2015-04-29

Indirect effects of overfishing on Caribbean reefs: sponges overgrow reef-building corals

Loh T-L, McMurray SE, Henkel TP, Vicente J, Pawlik JR. Indirect effects of overfishing on Caribbean reefs: sponges overgrow reef-building corals. PeerJ [Internet]. 2015 ;3:e901. Available from: https://peerj.com/articles/901/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Consumer-mediated indirect effects at the community level are difficult to demonstrate empirically. Here, we show an explicit indirect effect of overfishing on competition between sponges and reef-building corals from surveys of 69 sites across the Caribbean. Leveraging the large-scale, long-term removal of sponge predators, we selected overfished sites where intensive methods, primarily fish-trapping, have been employed for decades or more, and compared them to sites in remote or marine protected areas (MPAs) with variable levels of enforcement. Sponge-eating fishes (angelfishes and parrotfishes) were counted at each site, and the benthos surveyed, with coral colonies scored for interaction with sponges. Overfished sites had >3 fold more overgrowth of corals by sponges, and mean coral contact with sponges was 25.6%, compared with 12.0% at less-fished sites. Greater contact with corals by sponges at overfished sites was mostly by sponge species palatable to sponge predators. Palatable species have faster rates of growth or reproduction than defended sponge species, which instead make metabolically expensive chemical defenses. These results validate the top-down conceptual model of sponge community ecology for Caribbean reefs, as well as provide an unambiguous justification for MPAs to protect threatened reef-building corals.

An unanticipated outcome of the benthic survey component of this study was that overfished sites had lower mean macroalgal cover (23.1% vs. 38.1% for less-fished sites), a result that is contrary to prevailing assumptions about seaweed control by herbivorous fishes. Because we did not quantify herbivores for this study, we interpret this result with caution, but suggest that additional large-scale studies comparing intensively overfished and MPA sites are warranted to examine the relative impacts of herbivorous fishes and urchins on Caribbean reefs.

A new gall crab species (Brachyura, Cryptochiridae) associated with the free-living coral Trachyphyllia geoffroyi (Scleractinia, Merulinidae)

van der Meij SET. A new gall crab species (Brachyura, Cryptochiridae) associated with the free-living coral Trachyphyllia geoffroyi (Scleractinia, Merulinidae). ZooKeys [Internet]. 2015 ;500:61 - 72. Available from: http://zookeys.pensoft.net/articles.php?id=5170
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

A new species of gall crab is described from the free-living stony coral Trachyphyllia geoffroyi. Specimens were collected during field work in Lembeh Strait (Indonesia) and off Kudat (Malaysian Borneo). This new species, here named Lithoscaptus semperi sp. n., is the ninth species assigned to the genus. It can be separated from its congeners by not having the internal orbital angle extending beyond the external orbital angle, and by the stout female P2 merus with prominent distomesial projection. In addition, the carapace surface appears smooth, despite having small tubercles on the anterior half, and is without noticeable spines, other than those on the frontal margin. The distinctive carapace pattern in life is a diagnostic character in male specimens.

Linking biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human well-being: three challenges for designing research for sustainability

Bennett EM, Cramer W, Begossi A, Cundill G, Díaz S, Egoh BN, Geijzendorffer IR, Krug CB, Lavorel S, Lazos E, et al. Linking biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human well-being: three challenges for designing research for sustainability. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability [Internet]. 2015 ;14:76 - 85. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877343515000366
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ecosystem services have become a mainstream concept for the expression of values assigned by people to various functions of ecosystems. Even though the introduction of the concept has initiated a vast amount of research, progress in using this knowledge for sustainable resource use remains insufficient. We see a need to broaden the scope of research to answer three key questions that we believe will improve incorporation of ecosystem service research into decision-making for the sustainable use of natural resources to improve human well-being: (i) how are ecosystem services co-produced by social–ecological systems, (ii) who benefits from the provision of ecosystem services, and (iii) what are the best practices for the governance of ecosystem services? Here, we present these key questions, the rationale behind them, and their related scientific challenges in a globally coordinated research programme aimed towards improving sustainable ecosystem management. These questions will frame the activities of ecoSERVICES, formerly a DIVERSITAS project and now a project of Future Earth, in its role as a platform to foster global coordination of multidisciplinary sustainability science through the lens of ecosystem services.

Site selection for artificial reefs using a new combine Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) tools for coral reefs in the Kish Island – Persian Gulf

Mousavi SHassan, Danehkar A, Shokri MReza, Poorbagher H, Azhdari D. Site selection for artificial reefs using a new combine Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) tools for coral reefs in the Kish Island – Persian Gulf. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2015 ;111:92 - 102. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096456911500068X
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The present study investigates the suitability of the Kish Island coastal areas for the establishment of Corals Artificial Reefs (CAR) using the new Spatial Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (SMCDM) tool. This new method based on the combination of existing Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) with Expert Systems (ES), Weighted Linear Combination (WLC) and field study. In this research suitable artificial reefs areas were determined through 3 stages of analysis: (i) evaluation (identification, scoping and weighting) criteria and sub criteria using literature review, Delphi method and Pair-Wise comparison (PWC), respectively; (ii) construction of the GIS model based on MCDM approach; and (iii) verification of the GIS model outputs and prioritization of the selected areas using field study and Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), respectively. As a result, seven alternatives (7.2% of the study area) were identified as the most preferred areas for CAR sitting. Ranking of alternatives by AHP indicated that zones 7 and 6 obtained the highest priority and zones 5, 2, 3, 4 and 1 had the lowest priority for CAR establishing in Kish Island, respectively. In this study the WLC and AHP was used for identification and prioritization of the most preferred areas, respectively. There was a difference between the results of the WLC and AHP. We propose the WLC should be used for the identification and AHP should be used for prioritization of alternatives.

Valuation of the ecosystem services of beach nourishment in decision-making: The case study of Tarquinia Lido, Italy

Martino S, Amos CL. Valuation of the ecosystem services of beach nourishment in decision-making: The case study of Tarquinia Lido, Italy. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2015 ;111:82 - 91. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569115000848
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) is a systematic process commonly employed by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to assess primarily benefits stemming from storm damage reduction and recreation enhancement by beach protection. The USACE goal is to quantify federal money disbursement to local communities to counter the consequences of coastal erosion. The EU has recommended the use of CBA for shoreline management (both at regional and local scales), looking not only at the financial aspects of project assessment, but also at non-market benefits (ecosystem services of the beaches) and environmental costs, assessed on a broad time horizon in a given sediment cell. In this paper, several ecosystem services provided by beach protection are considered and some of them monetised to assess the local net benefits of a nourishment project carried out along the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy. The paper shows that free riding emerges by the public supply of coastal protection, and that it could be possibly partially removed charging the cost of beach maintenance to the local users. In addition, supply of coastal protection may generate negative environmental externalities. However, costs of environmental damage of the beach nourishment are not easy to be internalised. This suggests alternative market mechanisms (charges or insurance premiums) to reduce the development pressure on coastal areas subject to high rates of erosion or to explore the adoption of subsides such as payments for ecosystem services (PES) at seascape scales.

A climate-informed, ecosystem approach to fisheries management

Heenan A, Pomeroy R, Bell J, Munday PL, Cheung W, Logan C, Brainard R, Amri AYang, Aliño P, Armada N, et al. A climate-informed, ecosystem approach to fisheries management. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2015 ;57:182 - 192. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X15000676
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

This paper outlines the benefits of using the framework for an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM) for dealing with the inevitable yet unclear impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on coastal fisheries. With a focus on the Asia-Pacific region, it summarizes the projected biological and socio-economic effects of increased emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) for coastal fisheries and illustrates how all the important dimensions of climate change and ocean acidification can be integrated into the steps involved in the EAFM planning process. The activities required to harness the full potential of an EAFM as an adaptation to climate change and ocean acidification are also described, including: provision of the necessary expertise to inform all stakeholders about the risks to fish habitats, fish stocks and catches due to climate change; promotion of trans-disciplinary collaboration; facilitating the participation of all key stakeholders; monitoring the wider fisheries system for climate impacts; and enhancing resources and capacity to implement an EAFM. By channeling some of the resources available to the Asia-Pacific region to adapt to climate change into an EAFM, developing countries will not only build resilience to the ecological and fisheries effects of climate change, they will also help address the habitat degradation and overfishing presently reducing the productivity of coastal fisheries.

A proposed wave farm on the Galician coast

Veigas M, López M, Romillo P, Carballo R, Castro A, Iglesias G. A proposed wave farm on the Galician coast. Energy Conversion and Management [Internet]. 2015 ;99:102 - 111. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196890415003878
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

This work is focused on the analysis of the wave resource and its exploitation by means of a proposed 12 MW wave plant in Northwestern Spain. For this purpose, a total of four current technologies of wave conversion are analysed at three different sites located at different water depths, which correspond to one of the European areas with the greatest wave energy resource and where its electric production is still underdeveloped. To carry out the research, the wave data recorded at an offshore buoy near the area and the power matrices of the four selected wave energy technologies are used. The offshore wave conditions—representing 95% of the total energy of an average year—are propagated through spectral numerical modelling towards the coast. On the basis of the results, two of the four selected technologies forming the 12 MW power plants and one of the three considered points emerge as the ones allowing the greatest energy production and, at the same time, having a minimum area of occupation which, in turn, is crucial to reducing the visual impact. Finally, this research discusses the energy supply capacity of the proposed plants to satisfy the energy consumption required by nearby communities.

Cooperation and the emergence of maritime clusters in the Atlantic: Analysis and implications of innovation and human capital for blue growth

Pinto H, Cruz ARita, Combe C. Cooperation and the emergence of maritime clusters in the Atlantic: Analysis and implications of innovation and human capital for blue growth. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2015 ;57:167 - 177. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X15000780
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The so-called ‘blue economy’ is gaining emphasis in European policy making due to the expansion of its relevance beyond traditional economic sectors but also to new and developing ones that exhibit rapid growth. Much of the discourse has focused on the emergence and consolidation of maritime clusters. However, there has been less attention on the regional development aspect and this article provides a timely contribution to filling the gap in knowledge by presenting the findings and analysis of a survey applied to blue economy organisations in Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Scotland. Specifically, issues of innovation, human capital and social capital provide the basis of inquiry around the creation and consolidation of maritime clusters. The article uses the survey data to understand the determinants of the variety of cooperation dynamics. A key finding reveals that participation in innovation activities and absorptive capacity are critical factors in increasing cooperation. From the analysis it is clear that there are significant discrepancies in participation between sectors, such as tourism where participation rates are below average. The article concludes by defining the core activities that should feature in a maritime cluster.

Using AIS to inform Marine Spatial Planning and marine industries

Shelmerdine RL, Shucksmith RJ. Using AIS to inform Marine Spatial Planning and marine industries. 2014 .
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Presentation

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) require all marine vessels over 300 gross tonnage on an international voyage, all cargo vessels greater than 500 gt, and all passenger vessels irrespective of size to be fitted with an Automatic Identification System (AIS). AIS is a shipboard transponder which automatically transmits vessel information, through VHF, as a ship to ship or ship to shore signal. Transmitted data includes information on the vessel identity (mmsi number), position, speed, course, vessel type, dimensions, and other information as outlined by Ou and Zhu.

An increasing number of marine users have recognized the benefits of having an AIS system fitted aboard their vessels which has resulted in a large quantity of available vessel data ranging from large oil tankers to pleasure craft and sailing ships. The European Commission has additionally stated that all fishing vessels greater than 15 m in length must be equipped with an AIS system by 31st May 2014.

Maritime Spatial Planning, EU Policy Update: April 2015

Anon. Maritime Spatial Planning, EU Policy Update: April 2015. [Internet]. 2015 . Available from: http://www.assembly.wales/Research%20Documents/016%20-%20Policy%20Updates%20-%20Marine%20Spatial%20Planning/15-016.pdf
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Miscellaneous

In July 2014, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Directive 2014/89/EU to create a common framework for maritime spatial planning in the European Union. In broad terms, the Directive places a legal requirement on Member States to develop and implement Maritime Spatial Plans (MSP) by 2021 at the latest. Ultimately, the Directive aims to establish ‘a framework for maritime spatial planning aimed at promoting the sustainable growth of maritime economies, the sustainable development of marine areas and the sustainable use of marine resources.’1 Member States are required to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Directive by 18 September 2016.

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