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Coma R.,Center Destudis Avancats Of Blanes Consejo Superior Of Investigaciones Cientificas Ceab Csic | Llorente-Llurba E.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | Serrano E.,Center Destudis Avancats Of Blanes Consejo Superior Of Investigaciones Cientificas Ceab Csic | Gili J.-M.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | Ribes M.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences
Coral Reefs | Year: 2015

Octocorals are among the most emblematic and representative organisms of sublittoral communities in both tropical and temperate seas. Eunicella singularis is the most abundant gorgonian in shallow waters and the only gorgonian with symbiotic zooxanthellae in the Mediterranean Sea. We studied the natural diet and prey capture rate of this species over an annual cycle and characterized prey digestion time over the natural temperature regime. The species captured zooplankton prey between 40 and 920 µm. A mean content of 0.14 ± 0.02 prey polyp−1 was observed throughout the year. The strong pattern of decrease in digestion time with temperature increase (from 25 h at 13 °C to 8 h at 21 °C) allowed us to estimate that the prey capture rate was 0.017 ± 0.002 prey polyp−1 h−1 (mean ± SE); the ingestion rate exhibited a seasonal pattern with higher values in spring (0.007 µg C polyp−1 h−1). Feeding on zooplankton had a low contribution to the respiratory expenses of E. singularis except in early spring. Then, heterotrophic nutrition in the natural environment seems unable to meet basal metabolic requirements, especially in summer and fall. This result, in conjunction with the documented collapse of photosynthetic capacity above a warm temperature threshold, indicates the occurrence of a resource acquisition limitation that may play a role in the repeated summer die-off events of the species. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source


Chappuis E.,Center Destudis Avancats Of Blanes Consejo Superior Of Investigaciones Cientificas Ceab Csic | Terradas M.,Center Destudis Avancats Of Blanes Consejo Superior Of Investigaciones Cientificas Ceab Csic | Terradas M.,University of Alicante | Cefali M.E.,Center Destudis Avancats Of Blanes Consejo Superior Of Investigaciones Cientificas Ceab Csic | And 3 more authors.
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science | Year: 2014

Vertical variation in the distribution of rocky shore assemblages is greater than horizontal variation, as shown by univariate and multivariate analysis performed with data obtained along 1000km of shoreline and covering from the upper supralittoral to the upper infralittoral zone (-1m). Consequently, vertical littoral zonation is a consistent pattern at a regional scale within the same biogeographical zone. While their distribution varies at the same shore height, marine species and assemblages from rocky shores show a specific vertical sequence known as zonation. A key question in ecology is how consistent is zonation along large spatial scales. The aim of this study is to show distribution patterns of littoral assemblages at a regional scale and to identify the most relevant abiotic factors associated to such patterns. The study is based on a detailed and extensive survey at a regional scale on a tideless rocky shore. Benthic macroflora and macrofauna of 750 relevés were described along the vertical axis of 143 transects distributed across the shoreline of Catalonia (NW Mediterranean). The Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) first axis is highly related to the height on the shore: species, relevés, and assemblages grade from lower to upper height (infralittoral to supralittoral). As observed in nature, different assemblages co-occur at the same height at different sites, which is shown along DCA second axis. The abiotic variables that best explain the assemblage distribution patterns are: height (75% of the model inertia), longitude (14.6%), latitude (7.2%) and transect slope (2.9%). The Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) first axis is related to height on the shore and explains four times more variance than CCA second axis, which is related to the horizontal gradient. Generalized Lineal Model (GLM) results show that height on the shore is the factor explaining most of the variance in species presence. Most studied species show distribution patterns related to latitude and longitude, but always in a much smaller proportion than to height. © 2014 The Authors. Source


Serrano E.,Center Destudis Avancats Of Blanes Consejo Superior Of Investigaciones Cientificas Ceab Csic | Serrano E.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | Coma R.,Center Destudis Avancats Of Blanes Consejo Superior Of Investigaciones Cientificas Ceab Csic | Ribes M.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The hermatypic coral Oculina patagonica can drive a compositional shift in shallow water benthic marine communities in the northwestern Mediterranean. Here, we analyze a long-term, large-scale observational dataset to characterize the dynamics of the species' recent northward range shift along the coast of Catalonia and examine the main factors that could have influenced this spread. The variation in the distributional range of Oculina patagonica was examined by monitoring 223 locations including natural and artificial habitats along >400 km of coastline over the last 19 years (1992-2010). Abundance of the species increased from being present in one location in 1992 to occur on 19% of the locations in 2010, and exhibited an acceleration of its spreading over time driven by the join action of neighborhood and long-distance dispersal. However, the pattern of spread diverged between artificial and natural habitats. A short lag phase and a high slope on the exponential phase characterized the temporal pattern of spread on artificial habitats in contrast to that observed on natural ones. Northward expansion has occurred at the fastest rate (22 km year-1) reported for a coral species thus far, which is sufficiently fast to cope with certain climate warming predictions. The pattern of spread suggests that this process is mediated by the interplay of (i) the availability of open space provided by artificial habitats, (ii) the seawater temperature increase with the subsequent extension of the growth period, and (iii) the particular biological features of O. patagonica (current high growth rates, early reproduction, and survival to low temperature and in polluted areas). These results are indicative of an ongoing fundamental modification of temperate shallow water assemblages, which is consistent with the predictions indicating that the Mediterranean Sea is one of the most sensitive regions to global change. © 2013 Serrano et al. Source

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