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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Vries, Joost; Monteiro, Fanny; Wheeler, Glen; Poulton, Alex; Godrijan, Jelena; Cerino, Federica; Malinverno, Elisa; Langer, Gerald; Brownlee, Colin;
    Project: UKRI | GW4+ - a consortium of ex... (NE/L002434/1), UKRI | NSFGEO-NERC An unexpected... (NE/N011708/1), MZOS | Mechanism of long-term ch... (098-0982705-2731), EC | MEDSEA (265103), EC | SEACELLS (670390)

    Coccolithophores are globally important marine calcifying phytoplankton that utilize a haplo-diplontic life cycle. The haplo-diplontic life cycle allows coccolithophores to divide in both life cycle phases and potentially expands coccolithophore niche volume. Research has, however, to date largely overlooked the life cycle of coccolithophores and has instead focused on the diploid life cycle phase of coccolithophores. Through the synthesis and analysis of global scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coccolithophore abundance data (n=2534), we find that calcified haploid coccolithophores generally constitute a minor component of the total coccolithophore abundance (≈ 2 %–15 % depending on season). However, using case studies in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, we show that, depending on environmental conditions, calcifying haploid coccolithophores can be significant contributors to the coccolithophore standing stock (up to ≈30 %). Furthermore, using hypervolumes to quantify the niche of coccolithophores, we illustrate that the haploid and diploid life cycle phases inhabit contrasting niches and that on average this allows coccolithophores to expand their niche by ≈18.8 %, with a range of 3 %–76 % for individual species. Our results highlight that future coccolithophore research should consider both life cycle stages, as omission of the haploid life cycle phase in current research limits our understanding of coccolithophore ecology. Our results furthermore suggest a different response to nutrient limitation and stratification, which may be of relevance for further climate scenarios. Our compilation highlights the spatial and temporal sparsity of SEM measurements and the need for new molecular techniques to identify uncalcified haploid coccolithophores. Our work also emphasizes the need for further work on the carbonate chemistry niche of the coccolithophore life cycle.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Paradis, Sarah; Pusceddu, Antonio; Masqué, Pere; Puig, Pere; Moccia, Davide; Russo, Tommaso; Iacono, Claudio;
    Project: EC | EUROFLEETS2 (312762)

    Bottom trawling in the deep sea is one of the main drivers of sediment resuspension, eroding the seafloor and altering the content and composition of sedimentary organic matter (OM). The physical and biogeochemical impacts of bottom trawling were studied on the continental slope of the Gulf of Castellammare, Sicily (southwestern Mediterranean), through the analysis of two triplicate sediment cores collected at trawled and untrawled sites (∼550 m water depth) during the summer of 2016. Geochemical and sedimentological parameters (excess 210Pb, excess 234Th, 137Cs, dry bulk density, and grain size), elemental (organic carbon and nitrogen) and biochemical composition of sedimentary OM (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids), as well as its freshness (phytopigments) and degradation rates were determined in both coring locations. The untrawled site had a sedimentation rate of 0.15 cm yr−1 and presented a 6 cm thick surface mixed layer that contained siltier sediment with low excess 210Pb concentrations, possibly resulting from the resuspension, posterior advection, and eventual deposition of coarser and older sediment from adjacent trawling grounds. In contrast, the trawled site was eroded and presented compacted century-old sediment highly depleted in OM components, which were between 20 % and 60 % lower than those in the untrawled site. However, the upper 2 cm of the trawled site consisted of recently accumulated sediments enriched in excess 234Th, excess 210Pb, and phytopigments, while OM contents were similar to those from the untrawled core. This fresh sediment supported protein turnover rates of 0.025 d−1, which doubled those quantified in surface sediments of the untrawled site. The enhancement of remineralization rates in surface sediment of the trawled site was associated with the arrival of fresh particles on a chronically trawled deep-sea region that is generally deprived of OM. We conclude that the detrimental effects of bottom trawling can be temporarily and partially abated by the arrival of fresh and nutritionally rich OM, which stimulate the response of benthic communities. However, these ephemeral deposits are likely to be swiftly eroded due to the high trawling frequency over fishing grounds, highlighting the importance of establishing science-based management strategies to mitigate the impacts of bottom trawling.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Friedrich, J.; Janssen, F.; Aleynik, D.; Bange, H. W.; Boltacheva, N.; Çagatay, M. N.; Dale, A. W.; Etiope, G.; Erdem, Z.; Geraga, M.; +29 more
    Project: EC | HYPOX (226213)

    In this paper we provide an overview of new knowledge on oxygen depletion (hypoxia) and related phenomena in aquatic systems resulting from the EU-FP7 project HYPOX ("In situ monitoring of oxygen depletion in hypoxic ecosystems of coastal and open seas, and landlocked water bodies", http://www.hypox.net). In view of the anticipated oxygen loss in aquatic systems due to eutrophication and climate change, HYPOX was set up to improve capacities to monitor hypoxia as well as to understand its causes and consequences. Temporal dynamics and spatial patterns of hypoxia were analyzed in field studies in various aquatic environments, including the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, Scottish and Scandinavian fjords, Ionian Sea lagoons and embayments, and Swiss lakes. Examples of episodic and rapid (hours) occurrences of hypoxia, as well as seasonal changes in bottom-water oxygenation in stratified systems, are discussed. Geologically driven hypoxia caused by gas seepage is demonstrated. Using novel technologies, temporal and spatial patterns of water-column oxygenation, from basin-scale seasonal patterns to meter-scale sub-micromolar oxygen distributions, were resolved. Existing multidecadal monitoring data were used to demonstrate the imprint of climate change and eutrophication on long-term oxygen distributions. Organic and inorganic proxies were used to extend investigations on past oxygen conditions to centennial and even longer timescales that cannot be resolved by monitoring. The effects of hypoxia on faunal communities and biogeochemical processes were also addressed in the project. An investigation of benthic fauna is presented as an example of hypoxia-devastated benthic communities that slowly recover upon a reduction in eutrophication in a system where naturally occurring hypoxia overlaps with anthropogenic hypoxia. Biogeochemical investigations reveal that oxygen intrusions have a strong effect on the microbially mediated redox cycling of elements. Observations and modeling studies of the sediments demonstrate the effect of seasonally changing oxygen conditions on benthic mineralization pathways and fluxes. Data quality and access are crucial in hypoxia research. Technical issues are therefore also addressed, including the availability of suitable sensor technology to resolve the gradual changes in bottom-water oxygen in marine systems that can be expected as a result of climate change. Using cabled observatories as examples, we show how the benefit of continuous oxygen monitoring can be maximized by adopting proper quality control. Finally, we discuss strategies for state-of-the-art data archiving and dissemination in compliance with global standards, and how ocean observations can contribute to global earth observation attempts.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Tesi, T.; Miserocchi, S.; Goñi, M. A.; Turchetto, M.; Langone, L.; Lazzari, A.; Albertazzi, S.; Correggiari, A.;
    Project: EC | SOMFLOOD (221167)

    From November 2008 through May 2009, the Po river (Italy) experienced several floods exceeding 5000 m3 s−1. This long series of events ended with a large flood in early May 2009 (~8000 m3 s−1). An event-response sampling was carried out in the Po prodelta in April–May 2009 to characterize the preservation of this series of floods in the sediment record and to describe the event-supply and deposition of riverborne particulate material during the May 2009 flood. The water sampling was carried out early in the event under conditions of moderate river flow (~5000 m3 s−1) and 24 h later during the peak discharge (~8000 m3 s−1). Sediment cores were collected in the prodelta before and after the peak flood. At each station, profiles of conductivity, transmittance, and fluorescence were acquired. Surface and bottom waters were sampled to collect sediments in suspension. In addition, a few days before the May 2009 event, suspended sediments were collected at Pontelagoscuro gauging station, ~90 km upstream from the coast. Biogeochemical compositions and sedimentological characteristics of suspended and sediment samples were investigated using bulk and biomarker analyses. Furthermore, 7Be and radiographs were used to analyze the internal stratigraphy of sediment cores. During moderate flow, the water column did not show evidence of plume penetration. Stations re-occupied 24 h later exhibited marked physical and biogeochemical changes during the peak flood. However, the concentration of terrestrially-derived material in surface waters was still less than expected. These results suggested that, since material enters the Adriatic as buoyancy-driven flow with a reduced transport capacity, settling and flocculation processes result in trapping a significant fraction of land-derived material in shallow sediments and/or within distributary channels. Although numerous discharge peaks occurred from November 2008 through April 2009 (4000–6000 m3 s−1), sediment cores collected in late April 2009 showed lack of event-strata preservation and reduced 7Be penetrations. This suggested that only a small fraction of the sediment supply during ordinary events reaches the deepest region of the prodelta (12–20 m water depth). As a result, these event-strata have a thickness not sufficient to be preserved in the sediment record because of post-depositional processes that destroy the flood signal. Stations in the northern and central prodelta were re-occupied after the peak of the May 2009 flood. Based on 7Be and radiographs, we estimated event layers of 17 and 6 cm thickness, respectively. Selective trapping of coarse material occurred in the central prodelta likely because of the geomorphologic setting of the central outlet characterized by an estuary-like mouth. Despite these settling processes, lignin-based parameters indicated that the composition of the terrigenous OC was fairly homogenous throughout the network of channels and between size-fractions.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Comeau Steeve; Gorsky G; Jeffree Ross; Teyssié Jean-Louis; Gattuso Jean-Pierre;
    Project: EC | EPOCA (211384)

    Thecosome pteropods (shelled pelagic molluscs) can play an important role in the food web of various ecosystems and play a key role in the cycling of carbon and carbonate. Since they harbor an aragonitic shell, they could be very sensitive to ocean acidification driven by the increase of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. The impact of changes in the carbonate chemistry was investigated on Limacina helicina, a key species of Arctic ecosystems. Pteropods were kept in culture under controlled pH conditions corresponding to pCO2 levels of 350 and 760 μatm. Calcification was estimated using a fluorochrome and the radioisotope 45Ca. It exhibits a 28% decrease at the pH value expected for 2100 compared to the present pH value. This result supports the concern for the future of pteropods in a high-CO2 world, as well as of those species dependent upon them as a food resource. A decline of their populations would likely cause dramatic changes to the structure, function and services of polar ecosystems.

Advanced search in Research products
Research products
arrow_drop_down
Searching FieldsTerms
Any field
arrow_drop_down
includes
arrow_drop_down
Include:
The following results are related to European Marine Science. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
5 Research products, page 1 of 1
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Vries, Joost; Monteiro, Fanny; Wheeler, Glen; Poulton, Alex; Godrijan, Jelena; Cerino, Federica; Malinverno, Elisa; Langer, Gerald; Brownlee, Colin;
    Project: UKRI | GW4+ - a consortium of ex... (NE/L002434/1), UKRI | NSFGEO-NERC An unexpected... (NE/N011708/1), MZOS | Mechanism of long-term ch... (098-0982705-2731), EC | MEDSEA (265103), EC | SEACELLS (670390)

    Coccolithophores are globally important marine calcifying phytoplankton that utilize a haplo-diplontic life cycle. The haplo-diplontic life cycle allows coccolithophores to divide in both life cycle phases and potentially expands coccolithophore niche volume. Research has, however, to date largely overlooked the life cycle of coccolithophores and has instead focused on the diploid life cycle phase of coccolithophores. Through the synthesis and analysis of global scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coccolithophore abundance data (n=2534), we find that calcified haploid coccolithophores generally constitute a minor component of the total coccolithophore abundance (≈ 2 %–15 % depending on season). However, using case studies in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, we show that, depending on environmental conditions, calcifying haploid coccolithophores can be significant contributors to the coccolithophore standing stock (up to ≈30 %). Furthermore, using hypervolumes to quantify the niche of coccolithophores, we illustrate that the haploid and diploid life cycle phases inhabit contrasting niches and that on average this allows coccolithophores to expand their niche by ≈18.8 %, with a range of 3 %–76 % for individual species. Our results highlight that future coccolithophore research should consider both life cycle stages, as omission of the haploid life cycle phase in current research limits our understanding of coccolithophore ecology. Our results furthermore suggest a different response to nutrient limitation and stratification, which may be of relevance for further climate scenarios. Our compilation highlights the spatial and temporal sparsity of SEM measurements and the need for new molecular techniques to identify uncalcified haploid coccolithophores. Our work also emphasizes the need for further work on the carbonate chemistry niche of the coccolithophore life cycle.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Paradis, Sarah; Pusceddu, Antonio; Masqué, Pere; Puig, Pere; Moccia, Davide; Russo, Tommaso; Iacono, Claudio;
    Project: EC | EUROFLEETS2 (312762)

    Bottom trawling in the deep sea is one of the main drivers of sediment resuspension, eroding the seafloor and altering the content and composition of sedimentary organic matter (OM). The physical and biogeochemical impacts of bottom trawling were studied on the continental slope of the Gulf of Castellammare, Sicily (southwestern Mediterranean), through the analysis of two triplicate sediment cores collected at trawled and untrawled sites (∼550 m water depth) during the summer of 2016. Geochemical and sedimentological parameters (excess 210Pb, excess 234Th, 137Cs, dry bulk density, and grain size), elemental (organic carbon and nitrogen) and biochemical composition of sedimentary OM (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids), as well as its freshness (phytopigments) and degradation rates were determined in both coring locations. The untrawled site had a sedimentation rate of 0.15 cm yr−1 and presented a 6 cm thick surface mixed layer that contained siltier sediment with low excess 210Pb concentrations, possibly resulting from the resuspension, posterior advection, and eventual deposition of coarser and older sediment from adjacent trawling grounds. In contrast, the trawled site was eroded and presented compacted century-old sediment highly depleted in OM components, which were between 20 % and 60 % lower than those in the untrawled site. However, the upper 2 cm of the trawled site consisted of recently accumulated sediments enriched in excess 234Th, excess 210Pb, and phytopigments, while OM contents were similar to those from the untrawled core. This fresh sediment supported protein turnover rates of 0.025 d−1, which doubled those quantified in surface sediments of the untrawled site. The enhancement of remineralization rates in surface sediment of the trawled site was associated with the arrival of fresh particles on a chronically trawled deep-sea region that is generally deprived of OM. We conclude that the detrimental effects of bottom trawling can be temporarily and partially abated by the arrival of fresh and nutritionally rich OM, which stimulate the response of benthic communities. However, these ephemeral deposits are likely to be swiftly eroded due to the high trawling frequency over fishing grounds, highlighting the importance of establishing science-based management strategies to mitigate the impacts of bottom trawling.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Friedrich, J.; Janssen, F.; Aleynik, D.; Bange, H. W.; Boltacheva, N.; Çagatay, M. N.; Dale, A. W.; Etiope, G.; Erdem, Z.; Geraga, M.; +29 more
    Project: EC | HYPOX (226213)

    In this paper we provide an overview of new knowledge on oxygen depletion (hypoxia) and related phenomena in aquatic systems resulting from the EU-FP7 project HYPOX ("In situ monitoring of oxygen depletion in hypoxic ecosystems of coastal and open seas, and landlocked water bodies", http://www.hypox.net). In view of the anticipated oxygen loss in aquatic systems due to eutrophication and climate change, HYPOX was set up to improve capacities to monitor hypoxia as well as to understand its causes and consequences. Temporal dynamics and spatial patterns of hypoxia were analyzed in field studies in various aquatic environments, including the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, Scottish and Scandinavian fjords, Ionian Sea lagoons and embayments, and Swiss lakes. Examples of episodic and rapid (hours) occurrences of hypoxia, as well as seasonal changes in bottom-water oxygenation in stratified systems, are discussed. Geologically driven hypoxia caused by gas seepage is demonstrated. Using novel technologies, temporal and spatial patterns of water-column oxygenation, from basin-scale seasonal patterns to meter-scale sub-micromolar oxygen distributions, were resolved. Existing multidecadal monitoring data were used to demonstrate the imprint of climate change and eutrophication on long-term oxygen distributions. Organic and inorganic proxies were used to extend investigations on past oxygen conditions to centennial and even longer timescales that cannot be resolved by monitoring. The effects of hypoxia on faunal communities and biogeochemical processes were also addressed in the project. An investigation of benthic fauna is presented as an example of hypoxia-devastated benthic communities that slowly recover upon a reduction in eutrophication in a system where naturally occurring hypoxia overlaps with anthropogenic hypoxia. Biogeochemical investigations reveal that oxygen intrusions have a strong effect on the microbially mediated redox cycling of elements. Observations and modeling studies of the sediments demonstrate the effect of seasonally changing oxygen conditions on benthic mineralization pathways and fluxes. Data quality and access are crucial in hypoxia research. Technical issues are therefore also addressed, including the availability of suitable sensor technology to resolve the gradual changes in bottom-water oxygen in marine systems that can be expected as a result of climate change. Using cabled observatories as examples, we show how the benefit of continuous oxygen monitoring can be maximized by adopting proper quality control. Finally, we discuss strategies for state-of-the-art data archiving and dissemination in compliance with global standards, and how ocean observations can contribute to global earth observation attempts.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Tesi, T.; Miserocchi, S.; Goñi, M. A.; Turchetto, M.; Langone, L.; Lazzari, A.; Albertazzi, S.; Correggiari, A.;
    Project: EC | SOMFLOOD (221167)

    From November 2008 through May 2009, the Po river (Italy) experienced several floods exceeding 5000 m3 s−1. This long series of events ended with a large flood in early May 2009 (~8000 m3 s−1). An event-response sampling was carried out in the Po prodelta in April–May 2009 to characterize the preservation of this series of floods in the sediment record and to describe the event-supply and deposition of riverborne particulate material during the May 2009 flood. The water sampling was carried out early in the event under conditions of moderate river flow (~5000 m3 s−1) and 24 h later during the peak discharge (~8000 m3 s−1). Sediment cores were collected in the prodelta before and after the peak flood. At each station, profiles of conductivity, transmittance, and fluorescence were acquired. Surface and bottom waters were sampled to collect sediments in suspension. In addition, a few days before the May 2009 event, suspended sediments were collected at Pontelagoscuro gauging station, ~90 km upstream from the coast. Biogeochemical compositions and sedimentological characteristics of suspended and sediment samples were investigated using bulk and biomarker analyses. Furthermore, 7Be and radiographs were used to analyze the internal stratigraphy of sediment cores. During moderate flow, the water column did not show evidence of plume penetration. Stations re-occupied 24 h later exhibited marked physical and biogeochemical changes during the peak flood. However, the concentration of terrestrially-derived material in surface waters was still less than expected. These results suggested that, since material enters the Adriatic as buoyancy-driven flow with a reduced transport capacity, settling and flocculation processes result in trapping a significant fraction of land-derived material in shallow sediments and/or within distributary channels. Although numerous discharge peaks occurred from November 2008 through April 2009 (4000–6000 m3 s−1), sediment cores collected in late April 2009 showed lack of event-strata preservation and reduced 7Be penetrations. This suggested that only a small fraction of the sediment supply during ordinary events reaches the deepest region of the prodelta (12–20 m water depth). As a result, these event-strata have a thickness not sufficient to be preserved in the sediment record because of post-depositional processes that destroy the flood signal. Stations in the northern and central prodelta were re-occupied after the peak of the May 2009 flood. Based on 7Be and radiographs, we estimated event layers of 17 and 6 cm thickness, respectively. Selective trapping of coarse material occurred in the central prodelta likely because of the geomorphologic setting of the central outlet characterized by an estuary-like mouth. Despite these settling processes, lignin-based parameters indicated that the composition of the terrigenous OC was fairly homogenous throughout the network of channels and between size-fractions.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Comeau Steeve; Gorsky G; Jeffree Ross; Teyssié Jean-Louis; Gattuso Jean-Pierre;
    Project: EC | EPOCA (211384)

    Thecosome pteropods (shelled pelagic molluscs) can play an important role in the food web of various ecosystems and play a key role in the cycling of carbon and carbonate. Since they harbor an aragonitic shell, they could be very sensitive to ocean acidification driven by the increase of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. The impact of changes in the carbonate chemistry was investigated on Limacina helicina, a key species of Arctic ecosystems. Pteropods were kept in culture under controlled pH conditions corresponding to pCO2 levels of 350 and 760 μatm. Calcification was estimated using a fluorochrome and the radioisotope 45Ca. It exhibits a 28% decrease at the pH value expected for 2100 compared to the present pH value. This result supports the concern for the future of pteropods in a high-CO2 world, as well as of those species dependent upon them as a food resource. A decline of their populations would likely cause dramatic changes to the structure, function and services of polar ecosystems.