AbstractRecent developments in tracking technology resulted in the mapping of various marine spawning migration routes of the European eel (Anguilla anguilla). However, migration routes in the North Sea have rarely been studied, despite many large European rivers and hence potential eel growing habitat discharge into the North Sea. In this study, we present the most comprehensive map to date with migration routes by silver European eels in the North Sea and document for the first time successful eel migration through the English Channel. Migration tracks were reconstructed for 42 eels tagged in Belgium and 12 in Germany. Additionally, some eels moved up north to exit the North Sea over the British Isles, confirming the existence of two different routes, even for eels exiting from a single river catchment. Furthermore, we observed a wide range in migration speeds (6.8–45.2 km day−1). We hypothesize that these are likely attributed to water currents, with eels migrating through the English Channel being significantly faster than eels migrating northward.
Abstract. Abundant numbers of sites and studies exist that document the Last Interglacial (Eemian, Ipswichian, MIS 5e) coastal record for geographically and geomorphologically diverse NW Europe. This paper documents a database of 141 known Last Interglacial sea-level indicative data points from in and around the North Sea (35 entries in Netherlands, 10 Belgium, 16 in Germany, 17 in Denmark, 8 in Britain) and the English Channel (28 entries for British and 25 for the French side, 3 on the Channel Isles), believed to be a representative and fairly complete inventory and assessment coming from some 80 published sites. The good geographic distribution (some 1500 km SW-NE) across the near field of the Scandinavian and British Ice Sheets and the attention paid to absolute and relative age control are assets of the NW European database compilation. The research history of Last Interglacial coastal environments and sea-level position for this area is long, methodically diverse and spread over regional literature in several languages. Last Interglacial high-stand shorelines of Dutch and German Bight parts of the North Sea, were of lagoonal and estuarine type and have preserved subsurface (data entry included estimates of non-GIA vertical land motion). In contrast, Last Interglacial high-stand shorelines along the English Channel are encountered above modern sea-level (data entry includes datum definitions). Our review and database compilation effort drew from the original regional literature, and paid particular attention to distinguishing between sea-level index points (SLIPs) and marine and terrestrial limiting-points. This paper describes the dominant sea-level indicators produced from region to region, compliant to the database structure of the special issue (WALIS), referenced to original source data. The sea level proxies in majority are obtained from localities with well-developed lithostratigraphic, morpho-stratigraphic and biostratigraphical constraints. Amino-Acid Racemization information is also prominent, especially in Britain, albeit for many sites the older, lesser quality applications of that technique. The majority of European continental sites have chronostratigraphic age-control, notably through regional Pollen Association Zones of known durations. This greatly helps to separate transgression, highstand (‘stillstand’) and regression subsets from within the interglacial, useful when summarizing and/or querying the dataset. In all regions, many SLIPs and limiting points have further independent age-control from luminescence (IRSL, OSL, TL), U-series and ESR dating techniques. Main foreseen usage of this database for the near field region of the European ice sheets is in GIA modelling.
AbstractMegaphages, bacteriophages harbouring extremely large genomes, have recently been found to be ubiquitous, being described from a variety of microbiomes ranging from the animal gut to soil and freshwater systems. However, no complete marine megaphage has been identified to date. Here, using both short and long read sequencing, we assembled >900 high-quality draft viral genomes from water in the English Channel. One of these genomes included a novel megaphage, Mar_Mega_1 at >650 Kb, making it one of the largest phage genomes assembled to date. Utilising phylogenetic and network approaches, we found this phage represents a new family of megaphages. Genomic analysis showed Mar_Mega_1 shares relatively few homologues with its closest relatives, but, as with other megaphages Mar_Mega_1 contained a variety of auxiliary metabolic genes responsible for carbon metabolism and nucleotide biosynthesis, including a NADP-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase [Idh] and nicotinamide-nucleotide amidohydrolase [PncC], which have not previously been identified in megaphages. Mar_Mega_1 was abundant in a marine virome sample and related phages are widely prevalent in the oceans.
Onshore and offshore sedimentological, geochemical, geomorphological, paleontological and geochronological studies of loess deposits located under and around the English Channel revealed that they were transported by katabatic winds generated by the British-Irish Ice Sheet. Katabatic winds, which are low-altitude wind flows, were able to jump over the low southern British hills but were stopped by the higher Brittany and Normandy hills. This regional topography is interrupted by a north-south corridor linking the northern and southern shores of Brittany where loess propagated down to the mouth of Loire River. This long transit shows that the total distance travelled by the katabatic wind was around 750 kilometres, which represents an unusual distance for the propagation of this wind under continental conditions. Strong similarities with Antarctica and Greenland, where well documented cases of katabatic winds are known, show that the transit of the trans-Channel katabatic winds were strongly enhanced by the seasonal drift of storms propagating in an eastward direction along the axis of the English Channel. This increasing strength of the North-South katabatic flux was probably at the origin of the transport of loess particles down to the mouth of Loire River.
The spatial and temporal variability of the summer (July–August) climate beach-based tourism aptitude along the Atlantic coast of SW Europe from 1973 to 2017 and its links with the atmospheric circulation has been analyzed, combining an empirical index and a circulation pattern approach. Three different coastal sectors were defined from a PCA analysis: Galicia-N of Portugal, the Gulf of Biscay, and the western coast of France and the English Channel. Each region experienced a contrasted evolution due to geographical factors such as latitude, orography and exposure to the prevailing circulation patterns. No significant increase in aptitude was found because the background warming has not been balanced by trends in cloudiness or precipitation. Several possible causes are discussed, from local to large-scale, such as the recent evolution of the summer NAO pattern impacting the northernmost region.