WCMB 2014

World Conference on Marine Biodiversity

Abstract Book


12‐16 October 2014, Qingdao China

World Conference on Marine Biodiversity

12‐16 October 2014, Qingdao, China


Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences


Chinese Academy of Sciences National Natural Science Foundation of China

Chinese Society for Oceanography Scientific Committee on Ocean Research

Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Biodiversity Committee of the Chinese Academy of Sciences International Association for Biological Oceanography Qingdao Watertools Co., Ltd

Hydro‐Bios Apparatebau GmbH HYDROPTIC SARL

China Jellyfish Project WCMB 2011

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Oral Abstracts

Plenary Session


Modelling changing dynamics in marine ecosystems under environmental variation: The Black Sea and the Baltic Sea as examples

Nils Christian Stenseth

Institute of Marine Research n.c.stenseth@ibv.uio.no (Lacking abstract)


Jellyfish bloom and marine ecosystem dynamics

Song SUN

Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, CHINA


Marine biodiversity is very important to the ecosystem health, but from the point of the coastal ecosystem safety, the functional group is more important than the biodiversity, it will determine the structure and function of the marine ecosystem. The jellyfish is one of the very important functional group in the coastal ecosystem, and jellyfish bloom is one of the very important threats to the ecosystem safety. The causes of jellyfish bloom are one of the hot topics in the media and scientific society in the recent years. We concern about where the jellyfish come from, or where they start from; what causes the jellyfish blooming and how to deal with the jellyfish bloom. Depending on the experiments in the laboratory and every year’s cruises special for giant jellyfish bloom, out new perceptions is that the polyps period is more important than the medusa period in the point of the causes of jellyfish bloom, it is not a simple correlation between the climate and jellyfish bloom, it is because the temperature stimulations or extreme climate condition affecting the life cycle strategies of the jellyfish. The benthos ecosystem plays a very vital role in the giant jellyfish bloom. Giant jellyfish bloom is an indicator of marine ecosystem health condition.


The United Oceans: A new paradigm for understanding marine biodiversity in a globally connected world

J. Emmett Duffy

Tennebaum Marine Observatories Network, Smithsonian Institution, USA


When I was born the ocean was a mysterious and often frightening wilderness. Few people had yet breathed underwater, sailors traveled thousands of miles with no sign of humanity, and few believed marine fisheries could ever be exhausted. Those days are gone. In a short 50 years the human population has doubled to 7 billion, we have consumed most of the ocean’s largest animals, economies and ecologies are now globally connected, and humanity has become a global force of nature. Our collective future now depends on actively managing nature on a planetary scale. Doing so successfully in the face of rapid global change requires, first, recognizing that biological diversity is the foundation of both ecosystems and economies and the key to jointly sustaining their resilience. This in turn requires a major research focus on understanding how biodiversity works, that is how species interact to mediate ecosystem processes. Existing ocean observing efforts are building a foundation but have not yet adequately incorporated the centrality of biodiversity nor the complex nearshore regions where people interact with it most intimately. We urgently need a new, collaborative approach to marine research and management that integrates globally and across disciplines, and that focuses on the web of functional linkages and feedbacks among human behavior, biodiversity, and ecosystem processes.


We can’t assess and manage what we don’t measure”: Developing robust observing systems for ocean biology and biodiversity.

John Gunn

Australian Institute of Marine Science, Australia


At local, national and global levels, growing concern about the health of our coasts and oceans is increasing the focus of governments, marine scientists and the public on how best to routinely and cost-effectively monitor critical indicators of marine ecosystem condition.

For the first time, in a process mirroring the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change IPCC Assessment Reports (AR) on the state of the global climate system, a World Ocean Assessment will be delivered later this year. This excellent initiative will synthesize existing assessments from across the globe. Spatial and temporal heterogeneity in the quality and adequacy of data on ocean ecosystem health, and a diverse range of assessment methodologies will challenge make definitive statements at a global scale difficult. However, just as was the case for the first IPCC AR in 1990, this important first attempt to define what we and can’t say about the health of the global oceans will provide an important stimulus for identifying and collecting data required, and improving assessment methods.

In 2009, more than 600 ocean scientists met in Venice to review the state of global ocean observations. Taking into account concerns about the health of our oceans, and the lack of sustained observations systems that could inform global assessments, they concluded that there was an urgent need to expand the ocean observing system that had been built over the previous 20 years to meet the demands of the IPCC/climate science, to include observations of ocean biogeochemistry and biology/ecosystems/biodiversity. Sponsored by 14 Government, Non-Government and Inter-Governmental organizations, a multinational task team was formed to develop a blueprint for this enhanced global ocean observing system. They developed a Framework for Ocean Observations (2012: Framework for Ocean Observing) that adopted from the basic model successfully used for growing sustained and standardized observations of ocean physics variables critical for understanding the climate system.

The “Framework” proposed the concept of Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs: synonymous with Essential Climate Variables, and Essential Biodiversity Variables (GEOBoN)) and recommended that Expert Panels should be formed to guide development of Essential Ocean Biology/Ecosystem Variables and Essential Ocean Biogeochemistry Variables. UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) program has since formed two new panels to undertake this work, and the presentation will present an overview of the progress made over the last 12 months including the outputs of a major workshop held in Australia last November.

The objective of this presentation will be to stimulate discussion at the WCMB II around approaches to defining candidate Essential Ocean Biodiversity Variables, and stimulating participation in the development of observing systems focussed on these.


Current status of marine biodiversity in the Western Pacific region: threats, conservation, and restoration

1Suchana Apple Chavanich and 2Wenxi Zhu

1Reef Biology Research Group, Department of Marine Science, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, 2UNESCO-IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand


The Western Pacific region is known to be a biodiversity hotspot, and has the highest marine biodiversity compared to other regions. Unfortunately, over the past years, losses and changes of marine biodiversity by anthropogenic activities, natural phenomena, and poor land management practices have become urgent issues. Examples of anthropogenic activities and natural phenomena include pollution release, overfishing, destructive fishing practice, coastal development, introduction of non-indigenous species, unsustainable tourism, climate change, ocean acidification, and tsunami. Coral bleaching is also rapidly becoming a regional concern. To protect and conserve marine biodiversity, management and conservation have been a focus and implemented through international and national programs. The need for a strategic approach to restoration to maximize the effectiveness of conservation efforts has also become urgent. This talk will give an overview and insight of the current threats, conservation, and restoration of marine biodiversity in the Western Pacific region. How muti-disciplinary approaches can be applied to the success of conservation plan and management strategies for marine biodiversity in the region will also be discussed.


Global patterns of inshore marine diversity

Graham Edgar and Rick Stuart-Smith

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania


The global distribution of coastal fish and invertebrate species is summarised using data obtained through the citizen science Reef Life Survey program (www.reeflifesurvey.com). Data analysed derive from quantitative surveys using standardized methods in 44 countries and at over 2400 sites. Over 4000 inshore species were recorded, each counted on >50 transect blocks on average. These data allow the most rigorous tests of conflicting predictions for the different general hypotheses explaining latitudinal and other global diversity gradients. The mean number of species observed per transect showed expected patterns for fishes, with rapid declines with latitude and also longitude out from the Coral Triangle region. However, major invertebrate classes (echinoids, asteroids, crustaceans and gastropods) showed contrary latitudinal patterns, in part because of a low number of individuals recorded on tropical transects. The predicted total number of species in ecoregions largely corresponded with patterns at the transect level. Fish alpha diversity was extremely highly correlated with temperature (R2 = 0.76), indicating that metabolic factors are probably key drivers. Beta diversity (increase in species richness as additional sites are surveyed within ecoregion) was largely unrelated to alpha diversity, showing moderate correlation with habitat heterogeneity and the latitudinal span of sites surveyed within an ecoregion. Most latitudinal gradient hypotheses received little empirical support from analysis of Reef Life Survey data. Contemporary ecological rather than historical factors best explain observed patterns.


Global patterns and trends in marine biodiversity

Mark J. Costello

Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland, New Zealand


Despite a public interest in naming species extending back thousands of years, and over 250 years of a standardised naming system, at least 12,000 new species (plus fossils) have been named per year in the past decade. More marine species were described in the past decade than any previous decade. Biodiversity databases that list the names of almost all marine (and most non-marine species) and provide geographic distribution data on over half of all known species, were used to estimate global patterns in species richness and taxonomic effort, and how many more species remain to be named. Data on 65,000 species from the Ocean Biogeographic Information System showed sampling bias, and geographic and latitudinal patterns in species richness and endemicity. The results help answer questions about whether most species on Earth will be in the oceans, deep-sea, be microscopic (< 1 mm), and/or extinct before they are discovered; provide a global map of marine biogeographic realms; and raise questions about causes of species richness patterns.


The World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) and its thematic and regional species databases workshop

Mark J. Costello, Leen Vandepitte, Angelika Brandt, Olivier DeClerck, Santiago Gaviria, Tina N. Molodtsova, Frederic Sinniger, Moriaki Yasuhara, Kuidong XU

WoRMS Editorial Board

All delegates are welcome to this workshop. This workshop will first briefly review the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), a freely accessible, online database that covers 226,000 named marine species and about 20,000 of their freshwater and terrestrial relatives. It is permanently hosted by the Data Centre at the Flanders Marine Institute, Belgium, and edited by over 200 experts. Initially established to aid quality control in species nomenclature, it is gradually expanding to including more literature, geographic distribution and other attributes (e.g. images, introduced, conservation status, parasite-host, body size). WoRMS integrates regional (e.g. Europe, Antarctic), national, and thematic (e.g. harmful algae, deep-sea, introduced) databases. A new national database for China (integrated within WoRMS) will be announced at the workshop. The WoRMS editors present at the conference will attend and can comment on why they contribute to, and how useful they find, the database. Comments from WoRMS users and potential contributors are welcomed. This workshop will thus review the present status of WoRMS, developments underway, and seek advice on how to make it more useful.

Getting published in international journals

This workshop aims to help researchers understand the publisher and editor’s perspective in journal publishing and gives practical help and advice on how to write and submit a manuscript for publication in international journals. The following topics will be discussed: Preparing, writing and structuring your article; Tips on being concise; Importance of the title, abstract and figures; Publishing ethics e.g. co-authors approvals, plagiarism, duplicate submissions. Open discussion of the issues and sharing of experiences between participants is expected.

Dr. Mark Costello, Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland, New Zealand Editor: Biological Conservation.

Dr. Luaine Bandounas, Elsevier B.V., The Netherlands. Journal Publisher Oceanography and Hydrology.

Session 1:

Marine Biodiversity & Global change

S1-1 (Keynote)

Benthic community composition and biodiversity in the Yellow Sea, with special reference to changes over the past 50 years

Kuidong XU

Department of Marine Organism Taxonomy and Phylogeny, Institute of Oceanology,

Chinese Academy of Sciences


Key word: Yellow Sea Biodiversity Global change Microbenthos Meiobenthos Macrobenthos

The Yellow Sea is a semi-enclosed shallow sea, which is characterized by a cold-water mass that annually forms in winter by vertical mixing under strong wind and remains in a bottom layer under the thermocline at 10–20 m depth in summer. The Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass (YSCWM) harbors diverse benthic communities originated from the north Pacific temperate fauna. The benthic resources had ever been very productive but are threatened by global change and human activities. Based on recent sample collection in 2007-2010, the community composition and diversity of micro-, meio-, and macrobenthos in the Yellow Sea were analyzed and compared with historic data obtained in 1958-1959 and in 1992. The results suggest the primary quantitative importance of microbenthos in the shallow sea ecosystem, where the abundances of microbial assemblages in the upper sediments were one to four orders of magnitude higher than those of corresponding planktonic ones. Inhibition effect of green macroalgal bloom on the standing crops of micro- and meiobenthos was obvious, resulting in an unusual spatial pattern in the YSCWM and peripheral area. Among the 1606 metazoan species recorded in the Yellow Sea, 660 species belong to the cold-water communities, which are dominated by bivalves, polychaetes, echinoderms and fishes and mainly distributed in the central YSCWM in summer. This contrasts to the eurythermal warm-water and cold-water communities in the shallow water. A distinct decline in the cold-water communities has occurred over the past

50 years. The formerly most predominant echinoderm Ophiura sarsii vadicola is

maintained in abundance, but the southernmost area of its distribution range has been transferred from 33˚N to 34˚N. The formerly widely distributed and abundant species including Pagurus ochotensis and Oregonia gracilis have clearly decreased in abundance and distribution area in the YSCWM. The polychaete Travisia pupa–Ditrupa arientina community have fallen into decline, and some species become undetectable. The YSCWS has serves as a place of sanctuary for the cold-water communities. The reduced distribution of the cold-water communities well match with the shrinkage of the YSCWM over the past 50 years. With the shrinkage of the YSCWM, the Yellow Sea has been invaded by warm-water species from the East China Sea. Moreover, continuous bottom trawling disturbance in the Yellow Sea has resulted in a shift in benthic community from bivalve dominance to polychaete dominance, and a trend from larger size of benthos toward smaller size of benthos. Supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2011CB403604) and the Special Foundation for State Basic Research Program of China (No. 2013FY111100-03).


Conservation of Globally threatened Marine Biodiversity in the Bay of Bengal

Anisuzzaman Khan, Reshmi Tasmin Nishe Khan Biodiversity World Foundation anis.bioworld@gmail.com

Key word: Biodiversity Bay of Bengal

Marine water of Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal is one of the major marine biodiversity biome having high potential to discover new species and genome in the world. Recent survey by Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society revealed that Bangladesh marine water is a good harbor of 7 species marine cetaceans with highest density in the world. Globally threatened marine turtles and seabirds are also using both offshore and coastal habitat. Swatch of no ground in its deep canyon extends good breeding ground of more than 300 species of marine fishes/ dolphins, porpoises. The Bay is an important staging ground/ stepping stones of at least a dozen of globally threatened waterbirds of East-Asia Australasian and Central Asian Flyways. The lone coral community rich island Saint Martin’s is an important habitat of marine invertebrates which goes over 900 species belongs to cnidarians, porifera, coelentrata, annelida, arthopoda, platyhelmenthis, echinodermata and mollusca. The world largest mangrove forest Sundarbans is located at the marine biome of Bay of Bengal supporting globally threatened Bengal Tiger, Crocodile, King cobra, Masked fin foot, marine turtles and Batagur terrapin. But it is also noticed that nearly 100 deep sea fishing ship are harvesting not only fish but also octopus, loligo, sepia, lobsters, jelly fish, scorpion fish, marine turtles and many more without considering the marine conservation. In some areas use of dynamite and poison for fishing is also reported. Marine pollution by ships and waste dumping in Bay is another threat to the marine biodiversity. Coral bleaching is noticed in the water of Saint Martin’s. Bangladesh had recently acquired a vast area of Bay of Bengal maritime boundary from Myanmar. Therefore, there is an urgent need to inventory the marine biodiversity of Bangladesh with a goal to establish Marine Protected Areas/Biosphere Reserve to save the globally significance marine biota and ecosystem in the Bay of Bengal.


Taxonomic study on Asterias from the Chinese waters

1Sijia Xu, 2Ning Xiao, 1Xiaoqi Zeng

1Ocean University of China, 2Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences


Key word: Echinodermata Asterias sea stars the Chinese waters taxonomy

Asterias, belonging to the Family Asteriidae, Order Forcipulata, Class Asteroidea, Phylum Echinodermata, is one of the important macrobenthos mainly feeding on bivalves, and is harmful to aquaculture. Species of this genus mainly live in sand and rock substrate worldwide, vertical distributed from intertidal zone to 900 meters. So far, 8 species have been recorded globally.

Based on material in the Marine Biological Museum, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Qingdao and recently collected specimens, we carried out a taxonomy study on the genus Asterias. Traditional morphological method and modern taxonomic approaches such as microphotograph and electron microscope are used for species identification. This is the first systematic study on the taxonomy of Aasterias of the Chinese waters. Total of 4 species have been recorded: Asterias argonauta Djakonov, Asterias rollestoni Bell, Asterias amurensis Lutken and Asterias versicolor Sladen. Among them the first three species are mainly distributed in the Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea, while A. versicolor is found only in the East China Sea.


Marine Biological Resources

Olufemi Adedeji, Reuben Okocha, Olufemi Olatoye University of Ibadan, Nigeria Oluadedeji2001@yahoo.com

Key word: Biological resources Threats and Conservation

Our vast and beautiful oceans and seas have always been an endless source of inspiration and recreation while sustaining the livelihoods of millions. At least 100 million unnamed species live on the ocean floor alone. They provide us with numerous resources and services, of which oxygen, food, energy, transport and tourism are just a few examples. Thousands of pharmaceutical compounds have been isolated from marine animals and plants. The cures for HIV/AIDs, cancer, malaria, tuberculosis and leukemia , etc could lie beneath the waves.The ocean surrounds us all, yet more is known about the Moon and Mars. Against this backdrop, this document sheds light on this poorly understood field. It highlights the importance and the challenges facing this field of science, and also discusses its conservation. We are just now beginning to understand the ocean and with that understanding comes the increasing realization that the ocean is in deep trouble. There is an urgent requirement to protect and restore it and this must start now.


Zooplankton community construction in the northern South China Sea and its response to the 2008 extreme cold anomaly

Yehui Tan

South China Sea institute of Oceanology, CAS

Key word: zooplankton cold amomaly the northern South China Sea

Zooplankton community and abundance impacted upon by a variety of factors including significant prey - predator interaction, oceanographic conditions and water masses changes, interannual variability, climate variability. In order to understand the zooplankton response to a record-breaking, long-persisting extreme cold anomaly (ECA) in 2008, zooplankton community composition, abundance and biomass in the northern South China Sea were analyzed both before (August 2007) and after (August 2008) the extreme 2008 cold event. The results demonstrated that the plankton ecosystems of the northern South China Sea are affected by the cold event. Cluster analysis showed that there was significant difference in zooplankton community between before and after extreme cold climate event. The species richness increased after the 2008 extreme cold climate event, while zooplankton abundance decreased from 133.37 ind. m-3 before extreme cold climate event to 75.49 ind. m-3 after extreme cold climate event. Although copepods were the most dominant group in the study area, copepod abundance of 4 dominated species dramatic declined such as: Subeucalanus subcrassus, Temora discaudata, Nannocalanus minor and Temora turbinata after extreme cold climate event. Meanwhile, the abundance of gelatinous zooplankton, such as Diphyes chamissonis, Doliolum denticulatum and Dolioletta gegenbauri, increased after extreme cold climate event. The extreme cold event in 2008 associated with an anomalous oceanographic condition had impact on zooplankton communities and abundance. We also discussed the relationship between zooplankton community successions and hydrological factors in the northern South China Sea.


Biodiversity of bivalve mollusks in the Sea of Japan and its expected changes: global warming and bioinvasions

Konstantin Lutaenko

A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology FEB RAS


Key word: bivalve mollusks biodiversity Sea of Japan global warming bioinvasions

The bivalve molluscan fauna of the western Sea of Japan includes 367 species and subspecies; 312 species are known for South Korea (SK), 158 species for southern Primorye (SP), and 130 species for middle/northern Primorye (MNP). We recognize in the Sea of Japan and adjacent areas a boreal Japanese-Manchurian Province which encompasses the northern half of the Sea of Japan, Hokkaido, southern Kurile Islands, and Aniva and Terpenya bays in the southern Sea of Okhotsk. The southern part of the Sea of Japan is occupied by the subtropical Sino-Japanese Province extending to the Yellow Sea, southern Japan and the East China Sea. The Sino-Japanese Province belongs to the tropical Indo-Pacific fauna, while the Japanese-Manchurian Province belongs to the boreal fauna. The species richness of subtropical and tropical-subtropical bivalves shows a clear gradient from north to south along the continental coast of the Sea of Japan: for subtropical, 9 (MNP) → 23 (SP) → 117 (SK), and for tropical-subtropical: 2 (MNP) → 9 (SP) → 95 (SK). Bivalve mollusks show a low level of endemism in the Sea of Japan, and only two species living in the western part of the sea can be regarded as endemics.

Analysis of thermally-anomalous molluscan assemblages (TAMAs) from the coasts of Japan and Russia existed in the Holocene shows that at least seven bivalve mollusk species may appear in different parts of the Sea of Japan in the course of global warming. Migrations of mollusks to the north would be the most important biotic events related to global change, and this is associated not only with general water warming but also with shifts of currents. Another important factor of biodiversity and ecosystem modifications is ongoing process of bioinvasions. At least, two species of bivalves were introduced to the Russian coast, and three – the Korean coast during the 20th century. Their status and regional distributions are discussed. Local changes in molluscan biodiversity may be related to pollution of coastal waters in Russia and Korea, and overfishing in the southern Sea of Japan.


Impact of anthropogenic and environmental change on Indian marine biodiversity

Sanna Durgappa

Indian Institute of Science


Key word: marine biodiversity, pollution, marine ecosystem Indicators, climate change

Evidence of the impacts of anthropogenic activities on marine ecosystems is accumulating, but must be evaluated in the context of the “normal” climate cycles and variability which have caused fluctuations in fisheries throughout human history. The direct effects act on the physiology, development rates, reproduction, behavior and survival of individuals and can in some cases be studied experimentally and in controlled conditions. The impacts on fisheries are due to a variety of direct and indirect effects of a number of physical and chemical factors, which include temperature, winds, vertical mixing, salinity, oxygen, pH and others. In synthesizing change in the physical ocean climate in Indian marine ecosystem and parallel shifts in species' distributions and ecological processes, there is evidence that the direct effects of changing physical conditions have precipitated cascading effects of ecological change in fisheries, zooplanktons and water quality. However, some patterns correlated with temperature have plausible alternative explanations unrelated to thermal gradients in time or space in Indian ocean. We identify important knowledge gaps that need to be addressed to adequately understand, anticipate and adapt to future climate-driven changes in marine systems in the region. In these current times, a synergy of human threats, including overfishing, global warming, biological introductions, and pollution, has caused a rapid decline in Indian marine biodiversity, as measured by species extinctions, population depletions, and community homogenization. We assess the degree to which such changes are predictable, and urge advancement on several high priority questions surrounding the relationships between temperature and community ecology. An improved understanding of how assemblages of multiple, interacting species will respond to climate change is imperative if we hope to effectively prepare for and adapt to its effects


A comparative study on the macrobenthic community in near half century in the Yellow Sea, China

Junlong ZHANG, Fengshan Xu

Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences


Key word: community structure environmental variables

Over the past few decades, the ecological environment in the Yellow Sea has changed greatly under the impact of global climate change and anthropogenic activities. The biodiversity and community structure of macrobenthos in the Yellow Sea were studied and compared with near half century ago in present study. Both quantitative and qualitative (grab and trawl) data based on soft-sediment macrobenthos in 2007 were used to study and compare the composition, distribution, abundance and biomass. The agglomerative classification (CLUSTER) and multidimensional scaling (MDS) methods were applied to identify the macrobenthic communities. The structures of these communities were compared with characteristic species designated communities which were sampled nearly 50 years ago. Multivariate methods were used to detect the how species distributions and communities’ classification related to environmental variables. Total of 267 species were collected by 58 grab sampling, and 311 species at 32 trawl sites. Nine infaunal clusters and five epifaunal clusters were identified in 2007. These clusters were classified into two groups of communities: The deep water communities remained the same as the Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass communities in species composition, still dominated by cold water species. The shallow water communities including previous reported mixed communities and eurythermal communities, were dominated by widely ranged polychaetes, with most previous dominant species disappeared or decreased. The depth, temperature and salinity were identified as the major environmental variables influencing the faunal patterns. The subset of depth and temperature showed the maximum correlation with the biotic matrix.


Can distribution, diversity and succession of depositing foraminifera in the Yellow Sea explain the global change?

Yanli LEI, Tiegang LI

Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences


Key word: Foraminiferal diversity succession 50,000 years’ global change

Foraminifera are in the size of 1 mm presenting in the boundary between megafauna and microbes. Therefore they were often evolved of the discussions of distribution pattern of whether endemic or cosmopolitan. Spatial distribution of taxonomy, species composition and faunal character of benthic foraminifera were investigated in continental shelf sediments of the Yellow Sea, China. Moreover, vertical distribution of foraminifera in 40 meters’ column sediment cores was investigated in order to understand the succession of faunal diversity.

More than 200 foraminiferal species were studied morphologically with illustrations for identification and rather plenty of endemic species were exhibited. Spatial distribution of benthic foraminifera indicated salinity, temperature and water depth were the more important environmental factors than the biotic factors such as chlorophyll a and organic carbon.

Vertical distribution study revealed variations of species composition, diversity and abundance of foraminifera till to 50,000 years’ ago, considering of a depositing rate of

<0.1cm/a in this area. Despite of several returns happened on foraminiferal communities, species richness from the surface to deep stratum showing a surprisingly decrease. In addition, the abundance and mean body size also showed a trend of reduce. Species composition showed a tendency of more proportion of arenaceous to hyaline calcite and several species became extinct in this area. The changing patterns of abundance and body size were similar to those of large economic biota but increased diversity resembled that of microbes. Environmental adaption and natural impact were considered to be the most important factors impacting benthic foraminifera in the Yellow Sea (supported by NSFC41176132; GASI-03-01-03-01; GZH201100202).


Spatial and temporal variations in taxonomic diversity of macrofauna assemblages in Bohai Bay, northern China

Qingtian ZHANG, Guikun HU

Tianjin University of Science and Technology


Key word: taxonomic diversity biodiversity macrofauna Bohai Bay, China

Taxonomic diversity indices have a number of desirable properties as an indicator for assessing environmental quality, and have become an important issue of biodiversity studies. The variations of taxonomic patterns of marine macrofauna were studied based on four seasonal cruise datasets collected from Tianjin offshore, Bohai Bay, northern China from 2006 to 2007. A total of 97 macrofauna taxa were identified belonging to 88 genera, 72 families, 36 orders, 14 classes, and 9 phyla. The taxonomic diversity indices of macrofauna represented significant variations in spatial and temporal scale during the study period. The average taxonomic distinctness (Delta+) results represented that generally a couple of stations in each season had reduced diversities, which were lower than the expected values or near the 95% lower limits. The joint analysis of the Delta+ and the variation in taxonomic distinctness (Lambda+) showed that all the pairwise indices of Delta+ and Lambda+ were negatively correlated in the four cruises, but the departure details varied with season. The analysis of similarity indicated that there were significant assemblage differences among stations (global R = 0.293, p<0.001) and seasons (global R = 0.1, p<0.001). The subsets of macrofauna assemblages were also studied to explain the biotic pattern of the full assemblages, then a combination of 19 macrofauna taxa were chosen as the best explanatory taxa (rho = 0.953, p<0.01). The analysis results of taxonomic diversity of macrofauna assemblages reflected well the environmental difference in this study area.



1Abdul Jaffarali, 2Tamil Selvi, 1Shabeer Ahmed, 1Soban Akram, 1Kaleem Arshan 1Islamiah College, 2V.V.Vanniaperumal College for Women jaffar.ascidian@gmail.com

Key word: Ascidian Tunicate Diversity India

Indian coastline is dotted with 12 major ports and number of minor ports and provided with diverse habitats which are ideal for the settlement of ascidians. Even though India has very long coastline extending to about 7000 km, only limited species of ascidian have been recorded. There is no study on occurrence of ascidians for the past one decade. Exhaust review of literature revealed that there are untouched and undisturbed areas available in Indian regimes. These areas are to be explored not only for preserving the biodiversity rich area but also alarming the entry of exotic species, as these species have mobile larval stages for their dispersal. In this context, a field study was established along the selected transects of southern Indian peninsular regionthe present study was carried out during 20112014 to understand diversity and distribution of ascidians. The survey revealed the occurrence of 63 species of ascidians belonging to 22 genera and 7 families. An additional 2 genera and 12 species are new reports to India of which 4 species are possibly new to science and will be described elsewhere. The most abundant colonial species were Didemnun psammathodes, D. candidum, Lissoclinum fragile, Aplidium multiplicatum, Polyclinum indicum, P. nudum and Symplegma oceania. Among the solitary ascidians Phallusia nigra, Ascidia gemmata, Microcosmus exasperatus, M. squamiger, Styela canopus and Herdmania pallida were the most abundant.


Coupled impacts of global change and human activity on biogeography of rocky intertidal species along China coast

Yunwei DONG, Jie WANG, Xiongwei HUANG, Wei WANG

Xiamen University


Key word: rocky intertidal zone China coast climate change biodiversity

Abstract: Intertidal rocky shore is one of the most vulnerable ecosystems facing global change. Based on long-term environmental monitoring and modelling predication, most coastal areas in China have had and will continuously suffer from global warming, ocean acidification and extreme climate events. Furthermore, with the development of coastal economy, more and more artificial structures, including harbors, dams and bridges etc., are constructed along the China coast. These artificial structures, especially architectures on the muddy shore, will provide suitable substrate for rocky shore species, and potentially play crucial roles as step stones for species distribution shifts. There are clear biogeographic barriers for some rocky shore species along China coast. Phylogeographic studies were carried out in some widely distributed intertidal limpets and snails, and populations along the China coast could be divided into southern and northern groups with Yangtze River estuary as a barrier. The formation of the barrier is due to multiple factors, including historical events, ocean current, freshwater discharge and substrate. One of the most important factors for the formation of the barrier is the unsuitable substrate in the Yangtze River Delta. Along the coast of Jiangsu province, there are extensive large scale muddy shores, which possibly hamper the larval dispersal and settlement of rocky shore species. However, the recent large-scale land reclamation and dam construction in Yangtze River Delta provides possible settlements for rocky shore species. Phylogeographic studies show that these new habitats are occupying rapidly by alien populations from both directions, and provide step stones for species migration between southern and northern populations, especially for southern populations which will potentially experience poleward distribution shift in the scenario f climate change.


Patterns of genetic diversity, structure and connectivity in Galaxias maculatus

along its distribution in the Pacific coast of South America

1Claudio González-Wevar, 1Pilar Salinas, 1Mathias Hüne, 2Luis Vargas-Chacoff, 1Elie


1Instituto de Ecologia y Biodiversidad, 2Instituto de Ciencias Marinas y Limnológicas,

Universidad Austral de Chile


Key word: Last Glacial Maximum mitochondrial D-loop Patagonia

The geologic and climatic history of South America have shapped the genetic diversity andstructure of its biota, particularly in those species restricted to continental freshwater masses. During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 20 ka), the Patagonina Ice Sheet covered the occidental margin of southern South America and landscape changes associated to ice advances and retreats eroded most of the freshwater habitats. The catadromous fish Galaxias maculatus is a species currently distributed along the Pacific coast of South America, from Cape Horn up north to the 33ºS. In order to estimate the legacy of the Quaternary glacial cycles over the patterns of genetic diversity and structure in G. maculatus we amplify a fragment of the mitochondrial gene D-loop in populations along a latitudinal gradient. We include in the analyses seven populations located within the area that was covered by the Patagonian Ice Sheet (southern localities) and seven populations located north of this glacial feature (norhern localities). Extremely high levels of genetic diversity were detected in the species with northern localities showing higher levels of genetic diversity than southern ones. An absence of genetic structure was detected among the Patagonian localities in the species while northern ones exhibited high levels of genetic structure. These results suggest the resilientcy of the species during glacial maxima, probably in northern areas outside the Patagonian Ice Sheet, followed by recolonization after the LGM. Such results highlights the effect of historic and contemporary climatic processes, as well as life-history traits, over the distribution of the genetic diversity in freshwater and estuarine South American organisms.


Has low biotic resistance enabled the spread of the alien barnacle Balanus galndula along the South African coast?

Tamara B Robinson, Haley R Pope, Lara Hawken, Carlene Binneman

Stellenbosch University


Key word: alien species predation South Africa Balanus glandula Biotic resistance

Since it was recognised in 2007, the invasive barnacle Balanus glandula has progressively spread along the South African west coast. In 2012 it was first found to have breached the Cape Point biogeographic break and spread east. This calls into question the role of biotic resistance in regulating this invasion. We employed both field observations and laboratory experiments to assess the relative predation pressure on B.glandula and the native barnacle Notomegabalanus algicola by the native whelks Nucella cingulata and Burnupena lagenaria. In the mid-shore both whelks fed on N. algicola significantly more often than on B. glandula despite the alien covering 86% (± 2.4 SE) of the shore. Lower on the shore N.algicola was spatially dominant, covering 41% (±

0.7 SE) of the zone and both whelks still fed on the native significantly more often. Feeding experiments revealed that small (13.9 mm ±0.3 SD) and large (19.6 mm ±0.5 SD)

N. cingulata consumed up to 70 % more N. algicola than B. glandula, displaying a significant avoidance of the alien. While small (15.5 mm ±0.5 SD) B. lagenaria displayed the same pattern as N. cingulata, large individuals (27.7 mm ±0.4 SD) consumed equal numbers of the two barnacles. The overall avoidance of B. glandula may be explained by this species possessing significantly thicker shell and opercular plates than N. algicola, while a narrow margin of vulnerable soft-tissue around the circumference of the opercular plates may make the native an attractive prey choice. These results demonstrate that a lack of predation pressure is likely to have aided the expansion of B. glandula and highlights that predation driven biotic resistance can reflect a complex interplay between the reaction of native predators and the relative defences of alien and native prey.


A Comprehensive Review of Marine Biodiversity in Hong Kong

1Terence P. T. Ng, 1Martin C. F. Cheng, 1Gray A. Williams, 2Kenneth Mei Yee Leung

1The Swire Institute of Marine Science, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China, 2The Swire Institute of Marine Science and School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong

Key word: biodiversity hotspot inventory species checklist South China Sea

With the implementation of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), local and regional species inventories are becoming increasingly important for biodiversity assessments, marine resource monitoring and management, yet such inventories are often incomplete or compromised by not being updated by experts. The South China Sea, for example, is among the world's most species-rich marine areas but it is also one of the areas where species information is poorly categorized. Hong Kong's marine biota is relatively well explored and documented among the South China Sea region, and this study integrates most available species information to construct a species inventory. The coastline of Hong Kong is characterized by a range of diverse habitats such as wetlands, mudflats, mangroves, seagrass beds, rocky shores, bounder shores, sandy shores, rocky reefs and soft sub-tidal seabeds which support an enormous array of marine life. Despite having a small marine area (1,651 km2), a total of 5,711 marine species from 34 phyla and a subkingdom were recorded in Hong Kong waters. Most of these species were reported during the 1980s and 1990s, but new species continue to be discovered. Even though Hong Kong's marine area is only about 0.03% of that of China, the number of marine species recorded in Hong Kong already accounts for 25% of the total recorded for China seas. In terms of number of species per unit marine area, Hong Kong shows a disproportionally high marine biodiversity (at least a few hundred times higher) when compared with many other regions. Presumably, Hong Kong also contributes to a considerable amount of the species recorded in the South China Sea, but such results are confounded by the lack of knowledge and inventories on marine biodiversity in the region. Our findings are concordant with those of the Census of Marine Life, reaffirming that Hong Kong lies within the world's marine biodiversity hotspot. Information from our study will make an important contribution to biodiversity conservation in Hong Kong, especially in light of the recent implementation of the Hong Kong SAR Government’s Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP) under the CBD.


Nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene Diversity of the Arctic Lamprey (Lethenteron camtschaticum) in the Eurasian Part of the Areal

1Alexandr Kucheryavyy, 1Valentina Artamonova, 2Aleksandr Makhrov 1Saint-Petersburg State University, 2Institute of Ecology and Evolution scolopendra@bk.ru

Key word: Lethenteron camtschaticum mtDNA

The presentation is on the distribution of the mtDNA COI partial sequence haplotypes in the lamprey, genus Lethenteron, in Eurasia. Many haplotypes occur throughout the areal, though the frequency of their occurrence in different regions varies. Rare and specific for some geographic regions (Amur River watershed, Sakhalin Island, Kunashir Island, Kamchatka Peninsula, Arctic Ocean seaside) haplotypes are found with common ones. The haplotype and life history strategy of haplotype carriers correlation is not found. The heteroplazmy for lampreys is registered for the first time. It is found in c.a. the third part of specimens and more frequent in residential though it also occurs in anadromous lampreys. The presented data and published recent materials on the morphology and biology of lampreys, genus Lethenteron allow concluding that the regional belonging and the life history cannot be species criteria for these animals. We guess to treat the residential lampreys described as separate species L. reissneri and L. kessleri before as the ecological forms of L. camtschaticum that was initially described as anadromous parasitic species.


Urbanisation affects change benthic reef communities in a temperate estuary

1Amelia Fowles, 1Graham Edgar , 2James Kirkpatrick, 1Nicole Hill, 1Rick Stuart-Smith

1Institute for Marine and Antarctic Sciences, University of Tasmania, Australia, 2School of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania

Key word: human impacts, environmental monitoring, indicators estuaries, pollution indicators

Estuarine ecosystems worldwide are increasingly threatened by expanding urbanization. Urban stressors inevitably impact natural marine assemblages; however, little information exists on the effects of urban impacts on rocky reef in estuaries. Responses of benthic sessile organisms to multiple urban impacts were assessed. Four transplant experiments tested for effects of marinas, sewerage effluent, fish farm cages and stormwater discharges on estuarine sessile rocky reef communities in the Derwent/D’Entrecasteaux estuary of southeastern Tasmania. A before, after, control, impact (BACI) experimental design was used. Important macroalgal indicators of different types of pollution were identified. In the absence of pronounced salinity or temperature gradients, our results show that marinas had a great effect on reef habitat, with canopy forming macroalgae largely replaced by opportunistic species. Stormwater also affected the structure of benthic marine communities, with similar patterns in species responses. Sewage had effects on one taxon. Little ecological change was detected for fish farms. Results are presented that highlight the relative influences of multiple anthropogenic pressures on estuarine environments and will enable us to better understand biotic responses and aid in the prioritization of conservation efforts


Predicting and explaining impacts of invasive mussels in South Africa: comparative functional responses in applied invasion ecology

1Mhairi Alexander, 1Robyn Adams, 2Jaimie Dick, 1Tamara Robinson 1Stellenbosch University, 2Queens University Belfast malexander@sun.ac.za

Key word: invasive species marine intertidal mussels functional response prediction

There is a pressing requirement to understand the processes associated with the success of alien invasive species. Often, invasive species are characteristically more able to rapidly and efficiently utilize resources than natives. Therefore, comparing resource use over a range of resource densities (defined as the functional response) among invaders and trophically analogous natives could allow for reliable predictions of invasiveness. In South Africa, Mytilus galloprovincialis is an invasive mussel that has transformed wave-exposed coasts and has largely displaced native species such as Aulacomaya atra. Currently, South Africa is experiencing a second mussel invasion with the recent detection of Semimytilus algosus that is resulting in the further displacement of native species. While the range of M. galloprovincialis now extends along the whole of the west coast to East London on the east coast of South Africa, S. algosus remains restricted to the west coast not yet having breached the biogeographic break at Cape Point. Moving east from this location, sea temperatures become warmer and it is unknown how S. algosus would perform in this range. In addition, temperatures on the west coast are forecasted to cool under current climate predictions and it is unknown how each of the mussel species will respond to this. I will therefore report on the comparison of laboratory derived functional responses among the three mussel species (M. galloprovincialis, S. algosus and A. atra) towards an algal resource across a range of temperatures. These responses will then be related to the observed establishment of the two invasive species along the west coast. Such studies allow us to understand the rapid and extensive mussel invasion that South Africa has experienced to date, but will also provide valuable insights into expected future impacts and what is the relative potential invasiveness of S. algosus if it is to become established along the east coast. This work provides further evidence of the use of functional responses in understanding and predicting invasive species success and impacts.



1González-Wevar CA,2Hüne M,2Spencer H,2Chown SL, 1Poulin E

1Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad (IEB), Departamento de Ciencias Ecológicas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile. 2Instituto de Ciencias Marinas y Limnológicas, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile.


The genus Nacella includes 11 recognized species distributed in different provinces of the Southern Ocean. Here we present the complete phylogenetic reconstructions in Nacella using mtDNA and nucDNA sequences, with special emphasis in species from geographically isolated islands (Marion, Kerguelen, Heard, Macqaurie and Campbell). Similarly, a new putative species was included in the analyses. Molecular reconstructions recognized two main lineages, the first one includes Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Islands species and the second one comprises South American ones. High levels of genetic divergence among Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic lineages are evidence of transoceanic historical discontinuities. The separation of these lineages occurred at the end of the Miocene (9 – 5 Ma), long after the physical separation of the continental landmasses. A second diversification during the Quaternary includes a radiation in Patagonia and the colonization of Sub-Antarctic Islands (Marion, Macquarie, and Campbell). Major evolutionary processes are detected in Nacella including: (1) vicariant climatic/oceanographic processes probably mediated by the intensification of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current after the mid-Miocene. (2) Recent events of long-distance dispersal including the colonization of Marion, Macquarie and Campbell islands. (3) Recent ecological mediated radiation in Patagonia where at least four Evolutionary Significant Units are recognized.


Regional variation in benthic macrofaunal assemblages in seagrass beds of Japan

1Venus Leopardas, 1Masahiro Nakaoka, 2Masakazu Hori, 3Yoshiyuki Tanaka, 4Hiroshi

Mukai, 5Misuzu Aoki, 6Naoto Sato

1Akkeshi Marine Station, Hokkaido University, Akkeshi, Hokkaido, Japan, 2Fisheries

Research Agency, Hiroshima, Japan, 3Mutsu Institute for Oceanography, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Mutsu, Japan, 4Association for Protection of Marine Communities, Kyoto, Japan, 5Wetlands International Japan, Tokyo, Japan, 6Biodiversity Center of Japan, Ministry of the Environment, Yamashi, Japan

Key word: biodiversity broad-scale variation depth latitude macrofauna

Conservation and adaptive management provide more meaning and efficiency if we understand broad-scale variation in biodiversity. However, previous studies are often fragmented, and the use of different methodologies makes comparison of results both difficult and limited. The Monitoring-Sites 1000, a project initiated and funded by Ministry of Environment-Japan, aims to collect biodiversity data at approximately 1000 important sites in terrestrial and marine ecosystems of Japan over the whole 21st Century. Six seagrass beds along the coast of Japan are included, in which seagrass species composition and abundance have been monitored annually since 2008, and those of benthic macrofaunal assemblages at every 5 years using unified methods. We investigated the regional and depth-related variation of benthic macrofauna based on the data quantitatively collected in 2010 at seagrass beds from southern to northern Japan (Ishigaki Island, Kagoshima Bay, Seto Inland Sea, Tokyo Bay, Sanriku Coast and northeastern Hokkaido) and at one to three different depth zones (intertidal, shallow subtidal, deep subtidal). Among-region and among-depth variation in species composition and relative abundance was then analysed using PERMANOVA, and within-sampling units’ variability via PERMDISP. A total of 122 epifauna and 94 infauna species were recorded. PERMANOVA showed both a significant regional and depth variation in macrofaunal assemblages, and more importantly, a significant region by depth interaction, indicating that patterns of depth-related variation were different among regions. The interaction effect also varied between epifauna and infauna, although latitudinal variation was not evident. PERMDISP showed significant difference in dispersion among region and depth sampling units, although latitudinal variation was also not evident. Epifauna tend to vary more greatly in subtidal, while infauna showed more variability in intertidal. Epifauna also vary more greatly within sites than infauna. Overall, we found a great variability of community assemblages among region and depth although general latitudinal and/or depth-related gradient was not evident due to interaction of region and depths. Thus, any marine conservation efforts, such as setting MPA to secure biodiversity of seagrass beds, should be based on specific local empirical data which patterns vary among different localities and among different depth zone.


Marine Ecosystem Structure & Function

S2-1 (Keynote)

Characteristics of the surrounding habitat matrix influence the enactment of a facilitation cascade in Australian mangroves

Melanie Bishop, Ashleigh Pickering, Luke Stone

Macquarie University

Key word: foundation species facilitation cascade mangroves

There has been growing interest in how foundation species that co-occur in nested or adjacent assemblages cumulatively determine biodiversity. Within temperate mangroves of southeastern Australia, the pneumatophores of Avicennia marina mangroves support a facilitation cascade with the fucoid alga Hormosira banksii as intermediary. The structure provided the pneumatophores traps free-living and reproductively capable H. banksii that washes into the mangrove forest following detachment from rocky shores. The alga, which is characterized by a distinctive thallus of branched chains of vesicles, in turn, supports dense and diverse communities of epifaunal mollusks. Previous studies have found that within focal patches, the enactment of the facilitation cascade is influenced by the morphology of the basal facilitator, pneumatophores, as well as their density. It is, however, unclear to what extent enactment of the cascade also depends on characteristics of the surrounding habitat matrix. In this study we ascertained how the density of pneumatophores in a focal patch interacts with the density of penumatophores in the surrounding habitat matrix to determine the density of algae and hence the community structure of associated invertebrates. A two factor fully orthogonal experiment revealed that the density of the pneumatophores in the focal patch and in the surround habitat matrix acted additively to determine the retention of algae by a focal patch, and hence its invertebrate biodiversity. Interestingly, the density of pneumatophores in the surrounding habitat matrix was just as important as the density in the focal patch in facilitating the cascade. Hence, characteristics of the surrounding habitat matrix may be just as important as characteristics of habitat patches themselves in establishing and maintaining species interactions.


Evidence for top-down control of ultraphytoplankton in the Gulf of Gabès

1Michel DENIS, 2Inès Hamdi, 3Amel Bellaaj-Zouari , 2Hajer Khemakhem, 3Malika Bel Hassen, 3Asma Hamza, 2Sami Maalej

1Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, 2University of Sfax, 3INSTM


Key word: Ultraphytoplankton Gulf of Gabès Flow cytometry Top down control Unknown species

The Gulf of Gabès, one of the largest continental shelves in the oligotrophic to ultra-oligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean Basin, is a very highly productive area under strong anthropogenic pressure. The ultraphytoplankton (< 10 µm) summer (June 2008) distribution was determined in the Gulf by flow cytometry that resolved 5 cell groups, nanoeukaryotes (photosynthetic eukaryotic cells belonging to the size class 3-20 µm), picoeukaryotes (<3 µm), Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus and one cluster of unknown cells that was the most abundant (0.1-2.9 106 cells.cm-3) and apparently larger than 2 µm. These cells were characterised by low orange and red fluorescence whereas from their apparent size, they should emit a red fluorescence signal at least as large as that of nanoeukaryotes and were thus labelled LFNano. In contrast, the abundance of the usual photosynthetic cell groups was found abnormally low considering the absence of nutrient limitation, which would suggest a top-down control of ultraphytoplankton by predation activity. Flow cytometry analysis of samples collected in the same area in July 2012 yielded similar results. Cell sorting followed by scanning electron microscopy revealed the presence of a choanoflagellate species, however the unknown cell group could not be identified. The ultraphytoplankton abundance was similar to that observed in winter in the eastern Mediterranean Basin, well below that reported in the western Mediterranean Basin in spring. Because nutrients in the Gulf of Gabès are never fully exhausted, the abnormally low abundance level was explained by predation activity applying a top down control on the ultraphytoplankton. The 2012 samples enabled sorting cells of the LFNano group and their observation by scanning electron microscopy. Though a choanoflagellate species could be detected, the dominant cells in the LFNano group could not be identified. DNA sequencing is considered to achieve their identification. Despite this unresolved question, results support the existence of a top-down control of photosynthetic picoand nanoplankton, insuring a rapid transfer of matter and energy to higher trophic levels, consistently with the well-known high productivity of the Gulf of Gabès. Nanoflagellates are likely candidates to run this top down control.


Biodiversity and community structural characteristics of coastal benthic biodiversity across multiple habitats, seasons and spatial scales

1Christina Wood, 2Steve Hawkins, 2Jasmin Godbold, 2Martin Solan 1Unversity of Southampton, 2University of Southampton c.l.wood@soton.ac.uk

Key word: biodiversity macrofauna intertidal bioturbation species distribution species composition community structure

Many studies in recent years have made projections of the most likely ecosystem consequences of biodiversity loss using model communities that are chosen to represent a specified habitat type yet, at the habitat scale, species, communities and biodiversity exhibit spatial and temporal variation that can affect point estimates of community structure. Here, we describe patterns of variability in the structure (species richness, evenness, abundance, biomass) and functional effect traits (functional group, bioturbation potential) of intertidal mudflat and wetland macrofaunal invertebrate communities across multiple habitats, seasons and for a hierarchy of spatial scales. We find that, for otherwise similar environmental conditions, the identity of functionally dominant species and overall community structure may change with seasonal population fluctuations and within and between adjacent habitats. Our findings suggest that failure to incorporate intra-habitat community dynamics may lead to inconsistent projections of the consequences of altered biodiversity.


Maintenance of fish herbivory as key ecological function in a heavily degraded coral reef system

1Jeremiah Plass-Johnson, 1Sebastian Ferse, 2Jamaluddin Jompa, 1Christian Wild, 1Mirta


1Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Ecology, 2Center for Coral Reef Research


Key word: Browsing phase shift spatial variation resilience

Localised impacts such as eutrophication and overfishing, driven in particular by recent increases in coastal populations, have been identified as immediate threats to reefs worldwide. Eutrophication reduces nutrient limitations associated with coral reefs and overfishing can remove herbivores resulting in phase shifts from coral-dominated to algaldominated reefs. However, despite intense fishing pressure and increased nutrient inputs, in some areas macroalgae biomass continues to be relatively low, indicating that herbivorous fishes are still able to control algal communities. We address this seemingly contradictory observation, thus providing insight into the capacity of fish communities to continuously provide an ecologically important function. The study was carried out in the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia, where localised impacts from eutrophication and overfishing have occurred for decades. Bioassays of Sargassum and Padina were transplanted onto coral reefs at five islands varying in distance (1-55 km) from the main city, Makassar (1.4 million inhabitants), to identify the capacity for algal removal along an onshore-offshore gradient in eutrophication. Supplementary underwater video deployment and fish surveys were used to identify species-specific differences in herbivore communities. Findings revealed that over a 24 h period, Padina was almost completely removed from the two outer most islands, but this declined toward shore. With the exception of the site closest to Makassar, more than 50 % of all transplanted algae were removed. Species diversity of algal-consuming fishes and total bites increased towards off-shore with only one species, Siganus virgatus (Siganidae), feeding at all sites. Moreover, almost all sites were characterised by novel herbivore communities reflecting the high level of biodiversity within the region. These results indicate that even coral reefs under very high levels of localised impacts retain the capacity to remove macroalgae, helping to explain why observations of phase shifts to macroalgae are rare in the Indo-Pacific.


Smart Sampling, HYDRO-BIOS

Julian von Borries

HYDRO-BIOS Apparatebau GmbH

Key word: Achieving Premium Samples from Aquatic Environments Topics:


Current invasion of East-Asian Cyclopoida in the Black Sea region

Elena Anufriieva, Nickolai Shadrin Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas lena.anufriieva@gmail.com

Key word: alien species Oithona Mesocyclops

Alien species invasions are one of the greatest ecological threats to Earth biodiversity system and human well-being. This problem is becoming a rapidly-growing research area, but there is a large gap on cyclopoid invasions. In the reviews of the invasions there is no information on Cyclopoida. In the Global Invasive Species Database we have not found any data on them.

The Black Sea is a semi-closed sea; its area is 436,400 km2, the catchment basin 2.3 mln. km2. A high anthropogenic impact disturbs ecosystems and promotes to open a door for invasive species; currently more than hundred alien species were recorded here. Looking on the Black Sea and its watershed as on a whole, we discuss current invasions of cyclopoids here. 1. Oithona davisae (first misidentified as O. brevicornis) occurrence in the Black Sea was reported since 2001 (Temnykh, Nishida, 2012). O. davisae is originally endemic to the temperate coastal waters of East Asia and its occurrence in other regions is due to synanthropic introduction. 2. In 2012-2013 we studied free-living Cyclopoida in different water bodies of Crimea (biggest peninsula in the Black Sea) and Luhansk city (Ukraine). We reported an occurrence of three alien East-Asian thermophilic species (Eucyclops roseus, Mesocyclops isabellae and M. pehpeiensis) from the Crimean brackish and fresh waters. M. pehpeiensis was also found in Luhansk ponds. There is no human agency that could lead to introductions of these alien species in studied water bodies. Long-distance transportation by birds seems to be more plausible explanation for the appearance here. Crimea lies in the crossroads of important bird migration routes between Europe, Africa and Asia. Resting stages of cyclopoids might survive during a long travel. Not only the biological properties of the potential colonizers determine the success in a new environment, but also the ’immunity‘ of the invaded ecosystem; destabilized or new ecosystems in the shallow water bodies have very low ecological resilience (Shadrin, 2000). In our cases alien species were found in newly formed water bodies, where stable communities did not exist.


Zooplankton distribution related to water masses in the Espírito Santo Basin, Southwestern Atlantic

Luiz Loureiro Fernandes, Juliano Pereira, Lilian Demoner, Andre Almeida, Pedro Laino

Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo


Key word: Zooplankton South Atlantic Water mass Distribution

Zooplankton is a key element in marine ecosystems for the maintenance of the food web. Their importance goes from the meroplanktonic stages of benthic and nektonic organisms to holoplanktonic organisms such as copepods. Knowing their distribution and abundance related to the different water masses is vital to understanding how these systems work. Samples were collected during the winter 2013 at 40 stations distributed along 5 transects in the Espírito Santo Basin, Southeastern Brazil, ranging from surface to 2300 meters depth, using a MOCNESS with 200 micron mesh nets. Tows were made horizontally to reach the nucleus of each related water mass: TW, SACW, AIW, SCW and NADW. amples were preserved in buffered formalin 4% for further analysis. Biomass (wet weight) as obtained for each sample. Thirty taxonomic groups were found, with five dominant: copepods, ostracods, chaetognaths, gastropod larvae, ectoproctan larvae and appendicularians. Copepods dominated all water masses, decreasing significantly from TW - SACW - AIW - SCW - NADW. The same decreasing pattern was observed for the other groups. Biomass was higher in the TW, with up to 0.15 g.m-3 in transect B and lower in the NADW with 0.000015 g.m-3 in transect D. Results show a reduction in abundance and biomass as you go deeper in the water column, as expected, since most of the primary productivity occurs in the upper layers. A South-North / West-East decrease in abundance was noticed, with the southern transect showing highest numbers in the shallower stations, influenced by TW. In the deeper stations, the influence of the AIW can be seen in transect A, but not as a pattern for the other transects. Distribution, abundance and biomass of the zooplankton varies in this portion of the Atlantic Ocean and may show how the system responds to changes due to anthropogenic effects


Performance of trait-based extinction scenarios across multiple habitats, seasons and spatial scales

Martin Solan, Christina Wood, Steve Hawkins, Jasmin Godbold

University of Southampton


Key word: extinction ecosystem function benthic bioturbation

Coastal environments support high levels of biodiversity that are of significant importance in mediating ecosystem properties, but they are also subject to increasing levels of disturbance associated with human activities that affect biological communities. Whilst the ecosystem consequences of altered biodiversity have been explored using trait-based extinction scenarios, the extents to which the most likely probabilistic distributions of ecosystem functioning are context-dependent have not been assessed. Here, using an extensive survey of adjacent coastal mudflat and wetland macro-faunal invertebrate communities in the UK, we use trait-based extinction simulations to ask whether the form of the predicted relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is conserved across multiple habitats, seasons and spatial scales. We will show how the ecosystem consequences of random versus ordered trajectories of species loss may differ when community properties (biomass, rarity) are assessed at different spatial hierarchies (1m, 10m, 100m and 1000m) and at different times of the year (Winter, Summer). Our findings reveal that benthic ecosystem process and functioning is dominated by a subset of functionally dominant species, but that subtle spatial and temporal variations in assemblage structure have the potential to radically affect the outcome of extinction simulations. Whilst such simulations provide certainty that the loss of species will have detrimental effects for ecosystems, irrespective of extinction scenario, we caution against placing disproportionate weighting on projections based on limited biodiversity-environment settings.


Recovery of macrofaunal community structure and ecosystem function in newly established saltmarshes

1Katherine Wade, 1Claire Golléty, 2Nick Hanley, 1David Paterson

1University of St Andrews, 2University of Stirling


Key word: Saltmarsh Ecosystem function Estuary Restoration

Saltmarshes are important ecologically and economically, providing a wide range of valuable ecosystem functions and services to mankind. They are internationally and nationally recognised as regions of high biodiversity and productivity, acting as rich feeding and breeding grounds for birds and fish. Their ability to dissipate wave energy makes them a valuable form of coastal defence, a property which is becoming increasingly important due to climate change and sea level rise. They are important attractions within the recreation and tourism industries due to their aesthetic properties and wildlife.

Despite their value saltmarshes are in decline worldwide due to pressures from human development and climate change. To successfully plant new saltmarshes and protect existing saltmarshes requires an improved knowledge of their ecology and ecosystem functioning.

In the Eden Estuary, Scotland, Bolboschoenus maritimus, a local saltmarsh species has been successfully transplanted from natural beds to un-vegetated sites. New sites may develop similar ecosystem functions as natural saltmarsh, however they may also develop a different suite of ecosystem functions with different processes having increased or decreased importance. The transplanted sites are known to demonstrate comparable sediment accumulation to natural saltmarsh stands (Maynard et al., 2011). Other ecosystem functions and the macrofaunal community structure are now being assessed.

New saltmarsh sites established between 2003 and 2013 were compared to natural saltmarsh and mudflats to examine whether ecosystem functioning were being restored at the transplanted sites. Measurements of sediment stability, surface sediment characteristics, microphytobenthos biomass were collected monthly between November 2011 and March 2013. Macrofaunal community structure and diversity, and macrophyte height and density were collected bi-monthly during this period. An additional sample for all variables was made in March 2014 to enable a 3 year comparison.

Macrophyte height and density, important for habitat provisioning and coastal protection, were comparable between transplanted and natural marsh a decade after transplantation. Other functions appear to be developing along the same trajectory but taking longer to attain comparable measures.

Improved understanding of our ability to restore saltmarshes and the time expected for ecosystem services to be restored enables managers to make more informed and effective management decisions.


Meiofaunal Communities in Quanzhou Bay mangrove wetlands and salt marshes

1,2Lizhe Cai, 2 Yi Zhuo, 2Sujing Fu, 2Xinwei Chen, 2Xiang Li

1Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Coastal and Wetland Ecosystems, Xiamen University,2College of the Environment & Ecology, Xiamen University


Key word: meiofauna free-living marine nematodes salt marsh Quanzhou Bay

The intertidal zone refers to parts of the beach that are covered with water during the high tides and are exposed during low tides. The environment here is subject to constant change due to the tides. Meiofauna is an important part of intertidal ecosystems, yet there is few studies implemented on meiofauna in the intertidal zone especially in mangrove wetlands in China. The ecological investigation has been carried and samples of meiofauna were collected in Quanzhou Bay intertidal zone from April 2011 to January 2012. 12 meiofaunal groups were collected in 4 habitats (Aegiceras Corniculatum, Kandelia Candel, Spartina Alterniflora and oyster-dominated flats) in four seasons. Among them, free-living marine nematodes was the dominant group, which had a percentage of 80.61% in total abundance of meiofauna. The abundance was highest in A. Corniculatum in winter (2104.9±944.3 ind.∙10cm-2), while lowest in K. Candel in autumn (273.0±109.0 ind.∙10cm-2). The highest average abundane was in oyster-dominated flats, followed by S. Alterniflora and A. Corniculatum habitats. A total of 105 free-living marine nematode species were identified in four seasons. In four seasons and habitats, the highest species number was in S. Alterniflora in autumn and the lowest was in A. Corniculatum in spring. Two-way ANOVA tests showed that there were highly significant differences among different seasons and among different habitats. And there was no significant different among the season × habitats interaction. Non-selective deposit feeder (1B) was the dominant feeding types.


On the role of sponges in the functionality of Cold Water Reefs; an approach based on 13C/15N isotope tracing experiments


1UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN, 2Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research


Key word: isotopes functionality food webs

Sponges constitute a major component of the benthic community in both shallowand deep-sea coral reefs. They have been characterised as “biological structures” since they supply shelter from predation and substrate for attachment to other organisms. In addition, shallow-water sponges may play a key role in reef food webs through their ability to convert dissolved to particulate organic matter which is subsequently made available to reef fauna; thus enabling hot spots of diversity and biomass to persist in oligotrophic environments. Cold Water Reefs (CWRs) are also hot spots of biodiversity, biomass and energy fluxes. In the CWRs of the North East Atlantic, sponges have a strong presence; but our understanding of the role of sponges in the functionality of CWRs is very limited. In order to investigate the role of sponges in CWR food webs in the NE Atlantic, specimens of the sponge Spongosorites coralliophaga (Stephens, 1915) were collected from two CWRs, the Mingulay Reef Complex (outer Hebrides Sea, ~130 m) and the Logachev Mounds (Rockall Bank, ~800 m). This species is abundant at our study sites, colonising dead coral fragments extensively; it has a large body size and its surface is colonised by diverse epifaunal organisms. Collected specimens (with or without epifauna) were used in on-board isotope tracing experiments with isotopically labelled dissolved (glucose, ammonium chloride) and particulate (microalgae, bacteria) substrates. Both assimilation and respiration of the labelled organic matter was followed. Respiration was measured both through oxygen consumption as well as through the method of Dissolved Inorganic Carbon. Preliminary observations have revealed significant differences in substrate utilisation rates as well as a preferential utilisation of nitrogen over carbon. Our work is expected to provide crucial information around the role of sponges in the functionality of these economically and ecologically important deep-sea ecosystems.


The role of seagrass-associated resources in an estuarine benthic food web

1Anna-Maria Vafeiadou, 2Patrick Materatski, 3Helena Adão, 1Marleen De Troch, 1Tom


1Ghent University, Marine Biology Section, Department of Biology, Krijgslaan 281/S8, 9000 Ghent, Belgium, 2University of Évora, School of Sciences and Technology, NemaLab c/o IMAR, Apartado 94, 7002-554 Évora, Portugal, 3University of Évora, School of Sciences and Technology, CO-CIEMAR c/o NemaLab, Apartado 94, 7002-554 Évora,



Key word: seagrass estuary food web stable isotopes benthos

Benthos have a key role in marine food webs by linking primary production to higher trophic levels, enhancing energy and nutrient transfer between the sediments and the pelagic zone. In seagrass ecosystems trophic relations are complex due to large resource variability. This study focuses on the benthic food web in a Zostera noltii seagrass habitat (Mira Estuary, Portugal). We examined resource utilization of the most abundant macroand meiobenthic taxa at genus, species or family level in the seagrass beds and their adjacent unvegetated sediments, using natural stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis. Stable isotope mixing models were used to estimate the proportional contribution of resources to the diet of those organisms. In total we analyzed 19 macrobenthic species among which crustaceans, insects, bivalves, gastropods, polychaetes and oligochaetes, and 24 meiobenthic species belonging to 16 nematode genera and 4 copepod families.

Based on the stable isotope ratios and the predicted diet contributions, microphyto-benthos was a main resource for most macroand meiobenthos, with intermediate carbon isotope signatures, whereas SPOM contributed predominantly for selected macrobenthic (polychaetes, insect larvae) and few meiobenthic species. There is evidence for ultimate utilization of seagrass-associated carbon, i.e. seagrass detritus and epiphytes, in and adjacent to the seagrass beds, demonstrating that it extends well beyond the vegetated areas. In contrast, fresh seagrass was utilized by only few macro-invertebrates; i.e. the crab Carcinus maenas, the isopods Idoteidae, and the gastropods Trochidae and Hydrobiidae. An important contribution of chemoautotrophic bacteria was shown, through symbiosis with lucinid bivalves or as a resource for the nematodes Terschellingia and the copepods Cletodidae. The trophic levels (four and three) for macroand meiobenthos were distinct based on stable nitrogen isotope signatures. Predatory feeding mode was suggested for the deposit-feeding nematodes Comesomatidae, demonstrating that traditional feeding type classifications based on nematode morphology can be misleading.

The importance of seagrass to the benthic food web is evident, considering not only the direct trophic link, via seagrass detritus utilization, but also its indirect contribution, via

enhancing particulate matter sedimentation and epiphytic microalgae settlement, which also contribute substantially to the benthic food web.


Climate changes: A different response from marine planktonic compartments 1Bruno Serranito, 2Lars Stemmann, 1Dominique Jamet, 1Jingwei Yang, 1Jean-Louis Jamet 1Toulon University, 2Laboratoire d'Océanologie de Villefranche


Key word: Climate changes phytoplanktonic assemblage theoretical modeling

Climate change and global warming is a phenomenon accepted by the most scientists. Thus, since many decades, some models were created to describe possible incidence on large scale ecosystems in particular due to plankton communities for their fast responses to disturbances. However, the effect on plankton structure, biodiversity and functioning remain poorly understood, especially at a fine taxonomic scale.

One of the aims of this work was to make a theoretical functioning model of marine coastal ecosystems by studying the effects of some climate changes factors on marine plankton coastal communities based on different interannual time series in NW Mediterranean Sea (Toulon Bay, France). Study sites concerned two coupled bays characterized by a different pollution degrees which affected their functioning (Little and Large Bay).

This study investigating jointly evolution of usual climate parameters (Temperature, Salinity, Precipitation rate, Wind…) and interannual dynamic of phytoand zooplankton assemblages using derived indicators (abundance, biomass) from 2005 to 2013 for both bays.

Discriminant analysis allowed detecting a significant shift in precipitation rate detected from 2008 to 2011 and correlated to a decreasing of salinity. As a result to this perturbation phytoand zooplankton behaved differently. Thus phytoplankton showed modifications in abundance, biomass, biovolume and specific composition with a shift in specific assemblages while zooplankton didn’t represented significant change in composition dominated by cyclopoid copepoda called Oithona nana, especially in the eutrophic Little Bay.

These results suggested a relative plasticity of zooplanktonic compartment to the change in phytoplankton assemblages caused by climate change.


Can species range shifts alter nutrient cycling: ¬experimental tests for functional redundancy between an invasive and a declining native species

Nadescha Zwerschke, Dai Roberts, Nessa O'Connor

Queen's University Belfast

Key word: Ecosystem functioning Invasive oyster

Several studies have shown how invasive species can alter the functioning and diversity of marine ecosystems. For example, the introduction of a non-native bivalve to a system without any functionally equivalent species has been shown to have dramatic effects on benthic-pelagic coupling and the cycling of nutrients in these ecosystems. This study aimed to compare the role of a non-native oyster (Crassostrea gigas) and a native oyster (Ostrea edulis) in benthic-pelagic coupling and to test whether both species are functionally equivalent in terms of this key process. A field experiment was set-up to test whether: (i) C. gigas deposits nutrients at a greater rate than O. edulis, thereby affecting microbial activity and diversity as well as meiofaunal diversity in the sediment; (ii) nutrient deposition is increased when both oyster species co-occur; and (iii) potential effects are density-dependent. The presence, density and relative proportion of both oyster species were manipulated at an inter-tidal mudflat in Lough Foyle (Ireland). To quantify nutrient cycling in each experimental plot, pore water and sediment samples were taken at different sediment depths. Concentrations of ammonia, silicate, phosphate and total oxidised nitrogen were estimated in the pore water and quantities of nitrogen and organic carbon were estimated in the sediment. Sediment samples were also used to quantify microbial activity among the different treatments. Infaunal communities were also quantified in each plot and the abundance of green micro-algae, diatoms and cyanobacteria was quantified using a benthic flourometer. Preliminary results indicated that the two oyster species differ in nutrients deposition rates. C. gigas tended to deposit greater concentration of nutrients in the sediment than O. edulis, however, this effect was density-dependent and varied temporally. Whereas concentrations of ammonia and phosphate and microbial activity were all greater when both species were present at high density, compared to monocultures, suggesting a synergistic effect of the two oyster species on nutrient cycling. Our findings suggest that these oyster species differ functionally, in terms of nutrient cycling and deposition, which is important given the concurrent decline of O. edulis and increase of C. gigas globally.


Marine Ecosystem Safety

S3-1 (Keynote)

HABs and marine ecological safety- case study along Chinese coast

Mingjiang Zhou

Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences


Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) have become a kind of marine disaster impacting marine ecological safety along world’s coasts. HABs could be divided into “Red tides”, “Green tides” and “Brown tides” according to the causative species; or into “Toxic ABs”, “High-biomass ABs” and “EDABs—Ecosystem Disruptive ABs” according to the impacts they caused. It is, however, a theoretical classification and in many cases they show up in a mixture phase. In Chinese coasts, HABs are also causing serious problems. All three kinds of HABs are breaking out along the coasts with different consequences. Red tides are the most common HABs distributed in nearly all Chinese coasts. Many toxic red tides were recorded recently including that caused by toxin producers of Alexandrium catenella and Karlodinium veneficum, and by fish killing species of Karenia mikimotoi, Heterosigma akashiwo and Cochlodinium polykrikoides. Particular attention needs to be paid to the red tides caused by Prorocentrum donghainese, a non-toxic dinoflagellate which used to cause large scale blooms (> 10,000km2), lasting about one month in the Changjiang estuary for more than 15 years. Sufficient evidence indicated that it is a typical EDAB to potentially cause ecosystem disruption in the blooming area through the damage to key zooplankton species. World’s largest green tides occurred in the southern Yellow sea for continuous 8 years. They affected the marine ecological safety by competing with phytoplankton species for light and nutrients in the water column and by producing toxins to harm benthos when they decay. Brown tides are very new HABs in China but they already had significant impacts on marine ecological safety by damaging world’s largest bay-scallop aquaculture and causing huge economy lost. Some countermeasures need to be developed to reduce the harmful effects of HABs to marine ecological safety.


Harmful algae and phycotoxins on the Russian east coast

Tatiana Orlova

A.V. Zhirmunskii Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences


Key word: harmful algae phycotoxins toxic microalgae

A total number of 43 potentially toxic and bloom-forming microalgae have been identified on the Russian east coast. This number is based on results of over 30 years of research at a coastal station in Peter the Great Bay, 7 years of biotoxins monitoring in Primorsky Krai and of a series of sporadic observations in the Far Eastern seas of Russia. Several species of potentially toxic hyptophytes, dinoflagellates and diatoms are reported for the first time in the study area. Information on the period of highest abundances or most probable period of occurrence indicates spring, summer and the early autumn as the periods of maximum risk of harmful/toxic events. Outbreaks of microalgae known as DSTs, AST and PSTs producers are common in Russian coastal waters. Monitoring data indicate that DSTs in mussels from coastal waters of Primorsky Krai may exceed the permissible level of five times. Lipophilic toxins (PTXs, YTXs and AZAs) were produced by a very low concentration of the causative organism, and this characteristic implies a difficulty for the monitoring programs in relation to human health. In the context of human health and HAB events, some coastal regions (e.g. the Bering Sea basin, coastal waters of Kamchatka, Aniva Bay and Peter the Great Bay) require more attention. Increasing awareness regarding HABs and phytoxins, as well as the rapid development of the aquaculture industry in Russia makes it necessary to establish the national program on HABs monitoring and improving existing phycotoxins regulation for fish and seafood products.


What kills the corals in Chilean Patagonia? – hypotheses on the mass die-off of Desmophylum dianthus banks

1Gunter Forsterra, 1Vreni Häussermann, 2Jürgen Laudien, 2Carin Jantzen, 3Rhian Waller,

4Javier Sellanes, 4Praxedes Munoz

1Huinay Scientific Field Station, 2Alfred-Wegener-Institute, 3University of Maine,

4Universidad Catolica del Norte


Key word: cold-water corals mortality

Although coral reefs are commonly associated with shallow water and the tropics, more than half of the world’s coral reefs lie in the deep ocean. However, the mechanisms that affect deep-water corals are very different to those in the tropics. Shallow cold-water corals in the fjords of Chilean Patagonia have just been discovered a decade ago. Here individuals of the cosmopolitan species Desmophyllum dianthus were found as shallow as 7 m; below 20 m they form large three-dimensional banks in the three northernmost fjords of Chilean Patagonia where they are the matrix for a rich benthic comunity. We have been inventorying, monitoring and studying the coral banks of the Comau and Renihue fjords since 2003: recruitment plates have been installed at two sites in 2009, concrete tubes with recruitment plates at one site each in 2009 and 2014, respectively, and fixed spots for photo time series at three sites in 2014. In 2012/2013, we have been collecting corals at three sites every 3 month to detect spawning time. During this period, all kinds of disturbance events have been monitored, ranging from salmon farms to lost nets that got entangled into coral banks and including sediment stress after volcanic eruptions. The banks of D. dianthus showed comparably high resistance to these disturbances. Nevertheless, in 2012 we observed a mass die off of more than 99% of all D. dianthus specimens within less than a month along 8.4 km of coastline and down to at least 70 m depth. We hypothesize the reason for this die off to be toxic compounds from elevated activity of nearby cold vents in combination with hypoxia after massive algae blooms, deriving from elevated primary production caused by salmon farms. The amount and diversity of disturbance factors in combination with a lack of ecological and physiological data on this species make it difficult to predict its reaction to these multiple stressors. We provide evidence for the proposed hypothesis and discuss further steps to address the resulting and remaining questions.


Understanding the diversity of bloom-forming microalgae in Chinawhy and how?

Ren-Cheng Yu, Qing-Chun Zhang, Fan-Zhou Kong, Ming-Jiang Zhou Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences rcyu@qdio.ac.cn

Key words: harmful algal bloom, microalgae, biodiversity

Many microalgae in the sea can form visible blooms, and some blooms are considered harmful (harmful algal blooms) due to their deleterious effects on marine organisms, seafood safety and the health of natural ecosystems. Over the last 20 years, an increasing number of bloom-forming microalgae were recorded in the coastal waters of China. The blooms, such as red tides formed by dinoflagellate Karenia mikimotoi in the East China Sea and brown tides formed by pelagophyte Aureococcus anophagefferens in the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea, often associated with mass mortality of cultured organisms and huge economic lose.

The increasing number of recorded bloom-forming microalgae, particular those toxic or harmful flagellates, reflected a significant amplification of flagellate bloom during the spring-summer time in the coastal waters of China. The changing nutrient regime in the sea, such as the elevating ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus (N/P ratio) and the increasing concentration of organic forms of N and P, is believed to be a major reason accounting for this. Gradual warming of the China Seas, which will lead to enhanced stratification of the water column in spring and summer, may also contribute to this change. However, knowledge on the diversity of microalgae during the flagellate bloom is still quite limited, due to many different microalgal groups involved and the dominance of pico-sized eukaryotic algae.

The increasing importance of flagellate bloom in the coastal waters of China, however, requires a meticulous examination on species composition during the bloom using both traditional methods and new techniques like metagenomics. This will offer useful information to understand the diversity of bloom-forming microalgae and to develop methods for detection of targeted species, which is important for the monitoring, prediction and mitigation of harmful algal blooms.


Marine biofouling on recreational boats on swing moorings and berths

1Oriana Brine, 1Lou Hunt, 2Mark John Costello

1The Ministry for Primary Industries, 2The University of Auckland


Key word: Introduced species Invasive marine species New Zealand Non-indigenous marine species Vector

Biofouling on the hulls of recreational boats kept on swing moorings and marina berths poses a risk of transporting invasive species. A survey of 360 boats was undertaken of both mooring types at six sites near Auckland, New Zealand by visual observation from the waterline and underwater video. Both methods showed that the boats on swing moorings had more biofouling than those in berths (p < 0.001), and the video found more biofouling than visual observation (p < 0.001). A survey of boat owners found that boats on swing moorings moved at lower speeds (a function of different vessel types), making their speed insufficient to dislodge biofouling and potentially increasing their biosecurity risk. Five invasive marine species were known in the study area and the video images suggested that some of these and other invasive marine species were growing on boat hulls. About 8,700 recreational boats may be moored in the region, indicating that they have the potential to disperse invasive marine species beyond their present range.


Broad-scale impact assessment of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on seagrass beds in Sanriku Coast, northeastern Japan

1Masahiro Nakaoka, 2Shingo Sakamoto, 3Hitoshi Tamaki, 1Daisuke Muraoka, 2Teruhisa


1Akkeshi Marine Station, Hokkaido University, 2Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, the University of Tokyo, 3Ishinomaki Senshu University


Key word: seagrass bed disturbance tsunami before/after comparison meta-analysis

The coastal areas of Sanriku, northeastern Japan, were heavily damaged by the megaearthquake and tsunami on March 11th, 2011. Assessments of their impacts on coastal ecosystems and their biodiversity, and of the following recovery process are worthwhile not only for establishing effective rehabilitation and management plans, but also for deepen our understandings how natural marine ecosystems respond to catastrophic disturbance which occur once in the millennium. Impact assessment of such unpredictable events is difficult due to a lack of sufficient quantitative data on ecosystems prior to these disturbances. Long-term ecological data prior to disturbance, if they exist, would greatly facilitate quantitative evaluation of impacts through comparisons of data taken before and after events. Post-disaster research on the impact assessment and recovery processe after the tsunami has been ongoing at several sites along the coasts of Sanriku, but each individual research used different methods due to differences in initial objectives before the tsunami. By accumulating individual monitoring data from different studies, we tried to examine general impacts on seagrass beds over the whole coastal areas of Sanriku. The qualitative and quantitative data were collected from seagrass beds in 10 bays scattered over 500 km coastline. Meta-analyses revealed that the impacts of tsunami varied greatly among different bays, different seagrass beds within a bay, and even among different depths within a single seagrass bed. Generally, seagrass beds were more severely damaged at shallower depths and inner parts of bays compared to those located at outer part of bays. The variation is well explained by that in the wave intensity of the tsunami. Most of the research has been continued to monitor recovery processes after the impact, which would be useful to evaluate how seagrass beds in the region are resilient for such a catastrophic, rare disturbance.


An integrated study on the initiation and early development of the green tide in Yellow Sea

Jie Xiao, Zongling Wang, Ruixiang Li, Yan Li, Xuelei Zhang, Shiliang Fan

The First Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration

Key word: Green tide U. prolifera Yellow Sea

Since 2007, the world’s largest green tide proceeded annually in Yellow Sea of China, resulting in significant economic loss. Despite the general agreement that the huge floating macroalgal mats in the open area and coastal waters of Yellow Sea were originated and transported from the southwestern coast of Yellow Sea, there were still controversial arguments on formation of the green tide and contributions of multiple hypothesized seed sources. The development and expansion of the green tide were mostly based on the satellite image analyses, whilst on-site monitoring was scarce which was crucial for understanding the development process. Thus, series of extensive field surveys and experiments were conducted on the Porphyra aquaculture rafts, the coastal waters in Subei Shoal and the adjacent regions during March to June of 2012. Our research revealed the primary contribution of the anthropogenic macroalgal wastes from the connecting ropes of Porphyra aquaculture rafts to the formation of green tides. Little floating macroalgae was observed until the middle of April when the Porphyra harvesting was started, then the macroalgal patches widespread in the Subei Shoal and the adjacent waters. The persistent high biomass in Subei Shoal and an evident northward - offshore developing pattern of floating algae suggested a continuous point source from the Subei Shoal area for the expansion of the green tide. Approximately 4000 tons of Ulva prolifera were estimated to drift into the coastal waters during the Porphyra harvest season. With the high growth rate and strong buoyancy in field, U. prolifera was able to dominate the floating algae rapidly, and then proliferate and accumulate into million tons of biomass in about one month.


Transport and Fate of oil hydrocarbons in Scottish deep-sea environments

Ursula Witte, Evina Gontikaki, Jim Anderson

University of Aberdeen


Key word: hydrocarbon degradation deep-sea

The release of oil into the sea can produce significant environmental consequences, and as oil and gas exploration in the marine environment moves to progressively deeper waters, a great need arises to understand the consequences of hydrocarbon (HC) release in deep water environments in order to improve oil contamination monitoring and optimize response measures after a potential spill. Most of the information we have on the effect of a deep water oil release derives from scientific research following the 2010 Deepwater horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In that case, the HC-degrading bacterial community at depth underwent rapid and dynamic adaptation in response to oil contamination and differed distinctly from that of the surface oil slick samples. The latter suggest that there exists a potential for intrinsic bioremediation of oil contaminants in the deep-sea.

A large proportion of Scottish waters are deeper than 200m and HC extraction now occurs down to 1100m in the Faroe Shetland Channel (FSC). But in contrast to the Gulf of Mexico with its naturally high hydrocarbon concentrations, most of the deep-sea is devoid of naturally occurring petroleum HC seeps. In the deep FSC, HC degradation rates can be expected to be further reduced due to prevailing subzero temperatures that restrict biological turnover rates. In addition, the strong near-bed currents in the FSC mean that seafloor sediments are relatively coarse and likely to act as efficient filtering beds for HCs dispersed or dissolved in bottom waters. As a result, HCs can be expected to be transported and accumulate deeper in the sediment, and at much greater rates, than in the typically more muddy sediments prevailing in most deep-sea environments. The complex hydrography and sedimentary environment of the FSC thus underpin the need for site-specific studies of oil degradation and ecosystem response to current bioremediation techniques.

Here, we present results on the transport into and within, as well as degradation of hydrocarbons in FSC sediments derived from 3 different types of experiments: incubations with crude oil, as well as a model hydrocarbon mixture and individual, 13C-labelled HC


Phylogeny of Hydroides (Annelida: Serpulidae): a resource for taxonomic and biodiversity studies

1Yanan Sun, 2Elena Kupriyanova, 2Eunice Wong 1Macquarie University, 2Australian Museum yanan.sun2@students.mq.edu.au

Key word: Polychaeta Hydroides biodiversity phylogeny

Hydroides Gunnerus, 1768 is the largest genus of calcareous tubeworms of the family Serpulidae (Sabellida, Annelida) with more than 100 described species. These sedentary marine animals are found world-wide in the subtidal zone of tropical and subtropical waters. Many of Hydroides species are important reef-builders, foulers, and biological invaders that can be easily transported as adults attached to ship hulls or in ballast water as larvae. Hydroides spp. can also form dense aggregations on artificial underwater structures, thus, they constitute significant nuisances to marine aquaculture, navigation, shipping industries and power plants. Species of the genus can be distinguished from other tubeworms by the characteristic elaborate two-layer tube plug called the operculum. The complex opercular morphology has been also used as the main characters used to distinguish species within this genus. Nevertheless, species delimitation within Hydroides based on morphology characters is problematic because of high intraspecific variability and significant overlap of the range of interspecific variability. The true biodiversity of the genus is likely to be underestimated. In this study we explored phylogenetic relationships within Hydroides based on mitochondrial (COI and cytochrome b) and nuclear (18S and 28S) gene fragments of 35 Hydroides species from different geographic regions. The molecular data indicate the monophyly of Hydroides. Phylogenetic tree of all taxa used in this study indicates close relationship among species with similar opercular morphology and among species collected from the same geographic region. The phylogenetic analyses provide evidences needed to trace the evolution of opercula and to reveal a pattern of geographic sympatry. The results can also provide tools for marine pest and quarantine authorities as they can be used to distinguish morphologically similar species and to recognize potential Hydroides invaders.


Dynamic of soft-bottom macrobenthic assemblages associated to hypoxic seasonal zone at Valparaiso bay, central Chile.

1Eulogio Soto, 2Eduardo Quiroga, 1Benjamin Ganga, 1Guillermo Alarcon

1Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y de Recursos Naturales, Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile,

2Escuela de Ciencias del Mar, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile


Key word: Macrobenthos Hypoxia Polychaetes Chile

Recent studies indicate hypoxic and oxygen minimum zones are expanding to coastal and deep-sea areas in the oceans as consequence of global change. However how affect this oceanographic condition to the benthos remaining poorly understood.

Soft-bottom macrobenthic communities at continental shelf of central Chile, southeast Pacific were studied between december 2012 and september 2013 from two oceanographic stations. Fauna was collected using a modified van Veen grab (0,04m2) and sieved at 500µm. Sediment and water column samples for biogeochemical analyses were obtained by gravity corer, CTDO Seabird 19 and Niskin oceanographic bottle, respectively.

Faunal composition was characterized by higher diversity and abundance of small-bodied polychaetes with Cossura chilensis, Prionospio sp. and Aricidea sp. as dominants. Bivalves and ophiuroids also were important. Mean abundance reached 3840 ind./m2 and biomass 65,7 g/m2. Richness varied between 9-40 species, diversity (H’) 2,5-3,3 bit, evenness (J’) 0,5-0,8 bit and dominance (Simpson) 0,6-0,8 bit. Mean values showed abundance, biomass and species richness were higher at 100m, while diversity, evenness and dominance were higher at 140m. Abundance and biomass recorded a seasonal pattern with an increase at the end of period, while dominance also recorded seasonality but with low values in september 2013. Species richness increased with time and diversity and evenness did not show significant variability. Oxygen concentrations (ml/L) varied between 3,26 and 0,6 showing a decreasing pattern with time. A similar trend was observed for organic matter content (9.7-5.5%) and mud porcentage (48-22%) in sediments. Particulate organic carbón in bottom wáter and sand porcentage increased in time (0,7-6,8mg/L and 21-77%, respectively). Redox potential (mean Eh:117mV) and stables isotopes (mean δ13C: -23,5) showed variability without a clear temporal pattern. Deeper station (140m) recorded higher mean values for redox potential (Eh:132mV), chlorophyll-a (1,8mg/m3) and sand (60%). Shallow station (100m) recorded maximum mean values for oxygen (1,8 ml/L), particulate organic carbón (4mg/L), mud (43%), organic matter content (8,2%) and stables isotopes (δ13C: -24). This is the first scientific research to understand the benthos response to specific oceanographic conditions at Valparaiso bay, central Chile. Further studies will allow to know bentos dynamic and what factors affect him.


Effects of duration at low temperature on the polyps of the scyphozoan Nemopilema nomurai (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae) on asexual reproduction

Feng Song, Zhang Fang, Sun Song

Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, CAS

sunsong@ms.qdio.ac.cn, zhangfang@ms.qdio.ac.cn

Key word: Jellyfish bloom podocyst strobilation feeding frequency

Massive outbreaks of the giant jellyfish, Nemopilema nomurai Kishinouye have appeared frequently in coastal seas of China in recent decades. In the life cycle of N.nomurai, asexual reproduction by the benthic polyps may prominently determine the jellyfish population size. In our experiment, polyps first stored at two low temperature durations (5℃ for 40d and 117d), then were maintained at seven temperatures (separately elevated to 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 27℃ by 1℃ every two days from 5℃, control temperature: 5℃), and three feeding frequencies (once per 5d, once per10d, unfed) to examine effects on the percentages of polyps strobilating, strobilation duration, ephyra and podocyst production.

Longer duration at low temperature lowered the temperature range of the first strobilation, which was broader for the second strobilation, and accelerated strobila formation. Duration at low temperature, temperature and feeding frequency significantly affected the ephyra and podocyst production. The most ephyrae and podocysts were produced by polyps after long low temperature duration then warmed to10℃ and fed once per 5d (2.4 ephyrae polyp-1), warmed to 27℃ and fed once per 5d (2.3 podocysts polyp-1). We conclude that longer duration at low temperature in winter, continual 10℃ period, and increasing food supply could accelerate strobila formation, increase jellyfish production and may be beneficial for blooms of N.nomurai medusae.


Toxic effects of nickel nanoparticles on reproductive physiology of the calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa (Dana)

1Chao Zhou, 2Changwen Wu, 3Valentina Vitiello, 3David Pellegrini, 4Isabella Buttino

1CAISIAL Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II Italy, 2Zhejiang Ocean University, PRC, 3ISPRA_STS Livorno, 4ISPRA-Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research


Key word: nanoparticles, toxicity test, physiology, copepod, fecundity

As the increasing and widespread of nanoparticles (NPs) in the fields of medicine and high technology is projected to promote the development of the industry greatly, NPs are inevitably released into the sea. Hence, the risk of NPs contaminating the sea continuously increases. It is essential to evaluate the potential impacts of NPs on the marine environment and organisms. As being one of the effective tools in risk evaluation of NPs in the marine environment, toxicity test is applied on marine organisms belonging to different trophic groups and toxic conditions. Copepods are the most abundant organisms in the marine pelagic community, they are filter-feeding herbivores representing the link between primary producers to carnivores. Therefore copepods are model organisms to test the effect of pollutants on the marine ecosystem. Acartia tonsa is one of the most common calanoid species proposed for ecotoxicology tests and marine pollution assays protocols, as is “easy to grow” compared to other calanoid copepods, with a short life cycle.

In the present study acute, semichronic and chronic toxicity tests with A. tonsa copepod, are proposed to test nanoparticle toxicity. In particular, bioassays are performed to test toxic effects of nickel nanoparticles, which are widely used in industry as mining product, extraction and refining, and in food processing. We have analyzed egg production rate, egg hatching success and fecal pellet production of Acartia tonsa copepod, exposed to different concentrations of nickel nanoparticles. Protocols and procedures are proposed, as standardized bioassays, to test nanoparticle toxicity in marine environment.

Session 4: Marine Biological Observation

S4-1 (Keynote)

Deep-sea investigations of the A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology

Andrey V. Adrianov, Victor V. Ivin, Marina V. Malyutina

A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology of Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences


The dynamic development of deep-sea studies of the World Ocean became possible in the recent years owing to the development of underwater robotics and deep-sea sampling technologies. The complex studies of biological diversity in deep waters of the ocean have brought a lot of interesting discoveries: they make us revise significantly our knowledge of the quantitative and qualitative composition of the deep-sea biota.

Zones of high biological diversity were found on ocean slopes, and hundreds of new species from various taxa of the animal kingdom were described there during the recent years. From the point of view of biological diversity, the unique deep-sea ecosystems of the Russian Far Eastern seas are of particular interest: they have hydrothermal activity, deposits of gas hydrates, hydrocarbon seepages, and mineral deposits.

With new data, we should significantly revise our estimates of marine biological resources and, first of all, the reserves of deep-sea biota, as we know that waters with depths over 1 km constitute 95% of the area of the World Ocean.

Also, we pay special attention to deep-sea ecosystems, because many of deep-sea species appear to be sources of new biologically active compounds; they serve as a basis for creation of medicinal preparations of new types. Thus, about 60% of all natural compounds, isolated from deep-sea biota, possess biological activity, and almost a half of them show an anti-tumor effect. There are good reasons to suppose that deep-sea organisms may become a more promising resource for creation of new types of drugs than shallow-water members of the same animal taxa. Moreover, new bacteria, described from unique deep-sea biotopes, may be a source of new antibiotics, which are urgently needed, since most of currently used antimicrobial agents have lost their efficiency.

From 2009, the Institute of Marine Biology conducts a complex deep-sea research in waters of the Far Eastern seas. A newly built park of sub-sea robotics includes autonomous and remotely operated vehicles; this enabled us to conduct studies of benthic ecosystems and collect animals from depths down to 6,000 m.

This advance allowed us to visualize information on the structure of bottom landscapes, to evaluate the diversity and population density of marine organisms, the patterns of their distribution, and even to assess their biomass without taking these organisms out of their natural environment. (Automatic assessment of linear sizes, calculation of volume and biomass of certain marine organisms, their automatic counting over different parts of the bottom has become possible with the use of the automatic image stitching technology).

Now we have an opportunity to collect deep-sea biological material, perfectly preserved for subsequent biochemical and genetic studies. For the first time, we obtained the means to study biology of a number of deep-sea organisms, including those in unique deep-sea biotopes in the sites of gas hydrotherms and seepages.

I would like to illustrate only some of the interesting results of our research. Zones of a very high biological diversity were found on the continental slope of the Sea of Japan.

Winter slope convection at the Russian coast of the Sea of Japan provides ventilation of near-bottom waters along the continental slope down to depths of 2,500-3,500 m at a distance of 200 km from the shore. High-density waters, formed on the shelf as a result of strong monsoon winds and low temperatures in winter months, lower down to deeper layers and cause renewal of near-bottom waters. Moreover, the steepness of the continental slope in some areas reaches 45о and contributes -under the effect of slope convection - to an inflow of large amounts of organic matter, mostly remains of macrophytic algae and sea grass from the vast “green belt” of shallow waters - to deeper layers. Along with the so-called “rain of corpses” (formed by plankton aggregations at the border between cold and warm waters), this organic matter becomes a forage resource for deep-sea biota. The use of underwater robotics allowed the researchers to visualize this process. Macrophytic remains and green (!) fragments of the seagrass Zostera were found at depths to 3,500 m. These masses just roll down the steep slope to the maximum depths.

The Sea of Japan slope is indented by deep canyons – formed by sunken beds of ancient rivers and beds of erosion gravity flows. Thus, Great Gamov Canyon stretches from the depth of 95 m down to the depth of 2,200 m, with a width of 2.5 miles in its central part. Its profile is U-shaped, and the walls, formed by consolidated sedimentary rocks, have a steepness from 25-35о to 85о. The canyon plays a role of a sedimentation trap; it accumulates the organic matter coming from the shelf and transports it to the depths of the Sea of Japan. This creates favorable conditions for the richest fauna of seston- and detritus-feeders.

The Russian-German expedition SoJaBio-2010 was organized to assess biodiversity in the deep-sea part of the Russian waters of the Sea of Japan. Despite the Sea of Japan is recognized as one of the best studied seas in the North Western Pacific, 201 species (or 32%) - in the sample of 621 species of marine invertebrates, collected along the transect from 500 to 3,660 m - proved to be new to science, and 105 species (17%) were found in the Sea of Japan for the first time.

By the way, the German-Russian expedition Kurambio-2013 to the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench and the adjacent abyssal plateau has brought even more impressive results. During years, deep-sea trawling in this area in the 1950s and 60s gave a total of 600 deep-sea species. Now, application of modern techniques during one expedition allowed the researchers to collect - only within the depth range from 5,000 to 6,000 m - about 1,780 species, about 50% of which are considered by experts as new for science.

The use of sub-sea robotics enabled us to visualize our knowledge of biodiversity and functions of some unique deep-sea ecosystems in the North Western Pacific.

In deep waters of the Sea of Okhotsk, in the area of Deryugin Basin, a special ecosystem with active methane and petroleum hydrocarbon seepages was described in the area of the Barite Mountains. Growth of methanotrophic bacteria originates formation of the food chains, which provide food for numerous invertebrate and fish species, living in close proximity of the seepages.

It appears that these unique deep-sea ecosystems also need nowadays protection from damage caused by bottom trawling, as well as from garbage, which is now frequently found even at great sea depths.

We are absolutely right when we claim the necessity of conservation of tropic coral reefs. But the abyss has its own reefs, its own “coral gardens” of octocorals and “meadows” of hydrocorals. They astonish us with their beauty and also are extremely vulnerable.

Thus, it is absolutely clear that our knowledge of biodiversity in deep waters of the World Ocean, which constitute the largest part of our blue planet, has changed substantially for the recent decades. The process of large-scale inventory of the real biodiversity in the bathyal and abyssal zones and in ocean trenches is still far from completion. Actually, we are at the beginning of the way - in spite of all our ambitions and self-importance. And this process can be successful only at close international cooperation and our mutual intense efforts.


Crowd sourcing as a tool for deep-sea researchers in the analysis of video imagery: Lessons from a cabled observatory

1Stanley Kim Juniper, 1Benoït Pirenne, 1Maia Hoeberechts, 2Marjolaine Matabos

1Ocean Networks Canada, 2Ifremer, France


Key word: Cabled observatories Crowd sourcing

The development of tools for the acquisition of deep-sea imagery has surpassed the development of tools for extracting biological information from growing video and photo archives. Yet these imagery archives contain a wealth of information on the spatial and temporal distribution of deep-sea species. Ocean Networks Canada has been operating cabled ocean observatories in the northeast Pacific since 2006. Several years of traditional manual extraction of biological information from archived imagery revealed the potential power of time series biological observations in understanding the response of deep-sea species to short and long-term environmental variability. However, as imagery accumulates in the archive, it becomes impossible for researchers to exploit the full potential the thousands of hours of video coming from multiple deep-sea cameras connected to our network. Following a trend in other fields of research we developed Digital Fishers, a crowd-sourcing tool that allows members of the public to annotate segments of archived video imagery, with information about species present and habitat properties. The public participates in this process through campaigns proposed by researchers that identify locations, periods of time and target organisms, as well as explaining the scientific context. We will demonstrate the use of the Digital Fishers tool and provide examples comparing crowd sourcing results with those obtained by expert analysis and automated object recognition algorithms.


Development of databases and classifications of phytoplankton groups from in field data collected by flow cytometry coupled with microscopic camera

JIXIN CHEN, Zhen Cao, Bangqin Huang Xiamen University brigchen@xmu.edu.cn

Key word: Flow Cytometry Phytoplankton in situ observation

Studying phytoplankton is important to ecological research. As the foundation of the food chain for marine ecosystem, phytoplankton are an integral component of the global carbon cycle.Identification and counting of phytoplankton are always time-consuming and require well-trained taxonomy experts . Some new instruments can help automaticly and quickly measure the optical or morphology information of phytoplankton directly from the field sample, such as a new flow cytometer, which detects optical/fluorescent signal and takes images of micro-organisms from a stream of field water. This instrument is capable of generating an enormous amount of optical data from single particle coupling with microscopic image. Currently, identifying the organisms appearing in all these images is a daunting task, performed manually by the marine biologists. Here, we present early classification databases and identification results of a system for in situ recognizing phytoplankton on board.


Short-term colonisation by zoobenthic species on an eco-friendly artificial reef

Aurélie Foveau, Jean-Claude Dauvin Université de Caen aurelie.foveau@unicaen.fr

Key word: short-term colonisation zoobenthic species

The RECIF project, a European cross-border cooperation programme INTERREG IV A, aims to enhance the use of shellfish by-products in the elaboration of an eco-friendly material for artificial reef. The shellfish by-products used here are queen scallop shells. In parallel of this technological development, environmental and biological monitorings have been set up. Zoobenthic species colonising three different compositions of artificial structures, ecofriendly concrete blocks (two kinds of porosity) and common concrete blocks are investigated six months. The aims are to describe the short-term colonisation by zoobenthic species, to analyse the suitability for colonisation of this eco-friendly material and to highlight possible differences between the three compositions. A total of 75 blocks (30 blocks with eco-friendly material for each porosity and 15 blocks of common concrete) has been settled in the high hydrodynamic intertidal area of Calvados coast on oyster tables. The two kinds of eco-friendly material blocks are collected each fortnight. The concrete blocks are collected each month. Abundance and species richness are recorded. Time, succession and location of settlements are also recorded parameters. A study of the associated fauna is also done. First analyses between different kinds of blocks show significant differences for abundances but none for species richness. Analyses reveal also differences in the settlement of species depending of the position on the blocks. These differences could be explained by the environmental parameters surrounding blocks and by the larval behaviours.


TEAMS: the research project for the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011

1Hiroshi Kitazato, 2Akihiro Kijima, 3Kazuhiro Kogure, 2Motoyuki Hara, 3Toshi Nagata,

4Katsunori Fujikura, 4Akira Sonoda

1TEAMS/JAMSTEC, 2Graduate School of Agriculture, Tohoku University, 3AORI,

University of Tokyo, 4TEAMS, JAMSTEC


Key word: Marine Ecosystems Disturbances Mega-Earthquake and Tsunami

At 2:46 pm on March 11, 2011, a huge earthquake (M 9.0) occurred off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Region, Japan. The subsequent Tsunamis hit the coasts and seriously damaged fishing villages and towns in the area. Tohoku Region faces Northwestern Pacific where is one of the most productive oceans on the Earth. Then, what happened to the marine ecosystems in the Tohoku Region? What happened to the fishery bioresources? What is the mechanism to sustain high productivity in the Region? Is the ecosystem restoring after 3 years? What is required for the recovery of fisheries in the area? In order to answer these questions, the 10 years research project, TEAMS (Tohoku Ecosystem-Associated Marine Sciences) was launched in January 2012 funded by MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan) to conduct comprehensive research on the area. Tohoku University (TU), Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, the University of Tokyo (AORIUT), Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), and 25 other institutions are conducting research for this project in close association with local government and fishery people. Currently, approximately 400 people (200 scientists, 160 students and others) covering physical, chemical, biological, and geological sciences including modeling take part in the project from all over Japan. MEXT also supports TEAMS by constructing R/V Shinsei Maru in 2013 for the oceanic investigations in the region. In this report, the overview of the ecosystem before and after the disaster, major findings and challenges of TEAMS will be described.


Powerful Tools to assess Ecosystems Structure and Functioning in the Oceans, HYDROPTIC

Marc Picheral

Imaging systems are broadly utilized in biological oceanography. Being non-destructive sampling devices, they are powerful tools to study living organisms and particulate matter. In-situ device permit high special resolution observation but are limited by the imaged volume while laboratory instruments are appreciated for rapid processing of collected samples. Many laboratories developed in-situ instruments for identification and quantification of plankton but very few went to the market till now.

Here we present two instruments developed at Laboratoire d’Oceanographie de Villefranche sur mer that take benefit of a unique image processing suite and computer assisted procedures for categorization of organisms. The Underwater Vision Profiler 5 (UVP5) is a 6000m rated underwater sensor capable of counting and sizing particles above 0.1mm and providing images of targets above 0.5mm for later identification. The UVP5 is a standalone instrument which is usually associated with CTD sensors. The Zooscan is a bench system allowing fast analysis of net collected samples containing targets above 150µm. They both take benefit of the same computer tools and have been broadly utilized. They thus demonstrated they efficiency to provide useful data for understanding plankton community structure and function and therefore marine ecosystem’s functioning.


US IOOS and OBIS-USA Collaboration on IOOS Biological Data Services; Data Services' Role "From Ocean Observing to Decision-Making"

1Philip Goldstein, 2Mark Fornwall

1University of Colorado, Boulder, 2United States Geological Survey

Key word: Biological Data Standards Ocean Observing Systems Ocean Data Applications Decision-Making

OBIS-USA (http://USGS.gov/obis-usa), a program of the United States Geological Survey, is the United States regional node of the International Ocean Biogeographic Information System (http://iobis.org). Like OBIS programs worldwide, OBIS-USA uses the ratified Darwin Core standard to make biogeographic data available for diverse application and integration requirements. The United States Integrated Ocean Observing System (USIOOS http://www.ioos.noaa.gov) is a national-regional partnership working to provide ocean observing information, tools, and forecasts, to improve safety, enhance the economy, and protect the environment. OBIS-USA and US IOOS collaborated to develop biological data standards and web services according to both organizations' skills and missions. The result is a Darwin Corebased extension for Observation data. The coupling of Ocean Observing data with a data resource such as OBIS-USA allows for tracking of biodiversity change through time. The integration of these complementary data significantly enhances our research capabilities for scientific, management, economic, and operational applications. US IOOS and OBIS-USA's early accomplishments focus on specific US Government science goals. Technology development is requirements-based, multi-agency, and built upon international standards. Emphasis is strong on data sources and application types that impact government agency missions such as decision-making. Whether decision-making is driven by economic, regulatory, or social goals, such data sources and applications are often well suited for standardized data content and services such as IOOS Biological Data Services provides. IOOS and OBIS-USA standards enable cost-effective solutions for large volumes of data to be generated, and repeatable procedures for processing information toward decisions. The foundation of standards also provides a stable platform for new information requirements, expected to emerge as leaders face ever more complex scenarios and decisions. This presentation shows examples of OBIS-USA and US IOOS solutions that enable marine biological data for decision-making. We present specific standards and their role in solutions, and summarize how inter-institutional requirements became included in a nation-spanning system. It is hoped that these dynamics offer a model for global data collaborationon standards, services, and application integration.


Distribution of the copepod genus Pseudodiaptomus (Crustacea: Maxillopoda: Calanoida: Pseudodiaptomidae) in the coastal waters of the world, with remarks on invasive species in Europe.

1Santiago Gaviria, 2Karl J. Wittmann, 3Antonio Pietro Ariani

1University of Vienna, Dep. of Limnology and Oceanography, Vienna, Austria, Europe, 2Medical University of Vienna, Institute of Environmental Hygiene, Vienna, Austria, Europe, 3Universita di Napoli Federico II, Dopartimento delle Scienze Biologiche, Naples,

Italy, Europe

santiago.gaviria@gmx.at, karl.wittmann@meduniwien.ac.at, antonio.ariani@gmail.com Key word: copepods geographical distribution coastal waters invasive species

Copepods represent a highly diverse crustacean group with more than 13.000 species, distributed in 8 orders and 180 families dwelling in all kinds of freshwater, brackish and marine environments. Many of them developed to parasitic life. Copepods reach their highest diversity in the sea and constitute there up to 80 % of zooplankton biomass. Copepod density reaches up to 300 000 animals/m3 in the pelagic zone and 1000 individual/m2 in benthos. They also are an important element of the aquatic food web.

Members of the family Pseudodiaptomidae inhabit coastal waters and are represented by three genera Pseudodiaptomus (74 species), Calanipeda (1) and Archidiaptomus (1). Archidiaptomus arrorus is known only from Indian brackish waters. The euryhaline species Calanipeda aquaedulcis inhabits estuaries of the Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Sea. Species of Pseudodiaptomus inhabit fresh- to hypersaline waters. All species of these genera show a demersal type of life in shallow coastal water, carrying out daily migrations from ground-level during the day to the pelagic zone at dawn. In contrast to the other genera, Pseudodiaptomus is more diversified and globally found in tropical and temperate waters.

Recently, Pseudodiaptomus marinus was found at the Mediterranean and the North Sea. We detected Pseudodiaptomus serricaudatus in southern Italy, representing the first report in the Mediterranean Sea.

The known 74 species of Pseudodiaptomus are divided into 8 sub-groups with 54 species recorded from the Indo Pacific region, 14 from American waters and 4 from Africa (southern west and east coasts). We discuss possible ways of migration of Pseudodiaptomus species to Europe, particularly of P. serricaudatus in the Mediterranean. Its morphological variability is discussed as well.


A hierarchical framework for assessing cumulative impacts for management; an alternative to large scale end-to-end models

Piers Dunstan


Key word: biodiversity impact

One of the forces that drives much of marine research is improving the management of marine systems. While there are clear examples of single sector management successes (eg fisheries in some areas), success in a multi-sector context remains elusive. This can be demonstrated through the general decline of many marine systems worldwide. There is an undoubted desire on the part of scientists to develop more complex models that better describe the dynamics of whole ecosystems with the stated purpose of improving management, building fisheries or conserving the environment. While these large scale models have a valuable scientific role, it is not clear that they are being used across multiple sectors or whether they fit the national and international policy frameworks which would allow their use in management. Research for management only works when there are discrete policy questions that can be addressed with clearly defined research and aligned with clearly defined objectives. Setting objectives has been less successful for conservation/biodiversity management where objectives are typically very broad. An alternative is a series of small, well described models to address simpler objectives that fit within a broader framework which allows a hierarchical approach to incorporating science into policy & decision making. We demonstrate this with a framework designed to address the cumulative impacts and potential risk within the Australian EEZ with examples to show how different models can contribute to an end-to-end approach to management. We show how this approach could be applied internationally within the CBD EBSA process.


West-east gradient diversity for the English Channel benthos

Jean-Claude DAUVIN

Caen University


Key word: Benthos Climatic gradient English Chanel Megatidal sea

This study aims to explain the distribution of macrobenthic taxonomic richness (vagile epifauna, endofauna and sessile epifauna) along a central transect in the English Channel. This epicontinental sea opens on the south-west into the Atlantic Ocean and is connected to the Southern North Sea in its eastern part. It is characterized by progressive changes in temperature, bathymetry, shear stress, that are registered in the sediment and in the benthic communities. The seabed is mainly covered by coarse sand, gravels and pebbles strongly influenced by tidal currents. In the framework of the European CHARM project, new data were collected from 2006 to 2011 allowing to sample 13 rectangular boxes in the mid part of the Channel (2°5 E to 5° W). A 0.25 m² Hamon grab was used to assure quantitative macrofauna sampling and sediment analysis. This approach could be compared to the historical surveys conducted by Holme’s and Cabioch’s teams. Despite the high quality of their studies, it was a combination of several surveys that were run during more than ten years, from the 1960s to the 1970s. CHARM study is a synoptic work: sampling has been realised within only five years. More than 408 taxa were collected in the eastern part of the Channel and 272 taxa for the western part. Different types of benthic habitats are defined. A progressive change in the residual current speed is observed, but also a progressive change in the habitat structure from the western approaches to the East of the Channel. Diversity is varying at the scale of local study, depending on the sediment type and the presence of pebbles or hard substrates, but also over the entire English Channel. Substrates and sediments characteristics vary a lot, also at diverse scales. These changes will be discussed and compared with physical data, such as shear stress or seawater temperatures.


Studying of mineral structure of Cystoseira barbata in a sublittoral zone of the northeast coast of the Black Sea

Olga Bunkova, Alexander Kamnev, Alexander Yakovlev, Tamara Suhova, Elena Shahpenderyan

Moscow State University of a name of Lomonosov


Key word: Cystoseira barbata the Black Sea biological monitoring

Тhe actual direction of ecological researches are monitoring of a condition of flora and ground vegetation, identification of types indicators of pollution of the water area by various polluting substances.

Studying of mineral structure of Cystoseira barbata in a sublittoral zone of the northeast coast of the Black Sea carried out during 2011-2014 on specially chosen ranges: city of Novorossiysk, cape Big Utrish, plantations of mollusks, mouth of river of Sukko, city of Anapa (sewerage), Taman peninsula: Taman port and settlement Sennaya. Selected plants of three-four year age at a depth of 0,5 meters in the same month in the areas, differing type and degree of anthropogenous loading, frequency were selected within 10 meters from the coast. Definition of Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, Ni, Fe, Mn, K, Ca carried out a nuclear and absorbing method on Hitachi 1800 spectrometer. During work the following conclusions were received:

Cu distribution on the main Cystoseira barbata axis increases to the basis, distribution of Zn has inverse relationship. A number of decrease of average concentration of mineral elements K>Na>Ca>Mg>Fe>Mn>Zn>Cu>Pb>Ni>Cd reflects noticeable increase in the maintenance of Zn in comparison with researches of 1988. The greatest excess of background values on the majority of elements (Cu, Pb, Mn, Fe, Ni, Zn, K, Na, Mg, Ca) are observed in three points with powerful anthropogenous loading –city of Novorossiysk, Taman port and the settlement Sennaya. All these points are in bays that tells about dependence between the speed of water exchange and accumulation of elements in thallus algae. The minimum concentration are characteristic for the reserve Big Utrish and for the water area around a plantation of mollusks, that shows positive influence of mollusks and oysters on quality of sea waters. Background point –reserve territory Big Utrish, which is the purest in the water area among all considered stations as are in the districts removed from residential and industrial landscapes.

For long monitoring of pollution by heavy metals it is most convenient to use long-term brown Fucaceae alga.

Session 5: Marine Biological Resources

S5-1 (Keynote)


Yanhong Zhang, Liangmin Huang, Qiang Lin South China Sea Institute of Oceanology linqiangzsu@163.com

Key word: Seahorse DNA barcoding conservation

Among the 48 seahorse species and over 400 hundred pipefish and seadragon described in the world, 13 species seahorses and 7 pipefish at present could be found along the China’s coast, and most of them inhabiting the shallow seabeds in southern China (below latitude 26°N). Three spotted seahorses Hippocampus trimaculatus distributes throughout the coastline in China and is the most abundant species, followed by H. kuda and H. histrix. These three species have been the main source for the Chinese traditional medicine for many decades. The seahorses are frequently taken in as trawl bycatch and are vulnerable to destruction and degradation of the habitats, leading to sharp decline of wild stocks of seahorses.

DNA barcoding was used to identify the fish in family syngnathidae in China. A total of 974 DNA barcodes using a 654-bp-long fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene were generated for the 18 seahorses and their relatives. These species were associated with a distinct DNA barcode. One of the COI barcode clusters represents the first species records submitted to the BOLD and GenBank databases. All COI barcodes were matched with reference sequences of expected species, according to morphological identification. Average nucleotide frequencies of the data set were calculated as T = 32.4%, C = 24.8%, A = 25.1% and G = 17.7%. Kimura 2-parameter genetic distance values were found to increase with taxonomic level. Neighbour-joining trees were drawn based on DNA barcodes and all the specimens clustered in agreement with their taxonomic classification at species level. Our results supported DNA barcoding as an efficient molecular tool for a better monitoring, conservation and management of fisheries.



Loke-Ming Chou

National University of Singapore

Key word: marinas marine biodiversity

Most of Singapore’s coastline has been modified by coastal development with variable influences on marine biodiversity. Marinas are typically designed as a semi-enclosed environment with a complex mix of structures that provide ecological niches throughout the water column. Water flow is inevitably reduced with a possible decline of water quality. This investigation was conducted to determine how marinas affect marine biodiversity. Three marinas were studied: Marina at Keppel Bay (MKB), One Degree 15 Marina (ODF), Raffles Marina (RM). They all support rich biodiversity. The combined 97 faunal families from the soft bottom of all three marinas were dominated by polychaetes (72.6%) and crustaceans (15.7%). The total fish species count was 59 from 34 families. Reef-associated fish species were more abundant at MKB and ODF, while estuarine species dominated at RM. Epibiotic diversity was evident on the artificial structures in all marinas. On the submerged sides of berthing pontoons, 145 taxa were recorded, dominated by ascidians, macroalgae and sponges. Corals also recruited naturally – 10 and 22 scleractinian genera were established on pontoons at MKB and on seawalls at ODF, respectively. In general, abundance and diversity were higher nearer the entrances of the three marinas. The findings indicate that modified environments such as marinas can support diverse biological communities.


Abundance and Trophic Ecology of Scyphomedusae in Klang Strait, Malaysia

1MOHAMMED RIZMAN-IDID, 2Wan Mohd Syazwan, 3Ving Ching Chong

1Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 3Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences, C308 IGS Building, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Key word: Jellyfish Ecology

The Klang Strait, Malaysia is one of the important jellyfish fishing grounds in South East Asia. A study was conducted from June 2010 to December 2011 to investigate the abundance, stomach content and stable isotope signatures of scyphomedusa found along the strait. Eight scyphozoan species showed monsoon seasonality and their abundance was also affected by moon phase (new moon, first quarter, full moon, and third quarter), diel effect (day, night) and tide (flood, ebb). Phyllorhiza punctata was the most commonly found species. All species showed greatest abundance during North East Monsoon (NEM), while the least occured during South West Monsoon (SWM). Lobonemoides robustus, occurred massively during SWM. Jellyfish maximum abundance was recorded at new moon of NEM and full moon of SWM. Abundance was significant during flood tide and influenced by diel effects. For example, during new and full moon of NEM, jellyfish were more abundant at ebb tide during day and at flood tide during night. Jellyfish move to the upper water during day and down to the sea bottom during night during neap tide of SWM. Preliminary trophic study showed that jellyfish mainly fed on fish, small crustaceans, and zooplankton. The isotopic signatures (δ13C, δ15N) varied significantly between 6 jellyfish species. Analysis of jellyfish δ13C values suggests assimilation of carbon from benthic diatoms and seston/phytoplankton, with no contribution from mangrove detritus. Meanwhile, preliminary δ15N analysis indicates jellyfish rank high in the trophic level of Klang Strait.


High density linkage mapping aided by transcriptomics documents ZW sex determination system in the Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis

Zhaoxia Cui

Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences


Key word: Eriocheir sinensis sex determination genetic linkage map transcriptome triploid

Sex determination is an important component of reproduction and sex chromosome differentiation is a critical process in genome evolution. The sex determination system in crabs is believed to be XY-XX from karyotypy but it has been questioned as centromeres could not be identified in some chromosomes. We revealed the ZW-ZZ sex determination system in Eriocheir sinensis through a high density linkage map covering approximately

98.5% of the genome with 73 linkage groups corresponding to the haploid chromosome number. All sex-related markers were located on linkage group LG60 by QTL mapping and GWAS. The 46 markers detected by GWAS showed heterogeneity and segregation only in the female parent. The female LG60 was thus proposed to be the putative W chromosome, with the homologous male LG60 as the Z chromosome. Sex ratio (5:1) skewing towards females in induced triploids also supported a ZW-ZZ system. Combining with transcriptome data, only an ankyrin-2 like gene, which might function in sex determination, was mapped on LG60. Dmrt1, a Z-linked gene in aves, was located on a putative autosome. The chronological expression of crucial sex-related genes in early developmental stages indicated that sexual differentiation at the molecular level was established much earlier than gender morphological differentiation. The ZW-ZZ sex determination system is first documented in crabs and the putative sex chromosomes appear to be evolutionarily young, of identical size with many homologous loci. This study lays the foundation for further studies on the mechanisms of sex determination and differentiation in crabs.


Traditional and Scientific Information as proxy for the Establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Sierra Leone

1Sheku Sei, 2Andrew Baio, 3Salieu Sankoh

1Ministry of Fisheries and Marine resources, 2 Institute of Marine Biology and Oceanography, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, 3West African Regional Fisheries Programme


Key word: Sierra Leone Marine Protected Areas

Fisheries resource users in Sierra Leone are currently concerned that some target fish species are now either overexploited or fully exploited. The artisanal fishery is further threatened by the increased number of artisanal fishing crafts and low daily fish catches and low fisher incomes in most of the fishing communities. This study therefore have evaluated fish sizes, and enumerated fishing economic units in order to understand socio-economic indicators for the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) in Sierra Leone and the development of a management plan for the marine small scale fishery. The knowledge of fishermen and key community leaders in fishing communities were combined with scientific knowledge base, using geographical information system software (ArcGis) to delineate vulnerable areas within major river systems which have been declared as marine protected areas. Stakeholder views were elicited through national and community based consultative fora combined with the use simple questionnaires and a Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) model, to evaluate the status of the fishery and elicit management options for target and non-target fish stocks in Marine protected areas. The output of the MCDA model reveals that there is strong local support for the establishment of MPAs in critical habitats within four major river systems in the artisanal fishery of Sierra Leone. Community stakeholder perception and belief is high for key management measures including the management of MPAs to evolve into territorial use right in fisheries (TURFs) and the use of vessel monitoring system (VMS) to prevent fishing trawlers from entering into the inshore exclusion zone (IEZ) reserved for artisanal fishing. These are key elements of the management plan for the marine small scale fisheries. The general user perception is that MPAs and TURFs can lead to rebuilding of declining fish stocks with future economic benefits enhanced trough stewardship responsibilities of stakeholders managing their own resource. However, the question of duration of closed areas within the MPAs was a key issue as fishing is a key livelihood activity in these communities. This study confirms that traditional knowledge of resource users combined with science in multi criteria analysis is an important tool in developing new fishery management plans. There is increasing awareness among fishing communities in Sierra Leone for the benefits associated with co-management of coastal resources, however, the efficacy of the current management measures is very much dependent on the effectiveness of community management associations (CMAs) responsible for the TURFs created.


A comprehensive biodiversity study on sub-tidal benthic molluscs in the marine environment of Hong Kong

Tik Lung Archer Wong, Brian Morton, Shiru Lily Tao, King Yan Yanny Mak, King Yan Kevin Ho, Gray A. Williams, David Dudgeon, Mei Yee Kenneth Leung

The University of Hong Kong


Key word: Molluscan diversity Trawling Marine benthic habitat Pearl River Delta Sea Shells

Hong Kong has over 200 islands with a relatively long coastal line. As it is influenced by both the efflux from the Pearl River and various oceanic currents, it is enriched with various types of marine habitats and able to support a great diversity of marine organisms. Nevertheless, studies on the local diversity of sub-tidal benthic molluscan species were relatively limited. This study is designed to address the following questions: What are the molluscan species present in Hong Kong’s benthic marine habitats? What are their abundance, biomass and size? What are the available commercially important species? What are spatiotemporal distribution patterns of the molluscan species?

Systematic, monthly based surveys were conducted in eastern, western and southern waters, respectively, of Hong Kong between June 2013 and May 2014. We employed a shrimp trawler to sample benthic molluscs along four transects set within each of the three zone. In total, 102 species of molluscs from 50 families were cumulatively encountered during this 12-month survey. In the eastern waters, the Tolo Channel was dominated by the cockle, Fulvia australis, while the turrids shell, Turritella nelliae, was dominant outside the Tolo Channel. In the southern waters, the scallop, Minnivola pyxidata, was the most abundant species along the four transects. In the western waters, the northern transects were dominated by another turret shell, Turritella bacillum, while the southern transects were dominant by Turricula nelliae. All of these species are, however, not commercially important. Commercially important species only accounted for less than 10% of total catch per survey in terms of abundance and less than 30% of in terms of wet weight. Moreover, the size of specimens varied over time. For example, the turret shells collected in wet season were generally larger than those in dry season. Based on multivariate analyses, there were spatiotemporal patterns of the abundance, diversity and size of the molluscan species across Hong Kong waters. The current research will be continued until mid-2015 so as to investigate whether there is any progressive change in the community structure of benthic molluscs brought by the territory-wide ban on trawling in Hong Kong which has been implemented since 31 December 2012.


Effects of the trawling ban on diversity, abundance and biomass of demersal fishes in the marine environment of Hong Kong: Preliminary results

1Yanny K.Y. Mak, 1Lily S.R. Tao , 1Archer T.L. Wong , 1Kevin K.Y. Ho, 2William W.L. Cheung, 1Yvonne Sadovy de Mitcheson, 1Gray A. William, 1David Dudgeon, 1Kenneth

M.Y. Leung

1The Swire Institute of Marine Science and School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, 2UBC Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia

Key word: demersal fish trawling biodiversity Hong Kong

Fishery resources in Hong Kong have been over-exploited since the 1970s. In 2010, there were still around 400 trawlers operating in local waters. These trawlers non-selectively catch marine organisms of all sizes, while exerting severe physical damage to the seabed. To mitigate the overfishing and trawling associated impacts, the Hong Kong SAR Government has imposed a territory-wide trawling ban across Hong Kong’s marine waters since 31 December 2012. This study aims to investigate if the trawl-ban policy is effective to facilitate recovery of demersal fish resources in Hong Kong, in terms of species diversity, abundance and biomass. Trawl surveys were conducted using a commercial shrimp trawler in eastern (EW), western (WW) and southern waters (SW) of Hong Kong from July 2012 to March 2014.

We encountered a total of 218 fish species from 70 families. First, we compared the condition in Jul-Sep (wet season) and Oct-Nov (dry season) between 2012 (before the trawlban) and 2013 (after the trawl-ban). The results showed that there were significant differences in community structure of the demersal fishes. During the dry season, the fish abundance, biomass and species richness in EW and SW in 2013 were higher than those recorded in 2012, while the species diversity and evenness indices as well as the level of disturbance (based on W-statistic) remained unchanged. Second, we compared the present results with those obtained from previous studies which were conducted in EW and WW using the same sampling method between December 2003 and December 2007. We found that the fish abundance and biomass in EW were higher in 2013 when compared with the histological data obtained in the same season. Spatially, the abundance, biomass and level of disturbance in EW were significantly higher than those of WW and SW, but the species richness, diversity and evenness indices of EW were the lowest. These results were similar to the findings obtained from the previous studies. The current trawl surveys will be continued until May 2016. Trophic levels, gut contents and population dynamics of selected fish species will also be studied to verify if there are ecosystem recovery brought by the trawl-ban.


Effects of the trawling ban on demersalcrustacean resources(orders: Decapoda and Stomatopoda) in the marine environment of Hong Kong: A preliminary study

Lily Shiru Tao, Kingsley J.H Wong, Yanny K. Mak, Archer T.L. Wong, Kevin K.Y. Ho, Gray

A. Williams, David Dudgeon, Kenneth Mei Yee Leung

The University of Hong Kong


Key word: trawling ban crustacean spatio-temporal trend community structure fishery resource ecosystem recovery

Bottom trawling has been demonstrated to be one of the most destructive fishing methods to marine benthic community. Since the 1970s, marine fishery resources in Hong Kong, especially the large predatory species, had been overly exploited by non-selective fishing gears including bottom and pelagic trawlers. This ‘fishing down the trophic level’ activities resulted in an unhealthy benthic ecosystem that was primarily dominated by small herbivore and omnivore fishes and small crustacean species.To mitigate such situations, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has implemented a territory-wide trawling ban in local waters since 31 December 2012. This study aims to investigate whether the crustacean resources, in particular Decapoda and Stomatopoda, could recover after the implementation of the trawling ban in Hong Kong waters. During July to November 2012 (before trawl-ban) and June 2013 to May 2014 (after trawl-ban), 48 surveys were conducted using a shrimp trawler at eastern, western and southern waters of Hong Kong. A total of 180 crustacean species from 36 families were cumulatively encountered in these surveys. Community structures of crustaceans significantly differed among the three sites. Lower species richness and Shannon’s diversity index were recorded in eastern site. By comparing the data in July-September (wet season) and October-November (dry season) between 2012 (before trawl-ban) and 2013 (after trawl-ban), the results of multivariate statistics identified that the community structures were significantly different between years especially in southern waters during the wet season and across the three sitesduringthe dry season. Furthermore, we further compared the present results with historical data (2003-2007) obtained from previous similar studies conducted in eastern and western waters, and found that the total abundance and biomass of crustaceans in eastern and western waters during 2013-2014 were comparatively higher than those recorded before the trawl-ban. The current study will be continued until mid-2016. We will also examine the trophic levels and population dynamics of selective crustacean species as alternative ways to confirm if the trawling ban can facilitate the ecosystem recoveries such as an increase in the average trophic levels of the crustacean assemblages, and improvement of population fitness of individual species.


The decadal changes in the Ahnfeltia bed in the Peter the Great Bay (Sea of Japan)

Anna Skriptsova, Ivan Cherbadgy, Ludmila Sabitova

A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology of the Far-Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Science

Key word: Ahnfeltia tobuchiensis community of unattached algae climate changes Sea of Japan

Ahnfeltia tobuchiensis beds located in far eastern seas of the Pacific Ocean are the main source for agar production in Russia and northern Japan. With escalating eutrophication of the coastal waters and climate change long-term structural changes in marine vegetation in Sea of Japan determined. So it was predicted that changes in Ahnfeltia bed communities might also be found. This study was conducted to determine the modern state of the one of the Ahnfeltia bed located in Peter the Great Bay (Sea of Japan, Russia) and to relate the evolution of this algal community to environmental changes. We compare data obtained for in beginning of 1990s and in 2005. The most important changes found were the increase in species richness and the significant changes in the stock of dominant species in the bed accompanied by the drastic decrease in the stock (by 17 times) and biomass (from 0.5–3.6kg m-2 in 1992 to 0.05–0.2 kg m-2 in 2005) of cold-temperate-water species Chondrus armatus, which coincided with the significant increase in the stock (by 5 times) and biomass (0.1–0.8 kg m-2 to 0.2–3.5 kg m-2) of Ahnfeltiopsis flabelliformis that is the alga with warm-temperate-water affinity, while the stock and biomass of Ahnfeltia tobuchiensis did not change considerably. These changes led to alteration of the community. The association co-dominated by A. tobuchiensis and C. armatus was registered in 1992, and by 2005 this association was succeeded by the A. tobuchiensis and A. flabelliformis co-dominated association. There was not found any significant changes in concentration dissolved inorganic and organic nitrogen and phosphorus and in pollution level while the water temperature was increased from 1990 to 2005. It was concluded that the water warming and namely increase summer water temperatures result in overgrowth of warm-water algae A. flebelliformis, increase its competitive ability, reduction of growth rate and competitive ability of cold-water algae C. armatus, and therefore affecting community composition.


Study on the Population Genetics and Demography of Saccharina japonica along the Japan coasts

1Delin Duan, 1Jie Zhang, 1Jianting Yao, 2Dmitry A Galanin, 2Anna Repnikova, 1Gang Fu

1Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences,2SakhalinScientific Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanology, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 693023, Russia


Key word: Population Genetics Saccharina japonica Diversities Demography

Saccharina japonica is one of important commercial brown seaweeds and originally distributed along the coast of Northwestern Pacific. To decipher its genetic diversity and phylogeographic history of the 25 S. japonica populations along the North Pacific coastlines of Asia (37°N -49°N), we applied 24 microsatellite markers and 2 mitochondrial DNA regions (cox1 and trnW-L) for the investigation. With the nucleotide diversity from

0.01 to 0.16 % and the haplotype diversity from 0.177 to 0.762, it manifested the highest genetic diversities in the Hokkaido of Japan. BI/ML/MP trees and the haplotype network analysis consistently showed the shallow genetic structure. The shared haplotypes in the populations of China, Korea and Japan might be caused by human introductions. Bayesian skyline analyses demonstrated a late Pleistocene population expansion in S. japonica. The results of STRUCTURE and PCA revealed four divergent clusters (JA, RU1, RU2, CH), which are also supported by the phylogenetic tree. Low genetic differentiation existed between the Russia populations. Inbreeding coefficient and expected heterozygosity showed that a medium level of inbreeding and severe bottleneck occurred in almost all the populations. It could conclude that contemporary oceanic factors, human activities and paleoenvironmental influences are responsible for the genetic structure and the demographic patterns. Out results are significant for estimation of ecological and evolutionary processes driving the distribution of the kelp along the Northwestern Pacific.


Screening and molecular mechanism studies of marine microbial natural products inhibiting replication of Hepatitis C Virus.

Chaomin Sun, Yang Na

Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences,


Key word: HCV natural products marine microorganism high-throughput screening molecular mechanism

Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is the primary pathogen of hepatitis C and approximately 170 million people worldwide are infected with the HCV. The safer and higher effective drugs inhibiting HCV replication are urgently needed because the efficiency of current clinical therapy is not satisfactory. With less novel antibiotics isolated from terrestrial microorganisms, more and more scientists focus on the marine microorganisms to get novel antibiotics. On the one hand, this project is going to high-throughput screen the natural products inhibiting HCV replication from marine microorganisms using the human eIF3 protein and the HCV encoding proteins NS3 and NS5B as the screening targets. On the other hand, the project will also screen the natural products inhibiting HCV replication via unknown targets with the replication system containing the replicon inserted with the GFP. Based on the positive results, we will choose the most effective natural products as the candidates to study their corresponding molecular mechanisms of production, regulation and HCV inhibition via the ways of molecular genetics and molecular biology. We expect to get one or more effective marine natural product(s) inhibiting HCV replication, which will be used as the candidates for the future drug design of HCV. Moreover, these results will provide theoretical basis for the research of drugs inhibiting other HCV-related virus.


Bioactive potential and molecular mechanism of anticancer activity of sulfated polysaccharides from brown seaweeds

Olesia Vishchuk, Svetlana Ermakova, Tatyana Zvyagintseva

G.B. Elyakov Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, FEB RAS


Key word: brown seaweed fucoidan anticancer activity

The Ocean, which is called the “mother of origin of life”, is also the source of structurally unique natural compounds that are mainly accumulated in living organisms. Several of these compounds show pharmacological activities and are helpful for the invention and discovery of bioactive compounds, primarily for deadly diseases like cancer, acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (AIDS), arthritis, etc., while other compounds have been developed as analgesics or to treat inflammation, etc.

Among marine organisms, brown seaweeds belonging to Saccharina, Fucus, Alaria, Sargassum, Undaria, Pelvetia genera have traditionally formed part of the oriental diet, especially in Asian-pacific region, while the purified gelling and thickening ingredients are predominant as food products of algal origin in European countries and the USA. Nowadays, seaweeds have been marketed worldwide as constituents of dietary supplements due to their antimutagenic, anticoagulant, and antitumor properties as well as the high content of socalled dietary fiber.

Brown seaweeds are known to produce a range of active components including unique secondary metabolites such as phlorotannins and polysaccharides, namely alginic acids, laminarans, and sulfated polysaccharides (fucoidans). The fucoidans are a structurally diverse class of homo or heteropolysaccharides, which contain large amount of α-L-fucose residues and sulfate groups, together with minor amount of other monosaccharide residues, such as galactose, mannose, xylose, rhamnose and glucuronic acid. Accumulated evidence has demonstrated that sulfated polysaccharides have a broad spectrum of biological effects, such as antiviral, antioxidant, anticoagulant, immunomodulatory, and antitumor. Moreover, marine algal sulfated polysaccharides have advantages due to their availability, low toxicity, suitability for oral application as well as having a great variety of mechanisms of action.

In the present work we established the anticancer activity of the fucoidans from brown seaweeds of the Sea of Japan, and the Sea of Okhotsk and elucidated their molecular mechanisms of action.

This work was supported by FEB RAS grant № 14-III-B-05-003.


Phylogenetics of selected Halymenia species from Southeast Asia

Pui-Ling Tan, Stefano A. Draisma, Siew-Moi Phang, Phaik-Eem Lim

Instititute of Ocean and Earth Sciences and Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia


Key word: Halymenia Molecular Phyogenetics rbcL cox1

Traditionally, the identification of Halymenia is based mainly on the structural features of the vegetative thallus, the anticlinally oriented medullary filaments and the reproductive structures. However these features are not distinctive enough and overlap with some other taxa, hence molecular markers such as nuclear large subunit (LSU) ribosomal DNA, the protein-coding elongation factor 2 (EF2), cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI)-5P and universal plastid amplicon (UPA) and the large subunit of ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase gene (rbcL) were used in elucidating the taxonomic position of selected species in the Halymeniales. Among the markers, rbcL is the most commonly used for Halymenia. Despite the abundance of Halymenia species in the tropical and subtropical waters, there are very few studies from Southeast Asia. Hence in this study we attempt to incorporate more samples from a wide geographical area including Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Various gene regions have been used to resolve the taxonomic position of Halymenia species such as rbcL, cox1, and LSU. Among these markers, rbcL sequences were more easily amplified. Specific cox1 primers for Halymenia were designed to amplify the region of interest. Phylogenetic trees were constructed based on rbcL and cox1 sequences. Phylogenetic analysis showed that both rbcL and cox1 markers are suitable for elucidating the taxonomic relationships between the Halymenia species. Our findings reveal the presence of several Halymenia spp. and both rbcL and cox1 markers have the potential to be the DNA barcoding markers for Halymenia.

Session 6: Deep Sea Biodiversity

S6-1 (Keynote)

Deep-sea biodiversity-all habitats are not the same

1Malcolm Clark, 2Ashley Rowden, 2David Bowden, 2Daniel Leduc, 2Jenny Beaumont

1National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA), 2NIWA


Biodiversity studies in the deep sea are often based on single habitat types, such as seamounts, or abyssal plains. For many years New Zealand research has had a seamount focus, because major commercial fish species such as orange roughy form aggregations on such features for spawning or feeding, and the impacts of trawling has a major effect on their coral-dominated benthic communities. However, deep-sea features are not isolated, and different types of habitat need to be considered as part of a much larger ecosystem, and in recent years, research has evolved to address the biodiversity and vulnerability of multiple deep-sea habitats.

Two dedicated surveys have examined multiple habitat types, covering continental slope, canyons, seamounts (including knolls and hills), hydrothermal vents, and cold seeps in two regions. A range of gear types have been deployed, sampling a variety of faunal communities from infaunal macrofauna through to epibenthic megafauna. Sampling occurred at 4 consistent depths (700m, 1000m, 1200m, 1500m) to enable comparisons of faunal change with depth both within, and between, habitats.

Preliminary results show that overall benthic communities differ between habitats, but the level and pattern of dissimilarity varies with the type of community, depth, and region. There appears to be a complex interaction between environmental aspects of each habitat that need further work to untangle. However, hydrothermal and seep communities with their specialised chemosynthetic species are highly distinct from communities of slope, canyon and seamount habitats.

The extent of the community dissimilarity among habitats, and the life habits and history of the taxa that characterise the communities of the different habitats, are being translated into relative vulnerability profiles to assess the ecological risk of human activities, and subsequently inform improved management of bottom trawling and seabed mining on the range of deep-sea environments in the New Zealand region.


The mitochondrial genome of the deep-sea snail Provanna sp. (Provannidae) and its phylogenetic position in Gastropoda

1Ting XU, 1Jin Sun, 2Xinzheng Li, 1Jian-Wen Qiu

1Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, 2Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao


Key word: Deep-sea Gastropoda Provannidae Mitochondrial genome

Provannidae is a family of deep-sea snails inhabiting hydrothermal vents, cold seeps, whale falls, and sunken driftwood. Previous studies using one to several genes have not resolved the phylogenetic position of Provannidae in Gastropoda. We determined the complete mitochondrial genome (mtgenome) of Provanna sp., a deep-sea snail collected from a methane seep in South China Sea, in order to understand the phylogenetic position of Provannidae. The mtgenome is 15,783 bp in length and AT rich (70.15%). It consists of 37 genes, including 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 2 ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes and 22 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes. With the exception of eight tRNA genes, all other mitochondrial genes are encoded on the heavy strand. The mtgenome of Provanna sp. shows the typical Caenogastropoda mitochondrial gene order. The 13 PCGs and 16S rRNA of all gastropods with sequenced complete mtgenomes are being analyzed with maximum likelihood and parsimony methods. The results will be reported in the conference. In addition to resolving the phylogentic position of Provannidae, our data will also be used to design genetic markers for studying the population genetics, population history and phylogeography of Provanna sp.


Mitochondrial genome rearrangements in Branchipolynoe pettibonae (Annelida: Polynoidae)

1Yanjie Zhang, 1Jin Sun, 2Pei-Yuan Qian, 3Greg W Rouse, 1Jian-Wen Qiu 1Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, P. R.China, 2Division of Life Sciences, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, P. R. China, 3Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, U.S.A.


Key word: deep sea Annelida polychaete Branchipolynoe mitochondrial genome gene order

Mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) have been increasingly used to understand the phylogeny of metazoans. They provide rich information on gene sequences as well as gene orders. However, the application in Annelida has been limited partly due to their apparently conservation of gene order. Only 13 complete mitogenomes have been reported from Annelida including previously recognized phyla Echiurida, Sipunculida. Here we report that the mitochondrial gene order of Branchipolynoe pettibonae (Polynoidae), a scale worm living in the mantle cavity of the deep-sea mussels Bathymodiolus spp., deviates greatly from the common gene order of published annelid mitogenomes. We are sequencing the mitogenomes of other species of polynoids and other Phyllodocida, all living in shallow waters, to determine whether the gene order of B. pettibonae is common in Polynoidae, or was the result of adaption to the special deep sea and commensal environment.


Copepod colonization of different substrata at hydrothermal vents

Christoph Plum, Florence Pradillon, Jozee Sarrazin

Institut Carnot Ifremer EDROME, Centre de Bretagne, REM/EEP, Laboratoire Environnement Profond


Key word: Copepoda hydrothermal vents colonization

Hydrothermal vents (HV) are physically highly disturbed environments. The rapid changes in physico-chemical conditions of vent fluids can result in temperature and pH gradients, shaping the diversity and community composition of the hydrothermal fauna. While megaand macrofauna in HV have been intensively studied since their discovery, meiofaunal organisms, in spite of their ecological relevance, have only partly been included in HV ecological studies. This includes one of the most abundant taxa among the meiofauna, the copepods. The few existing studies on vent copepods indicate relatively low abundance and diversity compared to deep sea sediments. Additionally, HV copepods show a low connectivity with the surrounding environments and reveal a high endemism. Due to the limited information, our knowledge about colonization mechanisms and the interconnectivity of vent copepodsis still scarce.

The objective of this study is to identify copepod diversity and understand their colonization processes in response to environmental factors such as fluid flow and the presence of different substrata at HV sites.

To address these questions, we deployed in situ experiments using organic (wood, bone) and inorganic (slates) substrata equipped with temperature probes along a gradient of hydrothermal activity, from active to inactive areas. The substrata were deployed in 2011 during the MoMARSAT cruise on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and were recovered after two years in 2013. Temporal series of environmental data collected since 2010 with the multidisciplinary observatory MoMAR at Lucky Strike provided additional environmental data to interpret the results of the colonization experiment.

Preliminary results suggest the dominance of endemic Dirivultidae and specialized harpacticoid copepods which are restricted to chemosynthetic habitats. Based on the results on higher taxonomic levels, we expect significant differences in copepod community composition and diversity along the chemical gradient of the hydrothermal outflow and between different substrata. Results will be discussed in order to understand the potential influence of fluid flow on newly arriving copepods and potential preference in colonizing different organic and inorganic substrata.

The outcome of this study will increase ourknowledge of copepod diversity, colonization processes and interconnectivity at hydrothermal vents, allowing a better understanding of ecological processes in these extreme environments.


Preliminary data on fauna of inactive hydrothermal sulfide fields on the Mid Atlantic Ridge at 12º58’-13º31’N

1Tina Molodtsova, 1Sergey Galkin, 2Irina Dobretsova

1P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology RAS, 2Polar Marine Geosurvey Expedition


Key word: Mid-Atlantic Ridge hydrothermal sulfide fields deep-sea fauna filter-feeders

Hydrothermal ecosystems of Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge are among the best studied in the deep-sea. However the periphery of active deep-sea hydrothermal vents remains poorly known. This gap of knowledge is especially conspicuous now when hydrothermal sulfide deposits became a target for deep-sea mining. Based on geological video records and limited material collected on 26th, 30th, 32nd and 34th cruises of RV Professor Logachev we present preliminary results on studies of megafauna associated with inactive hydrothermal fields on the Mid Atlantic Ridge in the Russian claim area at 12º58’-13º31’N.

Fauna recovered from geological sampling gears (box-corers, dredges and grabs) was relatively scarce, mostly represented by sessile filter-feeders such as Porifera, Alcyonaria, Antipatharia, Hydrozoa, Cirripedia and Bryozoa. Due to sampling methods, no soft sediment fauna was obtained for studies. The hard substrata fauna was more abundant at hydro thermal Fe-oxyhydroxide deposits and relatively less common at basalts. Only few animals were found at sulfide deposits. Majority of fauna collected from geological grabs and dredges was of moderate to small size (< 5.0 cm) and included inhabitants of crevices in rocks and boulders, thus it could be hardly distinguished on video records. At least some of encountered species, such as Metallogorgia melanotrichos (Octocorallia: Chrysogorgiidae) and its associate Ophiocreas oedipus (Ophiuroidea: Asteroschematidae) and Bathypathes alternata (Hexacorallia: Antipatharia), are cosmopolitan or widely distributed low-bathyal species. Apparently no endemic species were found in our samples.


Trophic structure of megabenthos at seep and surrounding areas in the South China Sea

1Hsuan-Wien Chen, 2Hsing-Juh Lin

1Department of Biological Resources, National Chiayi University, 2Department of Life Science, National Chung Hsing University


Key word: seep ecosystem stable isotope analysis trophic interaction

The biological compositions and trophic relationships of benthic megafauna were investigated at the seep and surrounding ecosystems located in the South China Sea. We have recognized more than 60 taxa of large benthic animals from trawling and cage collecting during recent cruises. Among them, 15 species of fish, 23 species of crustacean, and one species of gastropods were presented, including 4 new records in the area and one potential new species to be described. Additional 20 plus invertebrate taxa remained to be identified for the better understanding of biological diversity at the seep ecosystems in the South China Sea. Furthermore, stable isotopic measures (δ13C, δ15N) were taken from tissues of represented megabenthos to elucidate their trophic relationships. The preliminary results showed two distinct trophic assemblages implied the use of different carbon sources. The seep endemic deep-sea bivalve and squat lobsters were apparently consumed chemosynthetic organic carbon derived from seep methane; while the fishes, shrimps and other epibenthic invertebrates were feed on photosynthetic fixed carbon from outside the seep ecosystem. Within the seep fauna, the stable isotope nitrogen suggested three main trophic subgroups. The deep-sea bivalves were major symbiotic chemosynthetic producers, the squat lobsters and the parasitic polychaetes found inside the bivalves were two primary consumers herein. The weak trophic links between megafauna of the seep and the surrounding ecosystems inferred by the stable isotopic data remained to be thoroughly investigated.


The German-Russian deep-sea expedition KuramBio (Kurile Kamchatka Biodiversity Study) – results and perspectives

1Angelika Brandt, 2Marina Malyutina

1Zoological Museum Hamburg, 2A.V. Zhirmunsky’s Institute of Marine Biology


Key word: deep sea biodiversity

The joint German/Russian expedition KuramBio (Kurile Kamchatka Biodiversity Study) onboard of the R/V Sonne (SO 223) to the Kurile Kamchatka Trench and adjacent abyssal plain was performed from July 21th to September 7th, 2012.

Aims of the RV Sonne expedition to the Kurile-Kamtchatka region were to investigate the biodiversity and community patterns of the meio-, macroand megafauna for the test of the following hypotheses: 1. Communities of the Kurile Kamtchatka stations differ in terms of species composition and richness. 2. The non-isolated abyssal plain of Kurile-Kamtchatka area causes an increase of the abyssal biodiversity in comparison to the geographically more isolated Sea of Japan. 3. In the Kurile-Kamtchatka Trench and abyssal plain we will sample around 50% of new species in the different taxa. 4. The standardised sampling techniques will increase the faunistic knowledge about that region. 5. The high productivity in the area leads to an increase in biodiversity (species richness).

The KuramBio expedition with RV Sonne was the first extensive biological expedition in the abyssal plain of the Northwest Pacific since the RV Vityaz expeditions in the mid twentieth century (Bogorov, 1972). After more than 40 years of investigations, about 660 species were recorded in the collections of the Vityaz expeditions from the extensive area of the Northwest Pacific where the sampling depth ranged from bathyal to hadal. During the KuramBio expedition, we sampled a more restricted area with a depth range between 4,830 to 5,780 m by means of an epibenthic sledge and collected 85,651 invertebrates (23,432 invertebrates standardized for 1000 m²) which represent more than 700 species.

First results of the expedition based on the hypotheses will be presented including future visions of joint collaboration and future expeditions.


Deep-sea sipunculans from the West Pacific

Anastassya Maiorova, Andrey Adrianov

A.V. Zhirmunsky IMB FEBRAS


Key word: sipuncula Nephasoma Phascolion

Sipuncula is a relatively species-poor phylum that can play a considerable role in soft sediment benthic ecosystems. The ecological and geochemical influence of sipunculans can vary between species. However, identification of sipunculan species is often problematic. The current knowledge on North West Pacific deep sea sipunculans is only based on the results of several Russian cruises of R/V “Vitjaz” to the Kurile-Kamchatka and Japanese Trenches. These samples of deep sea sipunculans were examined and described by Murina (1971). She also has described several new deep sea species from other deep sea localities in the Pacific and firstly illustrated phenomenon of bipolarity for Phascolion lutense (see Murina, 1961, 1971, 1973).

About 30 species of sipunculans were found in the abyssal depth (below 3000 m). Some eurybathic species are found between 10 to 4000 m over a wide range of temperatures but some species are restricted to cold water deeper than 3000 m and never found above this isobath. At least 13 species are known from the depth below 5000 m: Golfingia anderssoni (Theel, 1911); G. margaritacea (Sars, 1851); G. muricaudata (Southern, 1913);

G. vulgaris (de Blainville, 1827); Nephasoma capilleforme (Murina, 1973); N. diaphanes diaphanes (Gerould, 1913); N. flagriferum (Selenka, 1885); N. minutum (Keferstein, 1862);

N. schuettei (Augener, 1903); Phascolion lutense Selenka, 1885; P. pacificum Murina, 1957; Onchnesoma magnibatha Cutler, 1969; Apionsoma murinae (Cutler, 1969) (see Cutler, 1994). Some species are common even at the ultraabyssal depth (more than 6000 m) (Nephasoma minutum, Golfingia muricaudata, G. anderssoni, Phascolion lutense, P. pacificum), but it should be emphasized that the ultraabyssal zone has no endemic species.

Contrary to shallow water species, nothing is still known about the development of abyssal sipunculans, their larval stages, life history and population biology. Because the absence of endemic abyssal species the deep sea fauna of sipunculans appears to be relatively young and is formed as a result of migration of some eurybathic species to a great depth.

The aim of the research is to re-examine and illustrate deep water species of Sipuncula by giving taxonomic descriptions follow to the standart protocol for description of specimens.


Density and diversity of life traces (lebensspuren) in the abyss

1Jennifer Durden, 1Brian Bett, 2George Wolff, 1Henry Ruhl

1National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, 2University of Liverpool


Key word: lebensspuren abyss benthos

The megafauna of abyssal plains is dominated by deposit-feeding echinoderms that work the sediment along with megaand macrobenthic infauna, leaving traces of their activity (lebensspuren). Spatial heterogeneity in megabenthic assemblages has been established in relation to local topography (hills) on abyssal plains in terms of density, biomass, and diversity. Potential corresponding heterogeneity in lebensspuren was assessed in relation to variation in sediment type, organic matter content (total organic carbon, TOC; lipids), and topography, by analysing towed-camera photographic transects, bathymetry and sediment cores from locations on the plains and hills of the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (4850m, NE Atlantic). Lebensspuren were categorised, enumerated and measured to estimate fractional seabed cover.

A total of 39 types of lebensspuren were observed, categorized into feeding traces, locomotory traces, holes/burrows, waste, and other types of traces. The type composition of lebensspuren was different on hills and plains, and seabed cover significantly higher on plains. Lebensspuren cover was dominated by ‘spoke burrows’ (attributed to infaunal echiurans) and by elasipod holothurian tracks (attributed to Psychropotes longicauda). Densities or cover of lebensspuren whose origin is known were significantly correlated to the densities of the corresponding fauna (e.g. tracks from Psychropotes longicauda), and in some cases to the biomass of those fauna.

Sediment particle size distributions at all sites were bimodal; hill sediments contained a higher proportion of coarser material than plains. Grain size distributions were consistent between plain sites, but more heterogeneous among hill sites. Other sediment characteristics (carbonate content; lipid composition) also varied significantly between plains and hills. Lebensspuren seabed cover was significantly correlated with TOC content in surficial sediments. Since many lebensspuren are left by deposit-feeding or infaunal megafauna, their activity can be inferred from the lebensspuren measured, providing insight into the spatial differences in assemblages in the abyss. Furthermore, lebensspuren metrics (densities or cover) may be used as a predictor of abyssal megafaunal densities, which may reduce the survey area needed to assess megafaunal assemblages.


Benthic Foraminiferal distribution and Diversity in south west Indian Ocean : Implications to Marine Biodiversity

Jayaraju Nadimikeri

Yogi Vemana University


Key word: Marine Organisms, Indian Ocean

Benthic foraminiferal species at different locations of South of West India Ocean (3150-4125 m water depth) is examined in terms of number of species (n) and diversity (d). The valves of these parameters reached their maximum at 3190 m water depth. Productivity continued in the Indo-Pacific Ocean (the biogenic boom) and the Oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) intensified over large parts of Indian ocean continually. The diversity values show more abrupt trend as depth increases. Species like Epistominella exigua and Pullenia bulloides occur at both 3150 m & 3465 m depths indicating depth persistence. Further, Oridorsalis umbonatus and Melonis sphaeroides occur at both 3150 m & 3465 m depths. Species like Gyroidina sp an indicate of low oxygen environment and Uvigerina hispidocostate indicative of high organic carbon are found to occur at 3150 m & 3740 m respectively. To understand if the changes in the surface and deep-water column of the tropical condition ocean driven by the Indian ocean climate (monsoon) and deep-sea circulation, an attempt has been made to analyze deep-sea benthic foraminifera from varying depths from (3150m, 3465m and 4125m) (Fig.1). The investigations of benthic foraminifera from south west Indian Ocean proxided data on the species distribution and species-specific relations for different deapths and areas. These data were later used to distinguish faumistive provinces with the implication to paleoecology. The study presented is aimed at the description of the biogeography and ecology of foraminifera communities based on the data about the dominant species in the tropical Indian Ocean and their occurrences in other areas of the world Ocean. Thus the study suggests that fluctuations in species diversity at the locations of the present study were related to changes in productivity during the geological past. Further, the faunal data do indicate the early Holocene Indian Ocean was influenced by increased ventilation perhaps by North Atlantic deep water and or circumpolar deep waters.


The biogeography of the yeti crabs (Kiwaidae) with description of a new species from the deep-sea hydrothermal vent on the Eastern Pacific Rise

1Liu Xinming, 2Christopher Roterman, 1Lin Jinlan, 3Lin Rongcheng

1Guangxi Academy of Oceanography, 2Department of Zoology, University of Oxford,

3Third Institute of Oceanography, SOA


Key word: Biogeography Kiwa sinensis Hydrothermal vent Eastern Pacific Rise

A new species of the genus Kiwa Macpherson, Jones & Segonzac, 2005 is described and illustrated from the deep-sea hydrothermal vent on the Eastern Pacific Rise. Kiwa sinensis sp.nov closely resembles K.hirsuta Macpherson, Jones & Segonzac, 2005 and K. puravida Thurber, Jones & Schnabel, 2011, but differs in the morphology of the carapace, cheliped, thoracic sternite. The result of the biogeography research based on the molecular data of the new species shows that there is a basal split between a Pacific northern hemisphere clade comprising the seep-dwelling Kiwa puravida and the vent-dwelling Kiwa sinensis sp.nov and a southern hemisphere clade comprising Kiwa hirsuta from the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge. The divergence between Kiwa puravida and Kiwa sinensis sp.nov occurred 12.6 Ma (7.6-19.1 Ma), with the divergence between ESR and SWIR kiwaids 1.9 Ma (0.8-3.3 Ma).


Locating hotspots: Multi-scale analysis of biodiversity within a submarine canyon

Katleen Robert, Daniel Jones, Veerle Huveene National Oceanography Centre kr2e11@soton.ac.uk

Key word: Deep-sea canyons Megafaunal biodiversity

Submarine canyons are complex geomorphological features that have been suggested as potential hotspots for biodiversity. However, few canyons have been mapped at high enough resolution (~10m pixel size) to investigate questions of scale. In this study, three areas of Whittard Canyon, NE Atlantic, were mapped at fine resolution (1m) using an ROV, while the broader canyon was also mapped at lower resolution (50m) using a ship-borne multibeam system. The area had also been mapped as part of the Irish National Seabed Survey (INFOMAR) at a third resolution (100m). Over 100 hours of video were collected along 13 remotely operated vehicle (ROV) video transects at depths ranging from 650 to

4000m, and used to identify and georeference megabenthic invertebrate species. General additive models (GAMs) were used to build predictive maps for megafaunal biodiversity across a range of scales. The bathymetry-derived environmental descriptors were found to influence biological distributions over a range of scales with variables such as roughness and rugosity providing the most information at finer scales, slope and depth at medium scales and BPI at the broader scales. Vertical walls were found to have the highest diversity of organisms, particularly when colonized by cold-water corals such as Lophelia pertusa and Solenosmilia variabilis. The spatial biodiversity trends captured remained similar up to 50m resolution, but coarser resolutions were unable to capture the high habitat heterogeneity and species turnover observed. Based on the maps created, regions of particularly high biodiversity within the canyon were identified and found to represent only a small percentage (~2.5%) of the canyon’s surface. The approach developed provides a cost-effective strategy to examine the effect of scale on map creation and facilitate the location of rare biological communities of conservation importance.



1Girish Beedessee, 2Hiromi Watanabe

1Mauritius Oceanography Institute & Macquarie University, 2Institute of Biogeosciences, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan.


Key word: Central Indian Ridge Biogeographic

In the mid-oceanic ridge system in Indian ocean, four hydrothermal vent fields, Kairei and Edmond fields near the triple junction, and Dodo and Solitaire fields in the Central Indian Ridge) have been reported till date. Phylogeographic analyses based on partial mitochondrial COI sequence carried out for the four representative vent animals, Alviniconcha and scaly-foot gastropods, bythograeid crab Austinograea rodriguezensis, and alvinocaridid shrimp Rimicaris kairei, suggest potentially high dispersal abilities, despite many potential dispersal barriers existing among the vent fields. Here we summarize faunal distribution in hydrothermal vent fields in the Central Indian Ridge at inter- and intra-field levels. The faunal composition of vent fauna from the known four vent fields have been updated, showing closer relationships to those in the southwestern Pacific than the other regions. Faunal resemblance among the four vent fields seemed to reflect the number of species recorded or number of investigations, inferring the faunal investigation is not enough to figure out vent fauna in the Central Indian Ridge. Zonation of vent fauna was classified into 6 zones, and one of them (Rimicaris swarm) may covers the central two zones in the Kairei and Edmond fields. Knowledge on the vent fauna in Indian Ocean is limited and further information on quantitative biodiversity will provide clues to formation of biogeographical region and dispersal of world deep-sea vent fauna. Preliminary findings are providing the missing pieces of the “biogeographic puzzle” and thus contribute important insights into the biodiversity of vent-endemic ecosystem in the Indian Ocean.


Munnopsidae (Crustacea, Isopoda): the most abundant and diverse family among the abyssal benthic invertebrates in the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench area

Marina Malyutina

A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology, FEB RAS, Vladivostok, Russia


Key word: Munnopsidae Kuril-Kamchatka Trench macrobenthos diversity

Among the abyssal macrobenthos of the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench (KKT) area, which was for the first time sampled by means of an epibenthic sledge (EBS) during the 2012 German-Russian KuramBio expedition, the crustacean order Isopoda was one of the dominant taxa. The family Munnopsidae was the most abundant and diverse among 16 collected asellotan families, comprising 48 % of all isopods. A total of 80 species of 28 genera and eight subfamilies of Munnopsidae have been collected with 21 EBS hauls at

12 stations. About 80% species are new to science and half of the genera and the subfamily Lipomerinae are recorded the first time for the Northwest Pacific. The most abundant and specious subfamily was the Eurycopinae (58% of all specimens and 29 % of species), followed by the Ilyarachninae (12% and 16 %). Most species are rare and occur with low abundance at one or few stations. 68% of all collected munnopsids belong to the ten most numerous species from the genera Eurycope (5 species), Microcope (2), Disconectes (1), Ilyarachna (1) and Aspidarachna (1). Eurycope sp.1 and Microcope ovata (Birstein, 1970) are the most abundant and frequent species occurring at all stations. The highest abundance of the Munnopsidae and high diversity with 32 species was revealed at station 3-9 on the western slope of the KKT. The cluster analysis of the Bray-Curtis similarity shows low similarity between stations, which is lowest at station 1-10 (only 26% similarity to the other stations) and at station 3-9 (34 %). Comparison with existing data revealed differences in the species composition of the Munnopsidae of the abyssal plain of the KKT area and the fauna of the adjacent bathymetric zones: hadal and bathyal. Similar ratios of the munnopsid subfamilies and genera and some similar species were found for the KuramBio and ANDEEP areas. The species richness of the Northwest Pacific is amongst the highest known to date, it is only surpassed by the richness in the Southern Ocean.


The link between surface productivity and deep-sea benthos biology at the Southern Polar Front

Angelika Brandt, Laura Würzberg Zoological Museum Hamburg abrandt@uni-hamburg.de

Key word: Coupling processes Southern Polar Front

In austral summer 2012, during the expedition ANT-XXVIII/3 onboard RV Polarstern, several abyssal stations along an east-west transect along the Southern Polar Frontal Zone (~52°S) were sampled in course of the ANDEEP-SYSTCO (ANtarctic benthic DEEP-sea biodiversity: colonization history and recent community patterns - SYSTem COupling) project. The stations were situated within different primary production regimes (areas with different exposure to phytoplankton blooms). In order to test potential responses of the abyssal fauna to these differing situations, benthic organisms were sampled alongside with the investigation of several environmental parameters (e.g. long term satellite derived surface phytoplankton data, in situ real time phytoplankton biomass and productivity measurements, sediment oxygen consumption and sediment chl-a concentrations).

The studies conducted in the framework of ANDEEP-SYSTCO address a variety of aspects in all benthic size classes (microbes, foraminiferans, meio-, macro- and megafauna). Investigations of the macrofauna (namely isopods and gastropods) generally revealed low abundances compared to those found in adjacent abyssal regions (e.g. in the Weddell Sea). In combination with data on environmental parameters, distinct patterns can be observed. For example, no strong indications for pelago-benthic coupling could be detected when comparing two areas with high- vs. an area with low-chlorophyll conditions in the eastern part of the SPFZ. On the contrary, strong indications for such coupling processes were observed at an area with high surface primary productivity situated northwest of South Georgia. High chla values in the sediment at this station prove that sedimenting phytoplankton offer a rich food source for deep-sea organisms, reflected in high meiofaunal abundances. Accordingly, also megafauna abundances about a magnitude higher than at all other sampled abyssal stations were found. The same patterns accounts for echinoderm biomass estimates.

Special Session 1: Effects of Multiple Stressors on Ecosystem Process, Functioning and Services

SS1-1 (Keynote)

Combined effects of multiple stressors: A field based responsesurface experiment reveals variation in interactive effects across a range of concentrations and levels of organisation

1Paul Brooks, 2Mark Browne, 3Lisandro Benedetti-Cecchi, 4Devin Lyons, 1Tasman Crowe 1University College Dublin, 2NCEAS, 3University of Pisa, 4University of Alberta paul.brooks@ucd.ie

Key word: Multiple stressors Dose-response Levels of organisation Ecosystem functioning

cosystems are affected by multiple anthropogenic stressors from a wide range of sources. This is problematic because multiple stressors can modify each others’ influences in ways that may vary depending on their respective intensities/concentrations. Such effects are poorly understood because they require large complex experiments that have hitherto been difficult to run in the field. A novel system has been developed to deliver controlled doses of multiple stressors to simulate complex regimes of stress in experimental plots at a marina near Dublin, Ireland.

Here we tested whether copper and chlorpyrifos (a biocide) act independently or interactively on marine fouling communities and how their combined effects on organisms and ecosystem functions vary depending on their respective concentrations.

Using a response-surface design, five concentrations of each stressor were manipulated in factorial combinations for a total of 25 treatments (n=4). After six weeks, chemical uptake and impacts at several levels of biological organisation were measured, from sub-cellular (cellular viability) to ecosystem (respiration and clearance rates).

Stressor combinations produced interactive effects that would not have been revealed without using the response-surface approach. For example, when copper and biocide were combined they interacted antagonistically, negating each others’ effects such that at intermediate concentrations of biocide and higher concentrations of copper, the cellular viability of mussels was no different from the control plots. Concentrations of copper in the tissues of mussels were affected by a synergistic interaction with biocide: mussels exposed to low concentrations of biocide and high concentrations of copper accumulated twice as much copper as with the highest concentration of copper alone.

Effects among response variables varied and ecosystem-level responses were not always predictable on the basis of sub-cellular responses. Although cellular viability was an effective predictor of ecosystem-level responses to individual stressors, its responses to multiple stressors did not match responses in rates of clearance and respiration by the assemblage.

Our results highlight that non-additive effects of multiple stressors may be more complex

and more common than previously thought. This research also reveals that multiple stressors can reduce the ability of established biomarkers of pollution to indicate impacts at higher levels of organisation.


Direct and Indirect Effects of Climate and Fishing on Changes in Coastal Ecosystem Services – A Historical Perspective from the North Sea

1samiya selim, 2Tom Webb, 2Phil Warren, 2Julia Blanchard 1university of sheffield, 2University of Sheffield bop11sas@sheffield.ac.uk

Key word: marine ecosystem services historical ecology path analysis

Humanity depends on the marine environment for a range of vital ecosystem services, at global (e.g. climate regulation), regional (e.g. commercial fisheries) and local scales (e.g. coastal defence, recreation). At the same time, marine ecosystems have been exploited for centuries and many systems today are under stress from multiple sources. Recent studies have shown how both climate change and fishing have caused long-term changes in the marine environment. However there is still poor understanding of how these changes influence change in coastal ecosystem services. In this research, an integrated modelling approach is used to assess how the final delivery of marine ecosystem services to coastal communities is influenced by the direct and indirect effects of changes in ecosystem processes brought about by climate and human impacts, using fisheries of the North Sea region as a case study. Partial Least Squares Path Analysis is used to explore the relationships between drivers of change, marine ecosystem processes and services (landings). A simple conceptual model with four variables – climate, fishing effort, ecosystem process, and ecosystem services – is applied to the English North Sea using historic ecological, climatic and fisheries time series spanning 1924-2010 to identify the multiple pathways that might exist. This paper highlights how path analysis can be used for analyzing long-term temporal links between ecosystem processes and services following a simplified pathway.


Long-term effects of ocean acidification and temperature on species behavior and ecosystem functioning

Jasmin Godbold, Martin Solan University of Southampton j.a.godbold@soton.ac.uk

Key word: climate change nutrient cycling acclimation adaptation multiple stressors longterm

The interactive effects of enhanced sea surface temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations on ocean chemistry and, in turn species distributions and physiological processes, are well known across a range of marine phyla. Conclusions on the biological and ecological response of communities are, however, largely based on short-term (days

– weeks) exposure experiments and uncertainty remains over whether marine organisms are able to maintain biological processes and ecosystem functioning over longer time scales. Here we will present data from an 18-month exposure, in which two functionally important marine benthic invertebrates (brittlestar Amphiura filiformis; nereid polychaete Alitta (Nereis) virens) were exposed to three levels of atmospheric CO2 concentration (380, 750, 1000 ppm) crossed with two temperature regimes (ambient and ambient + 4°C). We will show that responses associated with surviving in an acidified and warmer ocean are species-specific and manifest over time through changes in growth, bioturbation and bioirrigation behavior and that these, in turn, affect nutrient generation. Our results show that these changes are closely linked to species responses in seasonal variation of environmental conditions (temperature and photoperiod), which can either exacerbate or buffer the effects of long-term climatic forcing. We highlight the importance of considering the temporal expression of complex system dynamics when forecasting the likely ecological consequences of climatic forcing.


Valuation of ecosystem diversity maintenance service in marine protected areas:Shandong case

Shang Chen

First Inst. of Oceanography, SOA


Key word: ecosystem diversity maintenance service Shandong

Marine ecosystem provides a lot of benefits to people, including provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting services. As one of supporting services, biodiversity maintenance service includes not only the diverse living organisms living in the sea, but also key habitats such as spawning, overwintering and feeding grounds, shelter field and so on, the former is called as the species diversity maintenance service while the later as ecosystem diversity maintenance service. The ecosystem diversity maintenance service is valuated through the total willingness to pay of local residents in coastal regions based on the theory of Contingent Valuation Method. In order to examine the willingness to pay of local residents for the maintenance of 56 marine protected areas in Shandong coastal waters, a questionnaire survey was conducted in two typical cities, Qingdao and Jinan during April 2 to 21 in 2012. A WTP-Annual per capita income regression models based on the survey data was developed to estimate total WTP of all Shandong residents. The value of ecosystem biodiversity maintenance service in Shandong coastal ecosystem is

7.14 billion RMB, average WTP is 206 RMB per person. The total value of 12 marine

natural reserves is 2.997 billion RMB, average 0.25 billion per reserve; The total value of 23 Special Marine Protected Areas is 2.28billion RMB, average 99 million per one. The total value of 21 Marine Aquatic Germplasm Resources Protected Areas is 1.86 billion RMB, average 88 million per one. The results show that the cultural level and annual income and marine awareness of local residents increase their’ WTP. The valuation of biodiversity maintenance service help clearly describe the scientific significance of rare living organisms and key habitats, it provides a simple and practical tool to assess marine management effectiveness.


The Impact of Multiple Climate Stressors on Coastal Biodiversity and Associated Regulating Ecosystem Services.

1,2Stephen Watson, 1Nicola Beaumont,1 Stephen Widdicombe, 2David Paterson 1 Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth, UK, 2University of St Andrews, UK Key word: Multiple Climate Stressors Ecosystem Services

In coastal ecosystems, major threats to biodiversity are numerous, with changes in climate being well documented as a significant stressor (IPCC5). However it is clearly no longer valid to consider climate stressors individually, as the cumulative impact of multiple stressors has the potential to lead to more significant damage than simply the sum of the individual threats. A key challenge now for scientists and environmental managers is to determine the consequences of these stressors to biodiversity and the impact of any subsequent reduction in ecosystem function on the provision of ecosystem services and the social value of coastal ecosystems. In this study a three-step approach was applied to estimate the successive relationships linking multiple climate stressors and their impact on biodiversity proxies and ecosystem functioning in estuarine ecosystems and associated coastal ecosystem service delivery. The focus of this research was on the provision of two regulating ecosystem services; Carbon Sequestration and Bioremediation of Waste, and in turn how these impacts affect the provision of ecosystem benefits and thus human well-being. Consequently this approach aims to translate field measurements to social and economic standards using a multidisciplinary ecosystem-based management perspective. The Tamar estuary in Plymouth, UK, was used as a practical example of a coastal ecosystem under pressure from both biophysical (e.g. changes in temperature, precipitation and eutrophication) and social drivers (e.g. increased population density).In a first step, the effect of how multiple stressors influenced biodiversity assets on several ecosystem processes was analysed. In a second step, the relation between those processes and the capacity of the system to provide services (as a link to the socio-economic system) was considered. Finally, the benefits arising from the ecosystem services were identified and utilising previous research, historical, present and projected changes in their value was calculated under different scenarios. Conclusively, a key output of this research will be a robust framework linking multiple climate stressors to ecosystem benefits and human well-being, utilising a detailed understanding of the intermediate ecosystem processes and services and the mechanisms which link these components in coastal systems.


The context-dependency of multiple stressor effects on estuarine sediment communities: a cross continental study

1Joseph Kenworthy, 2Melanie Bishop, 1David Paterson 1University of St Andrews, 2 Macquarie University jmk6@st-andrews.ac.uk

Key word: Estuarine Benthic Multiple stressors Enrichment Disturbance

Estuarine systems are of crucial importance to the provision of goods and services on a global scale, but are increasingly being modified by multiple stressors driven by climate change and coastal development. Among these, urban and agricultural runoff are enhancing nutrient loading, leading to eutrophic conditions. A changing frequency and intensity of storms, linked to climate change, is also modifying disturbance levels. Although nutrient loading and the physical disturbance of sediment are each known to individually impact estuarine ecosystems, the cumulative effect of these two, often co-occurring stressors, remains unknown. Further, how local environmental context influences estuarine ecosystem response to these stressors has received little attention.

To test how the combined and independent effects of nutrient enrichment and physical disturbance vary spatially according to environmental context, parallel field manipulations were conducted in the Lane Cove and Botany Bay estuaries, in New South Wales, Australia and in the Eden and Tay estuaries in Scotland. Over a four month period the response to the perturbations of primary production potential (recorded as chlorophyll a – a proxy for microphytobenthic biomass - and measured by spectrophotometric and handheld remote sensing techniques), organic content and macrofaunal assemblage composition were compared among treatments, and experimental sites.

How the two stressors interacted to influence estuarine sediment communities varied according to site and time following the disturbance. Overall, in both the Australian and Scottish estuaries, primary productivity responded most strongly to nutrient loading but macrofauna responded to physical disturbance. In Scottish estuaries, physical disturbance showed stronger interactions with nutrient loading and time. Physical disturbance generally had negative impacts on both chlorophyll and macrofauna, however this relationship reversed in Scottish estuaries at certain time points where interacting stressors caused an increase in chlorophyll. The results of this study highlight the importance of considering the impacts of multiple stressors in tandem, as these can have non-additive effects that cannot be predicted from experiments examining the effects of each in isolation. Further, the results demonstrate that while there are similarities in the way these systems react to environmental change, the magnitude and direction of their response will be highly context dependent.


What do we want from our seas? Using the past to inform future scenarios of coastal ecosystem service provision

1samiya selim, 2Tom Webb, 2julia blanchard, 2phil warren

1university of sheffield, 2University of Sheffield

Key word: coastal ecosystem services historical ecology shifting baselines

Coastal ecosystems provide vital suites of Ecosystem Services (ES) to local communities, visitors, and wider society. For instance, they act as a source of food (fisheries), employment (fishing and tourism sectors) and recreation (e.g. tourism, wildlife-watching). The relative contribution of these different ES to the suite of ES provided by a given coastal system will clearly change over time, as both societal priorities and ecosystem state change. Thus, using the suite of ES provided by a study system now (or in the recent past) to define ‘good environmental status’ and to drive management decisions, risks excluding from consideration ES which were important in the past. Just as the phenomenon of ‘shifting baselines’ can cloud our understanding of ecological change, so it may distort the priorities of management for ‘optimal’ ES provision. We know that ES are linked to ecosystem function and processes. This implies that different suites of ES will be provided at different rates depending on the ecosystem state(biodiversity.) However, the relationship between different services and how they are connected to the state of the ecosystem is poorly understood. There is thus a crucial link to be made between ecosystem state(biodiversity), and potential ES provision.

In this paper, we argue that including historical context in discussion of ES provision is useful for three reasons. First, by linking ecological and socio-economic time series we can establish functional relationships between ecosystem state and ES provision. Similarly, we can track changes in ecosystem state and ES provision, which enables the ease (or cost) of transitioning between different states to be estimated. Finally, documenting the past states of ecosystems and services they provide can expand the range of scenarios considered for future management and definitions of ‘good environmental quality’. This might include quantitative changes in the current suite of ES, or qualitative changes, for instance prioritising the recovery of ‘lost’ ES. Using the Yorkshire coast of North east England as a case study, we capture how past and current uses of the marine ecosystem services, combined with incomplete time series of historical ecological and socio-economic variables, can be used to address crucial links.


Distribution of microbial populations and the effect of metal contamination on microbial populations in Toulon Bay (NW Mediterranean), France

Jing-Wei YANG, Dominique JAMET, Bruno SERRANITO, Gaël Durrieu , Duc-huy DANG, Cédric GARNIER , Jean-Louis JAMET, Benjamin MISSON


Key word: microbial populations metal contamination

Microbial community plays important roles in ecosystem functioning and the composition, structure, and function of microbial community are dynamic and sensitive to environment changes. Toulon bay is a semi-closed Mediterranean area, separated by two parts (a small bay and a large bay) by a sea wall. Our laboratory previously reported that small bay was found a very high contamination of heavy metals (Cu, Pb, Zn and Hg), because it was submitted to more various anthropogenic inputs (marina, industry, Navy) than large bay.

In order to understand the distribution of microbial populations simultaneously and the effect of metal contamination on microbial populations in Toulon bay, flow cytometry was used to analyse samples collected from 42 stations in the seawater of Toulon bay in February, 2014. The metal contamination was assessed from the same samples.

The higher average abundance of virus (2x106/ml) compared with bacteria’s (6x105/ml) was observed in both two Toulon bays, and that the virus abundance in small bay showed significant higher than the large bay. However bacteria abundance revealed no significant differences between two bays. Three groups of pico-phytoplankton (Proclorococcus, Synechococcus and picoeukaryotes) and two groups of nano-phytoplankton (nanophytoplancton and Cryptophycee) were detected in two bays. Picoeukaryotes was the most abundant taxon according to their average abundance: Picoeukaryotes (1.4x104/ml)> Synechococcus (6x103/ml)> Nanophytoplancton (2x103/ml) > Proclorococcus (1.7x103/ml) > Cryptophycee (1.5x102/ml).

A higher abundance of synechococcus was observed in large bay, whereas picoeukaryotes and nano-phytoplankton abundances were recorded that a significant higher abundance in small bay. Proclorococcus and Cryptophycee abundances varied irregularly among 42 stations and no significant differences were found between two bays.

Our results showed that the abundance of microbial community was influenced by metal contamination, also suggested that synergistic and antagonistic effects existed among microbial groups.


Could seabird colonies influence spatial variability in Arctic benthic communities?

1Mariève Bouchard Marmen, 1Philippe Archambault, 2Ellen Kenchington

1Université du Québec à Rimouski, Institut des sciences de la mer (UQAR-ISMER),

2Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO)


Key word: Benthic communities environmental drivers Biodiversity Arctic ecosystems Spatial variability Seabird colonies

Profound effects of seabird colonies have been demonstrated on terrestrial ecosystems, yet their influence on marine habitats is still unknown. Seabirds play an important role as biological vectors, especially in the Arctic where food is seasonally restricted. Lancaster Sound Region (Canada) includes several key marine habitat sites that support tremendous numbers of migratory birds. During the annual breeding season, important quantities of organic matter (guano, feathers) are returned on those specific sites. Could these seasonal inputs create hotspots of marine biological productivity and indirectly influence benthic fauna? Benthic species are known to be good integrators (sessile, long-lived) of environmental variation. The objective of this study is to characterize the impact of environmental drivers, such as presence of seabird colonies, temperature, depth, sediment type, ice cover and primary production, on coastal benthic communities. Aboard CFAV Quest and CCGS Henry Larsen in 2012, 1120 photos of the seafloor were taken from six colonies’ zones and four zones without colonies at a mean depth of 205 m. Seafloor photos have been sorted, then selected randomly and analyzed to characterize benthic communities. All organisms have been identified to the lowest possible taxonomic level and counted. Preliminary results showed that presence of seabird colonies were not a major driver of benthic communities in the Canadian Arctic. This could be explained by the seasonal presence of seabird colonies and/or by Lancaster Sound’s currents that could rapidly export inputs from the birds. The different zones differed among themselves but not with respect to colonies. Each zone supported a specific benthic community in regards to abundances of dominant species. Depth, sediment type and food availability seem to explain an important part of this spatial variability.



James Xie

Hong Kong Baptist University

Key word: Coral Bioerosion

The balance between growth and bioerosion determines whether a coral reef will undergo accretion or degradation. This study aimed to understand the patterns of growth and bioerosion rate of massive corals along different environmental gradients in Hong Kong. The massive corals Porites spp. were collected from 10 sites in Hong Kong covering different environmental gradients, and slabs of 5 mm thick were cut to determine both the growth rate, the level of bioerosion as well as the contribution of different taxa of macroeroders to the overall bioerosion. Total erosion area of ranged between 4.0% to 12.9%. The total area of erosion was found to be positively correlated with sedimentation rate. Coral linear extension rates varied from 0.26 cm/year and 0.72 cm/year. There was a significant negative correlation between growth rate and sedimentation rate. Our results indicate that high sedimentation rate in some areas of Hong Kong is a limiting factor for the colony growth of Porites as it reduces the linear extension and promotes bioerosion.



Joel Gatagwu

Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute


Key word: Heavy metal Dynamics Macro-invertebrates

Coastal systems, particularly lagoons, creeks and estuaries worldwide are experiencing increased pollution from anthropogenic inputs including effluents discharged from urban, industrial, agricultural and atmospheric deposition. This has led to degradation of water and sediment quality leading to loss of biological diversity and problems in human health. Loss of biological diversity is significant for ecological integrity of a system and for aquatic food web it is the cause of poor energy transfer along the trophic levels. Heavy metals in sediments cause adverse lethal and sub-lethal effects on the dwelling community. Benthic macro-invertebrates integrate effects of contaminants over time and are useful indicators of aquatic environment health. The objective of this study was to determine the implication of Fe, Cu, Cd, Zn, Mn and Pb dynamics in pore-water sediment interface and sediments quality on spatial distribution of benthic macro invertebrates in Makupa Creek, Mombasa. The results suggested that sewage effluents from domestic and industrial activities, seepage from solid waste disposal and restricted hydrologic dynamics influences benthic macro-invertebrates and heavy metal distribution in both sediment and pore-water concentrations compared to a pristine coastal area. Analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) revealed no significant difference (ANOSIM Global R: = 0.018, -0.026, -0.196 at p>0.05) and was attributed to common species in Makupa Creek stations. SIMPER analysis revealed limnodriloides barnadi, unidentified nematode, Mesanthula Catenula, Heterodrilus jamiessoni, Olavius geniculatus, Oktedrilus monospermlectus, and unidentified polychaete and Lucifer chacei are the species that contributed highest dissimilarity. High values of metals partitioning coefficients Kd indicated a strong affinity of the metal with sediment and suggested restricted bioavailability of the metal to benthic invertebrates. Conservation of estuarine and coastal wetlands is important because they are areas rich in biodiversity that play a very important role in energy transfers in aquatic ecosystem.

Special Session 2: Linking Marine Biodiversity Science and Advice

SS2-1 (Keynote)

Evaluation of OSPAR MSFD common biodiversity indicators

Oscar Bos

IMARES Wageningen UR


Key word: indicator MFSD

In Europe, the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is on full speed. The MSFD is the overarching legislative framework for an ecosystem based approach to the management of human activities. The goal is to achieve ‘Good Environmental Status’ (GES) by 2020. Achieving GES for marine biodiversity is one of the aims of the MSFD. The MSFD also ask member states to cooperate, so that assessments of biodiversity on a regional scale (i.e. larger than the national EEZs) can be made. For the Atlantic part of Europe, OSPAR is therefore preparing a set of ‘common indicators’ for benthos, fish, marine mammals, birds and plankton with the help of many scientists from across Europe. Within the ICES working group on Biodiversity, we have evaluated the performance of these OSPAR indicators against a set of criteria to test. In this presentation, we will provide an overview of the current MSFD process and the OSPAR indicators and present the methodology and results of the ICES WGBIODIV’s assessment.


Assessing Biodiversity for the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive

1Alice Newton, 2Miguel Inacio 1NILU-IMPEC, 2Univ. of Algarve anewton@ualg.pt

Key word: Biodiversity Policy Marine Strategy Framework Directive

The viability of the assessment of descriptor one (D1), Biodiversity, of Good Environmental Status according to the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) was tested. The site is in NE Atlantic OSPAR region IV, an upwelling area off SW Portugal, within the marine section of a Natural Park, near Sagres. The coastal zone has a low population and is classified as a non-polluted area with low anthropogenic pressures. Potential pressures were identified and their effects on marine environmental and ecological status were linked with the MSFD Descriptors. Data from different sources and time periods regarding all MSFD biodiversity components were compiled to create a checklist of 621species and 300 families belonging to 18 phyla. Indices were calculated for all the biodiversity components, according to 10 EUNIS Habitats Classification. The DEVOTools software was tested and identified 39 Indicators, 3 MSFD Descriptors, 11 Criteria and 15 Indicators . Sagres is therefore a low pressure- high diversity area for both species aspect and habitat composition. It could serve as a reference site for West Iberian Coast for biodiversity and other descriptors. This study can be replicated at different sites for which there is a wide range of information about the marine environment.


Linking science and advice: advancing assessment and management of marine non-indigenous species

1Henn Ojaveer, 2Bella Galil, 3Stephan Gollasch, 4Agnese Marchini, 5Dan Minchin,

6Aleksas Narščius, 4Anna Occhipinti-Ambrogi, 6Sergej Olenin

1University of Tartu, Estonia, 2 National Institute of Oceanography, Israel, 3GoConsult, Germany, 4University of Pavia, Italy, 5Marine Organism Investigations, Ireland, 6Klaipeda University, Lithuania


Key word: Non-native species High-priority issues Information system International legislation Management

The introduction of non-indigenous species (NIS) has strongly impacted the structure andfunction of marine ecosystems, and the goods and services they provide. Compared to other external pressures affecting marine ecosystems, information on NIS is limited. However, recognition of the significant threats posed by NIS is evident in several recently undertaken legislative acts. A major challenge for the scientific community is to translate the principles of the legislative directives into a realistic, integrated ecosystem-based approach and at the same time provide to stakeholders with best practices for managing NIS. High-priority issues to be considered when dealing with marine NIS include readily available taxonomic expertise; standardization of information and data for the evaluation of numbers, dispersal and impacts of NIS; linking NIS invasions to pathways and vectors; the need for dedicated NIS monitoring programmes; stressing the importance of vectors management; involvement of stakeholders in assessment and management of NIS. A recent significant advance concerns documentation of NIS data in a standardized manner and the development of the ’Information system on the aquatic non-indigenous and cryptogenic species in Europe, AquaNIS’. Based on AquaNIS, a comprehensive pan-European assessment of marine NIS has been carried out. AquaNIS will also assist several legislative acts (such as the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive) with data provision and indicator development. The prospective evolution of EU and national legislation, based on a sound data assessment about NIS presence and spread is discussed.


Indicators and tools to quantify changes in marine ecosystem services

1Melanie Austen, 1Caroline Hattam, 2Jonathon Atkins, 3Richard Barnes, 1Nicola Beaumont, 1 Tobias Brger, 4Anne Bhnke-Henrichs, 5Sue Boyes, 5Daryl Burdon, 5Mike Elliott, 4Dolf de Groot, 6Ellen Hoefnagel, 7Paulo Nunes, 8Joanna Piwowarczyk, 7Sergio Sastre

1Plymouth Marine Laboratory, 2Hull University Business School, University of Hull, 3Law

School, Hull University, 4Environmental Systems Analysis Group, Wageningen University, 5Institute of Estuarine & Coastal Studies, University of Hull, 6DLO Agricultural Economics Research Institute, Wageningen University, 7ICM-CSIC Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 8IOPASN


Key word: ecosystem services indicators valuation quantifying changes scenarios

Quantifying the provision of marine ecosystem services, how they have changed and how they might change in the future under different scenarios can help policy makers, regulators and other stakeholders to understand the societal importance of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. However, doing so in practice has proved challenging because there has not been a coherent set of indicators to enable this. We will outline the need to distinguish between indicators of ecosystem services that are entirely ecological in nature (and largely reveal the potential of an ecosystem to provide ecosystem services), indicators for the ecological processes contributing to the delivery of these services, and indicators of benefits that reveal the realised human use or enjoyment of an ecosystem service and which can be valued in monetary or non-monetary terms. We present a suite of indicators for the full complement of marine ecosystem services in continental shelf waters. The indicators are based on ecological properties and functions of marine ecosystems. Each indicator has been assessed against a set of agreed criteria to ensure its relevance and applicability to environmental management. We highlight some of the difficulties faced in selecting meaningful indicators, such as problems of specificity, spatial disconnect and the considerable uncertainty about marine species, habitats and the processes, functions and services they contribute to.

Drawing on these indicators, and as part of a much larger multidisciplinary project (www.marine-vectors.eu) examining changes in marine life across European Seas and their ecosystem, economic and social consequences , ecosystem services have been quantified in case study areas both in their present state and under contrasting future scenarios. Such an ecosystem service assessment was facilitated by the development of scenarios that incorporate analysis of future governance and its implications for different maritime sectors; by biodiversity and ecosystem functioning studies that have furthered our understanding of the changes that are occurring and might occur in the future, and which combined with ecosystem modelling have been used to project future changes in ecosystem services indicators; and finally valuation studies that examine how values will change under the different scenarios. Through this project we have demonstrated that the tools are now coming into place to make assessments of changes in marine biodiversity

terms that indicate their societal importance and can be more easily communicated to policy makers and managers.


Biological Traits Analysis as an indicator of ecosystem functioning based on biodiversity data

1Devin Lyons, 2Andrew Blight, 3Christos Arvanitidis, 3Eva Chatzinikolaou, 4Danielle Green,

5 Tamar Guy-Haim, 6Jonne Kotta, 7Agnese Marchini, 2David Paterson, 8Ana Queiros, 5Gil

Rilov, 8Paul Somerfield, 1Tasman Crowe

1University College Dublin, Ireland, 2University of St Andrews, UK, 3Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece, 4Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, 5National Institute of Oceanography, Israel Oceaongraphic and Limnological Research, 6 Estonian Marine Institute, Estonia, 7University of Pavia, Italy, 8Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK


Key word: Biological Traits Analysis Functional diversity Indicator Ecosystem functioning

Environmental policy and management are increasingly based on ecosystem services, which in turn depend on ecosystem functioning. Cost effective and widely applicable indicators of ecosystem functioning and services therefore need to be developed and adopted. Changes in biodiversity are known to be linked to changes in functioning and functional trait-based approaches such as Biological Traits Analysis (BTA) are regarded as being potentially suitable as a basis for indicators of ecosystem functioning and services. However, although BTA has been shown to indicate changes in predicted functional capacity associated with particular human activities and pressures, links between changes in trait profiles and changes in functioning have not yet been demonstrated empirically.

Here, we analysed experimental and observational datasets combining detailed assessments of biodiversity with measurements of a number of ecosystem properties and processes to (a) develop a framework for using BTA as an indicator of functioning and (b) test its effectiveness in predicting functioning in a number of intertidal and subtidal sedimentary ecosystems. Initial analyses have focussed on a dataset derived from experimental manipulation of densities of invasive oysters Crassostrea gigas in intertidal sedimentary plots. The biota in the plots have been characterised in terms of maximum body size, feeding mode, mobility, habit, growth form, longevity, food type, sociability, bioturbation and environmental position. Subsets of these traits have been effective in predicting pools of ammonium, silicate and organic matter and fluxes of carbon dioxide. Tests of the applicability of the framework in other systems are ongoing at the time of writing, but results will be available for presentation at the conference.


Valuing conservation benefits of a proposed offshore marine protected area

1Tobias Borger, 1Caroline Hattam, 2Daryl Burdon, 2Jonathan P. Atkins, 1Melanie C. Austen

1 Plymouth Marine Laboratory, 2University of Hull


Key word: Marine ecosystem services environmental valuation discrete choice experiment offshore MPA Dogger Bank North Sea Increasing anthropogenic pressure in the offshore marine environment highlights the need for improved management and conservation of offshore ecosystems. This study scrutinizes the applicability of a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to value the expected benefits arising from the conservation of an offshore sandbank in UK waters. The valuation scenario refers to the UK part of the Dogger Bank, in the southern North Sea, and is based on realworld management options for fisheries, wind farms and marine protection currently under discussion for the site. In this survey-based approach, respondents are presented with different management scenarios and asked to indicate their preferred option. These stated choices allow for the calculation of respondents’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) for the resulting environmental improvements, which is an indicator of their expected benefit. The ecosystem improvements to be valued include an increase in species diversity (an indicator of a bundle of regulating ecosystem services), the protection of charismatic species (an indicator of a bundle of cultural ecosystem services) and the restriction of the spread of invasive species. The extent to which the general public perceive and value these conservation benefits arising of an offshore marine protected area are assessed. Responses to an online DCE survey with a sample of 1,022 respondents from across the UK reveal strong support for marine conservation measures on the Dogger Bank despite the general public’s limited prior knowledge of current marine planning or the site itself. Results further show significant positive WTP for an increase in species diversity, the protection of charismatic species (porpoises, seals and seabirds) and a restriction in the spread of invasive species across the site. Several factors such as having taken a ferry or flight across the North Sea or being a member of an environmental organisation are found to increase the extent of these expected benefits. Active use of or distance from the marine environment is not found to affect values, which suggests a large non-use component of these values. Implications for policy and management with respect to commercial fishing, wind farm construction and nature conservation are discussed for the Dogger Bank and the wider marine environment.


Challenges in the Conservation of High Seas Biodiversity in the Southeast Pacific

Carole Durussel

Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS)


Key word: High Seas Biodiversity Southeast Pacific Conservation Regional Legal Framework Regional Fisheries Management Organisations

The conservation of high seas biodiversity represents a global challenge. With no legal instruments adequately addressing this issue, there is a pressing need to find ways to address challenges to the conservation of high seas biodiversity.

The Southeast Pacific encompasses an area of 30.02 million km2 extending from northern Colombia to southern Chile. The region is strongly influenced by environmental conditions which affect the abundance and distribution of marine living resources. One of the main threats to biodiversity in this region come from fisheries, which, with 7.8 million tonnes of fish caught in 2010 representing 10% of global fisheries catches, is the fourth most productive fisheries region in the world.

With no comprehensive global legal framework currently in place for the management and conservation of high seas biodiversity, the strengthening of the legal and institutional framework at the regional level provides an option to tackle high seas biodiversity conservation. Regional fisheries bodies are particularly well-placed as they provide a platform for States to cooperate regionally and develop management principles and procedures. Within the Southeast Pacific, three regional fisheries bodies interact: The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) manages tuna-like fish species while the newly established South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO) manages non-highly migratory fish species. The Comisión Permanente del Pacífico Sur (CPPS; Permanent Commission for the South Pacific) has an advisory mandate to promote the conservation of marine living resources and the protection of the marine environment within the national jurisdiction of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile.

However, existing global and regional legal instruments for the Southeast Pacific are limited in their capacity to address high seas biodiversity conservation. This study emphasises the importance of the regional level for the conservation of high seas biodiversity. Taking into account existing legal instruments, it further looks at the role of the three regional institutions in the conservation of high seas biodiversity and identifies the achievements as well as key challenges faced by the Southeast Pacific in the implementation and enforcement of globally agreed biodiversity conservation measures.


The impacts of coastal developments on biodiversity: Strategic assessment of the marina construction in Australia

Chen Shengnan, Stuart Pearson

University of New South Wales Canberra

Key word: coastal biodiversity strategic assessment of marinas' impacts legal and regulatory framework

Australia has over 800 marinas on its coastline, according to the Marina Industries Association of Australia and many are planned. A loss of coastal biodiversity is caused by the construction and operation of marinas, such as the dredging and boat navigation. Damage to coastal biodiversity is a key consideration in assessing the environmental impacts of marinas. It is also one of decision-makers and communities’ main concerns in approving or rejecting marina applications. A key policy response is the legal and regulatory framework thrown around marina developments and it can hold developers, management and science to account.

This research selected the Rose Bay Marina in Sydney Harbour (Australia) as a case study, and aims to assess the performance of legislative acts and governments on the protection of coastal biodiversity. We did interviews and questionnaires with government officials, academics, marina developers, NGO managers and local residents to identify the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of legislative acts and governments in protecting coastal biodiversity. We also used marina application documents, government and academic reports, and library resources to verify the research results. The broad involvement of coastal stakeholders and integration of extensive resources improve the validity of this research and facilitate the implementation of research outcomes. The legal and regulatory framework is often a key recommendation when people seek to link marine biodiversity science and advice and they often hope it is an adequate response to the pressures and risks of undesirable outcomes of marinas. In this presentation, we will demonstrate the major results identified in the first round of assessment of the legal and regulatory frameworks that operate to avoid and mitigate undesirable impacts of marinas on coastal biodiversity and raise potential indicators for the next round of assessment.

Special Session 3:

Ecological and Evolutionary Paradigms in Marine Biology and How Meiofauna can be Used to Address Them

SS3-1 (Keynote 1)

Towards a better definition of the term “meiofauna”.

Richard Warwick N/A rmw@pml.ac.uk

Key word: species body size spectra functional traits

The fact that we are holding a special session on meiofauna at this conference suggests that we regard them as something special, and not just the lower end of a continuum of metazoan body size extending up to the macrofauna and megafauna. At the Fifth International Meiofauna Conference (VIMCO) in Ghent more than 30 years ago I gave the introductory talk, with the same title as this one, suggesting that meiofauna should be defined not simply on the basis of their size, but also on the features of their way of life that are associated with small body size (nowadays I would have termed these “functional traits”!). The numbers of species of different body size present in undisturbed environments reflect to a large extent the structure of the regional species pool, which is determined by evolutionary mechanisms operating over geological time-scales. Typically the species adult body size spectrum comprises two separate lognormal distributions with relatively large numbers of small species (the meiofauna) and large species (the macrofauna) with many fewer intermediate size species in the trough between them. Many, if not most, functional traits of marine benthic animals switch quite abruptly at a size equivalent to the trough in this distribution, and the highly conservative bimodal pattern is postulated to result from the evolutionary optimisation of these two sets of functional traits, with intermediate traits being either impossible or non-viable. This not inconsistent with the metabolic relationships used in macroecology that scale continuously with body size. This conservative pattern of species body size may be modified locally by environmental constraints, such as pollution and disturbance, operating over much shorter ecological timescales, so that the observed pattern will be the product of both evolutionary and ecological processes. Many workers today still define meiofauna simply on the size criteria proposed 72 years ago by Molly Mare (who coined the term meiobenthos) and include, as she did, the so called “temporary meiobenthos” (the larvae and juveniles of many macrobenthic species). If we include meiofaunal functional traits (reproductive, life history, feeding, behavioural) as well as body size in our definition, this must exclude the temporary meiofauna.

SS3-2 (Keynote 2)

Species’ range sizes in the deep sea: a case study

David Thistle, Erin Easton, Trisha Spears

Florida State University


Key word: deep sea benthos meiofauna range size Harpacticoida genetics

According to some authors, metazoan species from deep-sea soft bottoms have ranges on the 100-km scale; others suggest that ranges are on the 1000-km scale. Morphological studies have provided most of the data, but this approach may not separate sibling species reliably. In our investigation, we used both morphological and genetic data. We studied harpacticoid copepods because they are thought to be poor dispersers, being less than 1 mm long with a completely benthic life history. Our reasoning was that if harpacticoid species had 1000-km-scale ranges, then most deep-sea species might have ranges at this scale.

Our material came from eight stations on the continental rise along the west coast of the United States. We used morphology to combine individuals into nominal species. We then obtained genetic data from the nuclear 18S ribosomal RNA gene and the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase b gene from every individual in each nominal species. We considered individuals to be conspecific when the morphological and genetic data agreed. To date, we have found 26 of 83 species (31.2%) had 1000-km-scale ranges. Thus many harpacticoid species in the deep sea have ranges much larger than 100 km. If we are correct and harpacticoids are poor dispersers, then deep-sea, soft-bottom species that are better dispersers should have an even greater proportion of species with 1000-km-scale ranges. Whether or not this inference is correct, our results raise the question of how genetic continuity is maintained among harpacticoid populations over 1000-km-scale distances in the deep sea.


Meiobenthic response to CO2 release – implications for benthic diversity and ecosystem functioning and the role of meiobenthos as bioindicators

1Jeroen Ingels, 1Sarah Dashfield, 1Stephen Widdicombe, 2Henrik Stahl, 1Jeremy

Blackford, 1Paul Somerfield, 1Louise McNeill

1Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, The Hoe, Plymouth, PL1 3DH, United Kingdom, 2Dustaffnage Marine Laboratory, Scottish Association of Marine Sciences,

Oban, Scotland PA37 1QA, United Kingdom


Key word: meiobenthos Carbon Capture and Storage acidification nematodes bioindicators CO2 ecosystem function

CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) involves the collection of CO2 produced during industrial activities and injecting it into deep geological structures beneath land or sea to reduce CO2 emissions. Although it has the potential to remove a significant proportion of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, very little is known about the short- and long-term effects of CO2-storage. There is an urgent need to understand the risks and potential environmental consequences involved. The UK-led QICS (Quantifying and Monitoring Potential Ecosystem Impacts on Geological Carbon Storage) and European RISCS (Research into impacts & safety in CO2 storage) projects aim to assess the potential impact of CO2 leakage from CCS systems. Here, we investigated the meiobenthic communities prior to, during and after controlled CO2 release in engineered field and laboratory experiments. The potential of meiofaunal indicators for CO2-leakage detection in this context is discussed as well as the consequences for benthic diversity and ecosystem functioning.


Structural and functional response of nematode communities to human disturbance on sandy beaches

Hong Zhou, Yang Lou, Er Hua, Shuhui Xu, Xinyu Sun, Qing Yu, Zhinan Zhang

College of Marine Life Science, Ocean University of China


Key word: Nematode community Structure and function Biological trait Sandy beach Human disturbance

Sandy beaches, the world’s single largest type of open shoreline, are under ever increasing threats arising from localized tourism activities to global change. The present study compared the structural and functional features of the three nematode communities from sandy beaches with different levels of human disturbance, aiming to demonstrate how nematode communities response to human disturbances on sandy beaches.

Three tourist beaches in Qingdao were chosen to represent different levels of disturbance: No.1 Bathing Beach and the No.3 Bathing Beach located near downtown (high disturbance group) and Yangkou Bathing Beach in remote suburb (low disturbance group). Our results indicated that nematode communities responded to different levels of human disturbance both structurally and functionally. Cluster analysis supported our hypothesized two disturbance groups based on species composition and community structure. Further analysis showed that as compared with the low disturbance beach, high disturbance beaches were characterized by higher abundance and species diversity, but lower juvenile to adult proportion (earlier sexual maturity), male biased sex ratio, higher 1B/2A ratio and more slender body shape (higher De Man’s a ratio). PCA analysis which integrated the biological traits of nematode communities with relevant environmental variables suggested that the nematode communities mainly responded to the human disturbance effects of eutrophication and organic enrichment on the sedimentary environments of the studied sandy beach ecosystems.


Using exploratory data visualization approaches to characterize meiofaunal community patterns from environmental sequence datasets

Holly Bik

University of Birmingham, UK


Key word: meiofauna environmental sequencing

Using environmental sequencing approaches, we now have the ability to deeply characterize biodiversity and biogeographic patterns in understudied, uncultured microbial taxa (investigations of bacteria, archaea, protists, and meiofauna using 454/Illumina sequencing platforms). However, the sheer volume of data produced from these new technologies requires fundamentally different approaches and new paradigms for effective data analysis. Scientific visualization represents an innovative method towards tackling the current bioinformatics bottleneck; in addition to giving researchers a unique approach for exploring large datasets, it stands to empower biologists with the ability to conduct powerful analyses without requiring a deep level of computational knowledge. Here we present results from Phinch (http://phinch.org - an interactive, browser-based framework), to show how new data visualization approaches can be used to identify biological patterns in environmental sequence datasets obtained from marine meiofauna communities.


Untangling the Meiofaunal Food Web

1Julian Smith III, 1Kyle McDaniel, 1Parisa Geranmayeh, 2Stephen Fegley, 3Marian Litvaitis 1 Winthrop University, 2University of North Carolina, 3University of New Hampshire smithj@winthrop.edu

Key word: Meiofaunal Food Web Predator/Prey Diagnostic PCR

Although trophic interactions are among the most important structuring processes within communities, comprehensive elucidation of food-web relationships among meiofauna species has proven difficult. The lack of quantitative information about trophic structure in this habitat hampers hypothesis-testing about the role of meiofauna, both within the meiofaunal community and in the sandy-beach habitat more generally. As part of our study of long-term ecological changes in the meiofaunal community of a high-energy, exposed beach in North Carolina, we have begun identifying trophic relationships using PCR techniques. We seek to answer three broad questions: 1) What are the specific trophic interactions within the meiofauna and are broad generalizations (e.g., kalyptorhynchs as predators; nematodes and harpacticoids having diet-specific pharyngeal morphologies, etc.) generally correct?; 2) How much (if any) nutrient transfer occurs from the meiofauna to the macrofauna? 3) In what ways (if at all) do meiofauna limit either algal or bacterial production? To date, we have obtained results using diagnostic PCR for part of the first question, identifying specific nematode, harpacticoid, and gastrotrich prey for many of the flatworm species. Second we have begun exploring the use of Next-Generation-Sequencing (NGS) to reveal the complete diet of selected flatworm species. Finally, using diagnostic PCR, we have addressed the second question by examining two macrofaunal species (haustorid amphipods and Scolelepis squamata) for ingestion (probably incidental) of meiofaunal organisms. Our results highlight the promise of PCR techniques for foodweb analyses in the meiofauna, while underscoring the need for more extensive species-level genetic databases, without which that promise cannot be completely realized. Support for this research was provided by SC INBRE and the Winthrop Research Council to JSIII, KM & PG, and by the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station and NSF-DEB 04122932 to MKL.


The meiofauna in a peri-urban mangrove system – assemblage structure and potential trophic role

1maizah mohd abdullah, 2Shing Yip (Joe) Lee, 2Brian Fry 1Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 2 Griffith University maizah@umt.edu.my

Key word: Meiofauna Mangrove Stable isotopes

Meiofauna are ubiquitous in soft-bottom marine habitats around the world, including mangroves. They have been shown to play an important role in the processing of organic matter and trophic pathways in benthic food webs, in addition to their established use for monitoring marine environmental health. However, little is known about the ecology of the meiofauna in mangroves. The aims of this study are to determine the important groups of meiofauna and their association with mangrove species. In addition, their potential trophic role in mangrove ecosystems will be studied using stable isotope analysis. Preliminary study was done at a peri-urban mangrove forest at Tallebudgera, Southeast Queensland, Australia, where nematodes dominated the meiofauna assemblages with harpacticoid copepods next in abundance, attaining maximum densities of about 5200 and 600 ind. m2, respectively. The assemblages of meiofauna from Rhizophora stylosa stands are distinct from the other mangroves (ANOSIM p<0.05), Aegiceras corniculatum (Pairwise test R=1.0) and Avicennia marina (Pairwise test R=0.75). In general, δ13C values of meiofauna are more enriched compared to macrofaunal invertebrates, while their δ15N values vary according to taxonomic groups, the values are indicative of similar trophic positions.


Distribution patterns of the meiofaunal community in tidal creek systems and their environmental indications

Yongfen DU, Dandan Wang, Shu Gao, Deli Wu

Nanjing University


Key word: Meiofaunal community Biological indicators Tidal creeks Coastal wetland China coast

Coastal wetlands have a number of biological indicators for environmental changes. We carried out an investigation into the tidal flat ecosystem, on the Jiangsu coast, eastern China, to evaluate the meiofaunal community as a potential biological indicator. We found that, as a geomorphic unit of a wetland system, tidal creeks have some unique features in terms of environmental and ecological dynamics: different habitats are present on the two sides of the tidal channel, with erosional habitats occurring on the concave bank and accretional habitats on the convex bank. The difference in terms of the sedimentary environment between the two sides of the tidal channel is insignificant compared with the variability over the entire tidal flat system, but this not the case when the meiofaunal assemblage is concerned. The abundance of nematodes on the accretional side is much higher than on the erosional side; in contrast, the copepod abundance is higher on the erosional side. Thus, the nematode/copepod ratio (or N/C ratio) is around 50 on the eroding side and exceeds 100 on the accreting side. The contrasting situations could reflect, to some extend, pollution conditions, because the N/C ratio is widely used to distinguish between undisturbed and polluted conditions: more organic pollutant would settle down on the convex bank. Further, the results may also contain information on the environmental evolution. The spatial and temporal variations in the N/C ratio may be used as an indicator for geomorphologic evolution of the tidal channel. The spatial heterogeneity may be taken as a critical parameter that can be considered for various trial experiments using this type of natural laboratory.


Marine meiofaunal macroecology and paleoecology: microfossil Ostracoda and Foraminifera as models

Moriaki Yasuhara

University of Hong Kong


Key word: Macroecology Paleoecology Meiofauna Microfossil

Small benthic organisms, meiofauna, have been investigated less intensively compared to larger macrofauna, resulting in greater taxonomic uncertainty and less census data accumulation. However, they are the most abundant and diverse group of (non-microbial) organisms in marine sediments. Hundreds of specimens and dozens of species can be obtained from small amount of sediment. Two taxa of meiofauna, the crustacean Ostracoda and protozoan Foraminifera are known as microfossils. Their microscopic-size hard parts (carapace or test) are abundantly preserved as fossils. Thus, meiofauna is an ideal, but under-exploited resource for biodiversity and ecosystem research on large spatial and temporal scales: macroecology and paleoecology. In this talk, I will describe this perspective and its strengths and limitations with specific examples of deep-sea diversity patterns and shallow-marine conservation paleoecology. Integrative macroecology and paleoecology of meiofauna in conjunction with those of macrofauna will improve our understanding of global diversity patterns and their controlling factors in changing oceans.



1Andrey Azovsky, 2Lesya Garlitska, 1Elena Chertoprud

1Moscow State University, 2P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology RAS, Russia


Key word: Harpacticoida diversity species-to-genus ratio scale Arctic tropics

Latitudinal trends are one of the most intriguing patterns in biodiversity. For many taxa, however, a direct comparison of diversity is difficult because of sufficient incompleteness of the data. We use the database of geographic distribution of shallow-water harpacticoids (2818 species) to compare the species and genus diversity in the Arctic seas and in tropics. We also analyze the local diversity from 27 arctic and 45 tropical sites. For each regional or local species list, we calculate the expected number of genera for a given number of species, randomly selected from corresponding species pool, and compare it to the observed values.

Overall, 153 genera (411 species) have been reported from arctic shallow waters, and only 7.8% of these genera have not been found beyond. In tropical regions, 342 genera (1403 species) have been found, and as much as 29.7% of these genera are restricted to this zone. Both arctic and tropical regional faunas have significantly less genera then expected, but this depletion is twice more substantial in the Arctic region.

At the local level, there is no difference in average species richness between Arctic and tropics (46 and 43 species per site, respectively). However, the Arctic communities include considerably fewer genera (i.e., higher percent of congeners) than expected, whereas in tropics, the genera richness only slightly deviates from the expected values.

Thus, arctic harpacticoids show lower global but similar local species diversity, and demonstrate lower level of endemicity, as compared with tropics. Moreover, arctic and tropical communities differ significantly in species-to-genus ratio at global, regional and local scales. We hypothesize that arctic environment favors representatives of certain genera but filter out some others. On the contrary, the tropical faunas demonstrate higher level of generic diversification. Possible mechanisms (ecological and/or evolutionary) underlying this pattern are discussed briefly.


Meiofauna distribution in intertidal sandy beaches along the China shoreline (18°- 40° N)

Er HUA, Zhi Nan ZHANG, Hong ZHOU, Fang Hong MU, Jia LI, Ting ZHANG, Bing Qing CONG, Xiao Shou LIU

Ocean University of China


Key word: meiofauna sandy beach latitudinal variation abundance China

In this study meiofauna distribution pattern from nine sandy beaches at six latitudinal gradients along Chinese coast between 18 to 40N was studied in order to examine the latitudinal gradients in meiofauna abundance, and to examine its both horizontal and vertical distribution patterns. In general, meiofauna abundance was lower in four subtropical beaches from Xiamen (24N) and Zhoushan (29N) than that in other beaches. Meiofauna abundances differed little between tropical and temperate beaches. Gradual changes of meiofauna abundance with increasing of latitude were unclear. Meiofauna abundances tended to be higher on the east coast of Eurasia (China coast) than that on the west coast (European coast) in the similar latitudes with a view to beaches located in the south to the tropic of cancer and north to 30N. The latitudinal pattern of meiofauna abundance might be more complex and is not consistent in the east and west coast of the continent. Variability in meiofaunal community structure was found in studied sandy beaches. In general the taxonomic structure of meiofauna showed a dominance of nematode in colder area. The relative composition of turbellarians and polychaetes increased in warmer area. In addition to latitudinal gradient, salinity, oxygenation, sediment grain size may be responsible for the meiofauna latitudinal distribution. As for horizontal distribution, the highest meiofauna abundances were found in low tidal zone at tropical beach, and in middle tidal zone at temperate beaches. At subtropical beaches from Xiamen and Zhoushan, meiofauna abundance almost did not vary among different tidal zones. Meiofauna main taxa were observed almost at all depth intervals and not confined to the surface layer (0-4 cm) in present study. Most of their abundance reduced with depth at most beaches but the anomalous raise of the main taxa abundance recorded at beaches in Xiamen. The horizontal and vertical distributions of meiofauna were controlled both by physical and biotic factors including feeding and anthropogenic activities. Although meiofauan abundance exhibited horizontal or vertical differences, composition of meiofaunal main taxa were unanimous horizontally and vertically at all beaches from the same sampling latitude.


Drivers of spatial heterogeneity in nematode assemblage structure and functioning in an intertidal flat

Xiuqin WU, Tom Moens Ghent University xiuqin.wu@ugent.be

Key word: Nematodes abundance genus composition horizontal variability vertical variability intertidal environmental variability granulometry phytopigments PERMANOVA.

Many studies have tried to unravel patterns in variability of nematodes in intertidal sediments, focusing on horizontal and/or vertical dimensions, grain size, chl a, organic matter content and quality, but also biotic interactions have been listed among the potential drivers of nematode assemblage patterns. Nevertheless, our knowledge of the drivers of nematode assemblage structure at sub-kilometer scales remains very incomplete.

We sampled 16 stations within a 1km2 area of an intertidal flat, covering sediments which vary from muddy to medium sandy. Sediment cores were sliced per 2 cm down to a depth of 6 cm. In addition to nematode abundance and assemblage composition (genus-level), we measured grain size, organic matter and various phytopigments as proxies of available food. A three-factor PERMANOVA was performed, with station (St) and depth (De) as fixed factors and replicate nested in station as a random factor. The relationship between nematode data and environmental parameters was assessed using DistLM.

Significant differences in total nematode density and genus composition were found between stations and depths, and in the interaction between these two factors. Horizontally, nematode composition from high tide stations was significantly different from the rest, while there was a high heterogeneity between mid-tidal stations. Vertically, nematode density significantly decreased with depth, and nematode genus composition at the top 2 cm was significantly different from that in deeper layers.

Total nematode density and composition were significantly correlated with most of the environmental variables. The measured variables together explained up to 88.5% of the variation in nematode abundance, with peridinin (a pigment which occurs in photosynthetic dinoflagellates) concentration surprisingly being the best single explanatory variable. The same variables explained 59.3% of the variability in nematode genus composition, with the ratio of chla/pheopigments, an indicator of the turnover of photoautrophic matter, being the best single explanatory variable.

We thus show that the combination of environmental variables measured here explained most of the variability in total nematode abundances, but much less so in nematode genus composition. This suggests that composition patterns are more affected by species interactions, whereas total abundances are constrained by grain size and food availability.


Biodiversity of Free-living Marine Nematodes in the southern Yellow Sea, China

1Xiaoshou Liu, 2Yan Zhang, 1Man Xu, 1Er Hua, 1Zhinan Zhang 1Ocean University of China, 2 Qingdao Agricultural University liuxs@ouc.edu.cn, znzhang@ouc.edu.cn

Key word: species diversity taxonomic diversity free-living marine nematodes southern Yellow Sea, China

Biodiversity patterns of free-living marine nematodes were studied using species diversity, taxonomic diversity and phylogenetic diversity measures in the southern Yellow Sea, China. The results showed that the higher values of Shannon-Wiener diversity index distributed in the coastal waters of Rongcheng and Haizhou Bay, while the lower values distributed in Jiangsu coastal waters and the Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass (YSCWM). The higher values taxonomic of diversity appeared in the transitional areas between coastal areas and YSCWM, while the lower values distributed near the Haizhou Bay coastal waters and the YSCWM. Results of correlation analysis of species diversity and taxonomic diversity showed that, the two kinds of diversity index were independent, which suggested that combining the two kinds of diversity index can reflect the ecological characteristics better. A test for 95% probability funnels of average taxonomic distinctness and variation in taxonomic distinctness suggested that Stations 8594 (in the transitional area) , 11151 (in the Jiangsu coastal waters) and 10294(in the Haizhou Bay coastal waters)were subjected to environmental stress and anthropogenic perturbation. Results of correlation analysis between marine nematodes biodiversity and environmental variables showed that the sediment characteristics (Mdø and Silt-clay fraction) and phaeophorbide a (Phaeo-a) were the most important factors to determine the biodiversity patterns of marine nematodes.


Diversity in the ocean's second deepest point: community ecology in Horizon Deep, Tonga Trench

1Daniel Leduc, 1Ashley A. Rowden, 2Hiroshi Kitazato



Key word: Trench Nematodes Southwest Pacific Hadal

We know very little about the fauna living at the bottom of the world's trenches. Horizon Deep is the deepest part of Tonga Trench and the world's second deepest point (ca. 10 850 m) next to Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench (ca. 11 000 m). Here, we provide the first description of the Horizon Deep fauna at 6000 and 10 800 m based on quantitative core samples obtained using the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology's (JAMSTEC) submersible Shinkai 6500 and camera lander. A rich and diverse community, dominated by nematodes, was found at 10 800 m; at 6000 m, the benthic community was also dominated by nematodes but densities were markedly lower. Differences in community structure (abundance of major meiofaunal taxa and nematode species) and vertical abundance gradients in the sediments were also evident. Comparisons with other trenches showed substantial differences in nematode community structure between regions. These within- and among trench differences are discussed in relation to environmental parameters most likely to be responsible for these contrasting communities. Ongoing research on trench fauna (e.g., Kermadec Trench) will help better determine the mechanisms affecting trench community structure and function.

Special Session 4: Anthropogenic Impacts on Deep-sea Biodiversity and their Consequences

SS4-1 (Keynote)

Anthropogenic impacts on deep-sea biodiversity: major challenges for future research

1Telmo Morato, 2Eva Ramirez-Llodra, 3Kristina Gjerde, 4Lisa Levin

1IMAR University Azores, Portugal, 2Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Norway, 3International Union forConservation of Nature, USA, 4University California San Diego, USA


Key word: Anthropogenic impacts Future research

The deep sea is the largest ecosystem on Earth. It harbours high biodiversity and provides a great variety of important direct and indirect goods and services such as food resources, oil, gas and minerals, and climate regulation. It is now well recognized that many areas of the deep sea are in deep trouble mainly due to the rapid depletion of their fish resources and consequent damage to sessile habitat-building organisms caused by destructive fishing gears. Additionally, the remoteness of most areas of the deep sea has promoted the disposal of residues and litter. The increased demand for natural and mineral resources, fuelled by rapid technological development, opened the exploitation of previously inaccessible areas leading to a sharp expansion of human activities toward deeper areas. Therefore, it is expected that increased industrial activities will emerge in the deep sea and will likely include deeper fishing, the extraction of gas hydrates, mining, carbon sequestration, and harvesting of genetic resources, among others. These new activities, along with the cumulative effects of ocean acidification and climate change, will further impact deepsea biodiversity and, consequently, ecosystem functioning and the services these functions provide. In this talk we will review existing and future threats to deep-sea ecosystem highlighting the major challenges for future research aiming at informing sustainable management and conservation of our deep ocean and highlight options for ways forward.


Biodiversity response to the confluence of direct and indirect anthropogenic influence on deep continental margins

1Lisa Levin, 2Erik Sperling, 3Christina Frieder, 1Benjamin Grupe, 1Guillermo Mendoza,

1Kirk Sato

1Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2Harvard University, 3University of Southern California


Key word: continental margins climate change anthropogenic impacts

The proximity of continental margin ecosystems to centers of human population makes them highly vulnerable to direct human activities. Activities such as trawling, long lining, oil and gas extraction, renewable energy harvest, aquaculture, and minerals mining are moving into increasingly deeper waters on the continental slope. Terrestrial activities are affecting nutrient, contaminant, sediment and freshwater inputs from land in ways that can influence the deep sea. Simultaneously, CO2-induced ocean warming, acidification and deoxygenation are now recognized at bathyal depths and beyond, with additional effects on stratification, circulation and a host of biological and chemical processes.

Major challenges exist in identifying changes over time in deep-sea biodiversity, understandingthe natural and anthropogenic sources of change, and the cumulative and synergistic effects of multiple factors. This talk will demonstrate how strong natural gradients in temperature, CO2, and O2 on upwelling margins (across Oxygen Minimum Zones – OMZs) provide a natural laboratory for understanding the interactive influence of climate variables on the processes that structure deep-sea biodiversity. Recent shoaling and heterogeneity of OMZs in the tropical, subtropical and temperate north Pacific Ocean offer an opportunity to track biodiversity responses to changing environmental conditions. Additional insight may be gained from assemblages at methane seeps on margins. These communities, fueled by bacteria and tolerant to sulfide, reflect conditions that accompany organic enrichment, disturbance and expanding hypoxia. Climate-induced changes in biodiversity will be manifested through altered emergent properties - patterns of connectivity, colonization ability, metacommunity structure, and resilience. These will in turn affect the ability of deep benthic communities to recover from direct physical disruption (from trawling or mining) and biotic disturbance (from fishing) on margins. This presentation will draw on margin examples from around the globe to illustrate the natural and anthropogenic confluence of biodiversity forcing. Holistic environmental management of margins is needed globally, and must incorporate understanding of both climate- and direct human impacts.


Deep-water longline fishing has reduced impact on Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems

Christopher Pham, Hugo Diogo, Gui Menezes, Filipe Porteiro, Andreia Braga-Henriques, Frederic Vandeperre, Telmo Morato

Universidade dos Açores


Key word: Longline Fishing Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems Bottom Trawling

Bottom trawl fishing threatens deep-sea ecosystems, modifying the seafloor morphology and its physical properties, with dramatic consequences on benthic communities. Therefore, the future of deep-sea fishing relies on alternative techniques that maintain the health of deep-sea ecosystems and tolerate appropriate human uses of the marine environment. In this study, we demonstrate that deep-sea bottom longline fishing has little impact on vulnerable marine ecosystems, reducing bycatch of cold-water corals and limiting additional damage to benthic communities. We found that slow-growing vulnerable species are still common in areas subject to more than 20 years of longlining activity and estimate that one deep-sea bottom trawl will have a similar impact to 296-1,719 longlines, depending on the morphological complexity of the impacted species. Given the pronounced differences in the magnitude of disturbances coupled with its selectivity and low fuel consumption, we suggest that regulated deep-sea longlining can be an alternative to deep-sea bottom trawling.


Assessment of ecological impacts of deep-sea polymetallic nodule mining: a meta-analysis

1Daniel Jones, 2Andrew Sweetman, 3Stefanie Kaiser

1National Oceanography Centre, 2IRIS, 3 Senckenberg

Key word: Deep-sea mining disturbance biodiversity density benthic

There has been a recent upsurge in interest in the exploitation of deep-sea mineral resources as commodity prices are at all-time highs and the first commercial deep-water mining activities are imminent. Commercial-scale mining will have a major impact on the deep-sea environment, but the effects of these mining activities on deep sea ecosystems are very poorly known. Extraction of abyssal polymetallic nodules, likely in the abyssal Pacific, will probably be particularly disruptive as operations will be extremely extensive, affecting thousands of square kilometres of seafloor. The first commercial test mining for polymetallic nodules was carried out in 1970 and since then at least 11 small-scale commercial test mining or scientific disturbance studies have been carried out globally. Here we evaluate the responses of benthic communities measured at all simulated or actual nodule mining disturbances by using meta-analysis techniques. We find that mining-related disturbances are often severe, with major negative changes in density and diversity to most groups immediately after mining. However, in some cases more mobile fauna and the smallest size fractions of fauna experienced less negative impacts. At seven sites, in the Pacific, multiple cruises assessed recovery in fauna over periods of up to 26 years. Almost all studies show some evidence of recovery in faunal density and diversity, even within a one-year time frame, but very few faunal groups return to baseline or control conditions even after decadal time scales. Our analyses suggest that the biological effects of seafloor nodule mining, even at the small scale of test mining experiments, are generally large and negative, but the variation in sensitivity amongst organisms has important implicationsfor ecosystem responses. Furthermore, assessing the effects of test mining activities may allow for improvement of mining practices and more effective environmental management of mining activities.


Challenges associated with the evaluation of foraminiferal biodiversity and functioning in the context of deep-sea mining

1Andrew Gooday, 2Jan Pawlowski, 1Aurélie Goineau, 3Lisa Levin

1National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, 2Department of Genetics and Evolution, University of Geneva, 3Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, Integrative Oceanography Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography


Key word: Polymetallic nodules Abyssal foraminifera

The prospect that polymetallic nodules will soon be mined in the Clarion Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCFZ, eastern Pacific) makes the evaluation of benthic faunas in this region an urgent priority. Foraminifera are a major constituent of benthic faunas here and elsewhere in the abyssal deep sea, often dominating communities across size classes from the meiofauna to the megafauna, as well as those encrusting hard substrates, including nodules. Abyssal foraminifera are typically very diverse, with well over 100 species present in small sediment samples. These protists therefore cannot be ignored in biological surveys of areas likely to be disturbed by mining. Ideally, we need to establish: foraminiferal diversity, biomass and densities relative to macro and meiofauna; the proportions of major groups (calcareous, agglutinated, single-chambered monothalamids); the groups most active in carbon sequestration; assemblage changes across the Carbonate Compensation Depth and their consequences for carbon sequestration; the proportion of nodule-encrusting foraminifera and xenophyophores that are alive and their ecological role; the geographical ranges of species. Analysis of CCFZ foraminifera is hampered by the fact that well-known calcareous and other multichambered taxa common on continental margins are scarce and 'live' faunas comprise mainly monothalamids, which are largely undescribed. These challenges can be approached by adopting complementary molecular (next generation sequencing - NGS) and morphological approaches. NGS provides a quick way to assess diversity across the entire size spectrum (including nano-sized foraminifera <32 μm) and allows the recognition of major taxonomic and functional groupings (e.g. calcareous taxa vs monothalamids). On the other hand, larger species are not adequately represented in the small samples currently analysed, and it cannot distinguish free DNA derived from dead foraminifera from DNA derived from living cells. Morphological analysis provides a detailed assessment of the foraminifera present in the samples but is very time consuming. We suggest the following research priorities: 1) development of a centralized image atlas of foraminifera with associated DNA sequences; 2) morphological and molecular analysis of foraminiferal diversity in different size fractions; 3) the development of RNAbased metatranscriptomic technologies that will distinguish metabolically active and less active foraminifera.


Next generation environmental metagenomics: a new tool for identification and assessment of deep-sea micro- and meiobenthic diversity.

1Jan Pawlowski, 1Franck Lejzerowicz, 2Andrew Gooday 1University of Geneva, 2NOC Southampton, UK jan.pawlowski@unige.ch

Key word: metagenomics next-generation sequencing foraminifera

Rapid advances in next generation DNA sequencing (NGS) technologies have opened up exciting possibilities for the development of environmental metagenomic studies. However, although numerous studies have investigated the diversity of planktonic microbial and shallow-water meiofaunal communities using this NGS environmental DNA approach, its applications to exploring deep-sea benthic diversity are relatively limited. In one such study, we used NGS methods to reveal a huge cryptic diversity of deep-sea benthic foraminifera (Lecroq et al. 2011, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 108:13177-13182). Recently, we have demonstrated the potential of the NGS approach to assess the impact of aquaculture on coastal foraminiferal community (Pawlowski et al. 2014 Molecular Ecology Resources doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12261). Here, we will argue that NGS metagenomics could provide a future tool for the efficient biomonitoring and bioassessment of anthropogenic impacts on the deep-sea floor. We will outline the scientific and economic advantages of this approach, including its ability to distinguish cryptic species, life-cycle stages or morphologically undefined taxa, as well as saving time and reduce the costs of routine monitoring studies. We will discuss the various biases occurring at different steps of NGS approach, from sampling to data analysis. We will highlight the necessity of conducting the NGS analyses in parallel with the more traditional morphology-based approaches in order to build up a comprehensive morphological reference database to correctly interpret the sequencing data. We will also present the preliminary results of a metagenomic analysis of an abyssal foraminiferal community in the polymetallic nodule field of the eastern Clarion Clipperton Fracture Zone (eastern equatorial Pacific), as an example of a baseline study to evaluate benthic diversity in an area of potential industrial exploitation.


Metazoan environmental DNA as a tool in deep-sea environmental impact assessment

1Frederic Sinniger Harii, 2Kenshiro Oshima, 3Saki Harii, 1Hideto Takami, 1Hiroyuki


1JAMSTEC, 2University of Tokyo, 3University of the Ryukyus


Key word: metagenetics biodiversity hydrothermal vent meiobenthos

The deep sea has long been partially protected by its remoteness. However, the increasing demand of human societies in various resources (e.g. energetic, food) and the continuous development of technologies to access to deep-sea resources resulted in a drastic increase of threats on these poorly known ecosystems. Therefore it became a priority to develop new efficient tools to explore the deep-sea biosphere and monitor environmental changes and impacts of human activities in this remote ecosystem. Compared to shallow-water environments, sampling in the deep-sea is very expensive and limited by multiple logistic and environmental constraints. Therefore methods to investigate biodiversity and assess environmental impact must be developed specifically for the deep sea. In this perspective the use of environmental DNA offers some promising possibilities. Environmental DNA (eDNA) comprises not only the DNA contained in living organisms but also DNA from fragments of dead or living organisms, feces and other extracellular DNA. The use of eDNA can provide essential information on the whole metazoan communities present in an environment. Here we will present results obtained in the Iheya hydrothermal vent field, in the Okinawa Through, as a test study on the use of eDNA to distinguish various ecosystems. Sediment samples were collected both in hydrothermally active and inactive environments and compared to sediments sampled outside of the vent field. Environmental DNA was extracted directly from the frozen sediments and a partial fragment of the nuclear small ribosomal subunit was sequenced using high throughput sequencing. The results obtained covered a wide diversity of metazoan taxa to be expected in an infaunal community and beta diversity analyses clearly separated communities at different scales (between and within environments). We will discuss about those results in terms of impact of DNA from surrounding environments and of spatial resolution of this approach. Finally we will discuss on the potential of these methods to be applied not only in academic research but also at industrial scale.


Express-taxonomy for deep-sea diversity assessments using molecular markers

1Thomas Dahlgren, 2Helena Wiklund, 2Adrian Glover 1Uni Research, 2Natural History Museum, London thda@me.com

Key word: deep sea taxonomy annelida connectivity barcoding

The advances in technologies to determine presence of distinct DNA sequences from samples of biota (or molecules present in water, sediments or soil) allows for detailed comparisons of assemblages at spatial and temporal scales. These comparisons are key tools for assessing contemporary connectivity between populations but also impact over time from anthropogenic disturbances. Traditionally samples are determined to lowest taxonomical level and compared with lists of taxa from other collections. This procedure is dependent on a record of described taxa and the success is relative to the percentage of encountered species that are described. In habitats such as deep-sea sediments only a small fraction of the biota is described, severely limiting the possibilities for comparative analyses across projects and assessments of connectivity. The practical use of DNA data is also dependent on publicly available databases where sequences are matched with taxonomy. Current taxonomy procedures are time consuming where up to a century of work sometimes are required to describe the species present in a single collection. Here we suggest a pragmatic ‘express taxonomy’ approach to formal species descriptions where DNA sequences combined with high-resolution photomicrographs and environmental metadata, such as position and depth, form the basis for a species hypothesis (i.e. a formal taxon name). As an example we present data from an environmental baseline study in the abyssal east central Pacific where currently taxonomical records are nearly absent. The lack of high-resolution taxon lists or published species descriptions from this area, is not a result of lack of surveys and benthic macrofaunal samples, but lack of any taxonomy being undertaken by these surveys in the past. We think that a pragmatic approach to taxonomic work will greatly enhance the use of these existing and new samples and facilitate estimates of biodiversity, connectivity and resilience in this area.

Special Session 5: Evolution in the Deep Sea: Origins, Adaptation and Diversity

SS5-1 (Keynote)

Some speculations on the development deep-sea benthic foraminiferal faunas during the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic

1Andrew Gooday, 2Hiroshi Kitazato

1National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, 2Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)


Key word: Monothalamous foraminifera Calcareous foraminifera

Modern deep-sea benthic foraminifera comprise a mixture of calcareous, agglutinated and organic-walled taxa. Calcareous taxa (rotaliids, miliolids and lagenids) are most abundant on continental margins. They become less abundant with increasing water depth and decreasing organic-matter flux to the seafloor, and are very scarce below the carbonate compensation depth (CCD). On abyssal plains (> 4000 m), foraminiferal assemblages are dominated by diverse agglutinated taxa. Many are undescribed single-chambered monothalamids. Others belong to the Komokiacea, an enigmatic, exclusively deep-sea group that are probably also monothalamids. These delicate foraminifera have a very poor fossil record. There is a broad ecological contrast between calcareous foraminifera, which tend to be closely linked to fluxes of labile organic matter, and monothalamids and Komokiacea, which probably subsist largely on degraded organic matter and bacteria. Some calcareous species can be considered ‘bloom feeders’ that exploit deposits of rapidly settling labile phytodetritus, a behaviour similar to that of calcareous foraminifera in shallow-water habitats. The Mesozoic saw radical changes in planktonic ecosystems with the diversification in open-ocean settings of calcareous protists, notably coccolithophores (nanoplankton) and planktonic foraminifera, as well as the siliceous diatoms. In presentday oceans, these taxa play an important role in delivering labile organic matter to the ocean floor through the formation of aggregated phytodetritus. Modern monothalamids and komokiaceans may resemble ancient assemblages that occupied the Palaeozoic deep sea before this ‘Mesozoic revolution’ (although particular groups, such as komokiaceans, are not necessarily ancient). We suggest that these ‘primitive’ faunas were overprinted during the Mesozoic by calcareous taxa, which invaded the deep-sea partly in response to the more rapid delivery of labile food to the ocean floor. It seems likely that such forms could not have survived in an ancient ocean that lacked a significant phytodetrital flux. Another prerequisite for calcareous foraminifera to occupy this formerly hostile environment was probably a deepening of the CCD linked to the development of seafloor carbonate deposits. The formation of deep water at low latitudes in the absence of polar icecaps may have been an additional factor facilitating a likely major faunal shift among deep-sea foraminifera during the Mesozoic.


Memories of pre-Jurassic lost oceans: How to retrieve them from extant lands

Yukio Isozaki

The University of Tokyo


Key word: deep-sea chert accretionary complex OPS

The information reflected in mid-oceanic sediments provides critical constraints for reconstructing past global environmental changes. Available data from extant oceans, however, are limited to the Early Jurassic and younger ages, because older oceanic plates have been subducted. This talk introduces methods for obtaining information on pre-Jurassic midoceanic conditions by conducting fieldwork on older orogenic belts exposed on land. The key point is the identification of ancient accretionary complexes (ACs), not along currently active margins but within older orogenic belts in continental domains, particularly by recognizing ocean plate stratigraphy (OPS) that contain mid-oceanic strata, as demonstrated by studies of on-land exposed ancient ACs in Japan and elsewhere. Six examples of the retrieved mid-oceanic sedimentary archive with information of pre-Jurassic unique events are explained: 1) the extinction-related Paleozoic-Mesozoic boundary superanoxia (based on data from the Jurassic ACs in SW Japan); 2) the Permian Kamura cooling event in the mid-Panthalassa (ditto); 3) the Neoproterozoic snowball-Earth evidence from the mid-Iapetus Ocean (based on data from the Neoproterozoic-Cambrian ACs in Wales, UK); 4) the discovery of enigmatic Ediacaran (Neoproterozoic) microfossils from a mid-oceanic atoll complex (based on data from the Cambrian AC in southern Siberia, Russia); and 5) and 6) Early Archean (3.8 and

3.5 Ga) biogenic signatures in mid-oceanic deep-sea (based on data from the Eoarchean

ACs at Isua in Greenland, and Paleoarchen one in Pilbara, Western Australia). These results demonstrate the great utility of OPS analysis for understanding pre-Jurassic lost oceans, including the early biological and environmental evolution of the globe.


Deep-sea biodiversity dynamics and faunal evolution throughout the Cenozoic

Moriaki Yasuhara

University of Hong Kong


Key word: Deep sea Macroevolution

Macroevolutionary history of deep-sea benthic ecosystem remains poorly understood because of limited and fragmentary distribution of deep-sea strata as outcrops on land and resulting limited availability of macrofossil data. Deep-sea sediment cores provide almost continuous sedimentary records from the Jurassic to the present of the last ~200 million years, of which Cenozoic record is especially complete, although macrofossils are rarely included there because only small amount of sediments are available from the sediment cores. Some small organisms with high fossilization potential known as microfossils are abundantly included in these deep-sea sediment cores, and thus provide us unique opportunity to investigate detailed macroevolutionary history throughout the Cenozoic with sufficient sample sizes for quantitative analyses. However this direction of research is still underdeveloped after the pioneering works in 1980s–1990s. In this talk, I will focus on two microfossil groups of crustacean Ostracoda and protozoan Foraminifera and review our current understanding of Cenozoic deep-sea benthic macroevolutionary history.


The microorganisms of a 430-million-year-old hydrothermal vent community

1Magdalena Georgieva, 1Crispin Little, 2Adrian Glover, 2Alexander Ball 1University of Leeds, Leeds, UK, 2Natural History Museum, London, UK eemng@leeds.ac.uk

Key word: microorganisms paleoecology evolution diversity

Microorganisms are the chief primary producers within present-day deep-sea hydrothermal vent ecosystems, and play a fundamental role in shaping the ecology of these unique environments. However, very little is known about the microorganisms that occurred within, and structured ancient vent communities - their evolutionary history, diversity, and the nature of their interactions with hydrothermal vent animals are largely undetermined. The oldest known hydrothermal vent community is preserved within the Yaman-Kasy deposit of the Ural mountains, Russia, which dates back to the Silurian, 430 million years ago. This deposit contains two types of dwelling tube fossils attributed to the polychaete worms –the large tubes of the fossil species Yamankasia rifeia, and the smaller tubes of Eoalvinelloides annulatus. A re-examination of the tube fossils preserved within the Yaman-Kasy deposit using scanning electron microscopy reveals the preservation of several filament morphotypes that bear a strong resemblance to modern hydrothermal vent microbial filaments, such as those preserved within the mineralised tubes of the vent polychaete genus Alvinella. At least three distinct filament types showing different spatial distributions are found in association with the Yaman-Kasy fossil tubes. These results represent the oldest animal-microbial associations preserved within an ancient hydrothermal vent environment, and shed insights into the diversity of microorganisms within ancient vents, as well as into the palaeoecology of these systems.


Diversity of deep-sea hydrothermal vent faunas in the western Pacific

1Hiromi WATANABE, 2Satoshi MITARAI, 3Shigeaki KOJIMA, 1Hidenori KUMAGAI,

4Jun-ichiro ISHIBASHI

1Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 2Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, 3Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, the University of Tokyo, 4Faculty of Science, Kyushu University


Key word: dispersal plate techtonics

Tectonic event is one of the triggers of speciation. Deep-sea hydrothermal vent fields are mostly supported by tectonic activities such as seafloor spreading and/or convergence. The fauna associated with deep-sea hydrothermal vent fields provide a valuable opportunity to investigate speciation related to plate tectonics. In the western Pacific, most hydrothermal vent fields are located at submarine volcanoes of arc-backarc system, while on the other hand, hydrothermal vent fields in the eastern Pacific, Atlantic, and Inidian oceans are located in the mid ocean ridge system. In this study, we attempted to discern the diversification process of vent fauna in the western Pacific by using a multi-disciplinary approach including comparisons of faunal composition and genetic diversity, physic-oceanographic modeling, and geochemical estimation of hydrothermal vent activity; focusing on the Okinawa and Mariana troughs. Both biological and geochemical analyses provided some results in the different time scales (i.e., 10^2 – 10^7 years), which enabled us to discuss the diversification process in a range of resolutions, from population subdivision, speciation to diversification in the higher taxonomic levels. The analyses under the present tectonic and oceanographic states showed that the vent faunas in the western Pacific tend to be retained in backarc basins, which differs from the diversification process reported in midocean ridge systems. These features may increase local connectivity among populations in a backarc basin and decrease inter-regional connectivity in the western Pacific.


Using high-throughput sequencing approaches to study the evolution and diversity of microbial eukaryotes in the deep sea

Holly Bik

University of Birmingham, UK


Key word: genomics deep sea

Microbial eukaryotes (e.g. nematodes, fungi, protists, and other 'minor' metazoan phyla) are diverse and abundant in marine habitats, yet for most groups we possess scant knowledge of species distributions and evolutionary patterns. In recent years, environmental sequencing approaches (rRNA marker genes, metagenomics, and whole-genome sequencing) have become increasingly popular for characterizing microbial assemblages in marine ecosystems. However, most 454/Illumina studies to date have been limited in scope, relying heavily on ribosomal marker genes such as 16S or 18S rRNA. Here we present recent efforts towards conducting integrated -omic studies of benthic marine habitats, illustrating power of genomic approaches to study the evolution of microbial eukaryotes in the deep sea.


Industrialising phylogenomics: A 400+ gene exon-capture strategy for a class of marine invertebrates

Tim O'Hara, Andrew Hugall, Adnan Moussalli Museum Victoria tohara@museum.vic.gov.au

Key word: Phylogenetics Biogeography

Reliably sequencing nuclear genes for phylogenetics or population genetics has been problematic. Conserved primer regions can be hard to find and many candidate genes belong to paralogous complexes. Technologies associated with the Next Generation Sequencing revolution offer new solutions to this dilemma. Here, we outline an approach to obtaining hundreds of nuclear and mitochondrial genes from hundreds of species. First, transcriptomes (from mRNA) are sequenced from freshly-preserved samples across the phylogenetic diversity of the taxon in question. Second, probes (baits) are designed from this dataset that can be used to ‘capture’ orthologous DNA fragments from additional ethanol preserved samples. Third, legacy (Genbank) data can be ‘grafted’ onto the tree resulting from the first two steps. We illustrate this process through a project sequencing Ophiuroids (brittle-stars) predominantly from around Australia and the SW Pacific Ocean, where we have used 425 gene sequences from 52 transcriptomes to design probes to capture 1550 exons (280kbp) from hundreds of species across the class. Combining this data with the large amounts of biogeographic information now available from digitised museum collections will answer many questions about the origin and spatial distribution of marine fauna.


Shell mineralization in deep-sea mussels: insights from a combined transcriptomic and proteomic analysis

1Jin Sun, 2Yue Him Wong, 3Xinzheng Li, 2Pei-Yuan Qian, 1Jian-Wen Qiu

1Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, 2Division of life sciences, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 3Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao


Key word: Bathymodiolus platifrons biomineralization

As calcium carbonate is more soluble at lower temperatures and higher pressures, understanding how deep-sea mollusks form their shells through biomineralization can reveal their adaptation to deep-sea environment. Previous morphological studies comparing shallow-water bivalves and deep-sea mussels revealed differences in their shell microstructures, implying different shell formation processes. Proteins are known to play a key role in shell formation in shallow water mussels, but nothing is known about their identities and roles in the shell formation of deep-sea mussels. We studied the mantle transcriptome and shell proteome of the deep-sea mussel Bathymodiolus platifrons. High-throughput sequencing de novo assembly of the transcriptome resulted in a total of 80,873 contigs with a N50 of 816 bp. Annotation of the contigs using NCBI non-redundant database resulted in a total of 41,350 (51.1%) contigs with a homolog under the threshold of 1E-5. Collectively, a large proportion of the assembled contigs remained poorly annotated, indicating possible novel genes in the mantle. Meanwhile, exploring the gene products revealed 5,159 of them contains repetitive low complexity features. We also used LC-MS/MS to analyze the protein from the shell of B. platifrons. A total of 17 proteins from 448 peptides were identified from both the acid soluble and acid insoluble fractions. Among the protein identified, shell matrix protein and Perlwapin which are also present in the shallow-water mussels Mytilus spp.. However, nine of the identified proteins with low-complexity repeats show very low or even no similarities to shell proteins identified in shallow-water species. Since Mytilus mantle transcriptome and shell proteome have fewer low-complexity proteins, we believe that low complexity domain containing proteins in B. platifrons could have undergone lineage specific expansion as an adaptation to the low temperature and high hydrostatic pressure deep-sea environment.


The role of whale-falls in driving the evolution of the deep sea fauna

Adrian Glover

Natural History Museum, London


Key word: deep-sea evolution

For most of human history, the fate of large dead whales in the ocean was not something that concerned anyone. This was despite large whales being perhaps one of the most celebrated, romanticised, fought-over, discussed, hunted, exploited and finally regulated of nature's ocean wonders. The 1987 chance discovery of a large dead whale on the seabed off California, its oily bones fuelling a chemosynthetic ecosystem akin to that at hydrothermal vents, opened our eyes to another type of deep-sea ecosystem, just as the vent discoveries did a decade earlier. And researchers speculated that the scattered remains of whales on the seafloor, termed 'whale-falls' could act as stepping-stones for the dispersal of chemosynthetic fauna over the vast distances of the deep seafloor. In this talk, I will review evidence for this interesting and at times controversial hypothesis, presenting new data from our researches on the annelida.


Population connectivity of the hydrothermal vent tubeworm, Tevnia jerichonana, along the East Pacific Rise

1Haibin Zhang, 2Shannon Johnson, 2Vanessa Flores, 2Robert Vrijenhoek

1Sanya Institute of Deep-Sea Science and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences,

2Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute


Key word: Annelida Polychaeta tubeworm vent

Background: The siboglinid tubeworm Tevnia jerichonana is among the first species to colonize newly formed, deep-sea, hydrothermal vents along the East Pacific Rise (EPR). These island-like vent habitats are distributed intermittently along the 7000-km long EPR axis. EPR vents are ephemeral, lasting for a few decades or less before geotectonic and volcanic events destroy them. Consequently, fast growth rates, early maturation, and good dispersal abilities are essential characteristics of vent-restricted species like T. jerichonana. Earlier evidence from mitochondrial COI sequences suggested that this pioneering tubeworm species employs a stepping-stone mode of dispersal along the EPR axis. Differentiation (FST) increased with geographical distances between the sampled populations, a pattern commonly attributed to isolation-by-distance (IBD). Nonetheless, other processes (e.g., recent range expansions, intergradation, and adaptive gradients) can generate IBD-like patterns.

Results: To determine whether the IBD-like pattern is unique to COI, we examined additional nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers. Like COI, the present estimates of differentiation (FST) from two independent nuclear genes (HSP and Atpsa) and an additional mitochondrial gene (Cytb) increased with geographical distances between the sampled localities. Gene frequencies for the nuclear and mitochondrial loci exhibited concordant latitudinal clines. A multi-locus analysis of population structure identified three clusters: (1) a northern cluster occurring between 9° and 13° N latitude; (2) a southern cluster occurring between 31° and 32° S latitude; and (3) a cluster composed of mixed northern and southern genotypes and occurring between 7° and 17°S latitude.

Conclusions: Differentiation between the northern and southern T. jerichonana populations is slight and indicative of relatively recent segregation into widely separated geographical refugia. We hypothesize that mixed populations occupying intervening region were products of recent reinvasions by individuals from these northern and southern refugia. The present results are consistent with independent evidence that recent regional extinctions and recolonization events have shaped the genetic structure of vent-restricted annelids and mollusks along the EPR axis.


Black corals in the abyss: species diversity, biogeography and adaptations

Tina Molodtsova

P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology RAS


Key word: deep-sea abyssal hadal Antipatharia adaptations

Members of the order Antipatharia are among the deepest known corals. Unlike in other skeleton-bearing anthozoans, the skeleton in black corals does not consist of calcium carbonate that can be affected at great depth. Their skeleton instead is represented by tubular proteinaceous axis, flexible and very slowly growing. The propose of the present paper is to compile a list of black corals known below 3000 m (from abyssal and hadal zones) from the CCFZ, Kurile-Kamchatka Trench, Indian and Atlantic Oceans based on published and original data. Most of antipatharians reported from the deep-sea belong to the family Schizopathidae (genera Abyssopathes, Bathypathes and Schizopathes). Black corals inhabiting abyss are often widely-spread or cosmopolitan species, however few species are known only from a single location and may represent local endemics. Adaptations of black corals inhabiting abyssal and hadal zones are discussed.


Cryptic diversity of skeneiform gastropods endemic to hydrothermal vent fields of Okinawa Trough, Japan

1Chong Chen, 1Alex D. Rogers, 2Jonathan T. Copley, 3Hiromi Watanabe

1University of Oxford, 2National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, 3Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology


Key word: hydrothermal vent population genetics phylogenetics new species Okinawa Trough

Since the discovery and description of Iheyaspira lequios Okutani, Sasaki & Tsuchida, 2000 from the Iheya North Knoll hydrothermal vent field, it has been considered the only skeneid gastropod in the Okinawa Trough vent fields. During the last decade skeneiform specimens have then been found throughout all six vent fields in the Okinawa Trough and most specimens collected were of similar size (~8mm) and form and have been identified as I. lequios. Recent genetic barcoding of these specimens reveals that these skeneiform gastropod collections in fact comprise four different species. Consistent and significant differences in the cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) gene were found as well as distinct morphological differences in shell, operculum, and radula characteristics. Three of the species are closely related species belonging to the Skeneidae while the forth species is assigned to the Neomphalidae. Until now Neomphalidae had not been reported before from Japanese hydrothermal vent sites, although known from other chemosynthetic ecosystems, seeps and wood-falls, in Japanese waters. Three of the discovered species (2 skeneids, 1 neomphalid) are to be described as new to science. The phylogenetic relationships of the four discovered species were analysed using a multi-gene Bayesian analysis. Population genetics analyses were carried out to investigate the genetic connectivity between populations of species collected from multiple vent fields in the Okinawa Through.


Biological patterns driven by extreme environmental settings: a comparison between vent and seep macrofaunal communities in the Guaymas basin

Portail marie



Key word: Chemosynthetic ecosystems community structure food web

Hydrothermal vent and cold-seep ecosystems are among the most recently discovered deep-sea marine habitats. They contrast with the background deep-sea floor environment by exhibiting high faunal densities and biomass but low species diversity. Despite their distinct geological contexts, vents and seeps share many functional and evolutionary similarities. In both ecosystems, reduced compounds in the fluids and sediments fuel local microbial primary production relying on chemosynthetic pathways. Their high productivity sustains dense faunal assemblages characterized by the visual dominance of bacterial mat and symbiotic engineering species belonging to similar taxa. Within each ecosystem, these assemblages are patchily distributed in distinct habitats reflecting strong ecological gradients at local scales. Vents and seeps are often separated by biogeographic barriers, making comparisons difficult. The Guaymas basin offers a unique opportunity due to the proximity of vent and seep habitats evolving at comparable depths and in similar sedimentary environments. The structure and functioning of ten faunal assemblages (5 seeps, 4 vents, 1 background) in relation with environmental conditions were studied. Three of them, visually dominated by Vesicomyidae, Siboglinidae and bacterial mat, are shared by both seeps and vents. The analysis of carbone and nitogen stable isotopic ratios was used to assess and compare contributions of primary resources, trophic interactions and global food web descriptors. The results will be used to discuss the influence of abiotic conditions, ecosystem stability and trophic network on species diversity and community resilience. Comparing seeps and vents will provide highlights on biotic and abiotic factors shaping faunal community structure in deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems.


Sex in the twilight: biogeography of the deep-sea swallower fishes (Teleostei: Chiasmodontidae)

Marcelo R. S. Melo

Laboratory of Fish Systematics, Department of Biological Oceanography, Oceanographic Institute, Universidade de São Paulo


Keywords: mesopelagic, bathypelagic, phylogenetics, biogeography

The processes of deep-sea fish diversification are poorly understood because the geographic barriers are not very clear, vast areas of the oceans remain poorly sampled, and several groups still need taxonomy and phylogeny revisions. The chiasmodontids, however, serve as good models for biogeography because the taxonomy is fairly well solved, there are relatively few gaps in known species distribution, the family is monophyletic, and there is a phylogenetic hypothesis available for species interrelationships. Chiasmodontidae is a family of exclusively deep-sea fishes that includes four genera: two mesopelagic, Chiasmodon Johnson (seven species) and Pseudoscopelus Lütken (17 species); and two bathypelagic Dysalotus Mac Gilchrist (two species) and Kali Lloyd (seven species). Kali and Dysalotus are widely distributed in all oceans and occur sympatrically; although some species usually occurs in higher latitudes than others. In other hand, Chiasmodon and Pseudoscopelus have a high level of endemism. Overlaying the cladograma on the distribution maps, it becomes evident that the actual species range was caused by vicariant events: closely related species have disjunctive distributions with little or no range overlapping, while members of distant-related clades can be found sympatrically. Consistent patterns among different species of Pseudoscopelus and Chiasmodon indicate that the mechanisms of isolation were similar and include plate tectonics, marine currents, temperature variation and zones of oxygen depletion. Intrinsic biological characteristics also have a hole in the process: half of family diversity is composed of species of Pseudoscopelus. Compared to the other chiasmodontid genera, the species of Pseudoscopelus have a novel structure: photophores – absent in only two species. The photophores are arranged in species-specific patterns on head and body, with tenuous variation among the closely related species, but more significant variation among the distant related species. The photophores of deep-sea organism are extremely important for the colonization of that twilight zone. In most cases they serve as a mechanism of counter illumination for camouflage, but in this case they apparently are also used for species recognition.

Special Session 6: Global Patterns in Marine Biodiversity

SS6-1 (Keynote)

Algal diversity in space and time

1Olivier De Clerck, 2Heroen Verbruggen, 1Frederik Leliaert, 3Christophe Vieira, 4Claude


1Ghent University, 2University of Melbourne, 3Ghent University / IRD-Nouméa, 4IRD,



Key word: macroalgae diversification diversity pattern

Explaining large-scale patterns of diversity and determining the processes that have generated these patterns is a major goal of evolutionary biologists, ecologists, and conservation biologists. For groups which lack a fossil record, we are entirely dependent on the extant diversity to infer the historical evolutionary processes that resulted in the present-day diversity patterns. Since diversification analyses are sensitive to diversity estimates, I first briefly review the current status of cataloguing global algal diversity, point out pressing challenges related to uncertainty about the status of many traditional names and the need for an organizational framework that is able to manage the taxonomic, biogeographic and trait information of algal species. Secondly, using case studies of green, red and brown algaeI illustrate recent progress in documenting algal diversity and understanding the diversification process. Phylogenies, in combination with trait information (e.g. morphology, physiology and ecological traits) and species distributions have the potential to elucidate the evolutionary process. Data availability, e.g. inadequate diversity estimates, geographical sampling bias, uncertainty about phylogenetic relationships and divergence times, as well as methodological issues related to historical biogeography, make that scenarios of macroalgal diversification have rarely been tested explicitly. I will concentrate on mechanisms that generate spatial and temporal variation in diversity, more precisely I will discuss how variations in climatic conditions over geological time periods may interact with thermal niches divergence to generate diversity patterns.



1Kerry Whittaker, 2Tatiana Rynearson

1NOAA/University of Rhode Island, USA, 2URI, Graduate School of Oceanography, USA

Key word: diatom population ecology

Diatoms exhibit astounding levels of inter and intraspecific diversity, yet the mechanisms driving their diversification are little understood. We determined global population structure among > 450 isolates of the cosmopolitan, ecologically important diatom species Thalassiosira rotula. We used a “global snapshot” approach to sample isolates throughout a single year (2010) at sites distributed across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian ocean basins and hemispheres. Isolates were genotyped using six microsatellite markers developed from 454 sequencing of this species. Clonal diversity within sites was as high as 100%, and divergence between sites reached FST values upwards of 0.2. The presence of genetically distinct populations demonstrates that significant divergence can occur despite the high potential for dispersal in these planktonic organisms. Principle coordinates analysis (PCA) and isolation-by-distance measures demonstrated that genetic distance was unrelated to geographic distance, suggesting that distance does not limit connectivity among diatom populations. Instead, relatedness among population was significantly correlated with environmental factors. These data suggest that geographic distance is not a barrier to genetic connectivity among diatom populations; instead, vast genetic diversity and high genetic structure is maintained and supported by environmental and ecological selection occurring over space and time.


Deep diving in large pelagic fishes links surface and deeper ocean biodiversity

Afonso Pedro

IMAR University of the Azores


Key word: Benthic communities environmental drivers Biodiversity Arctic ecosystems Spatial variability Seabird colonies

Biotelemetry - tracking animals with electronic devices - is showing us that deep diving between shallow and deeper ocean layers is a much more widespread phenomenon than anticipated among large pelagic fishes, encompassing evolutionarily distant species such as teleost fishes, sharks and rays. This behavior contradicts our notion that the shallow open ocean holds the largest biological production and less physiological and sensory challenges than the deep ocean. The central question thus remains ‘Why do large (epi)pelagic fishes dive into the deep ocean’? Deep diving behavior of LPFs has generally been interpreted as an adaptive response to the availability of pelagic prey but there is surprisingly little direct evidence for this hypothesis. Deep diving could also provide other benefits to LPFs including escape from predators or reduced energetic costs. Regardless, this behavior provides compelling evidences of previously unsuspected functional links between shallow and deeper ocean biodiversity .This work reviews current our knowledge and presents some new findings of extreme, bathyal diving in fish, sharks and rays, to discuss the occurrence and adaptive significance of deep diving in such a variable set of animals. Understanding if the deep ocean layers are fundamental for the survival of LPFs can be critical in the conservation of these, nowadays, mostly threatened species.


Accumulating knowledge on the diversity of marine fishes from the Greater Caribbean: historical dynamics of species descriptions and their correlates

1Fernando A. Zapata, 2D. Ross Robertson

1Universidad del Valle, 2Smithsonian Tropical Reserach Institute


Key word: Greater Caribbean Fishes Accumulation curves Regional inventory Species description rates

To assess the state of knowledge of the total diversity of marine fishes in the Greater Caribbean (GC) region we examined the temporal dynamics of species description, their accumulation curves and their correlates based on a comprehensive database of all species described until 2013 (N = 1572). The accumulation curve for the entire fauna is linear, and while that of non-endemic species is slightly decelerating, the curve of endemic species shows a continuing increasing rate of species description through time. Species-description accumulation curves differ among groups of species defined by habitat use, and even though none of them show clear indications of reaching an asymptote, pelagic and multihabitat species show decelerating curves while soft-bottom and reef species show variable but generally accelerating trends in recent years, particularly among GC reef endemics. All of these curves clearly indicate that the total GC fish fauna must be substantially more diverse than presently known and that a full inventory will take many years to complete. The body size, and the latitudinal and depth range of newly described species has declined through the years and their distribution has shifted towards tropical latitudes and deeper waters. Thus we predict that a significant proportion of the species that will be discovered in the future will be small, tropical, deep-water species from reef and softbottom habitats.


Big Data with marine traits: global scale functional biodiversity

Jen Hammock, Katja Schulz, Cynthia Parr Smithsonian Institution jen.hammock@gmail.com

Key word: data sharing functional biodiversity

Techniques continue to mature for modeling and analysis of the productivity, stability, ecosystem services and functional diversity of biological communities. At the same time, larger scale analyses are demanded by the challenge of global climate change. We have work to do, at a global scale, to better understand the functioning of the oceans. We have unprecedented access to distribution data for marine organisms thanks to the aggregated data resources from the Census of Marine Life and major natural history collections in The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). These data are indexed by location, time and taxonomic name, and constitute a rich resource for discovering patterns in global marine biodiversity. By mapping taxonomic names to simple trait data, we can also detect patterns in, for instance, constructional organisms, calcification, etc. Increasingly precise traits, availability permitting, could enable an increasingly detailed view of the oceans. This data is becoming available through the efforts of EMODnet biology, the World Register of Marine Species, and the Encyclopedia of Life. Trait data is currently available at http://eol.org/data_search for more than 300 traits, from cell volumes of phytoplankton (1920 taxa, Barton et al, 2013; Leblanc et al, 2012; Matishov et al, 2000; Olenina et al, 2006; Widdicombe et al, 2010) to depth and temperature ranges (92,040 taxa, OBIS). Data records are searchable by taxon, trait type and trait value; a tabulated download is available, including detailed attribution and contextual metadata, and web services will be available shortly. We anticipate these new trait resources, coupled with aggregated distribution data, will enable global scale analyses for urgent research questions. This work is new and we are still eager for input on data priorities, system requirements, and existing datasets whose dissemination should be expedited.


Linking taxonomy, geography and ecological traits of marine species in an easily accessible and user friendly environment as part of the LifeWatch Taxonomic Backbone

1Leen Vandepitte, 1Simon Claus, 1Stefanie Dekeyzer, 1Bart Vanhoorne, 1Francisco

Hernandez, 2Mark J. Costello, 3Daniel Lear, 3Harvey Tyler-Walters

1Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), 2University of Auckland; Leigh Marine Laboratory,

3Marine Biological Association of the UK (MBA)


Key word: species traits taxonomy species distributions geography ecology

Several global databases on marine species have been established and are widely in use, but are mostly limited to either taxonomy (e.g. World Register of Marine Species) or distribution data (e.g. Ocean Biogeographic Information System). Although current applications are already broad, the benefits of these databases could be multiplied by associating the taxonomy and distribution of species with their ecological and biological information, their so-called species traits. The importance to describe species patterns and their underlying processes is essential in indicating the current status and predicting the future evolution of marine ecosystems. However, this requires biological information on species attributes (e.g. feeding ecology or behavior) that is currently not available or only very scattered. The lack of an integrated, standardized system serving this biological information therefore hampers these large scale functional analyses.

Initial steps in documenting species traits in a standardized way and across taxa have been undertaken within the context of the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet). A first focus is on species traits for which (1) data can easily be collected for the majority of taxa, e.g. body size, or (2) group-specific traits relevant for climatic research or policy, e.g. invasiveness, calcareous. Linking these traits to species occurrences in space and time could reveal new and promising ecological insights.

Within the European LifeWatch project, online tools are being prepared to easily link data from WoRMS and OBIS with species traits. This work aims at standardizing species data and integrating the distributed biodiversity data repositories and operating facilities for Europe in a ‘Taxonomic Backbone’. In the long run, services will be offered to the scientific community, helping them in answering specific ecological questions which are currently hard or nearly impossible to address due to a lack of accessibility, availability, standardization and linking of data. This first initiative could drive improvements in the quality and quantity of the available trait information, as scientists interested in more detailed traits could build on the more minimal traits already available and help address fundamental ecological questions which currently remain unanswered.


How do the unicellular zooplankton diverge in pelagic ocean?

1Yurika Ujiie, 2Yoshiyuki Ishitani

1Shinshu University, 2University of Glasgow


Key word: unicellular zooplankton phylogeography genetic differentiation pelagic ocean

Biogeographic patterns are interacted with the geographic dispersal and gene flow between populations. In pelagic environment, weak geographic barriers and ocean currents are generally considered to facilitate dispersal of unicellular zooplankton, which float in water column during their entire life cycle. However, recent phylogenetic studies unveiled that unicellular zooplankton have much higher diversity than previously thought and some of them are restricted their distributions in a small geographic area. Planktonic foraminifers and radiolarians, which are representative groups of unicellular zooplankton, are widely distributed in horizontal and vertical directions of pelagic ocean. We examined the phylogeographies of these zooplankton to understand genetic differentiation among pelagic populations. In the first case, populations of the planktonic foraminifer have diverged genetically among different water masses within a single climate zone, despite longitudinal transportation via ocean current. This suggests that gene flow among populations is not enhanced by passive transport through ocean currents. Moreover, we revealed that two sibling species in the radiolarian morphospecies are vertically segregated into the upper and lower surface waters within the pycnocline. This vertically separated distribution of two sister species is a consequence of distinct ecological partitioning associating with different food resources from their respective environments. These outcomes demonstrate that populations of pelagic zooplankton have diverged genetically without apparent physical barriers. The phylogeographic studies in spatial scale open a new window to disclose the diversity of pelagic organisms.

Poster Abstracts


Latitudinal patterns of diversity and distribution of the Southeastern Pacific littoral chitons (Mollusca: Polyplacophora)

1Camila Tobar-Villa, 1M. Cecilia Pardo-Gandarillas, 2Javier Sellanes, 2Germán

ZapataHernández, 3Arturo Navarrete, 4Roger Sepúlveda, 1Christian Ibáñez

1Universidad de Chile, 2Universidad Católica del Norte, 3Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 4Universidad Austral de Chile


Key word: Polyplacophora Biodiversity

One of the most documented global biogeographic patterns of life on Earth is the increase in the species richness towards the tropics both in terrestrial and marine environments. Increasing species richness has been described for crustaceans, fishes and cephalopods from Southeastern Pacific ocean (SEP). However also has been recorded the inverse pattern from taxa as bivalves, sponges, polychaetes, peracarids and polyplacophorans. There are several hypotheses which attempt to explain these patterns, but they are not always tested. This work used as study model, polyplacophoran mollusks from SEP, obtained from field sampling records spanning from Ecuador to southern Chile (> 5000 km) and museum collections. This coastal chiton fauna is composed by 32 species belonging to 7 families and 14 genera, which show a high endemism (63%) that comprises three groups of species from different biogeographic origins (tropical, temperate, and cold). Our results indicate that diversity of chitons along SEP shows a species richness peak around 30°S, comparable to the mid-domain pattern. This pattern has been suggested as consequence of a high geographic range overlap in mid latitudes, where species from high and low latitudes inhabit sympatrically in a contact transition zone. Therefore the results of this study do not support the increasing species richness to higher latitude along SEP suggested by previous literature records. Furthermore, we propose that the increasing pattern to higher latitudes previously reported could be consequence that diversity of chitons along SEP has been overestimated mainly due to problems associated with misidentification and errors in their geographic distributions.

Funding: Project FONDECYT 1130266


Invasion of cyanobacterium Planktolyngbya brevicellularis Cronb. et Kom. into the Curonian Lagoon (Baltic Sea) in 2000s

Evgeniia Lange

P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology Atlantic Branch RAS


Key word: Planktolyngbya brevicellularis cyanobacteria Curonian Lagoon Baltic Sea

Filamentous cyanobacterium Planktolyngbya brevicellularis, an inhabitant of the plankton of eutrophic water bodies, was first recorded in the Baltic region in the lakes of southern Sweden in 1994. In accordance with long-time studies of the phytoplankton of the shallow hypereutrophic Curonian Lagoon (South-Eastern Baltic Sea) P. brevicellularis was not found in the plankton in 1980s-1990s, but in the second half of the 2000s the species had already naturalized in the lagoon ecosystem. A cyanobacterium dominates (e.g. Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, the genus Microcystis, Planktothrix agardhii, Anabaena spp., Woronichinia compacta) in the Curonian Lagoon during the entire summer and autumn season, wherein within this period the composition of dominants vary. The development of

P. brevicellularis and one of the dominants, P. agardhii, are closely linked because the correlation analysis has revealed their biomasses were related positively, whereas no relation with other dominant species was found.As a possible the Mazurian Lakeland (Poland) is source of the invasion of P. brevicellularis into the Curonian Lagoon. Its flow is mainly directed at the basins of the Vistula and the Pregola, whose arm, the river Deyma, falls into the freshwater Curonian Lagoon. There, unlike in the brackish Vistula Lagoon, some auspicious conditions for the development of this Planktolyngbya exist.


Global biodiversity and biogeography of razor clams (Bivalvia: Solenidae)

Hanieh Saeedi, Mark Costello, Todd Dennis The University of Auckland hanieh.saeedi@auckland.ac.nz

Key word: Biodiversity Biogeography Razor clams Maximum Entropy (Maxent)

Razor clams (Solenidae and Pharidae) are ecologically and economically important bivalve molluscs. Solenidae are deep-burrowing bivalves that inhabit intertidal and shallow subtidal soft-bottom sediments of tropical and sub-tropical areas. Here we used combined data published in the literature and open-access databases including the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) to map the global geographic distribution of Solenidae species. Species nomenclature and synonyms were reconciled using the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS). Environmental data were obtained at a spatial resolution of 0.083º from Bio-Oracle. We applied a species distribution modeling program ‘Maximum Entropy’ (Maxent) to predict suitable habitats for Solenidae species. The geographic distribution of species in 5° latitudinal bands showed a distinct bimodal pattern, and global patterns of richness decreased markedly from the equator to the poles. Eastern and southern parts of Asia exhibited the greatest diversity; there were no distribution records for this family in Antarctica and some large oceanic islands such as New Zealand. Model outputs indicated the majority of suitable Solenidae habitats are likely to occur in the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific area and the North Atlantic Ocean. The most important environmental factors in determining Solenidae habitat suitability were chlorophyll A concentration, calcite concentration, and sea surface temperature. Knowledge of the biogeographical patterns of Solenidae on a global scale will help identify factors such as geological and climatological phenomena that are known to influence the diversity patterns of ecologically and environmentally important marine organisms such as razor clams.


Lack of population genetic differentiation of a marine ovoviviparous fish Sebastes schlegelii in Northwestern Pacific

1Hui ZHANG, 2Takashi YANAGIMOTO, 3Xiumei ZHANG, 4Tianxiang GAO

1Insititute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, Japan, 3Fisheries College, Ocean University of China, 4Institute of Evolution & Marine Biodiversity, Ocean University of China


Key word: Sebastes schlegelii AFLP microsatellite DNA genetic diversity population differentiation larval dispersal

Sebastes schlegelii is commercially important marine ovoviviparous fish in the Northwestern Pacific. In the present study, AFLP markers and eight microsatellite DNA (SSR) markers were used to estimate the genetic diversity and population genetic differentiation of S. schlegelii collected from China and Japan. The results of the two markers were in accordance with each other. The genetic diversity of S. schlegelii was high according to the results of AFLP and SSR. No significant genealogical branches or clusters corresponding to sampling localities were detected by UPGMA tree. The results of AMOVA analysis and pairwise FST values showed no genetic divergence among different geographic populations and high gene flow was existed. The result of Structure showed all the populations of S. schlegelii shared one gene pool. Larval dispersal with the assistant of drifting seaweed and the current environmental factors may play an important role in shaping the contemporary phylogeographic pattern of S. schlegelii. The present study may be beneficial to population conservation and fisheries management to S. schlegelii and for species with the similar life history characters.


Species Richness of Intertidal Bryozoa off Qingdao Coast

Huilian Liu, Xixing Liu

Department of marine organism taxonomy & phylogeny, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences


Key word: Intertidal bryozoa species richness

Samples of intertidal bryozoans were studied at three rocky site and one beach site off Qingdao Coast. This is the first study on intertidal bryozoan species along Qingdao Coast, and it revealed high species richness. A total of 31 species of 25 genera, were found, one of which is first recorded in China. Though the species number were higher at rocky sites (24 ) than at beach site (20), but the average species richness of rocky sites is lower than the beach site. The rocky sites and beach site had 13 common species, and rocky sites had more species (11) not appearing at the beach site (7). The dominant species were also different between the two types of sites. At rocky sites, Schizoporella unicornis, Cryptosula pallasiana and Watersipora subtorquata were usually dominant species, while Fenestrulina orientalis, Watersipora subtorquata and Electra tenella were dominant at the beach site. Comparing the three main orders, Cheilostomes were predominated (29 species), and only 1 ctenostomes and 1 cyclostomes were recorded. Many factors affect the species richness of intertidal bryozoans, and it seemed the substrates was the main factor affect the species richness of intertidal bryozoa off Qingdao Coast.


Comparison of photosynthetic response of Antarctic and tropical Chlorella subjected to acute UVR stress

1Jeannette W.S. Lai, 2Chiew-Yen Wong, 1Phaik-Eem Lim, 1Siew-Moi Phang

1Instititute of Ocean and Earth Sciences and Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Malaya, 2International Medical University


Key word: Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) photosynthetic performaces Chlorella Antarctic Tropical

Stratospheric ozone depletion has led to an increase in solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) reaching the Earth’s surface. There is a lack of information on the comparison of Antarctic and tropical microalgae based on photosynthetic performances under UVR stress.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of acute UVR stress on photosynthetic performance of Antarctic and tropical Chlorella. The two strains of Chlorella isolated from Antarctic (Chlorella UMACC 237) and tropical (Chlorella UMACC 001) were subjected to five-hour continuous light treatments: i) PAR alone (40 µmols-1), ii) PAR+UVA (6000 µWcm-2 of UVA) and iii) PAR+UVA+UVB (1300 µWcm-2 of UVB). Photosynthetic response of microalgae was assessed every hour using the Water Pulse-Amplitude Modulated Fluorometry (Water PAM). Photosynthetic parameters such as optimal quantum yield (Fv/Fm), photosynthetic efficiency (α), relative electron transport rate (rETRm), photoadaptive index (Ek) and non-photochemical quenching (NPQ), chlorophyll a content as well as carotenoid contents were used to evaluate the photosynthetic responses in this experiment.

Prior to UVR exposure, the tropical Chlorella possessed higher Fv/Fm and α, while the Antarctic UMACC 237 had higher rETRm, Ek, NPQ, chlorophyll a and carotenoid contents. Both tropical and Antarctic Chlorella demonstrated significant photosynthetic stress when subjected to UVB. However, UVA did not affect photosynthetic performance adversely in both microalgae; in fact it is known to have beneficial effects on microalgae. The results presented here suggested that photosynthetic responses of Chlorella sp. towards UVR was biogeographically-dependent whereby the Antarctic strain was shown to be more sensitive to UVR compared to the tropical strain.


Preliminary studies on the meiobenthos of Norwegian sea

Jianjia Wang

Third institute of oceanography SOA

Key word: Arctic Norwegian sea meiobenthos

In 2012 three stations for analyzing meiobenthos were carried out by using a multi-corer during Chinese fifth arctic expedition, and it is the first time to obtain sediment from Norwegian sea in Chinese arctic expeditions. Three replicate meiobenthos samples were obtained at station AT06, BB04 and IS04 with the depth 3266 m, 2433.6 m and 1595.8 m respectively. Each sample was divided into three layers according to the 0-2 cm, 2-5 cm and 5-10 cm. Meiobenthos was extracted from the sediment by water washing through sieves of 500 μm, 250μm, 125μm, 65μm and 32μm from top to bottom. Five meiobenthos groups were distinguished, which included Nematoda, Copepoda, Polycheata, Kinorhyncha and Indet., and Nematode was the dominant group in the communities, with 96.78% of the total benthos in individuals. The total meiofauna average abundance was 135.99±113.86 ind/10cm2 and the average biomass was 77.43±73.65 µg•dwt /10cm2, but both of them were quite uneven distribution among the 3 stations. Maximum value appeared in station IS04, with abundance and biomass 250.43 ±120.52 ind/10cm2 and 156.42±49.67 µg•dwt/10cm2. Minimum value of abundance and biomass was 22.72

±11.57 ind/10cm2 and 10.65±7.57 µg•dwt /10cm2, which appeared in station AT06. Our

results showed the abundance and biomass of meiobenthos decreased with increasing of the depth.


A Systematic Study on the Order Leptostraca (Crustacea: Malacostraca) from South Korea

Ji-Hun Song, Gi-Sik Min

Inha University


Key word: Leptostraca Nebalia Paranebalia CO1 Taxonomy Distribution South Korea Sexual dimorphism

This research presents a taxonomic study of Leptostraca from South Korea from 2011 to 2014. The order Leptostraca is the only extant order in the subclass Phyllocarida and is considered by many researchers to be the most primitive group in the class Malacostraca. This taxon includes 59 species (including subspecies) belonging to 10 genera in three families. As a result of the morphological study, four leptostracan species belonging to two genera are identified and classified, of which three species turned out to be new species: Nebalia koreana n. sp.; Nebalia pseudotroncosoi n. sp.; and Nebalia dolsandoensis n. sp. One species are new to Korean fauna: Parenebalia longipes (Willemoes–Suhm, 1875). New species and new record in Korea are described and illustrated in detail. These four species are recorded in Korea for the first time. The world distributions of Nebalia and Paranebalia species are provided in this study. In addition, we discuss sexual dimorphism in the genus Nebalia and propose the necessity of describing male traits when reporting new species. As a result of the molecular study, 428 bp mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (mt CO1) gene sequences are determined from 25 individuals of three species of Nebalia, collected from Korea. In addition, 24 CO1 sequences of four species (Nebalia hessleri Martin, Vetter & Cash–Clark, 1996, Nebalia gerkenae Haney & Martin, 2000, Nebalia kensleyi Haney & Martin, 2005, and Dahlella caldariensis Hessler, 1984) which retrieved from NCBI databases are also used in the analyses. The sequence is consisting of a 1–34% difference on closely related species, and it is also large enough to designate these nebalian species as a different species from other one. This study confirms the usefulness of molecular techniques for biodiversity and phylogenetic relationship studies of Leptostraca.


Year-round patterns in mesozooplankton community structure in the Arctic fjord ecosystem (Isfjorden, Svalbard)

1Katarzyna Blachowiak-Samolyk, 1Emilia Trudnowska, 1Katarzyna Dmoch, 1Rafal

Boehnke, 2 Malin Daase, 2Janne E. Søreide

1Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences, 2The University Centre in Svalbard


Key word: mesozooplankton Arctic fjord seasonality patterns

Relatively well-known summer structure of mesozooplankton in Arctic fjords stands in contrast with the scarcity of seasonal data. Although the summer estate of planktonic community is always the resultant of various processes that occur in previous fall, winter and spring, due to logistic constrains of investigations in polar waters, year-round data is still very rare, even in the European part of the Arctic.

Zooplankton community structure in Billefjorden (Isfjorden) was studied monthly from June 2012 to July 2013. Samples were collected in four stratified hauls in 180m deep water column by means of Multi Plankton Sampler and WP2 nets with 0.2mm mesh.

Multivariate analysis based on zooplankton taxa abundance revealed similarity between samples collected in the spring/summer and autumn/winter phases. Mesozooplankton abundance showed a marked annual variability with two distinctive peaks in summer and autumn (July and October 2012). Oithona similis, Calanus spp., Pseudocalanus spp., Microcalanus spp., Copepoda nauplii, larval stages of Bivalvia, Limacina spp. and Cirripedia built 90% of zooplankton abundance year-round with changing dominants throughout the annual cycle. The number of taxa varied from 17 to 43, but differences between biodiversity indices from various seasons were not statistically significant. Additionally, our study provided a unique opportunity to describe the annual life cycles of important, but often neglected zooplankters (e.g., Pseudocalanus spp., Sagitta elegans). Estimation of seasonal fluctuations of different development stages of various species are of great importance not only for zooplankton niche portitioning, but also for their potential predators, as so it expands the general knowledge on diverse functionality of changing Arctic pelagic ecosystem.


Molecular phylogeny of Graneledone (Cephalopoda, Megaleledonidae)

1M. Cecilia Pardo-Gandarillas, 1Christian Ibáñez, 2Darren Stevens, 1Elie Poulin, 3Javier


1Universidad de Chile, 2National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, 3

Universidad Católica del Norte


Key word: Graneledone Phylogeny

Octopuses of genus Graneledone are composed by eight recognized species which inhabit on deep-sea. Their species are characterized by having skin covered with warts, one row of suckers on each arm, the hectocotylized arm (third right), six to seven lamellae per demibranch, VV-shaped funnel organ and two supraocular cirri. These character states are derived among octopodids suggesting the monophyly hypothesis of Graneledone. Phylogenetic analysis including only three species and their sister groups support that the Graneledone species are a monophyletic group. In this study we perform phylogenetics analyses including five species of Graneledone, using three mitochondrial genes (16S, COI, COIII). We also reviewed type specimens to resolve the morphological problems with species misidentification. We proposed an amended diagnosis of the genus Graneledone that include new morphological characters. Recently discovered Graneledone specimens from southeastern Pacific Ocean could represent a subspecies of G. boreopacifica based on morphological and molecular evidence. Molecular phylogenetic analysis don´t supports the monophyly hypothesis regarding to genus Graneledone, by the presence of Praealtus paralbida within Graneledone species clade. The tree topology revealed two Graneledone species clades. The first clade is composed by the vicariant species G. boreopacifica and G. verrucosa from northern Pacific and Atlantic, and the second clade by the sympatric species G. antarctica, G. challengeri and

G. taniwha from southern ocean. This new phylogenetic hypothesis support the Antarctic

origins of Graneledone as previous work suggest.


Climate change in mangrove ecosystems in Godavari mangroves in Andhra Pradesh

P.Suvarnaraju AJ.Solomon Raju , D.sandhya Rani

Department of Environmental Sciences, Andhra University, vishakapatnam


Key word: Climate change in mangrove ecosystems in Godavari mangroves in Andhra Pradesh Climate change in mangrove ecosystems in Godavari mangroves in Andhra Pradesh

Mangroves are dynamic and unique inter-tidal ecosystems, common in tropical and subtropical coastal environments. They represent a group of biotic components, including plants, animals and microbial organisms that are highly adapted to inter-tidal environmental conditions. They are among the world’s most productive ecosystems and are important in protecting coasts from erosion by fierce tides, in promoting the diversity of marine organisms and fisheries by contributing a quantity of food and providing favourable habitats for animals. These economic uses of mangroves indicate that they play an important role in the lives and economies in the coastal regions of different countries. stated that mangrove forests are under immense threat worldwide due to their multiple economic uses and alterations of freshwater inflows by various upstream activities in catchment areas. There are no exact statistics on the global and regional extent of the mangrove area. Mangroves are one of the most productive ecosystems on earth, derivingNourishment from terrestrial and tidal waters. Mangroves serve as importantfeeding, nursery and breeding grounds for a variety of commercially importantorganisms and also serve as protected areas for endangered species. Mangrovesact as a barrier against cyclones, thus protecting the human settlement and otherproperties. They stabilize coastal sediments, thus preventing coastal erosion. However, world over, mangroves are facing degradation, owing to the intertidal areas being extensively developed for aquaculture or other purposes. Loss of mangroves is a cause of serious environmental and economic concern. The global warming in sea water rise These phenomena could have a strong influence on some biotic and abiotic models (dispersion of planktonand larvae, nutriment cycles, etc.) which affect the ecosystems at several levels.Some unexpected effects of the thermohaline circulation have radically changed the hydrology of deep watersimpact on life in deep waters. Recent evidence shows the presence of signals which had spread to the westof the basin.The increase in water temperature can affect organisms and entail constraints which sometimes lead to somephysiological adaptations. In some cases when the stress exceeds the tolerance threshold, the life cycle or thedistribution of species can be modified. At present in the Godavari mangroves , amongst the direct consequences of global warming, there is a simultaneous increase in the abundance of Godavari mangroves thermophilic andallochthonous species and the disappearance or rarefaction of “cold” stenothermic species.


Complete mitochondrial genome of disc coral Turbinaria peltata (Scleractinia, Dendrophylliidae)

1Xiaofeng Shi, 1Peng Tian, 1Rongcheng Lin, 2Wenlu Lan, 1Wentao Liu, 1Xinqing Zheng

1Third Institute of Oceanography, State Ocean Administration, 2Marine Environmental Monitoring Center of Guangxi

Key word: Turbinaria peltata mitogenome scleractinian genetics

To date, no complete nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial genome of Dendrophylliidae are yet available. In our study, the entire mitochondrial nucleotide sequence was determined for the Dendrophylliidae species Turbinaria peltata. The sequence was 18 966 bp in length and contained thirteen protein-coding genes, two ribosomal RNA genes (12S rRNA and 16S rRNA), two transfer RNA genes (tRNAMet and tRNATrp) and a putative control region locating between Cyt b and ND2. The overall base composition of the mitogenome was 25.6% A, 37.4% T, 23.5%G, and 13.5% C, with a high AT content of 63%, indicating an obvious anti-guanine bias. It shared 93.7%, 87% and 84.8 % mitogenome sequence with Goniopora columna, Acropora robusta and Euphyllia ancora, respectively.


A Preliminary Study of the Effects of CO2-driven Ocean Acidification on Growth of two Diatom Species

Xuewei Mao, Guangxing Liu, Hongju Chen

Ocean University of China


Key word: ocean acidification phytoplankton diatom population growth Phaeodactylum tricornutum Chaetoceros curvisetus

CO2 enrichment experiments were carried out under specific CO2 concentration to investigate the effects of CO2-driven ocean acidification on growth of Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Chaetoceros curvisetus species, respectively. The control groups were bubbled with CO2 of 392 ppm (ambient atmosphere level) and the experimental groups were 1000 ppm (future scenario of the year 2100). The results showed that there were significant differences both in the growth rate and the maximum population density between control groups and experimental groups for these two diatom species. The environmental pH in experimental groups reduced since the effects of CO2-driven ocean acidification and the average pH level of P. tricornutum and C. curvisetus species reduced

0.43 and 0.46, respectively. Significant differences (P<0.05) in cell numbers of P. tricornutum were observed on the second day of the experiment. On the 13th day, the cell numbers of P. tricornutum in the experimental groups increased about 46% compared to the control groups, and the average specific growth rate (μ) increased about 19.0%. In the experimental groups for C. curvisetus, cell numbers increased approximately 45% on the 11th day, and the average μ increased about 36.2%. CO2-driven ocean acidification can promote the concentration of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in the culture environment and relieve the limitation of inorganic carbon utilization during the growing period of P. tricornutum species. Then, the growth can be promoted. Since diatoms account for large part of the marine primary productivity, the positive effects of ocean acidification on their growth may have ecological consequences in marine food chain in the future. Additionally, ocean acidification may lead to the break out of harmful algal blooms (such as the C. curvisetus blooms) and be a threat to the stability of marine ecosystem and biodiversity.


The security role of marine and freswater forms in the evolutional stasis of lampreys

1Alexandr Kucheryavyy, 2Igor Knizhin, 3Ivan Tsimbalov, 2Yulia Loshakova

1Saint-Petersburg State University, 2Irkutsk State University, 3Institute of Ecology and Evolution


Key word: Lampetra Lethenteron Sea of Okhotsk Kara Sea Baltic Sea

On example of two lamprey genera are shown principles of the dynamical ecological equilibrium in populations of different types of marine-riverine systems (based on data from the Sea of Okhotsk, Kara and Baltic). Secure roles of different forms of lampreys in evolutional stasis are discussed. It is shown that genetic and epigenetic intraspecific diversity in lampreys is closely related to the type of the marine body and complexity of the freshwater system structure. Lampreys produce as many forms and/or morphs as many ecological niches may be occupied at any stages of the lamprey development.

As a result there is a variety of populations like isolated, donor or donor-acceptor types are presented across Eurasia. All of them are the adaptations to permanent changes of the environmental conditions.


Vertical profiles of zooplankton community structure in Prydz Bay, Antarctica during austral summer of 2013

Guang Yang, Chaolun Li, Yanqing Wang, Ye Zhang Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences lcl@qdio.ac.cn

Key word: vertical distribution zooplankton community structure Prydz Bay Southern Ocean

Vertical profiles of zooplankton community structure in Prydz Bay, Antarctica were investigated using multivariate analysis based on samples collected with a Hydro-Bios multinet (200 µm mesh, 0.5 m2 mouth size) between 0 and 1500 m during austral summer of 2013. Four zooplankton communities belonging to distinct water strata are identified. Group 1 contained samples collected in surface water strata (< 100 m) of four shelf and neritic stations. Group 2 was composed of samples collected from neritic and shelf regions (< 500 m) and upper layer (0-200 m) of oceanic regions. Group 3 comprised samples collected from deeper water strata 200-1000 m. Group 4 consisted of samples in water stratum 1000-1500 m of three oceanic stations. The four groups differed more by animal abundance rather than species composition. Copepods were by far the most abundant taxon, contributing more than 90% of the total community numerically. Zooplankton community in the upper depth strata (0-200 m) showed higher abundance and lower similarity compared with that below 200 m. The depth-related differences in abiotic environmental factors such as water masses with their distinct characteristics concerning temperature and salinity as well as biotic factors, such as the food supply and copepod ontogenetic vertical distribution may have great contribution on community structure.


A reef fish Eden specially for zooplankton feeder at Kenting Waters in southern Taiwan

Kwang-Tsao Shao, Ching-Yi Chen, Jeng-I Tsai

Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica

Key word: fish feeding ecology fish community reef fishes

Since 1984, the 3rd NPP in southern Taiwan was commercial operated, reef fishes has become very prosperous in the intake bay in associate with branching coral assemblages (Acroporidae). The reasons for this newly created fish Eden was because this bay was fully protected from both human and strong wave destruction as well as the continuous water flow intake for cooling the generators.

Because of these special environmental characteristics. The fish assemblages developed in this bay is very unique and different from any other fish assemblages in the waters in Kenting National Park or other open coral reef area.

Total number of reef fish species recorded at one monitoring station of 70 x 30 meters inside the bay from 26 census has been increased to 43 families and 315 species since 2005. Damselfishes and wrasses are the two largest families regarding to the species number and the butterflyfishes is the third. The most dominant species are Chromis viridis, then Dascyllus reticulatus, D.trimaculatus and D. aruanus. Probably the highest population density of these damselfish species in Taiwan are located in this bay.

The community structure and function in terms of feeding habit inside and outside the bay are also much different. The family composition are similar to each other including those benthic invertebrate feeders of wrasses, cardinalfishes, triggerfishes and haemulids etc., then, herbivores or ominivores. But the dominant species and feeding habits are very different between each other. Zooplankton feeders of above four damselfish species occupy

70% inside the bay but only 19% dominant by Thalassoma amblycephalus and Pempheris oualensis outside the bay. The dominant groups of feeding guild outside the bay is herbivours and benthic feeders (28%) and pure benthic feeders (24%) such as Siganus fuscescens and some cardinalfish and wrasse. Apparently, the effect of physical environmental conditions of protected bay and constant and stronger water flow inside the bay but less boulders or caves inside the bay versus these factors outside the bay are the main causes create this special zooplankton feeder fish paradise at the intake bay of the 3rd Nuclear Power Plant.


Scale-dependency of ecosystem process and functioning in the marine benthos

1Martin Solan, 1Louise Brown, 2Daniel Crespo, 1Matt Thomsen, 1Marla Spencer,

1Christina Wood, 1Steve Hawkins, 1Jasmin Godbold 1University of Southampton, 2University of Ciombra m.solan@soton.ac.uk

Key word: bioturbation scale ecosystem functioning habitat

Over the past two decades a wealth of empirical studies examining the ecosystem consequences of changes in biodiversity provides clear evidence that altering biodiversity simultaneously changes ecosystem functioning. However, current understanding is largely based on empirical studies that have been carried out in isolated, homogenous conditions in the laboratory and therefore do not capture the complexity of natural community dynamics or environmental heterogeneity at the habitat scale. Using naturally assembled intertidal macro-faunal invertebrate communities, we quantify the contributions that species assemblages make to ecosystem process (bioturbation and bioirrigation) and functioning (nutrient concentrations) and use these data to determine how variation in community composition expressed at different spatial hierarchies (1m, 10m, 100m and 1000m) modifies the extent and importance of biological mediation.


A novel pressure-coring, experimentation and cultivation system for the study of deep-sea prokaryote biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

1Ursula Witte, 1Keith Jackson, 2John Parkes, 3Erik Anders, 3Martin Rothfuss, 1Stewart


1University of Aberdeen, 2University of Cardiff, 3Technical University Berlin


Key word: deep-sea pressure coring

The majority of the Earth’s surface is deep-sea floor below more than 200 m of water. Marine sediments are a major reservoir in the global carbon cycle and Although the continental margins constitute only 11 % of the surface area of the oceans, 80 – 90 % of all OM remineralisation, and thus nutrient recycling, occurs here. Continental margin sediment communities are remarkably diverse, and are thought to be a source of biodiversity for both the shallow continental shelves and the deeper ocean basins.

Most deep-sea organisms live in the piezosphere (the volume of the deep-sea at > 1000 m of water depth or > 10MPa pressure) and the main reasons for our limited knowledge of deep-sea biodiversity and ecosystem functioning lies in the combination of its remoteness and inaccessibility, and with the sensitivity to depressurization of deep-sea organisms and deep-sea biogeochemical processes. Pressure affects large organisms, which often do not survive depressurisation and microorganisms in many ways. It affects bacterial physiology and growth, membrane and storage lipid composition, membrane proteins and process rates, anaerobic processes, which are dominant in most subsurface marine sediments and involve the prokaryotic consumption or production of gases such as CO2, CH4, or H2S, possibly being particularly susceptible.

But although now possible, in situ experimentation in the deep sea is very resource-intensive, requiring sophisticated deep-sea ROVs, operated by large crews from large vessels. In addition, samples in most cases suffer depressurization upon retrieval. As many piezophiles may only be culturable without depressurization, this may explain why less than 1 % of deep-sea prokaryotes can currently be cultured, and most of our knowledge of deep-sea microbial diversity comes from culture independent studies. In consequence, our knowledge of prokaryote diversity and ecosystem functioning, or the diversity and biogeochemical and geomicrobiological potential of piezophiles, is scarce, and this paucity of information severely hampers global carbon modelling and anthropogenic impact assessment. With fishing, mining, oil and gas exploration increasingly taking place in deeper waters, there is an urgent need to improve our understanding of the functioning of deep-sea ecosystems in order to assess appropriately the societal and economic implications of such activities and impacts and ensure adequate management of deep-sea biodiversity and natural resources for future generations.

Here we describe a flexible, cost-effective alternative to in situ experimentation: a pressure-coring, experimentation and cultivation system that enables studies of deep-sea prokaryote biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, under ambient or manipulated pressure, temperature and oxygen conditions from any medium sized ocean going research ship with coring capability. In addition, the constant high pressure chain from sampling to culture overcomes limitations of in situ experiments related to depressurisation.


Effects of a scyphozoan jellyfish Nemopilema nomurai bloom on microplankton community structure in the southern Yellow Sea, China

Yang Zeng, Bangqin Huang

Xiamen Univerisity


Key word: Jellyfish bloom Phytoplankton Nemopilema nomurai Microzooplankton Ecological consequence Bottom-up control

Jellyfish blooms occur frequently in the China Seas, especially in the Yellow Sea. To test the hypothesis that jellyfish blooms affect the microplankton (e.g. phytoplankton and microzooplankton) biomass and composition mainly through bottom-up control or top-down control, we investigated the community structures of the phytoplankton and microzooplankton using high-performance liquid chromatography and microscope in the southern Yellow Sea during jellyfish Nemopilema nomurai bloom in June 2012. At Station I3, N. nomurai biomass increased 22-fold from 0.37×104 to 8.57×104 kg km-2 during two weeks. The nutrient composition changed and both N/P and Si/P ratios declined. Total Chl a biomass increased and the dominant phytoplankton groups changed from diatoms, cryptophytes and prasinophytes to diatoms and dinoflagellates in the I transect (33°N). We inferred that the jellyfish released more inorganic nutrients with a low N/P ratio, which relieved phosphorus limitation and stimulated phytoplankton growth. Phytoplankton biomass as well as microzooplankton abundance increased. The biovolume of ciliates significantly reduced (p<0.01) since jellyfish consumed the larger microzooplankton in preference. Therefore, bottom-up control rather than top-down control was more important for the phytoplankton, and jellyfish seriously affected the size of the ciliates population via topdown control during an N. nomurai bloom in the Yellow Sea.


Appearance of unusual Blooms of Synedra acus in Northern Arabian Sea along Karachi, Pakistan

1Muhammad Luqman, 2Furqana Chaghtai, 3Muhammad Javed, 4Jamil Ahmad

1Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, BUITEMS, Quetta, 2Centre of Excellence in Marine Biology, University of Kaarachi, 3Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (IIB), Government College University, Lahore, 4Faculty of Life Sciences, BUITEMS,

Quetta hyphomycetes@yahoo.com

Key word: Diatom Bloom Synedra acus Karachi coast Northern Arabian sea

Metropolitan city of Karachi and runoff water from adjacent agricultural lands put a lot of pollutants and nutrients in coastal waters of Karachi seasonally. Appearance of algal blooms in new geographical areas and increasing frequency of such blooms has been observed globally with great concern. Such blooms are being attributed to increased marine pollution and climatic changes. Current study was conducted to monitor the appearance of possible algal blooms in coastal waters of Karachi. Phytoplankton samples were collected from polluted as well as cleaner localities by using a phytoplankton net of 40μm mesh size. Standard parameters like Temperature, salinity, pH, rainfall were also recorded. Samples were analyzed qualitatively using phase-contrast microscope. Unusual, non-toxic and irregular blooms of a pollution indicator micro alga, Synedra acus has been frequently observed, suppressing existence of all other phytoplankton. This irregular appearance could not be related with any oceanographic parameters under study.


Characteristics of macrobenthic community structure in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea

Songyao Peng and Xinzheng Li

Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

The present study evaluates whether benthic communities characteristics, the trophic structure of macrobenthos, environmental variables and their relationships change at research areas parts of the the Yellow Sea and East China Sea, an ecosystem with pronounced temporal-spatial variation of macrobenthic communities, depth, water quality and sediment properties. The main goal of the present study was to clarify the complex link between abiotic and biotic interactions and knowledge about dynamics of macrobenthic assemblages succession, multivariate analysis approaches were used both for taxon and for the trophic groups’ composition, using abundance data. In order to understand the mechanisms of dynamics of coastal ecosystems and environmental conditions through targeted studies on change mechanism on macrobenthic communities and provide scientific data for the further marine ecological research of the Yellow Sea and East China Sea.

The present study, based on six cruises surveys (Oct 2000, Mar 2001, June 2003, Jan 2004, Apr and Aug 2011), focused on the spatial and temporal distribution of the macrobenthic community from the Yellow Sea to the East China Sea, in order to determine the structure and trophics of macrobenthos in the research areas and its relationships with environmental conditions, to evaluate the suitability of macrobenthos taxonomic diversity indices to discriminate among different levels of human impact and eutrophication, to estimate the feeding diversity and ecosystem health of the research area using the Pielou's evenness index (J’FD), Infaunal Trophic Index (ITI), and a Marine Biotic Index (AMBI), and to reveal the species ability to utilize the environmental resource.by niche analysis of dominant species of macrobenthic community in the southern Yellow Sea.

A total of 429 macrobenthic species were collected from the six cruises. The main taxonomic groups identified were polychaete (169 taxa), crustacean (112 taxa), mollusck (89), echinordemata (44) and other groups (15). Comparing with the previous findings in same areas, distinctly difference of species number of taxa groups were observed. The results showed the number of Polychaeta species has increased, while species number of Crustacea and Mollusca has trended down in past 50 years. Thirteen species identified occurred at frequencies higher than 20%: Nephtys oligobranchia, Notomastus latericeus, Ophelina acuminate, Goniada maculate, Ninöe palmate, Sternaspis scutata, Glycera chirori, Onuphis geophiliformis, Lumbrineris longifolia, Nucula tenuis, Thyasira tokunagai, Callianassa japonica and Ophiura sarsii vadicola. The dominance value of N. oligobranchia, N. latericeus and N. tenuis were higher than 0.02.

The mean values of abundance and biomass varied from 123.03 to 237.73 ind/m2 and from 11.2 to 29.12 g/m2, respectively. The standing crops have certain regularity in distribution in study areas. The characteristic of high stability of distributions of standing

crops maintained in the Yellow Sea cold water mass area. The abundance of opportunistic polychaete species, small individual size, were far greater in the most adjacent waters of coast and estuary due to organic enrichment conditions by runoff and frequent and extensive disturbance events.

The mean values of three indices range from: 3.14 to 4.43, from 0.67 to 0.87 for and from

1.69 to 2.39 for richness index (D), Pielou evenness index (J’) and Shannon-Wiener index (H’), respectively. The lowest mean values of D (1.69) and J’ (3.16) were recorded in April 2011.

The investigation revealed that average taxonomic distinctness (AvTD) and variation in taxonomic distinctness (VarTD) of March 2001 and April 2011 fell outside the 95% confidence funnel limit implying taxonomic instability. In spatial-scale, the AvTD and VarTD of the macrobenthos are in habitats which located at the adjacent waters of southern Yellow Sea, Yangtze River estuary and Zhejiang coast, fell below the 95% confidence limits suggest that habitats are degraded and macrobentic communities have unitary structure.

Macrobenthos abundance data were subjected to the CLUSTER routine and associated SIMPROF procedure in the PRIMER v6 multivariate statistical package to quantitatively identify different groups of sites represented community types (the Yellow Sea cold water mass communities and the coastal and estuary communities) in study areas. Four, five and eight main clusters were identified by in six cruises, respectively, which were shown to well reflect spatial differences in study areas. The Yellow Sea cold mass communities structure were relatively stability, and were characterized by cold species O. sarsii vadicola, N. palmate and T. tokunagai. The coastal and estuary community structure were relatively depauperate, containing high numbers of opportunistic polychaetaspecies and abundances, and were characterized by N. latericeus, N. oligobranchia, O. acuminate and Aricidea fragilis. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) and BIOENV showed that depth, bottom water temperature, sediment median grain size and total organic carbon content were the key environmental parameters may influence the distributon of macrobenthic fauna in April and August 2011.

The trophic structure of benthic communities in study area was characterized according to a functional guild approach, based on sampling surveys conducted 6 cruises. Macrobenthos were assigned to six distinct trophic groups (herbivorous, filter feeders, deposit feeders, deposit feeders, carnivores, filter feeders and detritus feeders) and the dominance of these groups was related to environmental variables using multivariate ordination techniques. Deposit feeders and carnivores were numerically dominant in the study areas, making up high 50% of benthic communities. In spatial scale, the adjacent waters of Yangtze River estuary, coastal waters of southern Yellow Sea and Zhejiang province contained containing high abundances values of deposit feeders and carnvores, and were characterized by N. latericeus, N. oligobranchia, O. acuminate and Aricidea fragilis. Expansion of the distribution areas of dominant trophic groups was observed along temporal scale in study areas. The redundancy analysis (RDA) results of indicated that bottom water temperature, salinity and depth were significant predictors of community trophic structure variance (p<0.05).

The feeding diversity and ecosystem health of the study area was estimated using the

Pielou's evenness index (J’FD), and Infaunal Trophic Index (ITI), applied in conjunction with a Marine Biotic Index (AMBI). The assessment results showed most of the stations in the study area exhibited good or high feeding diversity, corresponding to a healthy ecological state, with the exceptions of stations in adjacent waters of the Yellow Sea and Yangtze river eatuary that showed occasionally low feeding diversity, ITI and AMBI values. The poor condition at these stations was mainly related to disturbance impacts and natural accumulation of organic matter, with some feeding groups being absent or present at low relative abundances, with one or two groups dominating the community, which was particularly the case with deposit feeders. Such temporal scale expansion the moderately or heavily disturbed areas located in adjacent waters of Yangtze estuary were observed.

To determine the niche of the macroinvertebrate communities in the southern Yellow Sea, 20 dominant species were selected. The Shannon-Wiener's Niche Breadth index, the Pianka Niche Overlap index, Outlying mean index (OMI) and Tolerance index (TOL) were used to analysis the relationships of the dominant species and environmental factors. The Shannon-Wiener's Niche Breadth index varied from 1.24 to 2.15. T. tokunagai, O. geophiliformis, N. palmate, O. sarsii vadicola, Ehlersileanira hwanghaiensis and Glycinde gurjanovae had large niche breadths. Outlying mean index varied from 0.23 to 4.95. Paralacydonia paradoxa and Glycera tenuis had higher value of Outlying mean index than that of any other species. Tolerance index ranged from 0.13 to 3.85. Sigambra bassi, N. oligobranchia and E. hwanghaiensis were the main contributors to the Tolerance index. Niche overlaps varied from 0 to 0.95. L. longifolia and N. palmate had a niche overlap value closed to 0.95. The significance of the random permutation test of the OMI analysis demonstrate that niche segregation of G. chirori, G. tenuis, N. latericeus, O. acuminate and O. sarsii vadicola is effective along a given gradient (e.g., depth, water bottom temperature, salinity, median size and total organic carbon and total nitrogen content of sediment)(p<0.05)..

In the past decade, within the adjacent waters of the Yangtze river estuary, where disturbance envents are common (e.g. dredging, overfishing, sewage discharges, summer hypoxia, red tide), changes in the ecological quality status can result from differences in the dominance of a single taxon. The macrobenthic community structure was relatively depauperate, containing high numbers of opportunistic polychaete species and abundances. On the contrary, within the Yellow Sea cold mass area, the communities structure, from anthropogenically stressed, maintained a slightly disturbed condition, and were dominanted by cold species as before. Depth, bottom water temperature and sediment composition were the main factors structuring spatial distribution.


In situ Detrimental Impacts of Prorocentrum donghaiense Blooms on Zooplankton in the East China Sea

1,2Jia-Ning Lin,1Tian Yan, 1Qing-Chun Zhang, 1Yun-Feng Wang, 1,2Qing Liu, 1Ming-Jiang


1 Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences


Key word: Prorocentrum donghaiense Karenia mikimotoi Calanus sinicus survival reproduction

Large-scale algal blooms of the dinoflagellate Prorocentrum donghaiense have occurred frequently in the East China Sea (ECS) in recent decades. However, its impacts on the zooplankton in situ is still under understanding well. During a spring P. donghaiense bloom (April–May 2013) along the northern coast of Fujian Province (120°–121°30"E, 26°30"–28°N), we found that the bloom decreased the abundance of copepods and had no significant effect on chaetognaths and small jellyfish. However, the abundance of small jellyfish increased over the course of the study. The zooplankton community changed from being copepod and small jellyfish- to small jellyfish-dominated during the bloom. In the bloom areas, the copepod Calanus sinicus showed higher mortality and lower egg production rates (EPR) than those in the non-bloom areas. The results suggested that P. donghaiense blooms had detrimental effects on the structure of zooplankton community and the recruitments of C. sinicus.


Interannual variation of macro-jellyfish Nemopilema nomurai gathering in the Yellow Sea--a numerical study

1Yuheng Wang, 1Lijing Deng , 1Liang Zhao , 2Fang Zhang , 1Hao Wei

1Tianjin University of Science and Technology, 2Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences


Key word: Nemopilema nomurai gathering interannual variation particle tracing model Yellow Sea

In recent years, a signicant increase in giant jellysh blooms has been observed worldwide and the gathering of these jellyfish changes year to year. Revealing the mechanism of interannual variation of jellyfish gathering is helpful to understand the jellyfish bloom and to predict it finally. A particle tracing model is established based on the Princeton Ocean Model (POM) to learn the interannual variation of Nemopilema nomurai gathering in the Yellow sea in autumn. Particles stand for scyphistoma adhered to the bottom are put initially along the coast from Changjiang estuary to Haizhou Bay. The triggering temperature for scyphistoma strobilation is set to 13℃. The gathering of N. nomurai in 2008 and 2009 are simulated. The simulation is in good agreement with observation in 2009. Comparing the two years, more jellyfish are found gathering in tidal front in August-September of 2008 than that of 2009. Using a set of sensitivity experiments, the role of temperature and current filed to N. nomurai gathering are discussed. We conclude that to the fall gathering of jellyfish the interannual variability of circulation is more important than the spring bottom temperature triggering the strobilation.


Phytoplankton community and POC flux in the China Marginal Seas

Bangqin Huang, Lei Wang, Xin Liu

Key Laboratory of Coastal and Wetland Ecosystems, Ministry of Education, College of the Environment and Ecology, Xiamen University

Key word: phytoplankton community poc flux

Phytoplankton community composition and its coupling with POC fluxes were determined based on the photosynthetic pigment in the China marginal seas, East China Sea (ECS) and South China Sea (SCS), through six cruises between 2007-2011, in which the effects of mesoscale eddies on phytoplankton and POC fluxes were studied.

For the seasonal variations, the biomass was higher in winter and fall than in spring and summer in SCS, while it was highest during spring in ECS. Diatoms dominated community through the year except dinoflagellates were abundant in spring bloom in ECS, meanwhile prasinophytes and haptophytes_8 increased in fall and winter at shelf in ECS. The Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus were abundant only in the warmer season, especially in the region affected by the Kuroshio in ECS.

The biological pump efficiency (ThE) was mainly between 2~10%, which was higher in winter in ECS and in summer in SCS. The POC fluxes were logarithmic positively with diatoms biomass both in ECS and SCS, although it had no correlation with the total phytoplankton biomass. There was spatial difference on relationship between POC fluxes and phytoplankton groups, POC fluxes were significantly positive correlated with diatom contribution at coast and shelf (p<0.010) while it was negative at basin (p<0.001) in SCS. Furthermore, the POC fluxes were significantly positive correlated with percentage of prasinophytes and haptophytes_8 (p<0.010) in basin of SCS.

The mesoscale eddies had significant impact on phytoplankton biomass, community composition and the POC fluxes in the SCS. For the cyclonic eddy (CE), the surface TChl a biomass was promoted by 2.6-fold in the eddy center, although it was almost equivalent in the term of water column integration. The phytoplankton community was primarily contributed by diatoms, prasinophytes, and Synechococcus at deep chlorophyll maximum layer (DCML) within the eddy, while itwas lessbyhaptophytes_8 and Prochlorococcus. So we assumed that there was a gently continuous nutrient supplied by the doming of isopycnals within the eddy while the increasing of phytoplankton stock was not significant at the DCML, it was remarkable at surface layer even though where the hydrological and nutrient signals were weak.

For the anticyclonic eddies (ACEs), the TChl a inventory was almost similar among the three long-lived ACEs (17.647~18.868 mg m-2). The TChl a inventory was 20.822±3.026mg m-2 at the edge which was 33% and 60% higher than at center and reference, respectively. The most prominent enhancements of biomass at edge was provided by haptophytes_8, with 1.6-fold to the center and 2.2-fold to the reference. The

second dominant group, Prochlorococcus, had a 50% higher in biomass at edge comparing to reference, and was mediacy at center. The status of higher biomass at ACEs’ edge but higher export at center might be the combined results of vertical convection and lateral transport. Diatoms could be responsible for the ~50% enhancement in bSiO2flux at center through lateral transport from edge. The positive correlation between POC flux and haptophytes_8 biomass at edge implied their importance in particles export.


Conservation insights from the event of massive escape of groupers due to typhoon disaster in Kenting area

Kwang-Tsao Shao

Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica

Key word: fish community ecology climate change introduced species reef fish conservation

Typhoon Morakot struck southern Taiwan on August 8, 2009 and severely damaged the aquaculture industry there. Massive aquaculture fish species, mostly groupers, were flushed into the coastal waters. The escaped grouper species, in the decreasing order of numbers, were Epinephelus malabaricus, E. coioides and E. lanceolatus. To explore whether or not the large quantity of escaped predators will influence the reef fish community in Kenting area, we examined the gut contents of 27 specimens of E. coioides (20-31 cm BL) which were collected by diving and angling from December 2009 to March 2010. Only three of them had some gut contents; the rest all had empty stomachs. A few fresh bodies collected on site were even without any lipid in their bellies. The death of these fishes was probably caused by long term starvation. Another evidence came from our underwater observation. We often saw the groupers try to swim up and catch small fish but all failed. Maybe these skinny fishes were too hunger to hunt or maybe they had lost their capability to catch live preys because they were used to be fed feed. Based on this investigation, we could conclude that this event of massive escape of groupers did not affect the coral reef fish ecology in Kenting National Park. It also gave us some insights into marine conservation. The effectiveness of seedling release of many benthic fish species, such as sea breams, snappers and eels, has already been questioned in Taiwan since it can be challenging to tract the fish for assessment studies. Although the release of cultured piscivores such as young grouper has not been carried out before, it can be predicted that the fish released for religious or seedling reasons will lose the ability to hunt live preys if they are kept in captivity for certain period of time. Furthermore, consume herbivorous or omnivorous rather than carnivorous aquaculture species should be recommended for sustainable aquaculture because trying to change the feeding habit of aquaculture species from original animal protein feeder to plant protein feeder is difficult.


Application of macrophyte community structural bioindicators and oxidative stress biomarkers for monitoring of anthropogenic pollution in shallow coastal areas

Tatyana Kalita, Irina Yakovleva, Anna Skriptsova, Serguei Kiyashko

A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Key word: subtidal macrophytobenthos organic pollution biotic indices pro-/antioxidant ratio

Bioindicators and biomarkers are now generally accepted as useful tools in monitoring programs for the assessment of the impact on marine organisms and ecological health of pollutants and anthropogenic activities. This work was devoted to the identification and development of different generation of "diagnostic" tools to be used in monitoring of coastal macrophyte communities under nutrient enrichment pressure. We used field survey to examine (1) structure, composition, richness and abundance of communities co-dominated by Zostera marina and Sargassum spp.; (2) pro-oxidant (levels of malondialdehyde, MDA, and hydrogen peroxide, H2O2) and anti-oxidant (activities of superoxide dismutase, SOD, catalase and ascorbate peroxidase, APX, enzymes) parameters of the common species in these communities, and (3) special variation in the bulk values of stable isotopes (δ15N) in the macrophytes at differentially polluted areas of the Peter the Great Bay (Sea of Japan, Russia). The results clearly showed a high enrichment of bulk δ15N in tissues of macrophytes at polluted sites that confirmed the sewage as the dominant nutrient source (8.42-9.59‰). Macrophyte communities at polluted sites were characterized by increased values of Cheney’s floristic ratio (3-fold difference with non-polluted sites), simplifying their structure and elimination of species that require high quality water environment, such as Desmarestia spp., Stephanocystis spp. and Laurencia spp. The values of diversity indices of Shannon, Simpson and Pielou's evenness did not differ significantly between the sites studied. The contents of MDA, H2O2 and activities of SOD, APX were found to be sensitive biomarkers of eutrophication, showing marked differences between pollution-sensitive species collected at relatively clear, partially polluted and polluted areas. Statistical treatment of the data revealed that the reference values for the SOD:MDA, APX:MDA and APX:H2O2 ratios should be in the interval [15-65; 0.2-1.7 and 0.10-0.37, respectively] for normal (untreated) macrophyte populations. Nutrient enrichment pressure induces a 2-3-fold increase in these biomarkers at partially polluted sites, and their 1.5-2-fold decrease at polluted sites in comparison with unpolluted areas. In all, the use of the Cheney floristic index as well as the specific pro-/antioxidant ratios proved to be sensitive indicators of early organic toxicity in marine macrophytes from shallow coastal areas.


Microbial diversity and community structure in the East China Sea by 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene

1Yi Dong, 1Wuchang Zhang, 2Feng Zhou, 3Chenggang Liu, 4Zhuoyi Zhu, 5Sumei Liu, 1Tian


1Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, 3Laboratory of Marine Ecosystem and Biogeochemistry, Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, 4State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, 5Key Laboratory of Marine Chemistry Theory and Technology,

Ministry of Education, Ocean University of China


Key word: Microbial diversity Community structure 454 pyrosequencing East China Sea

Microbial diversity and community structures in both seawater and sediment were studied in the East China Sea in May, 2011. 454 pyrosequencing was employed to detect 16S rRNA gene of bacteria and archaea. Overall, 344,134 optimized reads with the average length was about 500 bp were obtained through the sequencing. The data were much more than all the similar studies in the area before. 22 phyla, 34 classes, 74 orders, 146 families, and 333 genera in bacterial community and 3 phyla, 19 classes, 14 orders, 29 families, and 47 genera in archaeal community were identified. Much unclassified information appeared at the genus level. Both bacteria and archaea had high diversity. The Shannon index ranged from 3.42 to 7.96 in bacterial analysis while from 2.03 to 7.34 in archaeal analysis. The estimated richness and diversity indices were both higher in sediment samples than in seawater ones. Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Flavobacteria, Acidimicrobia, and Subsection I (belongs to Cyanobacteria) were dominant in bacteria. Candidatus Nitrosopumilus, Halolamina and Haolobacteriaceae made significant contribution to the communities except unclassified information in archaea. Some of the dominant taxa took part in ammonia oxidation, degradation of blooms while some only appeared in sediment or deep layers of seawater. Canonical correspondence analyses were exhibited for bacteria and archaea with environmental factors respectively. Both of the analyses showed the community structures were affected by salinity, concentration of Chl a and ammonium most. The results can make the understanding of microbial diversity in the East China Sea more comprehensive.


Jellyfish, sting and venom

1Rongfeng Li, 1Huahua Yu, 1, 2Yang Yue, `Pengcheng Li

1 Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences,2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences


Keyword: Jellyfish; Venom; Sting; Nemopilema nomurai; Stomolophus meleagris; Proteomics; Transcriptomics

Jellyfish, the oldest multi-organ animal, exist at least 500 million years in every ocean, from the surface to the deep sea. There are more than 1000 species all over the world with about 40% in China. In recent year, jellyfish populations were expanding enormously worldwide and caused many problems to marine ecosystems, fishery, power plant and it was also a big threat to the human health and safety because of the toxicity. Nemopilema nomurai, a synonym of Stomolophus meleagris, is one of the predominant jellyfish bloomed in China. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people including swimmers, fishermen and seamen got stung and suffered itch, edema, myalgia, dyspnoea, hypotension, shock, and even death. It is reported that most deaths by jellyfish sting in China was caused by N. nomurai because of its strong toxicity. Jellyfish venom was secreted in the nematocysts of tentacles and should be responsible for those serious symptoms after being stung. So, we used both proteomics and transcriptomics approaches to investigate the toxins related to the sting. A total of 218 toxins were identified including C-type lectin, phospholipase A2, potassium channel inhibitor, protease inhibitor, metalloprotease, hemolysin and other toxins. In addition, we also used both acute toxicological approach and pathological analyses to investigate the lethal mechanism of the venom. The results showed an LD50 of approximately 2.92 μg/g body weight in mice following an intravenous injection and renal glomerular swelling, renal vesicle stricture, renal tubules dilatation, hepatic blood sinusoid dilatation, pulmonary edema and malignant pleural effusion. So, the acute renal failure might be one of the most important factors for the death after a severe sting. Hopefully, the present study will provide a significant reference for the treatment of stings by the jellyfish N. nomurai in the future.


First records of Zeuxo holdichi Templeton, 1840 (Crustacea: Tanaidacea) for the north Cotentin and eastern part of the Bay of Seine

Aurélie Foveau, Alexandrine Baffreau, Jean-Philippe Pezy, Quentin Bachelet, Jean-Claude Dauvin

Université de Caen


Key word: Zeuxo holdichi new records

In 1987, a new species, Zeuxo holdichi Templeton, 1840, was described from oyster grounds of the Arcachon Bay (Bamber, 1990). This is the only species of Zeuxo in the Lusitanian area and it probably comes from the Mediterranean area. In the framework of the RECIF project, a European cross-border cooperation programme INTERREG IV A that aims to enhance the use of shellfish by-products in the elaboration of an eco-friendly material for artificial reef, preliminary samplings for characterising the settled benthic communities were conducted in March 2014 in intertidal and subtidal areas. During these surveys, 33 individuals of Z. holdichi were collected among algae. They were found in tubes of mud, similar to those of Corophium species. Some of these individuals were ovigerous females. During surveys for the GEDANOR project, 12 individuals of this species were found in October 2013, 43 individuals in February 2014 and 37 individuals in April 2014, but this time in the Cherbourg harbour, in an environment rich in organic matter. First record in the north Cotentin was made in April 2012, in the Tatihou Island (d’Udekem d’Acoz, 2012). At present, this species occur in a large part of the coastal area of north Cotentin and the Bay of Seine. The possible way of dispersion of this species could be the oyster farming. Further explorations of the coastal grounds will be interesting to know the real distribution area of this new small tanaid, difficult to observe because of its size. Genetics must be provide more informations about this species.



1Guoping Zhu, 1Xiaoyan Zhu, 1Tao Meng, 1Yiying Xu, 2Huang Hongliang, 2Xu Guodong,

3Zhang Jichang, 1Xu Liuxiong

1Shanghai Ocean University, 2Fisheries Engineering Division, East China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fisheries Science, 3 Fisheries Resource Division, Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fisheries Science


Key word: Antarctic krill daylight diel vertical migration South Georgia Island

The knowledge of diel vertical migration (DVM) of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba Dana) aggregation (AKA) in the winter season will provide basic data to study the forming mechanism of fishing ground and provide the reference to study the overwintering strategy. Based on the data collected by the scientific observers of China Antarctic krill fishery, the present study analyzes the DVM of AKA in the South Georgia Island and its relations to the daylight in the austral winter 2013. The results show average depth of AKA maintain to 100m to 300m under sea surface, the deepest and shallowest depths of AKA occur at sunrise and night respectively. The average depth of AKA is deepening is deepened from July to September. The average depths of AKA show a significant monthly difference at night, on the day and at dusk. AKA occurs in the deeper layer in the day and stay at surface at night. The location of AKA move towards northwest from July to August.


Distribution and habitat use of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, Sousa chinensis, off Sannyang Bay, Guanxi, China

1Haiping Wu, 1Peng Chongwei, 1Xu Youhou, 2Huang xianglin

1Qinzhou University, 2HongKong University


Key word: Minimum convex polygon Kernel density estimate Landsat Estuary Critical habitat

The extent of occurrence and core habitat-use are two important population characteristics with ecological and conservation insights. Studies on the distribution of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, Sousa chinensis, figure a general preference toward estuarine environments; however, connection between this preference and oceanographic characteristics at estuary is still unclear. This study investigated the distribution and core habitat-use, measured by minimum convex polygon (MCP) and 50% kernel density estimate (KDE50), for the humpback dolphins off Sanniang Bay (SNB) in Beibu Gulf, China through systematic line transect surveys. The oceanographic characteristics over humpback dolphin habitat were explored by the latest Landsat 8 imagery. The MCP of humpback dolphins off SNB extended 255.46 km2 while the KDE50 was confined at the Dafongjiang River Estuary in

53.82 km2 area. Landsat imagery revealed direct overlap of freshwater-seawater mixing zone over KDE50 of humpback dolphins. These findings, as well as other indirect evidences showing high productivity in the estuarine ecotone, provide empirical connection between high-productivity environment and habitat preference of humpback dolphins. We suspect this connection could be general throughout the distribution range of humpback dolphins, which insights the priority habitats to be protected.


Summer zooplankton species assemblage and community structure patterns in Turkish Seas with contrasting physical and trophic characteristic

1I. Noyan Yilmaz, 2Melek Isinibilir, 3H. Vedat Aker

1Institute of Marine Sciences and Management, Istanbul University, 2Faculty of Fisheries ,

Istanbul University, 3Faculty of Fisheries, Ege University


Key word: species assamblages zooplankton Mediterranean Sea Aegean Sea Sea of Marmara Black Sea

Summer zooplankton species assemblages and community structure was investigated at

113 stations along the Turkish coasts and Eastern Mediterranean, displaying contrastingtrophic and physicochemical characteristics. The gradation from the eutrophic and brackish Black Sea to the oligotrophic and saline Eastern Mediterranean conditions yielded in profound differences in zooplankton. A total of 156 species/groups were registered, of which 123 were from Copepoda, including first records for the Turkish fauna. Shannon diversity index values were around 2 bits for the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, while diversity was generally above 3 bits at the Mediterranean and Aegean stations, reaching a maximum number of 4.5 bits at the mid Aegean Sea. Copepoda species numbers increased significantly from the Black Sea stations towards the Mediterranean. Spatial analysesshowed highest per station copepod diversity at the mid Aegean Sea (29), while highest species number was 7 for the Marmara and 4 for the Black Sea. A very low diversity was noted at the eutrophic Iskenderun Bay in the Eastern Mediterranean. Variability in the abundance patterns of Cladocera and Copepoda depicted importance of trophic conditions. Copepod abundance was significantly higher at the Mediterranean and Aegean stations, northern Aegean stations having the highest densities. On the contrary Cladocera abundance was very high at the Sea of Marmara and Black Sea, while the offshore stations in the Eastern Mediterranean had the lowest abundance numbers. Multivariate analyses of zooplankton community structure provided distinct separation of Aegean Sea Mediterranean and Black Sea Marmara Sea zooplankton communities. Although there was no distinct separation of Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea stations, Black Sea and Marmara Sea stations were grouped apart on the ordination plane. The summer zooplankton community structure along the Turkish coast implied the importance of the unique physicochemical and trophic properties of the seas surrounding Turkey. The marked differences in polluted areas such as the Sea of Marmara and the Iskenderun Bay indicate the apparent influence of anthropogenic activities.



Lubov Zvereva, Oleg Borzykh

  1. V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

    Key word: Aspergillus flavus aflatoxins bivalves

    Pioneering mycological and toxinological research of bivalves has been carried out using the Japanese scallop Mizuhopecten yessoensis (Jay) as an example (Zvereva et al., 2009, 2011). Mycological studies of bivalves from different biotopes of Peter the Great Bay of the Japan/East Sea have repeatedly resulted in the isolation of the filamentous fungi of the genus Aspergillus from their internal organs. The strains of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus flavus Link has been isolated from the internal organs of the Japanese scallop, and the content of aflatoxins has been for the first time determined in these strains by the immune-enzyme analysis (IEA) with the “RIDERSCREEN Fast (Aflatoxin)” system. High total concentration of the aflatoxins (2.48 – 15.4 μg/kg) was found in the strains of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus flavus. The strains of A. flavus isolated from mollusks inhabiting relatively clean areas produce greater amount of aflatoxins than the strains of this fungus from mollusks inhabiting polluted areas. This may be caused by the response of the fungus to the stronger immune defense of mollusks from the toxic effect of this fungus. The content of mycotoxins (aflatoxins) has been for the first time determined in different organs of Mizuhopecten yessoensis: mantle, muscle, digestive gland, gills, kidneys, and gonads. The total concentration of the aflatoxins B1, G1, G2 in the internal organs of the mollusks was 0.38 – 1.03 μg/kg, which is lower than the maximum allowable concentration of aflatoxins in food in Russia (5 μg/kg). The content of aflatoxins in the internal organs of M. yessoensis from the polluted biotopes of Amursky Bay is higher than in the mollusks collected in relatively clean area. In 50 % of the investigated samples from mollusks collected in the open part of Peter the Great Bay only traces of aflatoxins have been found. Mycotoxins mainly accumulate in the gills and the digestive glands of the scallop. In Amursky Bay polluted by industrial and household effluents the muscles of the Japanese scallop also accumulate aflatoxins.


    Light traps for sampling marine biodiversity

    Mark Costello, Antje Lisken-Kleinmans, Jia Chen, Louise Franklin

    University of Auckland


    Key word: sampling method monitoring Crustacea

    Light-traps have been routinely used to sample terrestrial insects for decades. They may provide a similar low cost standard method for sampling and monitoring mobile marine invertebrates. We deployed transparent plastic bottles, with their top inverted to form a funnel, and a chemical light-stick and weight inside, for at least 1 hour on the seabed (< 5 m depth) around Auckland, New Zealand. Traps collected 35 taxa of zooplanktonic and benthic taxa of 6 phyla, 11 classes, 12 orders. Most were Crustacea (26 taxa). Zooplankton included crustacean nauplii, cypris, zoea and megalopa larvae, gelatinous zooplankton, and calanoid Copepoda. In order of abundance, benthos included Amphipoda, Cumacea, Isopoda, Mysidacea, Ostracoda, Harpacticoida, Decapoda, Tanaidacea, Branchiopoda, Siphonostomatoida (caligid fish lice), Stomatopoda, Pycnogonida, and Collembola. Other taxa included Polychaeta, Clitellata (oligochaetes), Turbellaria, Nematoda, Chaetognatha, Gastropoda and Polyplacophora. These taxa are important prey of fish and thus a key link between primary producers and predators but collecting and sorting them from the benthos and plankton nets is time consuming. The light-traps have been efficient for introducing university students to the diversity of mobile macro-fauna and zooplankton. They show promise for surveillance of this component of marine biodiversity as they do for aerial arthropods.


    Permeable Submerged Breakwater-A novel to the current approach for reef building

    Nadeem Nazurally University of Mauritius nadsquall@hotmail.com

    Key word: habitats and biodiversity hotels Lagoon

    Over the past few years Mauritius has seen rapid development and the tourism sector has been one of the main pillars for the flourishing economy. Tourism has brought a lot of foreign direct investment leading to the construction of several high class hotels and these have provided for numerous direct and indirect employments within the sector. These hotels have several requirements in view of ensuring quality and luxury of the establishment and amongst those would be nice sandy beaches adjacent to an appropriate lagoon. Considering the size of the island and the little space available along the shore, the hotels are now being constructed in areas with previously no sandy beaches and thus provisions had to be made for beach improvement work and lagoon rehabilitation. These works have to include methods for the implementation of sustainable beaches as sand remains costly. Various methods have been applied locally and the most promising being the Permeable Submerged Breakwater (PSB) whereby heavy basaltic rocks are laid within the lagoon to minimize the effect of waves and current reaching the shore. In addition, these PSB is found most appropriate as substrate for coral recruitment and coral transplant. This research investigated the colonization of various species in 3 PSB sites in the north-west region. These structures have created habitats not only for corals but fishes and other organisms whether natural reefs structures were present or absent. Biodiversity around the PSB have increased rapidly with different coral species, but more commonly Acropora formosa, benthic organisms commonly include Holothuria sp and Echinometra sp and fish like Ctenochaetus sp., Dascyllus sp. and Chromis sp. were commonly encountered. It was observed that several individuals from the scorpaenidae family have colonised the structures. These results are indicative that there is a need for active management of the current environment and habitat degradations has been the main source for coral depletion and biodiversity lost.



    1Grigorii Voskoboinikov, 2Anna Voskoboinikova , 1Mikhail Makarov, 1Inna Rizhik 1Murmansk Marine Biological Institute KSC RAS, 2Saint-Petersburg State University grvosk@mail.ru

    Key word: sanitary algae plantation neutralization of oil pollution

    A great stability of some Fucus algae , especially Fucus vesiculosus (Phaeophyta), to influence of oil products is shown. All the spices of Fucus selected in oil polluted areas (PA) showed the ability of growth, photosynthesis, synthesis of pigments, carbohydrates, lipids, but on the lower lever than in clean areas (CA). On the surface of fucoids from PA the number of saprotrophic bacteria, including carbo oxidizing bacteria , is higher than of algae from PA. There ability of macrophytes to absorb oil carbohydrates and the ability of cleaning the sea water from oil products were shown experimentally.

    Fucus algae are also stable to other factors of environment: ultraviolet, draining, desalination - decreasing of salty, high and low temperatures. The achieved information became a basis for using the symbiotic association of Fucus and carbohydro oxidizing bacteria as bio component in creation of sanitary algae plantation - plantation-biofilter (PBF) - for neutralization of oil pollution.

    The PBF is able to reduce in 2-3 weeks the level of the oil pollution in sea water in 10-30 times up to the MPC (0,05mg/l).

    Plantation-biofilter was successfully approbated at the Barents and at the White seas.


    Strategic research project (S-9-5) for integrative observation and assessments of marine biodiversity in Asia-Pacific region, and contribution to conservation planning

    1Hiroyuki Yamamoto, 2Masahiro Nakaoka, 3Hiroya Yamano, 4Teruhisa Komatsu, 5Kazuaki

    Tadokoro, 5Hiroya Sugisaki, 1Katsunori Fujikura, 1Yoshihisa Shirayama

    1Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 2Hokkaido University, 3National

    Institute for Environmental Studies, 4The University of Tokyo, 5National Fisheries Research Institute


    Key word: EBSA kelp forest seagrass coral reefs plankton communities deep-sea communities

    Understanding the state of biodiversity in a changing ocean is an indispensable step towards sustainable management and conservation protocol for marine ecosystems. While global synthetic analyses have revealed marine biodiversity decline and habitats loss in Western Pacific Ocean, inventories of regional biodiversity based on long-term observations remain insufficient. Our project, Integrative Observation and Assessments of Marine Biodiversity in Asia region (S-9-5), supported by the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (2-0000) of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan, is promoting from 2011 to 2015. This project consists of six research teams; 1) regional biodiversity in Asia, 2) kelp forest and seaweed beds, 3) seagrass beds, 4) coral reefs, 5) plankton communities in pelagic water, and 6) deep-sea chemosynthesis-based communities. The data on marine biodiversity are collected intensively from research articles, cruise reports, and database, and are analyzed by specimen-based approach, habitat-targeted approach and remote sensing approach. The data sets of species occurrence are formatted by Darwin Core skimmer, and accumulated in the database facilitated in the Biological Information System for Marine Life (BISMaL, http://www.godac.jamstec.go.jp/ bismal/e/index.html) of data center of JAMSTEC. The statistical analyses are performed for the changing patterns of marine biodiversity. The EBSA identification process is performed to examine in Japan EEZ and Asia region. Since 2011, the project collected over 184,500 records, and studied to establish the protocol to select ecologically and biologically significant area (EBSA). The protocol examined in the project is yet needed an improvement on quantitative evaluation method, while preliminary results suggest a usefulness to identify candidates of important marine area. The application study using IPCC scenario and global carbon-climate models to predict the future habitable area suggests that a conservation plan without estimation on future baseline condition of habitats will not work. These results are adopted as expert opinion onto the committee for the important marine area in Japan, and will be contribute to achieve the Aichi Target and adopted as the baseline data of discussion on the International Science–Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).


    Identification of Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas in Japan-Southeast Asia Region and Comparison with Established Marine Protected Areas

    1Yoshie Jintsu-Uchifune, 2Kenji Sudo, 1Takehisa Yamakita, 1Hiroyuki Yamamoto,

    1Yoshihisa Shirayama

    1Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 2Hokkaido University

    Key word: EBSA Japan-Southeast Asia region comparison with marine protected areas

    Species richness of the Asia-Pacific waters is rapidly declining under complex effects from anthropogenic activities from local pressures to global warming. To improve the status of marine biodiversity, the tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP10) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The Aichi Target 11 explained that 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved by 2020. In the decision of COP 10, it was encouraged to apply the ecologically or biologically significant area (EBSA) process to identify areas which require enhanced conservation and management measures. Our project (the Integrative Observations and Assessments of Asian Marine Biodiversity (S-9-5) started in 2011 under the support of the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (2-0000) of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan) tried to identify what are risks for biodiversity decline and to contribute EBSA identification process. Here we report the results of analysis using CBD’s seven criteria for EBSAs, and discuss following subjects: suitability of indices for EBSA identification from all over the Asia-Pacific; optimal way to integrate criteria and relationships between each criterion and EBSA candidates; and comparison of EBSAs we elucidated and currently managed marine protected areas (MPAs). Although it was possible to evaluate each EBSA criterion quantitatively to identify the area in the Asia-Pacific region, sampling bias of data and selection of indices and variables greatly affected the analysis. The importance of each criterion to the integrated EBSA evaluation was highly affected by the amount of data, and allocation of categorization to each criterion also seemed to influence highly on the result. Comparative study revealed significant gaps between EBSA candidates and present MPAs, and one of the main causes of these gaps were considered differences in indices and variables evaluated. These results are a first step for further integrative analysis to produce expert opinion necessary for management of marine biodiversity.


    Technologically advanced oceanographic collaborations onboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor

    Carlie Wiener, Victor Zykov, Allison Miller, Leonard Pace

    Schmidt Ocean Institute


    Key word: marine operations robotics Asia-Pacific funding

    Schmidt Ocean Institute is a private non-profit operating foundation established to advance the understanding of the world's ocean through technological advancement, intelligent observation, and open sharing of information. After conducting eight research cruises aboard its 83m research vessel Falkor around the Hawaiian Islands in 2014, Schmidt Ocean Institute is initiating projects in Guam, Australia, and the Marshall Islands, and plans to conduct research in the Asia-Pacific region through 2016.

    Schmidt Ocean Institute welcomes technologically innovative collaborations aboard R/V Falkor with research teams from around the world. R/V Falkor supports a wide range of scientific marine operations and research facilities, including autonomous and remotely operated robotics, hydrographic surveys and multidisciplinary acoustic research, CTD/ Hydrowinch operations, and telepresence-enabled research activities.

    This session will provide an overview of the Schmidt Ocean Institute research program and its latest accomplishments, research facilities available onboard R/V Falkor, including the new full ocean-depth hybrid remotely operated robotic vehicle that will come online in mid-2016, and the proposal process that scientists follow to participate in research cruises onboard R/V Falkor.


    Recent studies of Saccharina japonica of southwestern Sakhalin Island (Japan and Okhotsk Sea)

    Galanin Dmitrii, Prokhorova Natalya

    SakhNIRO prokhorova.nata@mail.ru Key word: kelp resources

    Water temperature is a very important regulatory factor of environment. Its fast increase promotes thallom’s growing in spring, early spore-bearing and thallom’s disturbance in summer. Annually the water temperature makes conditions for size-weight characteristics of thalli, and so the number of the total and commercial biomasses, and also a reproductive potential. A success in reproduction and growth at the early stages of development depend greatly on hydrochemical conditions in the coastal zone. Concentration of nitrates in winter and spring seasons is known to affect significantly the formation of kelp biomass. One of the abiotic factors that can catastrophically affect the commercial part of kelp resources is the ice situation; however, such cases are rare. Along the western Sakhalin coast their frequency is approximately 6-7 years. Many scientists consider the increase in a specific density of sea urchins as one of the important biotic factors that can affect significantly the biomass of kelp covers. The high abundance of sea urchins is related first of all with hydrological conditions (mainly with the high water temperature) that are favorable for their existence and reproduction. A warm-water regime of the area does not fit for growth of kelp biomass. But because of the increased numbers of sea urchins-phytophags the situation may become worse. In our opinion, sea urchins can really affect the abundance and biomass of kelps but only in the depressed two-stratum community where Laminariaceae and Corallinaceae algae dominate. However, in the well-developed three- and four-stratum community where Phyllospadix iwatensis and red algae underbrush occur, the sea urchins prefer feeding red algae and grass. Thus, in our waters the dynamics of kelp resources depends first of all not on sea urchin abundance in algal fields but on hydrological conditions.


    Diversity and Distribution of Mutilcellular Magnetotactic Prokaryotes in intertidal sediments of China Sea

    1Ke Zhou, 2Yiran Chen, 2Rui Zhang, 2Haijian Du, 2Wenyan Zhang, 2Hongmiao Pan,

    3Long-Fei Wu, 2Tian Xiao

    1College of Resource and Environment, Qingdao Agricultural University, 2Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology & Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 3Laboratoire de Chimie Bactérienne, Université de la Méditerranée Aix-Marseille II, CNRS

    wu@imm.cnrs.fr, txiao@qdio.ac.cn

    Key word: Multicellular magnetotactic prokaryotes diversity distribution

    Multicellular magnetotactic prokaryotes (MMPs) are a group of magnetotactic microorganisms composed of 10-100 Gram-negative cells. Although they are thought to be globally distributed, MMPs have been observed only in marine environment in America, Europe and Oceania. Additionally, most identified MMPs show a spherical mulberry-like morphology and synthesize mainly greigite magnetosomes. Here, we report the diversity and distribution of MMPs in intertidal sediments of China Sea. Two types of MMPs were observed from different sampling sites. One is a spherical MMP with mulberry-like morphology which is similar to previously reported studies. The other is an ellipsoidal MMP with pineapple-like morphology which is the first described in detail. Genetic analysis revealed that the spherical MMPs from two different sampling sites were affiliated to Deltaproteobacteria, and represented two novel species. But for ellipsoidal MMPs collected from three different sampling sites, they belonged to three novel species of the same new genus of Deltaproteobacteria. Investigation on the distribution and relationship to various biogeochemical parameters indicated that spherical MMPs were concentrated near the oxicanoxic transition zone (OATZ) with high proportion of fine sand and total organic carbon, rich in leachable iron but poor in nitrates. While ellipsoidal MMPs were mainly distributed in anoxic sulfide-rich environments below the OATZ, where was mainly composed of fine sand (15.5%) and medium sand (56.7%). These findings provide new insights into the diversity of MMPs in general, and contribute to our understanding of the adaptive evolution of MMPs to the marine intertidal sediment habitat.


    IMTA –Protecting biodiversity and increasing ecosystem services from aquaculture

    1Isabel Sousa Pinto, 1Isabel Azevedo, 2Sara Barrento 1CiimarUniversity of Porto, 2CiimarUniversity of Porto ispinto@ciimar.up.pt

    Key word: IMTA Biodiversity Aquaculture

    In the 20th century the western aquaculture industry suffered a rapid expansion, largely dominated by intensive monoculture systems. However, environmental and socio-economic problems were reported and made public giving a negative image to the industry. In some locations poorly managed aquaculture systems have led to eutrophication, oxygen depletion, disease outbreaks, introduction of exotic species and biodiversity modifications of the surrounding waters. But with the turn of the century we have been witnessing a concept shift in the aquaculture industry, and there is a growing interest in sustainable aquaculture towards more integrated production. Integrated Multi Trophic Aquaculture is an aquaculture production system that clearly demonstrates this concept shift where inorganic waste nutrients from fish and shellfish are seen as a resource that can be recycled by primary producers such as macroalgae; while organic particulate waste can be used by filter feeders (e.g. mussels) and detritivores (e.g. sea cucumbers). IMTA is an ecosystem based approach to aquaculture that incorporates several ecological relationships and which has the potential to increase the ecosystem services of a particular area (e.g. nutrient cycling, water bioremediation) and prevent negative impacts on biodiversity. Our aim is to demonstrate this concept with a system that is being developed and is operating in Northern Portugal.


    Diversity of marine magnetotactic bacteria in the intertidal sediments of Yellow Sea

    1Rui Zhang, 1Zhaojie Teng, 1Wenyan Zhang, 1Tian Xiao, 2Long-Fei Wu

    1Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology & Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2Laboratoire de Chimie Bactérienne, Université de la Méditerranée Aix-Marseille II, CNRS

    Key word: Magnetotactic bacteria diversity magnetosome

    Magnetotactic Bacteria (MTB) are Gram-negative, producing magnetosomes, motile prokaryotes that can orient and migrate along the geomagnetic lines of force. They are ubiquitous in sediments and stratified water column and distribute predominantly in the oxic-anoxic transition zone (OATZ).

    A large number of marine MTB were collected from the intertidal sedimnets of Lake Yuehu, Rongcheng and a pond of Huiquan Bay, Qingdao in 2013-2014.The abundance of MTB could reach up to 103-104 cells/cm3 and 105-106cells/cm3, respectively. Diverse morphotypes were observed, including cocci, oval, vibrio, spirilla, rod-shaped, elliptic, handledshaped and bar-shaped. And the magnetococci was most abundant. The majority of magnetosomes arranged in one, two or multiple chains. Irregular arrangement was also evident. Morphology of the magnetosome crystals was homogenous in a given cell, but displayed various shapes, including square, cubo-octahedron, parallelepiped, elongated hexagonal prismatic, bullet-shaped and tooth-shaped. Composition of all these crystals were Fe3O4. In addition, These MTB contained several (1-4 individuals) phosphorus granules.

    Phylogenetic diversity of marine MTB was confirmed by RFLP and 16S rDNA sequence analysis. Fourteen different taxonomic groups were identified from Yuehu Lake. Among them, thirteen belonged to Alphaproteobacteria and one exception was Gammaproteobacteria. They were affiliated to 10 novel species and 4 novel genus. Whereas, all 21 different taxonomic groups from the pond belonged to Alphaproteobacteria. They were affiliated to 20 novel species and 5 novel genus. The dominate species were uncultured marine magnetococci. These results indicate a specific geo-distribution of MTB from different place.


    Studies on the structure and anticancer activity of asterosaponins from the Far Eastern starfish Leptasterias ochotensis

    Timofei Maliarenko, Alla Kicha, Natalia Ivanchina, Olesia Vishchuk

    G.B. Elyakov Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry


    Key word: Starfish Asterosaponin NMR spectra Anticancer activity

    The secondary metabolites from the starfish (the phylum Echinodermata, the class Asteroidea) are characterized by a remarkable diversity of different polar steroids, including polyhydroxysteroids and related monoand biosides, as well as toxic steroid oligoglycosides named as asterosaponins. Steroid metabolites from starfish, especially glycosides, have been reported to show a wide spectrum of biological activities, including cytotoxic, antiviral, antibacterial, anticancer, neuritogenic and antifungal effects. So far, polar steroids of the Far Eastern starfish Leptasterias ochotensis (order Forcipulatida, family Asteriidae) have not been studied. Herein, we report results of our study on the asterosaponin fractions from the alcoholic extract of animals collected off the Sea of Okhotsk near Shantar Islands. The concentrated extract was subjected to sequential separation by chromatography on columns with Polichrom-1, Si gel followed by HPLC on semipreparative Diasfer-110-C18, Discovery C18 and analytical Diasfer-110-C18 columns to yield six new asterosaponins, named as leptasteriosides A-F (1-6).

    Structures of new compounds were elucidated by extensive NMR techniques, including 1H-1H COSY, HSQC, HMBC, NOESY, ROESY, and 1D-TOCSY, and ESI

    mass-spectrometry. Acid hydrolysis of asterosaponins with TFA and preparation of acetylated (-)-2-octylglycosides from mixtures of monosaccharides, followed by GC analysis, allowed us toestablish D-series of all monosaccharide units. The absolute configuration of C-23 of 1 was deduced by Mosher’s method. It is important to note that the pentasaccharide chains of leptasteriosides C-F (3-6) for asterosaponins of starfish was found at the first time.

    The in vitro cytotoxicity of compounds 1-6 against human melanoma RPMI-7951 and breast T-47D cancer cell lines was evaluated by the MTS assay. The compounds 1-3 showed moderate cytotoxic activity against these types of cancer cells. However these compounds effectively inhibited colony formation and growth of RPMI-7951 and T-47D cells at nontoxic doses in soft agar. Moreover, compound 1 possessed the highest inhibitory effect on colony formation of T-47D cell lines at low concentration (1 mM). Our data provide evidence that new asterosaponins from the Far Eastern starfish Leptasterias ochotensis can be potential agents for cancer therapy.

    This work was supported by FEB RAS grant № 14-III-B-05-006.


    GMED: Global Marine Environment Datasets for environment visualisation and species distribution modelling

    1Zeenatul Basher, 2David A. Bowden, 1Mark J. Costello

    1University of Auckland, 2National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research


    Key word: marine environmental datasets species distribution modeling visualisation global

    The Global Marine Environment Datasets (GMED) is a compilation of publicly available climatic, biological and geophysical environmental layers featuring present, past and future environmental conditions. Marine biologists increasingly utilized geo-spatial technologies with modelling algorithms to predict and visualize species biodiversity at a global scale. Marine environmental datasets available for Species Distribution Modelling (SDM) have different spatial resolutions and are frequently provided in assorted file formats. This makes data assembly one of the most time-consuming parts of any study using multiple environmental layers for biogeography visualization or SDM applications. GMED covers widest available range of environmental layers from a variety of sources and depths from the surface to the deepest part of the ocean. It has a uniform spatial extent, highresolution land mask (to eliminate land areas in the marine regions), and high spatial resolution (5 arc-minute, c. 9.2 km near equator). The free online availability of GMED enables rapid map overlay of species of interest (e.g. endangered or invasive) against different environmental conditions of the past, present and the future, and expedites mapping distributions ranges of a species using popular SDM algorithms.


    Temperature effect on the growth and fucose-containing sulfated polysaccharides content of Undaria pinnatifida

    Anna Skriptsova

    AV Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology Russian Academy of Science

    Key word: Undaria pinnatifida temperature effect growth rate fucose-containing sulfated polysaccharides

    At present, increase of average surface seawater temperature (SST) is the most topical ecological problem. It is caused not only changes in the composition and abundance of natural macroalgal communities but also in the productivity of mariculture farms. Undaria pinnatifida is one of the important objectives of mariculture in maritime countries, mainly China, Korea and Japan. Although this alga traditionally has been harvested or cultivated as a food source it also may be used for the extraction of fucose-containing sulfated polysaccharides (FCSPs, fucoidans) having different biological activities. The present study was initiated to identify how increase of SST can affects the U. pinnatifida growth, FCSPs yield and composition, and, consequently, to estimate the algal potential for mariculture under ocean warming.

    Blade fragments were cultured at different temperature (5, 10, 15 and 20oC) during 1-3 weeks in laboratory culture. FCSPs were extracted by 0.1 M HCl and fucose content was determined by reaction with L-cysteine hydrochloride. Our results show that increasing the temperature >15oC causes strong reduction of algal photosynthesis and growth rate. The FCSPs concentration in the algal tissue decreased from 2.2 to 1.1% DW with increasing temperature from 5 to 20oC. The monosaccharide composition of fucoidans was significantly affected by the temperature. The fucose content in polysaccharide increases from 53 to 68 mol% and galactose content decreases from 24 to 15 mol% with temperature elevation from 5 to 20oC. There were no any differences in mannose content. The data obtained suggest that growth of U. pinnatifida as well as polysaccharide content can be restricted by temperatures higher than 15oC during cultured period.

    These data can be used for understanding patterns of productivity U. pinnatifida maricultural farms and suitability of algal raw material for FCSPs production under seawater warming conditions. Considering that U. pinnatifida in China cultured close to its southern thermal boundary the reduction in duration of its growth period and consequently the reduction in productivity of algal maricultural farms as well as of algal potential for FCSPs extraction can be expected under further ocean warming.


    Effects of different phosphorus concentrations and NP ratios on the growth and photosynthetic characteristics of Skeletonema costatum and Prorocentrum donghaiense

    Xiaoxia Sun, Junlei Li

    Jiaozhou Bay Marine Ecosystem Research Station, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

    Key word: Skeletonema costatum Prorocentrum donghaiense Nutrients Algae growth Photosynthetic characteristics

    The effects of different phosphorus (P) concentrations (0.36–36 μmol/L corresponding to low, middle and high P concentration groups) and N/P ratios (1–128) on the growth and photosynthetic characteristics of Skeletonema costatum and Prorocentrum donghaiense were studied. The results showed that both species in the high phosphorus (HP) concentration group had the highest number of algal cells and the largest specific growth rate and chlorophyll (Chl) a relative content throughout the experimental period. When N/P ratios were 128, 64 and 32 in the LP, MP and HP concentration groups, S. costatum reached its maximum algal cell density, at 32.5×104, 97.45×104 and 146.4×104 cells/mL, respectively, which corresponded to a maximum specific growth rate after 7 days, which was 0.26, 0.42 and 0.48, respectively. When the N/P ratios were 128, 16 and 16 in the LP, MP and HP concentration groups, P. donghaiense reached its maximum algal cell densities of 2.08×104, 6.68×104 and 24.10×104 cells/mL, respectively, which corresponded to the maximum specific growth rate after 12 days, which was 0.074, 0.171 and 0.278, respectively. In the LP group, the Fv/Fm for S. costatum dropped the most, followed by the MP group. The value for the HP group dropped the least; while within the HP group, the Fv/Fm for P. donghaiense dropped the most. The MP and LP groups showed a similar decline, but fell less than the HP group. There were high rapid light curves and actual photochemical quantum yields (ΦPS II) for S. costatum in the HP group, while the actual photosynthetic capacity of P. donghaiense was higher in the MP group. Under the same P concentration and N/P ratio, P. donghaiense had a larger rETRmax value and actual photochemical quantum yield than S. costatum, showing that the photosynthetic capacity of P. donghaiense was stronger than that of S. costatum, which may provide a scientific explanation for the interaction and succession rules between the two species in the Yangtze River Estuary from a photosynthesis perspective. Under the eutrophic, but relatively phosphorus-restricted condition, P. donghaiense had a higher actual photosynthetic capacity and photosynthetic activity and potential, which could cause dinoflagellates to increasingly dominate the phytoplankton community in these waters.


    Phytoplankton distribution during spring in Jiaozhou Bay determined with an automated flow cytometer

    Chen yunyan

    Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

    Key word: Phytoplankton monitoring CytoSub Fluorometry Optical microcopy Jiaozhou Bay

    This paper presents the integrated analysis of phytoplankton of Jiaozhou Bay during spring 2014 using an automated submersible flow cytometry, the CytoSub (http://www.cyobuoy.com), optical microscopy and fluorometry. In order to study the spatial and temporal variability of phytoplankton communities in the size range ~1-50μm that could not be resolved otherwise. The CytoSub records the shape of the light scatter and fluorescence signals generated by each cell passing through a laser beam and that are linked to size, structure and pigment content of the target cell. Optical microscopy analysis the taxonomical and biomass of the cells no smaller than ~10μm. Total chlorophyll a estimations from fluorometry measurements recorded the chlorophyll a concentrations. The CytoSub flow cytometer sampled seawater every month during spring 2014. The date treatment conducted on the basis of pulse shape analysis, resolved 8 clusters. The date treatment conducted on the basis of pulse shape analysis, resolved 8 clusters, which were based on light scatter and fluoecence. According to the every month measurements, an abundance of cells peak was recorded in April. Geographically, the abundance of phytoplankton outside of the bay was lower than the central and north parts of the bay.


    The Distribution of Phytoplankton Standing Stock from Biovolume Estimates in the East China Sea and Southern Yellow Sea

    Yang Yang

    Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

    Keywords: Phytoplankton Standing Stock, Biovolume Estimate, FlowCAM

    The routine estimation of standing stock of phytoplankton as cell numbers is inadequate since cell size differs greatly. The commonly used biomass obtained from phytoplankton cell biovolume conversion carbon concentration is preferred. Since traditional microscopy methods are time-consuming and tedious, the Flow Cytometer and Microscope (FlowCAM), which automatically recorded information on size per cell, was applied in this study. Phytoplankton net samples were collected in October 2012 at 41 stations in the East China Sea and Southern Yellow Sea and the average of phytoplankton cell abundance was 9.6×105 cells/m3 and 1.9×105 cells/m3 respectively. Three peaks appeared at the south coast of the Shandong Peninsula, the north coast of Jiangsu and Yangtze Delta. The carbon concentration ranged from 0.028 to 30.405mgC/m3 with an average of 2.412mgC/m3 in the East China Sea and from 8.870×10-5 cells/m3 to 4.118mgC/m3 with an average of 0.670mgC/m3 in the Southern Yellow Sea. Two peaks appeared at the south coast of the Shandong Peninsula and Yangtze Delta. Unlike the cell abundance gradually decreasing trend from the nearshore to offshore, the carbon concentration off the coast is higher than the near shore in the northern waters of the East China Sea on the same latitude, which gave a more precisely estimate of the standing stock at the phytoplankton community level.


    Prebiotic effects in vitro of different seaweeds polysaccharides

    1Xiaolin Chen, 1Yuhao Sun, 1,2Linfeng Hu, 1Ronge Xing, 1Song Liu, 1Huahua Yu, 1Yukun

    Qin, 1Kecheng Li, 1Rongfeng Li, 1Pengcheng, Li

    1Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Henan Institute of Science and Technology


    Keywords: seaweeds polysaccharides; prebiotic effects; in vitro

    Along with the development of the study of gut microbes, the significance of intestinal microbial flora balance is gradually known by people. A considerable amount of researches have been performed upon influencing the intestinal microflora. Prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and activity of one or limited number of bacterial in the colon, so they can improve host health. At present, there are different types of prebiotics such as lactulose, galacto-oligosaccharides, fructo-oligosaccharides, and soybean oligosaccharides. In addition, there are several researches about neoagaro-ologosaccharides and alginate oligosaccharides prebiotic properties. However, to our knowledge, the prebiotic effects of seaweeds polysaccharides have not been reported.

    In this study, we prepared four types of seaweeds polysaccharides including Grateloupia filicina polysaccharides, Eucheuma spinosum polysaccharides, Ulva Pertusa polysaccharides and Ascophyllum nodosum polysaccharides, and investigated their prebiotic effects in vitro. The results showed that Grateloupia filicina polysaccharides and Eucheuma spinosum polysaccharides significantly promoting the bifidobacterium proliferation when the concentration of polysaccharides was 0.1%. However, Ulva Pertusa polysaccharides and Ascophyllum nodosum polysaccharides showed inhibition effects on the growth of bifidobacteria at all the concentrations. This may be related with the components and structure of seaweeds polysaccharides.


    Deep Sea ID: a field guide to the marine life of the deep sea

    1Adrian Glover, 2Nicholas Higgs, 3Tammy Horton, 4Andrew Porrer

    1Natural History Museum, 2Plymouth University, 3National Oceanography Centre, 4Heathwest Systems


    Key word: iPhone app field guide

    Deep Sea ID, is a field guide interface to the World Register of Deep-Sea Species (WoRDSS) that currently stores on your device (for offline access) the taxonomic information for over 20,000 deep-sea species, over 450 high-resolution photographs of deep-sea specimens as well as links to online taxonomic tools, sources and important references.

    The app is designed to improve access to taxonomic information for researchers and contractors working at sea, in the field or in the laboratory as well as educators and science communicators who wish to learn more about the remarkable diversity of deep-sea life.

    At this poster and demo I will explain why we made this app, how we did it, the importance of open data and take you on a visual tour through some of the amazing creatures of the deep sea.


    A preliminary study of meiofauna in and around the polymetallic nodule area in Mid Indian Ocean

    Qianhui Zeng

    Third Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration

    Key word: deep sea polymetallic nodule area Mid Indian Ocean meiobenthos community ecology

    Deep sea polymetallic nodules areas are rich in mineral resources. This paper analyzes the meiofauna samples of five stations collected during the Chinese COMRA 22nd Cruise in and around the polymetallic nodule area in Mid Indian Ocean. Samples were collected using a multiple corner with two tubes of 9.5cm in diameter, and sediment layers those were studied were at 0~6cm. Preliminary research in community ecology has been done, followings are the main results:

    1. Six meiobenthos groups were detected in MIO polymetallic nodule area, nematoda was the dominant one in individual amount, constituting 87.84% of the total meiobenthos; copepoda followed by 7.38%, and acari was the third one, constituting 1.59%. The average abundance and average biomass of the meibenthos were 9.75±6.13 ind/10cm2 and

      8.68±4.48 μg•dwt/10cm2 respectively. The abundance of the meiobenthos was negatively related to the latitude to some extent.

    2. The individual sizes of most meiobenthos concentrated in the range of 65 μm~250 μm, and especially in the range of 65 μm~125 μm. 0 cm~1 cm layer of sediment was the district that meiobenthos concentrated in. Their density gradually decreased from the surface to the bottom.

    3. Station TVMC04 and Station TVMC05 located in the center of the polymetallic nodule area, and they were apparently similar in taxa abundance, composition ratio of body size and vertical distribution. Station TVMC02 and Station TVMC03 which were more distant from the polymetallic nodule area had close similarity coefficients, while Station TVMC06 differed much from all stations above in community characteristics.

    4. Overall, the meiobenthos in the survey area had small groups and low abundance, which were poorer than general deep-sea meiobenthos, and had a certain difference from the meiobenthos in COMRA's Contract Area. The distribution of the meiobenthos might be influenced by several environmental factors.


    Biodiversity and taxonomy of the UK-1 polymetallic nodule exploration claim area in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, central Pacific abyss

    1Helena Wiklund, 2Thomas Dahlgren, 1Adrian Glover

    1Natural History Museum, London, 2Uni Research, Bergen, Norway


    Key word: biodiversity deep-sea

    To get access to an exploration claim license from the International Seabed Authority, UK Seabed Resources Ltd contracted an international group of scientists to undertake a baseline study of the benthic biodiversity in the UK-1 claim area in the Pacific Ocean. We report some preliminary results from our genetic and morphological studies of collected macrofauna, and present an improved methodology that could be used as a new standard for deep sea benthic baseline biodiversity studies where the taxonomy is rudimental. The focus is on descriptive taxonomy work to facilitate comparisons with other sampling campaigns, and one major difference from earlier survey work include onboard live sorting of the collected material that allow for high quality photos of live animals. This detailed morphological data in combination with multiple marker genetic data will build a knowledge base that can be used for reliable comparisons of benthic biodiversity over large areas in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone claim areas.


    Microbial Diversity/Richness and mRNA Metatranscriptome Analysis of the Hydrothermal-Vent Shrimp Rimicaris exoculata: Considerations on Symbiotic Interactions

    Jin-Shu Yang, Yan-Qin Yu, Hua-Wei Li, Bo Lu, Wei-Jun Yang

    Zhejiang University


    Key word: Rimicaris exoculata transcriptome symbiosis

    The hydrothermal vent is one of the most amazing marine environments on Earth. Although seemly deadly to life, microbes and animals dramatically thrive at most hydrothermal vents. The shrimp Rimicaris exoculata is specific to Atlantic hydrothermal-vent sites, usually forming large dense swamps attached outside the “black chimney” (hydrothermal-vent center). R. exoculata has microbial ectosymbionts in its gill chamber, where a large number of setae on the mouthparts (scaphognathite and exopodite) raise these microbes. In this study, we isolated mouthparts of the shrimp, and analyzed the microbial diversity/richness and mRNA metatranscriptomes by Roche 454 and Illumina-Solexa sequencing, respectively. The symbiotic population comprises of mostly Proteobacteria (65% diversity and 98% richness), less Bacteroidetes and Firmicules. In Proteobacteria, γ and ε-proteobacteria occupy majority of the phylum (diversity/richness: 74%/87% and 16%/7% respectively). We obtained 69,376 mRNA-unigenes from the metatranscriptome of scaphognathite and exopodite, 37,844 and 31,532 of which respectively belong to prokaryotic (symbionts) and eukaryotic (host) origins. The prokaryotic part of the metatranscriptome shows accordance with the population diversity/richness analysis. From the host transcriptome, we identified quite a few genes potentially concerned with symbiotic interactions as well as anti-adversity. All these results provide evidence elucidating the mechanism of the symbiosis between R. exoculata and microbes.


    Giant protists (xenophyophores and komokiaceans) from the ferromanganese nodule field of the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone.

    1Olga Kamenskaya, 2Andrew Gooday

    1P.P.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, 2National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK

    Key word: xenophyophores komokiaceans

    The International Seabed Authority of the United Nations requires companies planning to exploit nodule deposits commercially to conduct, in addition to geological investigations, baseline biological studies in order to establish the characteristics of bottom communities inhabiting exploratory areas. These studies have addressed the following questions: 1) what organisms inhabit nodule fields; 2) how will mineral exploitation impact benthic communities and 3) how fast will these communities recover. Giant protists (mainly xenophyophores and komokiaceans, both groups belonging to the Foraminifera) are one of the main components of abyssal benthos. They were obtained from five claim areas of the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCFZ) ferromanganese nodule field: the German, IOM and UK areas in the eastern part of the CCFZ, and the Russian and French areas in the central part. Material was collected using multicorers and boxcorers. In some areas of the field xenophyophores dominated the megabenthos (organisms visible in seafloor photographs) and komokiaceans were one of the most abundant and diverse group of macrobenthos (organisms >300-µm). At present, we can recognize 161 species of giant protists. There is a tendency for their density and diversity to decrease from eastern claim areas to the central, more oligotrophic areas of the CCZ. There are differences in the vertical distribution of komokiaceans in the sediment profile. In all claim areas they penetrated up to

    6 cm into the sediment profile. However, in the east the density and diversity of komokiaceans were highest in the two upper cm of sediment, whereas in central areas they were concentrated in the upper 1 cm. Previous studies have shown that the density and diversity of meiobenthic organisms increase in the presence of xenophyophores, suggesting that these giant protists may structure benthic communities in some parts of nodule field. Given their abundance and ecological role, the study of xenophyophores and komokiaceans is especially important for understanding the recovery of benthic communities after mining of the ocean floor.


    Investigation of microbial communities from 25 sites of deep-sea polymetallic nodules in the Pacific Ocean

    Peng Zhou, Yue-Hong Wu, Xue-Wei Xu

    Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration


    Key word: Polymetallic nodule Diversity Microbial community

    Deep-sea polymetallic nodules are rock concretions on the deep-sea bottom and rich in metals, such as iron and manganese, which are potential electron donor or acceptor for growth of microbes. Previously, we compared microbial community composition and diversity inside polymetallic nodules and in the surrounding sediments from three sampling sites in the Pacific Ocean. PcoA analysis indicated that microhabitat (i.e., nodule or sediment) seemed to be a major factor influencing microbial community composition, rather than sampling locations or distances between locations. To better understand the microbial communities in deep-sea polymetallic nodules, we investigated the microbial communities from 25 sites of deep-sea polymetallic nodules in the Pacific Ocean. Culture-independent high-throughput sequencing were employed. Here we showed the results of the biodiversity and structure of the 25 microbial community and findings by mining the data.


    Species richness and community structure of benthic macrofauna and megafauna in the deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems around the Japanese archipelago: an attempt to identify priority areas for conservation

    1Ryota Nakajima, 1Takehisa Yamakita, 1Hiromi Watanabe, 1Katsunori Fujikura,

    2Katsuhiko Tanaka, 1Hiroyuki Yamamoto, 1Yoshihisa Shirayama

    1JAMSTEC, 2Tokai University


    Key word: Benthic fauna Chemosynthesis Complementarity Deep-sea Japanese waters

    The aims of this study were to characterize the species richness, endemism and community structure of benthic macro-/megafauna in the deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems around the Japanese archipelago and determine the conservation priority for deep-sea chemosynthetic habitats. The study sites included 27 methane seeps from the Kuril–Japan Trench, Nankai Trough, Ryukyu Trench and Sagami Bay as well as 15 hydrothermal vents from the Izu–Bonin Arc and Okinawa Trough around the Japanese archipelago. Species richness and the number of endemic species from 42 vents and seeps were examined using the distributional data of 155 mollusc, annelid and arthropod species. Multivariate analyses were performed to identify groups of sites with similar assemblage composition. Complementarity analysis was performed to determine the minimum number of sites required to conserve at least one population of all species for all

    42 sites and for groups of sites detected by the multivariate analyses. The species

    richness of the deep-sea chemosynthetic sites around the Japanese archipelago was higher in the Okinawa Trough and Sagami Bay where higher methane concentrations were observed. Eight distinct biogeographic regions were detected at the community level, and the community structure was classified according to the geological variables of depth and latitude. Complementarity analysis for all 42 sites indicated 21 sites for conservation, while that for each distinct biogeographic region indicated 30 sites for conservation. As unique communities exist in each geographically isolated region around the Japanese archipelago, priority areas should be identified for each type of bioregion for effective conservation. At least 30 (17 seeps and 13 vents) of 42 sites should be conserved to avoid the extinction of the local populations of deep-sea chemosynthetic macro-/megabenthos.


    A new record species of Arcoscalpellum (Cirripedia: Thoracica: Scalpellidae) from deep waters in the South China Sea

    Sha Zhong-Li, Ren Xian-Qiu

    nstitute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences


    Key word: Cirripedia Arcoscalpellum gryllum new record deep waters South China Sea

    Abstract: This paper reports a new record of species, Arcoscalpellum gryllum Zevina, 1981 in the family Scalpellidae from China seas. Specimen was collected from deep sea water in South China Sea. A key to species of the genus in China seas is provided. Specimen is deposited in the Marine Biological Museum, Chinese Academy of Sciences (MBMCAS).


    Report of two caridean shrimp species (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea: Alvinocarididae, Oplophoridae) from deep-sea of the northeastern South China Sea

    Xinzheng Li

    Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences


    Two caridean shrimp specimens was collected from northeastern South China Sea in a cold seep by the Chinese submersible “Jiaolong” with a net hold by the mechanical hand of the submersible. They represent two species respectively of families Alvinocarididae and Oplophoridae. Both of the species were not previously reported from the South China Sea. A key to distinguish the known species of the genus Alvinocaris and colourations of the two species are provided.



    1Qiwu Jiang, 2Qi Kou and Xinzheng Li

    1Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Graduate University, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences,


    Globospongicola jiaolongae, a new species of the deep-sea sponge-associated shrimp genus Globospongicola Komai & Saito, 2006, is described, based on two specimens collected from cold vent area of the South China Sea at depth of 1120 m. This is the third species of the genus. It’s distinguished from the closest congener, G. spinulatus Komai & Saito, 2006, by armature of ischium of third pereiopod in female, armature of posterior margin of telson, number of dorsal ridges on endopod of uropod and relative length of telson. Additionally phylogenetic analysis based on mitochondrial DNA 16S indicates that relationship between the genus Globospongicola and Stenopus is closer than that between Microprosthema and Stenopus.


    A new species of Lophophysema (Porifera, Hexactinellida, Hyalonematidae) from South China Sea

    1,2Lin Gong,1Xinzheng Li,3Jian-Wen Qiu

    1Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2Graduate University, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 3Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University,


    We described Lophophysema eversa sp. nov. (Porifera, Hexactinellida, Hyalonematidae) based on a specimen collected from the bottom of South China Sea at a depth of 3680 m. The new species of glass sponge can be distinguished from its congeneric members by the presence of the major choanosomal spicules diactins, pinular pentactins, amphidiscs and microhexactins. This is the first record of the genus Lophophysema from South China Sea. We also provided the partial fragment sequence of the 16S rRNA gene of L. eversa



    1Grigorii Voskoboinikov, 2Anna Voskoboinikova , 1Mikhail Makarov, 1Inna Rizhik . 1Murmansk Marine Biological Institute KSC RAS, 2Saint-Petersburg State University grvosk@mail.ru

    Key word: pigments photosynthesis ultrastructure seaweeds polar night

    For the research of influence of polar night on seaweeds of long standing Saccharina latissima and Fucus vesiculosus there were held experiments at the coast of the Barents Sea near Murmansk, at Spietsbergen (the Greenland sea) and in a light-proof container placed in the sea

    At Murmansk coast for one month the middle intensity of ФАР on mid-December at midday is 3 Вт/m2 (shading). At Spietsbergen in winter for 1,5 month there was no light at all. In the container seaweeds were kept in a whole darkness for 9 month. The research of pigments, photosynthesis, ultrastructure of seaweeds showed that at Murmansk coast the possibility of existence of seaweeds in the period of polar night is provided by adaptation of photosynthetic apparatus to the low level of light. At Spietsbergen during period of the absence of light the seaweeds survive because of consumption of reserve substances, products of autolysis of thallus and external dissolved organic matter. This phenomenon may become an important condition of spreading seaweeds in high latitudes.


    Anthropogenic underwater noise fields modify species contributions to ecosystem process

    Martin Solan, Chris Hauton, Jasmin Godbold, Christina Wood, Tim Leighton, Paul White

    University of Southampton


    Key word: underwater sound noise renewable energy offshore construction benthic bioturbation species behavior

    Coastal and shelf environments support high levels of biodiversity that are of significant importance in mediating ecosystem properties, but they are also subject to increasing levels of noise associated with human activities. Whilst physiological and behavioural effects on a range of marine organisms have been demonstrated, the significance of sound exposure for the faunal mediation of ecosystem processes has not been considered. Here, we present findings from a series of experiments that show that exposure to two main classes of broadband noise that are typically associated with ship traffic (continuous) and offshore construction (impulsive) can modify benthic invertebrate behaviour and species-environment interactions. We find that responses to noise are species-specific and depend on the class of noise, but that changes in species behaviour can radically alter the contributions species make to ecosystem process. We suggest that the impacts of anthropogenic noise in the marine environment may have wider ecosystem consequences than is presently realized and recommend that, in addition to spatial extent, the absolute intensity and type of noise fields generated need to be considered when estimating likely impacts.


    Diving into a biodiversity hotspot: The threatened fjords of Chilean Patagonia

    Kaitlin McConnell, Emma Plotnek, Ulrich Porschmann, Gunter Forsterra, Vreni Haussermann

    Huinay Scientific Field Station


    Key word: inventorying benthic diversity SCUBA expeditions

    The fjord region of Chilean Patagonia expands along more then 80,000 km of coastline and is home to a marine environment of immense biodiversity that is little known and understood; and less then 1% of it is protected. The complex labyrinth of channels, bays, and fiords extending inland from the turbulent southern Pacific Ocean hosts a wide variety of species, many of them endangered or still unknown. Since 2005, the Huinay Scientific Field Station, based out of the Comau Fjord in Northern Patagonia, Chile, has been carrying out SCUBA sampling expeditions to inventory the benthic shallow water communities down to 30-35 m depth. SCUBA divers create general site descriptions and sample a wide range of representatives from all taxonomic groups to be later identified by taxonomic specialists from around the world. Even now, after 21 expeditions to more then 200 study sites spanning over 10 years of work throughout the Southern, Central and Northern Patagonia Zone, with each new expedition we still continue to find numerous new species. In addition to general sampling surveys, we use a list of more than 70 easily identifiable species throughout all invertebrate taxa to create presence/absence lists thought the entire fjord region. We present an overview of the documented benthic communities and describe observed phenomena. Due to the inmense size, complexity and remoteness of the region and its harsh climate, there still exists an immense body of unknown information. This, in combination with high economic pressure mainly due to intensive aquaculture puts the Patagonian fjord region in immediate need of more baseline research. If its biodiversity and ecosystem services should be preserved for the future a network of marine protected areas has to be created. In addition the awareness of the local population and the general public has to be raised to support any conservation measures.


    Screening priority protection area for biodiversity conservation of coastal wetland in Guangxi , China

    jinlan Lin, yuan Chen, binyuan He, tenghe Lai

    Guangxi Academy of Oceanography

    Key word: Biodiversity Priority Conservation Gap Analysis

    Multi-types of coastal wetlands including mangroves, seagrass beds and salt marshes coexist in Guanxi Province, a typical tropical region to support high biodiversity ecosystem in China. However, the destruction and loss of the coastal wetland biodiversity resulting from reclamation, over-exploitation of marine resources, land-based pollution, pests, biological invasions and etc. greatly raised the public conerns. In our study, the index of protection value is proposed by considering diversity, rarity, suitability and human disturbance to identify the priority areas for wetlands biodiversity conservation. The priority areas was superimposed on existing marine protected areas and key ecological restoration area to identify the gaps of biodiversity conservation by the spatial analysis method of GIS (Arcgis), Our study would benefit wetlands biodiversity conservation and executive decision-making to mitigate damage from external interference, maintain health and vitality of coastal wetlands ecosystem.


    Advances and China’s Practices in Marine Eco-compensation

    1keliang chen, 2hongxu yu, 2xingguang yu

    1Third Institute of Oceanography, SOA, China, 2Third Institute of Oceanography klchen@tio.org.cn

    Key word: marine eco-compensation marine eco-compensation

    Theories and China’s practices in marine eco-compensation are studied on the basis of the analysis carried out field research on the marine eco-compensation work in the three coastal city including Weihai in Shandong, Shenzhen in Guangdong, and Xiamen in Fujian of China in September 2011. The establishment of marine eco-compensation mechanism is suggested from concept definition, contents of compensation standard, determining the funding sources and compensation methods. It provides scientific reference to establish marine ecological compensation mechanism in China.


    Valuation of ecosystem services from coral reef biodiversity in Thai waters

    Thamasak Yeemin, Sittiporn Pengsakun, Wanlaya Klinthong, Wichin Suebpala, Makamas Sutthacheep

    Ramkhamhaeng University


    Key word: biodiversity coral reef economic valuation ecosystem service management

    Ecosystem services are the benefits that humans gain from functioning ecosystems. Coral reef ecosystems are recognized that they can provide a lot of economic benefits, such as reef tourism, recreational fisheries, fisheries production, shoreline protection and natural products. However, coral reef ecosystem services are threatened by several anthropogenic and natural disturbances. Determining how ecosystem services are associated with biodiversity is needed for examining the consequences of biodiversity loss and for setting objectives and priorities for coral conservation and management. Assessing the economic value of ecosystem services from coral reefs is very important for policy decision making on which have been carried out in many countries. However such information in Thai waters is inadequate. This study highlights the importance of this issue through a proposed concept concerning economic valuation of ecosystem services from coral reef biodiversity with special reference to Thai waters. A number of case studies for quantifying coral reef ecosystem services in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea with emphasis on linking coral reef conditions with various types of ecosystem services are presented. The coral reef management and restoration plans in Thailand recommend that the coral reef in a degraded status and is used for tourism is the priority area for coral reef rehabilitation. However the coral reef restoration plan concentrates on using passive restoration in four strategies and fifteen measures, by reducing threats from tourism, water pollution, sedimentation and fisheries. The major concerns for active coral restoration are simple and cheap methods, community involvement, high tolerant species to climate change induced bleaching and multi-species transplantation. Maintaining coral reef biodiversity in the face of climate change is necessary for sustaining their ecosystem services.


    The southern African sea cucumber fauna : biodiversity, distribution and biogeography (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea)

    Ahmed Thandar

    University of KwaZulu-Natal


    Key word: biodiversity biogeography Holothuroidea southern Africa

    The history of the southern African holothuroid fauna, south of the tropic of Capricorn, is updated and the biodiversity, distribution and biogeography presented. The classification is mostly based on Smirnov’s (2012) recent system. All six orders are represented, distributed over 24 families, 74 genera and 163 species, giving an approximate genus:species ratio of 1:2. Thus, although southern Africa comprises a tiny fraction of the earth’s surface, it is home to over 10% of the world’s fauna, in keeping with most of its biota. In fact, South Africa perhaps represents the third richest marine biodiversity region in the world. Of the 163 species known, 117 are shelf forms, comprising the following faunistic components : 36% Indo-Pacific, 12% West Indian Ocean, 1% Atlantic and 51% endemic. Four faunistic provinces are recognized : tropical Indo-Pacific Province on the east coast, extending to St Lucia in northern KwaZulu-Natal; the Subtropical (Natal) province, extending from this point to Port St. Johns in the Eastern Cape Province; the Warm Temperate (Agulhas) Province from this region to Cape Point in the Western Cape Province; and the Cold Temperate (Namaqua) Province from Cape Point to Walvis Bay in Namibia. Vertical distribution of the approximately 90 species known from more than one locality is included. As far as the origin of the fauna is concerned it is reiterated that the Indo-Pacific component moved in from the north, mostly by way of the Mozambique

    -Agulhas Current. The origin of the endemic component is obscure but surmised that it is

    perhaps also of Indo-Pacific origin, built up at first from earlier migration of species and their later isolation and evolution, resulting in a secondary development of an active evolutionary centre. The contribution to the fauna from the Atlantic is negligible.


    Beachwrack as a coastal marine biodiversity indicator, a case study from Baltic Sea.

    1Kaire Torn, 2Georg Martin

    1Estonian Marine Institute, University of Tartu, 2Estonian Marine InstituteI


    Key word: biodiversity indicator macrovegetation beachwrack

    The marine strategies of European Union require assessment and monitoring of the state of the marine environment based on biodiversity indicators. The comparison of beachwrack sampling and diving campaigns from coastal waters demonstrated that beachwrack sampling can be considered as an alternative method for describing the species composition and for assessing biological diversity of macrovegetation of nearcoastal sea areas. The beachwrack macrovegetation index (BMI) was developed as an innovative tool for assessment of coastal benthic biodiversity. Method was tested in four areas in northern Gulf of Riga (Baltic Sea) in years 2011- 2013. Abundance of the key species, species number of the filamentous algae and the species richness of the area are the components of index. Biodiversity assessment method based on beachwrack data is easy to use and cost-effective compared to the commonly used monitoring methods.


    Fish biodiversity indicators developed in MARMONI project – from international scientific cooperation to adaptation in national monitoring programme

    1Lauri Saks, 1Kristiina Jürgens, 2Antti Lappalainen, 2Eevi Kokkonen, 2Outi Heikinheimo,

    1Aare Verliin, 1Markus Vetemaa

    1Estonian Marine Institute, University of Tartu, 2finnish game and fisheries research institute


    Key word: biodiversity indicator anthropogenic pressure

    Several indicators for assessment of factors, affecting local fish biodiversity were developed during international scientific cooperation in MARMONI (Innovative approaches for marine biodiversity monitoring and assessment of conservation status of nature values in the Baltic Sea). These indicators were shown to associate with potential anthropogenic pressures on observed fish populations. Thus, these indicators were considered as suitable for use and associated into Estonian national programme for monitoring in the context of EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive. This can be considered as a good example how the results from international scientific cooperation can be linked to advisory decisions on national level.


    Experiences and benefits of Marine Reserves for conservation, science and society

    Mark Costello

    University of Auckland


    Key word: Marine Protected Areas Fisheries

    Experiences with Marine Reserves (no-take Marine Protected Areas) in New Zealand and internationally are reviewed. Reserves became popular with the public and provided economic benefits. In one reserve, ‘spill-over’ of lobsters counter-balanced lost fishing. The reserves provided the controls that showed the effects of fishing on ecosystems through depleted populations and habitat change due to trophic cascades. Studies in other countries indicated that these trophic cascades were common globally. Research has shown that reserves protect benthic and pelagic species, including those that move outside the reserves. Marine Reserves can provide benefits to (1) conservation of species and habitats, (2) science as controls for fishing effects, and (3) fisheries as reference sites that conserve natural genetic and population structure, host brood-stock, and provide spill-over to nearby fisheries. They should be distributed geographically in networks that include replicated examples of habitats and species. To do so, they need to be suitably located, large enough, and enforced to fulfil these opportunities. However, these benefits remain limited by the relatively small area occupied by marine reserves within and between countries.


    Zoogeography of the echiuran fauna of the Atlantic Ocean (Phylum Echiura)

    Ramlall Biseswar, Ganas Kandasamy Mdodley University of KwaZulu-Natal Biseswar@ukzn.ac.za

    Key word: Geographic distribution, Echiura, Atlantic Ocean

    This report provides a checklist of the echiurans from the Atlantic Ocean and maps their distribution. Investigations on the taxonomy of this group since the publication of the monograph by Stephen and Edmonds (1972) on the phyla Sipuncula and Echiura have yielded two new genera, 12 new species and 13 new records. Currently the echiuran fauna of the Atlantic comprises three families, 25 genera and 63 species. The family Bonelliidae contains 35 species in 18 genera; the Echiuridae is represented by six genera and 27 species, and the Urechidae by a single species Urechis chilensis (Müller). This study shows that the Atlantic has a relatively high species diversity, comprising about 38% of the known world fauna. Bonelliids alone comprise about 56% of the echiuran fauna of the Atlantic. An analysis of distribution is given in relation to general biogeographic regions and faunistic provinces. Dichotomous keys for the identification of genera and species of echiurans from the Atlantic is provided. The North Temperate component is the richest and most diverse, making up about 68% of the Atlantic echiuran fauna; 25 species have been recorded from within the tropics; and the South Temperate component is poorly represented, with only about 19% of the total fauna. The cosmopolitan component is also poorly represented, with only four species, so far, known. Thirteen species of echiurans are provisionally considered to be endemic to the Atlantic. Members of the Echiuridae are usually shallow-water inhabitants of intertidal and subtidal zones while bonelliids exhibit a higher species richness on deeper bottoms of all oceans, mostly at depths of 1000–6000 m in the Atlantic.


    Short-term behavioral responses of marine nematodes to climate change-induced temperature fluctuations

    1Anna-Maria Vafeiadou, 2Chariton Chintiroglou, 3Tom Moens

    1Ghent University, Marine Biology Section, Department of Biology, Krijgslaan 281/S8, 9000 Ghent, Belgium & Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Biology Department, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece, 2 Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Biology Department, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece, 3 Ghent University, Marine Biology Section, Department of Biology,

    Krijgslaan 281/S8, 9000 Ghent, Belgium


    Key word: marine nematodes behavior taxis to food climate change

    Despite the sensitivity of coastal species to climate change, little research has been done on the effects of short-term temperature fluctuations on populations and on species interactions. When closely interacting species display divergent responses to change, the outcome of their interactions may be altered.

    Laboratory experiments were performed on short-term behavioral responses of marine nematodes at the individual level (motility towards food). The following hypotheses were tested: i) species behavioral response will be affected by short-term temperature fluctuations, and ii) differential behavioral responses will affect the outcome of competitive interactions.

    We used three marine bacterivorous nematode species of the family Monhysteridae: Diplolaimelloides meyli, D. oschei and Halomonhystera disjuncta (Gd1). They all are opportunistic colonizers of decaying organic matter and co-occur on decaying macrophytes, the first two showing higher temperature tolerances than H. disjuncta. Previous experiments have highlighted strong competitive and inhibitory interactions among the two Diplolaimelloides species. Five replicates of monospecies and of two-species combinations per treatment were incubated under constant temperature (20°C - controls) and under fluctuating temperature (from 20 to 32°C and back to 20°C in a 24-h cycle). Movement towards food (E. coli) was measured at 24-28-32°C with a 4-h time interval for the first 12 h, and at 20°C after 24 h, and compared with controls kept under constant temperature.

    Temperature fluctuations differentially affected the response of the three nematode species. D. meyli reached food spots faster under fluctuating than under stable temperature conditions, whereas the opposite was true for D. oschei and H. disjuncta, the latter species showing no particular response to food under fluctuating temperature. When together, the response of D. meyli and D. oschei was stronger for each species than in the monospecies treatments under both stable and fluctuating temperature conditions. However, their response in interaction was slower under fluctuating temperature.

    We therefore conclude that the effect of short-time temperature fluctuations at the individual level is species-specific. The presence of competing species affects their response towards food, under both stable and fluctuating temperatures, showing that species interaction enhances their functional responses. However, the strength of these interactions may be altered under thermal stress.


    Nematode assemblages at the Yenisei River estuary and adjacent Kara Sea area

    Daria Portnova, Lesya Garlitska, Daria Kondar, Alexey Udalov



    Key word: meiobenthos Nematoda Kara Sea Yenisei River

    Nematode fauna of the Kara Sea has been studied insufficiently. During the cruise of R/V “Akademik Mstislav Keldysh”, 32 samples were taken on 16 stations in the Yenisei River estuary and open-sea area near the river mouth. Nematoda were the dominant taxon at all stations, unlike harpacticoid copepods which were observed in 30 samples. Total nematode abundance varied from 67 to 3298 ind/10cm2. A total of 1015 nematodes were identified and assigned to 78 genera and 31 families. The highest number of genera per family was found for Xyalidae (16) and Chromadoridae (6). The nematode assemblage of the estuary was unique with only three identified genera: Anonchus, Plectus and Dorylaimus. At the open sea stations nematode communities with the dominant genera Sabatieria and Elzalia were found. The vertical distribution of nematodes showed that generally nematodes concentrated in three top centimeters of the sediments. And with regard to the species diversity, it increased from riverine part towards the open sea. The estuary of Yenisey River was characterized by low diversity at genus level (3), while the open-sea area near the Yenisei river mouth exhibited rich diversity at genus level (38). We assume that the distribution of nematode abundance and species diversity is associated with changes of depth and near-bottom salinity.

    This study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grants 12-05-00361, 12-05-33091) and Russian Science Foundation (grant 14-17-00681).


    Metazoan meiobenthic biodiversity associated to hypoxic zone at Valparaiso bay, central Chile

    1Eulogio Soto, 1Williams Caballero, 2Eduardo Quiroga 1Universidad de Valparaiso, 2 Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso eulogio.soto@uv.cl

    Key word: meiobenthos Hypoxia abundance

    Knowledge of meiobenthic communities associated to hypoxic and oxygen mínimum zones in Chile is scarce with only some studies for Concepcion bay, south-central Chile. This knowledge gap is the main reason to undertake the current research which has the aim to know composition, abundance and vertical distribution of soft-bottom meiobenthos communities at Valparaiso bay, central Chile in the southeast Pacific Ocean. Seabed sediment samples were collected in March 2013 from three oceanographic stations at depths of 80, 100 and 140 meters using a gravity corer of 50cm inner diameter. From each station two replicate samples were collected with policarbonate tubes of 3,01 inner diameter. The first 6cm of sediment column were split in three layers (0-2cm, 2-4cm and 4-6cm) for faunal analyses. Samples were stored in 10% formaldehide buffered with borax. Meiofauna extraction method followed the resuspension-decantation technique. Higher abundances from each station were recorded for Nematodes (96%), reaching máximum densities of 2200 ± 68 ind 10 cm-2 at mean continental shelf (80m). Acari in the second place only reached 2% of total abundance. Copepods, Gastrotrichs, Kinorhynchs, Nauplii, Polychaetes, Cumaceans and Oligochaetes were recorded in very low abundances (2% in total). Vertical distribution showed higher species richness at 0-2cm sediment layer and most of meiofaunal groups deacreased in abundances with depth. Disolved oxygen in bottom water recorded 2,3ml/L, organic matter in sediment 7,7%, mud porcentage 66,4% and redox potential (Eh at 0-1cm): 78mV. Later results about oxygen concentrations have showed values below 1ml/L therefore meiobenthos abundance and diversity could be influenced by this condition.


    The potential effect of ocean acidification on meiofauna community

    Fanghong Mu, Yantao Sun Ocean University of China fanghongmu@ouc.edu.cn

    Key word: Ocean acidification meiofauna harpacticoid community structure microcosm

    Ocean acidification is recognized as “the other CO2 problem” in addition to global warming, which may have serious impacts on neritic marine organisms. A 56 days microcosm experiment was conducted to quantify the effects of CO2-induced seawater acidification on meiofauna community inhabited in silty sand sediment. Meiofauna communities collected from the extreme low intertidal zone were exposed to predicted level of future ocean acidification which produced by simulating CO2 concentration in 2300 (1900ppm) in carbon dioxide climate incubator, and natural seawater at the current pH level as control. The abundance of harpacticoid was significantly affected by pH, exposure time and their interaction with much fewer individuals in the low pH on day 56. The abundance of nauplius (mainly nauplius of harpacticoid) was also affected significantly by interaction of pH and exposure time, which increased gradually in controls but showed upward trend firstly, then downward in treatments。Neither pH, exposure time nor their interaction significantly affected the abundance of nematode. Communities of harpacticoid showed significant change in response to low pH, the species loss and dominant species replacement were responsible for the change in community structure. This community-based microcosm study indicated the possibility that ocean acidification could inhibit the growth of specific meiofaunal group and species. Harpacticoid as a group might be vulnerable than nematode when facing ocean acidification.


    Assessing subtidal meiofauna communities as an indicator of anthropogenic impacts in the Gulf of Thailand

    Makamas Sutthacheep, Thamasak Yeemin, Kanwara Sangmanee, Watchara Samsuvan, Montaphat Thummasan, Supatsara Ruknawee

    Ramkhamhaeng University


    Key word: meiofauna indicator oil spill Gulf of Thailand

    Meiofauna can provide food for various consumers and show high sensitivity to anthropogenic disturbances making them good environmental indicators. It is recognized that meiofauna is more efficient than macrofauna as indicator of marine pollution. Oil spill incidents have been frequently reported in the Gulf of Thailand during the last two decades. The negative impacts of oil spills are very variable, and depend on several factors but long term effects are commonly observed in benthic communities after the spill. The aims of this study were to examine the distribution and abundance of subtidal benthic meiofauna in the Gulf of Thailand and to monitor the impacts of the oil spill incident on shallow subtidal meiofauna communities in coral reefs at Mu Ko Samet, Rayong Province. The total meiofaunal densities were significantly different among study sites on the seafloor of the Gulf of Thailand. The dominant meiofaunal groups were forams, nematodes, polychaetes and copepods. The meiofaunal densities at the study sites were clearly divided into two groups, i.e. low density (0-74 ind.10 cm-2) and high density (99-649 ind.10 cm-2). Most study sites in Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Songkhla Provinces, the Western Gulf of Thailand had relatively high meiofaunal densities. Certain environment factors, such as depth and salinity, were important factors controlling the distribution and abundance of meiofauna in the Gulf of Thailand. Oil from the spill of about 50,000 liters of crude in the sea off Rayong Province, the Eastern Gulf of Thailand reached the west side of Ko Samet on July 28, 2013. The results from a monitoring program revealed that twelve major meiofauna taxa were identified from the impacted areas. The dominant groups were forams, nematodes, polychaetes, bivalves, and harpacticoid copepods. High densities of forams were found at the oil spill impacted sites while lower densities of nematodes were observed following the oil spill. Further extensive studies on meiofauna in the Gulf of Thailand are required as baseline data for detecting ecosystem response to anthropogenic stresses, especially the changes in meiofauna communities caused by the oil spill incident.


    Metagenomic analysis of meiobenthic diversity in seagrass ecosystems in Johor, Malaysia.

    1Masayoshi Sano, 1Shingo X. Sakamoto, 2Hiroomi Miyamoto, 1Ryo Kaneko, 1Kazuhiro

    Kogure, 1Teruhisa Komatsu, 1Shuhei Nishida

    1Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, 2Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Research Agency


    Key word: meiobenthos metagenomic analysis seagrass ecosystem

    Seagrass ecosystems are important in terms of biodiversity and biological production in coastal areas, but little is known of their current status and historical changes in Southeast Asia. With this circumstance, we have been analyzing meiobenthic communities, expecting that they would provide useful proxies to evaluate environment and biodiversity. In the present study, we analyzed meiobenthic communities in- and outside of the seagrass areas in Merambong Shoal and Tingii Island, Johor, Malaysia. applying an integrative metagenomic- and microscopic analysis. DNA were extracted from soil samples and amplified targeting 18s rRNA gene. The amplified samples were sequenced by a 454 GS Junior and the sequencing data were analyzed with the metagenomic data analysis software ‘mothur’. Comparison of the metagenomic and microscopic analyses indicated that the meiobenthic composition by metagenomic analysis (number of reads per moleculer operational taxonomic unit: MOTU) approximated biomass composition. The results of clustering analysis based on the meiobenthic composition were consistent with the macro-scale habitat types (in/out of seagrass beds) and geographic locations (Merambong and Tinggi). In contrast to the common predominance of nematodes both in terms of abundance and biomass in temperate seagrass habitats, predominance of ostracods (in reads of MOTU), followed by annelids and nematodes, was observed in some of the present samples. The number of reads of phylum Kinorhyncha, reported as sensitive to pollution (e.g. eutrophication and oxygen delpetion), was higher in Tingii Island than in Merambong Shoal. These suggest that integrative metagenomic- and microscopic analysis is a powerful tool in elucidating biodiversity in seagrass ecosystems in Southeast Asia, wherein a large amount of unexplored diversity is expected.


    Spatial and temporal patterns of meiobenthic abundance and biomass in the Northern Yellow Sea: a revisit after five years

    Qing Yu, Hong Zhou, Kai Zhang, Yang Lou, Xinyu Sun, Wenfei Duan, Xue Mi College of Marine Life Science, Ocean University of China hzhou@ouc.edu.cn

    Key word: meiobenthos seasonal variation spatial distribution cold water mass Northern Yellow Sea

    The Northern Yellow Sea is surrounded by the Liaodong Peninsula, the Shandong Peninsula and the Korean Peninsula, and connected with the Bohai Sea and the Southern Yellow Sea. The “908” Project investigated the abundance and biomass of meiobenthos in the Northern Yellow Sea from 2006 to 2007. The present study aims to compare the seasonal variation and spatial distribution patterns of meiobenthos with the result of the “908” project five years ago.

    A four-cruise investigation of meiobenthos on the continental shelf of the Northern Yellow Sea was conducted in June, November 2011 and May, November 2012. A total of nineteen meiobenthic groups were identified. Free-living marine nematodes were the most dominant, with a relative abundance of 86%. Analysis on the horizontal distribution of meiobenthos showed that stations near the coast and the junction of the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Sea had higher abundance and biomass than those of others. The abundance and biomass in spring and summer were higher than those in autumn and winter. However, in spring and summer, meiobenthic abundance and biomass were relatively low in the center of Northern Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass (NYSCWM). Comparison of our result with that of the “908” Project indicated that there was no detectable change in seasonality and spatial distribution of meiofaunal abundance and biomass five years later and NYSCWM may exert some influences on the spatiotemporal patterns of meiobenthic distribution.


    Large scale pattern of the shelf macrofauna community in the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea

    1Xinyu Sun, 2Hong Zhou, 2Xiaoshou Liu, 2Wenfei Duan, 2Zhinan Zhang

    1College of Marine Life Science, Ocean University of China, 2College of Marine Life Science, Ocean University of China


    Key word: Macrofanua community structure diversity index Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea

    Both belonging to the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem, the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea are under ever increasing threats of human impact and climate change. The present study aims to explore the large scale spatial patterns of faunal composition, community structure and species diversity of the sublittoral macrofauna communities in the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea by exploiting the data collected during the three cruises in May and November, 2011 and in June, 2012.

    A total of 213 species were identified in the study area, among which polychaetes, mollusks and crustaceans contributed most to the species composition. The agglomerative classification (CLUSTER) and multidimensional scaling (MDS) ordination were applied to depict the community structure. Three communities (Bohai Sea and nearshore community, northern Yellow Sea cold water mass community and southern Yellow Sea community) were identified by the analyses. ANOSIM supported the hypothesized community classification based on geographical locations (Bohai Sea, northern Yellow Sea, southern Yellow Sea). Two-way ANOVA test on traditional species diversity indices like species richness (d), evenness (J’) and the Shannon-Wiener index (H’) showed significant differences among the three communities with the southern Yellow Sea community having higher values. In contrast, no significant differences were detected between the three communities for average taxonomic distinctness (△*, △+), but these two indices were significantly different between warm and cold seasons. Our results suggested that besides geographic location (latitudinal difference), coastal environment and cold water mass may also serve as the determinants for the large scale pattern of macrofauna communities in the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea.


    Establishment of a protocol for selecting ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs) using case studies in Japan

    Yu-zhen Chen, Yu-qing Guo

    1Takehisa Yamakita, 1Hiroyuki Yamamoto, 2Masahiro Nakaoka, 3Hiroya Yamano,

    1Katsunori Fujikura, 4Kiyotaka Hidaka, 4Yuichi Hirota, 4Tadafumi Ichikawa, 5Shigeho

    Kakehi, 6Takahiko Kameda, 6Satoshi Kitajima, 7Kazuhiro Kogure, 7Teruhisa Komatsu,

    3Naoki H. Kumagai, 7Hiroomi Miyamoto, 2Kazushi Miyashita, 8Haruyuki Morimoto, 9Ryota

    Nakajima, 7Syuhei Nishida, 10Kou Nishiuchi, 7Shingo Sakamoto, 7Masayoshi Sano, 2Kenji Sudo, 10Hiroya Sugisaki, 5Kazuaki Tadokoro, 11Katsuhiko Tanaka, 9Yoshie Jintsu-Uchifune, 2Kentaro Watanabe, 9Hiromi Watanabe, 3Yumiko Yara, 2Norishige Yotsukura, 9Yoshihisa Shirayama

    1Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, 2Hokkaido University, 3National

    Institute for Environmental Studies, 4National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, 5Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, 6Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute, 7Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, 8Japan Sea National Fisheries Research Institute, 9Japan Agency for Marine Earth, Science and Technology, 10Fisheries Research Agency, 11To-kai University


    Key word: Ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs) deep-sea seeps Hydro thermal vents Plankton Coral reef Seagrass bed Algal bed

    The Aichi Target (Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020) was adopted in the Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10/CBD) held in Nagoya, Japan in 2010. One of the targets is to set aside 10% of marine protected (or conserved) areas. To reach this target, it is essential to identify important marine areas using available ecological knowledge. However, previous efforts to select ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs) for the management of open ocean were mostly based on subjective criteria using non-quantitative expert opinions. Here, we review previous and current ideas and methods for establishing EBSA selection protocols. We specifically address the following issues: problems associated with selecting the same EBSA criteria for different types of marine ecosystems around the Japanese Archipelago, which comprises various habitats such as seagrass and seaweed beds, coral reefs, and offshore pelagic and deep-sea ecosystems, as well as the problems associated with the integration of multiple criteria that are not totally exclusive. We present several candidates for variables accounting for each of the 7 criteria for EBSA identification processes. Some variables can be applied in the same ways for different types of ecosystems, whereas others cannot, mostly because of insufficient available data in some areas. In particular, for coastal ecosystems such as seagrass and seaweed beds, and coral reefs, it is possible to carry out broad spatial comparisons using variables representing most of the 7 criteria. Regarding methods for the quantitative evaluation of each criterion and integration of different criteria, we present a numerical example and its application to kelp forest ecosystems in Hokkaido, Northern Japan. Although several

    challenges remain, especially weighting different variables and attaining statistical and practical accuracy, the method proposed here is promising for selecting important marine areas that can potentially be used to meet the Aichi targets.


    Community dynamics of free-living nematodes in subtropical mangrove in Fujian province, China

    Yu-qing Guo, Yu Chang Jimei University guoyuqing@jmu.edu.cn

    Key word: meiofauna nematodes community structure mangroves China

    Seasonal changes patterns and abundance of meiofauna taxa and dominant genera, feeding types and community structure of marine nematodes were studied at five mangroves (Zhangjiangkou in Yunxiao county, Jiulongjiang kou in Longhai city, Fenglin Bay in Xiamen city, Luoyang River in Quanzhou city and Wanwujiangkou in Fu’an city) in Fujian province. The main results were as follows:

    1. 17 meiofauna taxa in Fujian provincial mangrove were identified, including free-living marine nematodes, copepods, polychaetes, oligochaetes, planarian, isopoda, amphipods, aquatic insects, tardigrata, chain insects, halacarid, cladocerans, bivalves, pycnogonum, decapod, esculenta and other unidentified species. Among them, the free-living marine nematodes was absolutely dominant, the ratio was 93.00%, followed by copepods, accounting for 4.58%, then oligochaeta (1.16%) and polychaetes (1.01%), others (planarian, isopoda, amphipods, aquatic insects, tardigrata, chain insects, halacarid, cladocerans, bivalves, pycnogonum, decapod, esculenta and unidentified species) shared less proportion of only 0.25%.

    2. 90 nematode genera were identified with 7 dominant dominant genera (dominance higher than 5%) at mangroves in Fujian province. They were Sabatieria, Ptycholaimellus, Parasphaerolaimus, Terschellingia, Daptonema, Viscosia, Dichromadora, the ratio were 19.82%, 7.88%, 7.45%, 7.26%, 6.79 %, 6.00%, 5.25%, respectively. Seasonal changes on nematode feeding types at each mangrove area were as follows, Zhangjiangkou mangrove: 1B> 2A> 2B> 1A; Fugong mangrove: 1B> 2B> 2A> 1A; Fenglin mangrove: 1B> 2A> 2B> 1A; Luoyang River mangrove: 2B> 1B> 2A> 1A; Wanwu mangrove: 2A> 1B> 2B> 1A. As can be seen, feeding types 1B were dominant in Zhangzhou, Xiamen Kandelia candel (Linn.) Druce forest, 2A were dominant in Ningde Kandelia candel (Linn.) Druce forest, 2B were dominant in Quanzhou Aegiceras corniculatum (L) Blanco forests. 1A type in all five areas had the least numbers.

    3. Diversity indices based on nematode assemblages were not significantly different among in five mangroves areas. By cluster analysis and multidimensional scaling methods suggested that variation of nematodes assemblages in different season were not significantly different.


    Diversity of meiofauna in different biotopes in Gaoqiao mangrove wetland, China

    1Sujing Fu, i1,2Lizhe Ca, 1Chen Wu, 1Xinwei Chen1, 1Xiang Li

    1College of the Environment & Ecology, Xiamen University,2Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Coastal and Wetland Ecosystems, Xiamen University


    Key word: meiofauna free-living marine nematodes diversity Gaoqiao mangrove wetland

    Ecological investigation has been carried and samples of meiofauna were collected in four biotopes (Aegiceras corniculatum, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Sonneratia apetala and Sporobolus virginicus) in Gaoqiao mangrove wetland from April 2010 to January 2011. Group composition, abundance, biomass and biodiversity of meiofauna and the dominant group free-living marine nematodes were analyzed so as to provide basic data of meiofaunal diversity in Zhanjing Gaoqiao mangrove of China. Our results showed that 11 meiofaunal groups were collected in 4 biotopes in four seasons, including free-living marine nematodes, oligochaeta, benthic copepod, polychaeta, ostracoda, kinorhyncha, halacaroidea, tanaidacea, foraminifera, turbellaria and amphipoda. Among them, free-living marine nematode was the dominant group, which had a percentage of 96.14% in total abundance of meiofauna. The average abundance of meiofauna was 856.1 ind∙10cm-2, the abundance was highest in S. apetala, followed by that in A. corniculatum,

  2. gymnorrhiza and S. virginicus. Two-way ANOVA tests showed that there were highly

significant differences among different seasons (F3,45 = 4.602, P < 0.01), biotopes (F3,45

= 12.286, P < 0.01) and the season × biotope interaction (F8,45 = 3.669, P < 0.01). A total of 78 free-living marine nematode species were identified in spring and summer. There were 15 dominant species accounting for 86.80% of the total dominance. Multidimensional scaling ordination analysis showed that community structure of meiofauna and species composition of free-living marine nematodes in 3 kinds of mangrove biotopes are relatively similar, while meiofaunal community structure in S. virginicus biotope had low similarity with that in mangrove biotopes.


A Comparison of Modern versus Historical Patterns of Meiofaunal Community Structure and Sediment Composition in an Exposed Beach

1Julian Smith III, 2Steve Fegley, 2Amelia Schirmer 1Winthrop University, 2University of North Carolina smithj@winthrop.edu

Key word: meiofauna beach nourishment habitat alteration

Nourishing exposed beaches with dredged sediment is a widespread practice globally to combat sea level rise. Because nourished beaches continue to experience erosion, an inevitable consequence of nourishment is a coarsening of the beach sediments and a change to the vertical sediment structure. Although the roles meiofauna play in exposed beach trophic dynamics is unclear, we know from studies conducted in low-energy environments that changes in sediment composition affect meiofaunal community structure. Such changes in community composition may alter any functional roles of the meiofauna in the habitat. The wide spread use of nourishing has left few undisturbed exposed beaches where we can compare faunal structure between nourished and unnourished habitats. This study uses an historical comparison of meiofauna community and sediment composition to reveal pre-nourishment (1969) and post nourishment (2013) conditions. Analysis of meiofauna densities and sediment composition revealed several statistically significant differences between the historical and present data with increases in harpacticoid individuals, an increase in median grain size, and a decrease in silt/clay content. Data were collected about the depth of a primary shell hash layer across sampling site. Laboratory trials also revealed alterations in water flow through sediment with the addition of shell hash. Findings indicate there is an impact of beach nourishment on sediment composition and sediment composition impacts the meiofauna community.


Evaluation of benthic foraminiferal assemblage characteristics in the abyssal eastern equatorial Pacific, an area of likely future polymetallic nodule mining.

Aurélie Goineau, Andrew J. Gooday

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton


Key word: Foraminifera Diversity Clarion-Clipperton fracture zone

We are investigating benthic foraminifera in the Clarion–Clipperton Zone (CCZ; abyssal eastern equatorial Pacific) as part of a benthic biological baseline study (ABYSSLINE) prior to planned mining of the polymetallic nodules in this area. Benthic foraminifera are known from previous studies to be an important component of the benthos in the eastern equatorial Pacific. Our first objective in this study is to define the population density, local diversity and species composition of ‘live foraminiferal faunas. To do so, sediment cores were collected using a megacorer in the northern part of the UK-1 claim area (13°50’N, 116°35’W; ~4080 m water depth) during the ABYSSLINE 01 cruise (AB01) in October 2013 aboard the R/V Melville. To date, all ‘live’ (Rose Bengal-stained) specimens >150 µm have been picked from the 0–1 cm sediment layer of cores from two stations. A total of 1281 complete specimens and 181 species has been identified. The better-known multichambered taxa, mainly calcareous rotaliids and agglutinated hormosinaceans, represent only about 9–10% of the ‘live’ assemblages. The faunas are dominated instead by poorly-known monothalamous foraminifera, representatives of 'primitive' groups that branch at the base of the foraminiferal phylogenetic tree. These include a diverse assortment of tubular and spherical forms, together with the komokiaceans, an enigmatic group that probably also belongs with the monothalamids. Indeterminate forms inhabiting the empty tests of radiolarians are also an important faunal component. A notable proportion (~78%) of this diverse foraminiferal assemblage appears to be undescribed at the species, genus, or even higher taxonomic levels. Analysis of additional samples from the AB01 cruise, and from other parts of the UK1 claim area, will reveal how these faunas vary in relation to environmental parameters, such as nodule coverage, as well as biogeographic patterns within the CCZ. By virtue of their numerical abundance, diversity and ecological importance, these protists cannot be ignored in surveys aiming to understand the impact of mining activities on deep-sea biota biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in this pristine environment.


Rarity – What We Can Apply to a Deep-Sea Management Perspective

Phillip Turner, Cindy Van Dover Duke University C.VanDover@duke.edu

Key word: Rarity Management Deep-Sea Disturbance Ecosystem Function

Rarity is a challenging concept for the scientific community due to the difficulties in studying rare species and the lack of background knowledge within the marine environment. Historically, the valuation of rare species as ‘failing species’ with low ecosystem impacts, along with logistical challenges in rare species sampling, has limited the information available to address both ecological and conservation focused questions. Recent research within terrestrial and shallow water-ecosystems, highlight the role of rare species (individually and in aggregate) in ecosystem function as well as their potential importance in the context of environmental change.

Due to the high level of rarity across a variety of deep-sea habitats and the potential vulnerability of rare species to increasing anthropogenic disturbance within the deep-sea, the importance of considering rarity within conservation practices is discussed. Using the increasing foundation of scientific knowledge within the terrestrial, shallow-marine and shallow-aquatic environments, this study explores the current definitions, valuations and management proposals for rare species. Whether defined in a numerical, biological or geographical context, the management of rare species has focused on three main avenues: the use of population viability management; the use of indicators for at-risk species; the use of the proportion of the area occupied by single species (occupancy) rather than the standard state variable, abundance. We address the limitations within each avenue and discuss their potential for development to answer questions relating to rarity in the deep-sea environment. Their successes and failures in terrestrial and shallow-water species management are used to initiate a discussion on possible management options for rare deep-sea species.


Do different trenches share communities? Hadal diversity viewed through environmental DNA

1Frederic Sinniger Harii, 2Beatrice Lecroq, 1Akinori Yabuki, 3Kenshiro Oshima, 4Saki Harii,

1Hideto Takami, 1Takashi Toyofuku, 1Hiroshi Kitazato, 1Hiroyuki Yamamoto 1JAMSTEC, 2 OIST, 3University of Tokyo, 4University of the Ryukyus fredsinniger@jamstec.go.jp

Key word: metagenetics meiobenthos

Oceanic trenches are the deepest environments on Earth’s surface. With depths reaching 11 km, they are also among the most inaccessible and poorly explored environments. Oceanic trenches are the final sinks for sediments. Resulting from the steep slopes bordering the trenches, hadal environments are highly impacted by turbidites. Turbidites are avalanches of sediments running down the walls of the trenches and could contribute to carry organisms from bordering abyssal areas.

Some of the most studied hadal macrofaunal organisms are the liparid fishes and giant amphipods. Amphipod diversity was shown to decrease with depth. In contrast, meiobenthos abundance and diversity appears more related to nutriment input than depth.

Here we will report on similarities between benthic communities at the bottom of different trenches and in surrounding abyssal environments. We also present general faunal characteristics of hadal metazoans with a special focus on meiofauna. Environmental DNA was obtained from sediments collected at the bottom of the Japan, Tonga and Mariana Trenches as well as from adjacent abyssal sediments. The samples were collected either using lander systems or the manned submersible Shinkai 6500. We estimated the taxonomic composition of the benthic communities by sequencing massively the partial small nuclear ribosomal subunit and we compared the data obtained from the different depths and different trenches. We will discuss on the implication of our results in the understanding of the evolution of the hadal ecosystem.


Phylogeny and distribution of deep-sea scale-worms (Aphroditiformia, Annelida)

1Helena Wiklund, 2Kirsty Kemp, 1Lenka Neal, 1Adrian Glover

1Natural History Museum, London, 2Institute of Zoology, ZSL, London


Key word: Phylogeny Polychaeta

The scale-worm group, recognized for their dorsal elytra (scales), consists of approximately 1000 species and thus comprise a large portion of the polychaetes. The largest scale-worm family, Polynoidae with around 750 species, have representants almost everywhere in the sea, occuring from shallow intertidal waters down to abyssal depths, and are particularly prevalent at deep-sea chemosynthetic ecosystems including hydrothermal vents, cold seeps and whale-falls. Using the largest molecular dataset yet obtained for this group, from both shallow-water and deep-sea species collected in a wide range of habitats and locations, we investigate phylogenetic relationships within the scale-worm group and explore possible adaptive radiation into deep-sea chemosynthetic habitats.


On methane seeps, worms, and parasitic fungi: microsporidiainfected nematodes reveal another secret of the deep sea

1Amir Sapir, 2Adler Dillman, 3Jeroen Ingels, 4Stephanie Connon, 5Manuel Mundo-Ocampo,

6 John DeModena, 7Lisa Levin, 8James Baldwin, 4Victoria Orphan, 6Paul Sternberg

1Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, 2Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, 3Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, 4Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, 5CIIDIR-IPN, Unidad Sinaloa, Mexico, 6Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, 7Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, and Integrative Oceanography Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 8Department of Nematology,

University of California


Key word: Microsporidia Nematodes Nematocenator marisprofundi deep sea parasitism

The deep sea is earth’s largest habitat, yet the nature and level of parasitism in this environment are mostly unknown. Here we report the discovery of a fungus-related parasitic microsporidium, Nematocenator marisprofundi that infects nematodes in methane seeps on the Pacific Ocean floor. This infection is species-specific and has been temporally and spatially stable over two years of sampling, indicating an ecologically relevant host-parasite interaction. N. marisprofundi targets the host’s body wall muscles causing cell lysis, and in severe infection cases even muscle filament degradation. Phylogenetic analyses place N. marisprofundi as a separate branch among basal microsporidia lineages, suggesting that microsporidia-nematode parasitism occurred in the deep sea early in microsporidia evolution and that N. marisprofundi belongs to a novel and basal deep-sea microsporidian clade.

Our findings present a new perspective on the abundance, nature, and ecological significance of deep-sea parasitism by placing nematodes, one of the most abundant animal phyla in many deep-sea settings, as a host for microsporidia parasites. This demonstrates the complexity of methane seep ecosystems being a hub for inter-kingdom interactions between bacteria, nematodes, and parasitic fungi. Our study adds microsporidia parasitism as a previously unknown characteristic of chemoautotrophic methane seep ecosystems and suggests a role for fungal-mediated pathologies in the deep sea.


Evolution and cryptic diversity in deep-sea Antarctic polychaetes 1Madeleine Brasier, 2Adrian Glover, 1Rachel Jeffreys, 3Henry Ruhl, 1George Wolff 1University of Liverpool, 2Natural History Museum, 3National Oceanography Center m.brasier@nhm.ac.uk

Key word: Evolution Diversity Polychaetes Deep sea Antarctic

Levels of deep-sea Antarctic diversity are currently classified as ‘underestimated’. A major factor contributing to our current lack of knowledge is the unknown prevalence of cryptic species i.e. those that are morphologically identical but genetically distinct. Molecular barcoding uses short sequences of DNA to elucidate taxonomy and identify species. Thus, the application of molecular barcoding to morphologically identified specimens could provide insight into the abundance of cryptic species within the Antarctic benthos. Furthermore the production of phylogenetic trees can indicate the occurrence of species radiation and evolutionary events that have lead to the current levels of deep-sea diversity. This project will use DNA barcoding to reassess levels of Antarctic polychaete diversity and to reconstruct species phylogenies using specimens collected during the BIOPEARL expeditions. These expeditions sampled the benthic communities of the Scotia Arc and eastern Amundsen Sea between 100 to 3,500 m depth. Polychaetes were one of the most abundant and diverse macrofaunal taxa within the BIOPEARL samples with over 20,000 individuals collected and approximately 400 morphospecies identified. Preliminary analysis of mictochondrial DNA sequences has already suggested the presence of cryptic species within five polychaete families, including within the previously considered cosmopolitan species Glycera capitata and Scalibremga inflatum. These results suggest that molecular methods are required in order to define true levels of Antarctic benthic diversity. The increasing discovery of cryptic speciation also questions our current understanding of species distribution and population connectivity within the Antarctic benthos and other regions of the deep-sea.


The population genetic structure of Alvinella pompejana polychaete from eastern Pacific hydrothermal vents.

1Sook-Jin Jang, 2Eunji Park, 2Ye-Seul Kwan, 2Won-Kyung Lee, 1Yuseob Kim, 1Yong-Jin


1Interdisciplinary Program of EcoCreative, The Graduate School Ewha Womans University, 2Division of EcoScience Ewha Womans University

yuseob@ewha.ac.kr, won4471@gmail.com

Key word: Alvinella pompejana gene flow East Pacific Rise

Deep-sea hydrothermal vent species have been evolved by adapting to extreme environment such as high temperature and high pressure. Alvinellid polychaete worm, Alvinella pompejana, lives in a physically and chemically stable tube built on the chimney along the East Pacific Rise (EPR). On the EPR, genetic barriers were reported around the Equator and the Easter Microplate region, which are expected to be associated with ocean current, geographical characteristics, or both. This study focused on population genetic structure and migration pattern of A. pompejana on the EPR to examine the influence of the barriers on this species. We used eight populations of A. pompejana from 21N to 38S on the EPR and obtained sequences from four coding genes and newly developed eight non-coding genes in this study. The STRUCTURE analysis presented three genetic groups, which corresponds to geological subdivisions: Northern East Pacific Rise (NEPR), Southern East Pacific Rise (SEPR), and South of the Easter Microplate (SEM). However, the migration rates resulted from IMa model exhibited high gene flow among 3 groups. These results suggest that A. pompejana has been connected genetically among NEPR, SEPR and SEM groups in spite of interruption by two barriers around the Equator and the Easter Microplate region. In addition, the mantel test represented significant positive correlation between genetic differentiation and geographical distance, which proved that the dispersal pattern consistent with Isolation by Distance (IBD) model. We considered that the higher gene flow of A. pompejana than other species is related to its characteristics as pioneer species and larval dispersal mechanism.


Post-glacial range shift and demographic expansion of marine intertidal snails Batillaria cumingi

Ho Phuong-Thao, Kwan Ye-seul , Kim Boa, Won Yong-Jin

Ewha Womans University


Key word: Batillaria cumingi COI gene the Last Glaciation the Korean peninsula the Japanese archipelago

Repeated glaciations occurrence during the Pleistocene period resulted in substantial changes of the coastal lines as well as climatic conditions such as sea level and water temperature throughout the East Asia. Therefore we suggest that these events have significantly affected on the demographic expansion and evolution of marine organisms living in this region. In this study, we present a proximate effect of the last glaciation on batiliid gastropod Batillaria cumingi around the Korean peninsula and Japanese archipelago through phylogeography analyses and Bayesian Skyline Plot (BSP) then reconstructing the demographic history of this species from mitochondrial COI gene data. This data were obtained 197 individuals from four geographic groups in Korean peninsula (Yellow Sea group, South Sea groups, northern site and southern site of Jeju Island group) and 507 individuals from two groups in Japanese archipelago (Kuroshio and Tsushima groups). Our results suggest that the historical population size of these six groups have drastically increased throughout the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago since the last glaciation happened about 16-21 kya BP although there was slightly varying in expansion degree and initiation time of expansion among geological groups. Further, we also found that the two regional Tsushima and Kuroshio regional groups were diverged from each other around 400 kya BP due to the existence of shallow Tsushima Strait, at this time, was land-bridge between Korea and Japan. On the other hand, our Isolation with Migration (IM) analyses also revealed another expansion event of B. cumingi about 70 kya BP even the BSP could not present the demographic history of this species earlier than 60 kya BP. Given the empirical rapid and wide demographic expansions of B. cumingi after the last glaciation and also the common historical background of the ocean environments, we predict that such expansion pattern responses to the past climate changes, particularly since the last glaciation, might be widespread among other marine species in the Northwest Pacific.


Geographical variations in biodiversity of copepod community in the western and central North Pacific Ocean

1Kazuaki Tadokoro, 2Hiroya Sugisaki (

1Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, 2 Fisheries Research Agency


Key word: zooplankton North Pacific Ocean

The recent studies suggested that the western North Pacific is the one of highest biodiversity region in the world Ocean (e. g. Tittensor et al., 2010 Nature). Those studies mainly used the data of the formanifera, minor taxonomic group in the mesozooplankton community. On the other hand, copepod is the most abundant taxonomic group in the ocean. Moreover the copepod plays important role of the energy transfer from primary productivity to higher trophic levels as fishes. Therefore the study of copepods is important to understand the biodiversity of marine ecosystems. We investigated geographical variations of biodiversity on copepod community based on the samples collected by Fisheries Research Agency from 1960 to 2012 within the area 141°E-165°W, 25°N-45°N. Samples were collected by vertical haul of NORPAC net (opening diameter 0.45m, mesh size 0.330-0.335mm) from 150m to surface. The total number of the sample is 6003. The abundance of copepods were estimated on species level by using microscope. We used occurred species number for the index of biodiversity. The highest species number was appeared in the waters near Japanese coast and it decreased toward to the east. The highest occurred number was more than 140 in the Kuroshio (warm current) -Oyashio (cold current) transition waters, western North Pacific. The lowest value was less than 20 in the central North Pacific. The Kuroshio-Oyashio water is formed by mixing of cold water of Oyashio and warm water of Kuroshio. The high biodiversity in the Kuroshio-Oyashio water might be caused by mixing of cold and warm water species. Moreover the warm-core ring as meso scale eddy is formed in the Kuroshio-Oyashio water. The eddy causes the unique habitat for the marine ecosystem. The eddy might also contribute the high biodiversity in the Kuroshio-Oyashio water. We will discuss the mechanisms of the geographical variation of the biodiversity of copepod comparing to the environmental conditions.


Global biodiversity and biogeography of razor clams (Bivalvia: Solenidae)

Hanieh Saeedi, Todd Dennis, Mark Costello

University of Auckland


Key word: Mollusca Species distribution modelling

Solenidae are deep-burrowing bivalves that inhabit shallow waters (20-30 m, intertidal zones) and subtidal zones down to a depth of 100 m in tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate seas worldwide. Razor clams are absent from Polar Regions and some oceanic islands such as New Zealand. Here we used data published in the literature, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), and museum collections to map the global geographic distribution of Solenidae species and study their latitudinal biodiversity gradients. We also applied a species distribution modeling program ‘Maximum Entropy’ (Maxent) to predict the suitable environments for Solenidae species and determining the environmental factors which delimited the distribution of Solenidae species. Environmental data were obtained at a spatial resolution of 0.083º from the Global Marine Environment Datasets (http://gmed.auckland.ac.nz). The geographic distribution of species in 5° latitudinal bands showed a distinct bimodal pattern, and global patterns of richness decreased markedly from near the equator to the poles. The Indo-Pacific area exhibited the greatest species richness while the Philippines had a higher number of species (13) than any other biogeographic province in the whole of the Indo-Malayan realm. Model outputs also indicated that the majority of suitable Solenidae environments were likely to occur in the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific area. The most important environmental factors in determining Solenidae environment suitability were distance to land, depth, wave height, and sea surface temperature.


Inshore/offshore biodiversity patterns of coral reefs and softbottom assemblages in southern Red Sea (Farasan Islands, Saudi Arabia)

Holger Anlauf, Jessica Bouwmeester, Michael Berumen, Sarma Yellepeddi, Burton Jones, Susana Carvalho

KAUST- King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

Key word: Red Sea Coral reefs Benthos Soft-bottoms Fish

High levels of biodiversity and endemism have long been recognized for the Red Sea. However, the amount of data available for many of the biological components in the varied marine habitats is still limited. One of the most relevant features of the Red Sea is its extensive coral reef ecosystem. Like their counterparts worldwide, Saudi Arabian Red Sea reefs have been experiencing increased anthropogenic pressure from intensive coastal development, brought about by economic growth in the last 4 decades. To increase our understanding of the changes in biodiversity patterns along the Saudi Arabian Red Sea, a marine ecosystem-monitoring framework hosted at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology has recently been launched. In its first phase, this program aims to provide comprehensive baseline data for biodiversity, contamination levels and oceanographic patterns. Data gathered during the first three years of the project will be used to establish the baseline and threshold levels of biodiversity for the future monitoring of the Red Sea. Over the next decade the amount of data concerning the Red Sea ecosystem will be extended and this will establish a basis for coastal and marine ecosystem management. Here we present preliminary data collected during an expedition to the southern Red Sea (Farasan Islands) in February 2014. It includes an investigation of an inshore/offshore transect of coral reefs and soft-bottom habitats. The data comprises the number and abundance of macro-invertebrates present in soft-bottom areas, coral diversity as assessed by percent coverage of benthic categories (genus level) and the community structure and biomass of reef-associated fish. Chlorophyll and nutrient concentrations in the water column across the surveyed sites will be correlated against the biodiversity patterns. The data will be investigated for i) consistency in biodiversity patterns for both soft and hard bottom assemblages, and ii) correlation of water column parameters (chlorophyll and nutrients concentrations) and community structure of both benthic and fish assemblages.


Benthic eukaryotic diversity patterns in the central Red Sea: an extracellular DNA amplicon sequencing approach

John Pearman, Xabier Irigoien, Susana Carvalho

KAUST-King Abdullah University of Science and Technology


Key word: Benthos Sediment Extracellular DNA Eukaryota IonTorrent Red Sea

The Red Sea has long been recognized as a hotspot of biodiversity, but in spite of its biogeographic interest, it remains highly understudied throughout most of its range. The present study aims to assess the ability of extracellular DNA to characterize benthic eukaryotic biodiversity patterns in the central Red Sea. A high throughput amplicon sequencing approach was undertaken for a total of 38 sediment samples (19 stations) collected from intertidal and subtidal areas in winter 2013/2014. Stations were located in a lagoon and two coastal areas (Thuwal, Jeddah) with different depth ranges. Extracellular DNA extraction was undertaken based on the use of saturated phosphate buffer. Amplification of the eukaryotic nuclear 18S rRNA gene was undertaken using tagged PCR primers and sequenced on an IonTorrent PGM machine. A total of 11860 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified. The majority of the OTUs were assigned to groups Metazoa (28.3%), Alveolata (22.2%), Stramenopiles (18.1%), Rhizaria (9.2%) and Fungi (3.5%). Stramenopiles (Diatomea) were particularly frequent in the lagoon and in the shallower coastal stations, together with Alveolata (Ciliophora), while metazoans (Arthropoda: Maxillilopoda) were dominant in the deeper coastal stations. Nemertea clearly dominated the channel in the lagoon. This is known to be a more hydrodynamic area and that resulted in lower number of OTUs and higher dominance, equating to lower equitability. In general, higher OTUs were associated with the shallower coastal area, while the lowest values were found in the deepest coastal stations. Multivariate cluster analyses highlighted differences in the composition and structure of assemblages among the three sampled areas. This was particularly evident for the taxonomic groups Metazoa and Arthropoda, but not for Stramenopiles and Mollusca. High variability among shallower coastal samples was also detected. This area also presented the highest percentage of exclusive OTUs (53%), while for the other areas values dropped to 20 and 29% within the deeper coastal area and lagoon, respectively. Only 11% of total OTUs were shared among all areas. The current approach allowed for a comprehensive understanding of the overall benthic eukaryotic biodiversity, which would not be possible following traditional taxonomic approaches within a two-month time frame.


Filling gaps - species distribution models help to improve the resolution of zoogeographical analysis for Chilean Patagonia

Vreni Häussermann, Günter Försterra, David Bellhoff Huinay Scientific Field Station gunter_forsterra@yahoo.com

Key word: zoogeography species distribution models

With more then 80.000 km of coastline, Chilean Patagonia hosts the largest fjord region in the world, which has been named a biodiversity hotspot. Although economic pressure, mainly due to aquaculture, has been rising exponentially in the last two decades, this region still belongs to the scientifically least studied areas in the world, partly because of its inaccesability and harsh climate. To be able to apply spatial planning tools it is necessary to understand the distribution of benthic species and communities. In an effort to inventary the shallow water communities, we have carried out 25 sampling expeditions to remote areas of Chilean Patagonia between 1997 and 2014. The taxonomic field guide “Marine Benthic Fauna of Chilean Patagonia” is a first step towards a better knowledge of the fauna. Since 2011, we have been compiling presence-absence lists for approx. 70 species of benthic invertebrates which are eye-catching and easily identifyable under water. Of the 472 species included in our database, 197 count with presence data, and 136 of those also have absence data. The approximately 200 study sites show a high grade a divergence, even between neighbouring sites. In addition, many areas are still poorly covered by study sites. To improve the resolution, we have been applying species distribution models for 167 species using R. To simulate the environment, we added environmental proxy layers derived from satellite images (Chla, sst, turbidity) and predictor variables derived from CTD casts from the CIMAR FIORDOS expeditions (nitrate, oxygen, salinity, (bottom) temperature, slope and aspect ratio of benthos).