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This paper examines how the subcellular partitioning of Cd and Zn in the bivalves Macoma balthica and Potamocorbula amurensis may affect the trophic transfer of metal to predators. Results show that the partitioning of metals to organelles, 'enzymes' and metallothioneins (MT) comprise a subcellular compartment containing trophically available metal (TAM; i.e. metal trophically available to predators), and that because this partitioning varies with species, animal size and metal, TAM is similarly influenced. Clams from San Francisco Bay, California, were exposed for 14 d to 3.5 ??g 1-1 Cd and 20.5 ??g 1-1 Zn, including 109Cd and 65Zn as radiotracers, and were used in feeding experiments with grass shrimp Palaemon...
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We collected wolf eelpouts Lycenchelys verrillii and witch flounder Glyptocephalus cynoglossus from Hatteras (North Carolina, USA) and Virginia (USA) Middle Slope sites using a submersible, and made shipboard measurements of their respiration rates and survival in hypoxic (<10% O2 saturation) and anoxic conditions. Both species from the Hatteras site reduced their respiration rates as ambient oxygen decreased, but eelpouts from the Virginia site maintained a constant respiration rate until oxygen saturation dropped below 20%. Moreover, eelpouts from the Hatteras site were significantly more tolerant of hypoxic conditions than fish from the Virginia site and survived anoxia for short periods. These results and our...
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Unusually dense aggregations of the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus overgrazed at least 0.81 km2 of seagrass habitat in Outer Florida Bay (USA) between August 1997 and May 1998. Initially, sea-urchin densities were as high as 364 sea urchins m-2, but they steadily declined to within a range of 20 to 50 sea urchins m-2 by December 1998. Prior to this event, sea-urchin densities were <1 sea urchin m-2 in this area of Outer Florida Bay. Seagrasses in Outer Florida Bay consist primarily of manatee grass Syringodium filiforme, of which 82% or 390 g dry weight m-2 of total seagrass biomass and > 95% of the short-shoot apical meristems were removed by sea-urchin grazing in our study area. Such extensive loss may severely...
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Seabirds are thought to time breeding to match the seasonal peak of food availability with peak chick energetic demands, but warming ocean temperatures have altered the timing of spring events, creating the potential for mismatches. The resilience of seabird populations to climate change depends on their ability to anticipate changes in the timing and magnitude of peak food availability and 'fine-tune' efforts to match ('Anticipation Hypothesis'). The degree that inter-annual variation in seabird timing of breeding and reproductive performance represents anticipated food availability versus energetic constraints ('Constraint Hypothesis') is poorly understood. We examined the relative merits of the Constraint and...
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Coastal wetland plants are adapted to varying degrees of inundation. However, functional relationships between inundation and productivity are poorly characterized for most species. Determining species-specific tolerances to inundation is necessary to evaluate sea-level rise (SLR) effects on future marsh plant community composition, quantify organic matter inputs to marsh accretion, and inform predictive modeling of tidal wetland persistence. In 2 macrotidal estuaries in the northeast Pacific we grew 5 common species in experimental mesocosms across a gradient of tidal elevations to assess effects on growth. We also tested whether species abundance distributions along elevation gradients in adjacent marshes matched...
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Dynamic processes (physical, chemical and biological) challenge our ability to quantify and manage the ecological risk of chemical contaminants in estuarine environments. Selenium (Se) bioavailability (defined by bioaccumulation), stable isotopes and molar carbon-tonitrogen ratios in the benthic clam Potamocorbula amurensis, an important food source for predators, were determined monthly for 17 yr in northern San Francisco Bay. Se concentrations in the clams ranged from a low of 2 to a high of 22 μg g-1 over space and time. Little of that variability was stochastic, however. Statistical analyses and preliminary hydrodynamic modeling showed that a constant mid-estuarine input of Se, which was dispersed up- and down-estuary...
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Gel filtration chromatographs of cytosols from the clam Macorna balthica analysed from both field and laboratory treated specimens showed that uptake of Cu, Ag, and Zn in the metallothionein-like protein (MLP) pool follows exposure both in nature and in the laboratory. Specimens collected from San Francisco Bay over 18 mo showed strong temporal variability in the fractionation of the metals among cytosolic proteins. A marked increase in Cu, Ag, and Zn in a very low molecular weight pool occurred when concentrations were highest In the MLP pool. The correlation between total cytosollc metal and MLP-metal also appeared to approach a hyperbolic character at the highest concentrations.
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The Indo-Pacific red lionfish Pterois volitans is widespread both in its native and its non-native habitats. The rapid invasion of this top predator has had a marked negative effect on fish populations in the Western Atlantic and the Caribbean. It is now well documented that lionfish are invading many tropical and sub-tropical habitats. However, there are fewer data available on the change in lionfish abundance over time and the variation of body size and diet across habitats. A recent study in San Salvador, Bahamas, found body size differences between individuals from mangrove and reef systems. That study further suggested that ontogenetic investigation of habitat use patterns could help clarify whether lionfish...
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Multiple factors, including limitation in food resources, have been proposed as possible causes for the lack of recovery of the endangered western segment of the Steller sea lion population in the United States. Because maternal body condition has important consequences on fetal development and neonatal survival, the diets of pregnant females may be particularly important in regulating population sizes. We used the stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values of vibrissae from Steller sea lion pups as an indirect indicator of maternal diets during gestation. Combining these data with isotope data from potential prey species in a Bayesian mixing model, we generated proportional estimates of dietary consumption for key...
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We examined the potential role of food limitation in constraining the recovery of sea otters Enhydra lutris in Prince William Sound, Alaska, following the 'Exxon Valdez' oil spill. The spill resulted in the removal of a large number of sea otters in 1989, and as of 1998, the portion of the population in the heavily oiled northern Knight Island region had not fully recovered. Between 1996 and 1998, prey consumption rate was higher and the condition of sea otters was better at northern Knight Island than in an unoiled area of the sound (Montague Island). Estimates of prey energy available per unit mass of sea otter were about 4 times higher at Knight than Montague Island, albeit not significantly different between...
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Restoration activities inherently depend on understanding the spatial and temporal variation in basic demographic rates of the species of interest. For species that modify and maintain their own habitat such as the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica, understanding demographic rates and their impacts on population and habitat success are crucial to ensuring restoration success. We measured oyster recruitment, density, size distribution, biomass, mortality and Perkinsus marinus infection intensity quarterly for 3 yr on shallow intertidal reefs created with shell cultch in March 2009. All reefs were located within Sister Lake, LA. Reefs were placed in pairs at 3 different locations within the lake; pairs were placed...
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The northern fulmar Fulmarus glacialis is one of the most visible and widespread seabirds in the eastern Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. However, relatively little is known about its abundance, trends, or the factors that shape its distribution. We used a long-term pelagic dataset to model changes in fulmar at-sea distribution and abundance since the mid-1970s. We used an ensemble model, based on a weighted average of generalized additive model (GAM), multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS), and random forest models to estimate the pelagic distribution and density of fulmars in the waters of the Aleutian Archipelago and Bering Sea. The most important predictor variables were colony effect, sea surface temperature,...
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Turbid water conditions make the delineation and characterization of benthic habitats difficult by traditional in situ and remote sensing methods. Here, we develop and validate modeling and sampling methodology for detecting and characterizing seagrass beds by analyzing GPS telemetry records from radio-tagged manatees. Between October 2002 and October 2005, 14 manatees were tracked in the Ten Thousand Islands (TTI) in southwest Florida (USA) using Global Positioning System (GPS) tags. High density manatee use areas were found to occur off each island facing the open, nearshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico. We implemented a spatially stratified random sampling plan and used a camera-based sampling technique to observe...
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The protracted recovery of some bird and mammal populations in western Prince William Sound (WPWS), Alaska, and the persistence of spilled 'Exxon Valdez' oil in intertidal sediments, suggests a pathway of exposure to consumers that occupy nearshore habitats. To evaluate the hypothesis that sea otter (Enhydra lutris) foraging allows access to lingering oil, we contrast spatial relations between foraging behavior and documented oil distribution. We recovered archival time-depth recorders implanted in 19 sea otters in WPWS, where lingering oil and delayed ecosystem recovery are well documented. Sea otter foraging dives ranged from +2.7 to -92 m below sea level (MLLW), with intertidal accounting for 5 to 38% of all...
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Diurnal variation of net community production (NEP) and net community calcification (NEC) were measured in coral reef and seagrass biomes during October 2012 in the lower Florida Keys using a mesocosm enclosure and the oxygen gradient flux technique. Seagrass and coral reef sites showed diurnal variations of NEP and NEC, with positive values at near-seafloor light levels >100–300 µEinstein m-2 s-1. During daylight hours, we detected an average NEP of 12.3 and 8.6 mmol O2 m-2 h-1 at the seagrass and coral reef site, respectively. At night, NEP at the seagrass site was relatively constant, while on the coral reef, net respiration was highest immediately after dusk and decreased during the rest of the night. At the...
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To better understand the influence of glacier runoff on fjord ecosystems, we sampled oceanographic conditions, nutrients, zooplankton, forage fish and seabirds within 4 fjords in coastal areas of the Gulf Alaska. We used generalized additive models and geostatistics to identify the range of glacier runoff influence into coastal waters within fjords of varying estuarine influence and topographic complexity. We also modeled the response of depth-integrated chlorophyll a concentration, copepod biomass, fish and seabird abundance to physical, nutrient and biotic predictor variables. The effects of glacial runoff were traced at least 10 km into coastal fjords by cold, turbid, stratified and generally nutrient-rich near-surface...
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The Pacific walrus Odobenus rosmarus divergens feeds on benthic invertebrates on the continental shelf of the Chukchi and Bering Seas and rests on sea ice between foraging trips. With climate warming, ice-free periods in the Chukchi Sea have increased and are projected to increase further in frequency and duration. We radio-tracked walruses to estimate areas of walrus foraging and occupancy in the Chukchi Sea from June to November of 2008 to 2011, years when sea ice was sparse over the continental shelf in comparison to historical records. The earlier and more extensive sea ice retreat in June to September, and delayed freeze-up of sea ice in October to November, created conditions for walruses to arrive earlier...
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The movement of nitrogen from zooplankton prey into the temperate scleractinian coral Oculina arbuscula and the anemone Aiptasia pallida was measured using 15N-labeled brine shrimp. The efficiency with which prey nitrogen was incorporated into cnidarian tissues was species-specific. O. arbuscula with a full complement of zooxanthellae had an assimilation efficiency of nearly 100%, compared to only 46% for corals containing few zooxanthellae. In A. pallida, symbiont density had no effect, and nitrogen assimilation was 23 to 29%. In both species, the host retained the bulk of the ingested label. Complete digestion was rapid (<4 h), as was the partitioning of the label between host amino acids and macromolecules. The...
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Laboratory experiments employing radiotracer methodology were conducted to determine the assimilation efficiencies from ingested natural seston, the influx rates from the dissolved phase and the efflux rates of 6 trace elements (Ag, Am, Cd, Co, Se and Zn) in the mussel Mytilus edulis. A kinetic model was then employed to predict trace element concentration in mussel tissues in 2 locations for which mussel and environmental data are well described: South San Francisco Bay (California, USA) and Long Island Sound (New York, USA). Assimilation efficiencies from natural seston ranged from 5 to 18% for Ag, 0.6 to 1% for Am, 8 to 20% for Cd, 12 to 16% for Co, 28 to 34% for Se, and 32 to 41% for Zn. Differences in chlorophyll...
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A laboratory bioassay determined the relative contribution of various pathways of Ag, Cd and Zn bioaccumulation in the marine polychaete Neanthes arenaceodentata exposed to moderately contaminated sediments. Juvenile worms were exposed for 25 d to experimental sediments containing 5 different reactive sulfide (acid volatile sulfides, AVS) concentrations (1 to 30 ??mol g-1), but with constant Ag, Cd, and Zn concentrations of 0.1, 0.1 and 7 ??mol g-1, respectively. The sediments were supplemented with contaminated food (TetraMin??) containing 3 levels of Ag-Cd-Zn (uncontaminated, 1?? or 5??1 metal concentrations in the contaminated sediment). The results suggest that bioaccumulation of Ag, Cd and Zn in the worms occurred...


map background search result map search result map Walrus areas of use in the Chukchi Sea during sparse sea ice cover Mapping spatial resources with GPS animal telemetry: foraging manatees locate seagrass beds in the Ten Thousand Islands, Florida, USA Modeled distribution and abundance of a pelagic seabird reveal trends in relation to fisheries Mapping spatial resources with GPS animal telemetry: foraging manatees locate seagrass beds in the Ten Thousand Islands, Florida, USA Walrus areas of use in the Chukchi Sea during sparse sea ice cover Modeled distribution and abundance of a pelagic seabird reveal trends in relation to fisheries