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Oceans, Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2022) – 7 articles

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10 pages, 3948 KiB  
Article
Using Colour as a Marker for Coral ‘Health’: A Study on Hyperspectral Reflectance and Fluorescence Imaging of Thermally Induced Coral Bleaching
by Jonathan Teague, Jack Willans, David A. Megson-Smith, John C. C. Day, Michael J. Allen and Thomas B. Scott
Oceans 2022, 3(4), 547-556; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans3040036 - 29 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2615
Abstract
Rising oceanic temperatures create more frequent coral bleaching events worldwide and as such there exists a need for rapid, non-destructive survey techniques to gather greater and higher definition information than that offered by traditional spectral based monitoring systems. Here, we examine thermally induced [...] Read more.
Rising oceanic temperatures create more frequent coral bleaching events worldwide and as such there exists a need for rapid, non-destructive survey techniques to gather greater and higher definition information than that offered by traditional spectral based monitoring systems. Here, we examine thermally induced laboratory bleaching of Montipora capricornis and Montipora confusa samples, utilising hyperspectral data to gain an understanding of coral bleaching from a spectral standpoint. The data revealed several characteristic spectral peaks that can be used to make health determinations. The fluorescence peaks are attributed to fluorescent proteins (FPs) and Chlorophyll-a fluorescence. The reflectance peaks can be attributed to Chlorophyll absorption and accessory pigments such as Peridinin and Diadinoxanthin. Each characteristic spectral peak or ‘marker’ allows for observation of each aspect of coral health and hence, simultaneous monitoring of these markers using hyperspectral imaging techniques provides an opportunity to better understand the processes occurring during bleaching and the rates at which they occur relative to one another. Full article
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20 pages, 2316 KiB  
Article
Using Stable Isotope Analyses to Assess the Trophic Ecology of Scleractinian Corals
by Michael P. Lesser, Marc Slattery and Keir J. Macartney
Oceans 2022, 3(4), 527-546; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans3040035 - 14 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2791
Abstract
Studies on the trophic ecology of scleractinian corals often include stable isotope analyses of tissue and symbiont carbon and nitrogen. These approaches have provided critical insights into the trophic sources and sinks that are essential to understanding larger-scale carbon and nitrogen budgets on [...] Read more.
Studies on the trophic ecology of scleractinian corals often include stable isotope analyses of tissue and symbiont carbon and nitrogen. These approaches have provided critical insights into the trophic sources and sinks that are essential to understanding larger-scale carbon and nitrogen budgets on coral reefs. While stable isotopes have identified most shallow water (<30 m) corals as mixotrophic, with variable dependencies on autotrophic versus heterotrophic resources, corals in the mesophotic zone (~30–150 m) transition to heterotrophy with increasing depth because of decreased photosynthetic productivity. Recently, these interpretations of the stable isotope data to distinguish between autotrophy and heterotrophy have been criticized because they are confounded by increased nutrients, reverse translocation of photosynthate, and changes in irradiance that do not influence photosynthate translocation. Here we critically examine the studies that support these criticisms and show that they are contextually not relevant to interpreting the transition to heterotrophy in corals from shallow to mesophotic depths. Additionally, new data and a re-analysis of previously published data show that additional information (e.g., skeletal isotopic analysis) improves the interpretation of bulk stable isotope data in determining when a transition from primary dependence on autotrophy to heterotrophy occurs in scleractinian corals. Full article
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18 pages, 5092 KiB  
Article
When and Where Did They Strand? The Spatio-Temporal Hotspot Patterns of Cetacean Stranding Events in Indonesia
by Putu Liza Kusuma Mustika, Kathryn K. High, Mochamad Iqbal Herwata Putra, Achmad Sahri, I Made Jaya Ratha, Muhammad Offal Prinanda, Firdaus Agung, Februanty S. Purnomo and Danielle Kreb
Oceans 2022, 3(4), 509-526; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans3040034 - 4 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3103
Abstract
Analyses of the spatial and temporal patterns of 26 years of stranding events (1995–2011 and 2012–2021, n = 568) in Indonesia were conducted to improve the country’s stranding response. The Emerging Hot Spot Analysis was used to obtain the spatial and temporal hotspot [...] Read more.
Analyses of the spatial and temporal patterns of 26 years of stranding events (1995–2011 and 2012–2021, n = 568) in Indonesia were conducted to improve the country’s stranding response. The Emerging Hot Spot Analysis was used to obtain the spatial and temporal hotspot patterns. A total of 92.4% events were single stranding, while the remaining were of mass stranding events. More stranding events were recorded between 2012 and 2021 in more dispersed locations compared to the previous period. Within the constraints of our sampling limitations, East Kalimantan and Bali were single stranding hotspots and consecutive hotspots. East Java and Sabu-Raijua in East Nusa Tenggara were mass stranding hotspots. Temporally, Raja Ampat (West Papua) experienced a significant increase in case numbers. The presence of active NGOs, individuals or government agencies in some locations might have inflated the numbers of reported cases compared to areas with less active institutions and/or individuals. However, our results still give a good understanding of the progression of Indonesia’s stranding responses and good guidance of resource allocation for the stranding network. Several locations in Indonesia that need more efforts (e.g., more training workshops on rescue and necropsies) have been identified in this paper. Suggestions to improve data collection (including georeferencing tips) have also been included. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Mammal Health)
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15 pages, 5040 KiB  
Article
Age and Sexual Maturity Estimation of Stranded Striped Dolphins, Stenella coeruleoalba, Infected with Brucella ceti
by Karol Roca-Monge, Rocío González-Barrientos, Marcela Suárez-Esquivel, José David Palacios-Alfaro, Laura Castro-Ramírez, Mauricio Jiménez-Soto, Minor Cordero-Chavarría, Daniel García-Párraga, Ashley Barratclough, Edgardo Moreno and Gabriela Hernández-Mora
Oceans 2022, 3(4), 494-508; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans3040033 - 31 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2716
Abstract
Age parameters in cetaceans allow examining conservation and studying individuals with growth affection. The age and sexual maturity of 51 stranded Stenella coeruleoalba striped dolphins from the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP) of Costa Rica, most suffering brucellosis (95.6%), were assessed. In order to [...] Read more.
Age parameters in cetaceans allow examining conservation and studying individuals with growth affection. The age and sexual maturity of 51 stranded Stenella coeruleoalba striped dolphins from the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP) of Costa Rica, most suffering brucellosis (95.6%), were assessed. In order to ascertain the dolphins’ ages, we measured the length and growth of dentin-layer group counts (GLGs) and assessed flipper bone radiography without (FBSA) and with a formula (FBF). Sexual maturity was determined through gonadal histology and sexual hormone serum levels. Compared with a model based on S. coeruleoalba ages estimations in other latitudes, the striped dolphin studied displayed deficient growth parameters, with considerable variability in length, teeth, and flippers bone development. Close to 43% (n = 15) of GLGs’ measurements were below the body length average ranges for the predicted age, suggesting developmental abnormalities. Likewise, 34.4% and 31.2% of the dolphins assessed by FBSA and FBF were also below the body length based on age prediction curves, also indicating developmental abnormalities. This information is supported by the poor correlation between GLGs, FBSA, and FBF. Inconsistencies between sexually mature males and females related to GLGs, FBSA, and FBF were evident. Although the different oceanic settings of the ETP, such as contamination, food access, diseases, and other parameters, may influence size variation, our data also suggest that long-lasting debilitating brucellosis may account for detrimental growth in the ETP striped dolphins. Our study highlights the possible deleterious consequences of chronic infectious diseases in the cetacean populations already confronting distressful conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Mammal Health)
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14 pages, 7191 KiB  
Article
Impact of Indian Ocean Dipole Events on Phytoplankton Size Classes Distribution in the Arabian Sea
by Rebekah Shunmugapandi, Shirishkumar Gedam and Arun B. Inamdar
Oceans 2022, 3(4), 480-493; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans3040032 - 24 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1927
Abstract
Changes in the environmental condition associated with climatic events could potentially influence the PSC dynamics of the regional marine ecosystem. The Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) is one of the critical ocean–atmosphere interactions that affects the climate of the Arabian Sea, and it could [...] Read more.
Changes in the environmental condition associated with climatic events could potentially influence the PSC dynamics of the regional marine ecosystem. The Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) is one of the critical ocean–atmosphere interactions that affects the climate of the Arabian Sea, and it could be a potential factor influencing the regional PSC distribution. However, the relationship between PSC and IOD remains unclear and less explored. In this study, using the in-situ database acquired from the Arabian Sea, we reparametrized the three−component abundance−based phytoplankton size class model and applied it to reconstructed satellite−derived chlorophyll−a concentration to extract the fractional contribution of phytoplankton size classes to chlorophyll−a concentration. Further, we investigated the influence of IOD on the changes in the biological–physical properties in the Arabian Sea. The results showed that the biological–physical processes in the Arabian Sea are interlinked and the changes in the IOD mode control the physical variables like sea surface temperature (SST), sea surface height (SSH), and mixed layer depth (MLD), which influence the specific PSC abundance. Unprecedented changes in the PSC distribution and physical properties were observed during the extreme positive and negative IOD events, which clearly indicated the potential role of IOD in altering the PSC distribution in the Arabian Sea. This study highlights the impact of extreme climate events on PSC distribution and the need for a better understanding of the associated physical–biological–climate interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World Oceans Day 2022)
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16 pages, 1433 KiB  
Article
Erythrocyte, Whole Blood, Plasma, and Blubber Fatty Acid Profiles in Oceanaria-Based versus Wild Alaskan Belugas (Delphinapterus leucas)
by Todd L. Schmitt, Caroline E. C. Goertz, Roderick C. Hobbs, Steve Osborn, Stacy DiRocco, Heidi Bissell and William S. Harris
Oceans 2022, 3(4), 464-479; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans3040031 - 30 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2445
Abstract
This investigation compared the fatty acid (FA) levels found in erythrocyte (RBC) membranes, plasma, whole blood (WB), and blubber from wild Alaskan (Bristol Bay) belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) (BBB, n = 9) with oceanaria-based belugas (OBB, n = 14) fed a controlled [...] Read more.
This investigation compared the fatty acid (FA) levels found in erythrocyte (RBC) membranes, plasma, whole blood (WB), and blubber from wild Alaskan (Bristol Bay) belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) (BBB, n = 9) with oceanaria-based belugas (OBB, n = 14) fed a controlled diet consisting of primarily herring (Clupea harengus) and capelin (Mallotus villosus). FA patterns in RBCs, WB, and plasma varied considerably between BBB and OBB animals. Focusing on RBC FA levels of known dietary origin, the OBBs had markedly higher levels of 20:1n9,11 and 22:1n9,11. RBC levels of these fatty acids were 1% and 0.2% in the BBBs, but 8.2% and 4.5%, respectively, in the OBBs (p < 0.05 both). These long-chain mono-unsaturated FAs (LC-MUFAs) are rich in herring and capelin but not in the prey species (i.e., salmonids, smelt, cod, and shrimp) generally available to BBBs. As for the marine omega-3 poly-unsaturated fatty acids [PUFAs; 20:5n3 (eicosapentaenoic acid) and 22:6n3 (docosahexaenoic acid)], the former was higher in the OBBs vs. BBBs (16% vs. 11%, p < 0.05), but the latter was low and similar in both (3.8% vs. 4%). Similar patterns were seen in the other sample types, except that DHA% was higher in BBB than OBB animals in both plasma (12.6% vs. 8.7%) and in blubber (12% vs. 4.9%) (p < 0.05). A physiologically important omega-6 PUFA, 20:4n6 (arachidonic acid) was approximately 2× higher in BBB than OBB within RBC (22% vs. 12%), WB (16% vs. 7%), plasma (11.5% vs. 4.6%) and blubber (4.6% vs. 2.4%), respectively. While blubber FAs have been evaluated historically and relatively easy to procure with biopsy darts in the field, this study proposes that blood-based FAs collected during health assessments or subsistence hunts, especially RBC or WB FAs, may be more convenient to handle using dried blood spot cards (DBS) with limited cold storage and simplifies shipping requirements, and may more accurately reflect tissue FA status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Mammal Health)
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25 pages, 4718 KiB  
Article
Strandings in St Vincent Gulf Bioregion, South Australia: 12-Year Study Monitors Biology and Pathology of Cetaceans
by Ikuko Tomo and Catherine M. Kemper
Oceans 2022, 3(4), 439-463; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans3040030 - 26 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2736
Abstract
The semi-enclosed environment of the St Vincent Gulf Bioregion and its fauna are impacted by many human activities. Long-term monitoring of cetaceans is vital. Records of collected specimens (173) and those not examined by the South Australian Museum (98 non-specimens) from 2009–2020 were [...] Read more.
The semi-enclosed environment of the St Vincent Gulf Bioregion and its fauna are impacted by many human activities. Long-term monitoring of cetaceans is vital. Records of collected specimens (173) and those not examined by the South Australian Museum (98 non-specimens) from 2009–2020 were analyzed. Necropsies were carried out on most carcasses using gross, histopathological, and diagnostic assessment of pathogens, organs, and skin lesions. The relative age and circumstance of death were assigned. Baleen whales (five species) and odontocetes (eight species) were studied. Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) and common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) were frequently recorded and analyzed in detail. Anthropogenic cases were prevalent (21%). Many dolphins (62%) were immature males. Disease (73%) was the most frequently recorded circumstance of death. The most common pathological change was inflammatory disease, including infectious pneumonia. In Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, infectious disease was more prevalent in the greater St Vincent Gulf Bioregion than in the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary. Microbe testing confirmed 32 species of bacteria, 2 fungi, and 1 virus. Nematodes and trematodes were recorded throughout the study, sometimes in association with microbes. Toxoplasma gondii was observed in an Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin. Severe traumatic injury was recorded in many dolphins, including anthropogenic cases. A tumor (leiomyoma) was described from a single common dolphin. This study provides an important baseline for the future monitoring of emerging infectious and chronic diseases, and anthropogenic threats in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Mammal Health)
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