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Rees S.,University of Plymouth | Fletcher S.,University of Plymouth | Glegg G.,University of Plymouth | Marshall C.,University of Plymouth | And 28 more authors.
Marine Policy | Year: 2013

United Kingdom (UK) and European Union policy is rapidly developing to meet international targets for the sustainable use and protection of the marine environment. To inform this process, research needs to keep pace with these changes and research questions must be focused on providing robust scientific evidence. Thirty four priority research questions within six broad themes were identified by delegates who attended the 1st marine and coastal policy Forum, hosted by the Centre for Marine and Coastal Policy Research at Plymouth University in June 2011. The priority questions formed through this research are timely and reflect the pace and change of marine policy in the UK in response to international, European and national policy drivers. Within the data theme, the majority of questions seek to find improved procedures to manage and use data effectively. Questions related to governance focus on how existing policies should be implemented. The marine conservation questions focus entirely upon implementation and monitoring of existing policy. Questions related to ecosystem services focus on research to support the conceptual links between ecosystem services, ecosystem function, and marine management. Questions relating to marine citizenship are fundamental questions about the nature of societal engagement with the sea. Finally, the marine planning questions focus upon understanding the general approaches to be taken to marine planning rather than its detailed implementation. The questions that have emerged from this process vary in scale, approach and focus. They identify the interdisciplinary science that is currently needed to enable the UK to work towards delivering its European and international commitments to achieve the sustainable use and protection of the marine environment. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Wasson B.,Marine Ecological Surveys Ltd | Nunez J.,University of La Laguna
Marine Biodiversity Records | Year: 2013

Rullierinereis ancornunezi is recorded for the first time from British waters. Specimens were discovered at two sites: Near the Isles of Scilly at the extreme south-west of the country and near the Isle of Wight in the English Channel. © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2013.


La Porta B.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Tomassetti P.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Lomiri S.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Marzialetti S.,Marine Ecological Surveys Ltd | And 4 more authors.
Italian Journal of Zoology | Year: 2011

Data from several research and monitoring projects carried out between 1999 and 2009, for a total of 26 study areas located along the Italian continental shelf (Mediterranean Sea), were extracted from ISPRA's data set, to revise and update the existing information on the ecology and spatial distribution of 20 selected soft-sediment polychaete species. The species were selected taking into account their spatial distribution and ecological role in the benthic assemblages and the existence of voucher specimens deposited in ISPRA's reference collection. Samplings were taken at 872 stations on soft sediments, at depths ranging from 1 to 155 m. Surface sediment composition data were available at each site. The number of specimens from the selected species was extracted at each site, and relative abundance (%)calculated. The spatial distribution of each species was investigated according to the biogeographical zones identified in the Italian Seas. The distribution of five species (Aponuphis bilineata, A. brementi, A. fauveli, Nothria conchylega, and Onuphis eremita) was updated. Several species that were previously considered to be characteristic of a specific biocenosis, sensu Pérès & Picard (1964), e.g. Diopatra neapolitana, Ditrupa arietina, Notria conchylega and Sternaspis scutata, were found to be distributed over a wider bathymetric and granulometric range of surface sediments. Indicator Species Analysis highlights that the distribution of 17 selected species depends on definite granulometric characteristics of the sediment. This new relevant information outlines the important contribution of environmental monitoring programmes to scientific knowledge. © 2011 Unione Zoologica Italiana.


Pearce B.,Marine Ecological Surveys Ltd. | Pearce B.,University of Plymouth | Farinas-Franco J.M.,Heriot - Watt University | Wilson C.,Riverside Business Center | And 3 more authors.
Continental Shelf Research | Year: 2014

Sabellaria spinulosa reefs are considered to be sensitive and of high conservation status. This article evaluates the feasibility of using remote sensing technology to delineate S. spinulosa reefs. S. spinulosa reef habitats associated with the Thanet Offshore Windfarm site were mapped using high resolution sidescan sonar (410kHz) and multibeam echo sounder (<1m2) data in 2005 (baseline), 2007 (pre-construction baseline) and 2012 (post-construction). The S. spinulosa reefs were identified in the acoustic data as areas of distinct irregular texturing. Maps created using acoustic data were validated using quantitative measures of reef quality, namely tube density (as a proxy for the density of live S. spinulosa), percentage cover of S. spinulosa structures (both living and dead) and associated macrofauna derived from seabed images taken across the development site. Statistically significant differences were observed in all physical measures of S. spinulosa as well the number (S) and diversity (H[U+05F3]) of associated species, derived from seabed images classified according to the presence or absence of reef, validating the use of high resolution sidescan sonar to map these important biogenic habitats. High precision mapping in the early stages allowed for the micro-siting of wind turbines in a way that caused minimal damage to S. spinulosa reefs during construction. These habitats have since recovered and expanded in extent. The surveys undertaken at the Thanet Offshore Windfarm site demonstrate the importance of repeat mapping for this emerging industry, allowing habitat enhancement to be attributed to the development whilst preventing background habitat degradation from being wrongly attributed to the development. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Jeffreys R.M.,University of Liverpool | Burke C.,University of Aberdeen | Burke C.,Marine Ecological Surveys Ltd. | Jamieson A.J.,University of Aberdeen | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Climatic fluctuations may significantly alter the taxonomic and biochemical composition of phytoplankton blooms and subsequently phytodetritus, the food source for the majority of deep-sea communities. To examine the response of abyssal benthic communities to different food resources we simulated a food sedimentation event containing diatoms and coccolithophorids at Station M in the NE Pacific. In one set of experiments we measured incorporation of diatomC and coccoN into the macrofauna using isotopically enriched 13C-diatoms and 15N-coccolithophores. In a second experiment we measured incorporation of C and N from dual-labelled ( 13C and 15N) diatoms. The second experiment was repeated 2 months later to assess the effect of seasonality. The simulated food pulses represented additions of 650 - 800 mg C m-2 and 120 mg N m -2 to the seafloor. In all cases rapid incorporation of tracer was observed within 4 days, with between 20% and 52% of the macrofauna displaying evidence of enrichment. However, incorporation levels of both diatomC and coccoN were low (<0.05% and 0.005% of the added C and N). Incorporation of labelled diatoms was similar during both June and September suggesting that the community was not food limited during either period. We found no evidence for selective ingestion of the different food types in the metazoan fauna suggesting that macrofauna do not have strong preferences for diatom vs. coccolithophore dominated phytodetrital pulses. C:N ratios from both experiments suggest that the metazoan macrofauna community appear to have higher C demands and/or assimilation efficiencies compared to N. Concomitantly, the foraminifera preferentially selected for diatomN over coccoN, and we suggest that this may be related to foraminiferal requirements for intracellular nitrate. These experiments provide evidence that abyssal faunal feeding strategies are in part driven by an organism's internal stoichiometric budgets and biochemical requirements. © 2013 Jeffreys et al.


Desprez M.,University of Rouen | Pearce B.,Marine Ecological Surveys Ltd | Le Bot S.,University of Rouen
ICES Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2010

The study investigates the physical impact of sediment deposition associated with aggregate dredging at a site off Dieppe, and the consequences for benthic fauna. Sampling stations were sited across potential zones of impact classified as high, moderate, and low deposition, depending on their proximity to dredging activities and their position relative to the net sediment transport route. Samples were also taken west of the dredge site outside the zone of likely impact (no deposition). A strong gradient was observed from the sediments dominated by fine sands in the high and moderate deposition zones, through to coarse sands and gravels in the low and no deposition zones. The benthic fauna sampled from the deposits of fine sand in the high and moderate deposition zones were sparse compared with the coarser deposits sampled from the low and no deposition zones. There was a strong correspondence between the distribution of different sediment fractions and the associated benthic fauna, with a weighted Spearman rank correlation of 0.638, higher than reported in related studies. This suggests that in deposition areas such as this, biological interactions play a less important role in shaping communities than the changes in the physical environment, which may have a greater impact on the biological communities. © 2009 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Published by Oxford Journals. All rights reserved.


Delduca E.,Marine Ecological Surveys Ltd
Marine Biodiversity Records | Year: 2011

Cauloramphus spinifer, a cheilostome bryozoan, was found in samples from the Humber Regional Environmental Characterization survey in the North Sea. These records, at a maximum depth of 53.1 m, significantly increase the known depth-range for this species. Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2011.


Griffin R.,University of Plymouth | Griffin R.,Marine Ecological Surveys Ltd | Pearce B.,Marine Ecological Surveys Ltd | Handy R.D.,University of Plymouth
Journal of Fish Biology | Year: 2012

The gut contents of 90 individuals of common dragonet Callionymus lyra were analysed, of which 76 contained prey, along with 100 corresponding benthic grab samples in order to assess the diet of C. lyra in relation to the availability of its prey in the environment. Forty-five prey taxa were identified in the diet from 350 potential prey taxa identified in the environment. Calculation of the index of relative importance (IRI) found the main food components were crustaceans (%IRI = 86·3), mostly the porcelain crab Pisidia longicornis (%IRI = 43) and other decapods (%IRI = 18). Polychaetes played only a supplementary role in the overall diet (%IRI = 12·5). This study demonstrated that C. lyra is predominantly an opportunistic feeder that can modify its feeding behaviour to exploit alternative, more abundant prey. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2012 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.


Hatton J.,Marine Ecological Surveys Ltd | Pearce B.,Gardline Caledonia Ltd
Marine Biodiversity Records | Year: 2013

Boccardia proboscidea is recorded for the first time in UK waters. Specimens were discovered at two intertidal sites on the Isle of Skye. © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2013.


Wasson B.,Marine Ecological Surveys Ltd | Sheehan E.,University of Plymouth
Cahiers de Biologie Marine | Year: 2016

Megalomma lanigera is recorded for the first time in British waters. Specimens were discovered during a 2012/2013 benthic study of maerl beds in Falmouth Harbour in Cornwall.

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