2019-09-18

An ecosystem approach to kelp aquaculture in the Americas and Europe

Grebe GS, Byron CJ, Gelais ASt., Kotowicz DM, Olson TK. An ecosystem approach to kelp aquaculture in the Americas and Europe. Aquaculture Reports [Internet]. 2019 ;15:100215. Available from: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S2352513419300134
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Kelp farming is increasing along the temperate coastlines of the Americas and Europe. The economic, ecological, and social frameworks surrounding kelp farming in these new areas are in contrast with the conditions of progenitor kelp farming regions in China, Japan, and Korea.

Thus, identifying and addressing the environmental and social impacts of kelp farming in these regions is vital to ensuring the industry’s long-term sustainability. Here, a conceptual model of the human and natural systems supporting this nascent kelp aquaculture sector was developed using Maine, USA as a focal region. Potential negative impacts of kelp aquaculture were identified to be habitat degradation, overfishing of wild seeds, predation and competition with wild fish and genes, and transmission of diseases. Increased food security, improved restoration efforts, greater fisheries productivity, and alternative livelihoods development were determined to be potential positive impacts of kelp aquaculture. Changes in biodiversity and productivity resulting from either negative or positive impacts of kelp aquaculture were confirmed to have downstream effects on local fisheries and coastal communities. Recommendations to improve or protect the ecosystem services tangential to kelp farming include: define ecosystem and management boundaries, assess ecosystem services and environmental carrying capacity, pursue ecologically and socially considerate engineering, and protect the health and genetic diversity of wild kelp beds. Recommendations to ensure that kelp farming improves the well-being of all stakeholders include: increase horizontal expansion, expand and teach Best Management Practices, and develop climate change resiliency. Additionally, an integrated management strategy should be developed for wild and farmed kelp to ensure that kelp aquaculture is developed in the context of other sectors and goals.

Sunken Worlds: The Past and Future of Human-Made Reefs in Marine Conservation

Castelló y Tickell S, Sáenz-Arroyo A, Milner-Gulland EJ. Sunken Worlds: The Past and Future of Human-Made Reefs in Marine Conservation. BioScience [Internet]. 2019 ;69(9):725 - 735. Available from: https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/69/9/725/5542571\
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Structures submerged in the sea by humans over millennia provide hard and longstanding evidence of anthropogenic influence in the marine environment. Many of these human-made reefs (HMRs) may provide opportunities for conservation despite having been created for different purposes such as fishing or tourism. In the middle of controversy around the costs and benefits of HMRs, a broad analysis of biodiversity and social values is necessary to assess conservation potential. This requires reframing HMRs as social–ecological systems, moving beyond comparisons with natural coral or rocky reefs to consider their roles as ecosystems in their own right; creating frameworks to track their type, number, size, units, location, characteristics, origins, social uses, and associated biodiversity locally and worldwide; and applying systematic assessment of conservation benefits in relation to stated conservation intentions. This integrative approach can catalyze learning, identify conservation opportunities, and inform positive management of HMRs into the future.

Tsunami risk hazard in Tokyo Bay: The challenge of future sea level rise

Nagai R, Takabatake T, Esteban M, Ishii H, Shibayama T. Tsunami risk hazard in Tokyo Bay: The challenge of future sea level rise. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction [Internet]. 2019 :101321. Available from: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S221242091930456X
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $31.50
Type: Journal Article

Sea level rise is one of the major challenges facing humanity in the 21st century, and could compound the risks posed by tsunamis to coastal cities. The authors conducted computer simulations of tsunami inundation and propagation into Tokyo Bay, and analysed the risks that such events pose to the cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki, for different sea level rise scenarios (and assuming a high tide situation). The results show that unless significant investment in improved coastal defences is made, the area that can potentially be flooded by such events will gradually increase in the course of the 21st century. However, the risk to the life of the inhabitants of these cities will broadly remained unchanged until sea levels become +1.0 m higher than at present. From then, the risk of casualties taking place will rapidly increase, as the depth and velocity of the tsunami wave will substantially rise. Such results provide some indication regarding the long-term planning strategy to manage coastal defences around Tokyo Bay, highlighting the need to eventually reinforce coastal defences and the important contribution of tsunami evacuation to minimize casualties during such events.

Coastal dynamics and adaptation to uncertain sea level rise: Optimal portfolios for salt marsh migration

Vinent ODuran, Johnston RJ, Kirwan ML, Leroux AD, Martin VL. Coastal dynamics and adaptation to uncertain sea level rise: Optimal portfolios for salt marsh migration. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management [Internet]. 2019 :102262. Available from: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0095069618304248
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

he sustainability of dynamic natural systems often depends on their capacity to adapt to uncertain climate-related changes, where different management options may be combined to facilitate this adaptation. Salt marshes exemplify such a system. Marsh sustainability under rapid sea level rise requires the preservation of transgression zones - undeveloped uplands onto which marshes migrate. Whether these uplands eventually become marsh depends on uncertain sea level rise and natural dynamics that determine migration onto different land types. Under conditions such as these, systematically diversified management actions generally outperform ad hoc or non-diversified alternatives. This paper develops the first adaptation portfolio model designed to optimize the benefits of a migrating coastal system. Results are illustrated using a case study of marsh conservation in Virginia, USA. Results suggest that models of this type can enhance adaptation benefits beyond those available through current approaches.

Microplastics in oysters (Crassostrea gigas) and water at the Bahía Blanca Estuary (Southwestern Atlantic): An emerging issue of global concern

Severini MDFernán, Villagran DM, Buzzi NS, Chatelain SG. Microplastics in oysters (Crassostrea gigas) and water at the Bahía Blanca Estuary (Southwestern Atlantic): An emerging issue of global concern. Regional Studies in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 :100829. Available from: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S2352485518303700
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $31.50
Type: Journal Article

Detection of microplastics (MPs) in biotic and abiotic matrices is relevant to evaluate how marine ecosystem’s exposure to these pollutants is of emerging environmental concern and at risk of loss of functionality and biodiversity. The presence of MPs was studied for the first time in the gut of benthic oysters (Crassostrea gigas) and in the water column in a eutrophic estuary under high anthropogenic pressure, in the southwestern Atlantic. Significant abundances of small plastic debris were found at all the sampling stations- mainly fibers, fragments, pellets, and beads. MPs were categorized and counted according to type, color, and size. Microfibers presented the highest percentage of abundance in the water column (98% with Van Dorn bottles and 72.73 % with a plankton net) as well as in oysters (91%). In water collected with Van Dorn bottles, the total MP concentrations ranged from 5900 to 782,000 particles/m3 and from 42.6 to 113.6 particles/m3 in samples collected with a plankton net. The widespread presence of fibers in all the assessed components could be related to the intense harbor activities in the area, such as the use of ropes for the mooring of boats and from fishing nets, as well as from domestic and industrial effluents. The presence of MPs in both the pelagic and benthic realms may imply risk for the animals that inhabit the estuary, and for human wellbeing, with respect to the potential transfer of MPs through the food web, affecting the provisioning of ecosystem services.

Aliens cruising in: Explaining alien fouling macro-invertebrate species numbers on recreational yachts

Peters K, Sink K, Robinson TB. Aliens cruising in: Explaining alien fouling macro-invertebrate species numbers on recreational yachts. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2019 :104986. Available from: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0964569119301899
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

The extent of biofouling on recreational vessels has been used as a proxy for the presence of alien species and has been linked with vessel characteristics. However, the relationship between these factors and alien species numbers has not been examined, despite the importance of this metric for invasive species management. This study assessed physical characteristics, maintenance regimes and travel patterns of yachts and their relationship with the number of macro-invertebrate alien species present on vessels from four South African marinas. Overall, 88% of yachts were fouled with macro-invertebrate alien species. The only factor that influenced alien species numbers in the context of this study was the primary use of yachts, with cruising yachts supporting significantly more alien species than racing yachts. This is likely linked to differences in cleaning regimes, as racers are subject to rigorous and frequent cleaning. These findings suggest that cruising vessels may play a key role in the intra-regional transfer of alien species and that racing yachts likely pose a lower biosecurity threat.

Future Ocean Observations to Connect Climate, Fisheries and Marine Ecosystems

Schmidt JO, Bograd SJ, Arrizabalaga H, Azevedo JL, Barbeaux SJ, Barth JA, Boyer T, Brodie S, Cárdenas JJosé, Cross S, et al. Future Ocean Observations to Connect Climate, Fisheries and Marine Ecosystems. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2019.00550/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Advances in ocean observing technologies and modeling provide the capacity to revolutionize the management of living marine resources. While traditional fisheries management approaches like single-species stock assessments are still common, a global effort is underway to adopt ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) approaches. These approaches consider changes in the physical environment and interactions between ecosystem elements, including human uses, holistically. For example, integrated ecosystem assessments aim to synthesize a suite of observations (physical, biological, socioeconomic) and modeling platforms [ocean circulation models, ecological models, short-term forecasts, management strategy evaluations (MSEs)] to assess the current status and recent and future trends of ecosystem components. This information provides guidance for better management strategies. A common thread in EBFM approaches is the need for high-quality observations of ocean conditions, at scales that resolve critical physical-biological processes and are timely for management needs. Here we explore options for a future observing system that meets the needs of EBFM by (i) identifying observing needs for different user groups, (ii) reviewing relevant datasets and existing technologies, (iii) showcasing regional case studies, and (iv) recommending observational approaches required to implement EBFM. We recommend linking ocean observing within the context of Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and other regional ocean observing efforts with fisheries observations, new forecasting methods, and capacity development, in a comprehensive ocean observing framework.

Examining linkages between ecosystem services and social wellbeing to improve governance for coastal conservation in Jamaica

Chan C, Armitage D, Alexander SM, Campbell D. Examining linkages between ecosystem services and social wellbeing to improve governance for coastal conservation in Jamaica. Ecosystem Services [Internet]. 2019 ;39:100997. Available from: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S2212041618304509
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $31.50
Type: Journal Article

This research examines perceptions of the linkages between ecosystem services (ES) and social wellbeing in a small-scale fishing community in Bluefields, Jamaica. It analyzes the perceived changes to these linkages based on the impacts of a marine protected area (MPA) on this coastal social-ecological system. MPAs can have positive long-term social and ecological effects, but in the short-term they can negatively impact communities, and careful attention to these impacts is needed to achieve positive conservation outcomes. We conducted 42 semi-structured interviews and six focus groups discussions with community members in Bluefields. Key findings from this research include: 1) the importance of provisioning (e.g., fish, lobster) and cultural ES (e.g., cultural heritage, bequest values) and their bundled qualities to both fishers and non-fishers; 2) the perceived impact of the MPA is highest for inshore fishers, while offshore fishers/non-fishers reported few/no negative impacts; and 3) inshore fishers perceive being more marginalized in governance processes, despite reporting the greatest negative change to ES access and social wellbeing from MPA implementation. The results suggest that governance processes for coastal conservation must acknowledge the individual and shared values of coastal areas and traditional livelihoods to achieve long-term legitimacy and support.

Optimizing functional groups in ecosystem models: Case study of the Great Barrier Reef

Haller-Bull V, Rovenskaya E. Optimizing functional groups in ecosystem models: Case study of the Great Barrier Reef. Ecological Modelling [Internet]. 2019 ;411:108806. Available from: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S030438001930314X
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Uncertainty is inherent in ecosystem modelling, however its effects on modelling results are often poorly understood or ignored. This study addresses the issue of structural uncertainty or, more specifically, model resolution and its impact on the analysis of ecosystem vulnerability to threats. While guidelines for node assignments exist, they are not always underlined with quantitative analysis. Different resolutions of a coral reef network are investigated by comparing the simulated network dynamics over time in various threat scenarios. We demonstrate that the error between a higher-resolution and a lower-resolution models increases, first slowly then rapidly with increased degree of node aggregation. This informs the choice of an optimal model resolution whereby a finer level of a food web representation yields only minimal additional accuracy, while increasing computational cost substantially. Furthermore, our analysis shows that species biomass ratio and the consumption ratio are important parameters to guide node aggregation to minimize the error.

Calling for a new agenda for conservation science to create evidence-informed policy

Rose DChristian, Amano T, González-Varo JP, Mukherjee N, Robertson RJ, Simmons BI, Wauchope HS, Sutherland WJ. Calling for a new agenda for conservation science to create evidence-informed policy. Biological Conservation [Internet]. 2019 ;238:108222. Available from: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0006320719306111
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Improving the use of scientific evidence in conservation policy has been a long-standing focus of the conservation community. A plethora of studies have examined conservation science-policy interfaces, including a recent global survey of scientists, policy-makers, and practitioners. This identified a list of top barriers and solutions to evidence use, which have considerable overlap with those identified by other studies conducted over the last few decades. The three top barriers – (i) that conservation is not a political priority, (ii) that there is poor engagement between scientists and decision-makers, and (iii) that conservation problems are complex and uncertain – have often been highlighted in the literature as significant constraints on the use of scientific evidence in conservation policy. There is also repeated identification of the solutions to these barriers. In this perspective, we consider three reasons for this: (1) the barriers are insurmountable, (2) the frequently-proposed solutions are poor, (3) there are implementation challenges to putting solutions into practice. We argue that implementation challenges are most likely to be preventing the solutions being put into practice and that the research agenda for conservation science-policy interfaces needs to move away from identifying barriers and solutions, and towards a detailed investigation of how to overcome these implementation challenges.

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