With rapid urbanization in the coastal zone and increasing habitat losses, it is imperative to understand how urban development affects coastal biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. Furthermore, it is important to understand how habitat fragments can best be incorporated into broader land use planning and coastal management, in order to maximize the environmental benefits they provide. In this study, we characterized the trade-offs between (a) urban development and individual mangrove environmental indicators (habitat quality and ecosystem services), and (b) between different environmental indicators in the tropical nation of Singapore. A range of biological, biophysical, and cultural indicators, including carbon, charcoal production, support for offshore fisheries, recreation, and habitat quality for a threatened species were quantified using field-based, remote sensing, and expert survey methods. The shape of the trade-off Pareto frontiers was analyzed to assess the sensitivity of environmental indicators for development. When traded off individually with urban development, four out of five environmental indicators were insensitive to development, meaning that relatively minor degradation of the indicator occurred while development was below a certain threshold, although indicator loss accelerated once this threshold was reached. Most of the pairwise relationships between the five environmental indicators were synergistic; only carbon storage and charcoal production, and charcoal production and recreational accessibility showed trade-offs. Trade-off analysis and land use optimization using Pareto frontiers could be a useful decision-support tool for understanding how changes in land use and coastal management will impact the ability of ecosystems to provide environmental benefits.
The use of a one-dimensional interdisciplinary numerical model of the coastal ocean as a tool contributing to the formulation of ecosystem-based management (EBM) is explored. The focus is on the definition of an experimental design based on ensemble simulations, integrating variability linked to scenarios (characterised by changes in the system forcing) and to the concurrent variation of selected, and poorly constrained, model parameters. The modelling system used was previously specifically designed for the use in “data-rich” areas, so that horizontal dynamics can be resolved by a diagnostic approach and external inputs can be parameterised by nudging schemes properly calibrated. Ensembles determined by changes in the simulated environmental (physical and biogeochemical) dynamics, under joint forcing and parameterisation variations, highlight the uncertainties associated to the application of specific scenarios that are relevant to EBM, providing an assessment of the reliability of the predicted changes. The work has been carried out by implementing the coupled modelling system BFM-POM1D in an area of Gulf of Trieste (northern Adriatic Sea), considered homogeneous from the point of view of hydrological properties, and forcing it by changing climatic (warming) and anthropogenic (reduction of the land-based nutrient input) pressure. Model parameters affected by considerable uncertainties (due to the lack of relevant observations) were varied jointly with the scenarios of change. The resulting large set of ensemble simulations provided a general estimation of the model uncertainties related to the joint variation of pressures and model parameters. The information of the model result variability aimed at conveying efficiently and comprehensibly the information on the uncertainties/reliability of the model results to non-technical EBM planners and stakeholders, in order to have the model-based information effectively contributing to EBM.
Many marine mammal predators, particularly pinnipeds, have increased in abundance in recent decades, generating new challenges for balancing human uses with recovery goals via ecosystem-based management. We used a spatio-temporal bioenergetics model of the Northeast Pacific Ocean to quantify how predation by three species of pinnipeds and killer whales (Orcinus orca) on Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) has changed since the 1970s along the west coast of North America, and compare these estimates to salmon fisheries. We find that from 1975 to 2015, biomass of Chinook salmon consumed by pinnipeds and killer whales increased from 6,100 to 15,200 metric tons (from 5 to 31.5 million individual salmon). Though there is variation across the regions in our model, overall, killer whales consume the largest biomass of Chinook salmon, but harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) consume the largest number of individuals. The decrease in adult Chinook salmon harvest from 1975–2015 was 16,400 to 9,600 metric tons. Thus, Chinook salmon removals (harvest + consumption) increased in the past 40 years despite catch reductions by fisheries, due to consumption by recovering pinnipeds and endangered killer whales. Long-term management strategies for Chinook salmon will need to consider potential conflicts between rebounding predators or endangered predators and prey.
Wild stocks of Pacific salmonids have experienced sharp declines in abundance over the past century. Consequently, billions of fish are released each year for enhancing abundance and sustaining fisheries. However, the beneficial role of this widely used management practice is highly debated since fitness decrease of hatchery-origin fish in the wild has been documented. Artificial selection in hatcheries has often been invoked as the most likely explanation for reduced fitness, and most studies to date have focused on finding signatures of hatchery-induced selection at the DNA level. We tested an alternative hypothesis, that captive rearing induces epigenetic reprogramming, by comparing genome-wide patterns of methylation and variation at the DNA level in hatchery-reared coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) with those of their wild counterparts in two geographically distant rivers. We found a highly significant proportion of epigenetic variation explained by the rearing environment that was as high as the one explained by the river of origin. The differentially methylated regions show enrichment for biological functions that may affect the capacity of hatchery-born smolts to migrate successfully in the ocean. Shared epigenetic variation between hatchery-reared salmon provides evidence for parallel epigenetic modifications induced by hatchery rearing in the absence of genetic differentiation between hatchery and natural-origin fish for each river. This study highlights epigenetic modifications induced by captive rearing as a potential explanatory mechanism for reduced fitness in hatchery-reared salmon.
Marine plastic debris is a global environmental problem. Surveys have shown that <5 mm plastic particles, known as microplastics, are significantly more abundant in surface seawater and on shorelines than larger plastic particles are. Nevertheless, quantification of microplastics in the environment is hampered by a lack of adequate high-throughput methods for distinguishing and quantifying smaller size fractions (<1 mm), and this has probably resulted in an underestimation of actual microplastic concentrations. Here we present a protocol that allows high-throughput detection and automated quantification of small microplastic particles (20–1000 μm) using the dye Nile red, fluorescence microscopy, and image analysis software. This protocol has proven to be highly effective in the quantification of small polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, and nylon-6 particles, which frequently occur in the water column. Our preliminary results from sea surface tows show a power-law increase in small microplastics (i.e., <1 mm) with a decreasing particle size. Hence, our data help to resolve speculation about the “apparent” loss of this fraction from surface waters. We consider that this method presents a step change in the ability to detect small microplastics by substituting the subjectivity of human visual sorting with a sensitive and semiautomated procedure.
Coral reefs are among Earth’s best-studied ecosystems, yet the degree to which large predators influence the ecology of coral reefs remains an open and contentious question. Recent studies indicate the consumptive effects of large reef predators are too diffuse to elicit trophic cascades. Here, we provide evidence that such predators can produce non-consumptive (fear) effects that flow through herbivores to shape the distribution of seaweed on a coral reef. This trophic cascade emerged because reef topography, tidal oscillations, and shark hunting behaviour interact to create predictable “hot spots” of fear on the reef where herbivores withhold feeding and seaweeds gain a spatial refuge. Thus, in risky habitats, sharks can exert strong ecological impacts even though they are trophic generalists that rarely feed. These findings contextualize the debate over whether predators influence coral reef structure and function and move us to ask not if, but under what specific conditions, they generate trophic cascades.
Kei Islands located inside the coral triangle. Therefore, the biodiversity level on the sea in this area is considered high. United nation has proposed for water that included in the coral triangle has to apply marine protected area (MPA) to preserve the area. The main problem is most of the community especially in Kei Islands have depended on the sea as their sources of the economy even fisheries commodity like fish play a large part on the inflation rate and other prosperity indicators likes school and housing. Also, Kei Islands practice on form local wisdom for owning areal of the sea which calls "petuanan laut" by certain of villages or group of villages in one area. This study aimed to map the cluster of catching fisheries area based on the quantity of fish supply on a local market in Kei Islands and measure each cluster on their support and perspective on Marine Protected Area (MPA). We conducted a focus group discussion and collecting additional data by questionnaires with descriptive and quantitative analysis with logistic regression. The implication of this study can provide a clear view of coastal communities view on MPA program also to identify an area that has marine resources, human resources, and equipment to provide government an empirical view on catching fisheries in Kei Islands to issued better policy to develop fishing industry in Kei Islands.
Reef-building corals have essential roles in reef ecosystems but are highly susceptible to disturbances. Increasing anthropogenic disturbances are eroding coral community resilience, leading to declining reef ecosystem function and status globally. Successful reproduction and recruitment are essential for restoring coral populations but recruitment-limitation can constrain recovery. We supplied ~400,000 Acropora tenuis larvae in fine-mesh enclosures on each of four larval-enhancement plots, comprising natural reef substrata and ten settlement tiles, on degraded reef areas in the northwestern Philippines. Initial mean total settlement on tiles in larval-enhancement plots was high (255.3 ± 68.6), whereas no larvae settled in natural control plots. Recruit survivorship began stabilising after five months, with juveniles becoming visible by eye at nine months. After three years a mean of 2.3 m−2 colonies survived within each larval-enhancement plot. Most colonies grew rapidly (16.1 ± 0.7 cm mean diameter) and spawned successfully at three years, thereby quickly re-establishing a breeding population. In contrast, natural recruitment failed to produce any new visible A. tenuis colonies. These results demonstrate that mass larval settlement can rapidly enhance recruitment and coral recovery on degraded reef areas, and provides an important option for active reef restoration where larval supply and recruitment success are limiting.
Brazil currently ranks as the 11th producer and 1st importer of shark meat around the world. Data available from the FAO software FishStatJ along with data from regional sources, such as governmental bulletins, scientific papers, gray literature and internet were revisited to identify the main issues surrounding pelagic shark fisheries, trade and consumption in the largest country in South America. Among the main findings, it was noted that Brazil has not properly collected fishery statistics since 2007, that many species of threatened sharks are freely landed and traded even though it is prohibited by local legislation and/or international recommendations (regional fisheries management organizations). The blue shark (Prionace glauca) is the most frequently recorded shark in the official bulletins and is currently a locally targeted species. Additionally, the significant imports of this species from 23 other countries that also provide fins for Asia has drawn attention in recent decades. Regarding consumption, shark is considered to be low-value seafood compared to more common fish, such as groupers and snappers, and most Brazilians actually do not know that they are eating sharks. At present, the proportion of threatened elasmobranchs (in which sharks are included) in Brazil (33%, of 145 species) exceeds the global rate identified for the group (25%), and, until the present moment, no measure related to the management of species has been implemented. As advice, Brazil urgently needs to restructure its fishery information collection systems, management strategies and to tighten sanitary and labeling regulations for the marketing of fish.
Understanding cumulative effects of multiple threats is key to guiding effective management to conserve endangered species. The critically endangered, Southern Resident killer whale population of the northeastern Pacific Ocean provides a data-rich case to explore anthropogenic threats on population viability. Primary threats include: limitation of preferred prey, Chinook salmon; anthropogenic noise and disturbance, which reduce foraging efficiency; and high levels of stored contaminants, including PCBs. We constructed a population viability analysis to explore possible demographic trajectories and the relative importance of anthropogenic stressors. The population is fragile, with no growth projected under current conditions, and decline expected if new or increased threats are imposed. Improvements in fecundity and calf survival are needed to reach a conservation objective of 2.3% annual population growth. Prey limitation is the most important factor affecting population growth. However, to meet recovery targets through prey management alone, Chinook abundance would have to be sustained near the highest levels since the 1970s. The most optimistic mitigation of noise and contaminants would make the difference between a declining and increasing population, but would be insufficient to reach recovery targets. Reducing acoustic disturbance by 50% combined with increasing Chinook by 15% would allow the population to reach 2.3% growth.