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The Scottish Association for Marine Science is one of Europe's leading marine science research organisations and one of the oldest oceanographic organisations in the world. Sited beside Dunstaffnage Castle, in Argyll, Scotland, the institute carries out advanced research in the marine environment, including polar research in the Arctic and Antarctic. Wikipedia.

Potts T.,Scottish Association for Marine Science
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2010

The combined impacts of the financial crisis and climate change are driving the evolution of sustainable business and changing the way that governments plan for development. Markets are emerging for a range of environmentally orientated products and services as societies move (or lurch) towards reducing impacts and adapt to changing conditions. National governments are actively formulating policy and providing investment to develop green economies as one of the responses to the global financial crisis. Many of the political and economic drivers have been focused at the international and national scale, and while critical for setting the national framework for development, it often neglects the key role that regions and localities can play in ecological modernization. This paper explores two regional case studies in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, that are initiating shifts towards networks of sustainable businesses and communities and offers recommendations for further policy development. The focus of this paper is on the evolving regional sustainability market and its relationship to other social institutions including governments, communities and the individual. The unifying concept is the idea of the 'natural advantage', a model that integrates innovation and sustainability as a part of the regional development policy agenda. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Burrows M.T.,Scottish Association for Marine Science
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2012

Community assemblages on subtidal rock change markedly along gradients of wave energy, tidal flow, and turbidity. The importance of these assemblages for rare and delicate species, for shellfish, as nursery areas for fish, and for their contribution to ecosystem functioning in coastal areas has prompted much conservation effort in many countries. I applied a rapid method of calculating a large high-resolution (200 m scale) map of wave exposure <5 km from the UK coastline to compare with UK subtidal biodiversity records from diver surveys from the 1970s to the 2000s. Satellite-derived estimates of ocean colour, and tidal flows from hydrodynamic models were also extracted for each site. Ordinal logistic regression of categorical abundance data gave species-distribution patterns with wave fetch and depth and dependence on chlorophyll and tidal flows: macroalgae declined with increasing chlorophyll and increased with tidal flow. Multivariate community analysis showed shifts from algae to suspension-feeding animals with increasing depth and in areas of high chlorophyll and tidal flow and a change from delicate forms in waveshelter to robust species at wave-exposed sites. The strongest positive influence on species diversity was found to be the presence of the kelp Laminaria hyperborea: sites with 0% cover had a median of 6 species, while those with >40% cover had a median of 22 species. Laminaria hyperborea, and the most diverse communities, is found in areas of estimated low chlorophyll concentrations and in the most wave-exposed environments, which are often but not always in areas of high tidal flow. © Inter-Research 2012.

Wilding T.A.,Scottish Association for Marine Science
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Aquaculture is growing rapidly in response to an increasing demand for protein and the over-exploitation of wild fisheries. Mussel (family Mytilidae) production has doubled over the last decade and currently stands at 1.5 million tonnes production per annum. Mussels produce organic biodeposits which are dispersed around the production site and, potentially, impact the receiving environment in a number of inter-linked ways. The reported benthic impacts that occur, primarily through the accumulation of these biodeposits and associated organic enrichment, vary widely between studies. The objectives of this research were to determine the nature of the relationship between sediment redox (a proxy for oxygenation) and farm-proximity and covariables whilst accounting for, and quantifying, differences in redox between sites. Sediment cores (N = 159) were taken remotely around a random sample of mussel farms, redox was measured at 10 mm sediment depth and linked to farm-distance and sediment organic/shell content and particle size, using an additive, mixed, weighted regression model. Redox varied considerably between sites and there was a highly significant reduction (50 mV) in redox adjacent to the mussel lines. Redox increased non-linearly with distance, rising rapidly at >7 m from the farm edge. The modest reduction in sediment oxygenation in close proximity to mussel farms reported here suggests that farms located over sediments characterised by pre-existing oxygen stress are likely to exacerbate benthic species impoverishment associated with reducing sedimentary conditions whilst those located over highly oxygenated sediments are likely to increase benthic productivity. © 2012 Thomas A.

Sherwin T.J.,Scottish Association for Marine Science
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans | Year: 2010

The southwestern side of the Wyville Thomson Ridge transports cold Faroe-Shetland Channel Bottom Water in a narrow cascade from a depth of 500 m down to 1700 m. An upward looking acoustic Doppler current profiler located at a depth of 1200 m measured its currents to a height of 500 m for 6 months. The westward flowing deep density current (mean thickness 343 m) extended well above the bottom Ekman layer (of order 20 m) and had a profile with a bullet nose shape that had a peak velocity at a height that was about 1/3 of its thickness. The mean maximum speed was about 60 cm s-1, although there was significant variability in velocity with 90% of the variance explained by mode 1 that had a similar bullet nose shape. From the downstream momentum balance it is estimated that the vertical eddy viscosity in the overflow was of order 0.5 m2 s-1 through most of its depth but somewhat larger near the interface. A full description of the velocity profile requires an opposing surface slope and current, with zero net pressure gradient within the overflow. The transverse circulation (mean speed ∼3 cm s-1) had southward flows at the interface and seabed and a return flow at middepth. This circulation is driven by imbalances between Coriolis forcing from the downstream current and the transverse pressure gradient. Its overturning scales suggest a bulk eddy viscosity of order 2 m2 s-1 and may indicate a feedback between the downstream and transverse currents. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.

Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 249.71K | Year: 2015

Phytoplankton are free-floating plants found in marine and freshwaters that, through their photosynthetic growth, form the base of the aquatic food chain. A small subset of the phytoplankton may be harmful to human health or to human use of the ecosystem. The species that cause harm are now widely referred to as Harmful Algae with the term Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) commonly being used to describe their occurrence and effects. Some HABs can be harmful to humans through their production of biotoxins that are concentrated in the flesh of filter feeding shellfish, leading to a health risk if the shellfish are consumed by humans. Other HABs can kill farmed fish. HAB events of either type can have serious financial consequences for aquaculture. Early warning of HAB events provides a mechanism to protect human health and minimise business risk for aquaculture. Many important HABs develop offshore. Two of the most important in the UK and worldwide are the genus Dinophysis sp. that causes diarrhetic shellfish poisoning, and the species Karenia mikimotoi that can kill farmed fish. These organisms are transported to coastal aquaculture sites by oceanic currents. For K. mikimotoi we can use satellite remote sensing to identify their offshore blooms, for Dinophysis we know the locations and times of the year that are most high risk. In this project we shall use a combination of satellite remote sensing, in situ measurement (using free floating and moored scientific instruments that measure the properties of the water column) and mathematical modelling of oceanic currents and HABs to get a better understanding of where these harmful blooms develop and under what conditions they will be transported to the coast and subsequently into the fjords where aqaculture is located. Our results will be used to improve risk assessment bulletins that are produced weekly for use by aquaculture practitioners. The new knowledge gained in this project will allow us, for the first time, to interpret modelled ocean current forecasts to provide forecasts of the likelihood of these currents carrying advective HABs to the coast. The work will also allow us to determine if on reaching the coast, water exchange will allow blooms to enter the sheltered fjords within which aquaculture is practiced. This will allow industry to better plan their husbandry and harvesting to minimise HAB risk to business and health.

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