Marine and Environmental science Center

Lisbon, Portugal

Marine and Environmental science Center

Lisbon, Portugal
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Gestoso I.,Marine and Environmental science Center | Ramalhosa P.,Marine and Environmental science Center | Oliveira P.,Parque Natural da Madeira | Canning-Clode J.,Marine and Environmental science Center | And 2 more authors.
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2017

Biological invasions are a major threat to the world's biota and are considered a major cause of biodiversity loss. Therefore, world marine policy has recognized the need for more marine protected areas (MPAs) as a major tool for biodiversity conservation. The present work experimentally evaluated how protected communities from an offshore island can face the settlement and/or expansion of nonindigenous species (NIS). First, NIS colonization success in marine protected and marina communities was compared by deploying PVC settling plates at the Garajau MPA and Funchal marina (SW Madeira Island). Then, the settling plates from the MPA were transferred to Funchal marina to test their resistance to NIS invasion under high levels of NIS pressure. Results indicated that the structure and composition of fouling communities from the MPA differed from those collected in the marina. Interestingly, communities from the protected area showed lower NIS colonization success, suggesting some degree of biotic resistance against NIS invasion. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.

PubMed | University of Porto, University of Vigo, Marine and Environmental science Center, Gulf and CSIC - Institute of Marine Research
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

Different combinations of behavioural and physiological responses may play a crucial role in the ecological success of species, notably in the context of biological invasions. The invasive mussel Xenostrobus securis has successfully colonised the inner part of the Galician Rias Baixas (NW Spain), where it co-occurs with the commercially-important mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. This study investigated the effect of a heatwave on the physiological and behavioural responses in monospecific or mixed aggregations of these species. In a mesocosm experiment, mussels were exposed to simulated tidal cycles and similar temperature conditions to those experienced in the field during a heat-wave that occurred in the summer of 2013, when field robo-mussels registered temperatures up to 44.5C at low tide. The overall responses to stress differed markedly between the two species. In monospecific aggregations M. galloprovincialis was more vulnerable than X. securis to heat exposure during emersion. However, in mixed aggregations, the presence of the invader was associated with lower mortality in M. galloprovincialis. The greater sensitivity of M. galloprovincialis to heat exposure was reflected in a higher mortality level, greater induction of Hsp70 protein and higher rates of respiration and gaping activity, which were accompanied by a lower heart rate (bradycardia). The findings show that the invader enhanced the physiological performance of M. galloprovincialis, highlighting the importance of species interactions in regulating responses to environmental stress. Understanding the complex interactions between ecological factors and physiological and behavioural responses of closely-related species is essential for predicting the impacts of invasions in the context of future climate change.

PubMed | University of Lisbon, Marine and Environmental science Center and University of Évora
Type: | Journal: Marine environmental research | Year: 2016

Mark-recapture tagging and acoustic telemetry were used to study the movements of Diplodus sargus within the Pessegueiro Island no-take Marine Protected Area (MPA), (Portugal) and assess its size adequacy for this species protection against fishing activities. Therefore, 894 Diplodus sargus were captured and marked with conventional plastic t-bar tags. At the same time, 19 D.sargus were tagged with acoustic transmitters and monitored by 20 automatic acoustic receivers inside the no-take MPA for 60 days. Recapture rate of conventionally tagged specimens was 3.47%, most occurring during subsequent marking campaigns. One individual however was recaptured by recreational fishermen near Faro (ca. 250km from the tagging location) 6 months after release. Furthermore, three specimens were recaptured in October 2013 near releasing site, one year after being tagged. Regarding acoustic telemetry, 18 specimens were detected by the receivers during most of the study period. To analyse no-take MPA use, the study site was divided into five areas reflecting habitat characteristics, three of which were frequently used by the tagged fish: Exterior, Interior Protected and Interior Exposed areas. Information on no-take protected area use was also analysed according to diel and tidal patterns. Preferred passageways and permanence areas were identified and high site fidelity was confirmed. The interaction between tide and time of day influenced space use patterns, with higher and more variable movements during daytime and neap tides. This no-take MPA proved to be an important refuge and feeding area for this species, encompassing most of the home ranges of tagged specimens. Therefore, it is likely that this no-take MPA is of adequate size to protect D.sargus against fishing activities, thus contributing to its sustainable management in the region.

PubMed | Laboratorio Nacional Of Investigacao Veterinaria, Marine and Environmental science Center and University of Coimbra
Type: | Journal: Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences | Year: 2016

Together with fish, algae reared in aquaculture systems have gained importance in the last years, for many purposes. Besides their use as biofilters of effluents, macroalgaes rich nutritional profiles have increased their inclusion in human diets but also in animal feeds as sources of fatty acids, especially important for the fish industry. Nonetheless, algae are continuously exposed to environmental contaminants including antibiotics and possess the ability for bioaccumulation of such compounds. Therefore, the present paper describes the development and validation of an ultra-high performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) method for the simultaneous quantification of antibiotics in the green macroalgae Ulva lactuca. This multi-residue method enables the determination of 38 compounds distributed between seven classes and was fully validated according to EU Decision 2002/657/EC.

Ribeiro F.,Virginia Institute of Marine Science | Ribeiro F.,Marine and Environmental science Center | Hilton E.J.,Virginia Institute of Marine Science | Carnegie R.B.,Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Estuaries and Coasts | Year: 2016

Larvae of Atlantic croaker Micropogonias undulatus enter Mid-Atlantic Bight estuaries annually between September and February. A high prevalence of ectoparasitic crustacean infection of ingressing larval M. undulatus was observed in Chesapeake Bay; this ectoparasite was identified as a species of Lepeophtheirus within the copepod family Caligidae from analysis of cytochrome oxidase I sequences and scanning electron microscopy. Between 2007 and 2011, seasonal differences in prevalence were observed, with higher infection rates on fall ingressing larvae (20 % mean monthly infection rate) than in larvae entering the estuary in the winter (monthly infection rate of 6 %); the head region had the highest parasite attachment rate, being observed in 78 % of the infected fish. The potential effects of this ectoparasite on larval M. undulatus could include reductions in feeding (and thus growth) and increased susceptibility to predation. © 2015, Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation.

PubMed | University of Barcelona, BirdLife International The David Attenborough Building, University of Coimbra, Parque Natural da Madeira and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2016

The conservation status and taxonomy of the three gadfly petrels that breed in Macaronesia is still discussed partly due to the scarce information on their spatial ecology. Using geolocator and capture-mark-recapture data, we examined phenology, natal philopatry and breeding-site fidelity, year-round distribution, habitat usage and at-sea activity of the three closely-related gadfly petrels that breed in Macaronesia: Zinos petrel Pterodroma madeira, Desertas petrel P. deserta and Cape Verde petrel P. feae. All P. feae remained around the breeding area during their non-breeding season, whereas P. madeira and P. deserta dispersed far from their colony, migrating either to the Cape Verde region, further south to equatorial waters in the central Atlantic, or to the Brazil Current. The three taxa displayed a clear allochrony in timing of breeding. Habitat modelling and at-sea activity patterns highlighted similar environmental preferences and foraging behaviours of the three taxa. Finally, no chick or adult was recaptured away from its natal site and survival estimates were relatively high at all study sites, indicating strong philopatry and breeding-site fidelity for the three taxa. The combination of high philopatry, marked breeding asynchrony and substantial spatio-temporal segregation of their year-round distribution suggest very limited gene flow among the three taxa.

Martins M.,Marine and Environmental science Center | Ferreira A.M.,IPMA Instituto Portugues do Mar e da Atmosfera | Costa M.H.,Marine and Environmental science Center | Costa P.M.,Marine and Environmental science Center
Environmental Toxicology | Year: 2015

Research on the toxicological mechanisms of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) deemed carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic has mostly been developed for individual compounds even though, in the environment, PAHs invariably occur in mixtures. The present work aimed at understanding the interaction effects of two model PAHs, the potentially carcinogenic benzo[b]fluoranthene (B[b]F) and the noncarcinogenic phenanthrene (Phe) to a marine fish (the sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax). The study endeavoured an ecologically-relevant scenario with respect to concentrations and contaminant matrix, sediments, which are the main reservoirs of these substances in the environment, due to their hydrophobic nature. For the purpose, 28-day laboratorial bioassays with spiked sediments (with individual and combined PAHs at equitoxic concentrations) were conducted. Genotoxicity was determined in peripheral blood through the "Comet" assay and by scoring erythrocytic nuclear abnormalities (ENA). The results showed that exposure to either PAHs induced similar levels of DNA strand breaks, although without a clear dose- or time-response, likely due to the low concentrations of exposure and potential shits in PAH bioavailability during the assays. However, clastogenic/aneugenic lesions were only observed in fish exposed to B[b]F-spiked sediments. Conversely, the combination assays revealed a supra-additive effect especially at chromosome level, linked to concentrations of PAHs in water. A decrease in DNA-strand breakage was observed over time during all assays, revealing some ability of fish to cope with this DNA lesion. Overall, the findings show that low-moderate concentrations of sediment-bound mixed PAHs may significantly increase the hazard of mutagenesis even when the individual concentrations indicate low risk, especially considering that chromosome-level damage is unlikely to be repaired, leading to the fixation of DNA lesions upon prolonged exposures. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Lopes F.C.,University of Coimbra | Pereira A.J.,University of Coimbra | Mantas V.M.,Marine and Environmental science Center | Mpengo H.K.,Sonangol SP
Journal of African Earth Sciences | Year: 2016

Recognition of the main morphostructural features of the western edge of the Huila Plateau (SW Angola) can be done by using remote sensing techniques associated with field work. A digital elevation model (DEM) of the area was built for this purpose. This model is based on altimeter data acquired from the Aster sensor, on which image processing techniques such as enhancement techniques, contrast change and filtering were applied. Other techniques, such as RGB colour composition, were also tested. The processed satellite images were interpreted by visual process and the results were then compared with available geological maps (scale 1: 1 000 000). To facilitate both analysis and interpretation, the edge of the plateau was divided into three sectors: northern (or Chongoroi Edge), central (or Humpata Edge) and southern (or Oncocua Edge). For each sector, the main morphological aspects and main lineament systems were identified and characterized. In the specific case of the central sector, these parameters were also confirmed by field work. This study shows that the morphology of the western edge of the plateau is dominated by N50°W-N60°W, N60°E and N-S trending main tectonic systems. These results have important implications in terms of geological mapping and regional tectonics as well as in land-use planning and other areas, such as hydrogeology or geotechnics. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Pereira A.,Marine and Environmental science Center | Cadeireiro E.,Marine and Environmental science Center | Robalo J.,Marine and Environmental science Center
New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research | Year: 2016

Reproduction by sexual or asexual viviparity is a common phenomenon in some anemone species. In this short communication, the origin of the brooded young of Actinia equina and A. schmidti from the Portuguese shore was investigated. DNA was extracted from 56 brooding adult Actinia sp. and the nuclear gene that codes for the 28S ribosomal subunit was sequenced. Species identity was then assessed using GenBank. In total, 50 individuals were A. schmidti, five were A. equina and one had a hybrid origin. Three adult anemones (the hybrid, one A. equina and one A. schmidti) possessed two different 28S sequences and so their offspring was selected for further analysis using the same molecular procedure. Each brooded polyp was found to possess the exact same sequence as its parent, strongly suggesting the asexual origin of broods in A. equina and A. schmidti. © 2016 The Royal Society of New Zealand

Gestoso I.,University of Vigo | Gestoso I.,Marine and Environmental science Center | Arenas F.,CIIMAR – Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental | Olabarria C.,University of Vigo
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology | Year: 2016

Predicted climate change scenarios for the end of this century suggest a substantial warming and ocean acidification of sea surface waters. Physiological performance of marine coastal organisms will be affected leading to changes in whole communities. In particular, ocean acidification poses an important threat for shelled molluscs. Nevertheless, climate change impacts are species-specific and responses may even differ among species that play a similar role in the ecosystems. Currently, two mussel species, the native Mytilus galloprovincialis Lamarck 1819 and the non-indigenous Xenostrobus securis Lamarck 1819, share the same habitat along shores in the inner part of the Galician Rias Baixas (NW Spain) forming mixed patchy clumps. Here, we used an experimental approach in mesocosms to evaluate the effects of increasing temperature and acidification on mussel clumps of different composition (monospecific and mixed clumps). Our model systems were artificially constructed clumps resembling those found on rocky shores. Responses to environmental stressors were measured on several functioning variables at the individual (i.e. survivorship, growth, condition index and composition of shell) and clump level (i.e. respiration, ammonia and phosphate excretion rates). The decrease of pH had a lethal effect and reduced growth on the native mussels. The invader was more resilient although individual responses were very often shaped by the composition of the clump. The reduced pH and, especially the high temperature conditions, tended to cause an increase in respiration rates of all types of clumps. Interactions between the two species seemed to modulate many effects at both individual and clump levels highlighting the complexity of responses when considering multiple stressors. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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