Journal of Marine Biology The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Satellite Tracking and Site Fidelity of Short Ocean Sunfish, Mola ramsayi, in the Galapagos Islands Thu, 04 May 2017 07:18:19 +0000 Ocean sunfishes, with their peculiar morphology, large size, and surface habits, are valuable assets in ecotourism destinations worldwide. This study investigates site fidelity and long-range movements of short ocean sunfish, Mola ramsayi (Giglioli 1883), at Punta Vicente Roca (PVR) off Isabela Island in the Galapagos Islands. Five individuals were tracked between 32 and 733 days using ultrasonic receivers and transmitters. Two of the 5 were also tracked with towed pop-off satellite tags. One travelled to the equatorial front covering 2700 km in 53 days, with dive depths in the upper 360 m at temperatures between 9.2°C and 22°C. During its westward travel, dives extended to 1112 m (the deepest depth yet recorded for Molidae) into temperatures ranging between 4.5°C and 23.2°C. The remaining four individuals demonstrated site fidelity to PVR and were detected at the site between 128–1361 times for a total of 3557 reports. Forty-eight percent of the reports occurred during daytime hours and 52% after dark. Presumed cleaning session durations had a median of 15 minutes and a maximum of nearly 100 minutes. No other ultrasonic arrays around Galapagos or in the Eastern Pacific regional network recorded the presence of tagged individuals. These data are combined with tourist vessel sightings and submersible observations to confirm Punta Vicente Roca as an important sunfish hotspot. Tierney M. Thys, Alex R. Hearn, Kevin C. Weng, John P. Ryan, and César Peñaherrera-Palma Copyright © 2017 Tierney M. Thys et al. All rights reserved. Influence of the Blue Coral Heliopora coerulea on Scleractinian Coral Larval Recruitment Wed, 12 Apr 2017 08:19:12 +0000 The octocoral Heliopora coerulea has emerged as one of the most dominant reef-building corals in the Bolinao Reef Complex, northern Philippines. One of the possible mechanisms that may contribute to the success of H. coerulea over scleractinian corals is its ability to compete effectively for space on the reef by inhibiting the settlement of coral larvae in its immediate vicinity. To determine whether H. coerulea can indeed inhibit larval recruitment, settlement tiles were deployed inside H. coerulea aggregations or on hard substrate at a distance of about 2 to 3 meters away. After three months of deployment, only a single H. coerulea recruit was observed on tiles placed within aggregations whereas many different coral recruits were observed on tiles placed on substrate away from the blue coral. These results suggest that adult H. coerulea can inhibit the settlement of scleractinian larvae. This effect may be mediated by various mechanisms, such as the production of allelopathic compounds, deployment of mesenterial filaments, and sweeper tentacles. However, further studies are needed to determine the modes of competition that are used by the coral. Michael Atrigenio, Porfirio Aliño, and Cecilia Conaco Copyright © 2017 Michael Atrigenio et al. All rights reserved. Status of Sea Urchin Resources in the East Coast of Borneo Sun, 16 Oct 2016 16:04:18 +0000 Sea urchins are marine benthos that live in different habitats available at shallow and deep waters. In Malaysia, Sabah is the only state that exploits sea urchins without knowing the status of natural stocks. This study identified the sea urchin species diversity at shallow subtidal zones in east coast of Borneo which is part of the Coral Triangle. Belt transects were deployed to quantify the species composition and qualitative observations on the habitat types were also noted. Simultaneously, documentation of species available in several wet markets was gathered through impromptu conversation with the sellers. In this study, a total of 10 species of sea urchin were recorded from 18 sampling sites, namely, Phyllacanthus imperialis, Diadema setosum, D. savignyi, Echinothrix calamaris, Mespilia globulus, Salmacis sphaeroides, Echinometra mathaei, Pseudoboletia maculata, Toxopneustes pileolus, and Tripneustes gratilla. The most dominant one that showed a wide distribution was D. setosum. Three species are new records for Malaysia. Among the study sites, Semporna district showed the highest species number. Our findings illustrate that shallow waters on the eastern part of Borneo support high diversity of sea urchin resources. Future study should explore the sea urchin diversity at deeper waters and also on the west coast of Sabah. Siti Akmar Khadijah Ab Rahim and Raymie Nurhasan Copyright © 2016 Siti Akmar Khadijah Ab Rahim and Raymie Nurhasan. All rights reserved. Do White Shark Bites on Surfers Reflect Their Attack Strategies on Pinnipeds? Mon, 26 Sep 2016 16:42:45 +0000 The theory of mistaken identity states that sharks, especially white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, mistake surfers for pinnipeds when looking at them from below and thus bite them erroneously. Photographs of surfer wounds and board damage were interpreted with special emphasis on shark size, wound severity, and extent of damage to a board. These were compared with the concurrent literature on attack strategies of white sharks on pinnipeds and their outcomes. The results show that the majority of damage to surfers and their boards is at best superficial-to-moderate in nature and does not reflect the level of damage needed to immobilize or stun a pinniped. It is further shown that the size distribution of sharks biting surfers differs from that in pinnipeds. The results presented show that the theory of mistaken identity, where white sharks erroneously mistake surfers for pinnipeds, does not hold true and should be rejected. Erich Ritter and Alexandra Quester Copyright © 2016 Erich Ritter and Alexandra Quester. All rights reserved. The Relationship between Mollusks and Oxygen Concentrations in Todos Santos Bay, Baja California, Mexico Wed, 07 Sep 2016 14:06:04 +0000 This study describes the relationship between mollusks, physicochemical properties of seawater, and sediments under natural conditions of low impact. Thirty-nine stations were sampled in October 1994 using a Van Veen grab (0.1 m−2). Temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations of bottom water were obtained with a CTD. Organic matter content and sediment grain analysis were determined. A total of 836 mollusks were collected. Gastropoda was the most abundant (52%) and diverse class with 27 genera, followed by Bivalvia with eight genera and Scaphopoda with only one genus. According to CCA analysis, dominant mollusks were significantly related with high DO concentrations. Donax, Natica, Acteocina, Bulla, Anachis, Odostomia, and Crucibulum can be classified as sensitive genera because they were found mainly in high oxygen concentrations (3.1–5.6 mL L−1); on the other hand, Cardiomya, Nuculana, Laevicardium, Chione, Truncatella, and Dentalium can be classified as tolerant genera (1.0–5.6 mL L−1). Todos Santos Bay hosts a diverse malacological fauna (36 genera); our results show that the dominant genera were mainly related to high dissolved oxygen concentrations. Mollusks can be a useful tool in environmental monitoring programs related with oxygen depletion in coastal areas. J. Gabriel Kuk-Dzul and Victoria Díaz-Castañeda Copyright © 2016 J. Gabriel Kuk-Dzul and Victoria Díaz-Castañeda. All rights reserved. Adverse Effects of Immobilised Pseudoalteromonas on the Fish Pathogenic Vibrio anguillarum: An In Vitro Study Mon, 05 Sep 2016 11:59:35 +0000 As a prerequisite for use in marine aquaculture, two immobilisation systems were developed by employing the probiotic bacterium Pseudoalteromonas sp. strain MLms_gA3. Their impact on the survivability of the fish pathogen Vibrio anguillarum was explored. Probiotic bacteria either grown as a biofilm on ceramic tiles or embedded in alginate beads were added to sterile artificial seawater that contained the fish pathogen. While immobilisation on ceramics followed a recently developed protocol, a medium allowing for alginate microencapsulation was newly developed. Anti-Vibrio activities were obtained with both immobilisation systems. The viable cell counts of V. anguillarum constantly decreased within the first two weeks of the treatments evidencing the potential of the immobilisation systems for providing probiotic-based protection against this pathogen. Wiebke Wesseling, Michael Lohmeyer, Sabine Wittka, Julia Bartels, Stephen Kroll, Christian Soltmann, Pia Kegler, Andreas Kunzmann, Sandra Neumann, Burkhard Ramsch, Beate Sellner, and Friedhelm Meinhardt Copyright © 2016 Wiebke Wesseling et al. All rights reserved. Biomonitoring Climate Change and Pollution in Marine Ecosystems: A Review on Aulacomya ater Thu, 25 Aug 2016 17:03:13 +0000 The sedentarism and wide global distribution of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis have made it a useful bioindicator to assess changes in the health status of the marine ecosystem in response to pollution and other environmental stresses. Effective biomonitoring of an ecosystem requires, however, that multiple biomarkers be used to obtain an accurate measure of the cumulative effects of different sources of environmental stress. Here, we provide a first integrated review of the biological, economical, and geographical characteristics of another species of mussels, the ribbed mussel Aulacomya ater. We discuss the use of Aulacomya ater as a complementary biomonitor to the blue mussel to assess the impact of pollutants and climate change. Recent findings have indeed shown that Mytilus edulis and Aulacomya ater have distinctive anatomy and physiology and respond differently to environmental stress. Monitoring of mixed beds containing blue and ribbed mussels may thus represent a unique opportunity to study the effect of environmental stress on the biodiversity of marine ecosystems, most notably in the Southern hemisphere, which is particularly sensitive to climate change and where both species often cohabitate in the same intertidal zones. France Caza, Maximiliano Cledon, and Yves St-Pierre Copyright © 2016 France Caza et al. All rights reserved. Linking Protection with the Distribution of Grouper and Habitat Quality in Seychelles Thu, 25 Aug 2016 08:04:38 +0000 Marine protected areas can be designated for a number of reasons, but exactly how they provide benefits is only recently being understood. We assessed the effect of protection on the size and distribution of six common species of grouper in a coral reef ecosystem. Data on live coral cover, coral genus diversity, and coral colony structure type were also compared to give an indication of reef quality between sites. A significant interaction was found for Aethaloperca rogaa and Cephalopholis nigripinnis, indicating that protected areas held greater numbers of smaller and median sized fish of these species than unprotected areas. Similar but nonsignificant trends were found for Cephalopholis miniata and Cephalopholis argus. For Anyperodon leucogrammicus, MPAs held significantly more fish than unprotected sites, but as the increase was equal between size categories there was no interaction. The last species Epinephelus fasciatus, which was one of the smallest species, had no significant interaction, similar mean counts between protected and unprotected areas, and no obvious strong favouritism for particular sites with values indicating better reef quality, indicating intraspecies competition. The results of this study indicate that while the MPAs in this study are likely too small to benefit large groupers, the improvements to habitat quality have indirect benefits to groupers, especially at their earlier life stages. Samantha J. Howlett, Richard Stafford, Matt Waller, Sylvanna Antha, and Christophe Mason-Parker Copyright © 2016 Samantha J. Howlett et al. All rights reserved. Tracking a Marine Ecotourism Star: Movements of the Short Ocean Sunfish Mola ramsayi in Nusa Penida, Bali, Indonesia Mon, 15 Aug 2016 05:51:39 +0000 Ocean sunfishes, Molidae, comprise the world’s heaviest bony fishes. They include the short mola, Mola ramsayi (Giglioli 1883), an important tourist draw at Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan, Bali, where SCUBA divers can observe ectoparasite-laden individuals being cleaned by smaller reef fishes. Despite widespread appeal, little is known about these fishes relative to regional oceanography. We present the first behavioral information for this species anywhere in the world. Satellite tag data indicate a wide thermal range (10–27.5°C) with depth occupation mostly (95%) in the upper 250 m and habitat preference near the bottom of the warm surface layer. One tag popped off as scheduled after 6 months off Nusa Penida, <10 km from its original deployment. The 3 other tags popped off prematurely: 747 km southeast 89 days after deployment; 142 km south after 7 days of deployment; and 162 km south after 24 days of deployment. Amid mounting tourist pressures and bycatch of M. ramsayi in eastern regions of Indonesia, such as Alor, behavioral information of this species is essential for effective management and conservation of this valuable marine ecotourism asset. Tierney Thys, John P. Ryan, Kevin C. Weng, Mark Erdmann, and Joeharnani Tresnati Copyright © 2016 Tierney Thys et al. All rights reserved. Histological and Morphological Aspects of Reproduction in Male Blackspotted Smooth-Hound Mustelus punctulatus in the Adriatic Sea (Eastern Mediterranean Sea) Tue, 09 Aug 2016 15:35:54 +0000 We present first data on reproductive biology of male blackspotted smooth-hound Mustelus punctulatus in the Adriatic Sea and first histological examination of gonads at different maturation stages and seasonal cycles for this species. We collected samples from 117 male specimens of M. punctulatus ranging in length from 44.6 to 126.5 cm, caught by commercial bottom trawls in the North-Central Adriatic Sea. Microscopic observation revealed a diametric development of testes, in which round-shaped spermatocysts have zonal arrangement, showing seven different stages of development. Males began to mature when they were between 61 and 88 cm body length, which was indicated by the presence of functional claspers or appearance of the spermatogenic cysts. While the smallest mature shark was only 80 cm long, all animals longer than 89 cm were sexually mature. The seasonal analysis of the testes indicated that mature spermatozoa dominated in testes during the first half of the year with a peak in May and June, after which followed less active period during July and August. Romana Gračan and Gordana Lacković Copyright © 2016 Romana Gračan and Gordana Lacković. All rights reserved. Synergistic Effects of Salinity and Temperature on the Survival of Two Nonnative Bivalve Molluscs, Perna viridis (Linnaeus 1758) and Mytella charruana (d’Orbigny 1846) Sun, 31 Jul 2016 06:09:22 +0000 This study examined the combined salinity and temperature tolerance of two marine bivalve molluscs, Perna viridis and Mytella charruana, which have recently invaded the southeastern United States. It is essential to understand the role that these abiotic variables play in invasions and establishment of nonnative species. We simultaneously explored survival at three salinity ranges (5–9, 20–22.5, and 35–40 ppt) in both cold and warm water for juveniles and adults of both species. We determined that Perna viridis can survive at a wide range of temperatures (9–35°C) when the salinity is 35–37 ppt; however, as salinity decreased, the thermal survival range for P. viridis became narrower. With M. charruana, our data suggest that juvenile and adult individuals can survive at a wide range of salinities (5–40 ppt) at 20°C, but the salinity tolerance range narrowed as the temperature decreased or increased. Additionally, we observed that temperature rapidly impacted survival of P. viridis and M. charruana (within hours), while salinity impacts were more gradual (days to weeks). These data can be used to help predict successful introductions and future expansions of P. viridis and M. charruana in introduced habitats. Wei S. Yuan, Linda J. Walters, Sasha A. Brodsky, Kimberly R. Schneider, and Eric A. Hoffman Copyright © 2016 Wei S. Yuan et al. All rights reserved. Anthropogenic Threats and Conservation Needs of Blue Whales, Balaenoptera musculus indica, around Sri Lanka Sun, 10 Jul 2016 13:46:37 +0000 Blue whales in the Northern Indian Ocean are a morphologically and acoustically distinct population restricted to these waters. Off Sri Lanka a portion of the population concentrates near shore where they are exposed to a range of anthropogenic threats. We review available data to determine anthropogenic threats/stressors faced by this population and assign subjective rankings for the population-level severity of each threat/stressor based on severity, scope, and immediacy. With the cessation of direct illegal catches on this population in the late 1960s, we ranked ship strike as the most important population-level threat. Incidental catch, which includes entanglement and bycatch, is also important as it can result in death. Other less important stressors that may negatively impact this population include threats resulting from oil and gas development and pollution. However, some stressors can have a long-term cumulative impact that is difficult to assess. The most important research needed for the conservation of these whales is to obtain an estimate of the size of the population using photo-identification methods. A. de Vos, R. L. Brownell Jr., B. Tershy, and D. Croll Copyright © 2016 A. de Vos et al. All rights reserved. Reef Fish Dispersal in the Hawaiian Archipelago: Comparative Phylogeography of Three Endemic Damselfishes Tue, 05 Apr 2016 13:34:46 +0000 Endemic marine species at remote oceanic islands provide opportunities to investigate the proposed correlation between range size and dispersal ability. Because these species have restricted geographic ranges, it is assumed that they have limited dispersal ability, which consequently would be reflected in high population genetic structure. To assess this relationship at a small scale and to determine if it may be related to specific reef fish families, here we employ a phylogeographic survey of three endemic Hawaiian damselfishes: Abudefduf abdominalis, Chromis ovalis, and Chromis verater. Data from mitochondrial markers cytochrome b and control region revealed low but significant genetic structure in all three species. Combining these results with data from a previous study on Dascyllus albisella and Stegastes marginatus, all five endemic damselfish species surveyed to date show evidence of genetic structure, in contrast with other widespread reef fish species that lack structure within the Hawaiian Archipelago. Though individual patterns of connectivity varied, these five species showed a trend of limited connectivity between the atolls and low-lying Northwestern Hawaiian Islands versus the montane Main Hawaiian Islands, indicating that, at least for damselfishes, the protected reefs of the uninhabited northwest will not replenish depleted reefs in the populated Main Hawaiian Islands. Kimberly A. Tenggardjaja, Brian W. Bowen, and Giacomo Bernardi Copyright © 2016 Kimberly A. Tenggardjaja et al. All rights reserved. Colorimetric Detection of Caspase 3 Activity and Reactive Oxygen Derivatives: Potential Early Indicators of Thermal Stress in Corals Thu, 03 Mar 2016 13:14:19 +0000 There is an urgent need to develop and implement rapid assessments of coral health to allow effective adaptive management in response to coastal development and global change. There is now increasing evidence that activation of caspase-dependent apoptosis plays a key role during coral bleaching and subsequent mortality. In this study, a “clinical” approach was used to assess coral health by measuring the activity of caspase 3 using a commercial kit. This method was first applied while inducing thermal bleaching in two coral species, Acropora millepora and Pocillopora damicornis. The latter species was then chosen to undergo further studies combining the detection of oxidative stress-related compounds (catalase activity and glutathione concentrations) as well as caspase activity during both stress and recovery phases. Zooxanthellae photosystem II (PSII) efficiency and cell density were measured in parallel to assess symbiont health. Our results demonstrate that the increased caspase 3 activity in the coral host could be detected before observing any significant decrease in the photochemical efficiency of PSII in the algal symbionts and/or their expulsion from the host. This study highlights the potential of host caspase 3 and reactive oxygen species scavenging activities as early indicators of stress in individual coral colonies. Mickael Ros, Mathieu Pernice, Sebastien Le Guillou, Martina A. Doblin, Verena Schrameyer, and Olivier Laczka Copyright © 2016 Mickael Ros et al. All rights reserved. Growth, Fatty Acid, and Lipid Composition of Marine Microalgae Skeletonema costatum Available in Bangladesh Coast: Consideration as Biodiesel Feedstock Mon, 29 Feb 2016 10:48:42 +0000 Among the various potential sources of renewable energy, biofuels are of most interest. Marine microalgae are the most promising oil sources for making biofuels, which can grow very rapidly and convert solar energy to chemical energy via CO2 fixation. The fatty acid profile of almost all the microalgal oil is suitable for the synthesis of biofuel. In this research, fatty acid and lipid contents of Bangladeshi strains of marine microalgae Skeletonema costatum were performed. For this, the crude oil was extracted by Soxhlet extraction method, using three most common solvent systems, pure hexane and mixture of CHCl3 : MeOH (2 : 1) and hexane : EtOH (3 : 1) one by one. Highest oil recovery (15.37%) came from CHCl3 : MeOH (2 : 1) solvent system from dry biomass whereas the lowest (2.49%) came from n-hexane from wet biomass. The qualitative analysis of the extracted oil by GC/MS analysis revealed that it contained significant amount of myristic acid (C14:0), palmitic acid (C16:0), stearic acid (C18:0), and palmitoleic acid (C16:1). It also indicated presence of hexadecatrienoic acid, benzenedicarboxylic acid, oleic acid, arachidonic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), 9-Octadecenoic acid methyl ester (C19H36O2), and so forth. The obtained fatty acid profile indicates high potentiality of S. costatum species to be used as promising biofuel feedstock a little improvisation and substantially it can replace diesel in near future. Tania Sharmin, Chowdhury Md. Monirul Hasan, Sheikh Aftabuddin, Md. Atiar Rahman, and Mala Khan Copyright © 2016 Tania Sharmin et al. All rights reserved. Food and Feeding Dynamics of Stolephorus commersonnii (Lacepede, 1803) (Family: Engraulidae) from South Andaman Thu, 19 Nov 2015 07:23:05 +0000 The feeding dynamics of Stolephorus commersonnii along the coastal waters of South Andaman during October, 2011, to September, 2012, were examined by employing “point’s method.” The results of the present study has shown that S. commersonnii mainly is a planktonivorous carnivore chiefly feeding in the pelagic realm on planktonic crustaceans, bivalves, gastropods, and miscellaneous food items. The copepods formed the main prey item, contributing their maximum during November 2011 (47.55%) and lowest in December (24.21%) which was confirmed by various food preference indices. There was no significant seasonal variation in the feeding preference. Lower length classes fed mainly on planktonic copepods and amphipods whereas the higher length classes fed mainly on postlarval shrimps and planktonic crustaceans like Lucifer sp. and Acetes sp. Feeding intensity was seasonal, but independent of the length of fish. Gastrosomatic index was highest during monsoon, indicating active feeding. During the period when a maximum percentage of fully mature individuals were present, the feeding intensity was found to be low. The trophic level of this species was found to be . M. Arun Kumar, G. Padmavati, and S. Venu Copyright © 2015 M. Arun Kumar et al. All rights reserved. Heavy Metals in Terapon puta (Cuvier, 1829) from Karachi Coasts, Pakistan Wed, 11 Nov 2015 06:26:08 +0000 This study was carried out to investigate the accumulation of Fe, Mn, Cd, Pb, and Ni in Terapon puta from Karachi Fish Harbor, Pakistan. There were no significant differences in the concentration of the metals except Mn in T. puta, which is obtained from the different seasons. The highest metal concentration is Fe followed by Mn. Cd, Pb, and Ni were measured relatively lower concentrations. The mean (± SD) Fe, Mn, Cd, Ni, and Pb levels in the muscles tissues of T. puta were , , , , and  mg/kg dry wt., respectively, whereas the mean (± SD) Fe, Mn, Cd, Ni, and Pb levels in the liver tissues of T. puta were , , , , and  mg/kg dry wt., respectively. Cd and Pb levels exceeded the Commission Regulation of European Union maximum limit of 0.05 mg/kg and 0.30 mg/kg, respectively. However, the results of Estimated Weekly Intake and Estimated Daily Intake indicate that the heavy metal levels in the samples are generally within respective recommended guidelines. Thus, it would appear from this study that the heavy metal levels in T. puta from Karachi coasts are low enough not to present a health hazard if the fish are consumed, although due attention should be paid to the maximum acceptable daily intake per kilogram body weight. Quratulan Ahmed, Levent Bat, and Farzana Yousuf Copyright © 2015 Quratulan Ahmed et al. All rights reserved. Trends in Marine Turtle Strandings along the East Queensland, Australia Coast, between 1996 and 2013 Mon, 09 Nov 2015 13:33:02 +0000 In-water monitoring of marine vertebrates is usually expensive while the use of stranding data can be used to provide a cost-effective estimation of disease and mortality. Strandings for Queensland are recorded in a web based database (StrandNet) managed by the Queensland Government’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP). Data recorded in StrandNet from the east coast of Queensland between 1996 and 2013 were investigated for patterns of stranding. Significant trends in Queensland over this time were (i) an increase in the number of animals reported stranded within this study site; (ii) a species (loggerhead and green marine turtles) prevalence; (iii) a seasonal effect on different age classes stranding with most overall strandings occurring between August and November; and (iv) stranding hotspots (Moreton Bay, Hervey Bay, Rockhampton region, and Cleveland Bays) persisting throughout the study timeframe. This study suggested that intervention strategies, such as rehabilitation, should be able to be focussed on periods of heightened importance and specific localities to minimize health risks and contribute to sustainable use of resources. Jaylene Flint, Mark Flint, Colin J. Limpus, and Paul C. Mills Copyright © 2015 Jaylene Flint et al. All rights reserved. Polychaete Annelid Biomass Size Spectra: The Effects of Hypoxia Stress Tue, 27 Oct 2015 12:36:34 +0000 Quantitative benthic samples were taken during spring and summer at three locations on the Louisiana continental shelf from 2004 to 2012 to assess the influence of hypoxia on the mean sizes (wet weight) of polychaete annelid worms. While the mean body size over the entire study of 64 samples was 3.99 ± 4.66 mg wet weight per individual, the mean ranged from 2.97 ± 2.87 mg during consistently hypoxic conditions (<2 mg/L) to a high of 7.13 ± 7.60 mg () under oxic conditions (>2 mg/L). The variations in size within assemblages were estimated from conventional biomass size spectra (BSS) and normalized biomass size spectra (NBSS) across a broad range of oxygen concentrations. The decline in size was due to the elimination of large species under hypoxic conditions (<2 mg/L), not a reduction in size within species. At “severe” levels of hypoxia (<1 mg/L), the smallest species also declined in abundance, whereas the ubiquitous “medium-sized” Paraprionospio pinnata flourished. These results suggest that there will be enhanced selection for small sizes and species with enlarged branchial palps such as those in P. pinnata if, as predicted, hypoxia becomes more commonplace in time and space worldwide. Fangyuan Qu, Clifton Nunnally, and Gilbert T. Rowe Copyright © 2015 Fangyuan Qu et al. All rights reserved. Comparison between Otoliths and Length Based Ageing and Growth of African Armoured Searobin (Peristedion cataphractum L. 1758; Teleostei, Peristediidae) off the Southern Coasts of Sicily (Mediterranean Sea) Wed, 30 Sep 2015 11:13:10 +0000 The recovering of Peristedion cataphractum otoliths collected between 1991 and 1992 from specimens sampled off the southern coasts of Sicily has allowed a direct ageing and growth estimation to be compared with the length based method estimates produced in successive years. Overall, 855 left otoliths (sagittae) were recovered, measured, and read as a whole surface. The core and rings distances were also measured to perform back-calculation. The otolith length-body length relationships were allometric. Back-calculated lengths at age were in agreement with the lengths estimated with otolith readings. Present results showed a good congruency between otoliths and length based method. Teresa Bottari, Salvatore Gancitano, Paola Rinelli, and Sergio Ragonese Copyright © 2015 Teresa Bottari et al. All rights reserved. A Parasite of Marine Rotifers: A New Lineage of Dinokaryotic Dinoflagellates (Dinophyceae) Thu, 17 Sep 2015 05:58:47 +0000 Dinoflagellate infections have been reported for different protistan and animal hosts. We report, for the first time, the association between a dinoflagellate parasite and a rotifer host, tentatively Synchaeta sp. (Rotifera), collected from the port of Valencia, NW Mediterranean Sea. The rotifer contained a sporangium with 100–200 thecate dinospores that develop synchronically through palintomic sporogenesis. This undescribed dinoflagellate forms a new and divergent fast-evolved lineage that branches among the dinokaryotic dinoflagellates. Fernando Gómez and Alf Skovgaard Copyright © 2015 Fernando Gómez and Alf Skovgaard. All rights reserved. On the Interplay between Cannibalism and Harvest in Stage-Structured Population Models Wed, 17 Jun 2015 07:32:58 +0000 By use of a nonlinear stage-structured population model the role of cannibalism and the combined role of cannibalism and harvest have been explored. Regarding the model, we prove that in most parts of parameter space it is permanent. We also show that the transfer from stability to nonstationary dynamics always occurs when the unique stable equilibrium undergoes a supercritical Neimark-Sacker (Hopf) bifurcation. Moreover, the dynamic consequences of catch depend not only on which part of the population (immature or mature) is exposed to increased harvest pressure but also on which part of the immature population (newborns, older immature individuals) suffers from cannibalism. Indeed, if only newborns are exposed to cannibalism an enlargement of harvest pressure on the mature part of the population may act in a stabilizing fashion. On the other hand, whenever the whole immature population is exposed to cannibalism there are parts in parameter space where increased harvest on the mature population acts in a destabilizing fashion. Arild Wikan Copyright © 2015 Arild Wikan. All rights reserved. Viability of Sea Fan Populations Impacted by Disease: Recruitment versus Incidence Tue, 26 May 2015 11:14:54 +0000 Diseases are a threat to the viability of an increasing number of coral populations. In this study we analyze the effect of infection and recruitment rate on the viability and structure of sea fan (Gorgonia ventalina) populations using a size-based matrix model parameterized with data from field studies. The model predicts that the viability of sea fan populations is strongly influenced by disease incidence and recruitment. Under high recruitment rate, the disease incidence threshold for population viability is 0.12/yr. However, populations with no or low incidence may also go locally extinct given persistent low recruitment. The model also predicts an effect of recruitment on disease prevalence. Everything else being equal, sites with low recruitment will exhibit higher disease prevalence than ones with high recruitment, particularly in medium and large colonies. Elasticity analysis reveals that changes in colony survivorship are likely to have the strongest effect on population growth rate, particularly given low recruitment. We conclude that under current levels of incidence sea fan populations in the Caribbean are not at risk. However, future epizootics are likely to produce local extinctions particularly if coinciding spatially or temporally with low recruitment. Alberto M. Sabat and Carlos Toledo-Hernández Copyright © 2015 Alberto M. Sabat and Carlos Toledo-Hernández. All rights reserved. Ultrastructural Comparison of Processing of Protein and Pigment in the Ink Gland of Four Species of Sea Hares Sun, 24 May 2015 11:25:04 +0000 The ink glands of four sea hare species (Aplysia californica, A. parvula, A. juliana, and Dolabrifera dolabrifera) were compared to determine where ink protein is synthesized, how it is incorporated into protein storage vesicles, and the degree of variation in the structure of the ink gland. Ink protein was synthesized in RER cells and stored in amber and white vesicles. Lack of competent RER cells in the ink gland of D. dolabrifera was correlated with the absence of ink protein. Ink protein had similar characteristics in all three Aplysia species but, again, it was absent in D. dolabrifera. Its uptake involved pinocytosis by protein vesicle cell membranes. Granulate cells showed little variation in structure among the four species, the opposite was the case for RER cells. The conversion of the red algal pigment, phycoerythrin, to phycoerythrobilin (PEB) occurs in the digestive gland but the change of PEB to aplysioviolin (APV), the form of pigment released by the ink gland, occurs in the ink gland itself by both granulate cells and pigment vesicles. The literature describes five types of vesicles based upon color and contents in the ink gland of these four species. We report only three types of vesicle: colored (purple), protein (white and amber), and transparent (includes clear vesicles). Jeffrey S. Prince and Paul Micah Johnson Copyright © 2015 Jeffrey S. Prince and Paul Micah Johnson. All rights reserved. Comparison of Three Methods for Determining the Prey Preference of the Muricid Snail Reishia clavigera Sun, 10 May 2015 11:59:28 +0000 We propose an appropriate method for investigating the prey preferences of the muricid snail Reishia clavigera (Küster, 1860) with limited collection of live prey. We compared 3 methods for examining the prey preference. The first was a predation experiment, conducted with dead prey instead of live prey. The second was a prey choice test using a few preys. In this experiment, both live and dead prey were used. The last method was a stable isotope analysis of R. clavigera and its putative prey items. Using live prey, bivalves were the most preferred prey, but goose barnacle was the most preferred prey species in experiments using dead prey. The carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis supported the live prey experiment. Since R. clavigera prefer preying on live prey but will scavenge or cannibalize when no other food is available in natural habitats, experimental methods using dead prey are not suitable for investigating its prey preferences. Considering the damage to natural habitats, the prey choice test is ecologically benign. Taken together, our findings suggested the prey choice test is the most appropriate method of identifying the prey preferences of muricid snails when large numbers of live preys are difficult to collect. Morihiko Tomatsuri and Koetsu Kon Copyright © 2015 Morihiko Tomatsuri and Koetsu Kon. All rights reserved. Origins and Implications of a Primary Crown-of-Thorns Starfish Outbreak in the Southern Great Barrier Reef Thu, 26 Mar 2015 12:04:15 +0000 The crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) is a major predator of hard corals. Repeated COTS outbreaks in the Cairns and Central sections of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) have been responsible for greater declines in coral cover than any other type of disturbance, including cyclones, disease, and coral bleaching. Knowledge of the precise timing and location of primary outbreaks could reveal the initial drivers of outbreaks and so could indicate possible management measures. In the central GBR, COTS outbreaks appear to follow major flooding events, but despite many years of observations, no primary outbreak has ever been unequivocally identified in the central and northern GBR. Here we locate a primary outbreak of COTS on the southern GBR which is not correlated with flooding. Instead it appears to have been the result of a combination of life history traits of COTS and prevailing oceanographic conditions. The hydrodynamic setting implies that the outbreak could disperse larvae to other reefs in the region. Ian Miller, Hugh Sweatman, Alistair Cheal, Mike Emslie, Kerryn Johns, Michelle Jonker, and Kate Osborne Copyright © 2015 Ian Miller et al. All rights reserved. Seasonal Changes in Glycogen Contents in Various Tissues of the Edible Bivalves, Pen Shell Atrina lischkeana, Ark Shell Scapharca kagoshimensis, and Manila Clam Ruditapes philippinarum in West Japan Tue, 24 Feb 2015 06:38:07 +0000 The types of tissues accumulating glycogen and seasonal changes in glycogen content were investigated in the following shell species: pen shell Atrina lischkeana, ark shell Scapharca kagoshimensis, and Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum. Comparison of the results showed that the adductor muscle or foot was the main glycogen reservoir and the levels varied seasonally. The adductor muscle in the pen shell showed higher glycogen content during spring and lower content during autumn. The ark shell, on the other hand, showed higher content during winter and spring and lower content during summer and autumn, while the Manila clam showed higher glycogen content during spring and summer and lower content during autumn and winter. These results revealed that the adductor muscle in pen shells and the foot in ark shells and Manila clams act as the main storage tissues for glycogen in the three species studied and that these tissues are suitable to analyze glycogen prevalence to estimate individual physiological condition. Tatsuya Yurimoto Copyright © 2015 Tatsuya Yurimoto. All rights reserved. Estimating the Potential Production of the Brown Mussel Perna perna (Linnaeus, 1758) Reared in Three Tropical Bays by Different Methods of Condition Indices Thu, 22 Jan 2015 09:31:09 +0000 Perna perna (Linnaeus, 1758) is the main marine bivalve mussel yielded commercially in Brazil. In spite of this, scientific data is very scarce regarding its productivity in tropical shallow waters. The Condition Index (CI) is used worldwide in mariculture to assess animal health, harvest time, and yield. In this study, the authors used CI results from nine different methods to assess the season effect on the mussel CI and also to evaluate the potential yield of three southern Brazilian bays. The results from nine CI methods were used for the comparison of the seasonality and yield of mussels reared in three marine bays. Sampling was carried out monthly within two 4-month periods, from December 2008 to August 2009. The results show a trend for seasonal effects on the CI results. The winter months showed the highest and the lowest values. Between bays, higher CI values were detected in animals reared at Sepetiba Bay, followed by Guanabara Bay and Ilha Grande Bay. We suggest that the CI (that considers the ratio between bivalve soft tissue wet weight and total length) should be used by fishermen, since this formula was able to detect differences between sites and is more easily applied. Petrus Galvao, Renan Longo, João Paulo Machado Torres, and Olaf Malm Copyright © 2015 Petrus Galvao et al. All rights reserved. Composition of Periphyton Community on Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes): In Analysis of Environmental Characteristics at Ejirin Part of Epe Lagoon in Southwestern Nigeria Thu, 08 Jan 2015 08:34:57 +0000 The composition of periphyton community on water hyacinth was investigated at Ejirin, part of Epe Lagoon, in relation to environmental characteristics from December 2012 to May 2013. A total of 14,536 individuals of 104 species belonging to five divisions were identified, with Bacillariophyta (82.69%), Cyanobacteria (10.43%), Chlorophyta (5.63%), and Euglenophyta (1.15%). The total species abundance observed showed a strong correlation with rainfall () and strongly significant correlation with TDS (; ). Biochemical oxygen demand value remained (BOD) 4.8 mg/L while Shannon-Wiener index value remained (. The presence of the following organisms could be used as an indicator of environmentally stressed aquatic ecosystem: euglenoids, blue green algae, Nitzschia palea, Surirella sp., Pinnularia sp., Gomphonema parvulum, Mougeotia sp., Spirogyra sp., Trachelomonas affinis (Lemm.), and T. ensifera Daday; T. gibberosa Playf. and Phormidium articulatum; Lyngbya intermedia; Cymbella ventricosa; Eunotia arcus; Surirella linearis and Closterium parvulum Nag. A. I. Inyang, K. E. Sunday, and D. I. Nwankwo Copyright © 2015 A. I. Inyang et al. All rights reserved. Catalase Activity in Brown Mussels (Perna perna) under Acute Cadmium, Lead, and Copper Exposure and Depuration Tests Thu, 25 Dec 2014 09:32:31 +0000 Brown mussels (Perna perna) were exposed to cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and copper (Cu) concentrations under acute exposure and exposure-depuration tests for the estimation of biochemical biomarker catalase (CAT). The acute tests showed accumulated Cd, Pb, and Cu in Perna perna correlated linearly with the exposure concentrations (, , and for Cd, Pb, and Cu, resp.). The results of CAT increased significantly in tissues of treatment mussels after 72 h exposure when compared to control. The values of total protein were disturbed in exposed groups when compared with control. These results suggest that metabolites and catalase activity were affected by heavy metal exposures. Analysis using the Spearman rank correlation coefficient showed that the CAT activity appeared to have a significant positive correlativity (, , and for Cd, Pb, and Cu, resp.) with the accumulated Cd, Pb, and Cu concentrations, respectively. The result of exposure-depuration tests showed that there is a general tendency for CAT to decrease in depuration phase, suggesting that the induction of catalase is metal and/or mixture of metals dependent. Kamel Boudjema, Sidali Kourdali, Nabila Bounakous, Abdellah Meknachi, and Abdelmalek Badis Copyright © 2014 Kamel Boudjema et al. All rights reserved.