The spatial prediction of species distributions from survey data is a significant component of spatial planning and the ecosystem-based management approach to marine resources. Statistical analysis of species occurrences and their relationships with associated environmental factors is used to predict how likely a species is to occur in unsampled locations as well as future conditions. However, it is known that environmental factors alone may not be sufficient to account for species distribution. Other ecological processes including species interactions (such as competition and predation), and the impact of human activities, may affect the spatial arrangement of a species. Novel techniques have been developed to take a more holistic approach to estimating species distributions, such as Bayesian Hierarchical Species Distribution model (B-HSD model) and mechanistic food-web models using the new Ecospace Habitat Foraging Capacity model (E-HFC model). Here we used both species distribution and spatial food-web models to predict the distribution of European hake (Merluccius merluccius), anglerfishes (Lophius piscatoriusand L. budegassa) and red mullets (Mullus barbatus and M. surmuletus) in an exploited marine ecosystem of the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea. We explored the complementarity of both approaches, comparing results of food-web models previously informed with species distribution modelling results, aside from their applicability as independent techniques. The study shows that both modelling results are positively and significantly correlated with observational data. Predicted spatial patterns of biomasses show positive and significant correlations between modelling approaches and are more similar when using both methodologies in a complementary way: when using the E-HFC model previously informed with the environmental envelopes obtained from the B-HSD model outputs, or directly using niche calculations from B-HSD models to drive the niche priors of E-HFC. We discuss advantages, limitations and future developments of both modelling techniques.
There is considerable scientific and societal concern about plastic pollution, which has resulted in citizen science projects to study the scale of the issue. Citizen science is a cost-effective way to gather data over a large geographical range while simultaneously raising public awareness on the problem. Because the experiences of researchers involved in these projects are not yet adequately covered, this paper presents the findings from ten semi-structured qualitative interviews with researchers leading a citizen science project on micro- or macroplastics. Our results show it is important to specify the goal(s) of the project and that expertise on communication and data science is needed. Furthermore, simple protocols, quality control, and engagement with volunteers and the public are key elements for successful projects. From these results, a framework with recommendations was drafted, which can be used by anyone who wants to develop or improve citizen science projects.
Shoreline discharge representing approximately 80% of sewage generated by Sydney (Australia) was replaced with three deepwater ocean outfalls between 1990 and 1991. Beachwatch bacterial monitoring data collected between 1989 and 2016 were analysed to assess the impact of commissioning on bathing water quality along 32 km of coastline. Bacterial contamination was reduced by 26–99% during the first 32 months post-commissioning and in the longer post-commissioning period, 1993 to 2016, bathing water quality improved for 31 beaches. Relatively stable bathing water quality was observed for five other beaches after the 2001 upgrade of another shoreline wastewater treatment plant. Bacterial contamination of bathing water in this 24-year post-commissioning period was most influenced by rainfall in the 24-h to 9 am on the day of sampling. Bacterial contamination from surfacing shore-blown wastewater plumes was not evident, whereas stormwater-delivered bacterial contamination was apparent and varied between beaches.
Management of capture fisheries has been a perpetual problem facing all fisheries countries worldwide. This study first analyzes the features of China's capture fisheries, and points out that its management tends to be more complex and difficult than any other country in the world. It goes on to describe the history of China's fisheries management and the development process of China's fisheries policies, recognizing the role of fisheries policies in guiding and promoting industrial production during the whole development process. With Fisheries Law of the People's Republic of China as the basic framework, China is thought to have initially formed a fisheries management system with a complete structure and powerful measures for constant improvement and reinforcement. Major systems and measures of China's fisheries management are summarized, with their corresponding effects being evaluated to a certain extent. China's continuous introduction of advanced fisheries management philosophies over the past decades, especially since the reform and opening up, plays an active role in securing the prosperity of the following five industries: aquaculture, capture fisheries, processing and logistics, enhancement, and recreational fisheries; more effort has been put into fisheries ecological environment restoration; and law-based governance capacity in fisheries has been significantly improved. However, due to the characteristics of China's fisheries, as well as the complex and uncertain nature of fisheries itself, certain prominent problems still remain in its capture fisheries. With reference to relevant fisheries development planning, the study concludes with a prospect that China's capture fisheries management will be steered towards the total catch control of fisheries resources and the intensification of resource conservation and ecological restoration.
Management of coastal areas is necessary to maintain and protect existing permanent structures. Coastal erosion management falls into soft and hard shoreline stabilization options with the United States tending to favor hard. However, post-Hurricane Sandy 2012, soft dune and beach replenishment have become more favorable in the U.S. with support being necessarily contingent upon an understanding of the pros, cons, and concepts surrounding each management strategy. Misconceptions could thus lead to a halt in progress and poor decisions with implications for community safety. We sought to gain a better understanding of current knowledge surrounding best practices in coastal managementcommunities. Our assumption was that misconceptions in one coastal area, New Jersey, are likely echoed in other coastal areas in the U.S. and internationally. We employed a two-phase research design with an exploratory phase using semi-structured interview guidelines to collect data from a quota sample of 53 local residents and then tested the distribution of knowledge about coastal management facts by asking a convenience sample of 300 residents a structured set of 15 questions. Study participants identify differences in how beaches are managed and how protected they conversely consider an area to be. Dunes are generally preferred over hard engineering and replenishment. However, many key concepts regarding how dunes function naturally, with regards to the role of vegetation and fencing, are poorly understood suggesting a need for greater education surrounding these topics. Participants support continued tax investment in coastal areas to avoid retreat but recognize a tragedy of the commons in such actions for future generations. Learning who knows what, may contribute to more fruitful dialoguesamong stakeholders to pave the way for the adoption of suitable and sustainable management practices for better protected shorelines.
Food security remains a principal challenge in the developing tropics where communities rely heavily on marine-based protein. While some improvements in fisheries management have been made in these regions, a large fraction of coastal fisheries remain unmanaged, mismanaged, or use only crude input controls. These quasi-open-access conditions often lead to severe overfishing, depleted stocks, and compromised food security. A possible fishery management approach in these institution-poor settings is to implement fully protected marine protected areas (MPAs). Although the primary push for MPAs has been to solve the conservation problems that arise from mismanagement, MPAs can also benefit fisheries beyond their borders. The literature has not completely characterized how to design MPAs under diverse ecological and economic conditions when food security is the objective. We integrated four key biological and economic variables (i.e., fish population growth rate, fish mobility, fish price, and fishing cost) as well as an important aspect of reserve design (MPA size) into a general model and determined their combined influence on food security when MPAs are implemented in an open-access setting. We explicitly modeled open-access conditions that account for the behavioral response of fishers to the MPA; this approach is distinct from much of the literature that focuses on assumptions of “scorched earth” (i.e., severe over-fishing), optimized management, or an arbitrarily defined fishing mortality outside the MPA’s boundaries. We found that the MPA size that optimizes catch depends strongly on economic variables. Large MPAs optimize catch for species heavily harvested for their high value and/or low harvesting cost, while small MPAs or no closure are best for species lightly harvested for their low value and high harvesting cost. Contrary to previous theoretical expectations, both high and low mobility species are expected to experience conservation benefits from protection, although, as shown previously, greater conservation benefits are expected for low mobility species. Food security benefits from MPAs can be obtained from species of any mobility. Results deliver both qualitative insights and quantitative guidance for designing MPAs for food security in open-access fisheries.
Coastal borderlands are subjected to particular socioeconomic, political and environmental dynamics in Europe and worldwide. The presence of the international boundary in these areas poses challenges in the process of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). The aim of this paper is to explore the existence, characteristics and the role that local cross-border cooperation plays in transboundary coastal zone management as well as the resulting potentialities of local endogenous development for improving the management and governance of the tourism sector, coastal development, fisheries and marine protected areas in the Albera Marítima (Northwestern Mediterranean). The applied methods included document review, statistical information and semi-structured interviews. The research shows that local agents are not capable of developing a stable cross-border network due to persisting lack of trust, weak joint strategic vision and high competitiveness in sectors like fishery and tourism. Based on particularly interesting initiatives occurred in Albera Marítima and other successful experiences in Mediterranean coastal borderlands, a proposal has been made to implement several measures, including a transboundary integrated coastal plan, the joint observatory of fishery resources and a scientific network platform. For the aforementioned issues, the study contributes to the ICZM literature by providing a new perspective on local transboundary cooperation.
Human beings are the dominant top predator in the marine ecosystem. Throughout most of the global ocean this predation is carried out by industrial fishing vessels, that can now be observed in unprecedented detail via satellite monitoring of Automatic Identification System (AIS) messages. The spatial and temporal distribution of this fishing effort emerges from the coupled interaction of ecological and socio-economic drivers and can therefore yield insights on the dynamics of both the ecosystem and fishers. Here we analyze temporal variability of industrial fishing effort from 2015-2017 as recorded by global AIS coverage, and differentiated by fishing gear type. The strongest seasonal signal is a reduction of total deployed effort during the annual fishing moratorium on the numerically-dominant Chinese fleet, which occurs during boreal summer. An additional societally-controlled reduction of effort occurs during boreal winter holidays. After accounting for these societal controls, the total deployed effort is relatively invariant throughout the year for all gear types except squid jiggers and coastal purse seiners. Despite constant deployment levels, strong seasonal variability occurs in the spatial pattern of fishing effort for gears targeting motile pelagic species, including purse seiners, squid jiggers and longliners. Trawlers and fixed gears target bottom-associated coastal prey and show very little overall seasonality, although they exhibit more seasonal variation at locations that are further from port. Our results suggest that societal controls dominate the total deployment of fishing effort, while the behavior of pelagic fish, including seasonal migration and aggregation, is likely the most prominent driver of the spatial seasonal variations in global fishing effort.
Phytoplankton are the oceans’ principal source of polyunsaturated fatty acids that support the growth and reproduction of consumers such as copepods. Previous studies have demonstrated ocean acidification (OA) can change the availability of polyunsaturated fatty acids to consumer diets which may affect consumer reproduction. Two laboratory experiments were conducted to examine the effects of feeding high-pCO2-reared phytoplankton on copepod egg production, hatching success, and naupliar survival. Marine phytoplankton Rhodomonas salina, Skeletonema marinoi, Prorocentrum micans, and Isochrysis galbana were exponentially grown in semi-continuous cultures at present (control) (400 ppm CO2, pH~8.1) and future (1,000 ppm CO2, pH~7.8) conditions and provided to Acartia tonsa copepods over 4 consecutive days as either nitrogen-limited (Exp. I) or nitrogen-depleted (Exp. II) mixed assemblage of phytoplankton. The composition of FAs in the phytoplankton diet was affected by pCO2concentration and nitrogen deficiency; the ratio of essential fatty acids to total polyunsaturated fatty acids decreased in phytoplankton grown under high pCO2 and the mass of total fatty acids increased under nitrogen depletion. Additionally, total concentrations of essential fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet mixtures were less under the high-pCO2 compared to the control-pCO2 treatments. Median egg production, hatching success, and naupliar survival were 48–52%, 4–87%, and 9–100% lower, respectively, in females fed high-pCO2 than females fed low-pCO2 phytoplankton, but this decrease in reproductive success was less severe when fed N-depleted, but fatty acid-rich cells. This study demonstrates that the effects of OA on the nutritional quality of phytoplankton (i.e., their cellular fatty acid composition and quota) were modified by the level of nitrogen deficiency and the resulting negative reproductive response of marine primary consumers.
Understanding changes in wave attenuation by emergent vegetation as wetlands degrade or accrete over time is crucial for incorporation of wetlands into holistic coastal risk management. Linked SLAMM and XBeach models were used to investigate potential future changes in wave attenuation over a 50-year period in a degrading, subtropical wetland and a prograding, temperate wetland. These contrasting systems also have differing management contexts and were contrasted to demonstrate how the linked models can provide management-relevant insights. Morphological development of wetlands for different scenarios of sea-level rise and accretion was simulated with SLAMM and then coupled with different vegetation characteristics to predict the influence on future wave attenuation using XBeach. The geomorphological context, subsidence, and accretion resulted in large predicted reductions in the extent of vegetated land (e.g., wetland) and changes in wave height reduction potential across the wetland. These were exacerbated by increases in sea-level from +0.217 m to +0.386 m over a 50-year period, especially at the lowest accretion rates in the degrading wetland. Mangrove vegetation increased wave attenuation within the degrading, subtropical, saline wetland, while grazing reduced wave attenuation in the temperate, prograding wetland. Coastal management decisions and actions, related to coastal vegetation type and structure, have the potential to change future wave attenuation at a spatial scale relevant to coastal protection planning. Therefore, a coastal management approach that includes disaster risk reduction, biodiversity, and climate change, can be informed by coastal modeling tools, such as those demonstrated here for two contrasting case studies.
Satellite‐derived data suggest an increase in annual primary production following the loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. The scarcity of field data to corroborate this enhanced algal production incited a collaborative project combining 6 annual cycles of sequential sediment trap measurements obtained over a 17‐year period in the Eurasian Arctic Ocean. Here, we present microalgal fluxes measured at ~200 m to reflect the bulk of algal carbon production. Ice algae contributed to a large proportion of the microalgal carbon export before complete ice melt and possible detection of their production by satellites. In the northern Laptev Sea, annual microalgal carbon fluxes were lower during the 2007 minimum ice extent than in 2006. In 2012, early snowmelt led to early microalgal carbon flux in the Nansen Basin. Hence, a change in the timing of snowmelt and ice algae release may affect productivity and export over the Arctic basins.
Climate warming has a significant impact on the sea ice and ecosystem of the Arctic Ocean. Under the increasing numbers of melt ponds in Arctic sea ice, the phytoplankton communities associated with the ice system are changing. During the 7th Chinese National Arctic Research Expedition cruise in summer 2016, photosynthesis pigments and nutrients were analyzed, revealing differences in phytoplankton communities between melt ponds and open water in the central Arctic. Photo synthetic pigment analysis suggested that Fuco (5-91 μg m-3 and Diadino (4-21 μg m-3) were the main pigments in the open water. However, the melt ponds had high concentrations of Viola (7-30 μg m-3), Lut (4-59 μg m-3) and Chl b (11-38 μg m-3), suggesting that green algae dominated phytoplankton communities in the melt ponds. The significant differences in phytoplankton communities between melt ponds and open water might be due to the salinity difference. Moreover, green algae may play a more important role in Arctic sea ice ecosystems with the expected growing number of melt ponds in the central Arctic Ocean.
There are evidences of how climate change is affecting seaweeds distribution and the ecosystems services they provide. Therefore, it is necessary to consider these impacts when managing marine areas. One of the most applied tools in recent years to deal with this are species distribution models, however there are still some challenges to solve, such as the inclusion of hydrodynamic predictors and the application of effective, transferable and user-oriented methodologies.
Five species (Saccorhiza polyschides, Gelidium spinosum, Sargassum muticum, Pelvetia canaliculata and Cystoseira baccata) in Europe and 15 variables were considered. Nine of them were projected to the RCPs 4.5 and 8.5 for the mid-term (2040–2069) and the long term (2070–2099). Algorithms for each species were applied to generate models that were assessed by comparison of probabilities and observations (area under the curve, true skill statistics, Boyce index, sensitivity, correct classification rate), niches overlap (Schoener's D, Hellinger's I), geographical similarity (interquartile range) and ecological realism.
Models built demonstrated very good predictive accuracy and sensitivity, without overfitting risk. A medium overlap in the historical and RCPs environmental conditions were obtained, therefore the models can be considered transferable and results accurate because only some isolated points were detected as outliers, corresponding to low probabilities.
The areas of S. polyschides and G. spinosum have been identified to be dramatically reduced, meanwhile S. muticum and C. baccata were predicted to expand their range. P. canaliculata was expected to keep its sites of presence but with a decrease in its probability of occurrence. For all species it was remarkable the importance of hydrodynamic variables and parameters representing extreme conditions. Spatially predictions of the potential species and areas at risk are decisive for defining management strategies and resource allocation. The performance and usefulness of the approach applied in this study have been demonstrated for algae with different ecological requirements (from upper littoral to subtidal) and distributional patterns (native and invasive), therefore results can be used by marine planners with different goals: marine protected areas designation, monitoring efforts guiding, invasions risk assessment or aquaculture facilities zonation.
Arctic sea ice has significant seasonal variability. Prior to the 2000s, it retreated about 15% in summer and fully recovered in winter. However, by the year 2007, Arctic sea ice extent experienced a catastrophic decline to about 4.28×106 km2, which was 50% lower than conditions in the 1950s to the 1970s (Serreze et al., 2008). That was a record low over the course of the modern satellite record, since 1979 (note that the year 2012 became the new record low). This astonishing event drew wide-ranging attention in 2007-2009 during the 4th International Polar Year. The dramatic decline of sea ice attracts many scientists' interest and has become the focus of intense research since then. Currently, sea ice retreat is not only appearing around the marginal ice zone, but also in the pack ice inside the central Arctic (Zhao et al., 2018). In fact, premonitory signs had already been seen through other evidence. Before the disintegration of the Soviet Union, US naval submarines had been conducting an extensive survey under the sea ice and taking measurements of sea ice thickness. Their measurements revealed a gradual decrease of ice thickness to 1.8 m during winter by the end of the 20th century, in contrast to the climatological mean of 3.1m (Rothrock et al., 1999). However, this alarming result did not draw much attention since the Arctic was still severely cold at that time.
Interpreting the vulnerability of pelagic calcifiers to ocean acidification (OA) is enhanced by an understanding of their critical thresholds and how these thresholds are modified by other climate change stressors (e.g., warming). To address this need, we undertook a three-part data synthesis for pteropods, one of the calcifying zooplankton group. We conducted the first meta-analysis and threshold analysis of literature characterizing pteropod responses to OA and warming by synthetizing dataset comprising of 2,097 datapoints. Meta-analysis revealed the extent to which responses among studies conducted on differing life stages and disparate geographies could be integrated into a common analysis. The results demonstrated reduced calcification, growth, development, and survival to OA with increased magnitude of sensitivity in the early life stages, under prolonged duration, and with the concurrent exposure of OA and warming, but not species-specific sensitivity. Second, breakpoint analyses identified OA thresholds for several endpoints: dissolution (mild and severe), calcification, egg development, shell growth, and survival. Finally, consensus by a panel of pteropod experts was used to verify thresholds and assign confidence scores for five endpoints with a sufficient signal: noise ratio to develop life-stage specific, duration-dependent thresholds. The range of aragonite saturation state from 1.5–0.9 provides a risk range from early warning to lethal impacts, thus providing a rigorous basis for vulnerability assessments to guide climate change management responses, including an evaluation of the efficacy of local pollution management. In addition, meta-analyses with OA, and warming shows increased vulnerability in two pteropod processes, i.e., shell dissolution and survival, and thus pointing toward increased threshold sensitivity under combined stressor effect.
Reflecting on two decades of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) is particularly timely during the OceanObs'19 meeting. Over the past twenty years since the first OceanObs meeting was convened, U.S. IOOS has advanced from regional proofs of concept to a national, sustained enterprise. U.S. IOOS has grown to include 17 Federal partners and 11 Regional Associations (RAs) that implement regional observing systems covering all U.S. coasts and Great Lakes with activities spanning from head of tide to the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as lead agency, provides guidance and national-level coordination. An interagency body, the Integrated Ocean Observation Committee (IOOC), communicates across federal agencies and ensures IOOS maintains strong connections to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). Additionally, a federal advisory committee, non-federal association, and various informal partnerships further inform and advance the IOOS enterprise. This governance structure fosters both national consistency, regional flexibility, and global contributions addressing the diverse needs of U.S. coastal and Great Lakes stakeholders.
Coralline algae are foundation species in many hard-bottom ecosystems acting as a settlement substrate, and binding together and even creating reefs in some locations. Ocean acidification is known to be a major threat to coralline algae. However, the effects of ocean warming are less certain. Here we bring multiple lines of evidence together to discuss the potential impacts of ocean warming on these ecologically crucial taxa. We use a meta-analysis of 40 responses within 14 different studies available which assessed the effects of increasing temperature on coralline algal calcification in laboratory experiments. We find a net negative impact of increasing temperature on coralline algal calcification at 5.2°C above ambient conditions. Conversely, negative effects are observed when temperature drops below 2.0°C from ambient conditions. We propose that some coralline algae will be more capable of both acclimatizing and locally adapting to increasing ocean temperatures over the coming decades. This is because many species possess short generation times, the ability to opportunistically rapidly utilize open space, and relatively high phenotypic plasticity. However, less resistant and resilient species will be those that are long-lived, those with long generation times, or with narrow thermal tolerances (e.g., tropical taxa living close to their thermal maxima). Additionally, ocean warming will occur simultaneously with ocean acidification, a potentially greater threat to coralline algae, which could also reduce any tolerance to ocean warming for many species. To maximize the potential to accurately determine how coralline algae will respond to future ocean warming and marine heatwaves, future research should use environmentally relevant temperature treatments, use appropriate acclimation times and follow best practices in experimental design.
The importance of stakeholder engagement in ocean observation and in particular the realization of economic and societal benefits is discussed, introducing a number of overarching principles such as the convergence on common goals, effective communication, co-production of information and knowledge and the need for innovation. A series of case studies examine the role of coordinating frameworks such as the United States’ Interagency Ocean Observing System (IOOS®), and the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS), public–private partnerships such as Project Azul and the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP) and finally the role of the “third” or voluntary sector. The paper explores the value that stakeholder engagement can bring as well as making recommendations for the future.
Remote regions across Alaska are challenging environments for obtaining real-time, operational observations due to lack of power, easy road access, and robust communications. The Alaska Ocean Observing System partners with government agencies, universities, tribes and industry to evaluate innovative observing technologies, infrastructure and applications that address these challenges. These approaches support acquisition of ocean observing data necessary for forecasting and reporting conditions for safe navigation and response to emergencies and coastal hazards. Three applications are now delivering real-time surface current, sea ice, and water level data in areas not possible a mere 10 years ago. One particular challenge in Alaska is providing robust alternative power solutions for shore-based observing. Remote power options have been evolving alongside resilient technologies and are being designed for freeze-up conditions, making it possible to keep remotely deployed operational systems running and easy to maintain year-round. In this paper, three remote observing approaches are reviewed, including use of off-grid power to operate high-frequency (HF) radars for measuring surface currents, a real-time ice detection buoy that remains deployed throughout the freeze-up cycle, and a high-quality water level observing alternative to NOAA’s National Water Level Observing Network (NWLON) installations. These efforts are highly collaborative and require working partnerships and combined funding from other interested groups to make them a reality. Though they respond to Alaska’s needs including Arctic observing, these approaches also have broader applications to other remote coastal regions.
The democratization of ocean observation has the potential to add millions of observations every day. Though not a solution for all ocean monitoring needs, citizen scientists offer compelling examples showcasing their ability to augment and enhance traditional research and monitoring. Information they are providing is increasing the spatial and temporal frequency and duration of sampling, reducing time and labor costs for academic and government monitoring programs, providing hands-on STEM learning related to real-world issues and increasing public awareness and support for the scientific process. Examples provided here demonstrate the wide range of people who are already dramatically reducing gaps in our global observing network while at the same time providing unique opportunities to meaningfully engage in ocean observing and the research and conservation it supports. While there are still challenges to overcome before widespread inclusion in projects requiring scientific rigor, the growing organization of international citizen science associations is helping to reduce barriers. The case studies described support the idea that citizen scientists should be part of an effective global strategy for a sustained, multidisciplinary and integrated observing system.