Punta Arenas, Chile
Punta Arenas, Chile

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Cardenas C.A.,Chilean Antarctic Institute | Newcombe E.M.,Cawthron Institute | Hajdu E.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Gonzalez-Aravena M.,Chilean Antarctic Institute | And 2 more authors.
Polar Research | Year: 2016

Sponges are important components of high-latitude benthic communities, but their diversity and abundance in algal-dominated rocky reefs has been underestimated because of the difficulty of in situ identification. Further, the influence of canopy-forming algae on sponge richness has been poorly studied in southern high-latitude rocky reefs compared to other latitudes. Here, we quantified taxon richness of sponges in algae-dominated rocky reefs at three sites in the western Antarctic Peninsula (62-64° S) and two sites in the Magellan region (53° S). We found higher sponge richness at sites in Antarctica (15) than in Magallanes (8), with Antarctic sponge richness higher than that reported for Arctic algal beds and similar to that reported for temperate regions. Estimated sponge richness at our Antarctic sites highlights diverse sponge assemblages (16-26 taxa) between 5 and 20mthat are typically dominated by macroalgae. Our results suggest that sponge assemblages associated with canopy-forming macroalgae on southern high-latitude reefs are more diverse than previously thought. © 2016 C.A. Cárdenas et al.


Pereira J.L.,University of Aveiro | Pereira P.,University of Aveiro | Padeiro A.,University of Lisbon | Goncalves F.,University of Aveiro | And 6 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2017

Generally, Antarctica is considered to be an untouched area of the planet; however, the region's ecosystems have been subject to increased human pressure for at least the past half-century. This study assessed soils of Fildes Peninsula, where trace element pollution is thought to prevail. Four soil samples were collected from different locations and assessed following tier 1 methodologies for chemical and ecotoxicological lines of evidence (LoE) used in typical soil Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA). Trace element quantification was run on soil samples and sequential extracts, and elutriates were used to address their ecotoxicity using a standard ecotoxicological battery. The highest levels of trace elements were found for Cr, Cu, Ni and Zn, which were well above baseline levels in two sites located near previously identified contamination sources. Trace element concentrations in soils were compared with soil quality guidelines to estimate the contribution of the chemical LoE for integrated risk calculations; risk was found high, above 0.5 for all samples. Total concentrations in soil were consistent with corresponding sequentially extracted percentages, with Cu and Zn being the most bioavailable elements. Bacteria did not respond consistently to the elutriate samples and cladocerans did not respond at all. In contrast, the growth of microalgae and macrophytes was significantly impaired by elutriates of all soil samples, consistently to estimated trace element concentrations in the elutriate matrix. These results translated into lower risk values for the ecotoxicological compared to the chemical LoE. Nevertheless, integrated risk calculations generated either an immediate recommendation for further analysis to better understand the hazardous potential of the tested soils or showed that the soils could not adequately sustain natural ecosystem functions. This study suggests that the soil ecosystem in Fildes has been inadequately protected and supports previous claims on the need to reinforce protection measures and remediation activities. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Boyd I.L.,University of St. Andrews | Frisk G.,Florida Atlantic University | Urban E.,University of Delaware | Tyack P.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | And 22 more authors.
Oceanography | Year: 2011

The effect of noise on marine life is one of the big unknowns of current marine science. Considerable evidence exists that the human contribution to ocean noise has increased during the past few decades: human noise has become the dominant component of marine noise in some regions, and noise is directly correlated with the increasing industrialization of the ocean. Sound is an important factor in the lives of many marine organisms, and theory and increasing observations suggest that human noise could be approaching levels at which negative effects on marine life may be occurring. Certain species already show symptoms of the effects of sound. Although some of these effects are acute and rare, chronic sublethal effects may be more prevalent, but are difficult to measure. We need to identify the thresholds of such effects for different species and be in a position to predict how increasing anthropogenic sound will add to the effects. To achieve such predictive capabilities, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) are developing an International Quiet Ocean Experiment (IQOE), with the objective of coordinating the international research community to both quantify the ocean sound scape and examine the functional relationship between sound and the viability of key marine organisms. SCOR and POGO will convene an open science meeting to gather community input on the important research, observations, and modeling activities that should be included in IQOE. © 2011 by The Oceanography Society. All rights reserved.


Amaro E.,University of Lisbon | Padeiro A.,University of Lisbon | Mao de Ferro A.,University of Lisbon | Mota A.M.,University of Lisbon | And 5 more authors.
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2015

King George Island, situated in the South Shetland Islands archipelago, is one of the most visited sites in Antarctica. This has contributed to a high density of scientific stations and shelters in the region, especially in Fildes Peninsula. In order to evaluate the natural and anthropogenic sources of trace elements (As, Cd, Cu, Zn, Pb and Hg) soil and moss samples were collected from different sites in January 2013. In general, the results revealed homogeneous concentrations (μgg-1) for each element in the majority of collected samples (As: 3.8±1.4; Cd: 0.4±0.9; Cu: 34±4; Zn: 115±13; Pb: 20±5; Hg; 0.011±0.009). However, some samples in specific areas of Fildes Bay showed the existence of local anthropogenic activities that have contributed to the enrichment of contaminants in soils and moss samples that correlated to one another (e.g. Pb: 1101μgg-1).Human presence is linked to examples of contamination and environmental perturbation, making essential the implementation of this type of study in order to understand and protect unique places in Antarctica. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Padeiro A.,University of Lisbon | Amaro E.,University of Lisbon | Dos Santos M.M.C.,University of Lisbon | Araujo M.F.,University of Lisbon | And 6 more authors.
Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts | Year: 2016

The Ardley Cove area (located on the Maxwell Bay shoreline, Fildes Peninsula, King George Island, Antarctica) is characterized not only by its high biodiversity, but also by a high density of scientific stations, making it potentially one of the most impacted areas of Antarctica. In order to assess the source, contamination levels, distribution and availability of several trace elements (Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Pb, Cd and Hg) in and around Maxwell Bay, soil and seawater samples were collected. Soil samples were also collected in the study reference site near the Bellingshausen Dome area, as it lies far from centers of human activity and associated infrastructure. Enrichment factors (EFs) and sequential extractions were also used to assess the degree of contamination and availability of the trace elements under investigation. The results obtained in this study pointed to the existence of several contamination hotspots, mainly related to high levels of Zn, Pb, Cd, Cr and Ni. Comparison of the contaminant distribution patterns with data from earlier studies allowed the identification of anthropogenic sources. Use of the EF approach and sequential extractions confirmed these findings. In particular, higher extraction proportions were obtained for Zn and Pb (68 and 71%, respectively), which were also the same elements where the highest EFs were determined. The results obtained in this study clearly point to human impact on the natural environment in this region of Antarctica and we recommend the implementation of appropriate contamination control and remediation methods. © 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


PubMed | Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, University of Aveiro, University of Lisbon, Natural Environment Research Council and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: The Science of the total environment | Year: 2016

Generally, Antarctica is considered to be an untouched area of the planet; however, the regions ecosystems have been subject to increased human pressure for at least the past half-century. This study assessed soils of Fildes Peninsula, where trace element pollution is thought to prevail. Four soil samples were collected from different locations and assessed following tier 1 methodologies for chemical and ecotoxicological lines of evidence (LoE) used in typical soil Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA). Trace element quantification was run on soil samples and sequential extracts, and elutriates were used to address their ecotoxicity using a standard ecotoxicological battery. The highest levels of trace elements were found for Cr, Cu, Ni and Zn, which were well above baseline levels in two sites located near previously identified contamination sources. Trace element concentrations in soils were compared with soil quality guidelines to estimate the contribution of the chemical LoE for integrated risk calculations; risk was found high, above 0.5 for all samples. Total concentrations in soil were consistent with corresponding sequentially extracted percentages, with Cu and Zn being the most bioavailable elements. Bacteria did not respond consistently to the elutriate samples and cladocerans did not respond at all. In contrast, the growth of microalgae and macrophytes was significantly impaired by elutriates of all soil samples, consistently to estimated trace element concentrations in the elutriate matrix. These results translated into lower risk values for the ecotoxicological compared to the chemical LoE. Nevertheless, integrated risk calculations generated either an immediate recommendation for further analysis to better understand the hazardous potential of the tested soils or showed that the soils could not adequately sustain natural ecosystem functions. This study suggests that the soil ecosystem in Fildes has been inadequately protected and supports previous claims on the need to reinforce protection measures and remediation activities.


Branco P.C.,University of Sao Paulo | Pressinotti L.N.,University of Sao Paulo | Borges J.C.S.,Metropolitan United Faculties | Iunes R.S.,University of Sao Paulo | And 7 more authors.
Polar Biology | Year: 2012

Global warming is a reality and its effects have been widely studied. However, the consequences for marine invertebrates remain poorly understood. Thus, the present study proposed to evaluate the effect of elevated temperature on the innate immune system of Antarctic sea urchin Sterechinus neumayeri. Sea urchins were collected nearby Brazilian Antarctic Station "Comandante Ferraz" and exposed to 0 (control), 2 and 4°C for periods of 48 h, 2, 7 and 14 days. After the experimental periods, coelomic fluid was collected in order to perform the following analyses: coelomocytes differential counting, phagocytic response, adhesion and spreading coelomocytes assay, intranuclear iron crystalloid and ultra structural analysis of coelomocytes. The red sphere cell was considered a biomarker for heat stress, as they increased in acute stress. Besides that, a significant increase in phagocytic indexes was observed at 2°C coinciding with a significant increase of intranuclear iron crystalloid at the same temperature and same time period. Furthermore, significant alterations in cell adhesion and spreading were observed in elevated temperatures. The ultra structural analysis of coelomocytes showed no significant difference across treatments. This was the first time that innate immune response alterations were observed in response to elevated temperature in a Polar echinoid. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

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