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PubMed | University of Aalborg, Fisheries and Maritime Museum, Wilfrid Laurier University, Copenhagen University and Technical University of Denmark
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Conservation physiology | Year: 2016

Ongoing climate change is predicted to affect the distribution and abundance of aquatic ectotherms owing to increasing constraints on organismal physiology, in particular involving the metabolic scope (MS) available for performance and fitness. The oxygen- and capacity-limited thermal tolerance (OCLTT) hypothesis prescribes MS as an overarching benchmark for fitness-related performance and assumes that any anaerobic contribution within the MS is insignificant. The MS is typically derived from respirometry by subtracting standard metabolic rate from the maximal metabolic rate; however, the methodology rarely accounts for anaerobic metabolism within the MS. Using gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) and Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata), this study tested for trade-offs (i) between aerobic and anaerobic components of locomotor performance; and (ii) between the corresponding components of the MS. Data collection involved measuring oxygen consumption rate at increasing swimming speeds, using the gait transition from steady to unsteady (burst-assisted) swimming to detect the onset of anaerobic metabolism. Results provided evidence of the locomotor performance trade-off, but only in S. aurata. In contrast, both species revealed significant negative correlations between aerobic and anaerobic components of the MS, indicating a trade-off where both components of the MS cannot be optimized simultaneously. Importantly, the fraction of the MS influenced by anaerobic metabolism was on average 24.3 and 26.1% in S. aurata and P. reticulata, respectively. These data highlight the importance of taking anaerobic metabolism into account when assessing effects of environmental variation on the MS, because the fraction where anaerobic metabolism occurs is a poor indicator of sustainable aerobic performance. Our results suggest that without accounting for anaerobic metabolism within the MS, studies involving the OCLTT hypothesis could overestimate the metabolic scope available for sustainable activities and the ability of individuals and species to cope with climate change.


Poulsen S.B.,Fisheries and Maritime Museum | Poulsen S.B.,University of Aarhus | Jensen L.F.,Fisheries and Maritime Museum | Nielsen K.S.,University of Aarhus | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Fish Biology | Year: 2011

The objective of this study was to identify behavioural adjustments leading to avoidance of hypoxia. Using the oxygen-sensitive species rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss as a model, individual fish were recorded while moving freely between two sides of a test arena: one with normoxia and one with stepwise progressive hypoxia [80-30% dissolved oxygen (DO) air saturation]. The results demonstrated a gradual decrease in the total time spent in hypoxia starting at 80% DO air saturation. At this DO level, the avoidance of hypoxia could not be attributed to changes in spontaneous swimming speed, neither in normoxia nor in hypoxia. Reducing the DO level to 60% air saturation resulted in decreased spontaneous swimming speed in normoxia, yet the number of trips to the hypoxic side of the test arena remained unchanged. Moreover, data revealed increased average residence time per trip in normoxia at DO levels ≤60% air saturation and decreased average residence time per trip in hypoxia at DO levels ≤50% air saturation. Finally, the spontaneous swimming speed in hypoxia increased at DO levels ≤40% air saturation and the number of trips to hypoxia decreased at the 30% DO air saturation level. Thus, avoidance of the deepest hypoxia was connected with a reduced number of trips to hypoxia as well as decreased and increased spontaneous swimming speed in normoxia and hypoxia, respectively. Collectively, the data support the conclusions that the mechanistic basis for avoidance of hypoxia may (1) not involve changes in swimming speed during mild hypoxia and (2) depend on the severity of hypoxia. © 2011 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.


Jensen L.F.,Fisheries and Maritime Museum | Thomsen D.S.,Ramboll | Madsen S.S.,University of Southern Denmark | Ejbye-Ernst M.,The Danish Nature Agency | And 2 more authors.
Endangered Species Research | Year: 2015

The North Sea houting Coregonus oxyrinchus is an endangered anadromous salmonid belonging to the European lake whitefish complex. The last remaining indigenous population of North Sea houting is found in the River Vidaa, Denmark. Despite legislative protection and numerous stocking and habitat restoration programmes, including a €13.4 million EU Life restoration project, populations are declining in most rivers in Denmark. Limited knowledge of the general biology of the species, in particular of the early life history stages and habitat requirements, is a serious impediment to management and conservation. In this study, we investigated larval and juvenile salinity tolerance, providing novel information on the early life stages of North Sea houting. Results revealed an ontogenetic differentiation in salinity tolerance when comparing newly hatched larvae, larvae at later developmental stages and juveniles expected to initiate migration to the Wadden Sea. At all developmental stages, larvae exhibited poor hyperosmotic tolerance, while juveniles performed significantly better. Larvae suffered from high mortality and loss of body water at salinities of 18 ppt and higher, while most juveniles survived 30 ppt at least when exposed to gradually increasing salinities. Our results suggest that larval North Sea houting experience very high mortality if carried directly into the Wadden Sea prematurely, highlighting the need for suitable habitat within rivers to retain larvae. Our study shows how different life stages respond differently to varying environmental conditions and emphasizes the need for understanding the physiological mechanisms to improve conservation of endangered species. © The authors 2015.


Wright A.J.,University of Aarhus | Maar M.,University of Aarhus | Mohn C.,University of Aarhus | Nabe-Nielsen J.,University of Aarhus | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

An unprecedented 85 harbour porpoises stranded freshly dead along approximately 100 km of Danish coastline from 7-15 April, 2005. This total is considerably above the mean weekly stranding rate for the whole of Denmark, both for any time of year, 1.23 animals/week (ranging from 0 to 20 during 2003-2008, excluding April 2005), and specifically in April, 0.65 animals/week (0 to 4, same period). Bycatch was established as the cause of death for most of the individuals through typical indications of fisheries interactions, including net markings in the skin and around the flippers, and loss of tail flukes. Local fishermen confirmed unusually large porpoise bycatch in nets set for lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) and the strandings were attributed to an early lumpfish season. However, lumpfish catches for 2005 were not unusual in terms of season onset, peak or total catch, when compared to 2003-2008. Consequently, human activity was combined with environmental factors and the variation in Danish fisheries landings (determined through a principal component analysis) in a two-part statistical model to assess the correlation of these factors with both the presence of fresh strandings and the numbers of strandings on the Danish west coast. The final statistical model (which was forward selected using Akaike information criterion; AIC) indicated that naval presence is correlated with higher rates of porpoise strandings, particularly in combination with certain fisheries, although it is not correlated with the actual presence of strandings. Military vessels from various countries were confirmed in the area from the 7th April, en route to the largest naval exercise in Danish waters to date (Loyal Mariner 2005, 11-28 April). Although sonar usage cannot be confirmed, it is likely that ships were testing various equipment prior to the main exercise. Thus naval activity cannot be ruled out as a possible contributing factor. © 2013 Wright et al.


PubMed | Fisheries and Maritime Museum, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Institute of Diagnostic Virology and University of Aarhus
Type: | Journal: Veterinary microbiology | Year: 2016

Phocine distemper virus (PDV) infections caused the two most pronounced mass mortalities in marine mammals documented in the past century. During the two outbreaks, 23,000 and 30,000 harbour seals (Phoca vitulina), died in 1988/1989 and 2002 across populations in the Wadden Sea and adjacent waters, respectively. To follow the mechanism and development of disease spreading, the dynamics of Morbillivirus-specific antibodies in harbour seal populations in German and Danish waters were examined. 522 serum samples of free-ranging harbour seals of different ages were sampled between 1990 and 2014. By standard neutralisation assays, Morbillivirus-specific antibodies were detected, using either the PDV isolate 2558/Han 88 or the related canine distemper virus (CDV) strain Onderstepoort. A total of 159 (30.5%) of the harbour seals were seropositive. Annual seroprevalence rates showed an undulating course: Peaks were seen in the post-epidemic years 1990/1991 and 2002/2003. Following each PDV outbreak, seroprevalence decreased and six to eight years after the epidemics samples were tested seronegative, indicating that the populations are now again susceptible to new PDV outbreak. After the last outbreak in 2002, the populations grew steadily to an estimated maximum (since 1975) of about 39,100 individuals in the Wadden Sea in 2014 and about 23,540 harbour seals in the Kattegat area in 2013. A re-appearence of PDV would presumably result in another epizootic with high mortality rates as encountered in the previous outbreaks. The current high population density renders harbour seals vulnerable to rapid spread of infectious agents including PDV and the recently detected influenza A virus.


Poulsen S.B.,Fisheries and Maritime Museum | Svendsen J.C.,Technical University of Denmark | Svendsen J.C.,Copenhagen University | Jensen L.F.,Fisheries and Maritime Museum | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Fish Biology | Year: 2010

This study tested the influence of energetic state on refuge use and dispersal in juvenile North Sea houting Coregonus oxyrinchus in an artificial stream. Food-deprived fish spent more time outside refuges than well-fed fish; however, the well-fed fish initiated dispersal faster than the food-deprived fish. The results may indicate state-dependent refuge use and dispersal in C. oxyrinchus. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2010 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.


Van Neer A.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover | Jensen L.F.,Fisheries and Maritime Museum | Siebert U.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover
Journal of Sea Research | Year: 2015

The prey spectrum of grey seals has to date been described as largely consisting of different fish, cephalopod and shrimp species. On the German island of Helgoland Düne, where harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) co-occur, a young male grey seal was observed in 2013 and again in 2014 preying upon young harbour seals. A harbour seal carcass with severe traumatic lesions was retrieved and post-mortem examinations were performed. In the following weeks several carcasses showing similar lesions were found. Sightings of grey seals assumed to be preying on harbour porpoises have increased around the North Sea.Increased competition as well as individualised behaviour could explain the increased number of observations, but former cases of abnormal lesions of marine mammals attributed to for example predation by sharks or mechanical processes should be revisited with regard to the emerging knowledge. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Peltier H.,CNRS Coastal and Marine Environment Laboratory | Peltier H.,University of La Rochelle | Baagoe H.J.,Copenhagen University | Camphuysen K.C.J.,Netherlands Institute for Sea Research | And 14 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Ecological indicators for monitoring strategies are expected to combine three major characteristics: ecological significance, statistical credibility, and cost-effectiveness. Strategies based on stranding networks rank highly in cost-effectiveness, but their ecological significance and statistical credibility are disputed. Our present goal is to improve the value of stranding data as population indicator as part of monitoring strategies by constructing the spatial and temporal null hypothesis for strandings. The null hypothesis is defined as: small cetacean distribution and mortality are uniform in space and constant in time. We used a drift model to map stranding probabilities and predict stranding patterns of cetacean carcasses under H0 across the North Sea, the Channel and the Bay of Biscay, for the period 1990-2009. As the most common cetacean occurring in this area, we chose the harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena for our modelling. The difference between these strandings expected under H0 and observed strandings is defined as the stranding anomaly. It constituted the stranding data series corrected for drift conditions. Seasonal decomposition of stranding anomaly suggested that drift conditions did not explain observed seasonal variations of porpoise strandings. Long-term stranding anomalies increased first in the southern North Sea, the Channel and Bay of Biscay coasts, and finally the eastern North Sea. The hypothesis of changes in porpoise distribution was consistent with local visual surveys, mostly SCANS surveys (1994 and 2005). This new indicator could be applied to cetacean populations across the world and more widely to marine megafauna. © 2013 Peltier et al.


Poulsen S.B.,Fisheries and Maritime Museum | Jensen L.F.,Fisheries and Maritime Museum | Schulz C.,University of Kiel | Deacon M.,Ribe Environmental Center | And 5 more authors.
Aquatic Living Resources | Year: 2012

The survival of the highly endangered, anadromous fish species North Sea houting (Coregonus oxyrinchus) depends on the correct timing of downstream dispersal during its early ontogenetic stages. To date, however, no studies have investigated the ontogenetic differentiation of swimming performance and behaviour, including the potential of habitat complexity to influence dispersal rates. By testing larval and juvenile North Sea houting in a laboratory, we examined (1) swimming performance measured as maximum swimming performance (Umax) and routine swimming speed (Uroutine) and (2) the potential of habitat complexity (i.e., cover providing shade) to influence dispersal behaviour in an indoor stream channel. The Umax and the Uroutine were 9.4 and 4.6cm s-1, respectively, in the larvae [body length (BL) s-1: 7.3 and 3.5, respectively], and 25.2 and 16.3 cm s-1 in the juveniles (BL s-1: 7.0 and 5.2, respectively). We compared laboratory swimming performance data with water speeds in North Sea houting spawning areas in the Danish River Vidaa. Results showed that the water speeds present in 95% and 85% of the water column caused downstream displacement of larvae and juveniles, respectively. However, areas with slow-flowing water near river banks and river beds could function as nursery habitats. Stream channel experiments showed that cover providing shade caused delayed dispersal in both larvae and juveniles, but the larvae dispersed later and spent less time under cover than the juveniles, a finding that implies ontogenetic effects. Finally, the larvae refused to cross an upstream-positioned cover, a behaviour that was not observed in the juveniles. Therefore, habitat complexity may have the potential to influence dispersal behaviour in both larval and juvenile North Sea houting. Overall, we provided the first evidence of ontogenetic differentiation in the North Sea houting. These findings will be valuable for the development and dissemination of science-based conservation strategies. © 2012 EDP Sciences, IFREMER, IRD.


PubMed | Fisheries and Maritime Museum, French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea, French National Center for Scientific Research and Montpellier University
Type: | Journal: BMC genomics | Year: 2015

Originating from Northeast Asia, the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas has been introduced into a large number of countries for aquaculture purpose. Following introduction, the Pacific oyster has turned into an invasive species in an increasing number of coastal areas, notably recently in Northern Europe.To explore potential adaptation of reproductive traits in populations with different histories, we set up a common garden experiment based on the comparison of progenies from two populations of Pacific oyster sampled in France and Denmark and their hybrids. Sex ratio, condition index and microarray gene expression in gonads, were analyzed in each progeny (n=60).A female-biased sex-ratio and a higher condition index were observed in the Danish progeny, possibly reflecting an evolutionary reproductive strategy to increase the potential success of natural recruitment in recently settled population. Using multifarious statistical approaches and accounting for sex differences we identified several transcripts differentially expressed between the Danish and French progenies, for which additive genetic basis is suspected (showing intermediate expression levels in hybrids, and therefore additivity). Candidate transcripts included mRNA coding for sperm quality and insulin metabolism, known to be implicated in coordinated control and success of reproduction.Observed differences suggest that adaptation of invasive populations might have occurred during expansion acting on reproductive traits, and in particular on a female-biased sex-ratio, gamete quality and fertility.

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