western atlantic
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2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Everton Giachini Tosetto ◽  
Arnaud Bertrand ◽  
Sigrid Neumann-Leitão ◽  
Miodeli Nogueira Júnior

AbstractThe dispersal of marine organisms can be restricted by a set of isolation mechanisms including hard barriers or hydrological features. In the Western Atlantic Ocean, the Amazon River discharge has been shown to act as a biogeographical barrier responsible for the differences in reef fish communities between Caribbean Sea and Northeast Brazil continental shelves. Here, we compare the diversity of all Animalia phyla from biogeographic ecoregions along the Tropical Western Atlantic continental shelf to test the hypothesis that the Amazon River plume spatially structures species diversity. For that, we used beta diversity estimators and multivariate ecological analysis on a database of species occurrence of the whole animal kingdom including 175,477 occurrences of 8,375 species from six ecoregions along the Western Tropical Atlantic. Results of the whole animal kingdom and the richest phyla showed that the Caribbean Sea and Tropical Brazil ecoregions are isolated by the Amazon River Plume, broadening and confirming the hypothesis that it acts as a soft barrier to animal dispersal in the Western Tropical Atlantic. Species sharing is larger northwestwards, in direction of the Caribbean than the opposite direction. Beyond species isolation due to local characteristics such as low salinity and high turbidity, our results suggest the dominant northwestward currents probably play a major role in animal dispersion: it enhances the flux of larvae and other planktonic organisms with reduced mobility from Brazil to Caribbean and hinders their contrary movement. Thus, the Amazon area is a strong barrier for taxa with reduced dispersal capacity, while species of pelagic taxa with active swimming may transpose it more easily.

Taxonomy ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 2 (1) ◽  
pp. 48-56
D. Wilson Freshwater ◽  
Bo Williamson ◽  
Paul W. Gabrielson ◽  
Margarita Brandt

DNA sequencing of the plastid encoded rbcL gene supported by morpho-anatomical features reveals Gracilaria parva sp. nov. from Panama and Ecuador in the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. In the rbcL phylogram, G. parva occurs in a clade sister to the western Atlantic species G. galatensis. Morphologically and anatomically, G. parva is distinguished from two similar, described tropical eastern Pacific species, G. brevis and G. veleroae by its small size, to 2.5 cm tall with branch widths mostly <2 mm occasionally to 4 mm, and by its two to three cell layered cortex. Gracilaria brevis and G. veleroae are taller, have wider branches, and a one cell layered cortex. DNA sequencing is needed to resolve the many diminutive species in the tropical eastern Pacific, particularly those occurring in turf communities. DNA sequencing of historical type specimens from the 19th and 20th centuries is also needed to correctly apply names in this region.

Abstract We present a climatological study of aerosols in four representative Caribbean islands based on daily mean values of aerosol optical properties for the period 2008- 2016, using the Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) and Ångström Exponent (AE) to classify the dominant aerosol type. A climatological assessment of the spatio-temporal distribution of the main aerosol types, their links with synoptic patterns and the transport from different sources is provided. Maximum values of AOD occur in the rainy season, coinciding with the minimum in AE and an increased occurrence of dust, while the minimum of AOD occurs in the dry season, due to the predominance of marine aerosols. Marine and dust aerosol are more frequent in the easternmost islands and decrease westwards due to an increasing of continental and mixture dust aerosols. Therefore, the westernmost station displays the most heterogeneous composition of aerosols. Using a weather type classification, we identify a quantifiable influence of the atmospheric circulation in the distribution of Caribbean aerosols. However, they can occur under relatively weak and/or diverse synoptic patterns, typically involving transient systems and specific configurations of the Azores High that depend on the considered station. Backward trajectories indicate that dry-season marine aerosols and rainy-season dust are transported by air parcels travelling within the tropical easterly winds. The main source region for both types of aerosols is the subtropical eastern Atlantic, except for Cuba, where the largest contributor to dry-season marine aerosols is the subtropical western Atlantic. Different aerosol types follow similar pathways, suggesting a key role of emission sources in determining the spatio-temporal distribution of Caribbean aerosols.

Selina L. Cheng ◽  
Kinsey N. Tedford ◽  
Rachel S. Smith ◽  
Sean Hardison ◽  
Michael R. Cornish ◽  

AbstractBlue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) are highly mobile, ecologically-important mesopredators that support multimillion-dollar fisheries along the western Atlantic Ocean. Understanding how blue crabs respond to coastal landscape change is integral to conservation and management, but such insights have been limited to a narrow range of habitats and spatial scales. We examined how local-scale to landscape-scale habitat characteristics and bathymetric features (channels and oceanic inlets) affect the relative abundance (catch per unit effort, CPUE) of adult blue crabs across a > 33 km2 seagrass landscape in coastal Virginia, USA. We found that crab CPUE was 1.7 × higher in sparse (versus dense) seagrass, 2.4 × higher at sites farther from (versus nearer to) salt marshes, and unaffected by proximity to oyster reefs. The probability that a trapped crab was female was 5.1 × higher in sparse seagrass and 8 × higher near deep channels. The probability of a female crab being gravid was 2.8 × higher near seagrass meadow edges and 3.3 × higher near deep channels. Moreover, the likelihood of a gravid female having mature eggs was 16 × greater in sparse seagrass and 32 × greater near oceanic inlets. Overall, we discovered that adult blue crab CPUE is influenced by seagrass, salt marsh, and bathymetric features on scales from meters to kilometers, and that habitat associations depend on sex and reproductive stage. Hence, accelerating changes to coastal geomorphology and vegetation will likely alter the abundance and distribution of adult blue crabs, challenging marine spatial planning and ecosystem-based fisheries management.

PLoS ONE ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 16 (12) ◽  
pp. e0260339
Bryan D. Watts ◽  
Fletcher M. Smith ◽  
Chance Hines ◽  
Laura Duval ◽  
Diana J. Hamilton ◽  

Many long-distance migratory birds use habitats that are scattered across continents and confront hazards throughout the annual cycle that may be population-limiting. Identifying where and when populations spend their time is fundamental to effective management. We tracked 34 adult whimbrels (Numenius phaeopus) from two breeding populations (Mackenzie Delta and Hudson Bay) with satellite transmitters to document the structure of their annual cycles. The two populations differed in their use of migratory pathways and their seasonal schedules. Mackenzie Delta whimbrels made long (22,800 km) loop migrations with different autumn and spring routes. Hudson Bay whimbrels made shorter (17,500 km) and more direct migrations along the same route during autumn and spring. The two populations overlap on the winter grounds and within one spring staging area. Mackenzie Delta whimbrels left the breeding ground, arrived on winter grounds, left winter grounds and arrived on spring staging areas earlier compared to whimbrels from Hudson Bay. For both populations, migration speed was significantly higher during spring compared to autumn migration. Faster migration was achieved by having fewer and shorter stopovers en route. We identified five migratory staging areas including four that were used during autumn and two that were used during spring. Whimbrels tracked for multiple years had high (98%) fidelity to staging areas. We documented dozens of locations where birds stopped for short periods along nearly all migration routes. The consistent use of very few staging areas suggests that these areas are integral to the annual cycle of both populations and have high conservation value.

2021 ◽  
Kate Burgess ◽  
Nathan Smith ◽  
Jennifer N. Solomon ◽  
Kaylin Clements ◽  
Joanne Burgess ◽  

Lionfish (Pterois volitans, Pterois miles), invasive coral reef fishes in the western Atlantic, cause extensive negative impacts to marine ecosystems. Following their introduction in Florida in the 1980’s, lionfish colonized numerous coral reef ecosystems and have been documented at depths ranging from 1-300m. In addition to depleting native reef fish biomass and threatening macroalgae induced phase shifts on shallow reefs, the invasion of lionfish has caused severe economic damage in the form of reduced native fish yields for local fisher people and high costs of management. While few examples exist of successful management of marine invasive species, studies have shown that lionfish removal can decrease their density and increase prey species biomass. A critical component and challenge for any effective lionfish removal effort is to maintain consistently high levels of lionfish harvesting so as to reduce lionfish abundance to levels that mitigate their negative ecological impacts. One popular market-based option that may achieve this is increasing the demand for the consumption of lionfish. This management solution offers potential benefits to both human livelihoods and marine ecosystems. Our study focuses on Florida’s consumptive lionfish market and fills a gap in understanding the lionfish supply chain for Florida’s restaurant industry. Although lionfish are commercially available in Florida, they are not currently widely consumed with consistency. We conducted interviews with twenty restaurant decision-makers in FL to understand their perceptions of barriers and opportunities for increasing their use of invasive lionfish. The most commonly identified barriers were: price and consistency of supply, while the most prominent opportunities were: improved awareness and culinary potential to increase the demand for lionfish. Conservation managers and policymakers should leverage these findings to facilitate opportunities, address barriers, and promote public education about invasive lionfish and their impacts.

Diversity ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 13 (12) ◽  
pp. 673
Kaylin R. Clements ◽  
Philip Karp ◽  
Holden E. Harris ◽  
Fadilah Ali ◽  
Alli Candelmo ◽  

Managing invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles) in the Western Atlantic Ocean is beyond the capacity of natural resource organizations alone. In response, organizations have mobilized members of the public and citizen scientists to help. We used a structured survey to assess the activities and perceptions of 71 organizations that engage the public and citizen scientists in lionfish research and management throughout the invaded range of the Western Atlantic. Five case studies were also conducted that exemplified varied and multi-pronged approaches to engagement of the public and citizen scientists in lionfish control, monitoring, and knowledge-sharing. The public has been engaged to some extent in every approach, but organizations most frequently indicated engaging members of the public in raising awareness, promoting consumption, organized culling/removal, tournaments, and data collection. Sixty-five percent of organizations surveyed engaged the public in data collection, and data collection was ranked as the scientific research activity in which the public is most often involved. Most organizations indicated their data has contributed to scientific publications, management, and government agency research and/or policy. Collectively these findings demonstrate the conservation value of citizen scientists to assist organizational efforts to control, manage, and study a large-scale marine invasion.

2021 ◽  
Vol 15 (4) ◽  
pp. 429-445
Rodrigo Xavier Soares ◽  
Clóvis Coutinho da Motta Neto ◽  
Gideão Wagner Werneck Félix da Costa ◽  
Marcelo de Bello Cioffi ◽  
Luiz Antonio Carlos Bertollo ◽  

Carangidae are an important and widespreaded family of pelagic predatory fishes that inhabit reef regions or open ocean areas, some species occupying a vast circumglobal distribution. Cytogenetic comparisons among representatives of its different tribes help to understand the process of karyotype divergence in marine ecosystems due to the variable migratory ability of species. In this sense, conventional cytogenetic investigations (Giemsa staining, Ag-NORs, and C-banding), GC base-specific fluorochrome staining and FISH mapping of ribosomal DNAs were performed. Four species, Elagatis bipinnulata (Quoy et Gaimard, 1825) and Seriola rivoliana (Valenciennes, 1883) (Naucratini), with circumtropical distributions, Gnathanodon speciosus (Forsskål, 1775) (Carangini), widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans, and Trachinotus carolinus (Linnaeus, 1766) (Trachinotini), distributed along the western Atlantic Ocean, were analyzed, thus encompassing representatives of three out its four tribes. All species have diploid chromosome number 2n = 48, with karyotypes composed mainly by acrocentric chromosomes (NF = 50–56). The 18S rDNA/Ag-NORs/GC+ and 5S rDNA loci were located on chromosomes likely homeologs. Karyotypes showed a pattern considered basal for the family or with small variations in their structures, apparently due to pericentric inversions. The migratory capacity of large pelagic swimmers, in large distribution areas, likely restricts the fixation of chromosome changes in Carangidae responsible for a low level of karyotype diversification.

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