild. Here, I leverage my dataset of coral reef fish gut microbiomes from a diverse range of hosts from three geographically distinct habitats to better understand how host habitat shapes vertebrate gut microbiomes. I find that host habitat significantly shapes fish gut microbiome composition and diversity and these effects are highly dependent on host phylogeny. For example, within the same analyses, a fish such as R. aculeatus, had significantly different gut microbiomes between the three islands, whereas E. merra gut microbiomes were largely unaffected by island location. For the fish gut microbiomes that were significantly impacted by host habitat, many of the associated ASVs were ASVs found in Chapter 1, suggesting that host habitat may also shape gut microbiome function. While comparative approaches on wild hosts are crucial in elucidating generalizable rules that govern animal gut microbiomes, experimental approaches are also imperative to unpack the finer-scale qualities and mechanisms of these rules. Chapter 3 builds on Chapter 2 by leveraging a simulated nutrient enrichment experimental design to further investigate the effects of host environment on gut microbiome composition and diversity. Nutrient enrichment is one of the most threatening consequences of anthropogenic stress on coral reef ecosystems, and the effects of nutrient enrichment on reef fauna gut microbiomes are largely unknown. Here, I artificially enrich the territories (N=40) of a highly abundant, territorial gardening fish, Stegastes nigricans, and use multivariate and differential abundance analyses to elucidate how nutrient enrichment impacts animal gut microbiome composition and diversity. I find that nutrient enrichment effectively “enriches” the gut microbiome, with S. nigricans gut microbiomes in enriched territories exhibiting significantly higher alpha diversities than those in control territories. I also find that these changes are specific to the hindgut and do not occur in the microbiomes of the food source that S. nigricans gardens.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Bell, Heather Nicole;
    Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
    Country: United States

    In late 2019, at multiple hatcheries in California’s Central Valley (CCV), offspring of recently spawned fall-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) exhibited abnormalities in swimming, lethargy, and high early life-stage mortality; the combination of these symptoms is commonly referred to as thiamine deficiency complex (TDC). The cause of thiamine deficiency in Pacific salmonids is hypothesized to be due to a lack of diet heterogeneity and reliance on northern anchovies (Engraulis mordax), containing high levels of thiaminase, a thiamine-cleaving enzyme. Of CCV’s four runs, the endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon (WRCS) is perhaps the most vulnerable to thiamine deficiency as any additional stressor will exacerbate current threats to survival. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of thiamine supplementation in pre-spawn WRCS females on their offspring egg thiamine concentrations, survival, prevalence of TDC-related symptoms, and physiological performance and behavioral traits. Sixty female WRCS at Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery were randomly administered either a thiamine injection (n=33; 500 mg/ml thiamine hydrochloride) at a dose of 50 mg/kg body weight or a sham injection (n=27; sterile saline solution) at a volume of 0.127 ml/kg body weight. After spawn, a subset of fertilized eggs from each female were analyzed for thiamine concentration. Eyed embryos were transferred to the University of California, Davis and kept for observations of TDC, survival, and to assess the effects of maternal thiamine treatments on offspring physiology and behavior. Upper thermal tolerance, routine metabolic rate, spontaneous swimming activity, boldness, and anti-predator responses were evaluated in swim-up fry. On average, total egg thiamine concentrations were 5.02 and 34.91 nmol/g for untreated (n=27) and thiamine treated (n=33) females, respectively. Mortality rate of offspring from untreated females averaged 32.97 ± 0.33 %, with rates ranging from 0 to 100%, while offspring from thiamine treated females had a mean mortality rate of less than 1%. Using a binomial logistic regression model, we predicted that a mean total egg thiamine concentration of ~5 nmol/g supports 95% survival within a family (EC95). There were no statistically significant effects of maternal treatment on any of the physiological or behavioral metrics assessed in this study. Overall, we recommend the administration of supplemental thiamine to increase thiamine concentrations past the threshold at which TDC symptoms are commonly observed; however, additional research should be conducted to further examine potential latent effects of thiamine deficiency in Pacific salmonids.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Berta, Veronica Zsazsa;
    Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
    Country: United States

    Amines were measured by aerosol mass spectrometry (AMS) and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy during the North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES) cruises. Both AMS non-refractory (NR) amine ion fragments comprising the AMS CxHyNz family and FTIR non-volatile (NV) amine measured as primary (C-NH2) amine groups typically had greater concentrations in continental air masses than marine air masses. Secondary continental sources of AMS NR amine fragments were identified by consistent correlations to AMS NR nitrate, AMS NR m/z 44, IC non-sea salt potassium, and radon for most air masses. FTIR NV amine group mass concentrations for particles with diameters <1 μm showed large contributions from a primary marine source that was identified by significant correlations with measurements of wind speed, chlorophyll a, seawater dimethylsulfide (DMS), AMS NR chloride, and ion chromatography (IC) sea salt as well as FTIR NV alcohol groups in both marine and continental air masses. FTIR NV amine group mass concentrations in <0.18 μm and <0.5 μm particle samples in marine air masses likely have a biogenic secondary source associated with strong correlations to FTIR NV acid groups, which are not present for <1 μm particle samples. The average seasonal contribution of AMS NR amine fragments and FTIR NV amine groups ranged from 27% primary marine amine and 73% secondary continental amine during Early Spring to 53% primary amine and 47% secondary continental amine during Winter. These results demonstrate that AMS NR and FTIR NV amine measurements are complementary and can be used together to investigate the variety and sources of amines in the marine environment.