8 research outputs found

    Monitoring blue biodiversity: examining diversity patterns in coastal and marine environments using environmental DNA

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    The research conducted in this thesis contributes to the expansion of eDNA methods in coastal and marine ecosystems, with a focus on ‘small and scarce’ taxa, such as threatened Syngnathids, as well as ‘broad and unexplored’ ecosystems like the Southern Ocean and the deep-sea. In a broad context, this research generated data and baselines for vulnerable taxa and ecosystems, at a time where careful management and monitoring is pivotal to conserving coastal and marine biodiversity

    Systematics and Diversity of Annelids

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    In this Special Issue, we address the state of the art of the systematics of the main annelid groups and the improvements in the diversity they hold, with special emphasis on the latest discoveries in well-studied areas, expeditions to unsurveyed areas or environments, or the use of novel techniques that allow for the improvement of biodiversity knowledge. We are hoping that this Special Issue will provide a platform facilitating a review of current knowledge on the subject, identifying current research problems, as well as indicating directions and research trends for the future

    Tourist preferences for seamount conservation in the Galapagos Marine Reserve

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    Seamounts provide oases of hard substrate in the deep sea that are frequently associated with locally enhanced biological productivity and diversity. There is now increasing recognition of their ecological and socio-economic importance. However, management strategies for these habitats are constrained not only by limited ecological understanding but by the general public’s understanding of the pressures facing these ecosystems. This study adds to the growing literature on willingness to pay for conservation of deep-sea ecosystems and species by undertaking a stated preference survey to assess tourist’s awareness of seamounts and their preferences for protection within the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Visitors’ perceptions of seamount biodiversity must be studied because tourists are key drivers of the Galapagos economy and account for 41% of the Marine Reserve budget. Our survey captured the attitudes, perceptions and willingness to pay of tourists for an increase in the entrance fee to the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Results showed tourists were willing to pay on average US$48.93 in addition to existing entrance fees. The results of this study support the willingness to develop a multiuse management plan for the Galapagos Marine Reserve, balancing conservation, local communities livelihoods and sustainable tourism. Our results evidence a willingness to support and fund conservation, which is of critical importance to both the Galapagos National Park and local non-governmental organizations heavily reliant for their work on entrance fees and donations respectively. Overall, the conclusion from this study is that, despite limited knowledge, visitors of the Galapagos Islands attach positive and significant values to the conservation of seamount biodiversity

    Ecological considerations for marine spatial management in deep-water Tanzania

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    The United Republic of Tanzania has jurisdiction over a large marine area (223,000 km2) of which over 92% is deeper than 200 m. These deep areas extend from, in most cases <10 km from shore, have connections to shallow and coastal marine habitats through oceanographic processes, and support important living and non-living resources, which are becoming increasingly exploited to support a valuable blue economy. Recognising the need for sustainable development, implementation of conservation and management measures in Tanzania's offshore waters has begun, with the development of coastal protected areas and marine spatial plans (e.g. the Coastal and Marine Spatial Plan for Zanzibar). As yet, the deeper areas of Tanzania have not been considered in marine spatial planning. Here we present a synthesis of available data on the habitats and biological communities of deep-water Tanzania, including new data collected in collaboration with the deep-water oil and gas industry, to provide an indication of regional-scale patterns and areas of potential importance. We also discuss the value and multiple uses of the deep ocean areas to Tanzania, and assess the ecological effects of impacts in these environments. This information is valuable to the Tanzanian government to help inform development of management measures to continue to make sustainable use of valuable deep-water resources. To facilitate uptake, we provide a series of recommendations on considering the Tanzanian deep ocean areas in marine spatial planning to boost future management of the important and sensitive offshore domain

    Deep-sea life of Tanzania

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    Teuthidodrilus sp.

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    This is a species of Teuthidodrilus ("squidworm", and acrocirrid polychaete). There is a single species described from the Celebes sea, Teuthidodrilus samae. Video from 2004 Indian Ocean SERPENT project in a similar area but much shallower (1014 m) had different postures and swimming behaviour than the Celebes Sea one: http://archive.serpentproject.com/231

    The remarkable squidworm is an example of discoveries that await in deep-pelagic habitats

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    Author Posting. © The Authors, 2010. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Royal Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Biology Letters 7 (2011): 449-453, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2010.0923.An intriguing new annelid, Teuthidodrilus samae (Annelida, Cirratuliformia) gen. and sp. nov., was observed and collected during deep water column exploration of the western Celebes Sea. The Celebes Sea is a deep pocket basin, effectively isolated from surrounding deep water, and is part of the Coral Triangle, a focal area for conservation because of its high diversity and unique geological history. Collected specimens reached 94 mm in length and possessed 10 anterior appendages that were as long or longer than the body. Two characters distinguish T. samae from other polychaetes: notochaetae forming broad, concavo-convex paddles, and six pairs of free-standing, oppositely branched nuchal organs. Phylogenetic analysis of five genes and a 29 character morphological matrix showed that T. samae is an acrocirrid (primarily benthic polychaetes) belonging to the morphologically diverse swimming clade. Pelagic animals within primarily benthic clades are of particular interest in evolutionary biology, because their adaptations to life in the water column inform us of the evolutionary possibilities and constraints within the clade and indirectly of the selective pressures at work in this unfamiliar habitat. This new genus illustrates how much we have to learn about even the large, abundant inhabitants of deep-pelagic communities.Funding was provided to LPM by grants from NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and WHOI Ocean Life Institute, with additional support from the National Geographic Society. The University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship provided funding to KJO