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Amorim F.N.,University of Sao Paulo | Cirano M.,Federal University of Bahia | Soares I.D.,Federal Foundation University of Rio Grande | Lentini C.A.D.,Federal University of Bahia
Continental Shelf Research

The Camamu Bay (CMB) is located on the narrowest shelf along the South American coastline and close to the formation of two major Western Boundary Currents (WBC), the Brazil/North Brazil Current (BC/NBC). These WBC flow close to the shelf break/slope region and are expected to interact with the shelf currents due to the narrowness of the shelf. The shelf circulation is investigated in terms of current variability based on an original data set covering the 2002-2003 austral summer and the 2003 austral autumn. The Results show that the currents at the shelf are mainly wind driven, experiencing a complete reversal between seasons due to a similar change in the wind field. Currents at the inner-shelf have a polarized nature, with the alongshore velocity mostly driven by forcings at the sub-inertial frequency band and the cross-shore velocity mainly supra-inertially forced, with the tidal currents playing an important role at this direction. The contribution of the forcing mechanisms at the mid-shelf changes between seasons. During the summer, forcings in the two frequency bands are important to drive the currents with a similar contribution of the tidal currents. On the other hand, during the autumn season, the alongshore velocity is mostly driven by sub-inertial forcings and tidally driven currents still remain important in both directions. Moreover, during the autumn when the stratification is weaker, the response of the shelf currents to the wind forcing presents a barotropic signature. The meso-scale processes related to the WBC flowing at the shelf/slope region also affect the circulation within the shelf, which contribute to cause significant current reversals during the autumn season. Currents at the shelf-estuary connection are clearly supra-inertially forced with the tidal currents playing a key role in the generation of the along-channel velocities. The sub-inertial forcings at this location act mainly to drive the weak ebb currents which were highly correlated with both local and remote wind forcing during the summer season. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source

De Lima F.D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte | Leite T.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte | Haimovici M.,Federal Foundation University of Rio Grande | Lins Oliveira J.E.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte

Octopus insularis inhabits shallow waters along the coast and oceanic islands of northeastern Brazil, where it is the main target of commercial fishing of octopuses. This study aims to investigate the hypothesis that the tropical O. insularis has a distinct gonadal development and reproductive features when compare to its congener O. vulgaris from the subtropical regions. In order to describe its reproductive development, 545 octopuses were collected in the Northeastern Brazil. A good correspondence was observed between the gonad morphology and its histological structure. Oocytes in different development stages were observed in mature females. Most female in early maturity stages had sperm stored in the spermathecae, indicating that females copulate when still immature. There was no correlation between testis weight and the Needham complex, suggesting a protracted period of spermatophore production. Octopus insularis has a general gonadal development pattern similar to O. vulgaris, however, some differences were observed, as maturation at a smaller size, probably associated to a shorter life, and lower fecundity. The distinct reproductive features of O. insularis seem to be related to less variable conditions in the tropical environments. Management should take into account the differences and establish specific rules for the Northeast Brazil octopus fisheries. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Avigliano E.,University of Buenos Aires | Velasco G.,Federal Foundation University of Rio Grande | Volpedo A.V.,University of Buenos Aires
Environmental Biology of Fishes

The marine catfish Genidens barbus is an anadromous species from South America. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the use of lapillus otolith microchemistry (Sr:Ca; Ba:Ca and Mg:Ca ratios) as an indicator of changes in habitat use and identify the potential breeding areas and fish stocks of G. barbus populations from the Plata Basin (Paraná River Delta and De la Plata River estuary-Argentina) and Lagoa dos Patos coastal lagoon (southern Brazil). Sr:Ca, Ba:Ca and Mg:Ca ratios were measured in the core area (inner 4 rings) and external area (outer 3–4 rings) of the otoliths by ICP-OES. The Sr:Ca ratio tended to be higher in the otolith external area than in the core area, while the Ba:Ca ratio followed the opposite pattern. This suggests the displacement of fish toward higher salinity areas. The Sr:Ca, Ba:Ca, Mg:Ca ratios in the core and external areas of the otoliths from the Plata Basin differed significantly from those of the otoliths from Lagoa dos Patos. This may indicate the occurrence of two different breeding sites and at least two fish stocks in the study region. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Muelbert M.M.C.,Federal Foundation University of Rio Grande | de Souza R.B.,National Institute for Space Research | Lewis M.N.,CONICET | Hindell M.A.,University of Tasmania
Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography

Elephant Island (EI) is uniquely placed to provide southern elephant seals (SES) breeding there with potential access to foraging grounds in the Weddell Sea, the frontal zones of the South Atlantic Ocean, the Patagonian shelf and the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). Quantifying where seals from EI forage therefore provides insights into the types of important habitats available, and which are of particular importance to elephant seals. Twenty nine SES (5 sub-adult males-SAM and 24 adult females-AF) were equipped with SMRU CTD-SLDRs during the post-breeding (PB 2008, 2009) and post-moulting (PM 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) trips to sea. There were striking intra-annual and inter-sex differences in foraging areas, with most of the PB females remaining within 150. km of EI. One PB AF travelled down the WAP as did 16 out of the 20 PM females and foraged near the winter ice-edge. Most PM sub-adult males remained close to EI, in areas similar to those used by adult females several months earlier, although one SAM spent the early part of the winter foraging on the Patagonian Shelf. The waters of the Northern Antarctic Peninsula (NAP) contain abundant resources to support the majority of the Islands' SES for the summer and early winter, such that the animals from this population have shorter migrations than those from most other populations. Sub-adult males and PB females are certainly taking advantage of these resources. However, PM females did not remain there over the winter months, instead they used the same waters at the ice-edge in the southern WAP that females from both King George Island and South Georgia used. Females made more benthic dives than sub-adult males-again this contrasts with other sites where SAMs do more benthic diving. Unlike most other populations studied to date EI is a relatively southerly breeding colony located on the Antarctic continental shelf. EI seals are using shelf habitats more than other SES populations but some individuals still employ open water foraging strategies. Sea-ice was also very influential for PM females with more foraging occurring in heavier pack-ice. Larger females used areas with heavier ice-concentration than smaller females. The study demonstrates the importance of shelf and slope habitat to elephant seals, but also highlighted the influence of sea-ice and fine-scale bathymetry and local ocean condition in determining foraging habitat. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Lopes C.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Ximenes S.S.F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Gava A.,Federal Foundation University of Rio Grande | De Freitas T.R.O.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

Identifying factors and the extent of their roles in the differentiation of populations is of great importance for understanding the evolutionary process in which a species is involved. Ctenomys minutus is a highly karyotype-polymorphic subterranean rodent, with diploid numbers ranging from 42 to 50 and autosomal arm numbers (ANs) ranging from 68 to 80, comprising a total of 45 karyotypes described so far. This species inhabits the southern Brazilian coastal plain, which has a complex geological history, with several potential geographical barriers acting on different time scales. We assessed the geographical genetic structure of C. minutus, examining 340 individuals over the entire distributional range and using information from chromosomal rearrangements, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences and 14 microsatellite loci. The mtDNA results revealed seven main haplogroups, with the most recent common ancestors dating from the Pleistocene, whereas clustering methods defined 12 populations. Some boundaries of mtDNA haplogroups and population clusters can be associated with potential geographical barriers to gene flow. The isolation-by-distance pattern also has an important role in fine-scale genetic differentiation, which is strengthened by the narrowness of the coastal plain and by common features of subterranean rodents (that is, small fragmented populations and low dispersal rates), which limit gene flow among populations. A step-by-step mechanism of chromosomal evolution can be suggested for this species, mainly associated with the metapopulation structure, genetic drift and the geographical features of the southern Brazilian coastal plain. However, chromosomal variations have no or very little role in the diversification of C. minutus populations. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved. Source

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