Journal of Marine Biology The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. The Immune Response of Acanthaster planci to Oxbile Injections and Antibiotic Treatment Wed, 09 Apr 2014 08:40:37 +0000 Bile salts have been recently identified as a rapid and effective method for killing A. planci. However the mechanistic basis of this new control method is poorly understood. This study explored the immune response(s) of A. planci and/or pathogenesis resulting from the injection of bile salts. To account for the possible role of pathogenesis in causing high rates of mortality, A. planci was treated with antibiotics to minimise the incidence and severity of bacterial infections. No significant difference in the time to death between groups with and without antibiotic treatment was reported, suggesting a limited bacterial effect on the induction of disease and death of injected sea stars. The number of circulating coelomocytes increased significantly after injection confirming the induction of a strong immune response. Five types of circulating cells were identified: (1) phagocytes, (2) small hyaline cells, (3) colourless spherule cells, (4) red spherule cells, and (5) fusiform cells. Histological analysis of A. planci tissues showed that the mechanism leading to rapid mortality is related to necrosis and/or apoptosis, rather than transmissible disease. Therefore, bile salts are an effective and safe method for killing crown-of-thorns sea star in situ. Alexandra Grand, Morgan Pratchett, and Jairo Rivera-Posada Copyright © 2014 Alexandra Grand et al. All rights reserved. Variability in the Structure of Planktonic Microalgae Assemblages in Water Column Associated with Posidonia oceanica (L.) Bed in Tunisia Sun, 23 Mar 2014 16:16:15 +0000 Patterns of phytoplankton in areas with seagrass (Posidonia oceanica) and areas without seagrass were quantified in the coast of Chebba (East of Tunisia). Replicate samples were collected at August 2011, from four stations (separated by 500 of metres). The diversity of phytoplankton was high around P. oceanica meadows compared to area without seagrass. A possible explanation to this finding is that water motion and hydrodynamics forces cause leaves agitation allowing the passage of epiphytic species in the water column. Our results also show an increase of abundance of potentially toxic dinoflagellates around Posidonia bed such as Alexandrium minitum, Amphidinium carterae, Karenia selliformis, Coolia monatis, Karlodinium veneficum, Ostreopsis ovata, Prorocentrum concavum, P. minimum, P. rathymum, and P. lima. Installation of fish farms on Posidonia beds should be avoided, not only to preserve this vulnerable habitat, but also to avoid fish contamination by toxic species derived from the resuspension of epiphytic community on seagrass substrata to the water column. Lotfi Mabrouk, Asma Hamza, and Med-Najmeddine Bradai Copyright © 2014 Lotfi Mabrouk et al. All rights reserved. Plasma Vitellogenin in Free-Ranging Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean Thu, 27 Feb 2014 08:12:55 +0000 Vitellogenin is the egg yolk precursor protein produced by oviparous vertebrates. As endogenous estrogen increases during early reproductive activity, hepatic production of vitellogenin is induced and is assumed to be complete in female sea turtles before the first nesting event. Until the present study, innate production of vitellogenin has not been described in free-ranging sea turtles. Our study describes circulating concentrations of vitellogenin in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. We collected blood samples from juveniles and adults via in-water captures off the coast of the Southeast USA from May to August, and from nesting females in June and July at Hutchinson Island, Florida. All samples were analyzed using an in-house ELISA developed specifically to measure Caretta caretta vitellogenin concentration. As expected, plasma vitellogenin declined in nesting turtles as the nesting season progressed, although it still remained relatively elevated at the end of the season. In addition, mean vitellogenin concentration in nesting turtles was 1,000 times greater than that measured in samples from in-water captures. Our results suggest that vitellogenesis may continue throughout the nesting season, albeit at a decreasing rate. Further, vitellogenin detected in turtles captured in-water may have resulted from exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals. Kimberly Smelker, Lauren Smith, Michael Arendt, Jeffrey Schwenter, David Rostal, Kyle Selcer, and Roldán Valverde Copyright © 2014 Kimberly Smelker et al. All rights reserved. Shape of Aquatic Animals and Their Swimming Efficiency Tue, 25 Feb 2014 12:56:37 +0000 The best swimmers have a streamlined shape that ensures an attached flow pattern and a laminar boundary layer at rather large values of the Reynolds number. Simple expressions may be obtained for the volumetric drag coefficient of an ideal body of revolution under laminar unseparated flow conditions together with estimations of a critical value of the Reynolds number. A measure, the capacity-efficiency factor, calculated for different organisms and underwater vehicles, shows that information about animal shapes and locomotion is of utmost biological interest and could be useful to improve robot fish and underwater vehicles as well. I. Nesteruk, G. Passoni, and A. Redaelli Copyright © 2014 I. Nesteruk et al. All rights reserved. Studies on the Survival and Growth of Fry of Catla catla (Hamilton, 1922) Using Live Feed Tue, 25 Feb 2014 12:21:36 +0000 Effect of live feed on the survival and growth of fry of Catla catla using three different live feeds namely, Cyclopoid (Thermocyclops decipiens), Cladoceran (Moina micrura), and mixed diet (Cyclopoid and Cladoceran) were studied. Commercial feed (Sunder’s feed) was used as control. Feeding experiments were carried out in 100 L tanks for 40 days. Fish fry fed with the mixed diet showed significantly better survival rate (54.80 ± 2.43%) than those fed with other food types . Fish fry fed with Cyclopoid had significantly better growth (26.03 ± 1.88 mm, weight 61.07 ± 3.53 mg) than those fed with other food types. Biochemical studies showed higher level of protein, carbohydrate, and lipid content in Catla fry fed with Cyclopoid diet. The results are discussed in the light of the literature available. It could be suggested that the Cyclopoid diet can be used as live feed for effective production of Catla fry. Abdul Kadhar, Arun Kumar, Jawahar Ali, and Akbar John Copyright © 2014 Abdul Kadhar et al. All rights reserved. Identification of Fine-Scale Marine Benthic Ecoclines by Multiple Parallel Ordination Sun, 16 Feb 2014 12:42:39 +0000 The species-environment relationship is a fundamental structural property of natural ecosystems. Marine sedimentary macrofauna is known to be structured by a range of environmental variables; however, the mechanisms by which environmental variables covary to form complex-gradients (i.e., groups of intercorrelated environmental variables), and how these are related to coenoclines (i.e., gradients in species composition), remain poorly understood. We classified our study area into geomorphological features that were used for stratified sampling of macrofaunal polychaetes, molluscs, and echinoderms. The resulting species-by-site matrix was subjected to indirect gradient analysis by a multiple parallel ordination strategy, using detrended correspondence analysis and nonmetric multidimensional scaling. One major and one minor coenocline were identified. Based on the correlation between complex-gradients and the main coenocline we hypothesise the existence of two ecoclines that we have termed Periodic hypoxia and Periodic physical forcing. We conclude that a combination of recurrent (periodical) and extreme events is likely to determine the variation found in the species composition of marine sedimentary ecosystems. Based on the results of our study, we conclude that indirect gradient analysis is a useful tool for enhancement of our basic mechanistic understanding of the processes governing the compositional structure of marine sediment communities. Thijs Christiaan van Son, Rune Halvorsen, Karl Norling, Torgeir Bakke, Maria Kaurin, and Fredrik Melsom Copyright © 2014 Thijs Christiaan van Son et al. All rights reserved. Correcting Positional Errors in Shore-Based Theodolite Measurements of Animals at Sea Wed, 22 Jan 2014 09:58:07 +0000 Determining the position of animals at sea can be particularly difficult and yet, accurate range and position of animals at sea are essential to answer a wide range of biological questions. Shore-based theodolite techniques have been used in a number of studies to examine marine mammal movement patterns and habitat use, offering reliable position measurements. In this study we explored the accuracy of theodolite measurements by comparing positional information of the same objects using two independent techniques: a shore-based theodolite station and an onboard GPS over a range of 25 km from the shore-based station. The technique was developed to study the habitat use of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) off Kaikoura, New Zealand. We observed that the position accuracy fell rapidly with an increase in range from the shore-based station. Results showed that the horizontal angle was accurately determined, but this was not the case for the vertical angle. We calibrated the position of objects at sea with a regression-based correction to fit the difference in distance between simultaneously recorded theodolite fixes and GPS positions. This approach revealed the necessity to calibrate theodolite measurements with objects at sea of known position. Ophélie Sagnol, Femke Reitsma, Christoph Richter, and Laurence H. Field Copyright © 2014 Ophélie Sagnol et al. All rights reserved. Estimating Otter Numbers Using Spraints: Is It Possible? Sun, 19 Jan 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Spraints have been used to survey otters in the UK since 1979 and a standard methodology has been set up which has been used in Britain and Europe for most survey work. At present data from these surveys is being used to give an estimation of actual population numbers. However, for this to be possible, there must be a correlation between sprainting numbers, active spraint sites, and otter numbers. This paper investigates whether such a correlation exists. There is evidence from previous work that there is seasonal variation in sprainting and this study confirms this. Therefore spraint surveys should be undertaken in the same months for each repeat survey. Paul Yoxon and Kirsty Yoxon Copyright © 2014 Paul Yoxon and Kirsty Yoxon. All rights reserved. Limpets and Their Algal Epibionts: Costs and Benefits of Acrosiphonia spp and Ulva lactuca Growth Thu, 09 Jan 2014 11:45:46 +0000 Epibiont and basibiont relationships can have positive and negative effects on both organisms involved, ranging in intensity from minor to major effects. Limpets of species Lottia pelta are commonly found with two algal species growing on their backs, Ulva lactuca and Acrosiphonia spp. Previous research has shown that basibionts (substrate organism) and epibionts (organism growing on the surface) have complex interactions that can be positive, negative, or neutral. A force transducer and flume were used to measure the drag forces experienced by a limpet at various water velocities. Presence of either epiphyte significantly increased limpet drag. Acrosiphonia produced a greater drag effect than U. lactuca, increasing the force substantially. When dropped in a tank, limpets with algal growth landed foot-down significantly more often than limpets without algal growth. Acrosiphonia spp. had a greater effect than Ulva lactuca. Lastly, limpets in a wind tunnel with algal growth (especially Acrosiphonia) had cooler body temperatures than limpets without algal growth. In conclusion, the effects on the basibiont of this relationship were found to be both positive and negative. Travis Seaborn Copyright © 2014 Travis Seaborn. All rights reserved. Bioagents and Commercial Algae Products as Integrated Biocide Treatments for Controlling Root Rot Diseases of Some Vegetables under Protected Cultivation System Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:52:44 +0000 Integrated commercial blue-green algae extracts and bioagents treatments against vegetables root rot incidence when used as soil drench under greenhouse and plastic house conditions were evaluated. All applied treatments reduced significantly root rot incidence at both pre- and postemergence growth stages of cucumber, cantaloupe, tomato, and pepper plants compared with untreated check control. In pot experiment, the obtained results showed that treatments of Trichoderma harzianum or Bacillus subtilis either alone or combined with commercial algae extracts were significantly superior for reducing root rot disease for two tested vegetable plants compared with the other tested treatments as well as control. It is also observed that rising concentrations of either algae products, Oligo-X or Weed-Max, were reflected in more disease reduction. Promising treatments for controlling root rot disease incidence were applied under plastic houses conditions. As for field trails carried out under plastic houses conditions at different locations, the obtained results revealed that the applied combined treatments significantly reduced root rot incidence compared with fungicide and check control treatments. At all locations it was observed that Weed-Max (2 g/L) + Bacillus subtilis significantly reduced disease incidence of grown vegetables compared with Oligo-X (2 mL/L) + Trichoderma harzianum treatments. An obvious yield increase in all treatments was significantly higher than in the control. Also, the harvested yield in applied combined treatments at all locations was significantly higher than that in the fungicide and control treatments. Mokhtar M. Abdel-Kader and Nehal S. El-Mougy Copyright © 2013 Mokhtar M. Abdel-Kader and Nehal S. El-Mougy. All rights reserved. Erratum to “Incidence and Spatial Distribution of Caribbean Yellow Band Disease in La Parguera, Puerto Rico” Thu, 28 Nov 2013 18:31:14 +0000 Francisco J. Soto-Santiago and Ernesto Weil Copyright © 2013 Francisco J. Soto-Santiago and Ernesto Weil. All rights reserved. Role of the Digestive Gland in Ink Production in Four Species of Sea Hares: An Ultrastructural Comparison Thu, 21 Nov 2013 14:16:56 +0000 The ultrastructure of the digestive gland of several sea hare species that produce different colored ink (Aplysia californica produces purple ink, A. juliana white ink, A. parvula both white and purple ink, while Dolabrifera dolabrifera produces no ink at all) was compared to determine the digestive gland’s role in the diet-derived ink production process. Rhodoplast digestive cells and their digestive vacuoles, the site of digestion of red algal chloroplast (i.e., rhodoplast) in A. californica, were present and had a similar ultrastructure in all four species. Rhodoplast digestive cell vacuoles either contained a whole rhodoplast or fragments of one or were empty. These results suggest that the inability to produce colored ink in some sea hare species is not due to either an absence of appropriate digestive machinery, that is, rhodoplast digestive cells, or an apparent failure of rhodoplast digestive cells to function. These results also propose that the digestive gland structure described herein occurred early in sea hare evolution, at least in the common ancestor to the genera Aplysia and Dolabrifera. Our data, however, do not support the hypothesis that the loss of purple inking is a synapomorphy of the white-ink-producing subgenus Aplysia. Jeffrey S. Prince and Paul Micah Johnson Copyright © 2013 Jeffrey S. Prince and Paul Micah Johnson. All rights reserved. Collisions between Whales and Fast Ferries around Korean Waters Wed, 20 Nov 2013 18:40:53 +0000 Although there is heavy maritime traffic around Korean waters, collisions between whales and fast ferries around Korean waters are nearly unknown. A ship strike that was associated with a minke whale occurred near the southeastern part of Tsushima Island along the sailing route of the fast ferry between Korea and Japan on December 16, 2004. It was associated with a fast ferry that runs at a speed of approximately 46.1 kn (83 km/h) between Korea and Japan. This individual was certainly seriously injured or killed by this ship strike because large amounts of skin of this individual were attached to the surface of the fast ferry, and also large amounts of blood of this individual spread out in that area. However, fortunately, serious damage did not occur to the mariners and passengers of the ferry, although many passengers were knocked down to the floor of the fast ferry when the fast ferry collided with the minke whale. In addition, a total of 4 records of possible collisions between whales and fast ferries have occurred on the fast ferry route between Korea and Japan between 2004 and 2007. This study is the first formal report on collisions between whales and fast ferries around Korean waters. Although the effect of ship strikes on the survival of cetaceans distributed around Korean waters is not very high at present compared with that of other threats, such as entanglement in fishing gear, ship strikes can pose a significant potential threat to endangered cetaceans such as western gray whales. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare prevention measures for ship strikes for the conservation of cetaceans around Korean waters in the future. Kyung-Jun Song Copyright © 2013 Kyung-Jun Song. All rights reserved. Fluorometer Controlled Apparatus Designed for Long-Duration Algal-Feeding Experiments and Environmental Effect Studies with Mussels Wed, 06 Nov 2013 07:59:26 +0000 Experimental feeding and growth studies on filter-feeding organisms often rely on constant algal concentrations maintained over extended periods of time. Here we present a fluorometer controlled apparatus (FCA) designed for feeding experiments with suspension-feeding mussels at naturally low chlorophyll concentrations above 0.5 µg L−1. The principle used is feedback regulation of the algal concentration based on continuous monitoring of the fluorescence intensity of chlorophyll in water pumped through the apparatus from an aquarium with mussels. The filtration rate is monitored continuously as the rate of change of measured volume of an algal stock added to the aquarium for keeping a constant algal concentration. As an example, the FCA has been used to study the filtration rates of blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) at algal concentrations both near and above the incipient saturation level for reduced filtration activity. As another example to put the FCA into perspective as a reliable method for environmental effect studies, the apparatus has been used to demonstrate the acute effect of changing salinity on the filtration rate of M. edulis. Daniel Pleissner, Kim Lundgreen, Florian Lüskow, and Hans Ulrik Riisgård Copyright © 2013 Daniel Pleissner et al. All rights reserved. Tidal Influence on Nutrients Status and Phytoplankton Population of Okpoka Creek, Upper Bonny Estuary, Nigeria Thu, 31 Oct 2013 14:37:31 +0000 Okpoka Creek of the Upper Bonny Estuary in the Niger Delta is a tidal creek receiving organic anthropogenic effluents from its environs. The study investigated the influence of tides (low and high) on the species composition, diversity, abundance, and distribution of phytoplankton. The surface water and phytoplankton samples were collected monthly from May 2004 to April 2006 at both tides from ten stations according to standard methods. Phytoplankton was identified microscopically. Species diversity was calculated using standard indices. Data analyses were done using analysis of variance, Duncan multiple range, and descriptive statistics. Phosphate and ammonia exceeded international acceptable levels of 0.10 mg/L for natural water bodies indicating high nutrient status, organic matter, and potential pollutants. A total of 158 species of phytoplankton were identified. Diatoms dominated the phytoplankton (62.9%). Diversity indices of diatoms were (Margalef) and (Shannon). Pollution-indicator species such as Navicula microcephala, Nitzschia sigma, Synedra ulna (diatoms), Cladophora glomerata (green alga), Euglena acus (euglenoid), Anabeana spiroides (blue-green alga), and Ceratium furca (dinoflagellate) were recorded at either only low, high or both tides. Concerted environmental surveillance on Upper Bonny Estuary is advocated to reduce the inflow of pollutants from the Bonny Estuary into this Creek caused by tidal influence. O. A. Davies and O. A. Ugwumba Copyright © 2013 O. A. Davies and O. A. Ugwumba. All rights reserved. The Impacts of Ex Situ Transplantation on the Physiology of the Taiwanese Reef-Building Coral Seriatopora hystrix Sun, 20 Oct 2013 15:08:28 +0000 We sought to determine whether the Indo-Pacific reef-building coral Seriatopora hystrix performs in a similar manner in the laboratory as it does in situ by measuring Symbiodinium density, chlorophyll a (chl-a) concentration, and the maximum quantum yield of photosystem II () at the time of field sampling (in situ), as well as after three weeks of acclimation and one week of experimentation (ex situ). Symbiodinium density was similar between corals of the two study sites, Houbihu (an upwelling reef) and Houwan (a nonupwelling reef), and also remained at similar levels ex situ as in situ. On the other hand, both areal and cell-specific chl-a concentrations approximately doubled ex situ relative to in situ, an increase that may be due to having employed a light regime that differed from that experienced by these corals on the reefs of southern Taiwan from which they were collected. As this change in Symbiodinium chl-a content was documented in corals of both sites, the experiment itself was not biased by this difference. Furthermore, increased by only 1% ex situ relative to in situ, indicating that the corals maintained a similar level of photosynthetic performance as displayed in situ even after one month in captivity. Anderson B. Mayfield, Tung-Yung Fan, and Chii-Shiarng Chen Copyright © 2013 Anderson B. Mayfield et al. All rights reserved. Aerial Survey as a Tool to Estimate Abundance and Describe Distribution of a Carcharhinid Species, the Lemon Shark, Negaprion brevirostris Wed, 09 Oct 2013 15:23:51 +0000 Aerial survey provides an important tool to assess the abundance of both terrestrial and marine vertebrates. To date, limited work has tested the effectiveness of this technique to estimate the abundance of smaller shark species. In Bimini, Bahamas, the lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris) shows high site fidelity to a shallow sandy lagoon, providing an ideal test species to determine the effectiveness of localised aerial survey techniques for a Carcharhinid species in shallow subtropical waters. Between September 2007 and September 2008, visual surveys were conducted from light aircraft following defined transects ranging in length between 8.8 and 4.4 km. Count results were corrected for “availability”, “perception”, and “survey intensity” to provide unbiased abundance estimates. The abundance of lemon sharks was greatest in the central area of the lagoon during high tide, with a change in abundance distribution to the east and western regions of the lagoon with low tide. Mean abundance of sharks was estimated at 49 (±8.6) individuals, and monthly abundance was significantly positively correlated with mean water temperature. The successful implementation of the aerial survey technique highlighted the potential of further employment for shark abundance assessments in shallow coastal marine environments. S. T. Kessel, S. H. Gruber, K. S. Gledhill, M. E. Bond, and R. G. Perkins Copyright © 2013 S. T. Kessel et al. All rights reserved. Unusual Mortality Events of Harbor Porpoise Strandings in North Carolina, 1997–2009 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:07 +0000 A marked increase in the frequency of harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) stranded in North Carolina in 2005 was declared as an Unusual Mortality Event (UME). Strandings occurred in January through May when harbor porpoises are seasonally present. Increased stranding rates were measured relative to a threshold to determine that the UME was occurring. The threshold analysis also revealed elevated strandings during 1999, an undeclared UME year. Recovered carcasses during 1999 and 2005 accounted for 39% of 261 strandings during 1997–2009. During 2005, of 43 strandings, primary or secondary causes of mortality included fishery interactions, emaciation, and interspecific aggression. Apart from small but significant differences in timing and condition of strandings, composition of strandings during UME and non-UME years was similar, with most being young-of-the-year and occurring during March and April, north of Cape Hatteras. Porpoises had high levels of parasitic infestation typical for this species. However, no indication of infectious disease and no cause of the 2005 event were found from gross and histologic findings. Response to UMEs is challenging, particularly along the expanses of North Carolina beaches, requiring additional effort to obtain carcasses in sufficiently fresh condition to determine the cause of these events. Aleta A. Hohn, David S. Rotstein, and Barbie L. Byrd Copyright © 2013 Aleta A. Hohn et al. All rights reserved. Screening of Genes Specifically Expressed in Males of Fenneropenaeus chinensis and Their Potential as Sex Markers Sun, 01 Sep 2013 12:05:02 +0000 The androgenic gland (AG), playing an important role in sex differentiation of male crustacean, is a target candidate to understand the mechanism of male development and to mine male-specific sex markers. An SSH library (designated as male reproduction-related tissues—SSH library, MRT-SSH library for short) was constructed using cDNA from tissues located at the basal part of the 5th pereiopods, including AG and part of spermatophore sac, as tester, and the cDNA from the basal part of the 4th pereiopods of these male shrimp as driver. 402 ESTs from the SSH library were sequenced and assembled into 48 contigs and 104 singlets. Twelve contigs and 14 singlets were identified as known genes. The proteins encoded by the identified genes were categorized, according to their proposed functions, into neuropeptide hormone and hormone transporter, RNA posttranscriptional regulation, translation, cell growth and death, metabolism, genetic information processing, signal transduction/transport, or immunity-related proteins. Eleven highly expressed contigs in the SSH library were selected for validation of the MRT-SSH library and screening sex markers of shrimp. One contig, specifically expressed in male shrimp, had a potential to be developed as a transcriptomic sex marker in shrimp. Shihao Li, Fuhua Li, Yusu Xie, Bing Wang, Rong Wen, Chengsong Zhang, Kuijie Yu, and Jianhai Xiang Copyright © 2013 Shihao Li et al. All rights reserved. Fish Larvae Response to Biophysical Changes in the Gulf of California, Mexico (Winter-Summer) Mon, 26 Aug 2013 11:16:16 +0000 We analyzed the response of fish larvae assemblages to environmental variables and to physical macro- and mesoscale processes in the Gulf of California, during four oceanographic cruises (winter and summer 2005 and 2007). Physical data of the water column obtained through CTD casts, sea surface temperature, and chlorophyll a satellite imagery were used to detect mesoscale structures. Zooplankton samples were collected with standard Bongo net tows. Fish larvae assemblages responded to latitudinal and coastal-ocean gradients, related to inflow of water to the gulf, and to biological production. The 19°C and 21°C isotherms during winter, and 29°C and 31°C during summer, limited the distribution of fish larvae at the macroscale. Between types of eddy, the cyclonic (January) registered high abundance, species richness, and zooplankton volume compared to the other anticyclonic (March) and cyclonic (September). Thermal fronts (Big Islands) of January and July affected the species distribution establishing strong differences between sides. At the mesoscale, eddy and fronts coincided with the isotherms mentioned previously, playing an important role in emphasizing the differences among species assemblages. The multivariate analysis indicated that larvae abundance was highly correlated with temperature and salinity and with chlorophyll a and zooplankton volume during winter and summer, respectively. Raymundo Avendaño-Ibarra, Enrique Godínez-Domínguez, Gerardo Aceves-Medina, Eduardo González-Rodríguez, and Armando Trasviña Copyright © 2013 Raymundo Avendaño-Ibarra et al. All rights reserved. Glass Sponges off the Newfoundland (Northwest Atlantic): Description of a New Species of Dictyaulus (Porifera: Hexactinellida: Euplectellidae) Sun, 28 Jul 2013 08:41:21 +0000 Three species of hexactinellid sponges: Aphrocallistes beatrix beatrix Gray, Asconema foliata (Fristedt), and Dictyaulus romani sp. n. were collected off the Flemish Cap in the Flemish Pass and from the Grand Banks off the Newfoundland (northwest Atlantic) during different surveys on board of Spanish RV Vizconde de Eza and RV Miguel Oliver. Francisco Javier Murillo, Konstantin R. Tabachnick, and Larisa L. Menshenina Copyright © 2013 Francisco Javier Murillo et al. All rights reserved. Detection of Bioactive Compounds in the Mucus Nets of Dendropoma maxima, Sowerby 1825 (Prosobranch Gastropod Vermetidae, Mollusca) Sun, 21 Jul 2013 11:37:45 +0000 The sessile suspension-feeding wormsnail Dendropoma maxima, Sowerby 1825 (Vermetidae) secretes a mucus net to capture planktonic prey. The nets are spread out over the corals and often have remarkable deleterious effects on them like changes in growth form and pigmentation shifts not uncommonly resulting in tissue necrosis. Until now, there is no explanation for this phenomenon although the indication as well as theories about its genesis is mentioned in several publications. Vermetids are well studied concerning the intraspecific competition with neighboring individuals but not in their interaction with other taxa like corals or fish. We did extensive in situ video recording and observed that fish avoided the plankton-load nets although several specialized taxa are known to be molluscivores, mucivores, and/or feed on plankton. As many molluscs use chemical weapons to combat feeding pressure and to defend themselves against predators, we screened empty and plankton-load mucus nets for potential bioactive metabolites. Bioactivity testing was performed with a recently developed system based on a chromatographic separation (high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC)) and a bioassay with luminescent bacteria Vibrio fischeri. Thus, we found at least two active compounds exclusively accumulated by the wormsnails themselves. This is the first record of bioactive properties in the whole family of Vermetidae. Anne Klöppel, Franz Brümmer, Denise Schwabe, and Gertrud Morlock Copyright © 2013 Anne Klöppel et al. All rights reserved. Reproductive Biology and Fishery-Related Characteristics of the Malabar Grouper (Epinephelus malabaricus) Caught in the Coastal Waters of Mafia Island, Tanzania Sun, 21 Jul 2013 08:06:44 +0000 The reproductive biology and fishery-related characteristics of the Malabar grouper (Epinephelus malabaricus) (Bloch and Schneider, 1801) specimens were investigated. The size of females ranged from 25 to 113 cm total length (), with 50% sexually mature at 79 cm , and the males (97 cm to 114 cm ) were larger than the females. Due to the sex ratios and size distribution of the sample, it appeared that the groupers change sex between 97 and 113 cm . However, the gonadal histology data lacked specimens in the transitional stage. The spawning peak occurred in November, as defined by the presence of ripe females, and the spawning season lasted from September to February. The size of the fish correlated positively with the water depth at capture, which is also related to oxygen levels in deep water being more favourable for larger fish. Larger specimens (>100 cm ) were targeted by fishers between December and February, when the northeast monsoon coincides with calmer weather and the spawning season. Fishers were interviewed, and observations were made on fishing gear, vessels, and grounds. There was no indication that small-scale fishers targeted spawning aggregations; therefore, fisheries independent research is recommended in order to verify the time, location, and behaviour of the spawning of Malabar groupers for management and conservation purposes. Lydia Gaspare and Ian Bryceson Copyright © 2013 Lydia Gaspare and Ian Bryceson. All rights reserved. Proximate Composition and Its Seasonality of the Mediterranean Green Crab: Carcinus aestuarii Nardo, 1847 (Brachyura, Portunidae), in Southern Tunisian Waters (Central Mediterranean) Mon, 10 Jun 2013 11:10:10 +0000 The Mediterranean green crab Carcinus aestuarii was recorded in Tunisian waters several years ago. However, since its record in the Gulf of Gabes, no studies have been carried out about the spread of this crab. Because there is a lack of nutritional information concerning this species, this study aimed to characterize the chemical composition of hepatopancreas and gonads of Carcinus aestuarii in view of potential health implication for consumers and to determine the seasonal nutritional quality of females and males taken separately for various size groups. In this study, a total of 1399 individuals were collected along the Sfax coast. The nutritional value of various edible parts of Carcinus aestuarii was evaluated, and gender differences in terms of edible yield and proximate composition, protein, mineral, lipid, and water content, were compared for season, age, and sex. The biochemical compositions were strongly influenced by sex, age, and seasons. The highest protein and lipid contents were detected in gonads and hepatopancreas of females. Autumn was the season with the highest protein content and lowest fat content. Therefore, people with particular diets constrains should consume the ovaries of females in autumn and it should moderate in winter. The hepatopancreas and gonads from Tunisian waters can be a good source of proteins and mineral. Sonia Baklouti, Abdelkarim Derbali, Khalifa Dhieb, Wassim Kammoun, and Othman Jarboui Copyright © 2013 Sonia Baklouti et al. All rights reserved. Spirulina (Arthrospira): An Important Source of Nutritional and Medicinal Compounds Wed, 08 May 2013 13:59:03 +0000 Cyanobacteria are aquatic and photosynthetic organisms known for their rich pigments. They are extensively employed as food supplements due to their rich contents of proteins. While many species, such as Anabaena sp., produce hepatotoxins (e.g., microcystins and nodularins) and neurotoxins (such as anatoxin a), Spirulina (Arthrospira) displays anticancer and antimicrobial (antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral) activities via the production of phycocyanin, phycocyanobilin, allophycocyanin, and other valuable products. This paper is an effort to collect these nutritional and medicinal applications of Arthrospira in an easily accessible essay from the vast literature on cyanobacteria. Abdulmumin A. Nuhu Copyright © 2013 Abdulmumin A. Nuhu. All rights reserved. Occurrence of White Sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) in Hawaiian Waters Thu, 11 Apr 2013 09:27:52 +0000 White sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) have been known in Hawaii (~158°W, 22°N) since the time of ancient Hawaiians. We compiled sightings and records from 1926 to the present (4 females, 2 males, and 8 unknown sex; 3.3–4.5 m total length) and compared them with satellite tracking records (7 females, 9 males, and 6 unknown; 3.7–5.3 m total length). White sharks have been sighted in Hawaii throughout the year, whereas satellite tracking studies show individuals near the North American coast during fall and offshore during spring for the eastern North Pacific population (northern fall/spring). The mismatch of these datasets could hypothetically be consistent with fall-sighted individuals being sourced from a different population or part of a resident population. However, recently documented multiyear movements of North American sharks revealed that the annual nearshore-offshore pattern does not hold for mature females, which ranged over larger areas and were offshore during the fall. We found that fall white shark sightings in Hawaii are predominantly of females, most likely visitors from the eastern North Pacific population. Misidentification of other species as white sharks frequently occurs by fishers and in the news media, and we suggest methods for discrimination of related species. Kevin Weng and Randy Honebrink Copyright © 2013 Kevin Weng and Randy Honebrink. All rights reserved. New Records of Atypical Coral Reef Habitat in the Kimberley, Australia Thu, 04 Apr 2013 08:56:35 +0000 New surveys of the Kimberley Nearshore Bioregion are beginning to fill knowledge gaps about the region’s marine biodiversity and the national and international conservation significance of this little-known tropical reef system. Here we report the recent finding of two unique coral habitats documented at Adele Island and Long Reef during the Woodside 2009/2010 Collection Project surveys. Firstly, we report the finding of a subtidal zone of mixed corallith and rhodolith habitat which appears on current records, to be unprecedented in Australia. Secondly, we report the discovery of an atypical Organ Pipe Coral habitat zone and provide empirical evidence that this commercially valuable species reaches an unparalleled level of benthic cover. We provide additional details about the wider hard and soft coral assemblages associated with these unique habitats; discuss the potential biological causes and consequences of them, and make recommendations to benefit their conservation. Z. T. Richards, M. Bryce, and C. Bryce Copyright © 2013 Z. T. Richards et al. All rights reserved. List of Zooplankton Taxa in the Caspian Sea Waters of Iran Mon, 28 Jan 2013 08:59:34 +0000 A total of 61 zooplankton taxa were found in the southwestern Caspian Sea between 1996 and 2010. Thirteen of them were meroplankton taxa and forty-eight were holoplankton taxa. The occurrence of 14 freshwater taxa indicated the influence of the Anzali wetland and river inflows. The decrease in zooplankton taxa was detected since 1996-1997 and continued till 2010. Pleopis polyphemoides, the only one out of the nine recorded Cladocera species in 1996-1997, was found after 2001. Similarly, of the five Copepoda species recorded in 1996-1997, only one, Acartia tonsa, was found abundant during the 2001–2010 sampling period. It was striking that many species which were abundant in the Caspian Sea in 1996-1997 were not found after 2000. Many reasons could have contributed to the changes in the zooplankton composition of the southern Caspian Sea, notably the serious environmental degradation since the early 1990s. It is also possible that invasive species might play a role in wiping out some sensitive endemic species. Siamak Bagheri, Jalil Sabkara, Alireza Mirzajani, Seyed Hojat Khodaparast, Esmaeil Yosefzad, and Foong Swee Yeok Copyright © 2013 Siamak Bagheri et al. All rights reserved. Water Flow Affects Zooplankton Feeding by the Scleractinian Coral Galaxea fascicularis on a Polyp and Colony Level Tue, 04 Dec 2012 08:47:16 +0000 Several factors may affect heterotrophic feeding of benthic marine invertebrates, including water flow rate and polyp context (i.e., the presence of neighbouring polyps). We tested the interactive effects of water flow rate and polyp context on zooplankton feeding by the scleractinian coral Galaxea fascicularis. Single polyps and colonies were incubated in a flow cell for 30 minutes with an ambient Artemia nauplii concentration of 10,000  and water flow rates ranging from 1.25 to 40 cm . Water flow rate and polyp context showed significant main and interactive effects on feeding rates of G. fascicularis polyps. More specifically, feeding rates were optimal at flow rates of 1.25 cm  for single polyps and 5 to 10 cm  for polyps inhabiting colonies. The presence of epizoic acoelomorph flatworms may have negatively affected the observed feeding rates, especially at high flow. Our results demonstrate that water flow affects coral feeding and thus heterotrophic nutrient input at both a polyp and colony level. These findings are of relevance to our understanding of how biotic and abiotic factors interact on coral heterotrophy and may serve to optimise coral aquaculture. Tim Wijgerde, Pascal Spijkers, Eric Karruppannan, Johan A. J. Verreth, and Ronald Osinga Copyright © 2012 Tim Wijgerde et al. All rights reserved. Comparison of Inorganic and Organic Matter Sedimentation in a Natural Laboratory: A One-Year Study at Lough Hyne Marine Reserve, Ireland Mon, 12 Nov 2012 16:12:42 +0000 Measuring sedimentation rates may provide useful information on the habitat preferences of marine organisms. To understand the effect of flow rates and meteorological conditions on sedimentation in the absence of other confounding factors, sedimentation of organic (OM) and inorganic (IOM) matters was measured at 6 sites in Lough Hyne Marine Reserve (a semienclosed marine lake) over the course of 13 months. During winter, both OM and IOM were imported to the Lough, peaking in December at Whirlpool, the site nearest to the Lough entrance, likely as a result of extreme weather conditions causing resuspension of matter outside the Lough. Highest inorganic matter (IOM) sedimentation occurred in December (47.36 gm−2d−1 at Whirlpool Cliff) and was related to November wind speeds (, ). Decreasing current speed also caused a decline in IOM sedimentation. Highest OM sedimentation occurred in December at Whirlpool (5.59 gm−2d−1), but was not related to meteorological conditions. No single environmental factor strongly influenced organic matter (OM) sedimentation. One-way ANOVAs on OM and log-transformed IOM data showed that sedimentation differed significantly amongst the six sites within the Lough. Increased plankton production in the Lough during summer led to increased OM sedimentation in areas of low current speed away from the entrance of the Lough. Stefanie Broszeit, John Davenport, Mark Jessopp, Luke Harman, and Rob McAllen Copyright © 2012 Stefanie Broszeit et al. All rights reserved.