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Xavier J.C.,University of Coimbra | Xavier J.C.,British Antarctic Survey | Barbosa A.,CSIC - National Museum of Natural Sciences | Agusti S.,CSIC - Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies | And 54 more authors.
Journal of Sea Research | Year: 2013

Polar marine ecosystems have global ecological and economic importance because of their unique biodiversity and their major role in climate processes and commercial fisheries, among others. Portugal and Spain have been highly active in a wide range of disciplines in marine biology of the Antarctic and the Arctic. The main aim of this paper is to provide a synopsis of some of the results and initiatives undertaken by Portuguese and Spanish polar teams within the field of marine sciences, particularly on benthic and pelagic biodiversity (species diversity and abundance, including microbial, molecular, physiological and chemical mechanisms in polar organisms), conservation and ecology of top predators (particularly penguins, albatrosses and seals), and pollutants and evolution of marine organisms associated with major issues such as climate change, ocean acidification and UV radiation effects. Both countries have focused their polar research more in the Antarctic than in the Arctic. Portugal and Spain should encourage research groups to continue increasing their collaborations with other countries and develop multi-disciplinary research projects, as well as to maintain highly active memberships within major organizations, such as the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR), the International Arctic Science Council (IASC) and the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), and in international research projects. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Garcia-Cisneros A.,University of Barcelona | Valero-Jimenez C.,University of Barcelona | Valero-Jimenez C.,Wageningen University | Palacin C.,University of Barcelona | And 2 more authors.
Conservation Genetics Resources | Year: 2013

Thirty two microsatellites were optimized from 454 pyrosequencing libraries for three Atlanto-Mediterranean echinoderms: Coscinasterias tenuispina, Echinaster sepositus and Arbacia lixula. We observed different frequency of microsatellite types (di-, tri-, tetra- and penta-nucleotide) throughout the genome of the species, but no significant differences were observed in allele richness among different microsatellite repeats. No loci showed linkage disequilibrium. Heterozygosity deficit and departure from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium were observed for some loci, in two species, probably due to high levels of inbreeding. Heterozygosity excess observed in C. tenuispina could be explained by selection against homozygotes and/or outcrossing. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Angulo-Preckler C.,University of Barcelona | Angulo-Preckler C.,Biodiversity Research Institute IrBIO | Cid C.,CSIC - National Institute of Aerospace Technology | Oliva F.,University of Barcelona | And 2 more authors.
Marine Environmental Research | Year: 2015

Competition for space is a remarkable ecological force, comparable to predation, producing a strong selective pressure on benthic invertebrates. Some invertebrates, thus, possess antimicrobial compounds to reduce surface bacterial growth. Antimicrobial inhibition is the first step in avoiding being overgrown by other organisms, which may have a negative impact in feeding, respiration, reproduction . . . The in situ inhibition of bacterial biofilm was used here as an indicator of antifouling activity by testing hydrophilic extracts of twelve Antarctic invertebrates. Using two different approaches (genetics and confocal techniques) different levels of activity were found in the tested organisms. In fact, differences within body parts of the studied organisms were determined, in agreement with the Optimal Defense Theory. Eight out of 15 extracts tested had negative effects on fouling after 28 days submerged in Antarctic waters. Thus, although chemical defenses may be quite species-specific in their ecological roles, these results suggest that different chemical strategies exist to deal with space competition. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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