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Taylors Beach, Australia

Parker L.M.,University of Western Sydney | Ross P.M.,University of Western Sydney | O'Connor W.A.,Port Stephens Fisheries Institute
Marine Biology | Year: 2010

This study compared the synergistic effects of elevated pCO2 and temperature on the early life history stages of two ecologically and economically important oysters: the Sydney rock oyster, Saccostrea glomerata and the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas. Gametes, embryos, larvae and spat were exposed to four pCO2 (375, 600, 750, 1,000 μatm) and four temperature (18, 22, 26, 30°C) levels. At elevated pCO2 and suboptimal temperatures, there was a reduction in the fertilization success of gametes, a reduction in the development of embryos and size of larvae and spat and an increase in abnormal morphology of larvae. These effects varied between species and fertilization treatments with S. glomerata having greater sensitivity than C. gigas. In the absence of adaptation, C. gigas may become the more dominant species along the south-eastern coast of Australia, recruiting into estuaries currently dominated by the native S. glomerata. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Dafforn K.A.,University of New South Wales | Glasby T.M.,Port Stephens Fisheries Institute | Johnston E.L.,University of New South Wales
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Natural systems are increasingly being modified by the addition of artificial habitats which may facilitate invasion. Where invaders are able to disperse from artificial habitats, their impact may spread to surrounding natural communities and therefore it is important to investigate potential factors that reduce or enhance invasibility. We surveyed the distribution of non-indigenous and native invertebrates and algae between artificial habitats and natural reefs in a marine subtidal system. We also deployed sandstone plates as experimental 'reefs' and manipulated the orientation, starting assemblage and degree of shading. Invertebrates (non-indigenous and native) appeared to be responding to similar environmental factors (e.g. orientation) and occupied most space on artificial structures and to a lesser extent reef walls. Non-indigenous invertebrates are less successful than native invertebrates on horizontal reefs despite functional similarities. Manipulative experiments revealed that even when non-indigenous invertebrates invade vertical "reefs", they are unlikely to gain a foothold and never exceed covers of native invertebrates (regardless of space availability). Community ecology suggests that invertebrates will dominate reef walls and algae horizontal reefs due to functional differences, however our surveys revealed that native algae dominate both vertical and horizontal reefs in shallow estuarine systems. Few non-indigenous algae were sampled in the study, however where invasive algal species are present in a system, they may present a threat to reef communities. Our findings suggest that non-indigenous species are less successful at occupying space on reef compared to artificial structures, and manipulations of biotic and abiotic conditions (primarily orientation and to a lesser extent biotic resistance) on experimental "reefs" explained a large portion of this variation, however they could not fully explain the magnitude of differences. © 2012 Dafforn et al.

Otway N.M.,Port Stephens Fisheries Institute
Veterinary Clinical Pathology | Year: 2015

Background: Sharks are top-order predators in ocean food chains and the star attractions in aquaria worldwide. Unfortunately, blood biochemistry reference intervals (RI) have been determined for few species. Objective: The study aims to establish serum biochemical RI for free-living Sand Tiger sharks (Carcharias taurus) off eastern Australia. Methods: Thirty-seven sharks were captured and their sex, length, weight, reproductive maturity, and health status were recorded. After blood collection, serum analytes were quantified using standard analytical and statistical methods. Reference intervals, means, medians, and 90% confidence intervals were generated. Physiologic data from live and necropsied sharks were used to enhance the study results. Results: Thirty healthy sharks were included in the study. Albumin could not be detected. With the exception of ALP activity, values were unaffected by sex, length, weight, age, and life-history stage. The means (RI) were: sodium 258 (249-267) mmol/L, potassium 5.0 (4.3-5.7) mmol/L, chloride 242 (227-257) mmol/L, inorganic phosphate 1.8 (1.7-2.0) mmol/L, total calcium 3.9 (3.3-4.4) mmol/L, magnesium 1.9 (1.6-2.2) mmol/L, glucose 2.7 (2.2-3.2) mmol/L, urea 377 (360-394) mmol/L, ALP 20 (8-31) U/L, ALT 3 U/L (no RI), AST 29 (13-45) U/L, CK 42 (5-79) U/L, total protein 30 (24-36) g/L, triglyceride 0.3 (0.1-0.6) mmol/L, cholesterol 1.4 (0.9-2.1) mmol/L, creatinine 32 μmol/L (no RI), total bilirubin 1.5 μmol/L (no RI), and osmolarity 1082 (1027-1136) mmol/L. Conclusions: These preliminary RI will assist with the clinical evaluation and treatment of captive and free-living Sand Tiger sharks worldwide. Studies with more animals will increase the precision of upper and lower reference limits. © 2015 American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

Boys C.A.,Port Stephens Fisheries Institute | Williams R.J.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries
Ecological Engineering | Year: 2012

Fish and decapod crustacean assemblages were sampled from two manipulated creeks in which tidal flow had been increased through culvert removal. Assemblages were compared to those of two control creeks where culverts remained and two reference creeks without culverts. The presence of culverts reduced the richness and abundance of estuarine-marine dwelling species. Successional changes over a 16 year period (2 years prior to culvert removal and 14 years after) showed an immediate response at one manipulated creek but many years to attain reference condition. The other manipulated creek showed a completely different trajectory: oscillation between control and reference status with no clear intermediary condition. We concur with other investigators that short-term studies may give only a partial indication of response to rehabilitation efforts in coastal wetlands and longer-term studies (5-10 years) are recommended. There is some evidence that over longer-time frames, the presence of distinct groups of fish and/or decapods may indicate stages in the maturation of a rehabilitated wetland. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Parker L.M.,University of Western Sydney | Ross P.M.,University of Western Sydney | O'Connor W.A.,Port Stephens Fisheries Institute
Marine Biology | Year: 2011

Acidifying oceans are predicted to fundamentally alter marine ecosystems. Over the next century, acute studies suggest that the impacts of climate change on marine organisms and ecosystems may be catastrophic. To date, however, little is known about whether the response of marine organisms varies within a species and whether this provides a potential "adaptive capacity". Here, we show that selectively bred lines of the ecologically and economically important estuarine mollusc, the Sydney rock oyster Saccostrea glomerata, are more resilient to ocean acidification than the wild populations. When reared at elevated pCO2, we found a 25% reduction in shell growth of the selectively bred population of the Sydney rock oyster, Saccostrea glomerata, compared to a 64% reduction in shell growth of wild populations. This study shows that there are significantly different sensitivities to ocean acidification even within the same species, providing preliminary evidence that selective breeding may be a solution for important aquaculture industries to overcome the future effects of ocean acidification. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

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