Freely-available Literature

Currently indexing 3294 freely-available titles

The following titles are freely-available, or include a link to a preprint or postprint.

Radiation maps of ocean sediment from the Castle Bravo crater

Hughes EW, Molina MRouco, Abella MKIL, Nikolić-Hughes I, Ruderman MA. Radiation maps of ocean sediment from the Castle Bravo crater. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [Internet]. 2019 :201903478. Available from: https://www.pnas.org/content/116/31/15420.abstract?etoc
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

On March 1, 1954, the United States conducted its largest thermonuclear weapon test in Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands; the detonation was code-named “Castle Bravo.” Radioactive deposits in the ocean sediment at the bomb crater are widespread and high levels of contamination remain today. One hundred thirty cores were collected from the top 25 cm of surface sediment at ocean depths approaching 60 m over a ∼2-km2 area, allowing for a presentation of radiation maps of the Bravo crater site. Radiochemical analyses were performed on the following radionuclides: plutonium-(239,240), plutonium-238, americium-241, bismuth-207, and cesium-137. Large values of plutonium-(239,240), americium-241, and bismuth-207 are found. Comparisons are made to core sample results from other areas in the northern Marshall Islands.

Model-Observations Synergy in the Coastal Ocean

De Mey-Frémaux P, Ayoub N, Barth A, Brewin R, Charria G, Campuzano F, Ciavatta S, Cirano M, Edwards CA, Federico I, et al. Model-Observations Synergy in the Coastal Ocean. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00436/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Integration of observations of the coastal ocean continuum, from regional oceans to shelf seas and estuaries/deltas with models, can substantially increase the value of observations and enable a wealth of applications. In particular, models can play a critical role at connecting sparse observations, synthesizing them, and assisting the design of observational networks; in turn, whenever available, observations can guide coastal model development. Coastal observations should sample the two-way interactions between nearshore, estuarine and shelf processes and open ocean processes, while accounting for the different pace of circulation drivers, such as the fast atmospheric, hydrological and tidal processes and the slower general ocean circulation and climate scales. Because of these challenges, high-resolution models can serve as connectors and integrators of coastal continuum observations. Data assimilation approaches can provide quantitative, validated estimates of Essential Ocean Variables in the coastal continuum, adding scientific and socioeconomic value to observations through applications (e.g., sea-level rise monitoring, coastal management under a sustainable ecosystem approach, aquaculture, dredging, transport and fate of pollutants, maritime safety, hazards under natural variability or climate change). We strongly recommend an internationally coordinated approach in support of the proper integration of global and coastal continuum scales, as well as for critical tasks such as community-agreed bathymetry and coastline products.

Evaluating the Fit of Co-management for Small-Scale Fisheries Governance in Timor-Leste

Tilley A, Hunnam KJ, Mills DJ, Steenbergen DJ, Govan H, Alonso-Población E, Roscher M, Pereira M, Rodrigues P, Amador T, et al. Evaluating the Fit of Co-management for Small-Scale Fisheries Governance in Timor-Leste. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00392/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Fisheries co-management is an increasingly globalized concept, and a cornerstone of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication, adopted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization member states in 2014. Timor-Leste is a politically young country in the relatively rare position of having underexploited fisheries in some areas that can be leveraged to improve coastal livelihood outcomes and food and nutrition security. The collaborative and decentralized characteristics of co-management appeal to policymakers in Timor-Leste with provisions for co-management and customary laws applied to resource use were incorporated into state law in 2004 and again reinforced in 2012 revisions. The first fisheries co-management pilots have commenced where management arrangements have been codified through tara bandu, a process of setting local laws built around ritual practice that prohibits nominated activities under threat of spiritual and material sanctions. To date, however, there has been little critical evaluation of the suitability or potential effectiveness of co-management or tara bandu in the Timor-Leste fisheries context. To address this gap, we adapted the interactive governance framework to review the ecological, social and governance characteristics of Timor-Leste’s fisheries to explore whether co-management offers a valid and viable resource governance model. We present two co-management case studies and examine how they were established, who was involved, the local institutional structures, and the fisheries governance challenges they sought to address. Despite their relative proximity, the two sites contrasted in local ecology and fishery type; community institutions were starkly different but equally strong; and one site had tangible economic benefits to justify compliance, where the other had marginal and anecdotal fishery gains. In our review of the broader governance landscape in Timor-Leste, we see co-management as a useful mechanism to govern small-scale fisheries, but there is a need to connect legitimized local institutions with hierarchical governance of higher and external influences. Initial successes with implementing tara banduincorporating a small marine closure have stimulated other communities to implement no-take zones – one universally popular but very limited interpretation of co-management. However, we highlight the need for a set of guiding principles to ensure legitimate community engagement, and avoid external appropriation that may reinforce marginalization of certain user groups or customary power hierarchies.

First Central Mediterranean Scientific Field Study on Recreational Fishing Targeting the Ecosystem Approach to Sustainability

Darmanin SAgius, Vella A. First Central Mediterranean Scientific Field Study on Recreational Fishing Targeting the Ecosystem Approach to Sustainability. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00390/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The Maltese Islands have a very active recreational fishing community which may affect the coastal marine ecosystem. Despite this, studies to scientifically document the effects of this activity have been lacking prior to works between July 2012 and June 2017 presented here as a case study. This project, with the aim of collecting long-term data on the characteristics, trends, catches and impacts to fish populations of the recreational shore sport fishery at the national level also involved a pilot study on hobby shore angling. Two thousand five hundred and eighty nine roving-access creel surveys conducted during 132 sport fishing events and 159 catches from hobby fishers were documented with the methodology used also applicable to shore fishing taking place in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. Ninety species belonging to twenty-nine families were documented with the most common being the Sparidae and Labridae. Catch per unit effort was higher for sport fishers with hobby fishers targeting larger fish. Results from this case study go to augment the limited and necessary knowledge on this fishing sector in the Mediterranean. Findings also indicate that recreational fisheries need to be taken into account when considering conservation measures for national, regional and global fisheries management.

Requirements for a Coastal Hazards Observing System

Benveniste J, Cazenave A, Vignudelli S, Fenoglio-Marc L, Shah R, Almar R, Andersen O, Birol F, Bonnefond P, Bouffard J, et al. Requirements for a Coastal Hazards Observing System. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00348/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Coastal zones are highly dynamical systems affected by a variety of natural and anthropogenic forcing factors that include sea level rise, extreme events, local oceanic and atmospheric processes, ground subsidence, etc. However, so far, they remain poorly monitored on a global scale. To better understand changes affecting world coastal zones and to provide crucial information to decision-makers involved in adaptation to and mitigation of environmental risks, coastal observations of various types need to be collected and analyzed. In this white paper, we first discuss the main forcing agents acting on coastal regions (e.g., sea level, winds, waves and currents, river runoff, sediment supply and transport, vertical land motions, land use) and the induced coastal response (e.g., shoreline position, estuaries morphology, land topography at the land–sea interface and coastal bathymetry). We identify a number of space-based observational needs that have to be addressed in the near future to understand coastal zone evolution. Among these, improved monitoring of coastal sea level by satellite altimetry techniques is recognized as high priority. Classical altimeter data in the coastal zone are adversely affected by land contamination with degraded range and geophysical corrections. However, recent progress in coastal altimetry data processing and multi-sensor data synergy, offers new perspective to measure sea level change very close to the coast. This issue is discussed in much detail in this paper, including the development of a global coastal sea-level and sea state climate record with mission consistent coastal processing and products dedicated to coastal regimes. Finally, we present a new promising technology based on the use of Signals of Opportunity (SoOp), i.e., communication satellite transmissions that are reutilized as illumination sources in a bistatic radar configuration, for measuring coastal sea level. Since SoOp technology requires only receiver technology to be placed in orbit, small satellite platforms could be used, enabling a constellation to achieve high spatio-temporal resolutions of sea level in coastal zones.

Towards Comprehensive Observing and Modeling Systems for Monitoring and Predicting Regional to Coastal Sea Level

Ponte RM, Carson M, Cirano M, Domingues CM, Jevrejeva S, Marcos M, Mitchum G, van de Wal RSW, Woodworth PL, Ablain M, et al. Towards Comprehensive Observing and Modeling Systems for Monitoring and Predicting Regional to Coastal Sea Level. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00437/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

A major challenge for managing impacts and implementing effective mitigation measures and adaptation strategies for coastal zones affected by future sea level (SL) rise is our limited capacity to predict SL change at the coast on relevant spatial and temporal scales. Predicting coastal SL requires the ability to monitor and simulate a multitude of physical processes affecting SL, from local effects of wind waves and river runoff to remote influences of the large-scale ocean circulation on the coast. Here we assess our current understanding of the causes of coastal SL variability on monthly to multi-decadal timescales, including geodetic, oceanographic and atmospheric aspects of the problem, and review available observing systems informing on coastal SL. We also review the ability of existing models and data assimilation systems to estimate coastal SL variations and of atmosphere-ocean global coupled models and related regional downscaling efforts to project future SL changes. We discuss (1) observational gaps and uncertainties, and priorities for the development of an optimal and integrated coastal SL observing system, (2) strategies for advancing model capabilities in forecasting short-term processes and projecting long-term changes affecting coastal SL, and (3) possible future developments of sea level services enabling better connection of scientists and user communities and facilitating assessment and decision making for adaptation to future coastal SL change.

Vessel In-Water Cleaning or Treatment: Identification of Environmental Risks and Science Needs for Evidence-Based Decision Making

Scianni C, Georgiades E. Vessel In-Water Cleaning or Treatment: Identification of Environmental Risks and Science Needs for Evidence-Based Decision Making. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00467/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The accumulation of aquatic organisms on the wetted surfaces of vessels (i.e., vessel biofouling) negatively impacts world-wide shipping through reductions in vessel performance and fuel efficiency, and increases in emissions. Vessel biofouling is also a potent mechanism for the introduction and spread of marine non-indigenous species. Guidance and regulations from the International Maritime Organization, New Zealand, and California have recently been adopted to address biosecurity risks, primarily through preventive management. However, appropriate reactive management measures may be necessary for some vessels. Vessel in-water cleaning or treatment (VICT) has been identified as an important tool to improve operating efficiency and to reduce biosecurity risks. VICT can be applied proactively [i.e., to prevent the occurrence of, or to remove, microfouling (i.e., slime) or prevent the occurrence of macrofouling organisms – large, distinct multicellular organisms visible to the human eye], or reactively (i.e., to remove macrofouling organisms). However, unmanaged VICT includes its own set of biosecurity and water quality risks. Regulatory policies and technical advice from California and New Zealand have been developed to manage these risks, but there are still knowledge gaps related to the efficacy of available technologies. Research efforts are underway to address these gaps in order to inform the regulatory and non-regulatory application of VICT.

The Effect of Algal-Gardening Damselfish on the Resilience of the Mesoamerican Reef

Eisemann ÁRandazzo, Muñoz JLuis Monte, McField M, Myton J, Arias-González JErnesto. The Effect of Algal-Gardening Damselfish on the Resilience of the Mesoamerican Reef. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00414/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The structures, functions, and services provided by coral reef ecosystems are deteriorating worldwide. However, not all coral reefs are affected the same way, with some showing signs of resistance and/or recovery from disturbances. Understanding the drivers and feedbacks that contribute to shifts in community structure is valuable to support resilience-based management. In this study, key community variables that influence the resilience of coral reef ecosystems were examined in 64 sites of the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) monitored in both 2006 and 2016, as part of the Healthy Reef Initiative (HRI), using the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) monitoring protocol. Based on benthic cover thresholds, sites were classified into three different states: coral state (CS) with >10% live coral and <5% fleshy macroalgae; stressed coral state (SCS) with >10% live coral and >5% fleshy macroalgae and; depauperate coral state (DCS) <10% live coral. The associations between site states and the density of different fish functional groups were analyzed to determine their effects on coral reef resilience. The results highlight that territorial herbivores (algal-gardening damselfish) may play a key role in maintaining feedbacks toward macroalgae-stressed states. This supports the recommendation of reinforcing Marine Replenishment Zones (MRZ) in order to promote healthy populations of resident predator fish (like groupers and snappers), which could potentially regulate algal-gardening damselfish populations and diminish negative cascade effects on coral reefs. Collaborative and resilience-based management will continue to be promoted by the HRI partners, supporting the establishment of additional MRZs along with ongoing efforts to directly protect herbivorous fish (surgeonfish and parrotfish) and to improve water quality, through better wastewater treatment, watershed management, and coastal development plans, with the purpose of continuing to build coral reef resilience in the MAR.

Redating the earliest evidence of the mid-Holocene relative sea-level highstand in Australia and implications for global sea-level rise

Dougherty AJ, Thomas ZA, Fogwill C, Hogg A, Palmer J, Rainsley E, Williams AN, Ulm S, Rogers K, Jones BG, et al. Redating the earliest evidence of the mid-Holocene relative sea-level highstand in Australia and implications for global sea-level rise Riva R. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2019 ;14(7):e0218430. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0218430
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Reconstructing past sea levels can help constrain uncertainties surrounding the rate of change, magnitude, and impacts of the projected increase through the 21st century. Of significance is the mid-Holocene relative sea-level highstand in tectonically stable and remote (far-field)locations from major ice sheets. The east coast of Australia provides an excellent arena in which to investigate changes in relative sea level during the Holocene. Considerable debate surrounds both the peak level and timing of the east coast highstand. The southeast Australian site of Bulli Beach provides the earliest evidence for the establishment of a highstand in the Southern Hemisphere, although questions have been raised about the pretreatment and type of material that was radiocarbon dated for the development of the regional sea-level curve. Here we undertake a detailed morpho- and chronostratigraphic study at Bulli Beach to better constrain the timing of the Holocene highstand in eastern Australia. In contrast to wood and charcoal samples that may provide anomalously old ages, probably due to inbuilt age, we find that short-lived terrestrial plant macrofossils provide a robust chronological framework. Bayesian modelling of the ages provide improved dating of the earliest evidence for a highstand at 6,880±50 cal BP, approximately a millennium later than previously reported. Our results from Bulli now closely align with other sea-level reconstructions along the east coast of Australia, and provide evidence for a synchronous relative sea-level highstand that extends from the Gulf of Carpentaria to Tasmania. Our refined age appears to be coincident with major ice mass loss from Northern Hemisphere and Antarctic ice sheets, supporting previous studies that suggest these may have played a role in the relative sea-level highstand. Further work is now needed to investigate the environmental impacts of regional sea levels, and refine the timing of the subsequent sea-level fall in the Holocene and its influence on coastal evolution.

Marine recreational fishing and the implications of climate change

Townhill BL, Radford Z, Pecl G, Putten I, Pinnegar JK, Hyder K. Marine recreational fishing and the implications of climate change. Fish and Fisheries [Internet]. 2019 . Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/faf.12392
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Marine recreational fishing is popular globally and benefits coastal economies and people's well‐being. For some species, it represents a large component of fish landings. Climate change is anticipated to affect recreational fishing in many ways, creating opportunities and challenges. Rising temperatures or changes in storms and waves are expected to impact the availability of fish to recreational fishers, through changes in recruitment, growth and survival. Shifts in distribution are also expected, affecting the location that target species can be caught. Climate change also threatens the safety of fishing. Opportunities may be reduced owing to rougher conditions, and costs may be incurred if gear is lost or damaged in bad weather. However, not all effects are expected to be negative. Where weather conditions change favourably, participation rates could increase, and desirable species may become available in new areas. Drawing on examples from the UK and Australia, we synthesize existing knowledge to develop a conceptual model of climate‐driven factors that could impact marine recreational fisheries, in terms of operations, participation and motivation. We uncover the complex pathways of drivers that underpin the recreational sector. Climate changes may have global implications on the behaviour of recreational fishers and on catches and local economies.

The blue economy: Identifying geographic concepts and sensitivities

Garland M, Axon S, Graziano M, Morrissey J, C. Heidkamp P. The blue economy: Identifying geographic concepts and sensitivities. Geography Compass [Internet]. 2019 . Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gec3.12445#.XR4UEwpfNdQ.twitter
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

There is currently no generally accepted definition for the “blue economy,” despite the term becoming common parlance over the past decade. The concept and practice have spawned a rich, and diverse, body of scholarly activity. Yet despite this emerging body of literature, there is ambiguity around what the blue economy is, what it encapsulates, and its practices. Thus far, the existing literature has failed to theorise key geographical concepts such as space, place, scale, and power relations, all of which have the potential to lead to uneven development processes and regional differentiation. Previous research has sought to clarify the ontological separation of land and sea or has conceptualised the blue economy as a complex governmental project that opens up new governable spaces and rationalises particular ways of managing marine and coastal regions. More recently, geographers have called for a critical—and practical—engagement with the blue economy. This paper critically examines the existing literature of the geographies of the blue economy through a structured meta‐analysis of published work, specifically its conceptualisations and applications to debates in the field. Results offer the potential to ground a bottom‐up definition of the blue economy. In so doing, this paper provides a clearly identifiable rubric of the key geographical concepts that are often overlooked by researchers, policymakers, and practitioners when promoting economic development and technological innovation in coastal and marine environments.

Money, use and experience: Identifying the mechanisms through which ecosystem services contribute to wellbeing in coastal Kenya and Mozambique

Chaigneau T, Brown K, Coulthard S, Daw TM, Szaboova L. Money, use and experience: Identifying the mechanisms through which ecosystem services contribute to wellbeing in coastal Kenya and Mozambique. Ecosystem Services [Internet]. 2019 ;38:100957. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212041618303723
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Despite extensive recent research elucidating the complex relationship between ecosystem services and human wellbeing, little work has sought to understand howecosystem services contribute to wellbeing and poverty alleviation. This paper adopts concepts from the “Theory of Human Need” and the “Capability Approach” to both identify the multitude of links occurring between ecosystem services and wellbeing domains, and to understand the mechanisms through which ecosystem services contribute to wellbeing. Focus Group Discussions (N = 40) were carried out at 8 sites in Mozambique and Kenya to elicit how, why, and to what extent benefits derived from ecosystem services contribute to different wellbeing domains. Our results highlight three types of mechanisms through which ecosystem services contribute to wellbeing, monetary, use and experience. The consideration of these mechanisms can inform the development of interventions that aim to protect or improve flows of benefits to people. Firstly, interventions that support multiple types of mechanisms will likely support multiple domains of wellbeing. Secondly, overemphasising certain types of mechanism over others could lead to negative social feedbacks, threatening the future flows of ecosystem services. Finally, the three mechanism types are interlinked and can act synergistically to enhance the capacities of individuals to convert ecosystem services to wellbeing.

Setting ecological expectations for adaptive management of marine protected areas

Nickols KJ, J. White W, Malone D, Carr MH, Starr RM, Baskett ML, Hastings A, Botsford LW. Setting ecological expectations for adaptive management of marine protected areas. Journal of Applied Ecology [Internet]. 2019 . Available from: https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1365-2664.13463
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article
  1. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are being implemented worldwide, yet there are few cases where managers make specific predictions of the response of previously harvested populations to MPA implementation.
  2. Such predictions are needed to evaluate whether MPAs are working as expected, and if not, why. This evaluation is necessary to perform adaptive management, identifying whether and when adjustments to management might be necessary to achieve MPA goals.
  3. Using monitoring data and population models, we quantified expected responses of targeted species to MPA implementation and compared them to monitoring data.
  4. The model required two factors to explain observed responses in MPAs: (a) pre‐MPA harvest rates, which can vary at local spatial scales, and (b) recruitment variability before and after MPA establishment. Low recruitment years before MPA establishment in our study system drove deviations from expected equilibrium population size distributions and introduced an additional time lag to response detectability.
  5. Synthesis and applications. We combined monitoring data and population models to show how (a) harvest rates prior to Marine Protected Area (MPA) implementation, (b) variability in recruitment, and (c) initial population size structure determine whether a response to MPA establishment is detectable. Pre‐MPA harvest rates across MPAs plays a large role in MPA response detectability, demonstrating the importance of measuring this poorly known parameter. While an intuitive expectation is for response detectability to depend on recruitment variability and stochasticity in population trajectories after MPA establishment, we address the overlooked role of recruitment variability before MPA establishment, which alters the size structure at the time of MPA establishment. These factors provide MPA practitioners with reasons whether or not MPAs may lead to responses of targeted species. Our overall approach provides a framework for a critical step of adaptive management.

Shark aggregation and tourism: opportunities and challenges of an emerging phenomenon

Z. Shamir Z, S. Shamir Z, Tchernov D, Scheinin A, Becker N. Shark aggregation and tourism: opportunities and challenges of an emerging phenomenon. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology [Internet]. 2019 ;26(5):406 - 414. Available from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13504509.2019.1573769?journalCode=tsdw20
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $43.00
Type: Journal Article

In the last few winters, shark communities have been aggregating near the Israeli Mediterranean coast, at a specific point, near Hadera power station. This unusual phenomenon has fascinated residents, visitors, kayakers, divers, and swimmers. We analyse the effects of this intense human interest on the sharks, using contingent behaviour, in Hadera and in Ashkelon, where sharks are present and there is available infrastructure for their observation. We also report on changes in shark behaviour due to change in tourism intensity. We find a change of about ILS 4.1 million annually for both sites but a larger individual consumer surplus in Hadera, where sharks are currently observable. Touristic intensity crosses the threshold level by about 12% and making the socio-equilibrium sustainable for both humans and sharks would have a social cost of ILS 0.157 million. This paper, which is based on the assessment of conservation values to marine and coastal tourists, raises a need for spatial planning in order to protect this endangered species.

Harnessing Positive Species Interactions to Enhance Coastal Wetland Restoration

Renzi JJ, He Q, Silliman BR. Harnessing Positive Species Interactions to Enhance Coastal Wetland Restoration. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution [Internet]. 2019 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fevo.2019.00131/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Coastal wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. They generate critical services for humans including shoreline protection, carbon storage, pollution mitigation, and fisheries production. Restoration of coastal wetlands has historically been viewed as a secondary conservation strategy, but recently—given the continued loss of wetlands worldwide—many non-governmental and governmental organizations have elevated habitat restoration to be a primary method for wetland conservation. The long-held paradigm in coastal wetland restoration has been to restore target habitats by reducing physical stressors and avoiding competition among outplants, such as mangrove saplings or Spartina plugs. Recent ecological research, however, reveals that positive species interactions, such as facilitation, are critical to wetland recovery after disturbance. Here, we review the scientific evidence for the importance of positive species interactions in the recovery of salt-marsh and mangrove ecosystems and assess the extent to which they have been integrated into restoration studies. We found that only a small proportion of studies of marsh and mangrove restoration examined the effects of positive species interactions, despite the important role they play in the regrowth of coastal wetlands. We outline how positive species interactions can be systematically incorporated into future restoration work and discuss how this incorporation can help the reestablishment of coastal wetland biota through: (1) trophic facilitation, (2) stress reduction, and (3) associational defenses. The absence of positive interactions in restoration designs may partially explain the significant disparities between the functioning of natural and restored coastal plant ecosystems.

Combined climate and nutritional performance of seafoods

Hallström E, Bergman K, Mifflin K, Parker R, Tyedmers P, Troell M, Ziegler F. Combined climate and nutritional performance of seafoods. Journal of Cleaner Production [Internet]. 2019 ;230:402 - 411. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652619313162?dgcid=raven_sd_recommender_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

National authorities in many countries advise their populations to eat more seafood, for health and sometimes for environmental purposes, but give little guidance as to what type of seafood should be consumed. The large diversity in species and production methods results in variability both in the nutritional content and in the environmental performance of seafoods. More targeted dietary advice for sustainable seafood consumption requires a better understanding of the relative nutritional benefits against environmental costs of various types of seafood. This study analyzes the combined climate and nutritional performance of seafood commonly consumed in Sweden, originating all over the world. Nutrient density scores, assessed by seven alternative methods, are combined with species- technology- and origin-specific greenhouse gas emission data for 37 types of seafood. An integrated score indicates which seafood products provide the greatest nutritional value at the lowest climate costs and hence should be promoted from this perspective. Results show that seafoods consumed in Sweden differ widely in nutritional value as well as climate impact and that the two measures are not correlated across all species. Dietary changes towards increased consumption of more seafood choices where a correlation exists (e.g. pelagic species like sprat, herring and mackerel) would benefit both health and climate. Seafoods with a higher climate impact in relation to their nutritional value (e.g. shrimp, Pangasius and plaice) should, on the other hand, not be promoted in dietary advice. The effect of individual nutrients and implications of different nutrient density scores is evaluated. This research is a first step towards modelling the joint nutritional and climate benefits of seafood as a concrete baseline for policy-making, e.g. in dietary advice. It should be followed up by modelling other species, including environmental toxins in seafood in the nutrition score, and expanding to cover other environmental aspects.

Microplastics cause neurotoxicity, oxidative damage and energy-related changes and interact with the bioaccumulation of mercury in the European seabass, Dicentrarchus labrax (Linnaeus, 1758)

Barboza LGabriel An, Vieira LRusso, Branco V, Figueiredo N, Carvalho F, Carvalho C, Guilhermino L. Microplastics cause neurotoxicity, oxidative damage and energy-related changes and interact with the bioaccumulation of mercury in the European seabass, Dicentrarchus labrax (Linnaeus, 1758). Aquatic Toxicology [Internet]. 2018 ;195:49 - 57. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166445X17303776?dgcid=raven_sd_recommender_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Microplastics pollution is a global paradigm that raises concern in relation to environmental and human health. This study investigated toxic effects of microplastics and mercury in the European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), a marine fish widely used as food for humans. A short-term (96 h) laboratory bioassay was done by exposing juvenile fish to microplastics (0.26 and 0.69 mg/L), mercury (0.010 and 0.016 mg/L) and binary mixtures of the two substances using the same concentrations, through test media. Microplastics alone and mercury alone caused neurotoxicity through acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition, increased lipid oxidation (LPO) in brain and muscle, and changed the activities of the energy-related enzymes lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH). All the mixtures caused significant inhibition of brain AChE activity (64–76%), and significant increase of LPO levels in brain (2.9–3.4 fold) and muscle (2.2–2.9 fold) but not in a concentration-dependent manner; mixtures containing low and high concentrations of microplastics caused different effects on IDH and LDH activity. Mercury was found to accumulate in the brain and muscle, with bioaccumulation factors of 4–7 and 25–40, respectively. Moreover, in the analysis of mercury concentrations in both tissues, a significant interaction between mercury and microplastics was found. The decay of mercury in the water increased with microplastics concentration, and was higher in the presence of fish than in their absence. Overall, these results indicate that: microplastics influence the bioaccumulation of mercury by D. labrax juveniles; microplastics, mercury and their mixtures (ppb range concentrations) cause neurotoxicity, oxidative stress and damage, and changes in the activities of energy-related enzymes in juveniles of this species; mixtures with the lowest and highest concentrations of their components induced different effects on some biomarkers. These findings and other published in the literature raise concern regarding high level predators and humans consuming fish being exposed to microplastics and heavy metals, and highlight the need of more research on the topic.

Setting ecological expectations for adaptive management of marine protected areas

Nickols KJ, J. White W, Malone D, Carr MH, Starr RM, Baskett ML, Hastings A, Botsford LW. Setting ecological expectations for adaptive management of marine protected areas. Journal of Applied Ecology [Internet]. 2019 . Available from: https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1365-2664.13463
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article
  1. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are being implemented worldwide, yet there are few cases where managers make specific predictions of the response of previously harvested populations to MPA implementation.
  2. Such predictions are needed to evaluate whether MPAs are working as expected, and if not, why. This evaluation is necessary to perform adaptive management, identifying whether and when adjustments to management might be necessary to achieve MPA goals.
  3. Using monitoring data and population models, we quantified expected responses of targeted species to MPA implementation and compared them to monitoring data.
  4. The model required two factors to explain observed responses in MPAs: (a) pre‐MPA harvest rates, which can vary at local spatial scales, and (b) recruitment variability before and after MPA establishment. Low recruitment years before MPA establishment in our study system drove deviations from expected equilibrium population size distributions and introduced an additional time lag to response detectability.
  5. Synthesis and applications. We combined monitoring data and population models to show how (a) harvest rates prior to Marine Protected Area (MPA) implementation, (b) variability in recruitment, and (c) initial population size structure determine whether a response to MPA establishment is detectable. Pre‐MPA harvest rates across MPAs plays a large role in MPA response detectability, demonstrating the importance of measuring this poorly known parameter. While an intuitive expectation is for response detectability to depend on recruitment variability and stochasticity in population trajectories after MPA establishment, we address the overlooked role of recruitment variability before MPA establishment, which alters the size structure at the time of MPA establishment. These factors provide MPA practitioners with reasons whether or not MPAs may lead to responses of targeted species. Our overall approach provides a framework for a critical step of adaptive management.

Fishery improvement projects: Performance over the past decade

Cannon J, Sousa P, Katara I, Veiga P, Spear B, Beveridge D, Van Holt T. Fishery improvement projects: Performance over the past decade. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2018 ;97:179 - 187. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X18300393?dgcid=raven_sd_recommender_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Fishery improvement projects (FIPs) are multi-stakeholder platforms for engaging retailers, importers, processors, and others in seafood supply chains directly in the policy-making and management of fisheries. FIPs vary in design and aim, making their evaluation complex. Studies to date have highlighted successes but also raised concerns about the performance of FIPs in improving fisheries. Drawing on a comprehensive dataset of attributes on all public FIPs, combined with sustainabilityperformance data on the management of the target fisheries, their fishing levels, and stock status, this paper evaluates the performance of FIPs worldwide on improving fisheries, using exploratory data analysis methods and regression-based statistical approaches. The results showed that FIPs improved critical problems in target fisheries in the range between 60% and 82%, depending on the sustainability criteria considered. Performance did not vary between artisanal and industrial FIPs or according to the economic development status of the country. The probability of achieving improvements in management and overfishing domains is higher for fisheries with FIPs compared to those without. Variability in performance was related to the specific characteristics and history of each FIP, based on which further steps in research were suggested.

A Response to Scientific and Societal Needs for Marine Biological Observations

Bax NJ, Miloslavich P, Muller-Karger FEdgar, Allain V, Appeltans W, Batten SDawn, Benedetti-Cecchi L, Buttigieg PLuigi, Chiba S, Costa DPaul, et al. A Response to Scientific and Societal Needs for Marine Biological Observations. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00395/full?utm_source=F-NTF&utm_medium=EMLX&utm_campaign=PRD_FEOPS_20170000_ARTICLE
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Development of global ocean observing capacity for the biological EOVs is on the cusp of a step-change. Current capacity to automate data collection and processing and to integrate the resulting data streams with complementary data, openly available as FAIR data, is certain to dramatically increase the amount and quality of information and knowledge available to scientists and decision makers into the future. There is little doubt that scientists will continue to expand their understanding of what lives in the ocean, where it lives and how it is changing. However, whether this expanding information stream will inform policy and management or be incorporated into indicators for national reporting is more uncertain. Coordinated data collection including open sharing of data will help produce the consistent evidence-based messages that are valued by managers. The GOOS Biology and Ecosystems Panel is working with other global initiatives to assist this coordination by defining and implementing Essential Ocean Variables. The biological EOVs have been defined, are being updated following community feedback, and their implementation is underway. In 2019, the coverage and precision of a global ocean observing system capable of addressing key questions for the next decade will be quantified, and its potential to support the goals of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development identified. Developing a global ocean observing system for biology and ecosystems requires parallel efforts in improving evidence-based monitoring of progress against international agreements and the open data, reporting and governance structures that would facilitate the uptake of improved information by decision makers.

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