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Jimenez C.,Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center | Hadjioannou L.,Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center | Petrou A.,Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center | Andreou V.,Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center | Georgiou A.,Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center
Water (Switzerland) | Year: 2017

Artificial reefs are considered one of the alternative methods in fisheries management, used in order to enhance stocks and marine biodiversity in general. A number of biotic and abiotic parameters influence the fouling communities' formation on artificial reefs through complex interactions. In order to understand how epibiotic or fouling communities progress through time, it is important to study these communities in mature artificial reefs, especially those that have been around for many decades, or in some cases, millennia. This study was conducted on the coral and other fouling organisms of two accidental artificial reefs (40 to 70 year-old shipwrecks) in Cyprus (Levantine Sea). The thermal and nutrient annual regime of the study sites were characterized by processing satellite data. The results indicate that the wrecks are normally under warm and oligotrophic conditions. Percentage coverage of corals and other organisms on the wrecks was calculated (image-analysis software) on photos taken in 2010 (two wrecks) and again in 2016 (one wreck) of the fouling communities. Sponges were the organisms with the highest percent cover (~27%) at the two wrecks. Four scleractinian coral species were found (7%-19% total coral cover). The oldest wreck, which has well-developed coral communities, was revisited during fieldwork in a near-by area in 2016. Only two major benthic categories (dead coral and macro algae) changed significantly between sampling periods. Given the actual policies to sink wrecks to create artificial reefs and the diverse environmental conditions in different areas that will inevitably influence fouling, it is important to carry out studies relating to mature artificial reefs/wrecks in order to be able to assess the ecological effectiveness of longstanding artificial reefs. © 2017 by the authors.


Jensen J.H.,Technical University of Denmark | Saremi S.,DHI Water - Environment - Health | Jimenez C.,Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center | Hadjioannou L.,Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2015

A field experiment in the waters off the south-eastern coast of Cyprus was carried out to study near-field formation of sediment plumes from dumping. Different loads of sediment were poured into calm and limpid waters one at the time from just above the sea surface. The associated plumes, gravitating towards the seafloor, were filmed simultaneously by four divers situated at different depths in the water column, and facing the plume at different angles. The processes were captured using GoPro-Hero-series cameras. The high-quality underwater footage from near-surface, mid-depth and near-bed positions gives unique insight into the dynamics of the descending plume and near-field dispersion processes, and enables good understanding of flow and sediment transport processes involved from-release-to-deposition of the load in a non-scaled environment. The high resolution images and footages are available through the link provided herein. Observations support the development of a detailed multi-fractional sediment plume model. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Jensen J.H.,DHI Water - Environment - Health | Saremi S.,DHI Water and Environment DK | Jimenez C.,Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center | Hadjioannou L.,Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2015

The commonly adopted method of dumping dredge spoil at sea using split-hull barges leads to considerable sediment loss to the water column and a subsequent dispersion of fine material that can pose a risk to sensitive "downstream" habitats such as coral reefs. Containing sediment loads using stitched closed geotextile bags is practiced for minimizing loss of contaminated sediment, but is expensive in terms of operational efficiency. Following promising observations from initial laboratory trials, the plunging of partially shielded sediment loads, released on open sea, was studied. The partial shielding was achieved with rigid, open containers as well as flexible, open bags. The loss of sediment from these modes of shielding was measured, and it was observed that even limited and unstitched shielding can be effective in debilitating the entrainment of water into the descending load. In particular, long-sleeved flexible bags practically self-eliminated the exposure of the load and thus losses. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Jimenez C.,The Cyprus Institute | Jimenez C.,Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center | Hadjioannou L.,Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center | Petrou A.,Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center | And 5 more authors.
Regional Environmental Change | Year: 2014

A mortality event of Cladocora caespitosa corals and the extent of bleaching, necrosis and pigmented areas in the colonies were studied at the southeastern coast of Cyprus during a prolonged period of higher than average sea temperature anomalies (summer/autumn 2012). With the use of scuba diving and image analysis software, we monitored the extent of mortality of 29 colonies of C. caespitosa by measuring and comparing the area percentage of healthy tissue, affected tissue (bleached, necrotic) and older mortality events (encrusted skeleton). In September 2012, on average, 24 % of the colonies surface area was affected (bleaching and/or necrosis). In October 2012, C. caespitosa showed on average 26.3 % of the colony surface area affected, evidence of continuing deterioration. At the same time, 10 % (3 of 29) of the colonies showed an increase in the pigmentation of previously bleached polyps in small and marginal areas (6–8 %). Irrespective of the amount, the regaining of pigments recorded is considered an important find. Corals and marine organisms in general in the Levantine Sea are affected greatly by warming events, to the extent where a very small percentage of polyps/colonies show resilience under thermal stress. Natural bleaching of C. caespitosa, even though limited to a few colonies and very small portions of tissue/polyps, was documented for the first time in the Levantine Sea. We conclude that temperature anomalies are associated with the mortality event. Whether prolonged higher temperature is the direct cause, or whether it acts synergistically with other factors should be the subject of further investigations. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg


Tziortzis I.,Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center | Zogaris S.,Hellenic Center for Marine Research | Papatheodoulou A.,Biodiversity East | Marrone F.,University of Palermo
Limnetica | Year: 2014

The presence of the large branchiopod Triops cancriformis (Bosc, 1801-1802) in Cyprus is reported for the first time. Triops cancriformis individuals were observed in the large temporary wetland of Paralimni Lake (Famagusta District, Cyprus) during the wet periods of 2013 and 2014. This finding extends the current knowledge of the species distribution in the eastern Mediterranean area and stresses the ecological and conservation value of the unique habitat of Paralimni Lake. In addition, it highlights the need to conduct further studies on the fauna of temporary pond habitats in Cyprus and the need to implement better conservation management strategies for this EU priority habitat. © 2014 Asociación Ibérica de Limnología, Madrid. Spain.


PubMed | Enalia Physis Environmental Research Center, Energy and Environmental Research Center, DHI Water & Environment DK and DHI Water & Environment MY
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Marine pollution bulletin | Year: 2015

The commonly adopted method of dumping dredge spoil at sea using split-hull barges leads to considerable sediment loss to the water column and a subsequent dispersion of fine material that can pose a risk to sensitive downstream habitats such as coral reefs. Containing sediment loads using stitched closed geotextile bags is practiced for minimizing loss of contaminated sediment, but is expensive in terms of operational efficiency. Following promising observations from initial laboratory trials, the plunging of partially shielded sediment loads, released on open sea, was studied. The partial shielding was achieved with rigid, open containers as well as flexible, open bags. The loss of sediment from these modes of shielding was measured, and it was observed that even limited and unstitched shielding can be effective in debilitating the entrainment of water into the descending load. In particular, long-sleeved flexible bags practically self-eliminated the exposure of the load and thus losses.

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