46 research outputs found

    Octocorals in the Galapagos Islands

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    The Galapagos octocorals were almost unknown until recent years. Of the three orders within the subclass Octocorallia (Anthozoa, Cnidaria), the Pennatulacea (sea pens) and Alcyonacea (soft corals and gorgonians) occur in the Galapagos. Recent collections and research bring the total known octocorallian fauna to three sea pens (Virgularia galapagensis, Ptilosarcus undulatus and Cavernulina darwini) and 15 gorgonians. Of the 13 gorgonians that we have collected, several are new species. Pacifigorgia is widely distributed in the archipelago, with four named species (P. dampieri, P. symbiotica, P. rubripunctata, and P. darwinii), three of them recently described, and two others yet to be described. The genus Muricea contains three widely distributed undescribed species, one of which appears in three chromotypes, and one deepwater species that has not been collected recently. Two species of Heterogorgia occur in the central archipelago, H. verrucosa and the recently described and widely distributed H. hickmani. The remaining gorgonians are Eugorgia daniana, Leptogorgia alba and Adelogorgia telones

    Diversity and distribution of shallow water octocorallia from Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, South Andaman, India

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    1567-1575Diversity and distribution of octocorals of Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park (MGMNP), South Andaman were investigated from June, 2013 to May, 2016 using a Line Intercept Transect method with help of SCUBA diving. The study was carried out in 11 different islands named as Alexandra, Belle, Chester, Snob, Grub, Jolly Bouy, Boat, Red Skin Rutland, Tarmugli and Twins Islands. We undertook a systematic study on the diversity of octocorals. Thirty five species belonging to 29 genera were reported from MGMNP of which, the alcyonacea was a dominant group followed by gorgonacea, helioporacea and pennatulacea at all the study sites which is also substantiated by Principal Component analysis, and Ternary plot. Results on Bray-Curtis cluster analysis showed 35 % to 76 % similarity between the study sites in MGMNP

    Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Epibenthic Deep-Sea Megafauna of the Northern Gulf of Mexico

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    In this study, we assessed the bioaccumulation of oil-derived and man-made pollutants in deep-sea epibenthic megafauna from the northern Gulf of Mexico. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (or PAHs) were measured as representatives of oil and emission related pollution. Whereas, polychlorinated biphenyls (or PCBs) were measured as representatives of man-made industrial chemicals. Our results showed overall comparable levels for all pollutants in four separate epibenthic deep-sea megafauna, which included: Actinaria (sea anemones), Pennatulacea (sea pens), Holothuroidea (sea cucumbers), and Crinoidea (sea lilies). The analysis of PAH levels showed greater accumulation for high molecular weight compounds that are also highly lipophilic. However, the analysis of PCBs showed that the levels of two congeners (PCBs 101 and 138) were consistently higher than the rest of the PCBs measured. Our results shed light on a knowledge-gap that exists on assessing the extent to which anthropogenic pollutants may impact the deep-sea environment

    Taxonomy and systematics: an essential underpinning of modern fisheries management

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    ​Accurate and reliable identification of the full range of fish and invertebrate species that are caught in New Zealand waters lies at the core of the fisheries Quota Management System (QMS). Species identification is required for accuracy of catch reporting and keeping track of quota by commercial fishers, for keeping to bag limits in the recreational and customary sector, and for compliance and sustainability purposes.  It is also needed by many in the marine science community, particularly those in fisheries science. As New Zealand’s environmental obligations to national and international agreements continue to grow, accurate species identification has extended to non-QMS fish species, benthic invertebrates, and protected species. Furthermore, whole-fish identification is no longer sufficient, particularly where consumers require assurance that a fish in the kitchen has been caught from a sustainable source

    Guide to the geology of Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood, Charnwood Forest

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    Charnwood Forest is one of the few parts of England where there are exposures of ‘basement’ rocks dating back to Precambrian time. Its locally rugged topography is caused by these highly resistant rocks protruding as craggy knolls through a surrounding cover of Triassic-age Mercia Mudstone strata and Quaternary deposits. Past workers have viewed Charnwood Forest as a ‘fossil’ hill range that was carved by erosion dating from the late Carboniferous (end-Variscan) block uplifts, was subsequently buried beneath Triassic and younger strata, and is now in the process of being exhumed. The ‘hard rock’ outcrops and distinctive scenery of Charnwood Forest, exemplified by Bradgate Park, have attracted much interest over the centuries, and Watts (1947) charts a number of publications stretching back to 1790. The lithostratigraphy of the Charnwood Forest succession was formalised after the detailed mapping and thesis of Moseley (1979), and a subsequent paper by Moseley and Ford (1985). Figure 1 shows that the Charnian Supergroup sensu stricto is divided into two principal groupings, of which the youngest, the Maplewell Group, will be visited today (localities and route are shown in Figure 2). In Swithland Wood, the strata to be visited belong to the Brand Group. This overlies the Maplewell Group, and as it is now referred to the Lower Cambrian, rather than to the Precambrian as previously thought, it is no longer included as part of the Charnian Supergroup. A Precambrian age (i.e. older than the start of the Cambrian Period, 543 million years ago) for the Charnian rocks was hinted at as long ago as 1865. It was finally confirmed following the work of Lapworth (1882), although his observation was based on similarities between Charnian rocks and the Caldecote Volcanic Formation, which is demonstrably overlain unconformably by Lower Cambrian strata at Nuneaton, 30 km to the west. Lapworth’s discovery had major implications for something that happened much later - the finding of fossils in the Charnian strata by a schoolboy, Roger Mason, when out climbing near Woodhouse Eaves in 1957. Since then, several more fossiliferous localities have been found in Charnwood Forest (eg. Boynton and Ford, 1995), including the important exposure in Bradgate Park. Their significance to Precambrian geology, and to the understanding of the early evolution of organized life, will be discussed later on. Much still remains to be clarified about the precise age of the Charnian Supergroup, in terms of a figure expressed in millions of years. Estimates of 560 - 566 Ma (Compston et al., 2002) have been determined for the fossil-bearing upper part of the Maplewell Group on the basis of isotopic analyses that measure the decay of uranium to lead in rock-forming minerals such as zircon. Given the exposed thickness of 3000 m for the Charnian sequence, however, it is clear that more isotopic determinations will be needed in order to constrain the entire age-range of the succession

    Spatial and temporal variation in sponge spicule patches at Station M, northeast Pacific

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    Changes in habitat-forming organisms can have complex consequences for associated species. Sessile epibenthic glass “plate” sponges (Porifera: Hexactinellida) are conspicuous inhabitants of soft-sediment abyssal areas and their siliceous spicules create persistent spicule patches on the seafloor. Sponge spicule patch density, spatial dispersion, and percent cover were examined over a seven-year period (2006–2013) using remotely operated vehicle videos from Station M in the abyssal northeast Pacific (50˚00N, 123˚00W, ~4,000 m depth). There was an apparent large increase in newly dead plate sponges in February 2007 compared with December 2006, with this trend continuing through June 2007 (mean 0.03 % cover increasing to 0.33 %). A second increase in mean percent cover of dead plate sponges occurred from May 2011 (0.24 %) through June 2012 (0.60 %). Among the 28 megafaunal taxa occurring in association with the patches, the distributions of three taxa [two sponge taxa (Porifera) and brittle stars (Ophiuroidea)] suggested selectivity for the sponge spicule patches. The community structure of visible megafauna within sponge spicule patches was different when compared with that outside the patches suggesting that the sponges, after death, provide preferred habitat patches for certain benthic megafauna. These findings indicate that sponge spicule patches contribute to habitat heterogeneity in space and time

    The complete mitochondrial genome of the pink sea fan, Eunicella verrucosa (Pallas, 1766).

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    This is the final version. Available from Taylor & Francis via the DOI in this record. The genome sequence data for this study are openly available in GenBank of NCBI at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nuccore/MW588805 under accession number MW588805.The pink sea fan, Eunicella verrucosa (Pallas, 1766), inhabits rocky substrates across the northeast Atlantic and the western Mediterranean. Across much of its range it has been detrimentally affected by fishing. DNA from 17 E. verrucosa specimens was amplified by phi29-induced rolling circle amplification. Following purification by sodium acetate-ethanol precipitation, the circular genomic DNA was sequenced on an Illumina MiSeq v2. Specimens originated from sites along the west coast of Ireland, southwest Wales, southwest/southern England, northwest France, southern Portugal, and the Mediterranean coast of northeast Spain. All samples had identical mitochondrial genome sequences of 19,267 bp and included 14 protein-coding genes (including the mutS gene), two ribosomal RNA subunits (12S and 16S) and one methionine tRNA gene. Two genes (nad2 and nad5) overlapped by 13 bp; all other genes were separated by non-coding intergenic regions. All protein-coding genes had the same start codon (ATG) and a TAA or TAG stop codon, except for cox1 that terminated with the incomplete stop codon T--. The mitochondrial genome of E. verrucosa (MW588805) showed 99.72% similarity with that of a related sea fan species, Eunicella cavolini, with six SNPs and a 49 bp deletion between nad5 and nad4 in E. verrucosa distinguishing the two.European Unio

    Review of recreational take of coral in Western Australia. A discussion paper.

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    This discussion paper has been prepared by the Department of Fisheries (Western Australia) to address the issue of recreational collection of coral in coastal waters of Western Australia. The paper describes: • popular coral locations in WA; • management issues associated with the recreational collection of corals; • management objectives and strategies as possible options to address the issue of recreational collection of corals; and • seeks public input on the proposed management objectives and strategies

    Evolution of mitochondrial and nuclear genomes in Pennatulacea

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    We examine the phylogeny of sea pens using sequences of whole mitochondrial genomes and the nuclear ribosomal cluster generated through low coverage Illumina sequencing. Taxon sampling includes 30 species in 19 genera representing 13 families. Ancestral state reconstruction shows that most sea pen mitochondrial genomes have the ancestral gene order, and that Pennatulacea with diverse gene orders are found in a single clade. The monophyly of Pennatulidae and Protoptilidae are rejected by both the mitochondrial and nuclear dataset, while the mitochondrial dataset further rejects monophyly of Virgulariidae, and the nuclear dataset rejects monophyly of Kophobelemnidae. We show discordance between nuclear ribosomal gene cluster phylogenies and whole mitochondrial genome phylogenies and highlight key Pennatulacea taxa that could be included in cnidarian genome-wide studies to better resolve the sea pen tree of life. We further illustrate how well frequently sequenced markers capture the overall diversity of the mitochondrial genome and the nuclear ribosomal genes in sea pens
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