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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Timm Schoening; Autun Purser; Daniel Langenkämper; Inken Suck; James Taylor; Daphne Cuvelier; Lidia Lins; Erik Simon-Lledó; Yann Marcon; Daniel O. B. Jones; +5 more
    Countries: Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom
    Project: FCT | SFRH/BPD/110278/2015 (SFRH/BPD/110278/2015), FCT | UID/MAR/04292/2013 (UID/MAR/04292/2013), FCT | Mining2/0005/2017 (Mining2/0005/2017)

    Abstract. With the mining of polymetallic nodules from the deep sea seafloor again approaching commercial viability, decisions must be taken on how to most efficiently regulate and monitor physical and community disturbance in these remote ecosystems. Image based approaches allow non-destructive assessment of larger fauna abundances to be derived from survey data, with repeat surveys of areas possible to allow time series data collection. At time of writing key underwater imaging platforms commonly used to map seafloor fauna abundances are Automated Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and towed camera Ocean Floor Observation Systems (OFOSs). These systems are highly customisable, with mounted cameras, illumination systems and deployment protocols rapidly changing over time, and even within survey cruises. In this study 8 image datasets were collected from a discrete area of polymetallic nodule rich seafloor by an AUV and several OFOSs deployed at various altitudes above the seafloor. A fauna identification catalogue was used by 5 annotators to estimate the abundances of 20 fauna categories from the different data sets. Results show that for many categories of megafauna differences in image resolution greatly influenced the estimations of fauna abundance determined by the annotators. This is an important finding for the development of future monitoring legislation for these areas. When and if commercial exploitation of these marine resources commences, to ensure best monitoring practice, unambiguous rules on how camera-based monitoring surveys should be conducted, and with what equipment, must be put in place.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Stratmann, Tanja; Lins, Lidia; Purser, Autun; Marcon, Yann; Rodrigues, Clara F.; Ravara, Ascensão; Cunha, Marina R.; Simon-Lledó, Erik; Jones, Daniel O. B.; Sweetman, Andrew K.; +2 more
    Project: FCT | SFRH/BPD/107805/2015 (SFRH/BPD/107805/2015), EC | MIDAS (603418), NWO | Structure and (mal)functi... (13403)

    Future deep-sea mining for polymetallic nodules in abyssal plains will negatively impact the benthic ecosystem, but it is largely unclear whether this ecosystem will be able to recover from mining disturbance and if so, to what extent and at what timescale. During the “DISturbance and reCOLonization” (DISCOL) experiment, a total of 22 % of the seafloor within a 10.8 km2 circular area of the nodule-rich seafloor in the Peru Basin (SE Pacific) was ploughed in 1989 to bury nodules and mix the surface sediment. This area was revisited 0.1, 0.5, 3, 7, and 26 years after the disturbance to assess macrofauna, invertebrate megafauna and fish density and diversity. We used this unique abyssal faunal time series to develop carbon-based food web models for each point in the time series using the linear inverse modeling approach for sediments subjected to two disturbance levels: (1) outside the plough tracks; not directly disturbed by plough, but probably suffered from additional sedimentation; and (2) inside the plough tracks. Total faunal carbon stock was always higher outside plough tracks compared with inside plough tracks. After 26 years, the carbon stock inside the plough tracks was 54 % of the carbon stock outside plough tracks. Deposit feeders were least affected by the disturbance, with modeled respiration, external predation, and excretion rates being reduced by only 2.6 % inside plough tracks compared with outside plough tracks after 26 years. In contrast, the respiration rate of filter and suspension feeders was 79.5 % lower in the plough tracks after 26 years. The “total system throughput” (T..), i.e., the total sum of modeled carbon flows in the food web, was higher throughout the time series outside plough tracks compared with the corresponding inside plough tracks area and was lowest inside plough tracks directly after the disturbance (8.63 × 10−3 ± 1.58 × 10−5 mmol C m−2 d−1). Even 26 years after the DISCOL disturbance, the discrepancy of T.. between outside and inside plough tracks was still 56 %. Hence, C cycling within the faunal compartments of an abyssal plain ecosystem remains reduced 26 years after physical disturbance, and a longer period is required for the system to recover from such a small-scale sediment disturbance experiment.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Bettencourt, R.; Rodrigues, M. I.; Barros, I.; Cerqueira, T.; Freitas, C.; Costa, V.; Pinheiro, M.; Egas, C.; Santos, R. S.;
    Project: FCT | PTDC/MAR/65991/2006 (PTDC/MAR/65991/2006), EC | HERMIONE (226354), FCT | PEst-OE/EEI/LA0009/2011 (PEst-OE/EEI/LA0009/2011)

    The deep-sea hydrothermal vent mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus is a symbiont bearing bivalve that is found in great abundance at the Menez Gwen and Lucky Strike vent sites and in close vicinity off the Azores region near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). The distinct relationships that vent mussels have developed with their physical and chemical environments are likely reflected in global gene expression profiles providing thus a means to distinguish geographically distinct vent mussels on the basis of gene expression studies, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) experiments and 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, to assess the natural expression of bacterial genes and vent mussel immune genes and the constitutive distribution and relative abundance of endosymbiotic bacteria within gill tissues. Our results confirmed the presence of methanotroph-related endosymbionts in Menez Gwen vent mussels whereas Lucky Strike specimens seem to harbor a different bacterial morphotype when a methane monooxygenase gene specific probe was used. No qualitative differences could be visualized between Menez Gwen and Lucky Strike individuals when tested with sulfur-oxidizing-related nucleic-acid probe. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) studies revealed varied gene expression profiles in both Menez Gwen and Lucky Strike mussel gill tissues for the immune genes selected. Genes encoding transcription factors presented noticeably low levels of fold expression whether in MG or LS animals whereas the genes encoding effector molecules appeared to have higher levels expression in MG gill tissues. The peptidoglycan recognition molecule, encoding gene, PGRP presented the highest level of transcriptional activity among the genes analyzed in MG gill tissues, seconded by carcinolectin and thus denoting the relevance of immune recognition molecules in early stage of the immune responses onset. Genes regarded as encoding molecules involved in signaling pathways were consistently expressed in both MG and LS gill tissues. Remarkably, the immunity-related GTPase encoding gene demonstrated in LS samples, the highest level of expression among the signaling molecule encoding genes tested when expressions levels were compared between MG and LG animals. A differential expression analysis of bacterial genes between MG and LS indicated a clear expression signature in LS gill tissues. The bacterial community structure ensued from the 16S rRNA sequencing analyses pointed at a unpredicted conservation of endosymbiont bacterial loads between MG and LS samples. Taken together, our results support the premise that Bathymodiolus azoricus exhibits different transcriptional statuses depending on which hydrothermal vent site it is collected from and within the same collection site while exhibiting differential levels of expression of genes corresponding to different immune functional categories. The present study represents a first attempt to characterize gene expression signatures in hydrothermal vent animals issued from distinct deep-sea environmental sites based on immune and bacterial genes expressions.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    T. Stratmann; L. Lins; L. Lins; A. Purser; Y. Marcon; Y. Marcon; C. F. Rodrigues; A. Ravara; M. R. Cunha; E. Simon-Lledó; +4 more
    Countries: Germany, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, United Kingdom, Portugal, Netherlands
    Project: EC | MIDAS (603418), FCT | SFRH/BPD/107805/2015 (SFRH/BPD/107805/2015), FCT | UID/AMB/50017/2013 (UID/AMB/50017/2013), NWO | Structure and (mal)functi... (13403)

    Future deep-sea mining for polymetallic nodules in abyssal plains will negatively impact the benthic ecosystem, but it is largely unclear whether this ecosystem will be able to recover from mining disturbance and if so, to what extent and at what timescale. During the “DISturbance and reCOLonization” (DISCOL) experiment, a total of 22 % of the seafloor within a 10.8 km2 circular area of the nodule-rich seafloor in the Peru Basin (SE Pacific) was ploughed in 1989 to bury nodules and mix the surface sediment. This area was revisited 0.1, 0.5, 3, 7, and 26 years after the disturbance to assess macrofauna, invertebrate megafauna and fish density and diversity. We used this unique abyssal faunal time series to develop carbon-based food web models for each point in the time series using the linear inverse modeling approach for sediments subjected to two disturbance levels: (1) outside the plough tracks; not directly disturbed by plough, but probably suffered from additional sedimentation; and (2) inside the plough tracks. Total faunal carbon stock was always higher outside plough tracks compared with inside plough tracks. After 26 years, the carbon stock inside the plough tracks was 54 % of the carbon stock outside plough tracks. Deposit feeders were least affected by the disturbance, with modeled respiration, external predation, and excretion rates being reduced by only 2.6 % inside plough tracks compared with outside plough tracks after 26 years. In contrast, the respiration rate of filter and suspension feeders was 79.5 % lower in the plough tracks after 26 years. The “total system throughput” (T..), i.e., the total sum of modeled carbon flows in the food web, was higher throughout the time series outside plough tracks compared with the corresponding inside plough tracks area and was lowest inside plough tracks directly after the disturbance (8.63 × 10−3 ± 1.58 × 10−5 mmol C m−2 d−1). Even 26 years after the DISCOL disturbance, the discrepancy of T.. between outside and inside plough tracks was still 56 %. Hence, C cycling within the faunal compartments of an abyssal plain ecosystem remains reduced 26 years after physical disturbance, and a longer period is required for the system to recover from such a small-scale sediment disturbance experiment.

Advanced search in Research products
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Searching FieldsTerms
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The following results are related to European Marine Science. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
4 Research products, page 1 of 1
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Timm Schoening; Autun Purser; Daniel Langenkämper; Inken Suck; James Taylor; Daphne Cuvelier; Lidia Lins; Erik Simon-Lledó; Yann Marcon; Daniel O. B. Jones; +5 more
    Countries: Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom
    Project: FCT | SFRH/BPD/110278/2015 (SFRH/BPD/110278/2015), FCT | UID/MAR/04292/2013 (UID/MAR/04292/2013), FCT | Mining2/0005/2017 (Mining2/0005/2017)

    Abstract. With the mining of polymetallic nodules from the deep sea seafloor again approaching commercial viability, decisions must be taken on how to most efficiently regulate and monitor physical and community disturbance in these remote ecosystems. Image based approaches allow non-destructive assessment of larger fauna abundances to be derived from survey data, with repeat surveys of areas possible to allow time series data collection. At time of writing key underwater imaging platforms commonly used to map seafloor fauna abundances are Automated Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and towed camera Ocean Floor Observation Systems (OFOSs). These systems are highly customisable, with mounted cameras, illumination systems and deployment protocols rapidly changing over time, and even within survey cruises. In this study 8 image datasets were collected from a discrete area of polymetallic nodule rich seafloor by an AUV and several OFOSs deployed at various altitudes above the seafloor. A fauna identification catalogue was used by 5 annotators to estimate the abundances of 20 fauna categories from the different data sets. Results show that for many categories of megafauna differences in image resolution greatly influenced the estimations of fauna abundance determined by the annotators. This is an important finding for the development of future monitoring legislation for these areas. When and if commercial exploitation of these marine resources commences, to ensure best monitoring practice, unambiguous rules on how camera-based monitoring surveys should be conducted, and with what equipment, must be put in place.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Stratmann, Tanja; Lins, Lidia; Purser, Autun; Marcon, Yann; Rodrigues, Clara F.; Ravara, Ascensão; Cunha, Marina R.; Simon-Lledó, Erik; Jones, Daniel O. B.; Sweetman, Andrew K.; +2 more
    Project: FCT | SFRH/BPD/107805/2015 (SFRH/BPD/107805/2015), EC | MIDAS (603418), NWO | Structure and (mal)functi... (13403)

    Future deep-sea mining for polymetallic nodules in abyssal plains will negatively impact the benthic ecosystem, but it is largely unclear whether this ecosystem will be able to recover from mining disturbance and if so, to what extent and at what timescale. During the “DISturbance and reCOLonization” (DISCOL) experiment, a total of 22 % of the seafloor within a 10.8 km2 circular area of the nodule-rich seafloor in the Peru Basin (SE Pacific) was ploughed in 1989 to bury nodules and mix the surface sediment. This area was revisited 0.1, 0.5, 3, 7, and 26 years after the disturbance to assess macrofauna, invertebrate megafauna and fish density and diversity. We used this unique abyssal faunal time series to develop carbon-based food web models for each point in the time series using the linear inverse modeling approach for sediments subjected to two disturbance levels: (1) outside the plough tracks; not directly disturbed by plough, but probably suffered from additional sedimentation; and (2) inside the plough tracks. Total faunal carbon stock was always higher outside plough tracks compared with inside plough tracks. After 26 years, the carbon stock inside the plough tracks was 54 % of the carbon stock outside plough tracks. Deposit feeders were least affected by the disturbance, with modeled respiration, external predation, and excretion rates being reduced by only 2.6 % inside plough tracks compared with outside plough tracks after 26 years. In contrast, the respiration rate of filter and suspension feeders was 79.5 % lower in the plough tracks after 26 years. The “total system throughput” (T..), i.e., the total sum of modeled carbon flows in the food web, was higher throughout the time series outside plough tracks compared with the corresponding inside plough tracks area and was lowest inside plough tracks directly after the disturbance (8.63 × 10−3 ± 1.58 × 10−5 mmol C m−2 d−1). Even 26 years after the DISCOL disturbance, the discrepancy of T.. between outside and inside plough tracks was still 56 %. Hence, C cycling within the faunal compartments of an abyssal plain ecosystem remains reduced 26 years after physical disturbance, and a longer period is required for the system to recover from such a small-scale sediment disturbance experiment.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Bettencourt, R.; Rodrigues, M. I.; Barros, I.; Cerqueira, T.; Freitas, C.; Costa, V.; Pinheiro, M.; Egas, C.; Santos, R. S.;
    Project: FCT | PTDC/MAR/65991/2006 (PTDC/MAR/65991/2006), EC | HERMIONE (226354), FCT | PEst-OE/EEI/LA0009/2011 (PEst-OE/EEI/LA0009/2011)

    The deep-sea hydrothermal vent mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus is a symbiont bearing bivalve that is found in great abundance at the Menez Gwen and Lucky Strike vent sites and in close vicinity off the Azores region near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). The distinct relationships that vent mussels have developed with their physical and chemical environments are likely reflected in global gene expression profiles providing thus a means to distinguish geographically distinct vent mussels on the basis of gene expression studies, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) experiments and 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, to assess the natural expression of bacterial genes and vent mussel immune genes and the constitutive distribution and relative abundance of endosymbiotic bacteria within gill tissues. Our results confirmed the presence of methanotroph-related endosymbionts in Menez Gwen vent mussels whereas Lucky Strike specimens seem to harbor a different bacterial morphotype when a methane monooxygenase gene specific probe was used. No qualitative differences could be visualized between Menez Gwen and Lucky Strike individuals when tested with sulfur-oxidizing-related nucleic-acid probe. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) studies revealed varied gene expression profiles in both Menez Gwen and Lucky Strike mussel gill tissues for the immune genes selected. Genes encoding transcription factors presented noticeably low levels of fold expression whether in MG or LS animals whereas the genes encoding effector molecules appeared to have higher levels expression in MG gill tissues. The peptidoglycan recognition molecule, encoding gene, PGRP presented the highest level of transcriptional activity among the genes analyzed in MG gill tissues, seconded by carcinolectin and thus denoting the relevance of immune recognition molecules in early stage of the immune responses onset. Genes regarded as encoding molecules involved in signaling pathways were consistently expressed in both MG and LS gill tissues. Remarkably, the immunity-related GTPase encoding gene demonstrated in LS samples, the highest level of expression among the signaling molecule encoding genes tested when expressions levels were compared between MG and LG animals. A differential expression analysis of bacterial genes between MG and LS indicated a clear expression signature in LS gill tissues. The bacterial community structure ensued from the 16S rRNA sequencing analyses pointed at a unpredicted conservation of endosymbiont bacterial loads between MG and LS samples. Taken together, our results support the premise that Bathymodiolus azoricus exhibits different transcriptional statuses depending on which hydrothermal vent site it is collected from and within the same collection site while exhibiting differential levels of expression of genes corresponding to different immune functional categories. The present study represents a first attempt to characterize gene expression signatures in hydrothermal vent animals issued from distinct deep-sea environmental sites based on immune and bacterial genes expressions.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    T. Stratmann; L. Lins; L. Lins; A. Purser; Y. Marcon; Y. Marcon; C. F. Rodrigues; A. Ravara; M. R. Cunha; E. Simon-Lledó; +4 more
    Countries: Germany, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, United Kingdom, Portugal, Netherlands
    Project: EC | MIDAS (603418), FCT | SFRH/BPD/107805/2015 (SFRH/BPD/107805/2015), FCT | UID/AMB/50017/2013 (UID/AMB/50017/2013), NWO | Structure and (mal)functi... (13403)

    Future deep-sea mining for polymetallic nodules in abyssal plains will negatively impact the benthic ecosystem, but it is largely unclear whether this ecosystem will be able to recover from mining disturbance and if so, to what extent and at what timescale. During the “DISturbance and reCOLonization” (DISCOL) experiment, a total of 22 % of the seafloor within a 10.8 km2 circular area of the nodule-rich seafloor in the Peru Basin (SE Pacific) was ploughed in 1989 to bury nodules and mix the surface sediment. This area was revisited 0.1, 0.5, 3, 7, and 26 years after the disturbance to assess macrofauna, invertebrate megafauna and fish density and diversity. We used this unique abyssal faunal time series to develop carbon-based food web models for each point in the time series using the linear inverse modeling approach for sediments subjected to two disturbance levels: (1) outside the plough tracks; not directly disturbed by plough, but probably suffered from additional sedimentation; and (2) inside the plough tracks. Total faunal carbon stock was always higher outside plough tracks compared with inside plough tracks. After 26 years, the carbon stock inside the plough tracks was 54 % of the carbon stock outside plough tracks. Deposit feeders were least affected by the disturbance, with modeled respiration, external predation, and excretion rates being reduced by only 2.6 % inside plough tracks compared with outside plough tracks after 26 years. In contrast, the respiration rate of filter and suspension feeders was 79.5 % lower in the plough tracks after 26 years. The “total system throughput” (T..), i.e., the total sum of modeled carbon flows in the food web, was higher throughout the time series outside plough tracks compared with the corresponding inside plough tracks area and was lowest inside plough tracks directly after the disturbance (8.63 × 10−3 ± 1.58 × 10−5 mmol C m−2 d−1). Even 26 years after the DISCOL disturbance, the discrepancy of T.. between outside and inside plough tracks was still 56 %. Hence, C cycling within the faunal compartments of an abyssal plain ecosystem remains reduced 26 years after physical disturbance, and a longer period is required for the system to recover from such a small-scale sediment disturbance experiment.