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Oceans, Volume 5, Issue 2 (June 2024) – 11 articles

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20 pages, 7406 KiB  
Article
Coupled Meteo–Hydrodynamic Approach in Semi-Enclosed Basins and Sensitivity Assessment of Wind-Driven Current
by Elvira Armenio, Andrea Tateo, Francesca Fedele, Nicola Ungaro, Michele Mossa, Vittorio Esposito and Vincenzo Campanaro
Oceans 2024, 5(2), 292-311; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans5020019 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 275
Abstract
A coupled numerical approach that combines the WRF model and the Mike 3 (DHI) hydrodynamic model was developed and applied in two semi-enclosed basins in the Ionian Sea (Italy) to assess the wind-driven current. To gain a better understanding of how the sea [...] Read more.
A coupled numerical approach that combines the WRF model and the Mike 3 (DHI) hydrodynamic model was developed and applied in two semi-enclosed basins in the Ionian Sea (Italy) to assess the wind-driven current. To gain a better understanding of how the sea current field can vary depending on meteorological data forcing, three different scenario were set up. The sensitivity of the sea current pattern was investigated as a function of the type of meteorological forcing and appreciating the differences in the results. The aims of this study are threefold. Firstly, we wish to define an ad hoc procedure to join the model-computed meteorological parameters in the hydrodynamic model. Secondly, we will investigate the feedback from the Mar Piccolo and Mar Grande basins in the Ionian Sea using fully coupled simulations and an uncoupled system where the atmospheric parameters are derived from a ground station. Finally, we will evaluate the results achieved by applying two scenarios of typical meteorological conditions to the study site. The model results highlighted the variability of sea currents depending on meteorological forcing. Full article
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7 pages, 199 KiB  
Reply
Reply to Hendawitharana et al. Comment on “Arulananthan et al. The Status of the Coral Reefs of the Jaffna Peninsula (Northern Sri Lanka), with 36 Coral Species New to Sri Lanka Confirmed by DNA Bar-Coding. Oceans 2021, 2, 509–529”
by Ashani Arulananthan, Venura Herath, Sivashanthini Kuganathan, Anura Upasanta and Akila Harishchandra
Oceans 2024, 5(2), 285-291; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans5020018 - 11 May 2024
Viewed by 253
Abstract
We appreciate the comments made by Hendawitharana et al [...] Full article
9 pages, 1170 KiB  
Comment
Comment on Arulananthan et al. The Status of the Coral Reefs of the Jaffna Peninsula (Northern Sri Lanka), with 36 Coral Species New to Sri Lanka Confirmed by DNA Bar-Coding. Oceans 2021, 2, 509–529
by Manuja Promodya Hendawitharana, Adriaan Gittenberger, Prabath Krishantha Jayasinghe and Deishini Rupika Herath
Oceans 2024, 5(2), 276-284; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans5020017 - 11 May 2024
Viewed by 649
Abstract
We are responding to an article by Arulananthan et al [...] Full article
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19 pages, 2883 KiB  
Article
Genetic Variability and Genetic Differentiation of Populations in the Grooved Carpet Shell Clam (Ruditapes decussatus) Based on Intron Polymorphisms
by Carlos Saavedra and David Cordero
Oceans 2024, 5(2), 257-275; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans5020016 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 549
Abstract
The grooved carpet-shell clam is one of the most economically relevant shellfish species living in the Mediterranean and nearby Atlantic coasts. Previous studies using different types of genetic markers showed a remarkable genetic divergence of the eastern Mediterranean, western Mediterranean, and Atlantic populations, [...] Read more.
The grooved carpet-shell clam is one of the most economically relevant shellfish species living in the Mediterranean and nearby Atlantic coasts. Previous studies using different types of genetic markers showed a remarkable genetic divergence of the eastern Mediterranean, western Mediterranean, and Atlantic populations, but important details remained unclear. Here, data from six nuclear introns scored for restriction fragment size polymorphisms in eight populations that have not been studied before have been pooled for the analysis with data scattered through three previous studies, totaling 32 samples from 29 locations. The results show lower levels of heterozygosity, higher mean number of alleles, and alleles with restricted distribution in the Mediterranean populations, suggesting the existence of a large, isolated population in the eastern Mediterranean at the middle Pleistocene. The data also confirm the similarity of populations from Tunisia to Western Mediterranean populations. Finally, a genetic mosaic is apparent in the Atlantic coasts of the Iberian Peninsula, with a divergence of Rias Baixas populations from more northern populations and Central Portugal populations. The effects of oceanic fronts, seasonal upwellings, river plumes, and/or fishery management operations could explain this and other features of the Atlantic populations. Full article
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13 pages, 3287 KiB  
Article
Comparing the Structure of Fish Assemblage among Natural and Artificial Shallow Rocky Habitats
by Laura García-Salines and Pablo Sanchez-Jerez
Oceans 2024, 5(2), 244-256; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans5020015 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 505
Abstract
Artificial coastal structures, such as seawalls, breakwaters, and groins, can exert various impacts on the fish communities in the nearby regions. This study focuses on assessing the ecological effects of coastal infrastructure on marine environments, by comparing, at different seasons, the habitat complexity [...] Read more.
Artificial coastal structures, such as seawalls, breakwaters, and groins, can exert various impacts on the fish communities in the nearby regions. This study focuses on assessing the ecological effects of coastal infrastructure on marine environments, by comparing, at different seasons, the habitat complexity and heterogeneity, as well as their effects on fish assemblages, between the artificial habitat created with the intention of constructing a marina (Puerto Amor) and the natural habitats surrounding the Cabo de la Huerta area in Alicante (Spain). Employing an asymmetric design and examining two temporal and spatial scales, we utilized visual censuses in snorkeling to gauge the abundance and size of fish species, alongside various parameters related to habitat complexity and heterogeneity. The overarching hypothesis is that fish populations associated with artificial habitats will differ in terms of abundance, biomass, species richness, and diversity compared to fish populations associated with natural habitats, due to changes in complexity and heterogeneity. The findings indicate a shift in fish assemblages; for example, the family Labridae showed differences between the two habitat types for several species. These changes were due to the influences of the Posidonia oceanica meadow and algae like Jania rubens; being influenced by biological variables such as Ellisolandia elongata, Oculina patagonica, and Sarcotragus spinosulus; as well as physical variables such as stones, gravel, and blocks. While there is evidence of alteration in fish assemblages due to changes in habitat structure, there is also an increase in richness (9 species/m2) and total abundance and biomass (1000 ind./m2 and 1700 g/m2, respectively) in the artificial habitat. Multivariate analyses reveal that the fish community in Puerto Amor is less homogeneous than the one in the natural habitat. However, these analyses also indicate an overlap between the communities of both habitats, suggesting substantial similarity despite the noted differences. Consequently, although the habitat alteration has impacted fish populations, it has not diminished abundance, biomass, or species richness. In conclusion, the artificial rocky habitat resulting from the construction attempt at Puerto Amor harbor has fish populations with ecological significance and its removal could lead to undesirable impacts in the area, as the fish assemblages have become well established. Full article
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18 pages, 3654 KiB  
Article
Energy Efficiency Analysis of a Deformable Wave Energy Converter Using Fully Coupled Dynamic Simulations
by Chen Luo and Luofeng Huang
Oceans 2024, 5(2), 227-243; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans5020014 - 15 Apr 2024
Viewed by 534
Abstract
Deformable wave energy converters have significant potential for application as flexible material that can mitigate structural issues, while how to design the dimensions and choose an optimal deployment location remain unclear. In this paper, fully coupled computational fluid dynamics and computational solid mechanics [...] Read more.
Deformable wave energy converters have significant potential for application as flexible material that can mitigate structural issues, while how to design the dimensions and choose an optimal deployment location remain unclear. In this paper, fully coupled computational fluid dynamics and computational solid mechanics were used to simulate the dynamic interactions between ocean waves and a deformable wave energy converter. The simulation results showed that the relative length to wave, deployment depth and aspect ratio of the device have significant effects on the energy conversion efficiency. By calculating the energy captured per unit width of the device, the energy efficiency was found to be up to 138%. The optimal energy conversion efficiencies were achieved when the structure length was 0.25, 0.5 or 0.75 of the dominating wavelength and submerged at a corresponding suitable depth. The aspect ratio and maximum stress inside the wave energy converter showed a nonlinear trend, with potential optimal points revealed. The simulation approach and results support the future design and optimisation of flexiable wave energy converters or other marine structures with notable deformations. Full article
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17 pages, 3351 KiB  
Article
Global Chlorophyll Concentration Distribution and Effects on Bottom Reflectance of Coral Reefs
by Ana G. Bonelli, Paulina Martin, Phillip Noel and Gregory P. Asner
Oceans 2024, 5(2), 210-226; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans5020013 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 664
Abstract
Despite the limited coverage of coral reefs in the world’s oceans, they play a crucial role in global marine biodiversity and providing essential ecosystem services. This study explores the influence of chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration in the water column on the estimation [...] Read more.
Despite the limited coverage of coral reefs in the world’s oceans, they play a crucial role in global marine biodiversity and providing essential ecosystem services. This study explores the influence of chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration in the water column on the estimation of bottom reflectance (rb) in coral reefs monitored by the Allen Coral Atlas coral reef monitoring system, using satellite imagery from a Sentinel-2 MSI sensor. We conducted a comprehensive analysis, considering Chl-a global distribution and variability, and its combined effect with water column depth over rb calculation. Our results demonstrated that the impact of Chl-a on rb estimation becomes significant when the water column depth exceeds 3 m. While suggesting the optionality of using regional Chl-a values, our study highlights potential overestimations of Chl-a in optically complex environments, such as along the Brazilian coast. This research contributes to refining coral reef monitoring systems and underscores the importance of accurate Chl-a assessments for robust environmental evaluations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Aquatic Environment Research for Sustainable Development)
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14 pages, 4258 KiB  
Article
Widespread Coral Bleaching and Mass Mortality of Reef-Building Corals in Southern Mexican Pacific Reefs Due to 2023 El Niño Warming
by Andrés López-Pérez, Rebeca Granja-Fernández, Eduardo Ramírez-Chávez, Omar Valencia-Méndez, Fabián A. Rodríguez-Zaragoza, Tania González-Mendoza and Armando Martínez-Castro
Oceans 2024, 5(2), 196-209; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans5020012 - 4 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1960
Abstract
In May 2023, oceanic and atmospheric anomalies indicated El Niño conditions in the eastern Pacific, followed by coral bleaching in coral communities and reefs of Huatulco. We conducted surveys and sampled coral reef communities from late June to mid–August of 2023 to evaluate [...] Read more.
In May 2023, oceanic and atmospheric anomalies indicated El Niño conditions in the eastern Pacific, followed by coral bleaching in coral communities and reefs of Huatulco. We conducted surveys and sampled coral reef communities from late June to mid–August of 2023 to evaluate the intensity and extent of the changes associated with the warming event. From January of 2023, Huatulco experienced positive sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies; however, beginning in June, the high-temperature anomalies became extreme (>31 °C; ~2 °C above historical records). These high temperatures resulted in extensive coral bleaching in middle–late June and mortality from middle–late July (>50–93%). In addition, the area experienced significant reductions in echinoderm abundance and fish biomass. In 2023, severe bleaching affected coral systems in the Central Mexican Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Mexican Caribbean, making this the most devastating marine heatwave event, simultaneously impacting coral reefs across Mexico’s Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coral Reef Ecology and Biology)
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15 pages, 1005 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) on the Mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis: A Multi-Biomarker Approach
by Sandra Copeto, Sara Ganço, Inês João Ferreira, Marco Silva, Carla Motta and Mário Diniz
Oceans 2024, 5(2), 181-195; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans5020011 - 3 Apr 2024
Viewed by 710
Abstract
Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) is a fire-retardant containing bromine, produced in large quantities worldwide and extensively used in several industrial products. This compound was identified as a potential contaminant of the environment, causing toxicity to organisms. However, its toxicity remains poorly understood in marine [...] Read more.
Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) is a fire-retardant containing bromine, produced in large quantities worldwide and extensively used in several industrial products. This compound was identified as a potential contaminant of the environment, causing toxicity to organisms. However, its toxicity remains poorly understood in marine bivalves. The first objective of this work was to evaluate the impact of TBBPA on mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) exposed for 28 days to various concentrations of TBBPA (0, 1, 10, and 100 µg·L−1), by assessing stress biomarkers’ responses (Glutathione S-transferase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, lipid peroxidation, total antioxidant capacity, total ubiquitin, caspase-3 and acetylcholinesterase). The results showed that lower concentrations (1 and 10 µg·L−1) were efficiently detoxified, as suggested by GST activities, which were supported by the responses of the other biomarkers. The most pronounced effects were observed in animals exposed to the highest concentration of TBBPA (100 µg·L−1), suggesting oxidative stress. Additionally, significant strong correlations were found between total antioxidant capacity and some biomarkers (superoxide dismutase and lipid peroxidation), showing that processes involved in oxidative stress fighting are working to avoid cell injury. In brief, mussels’ defense mechanisms were capable of dealing with exposure to the lower concentrations tested. Despite this, the risk of consuming shellfish or other fishery products contaminated with TBBPA should be a cause for concern. Full article
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15 pages, 1418 KiB  
Article
Investigation of Spatiotemporal Patterns of Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) Strandings in Swedish Waters for Improved Monitoring and Management
by Vigge Ulfsson, Hyeyoung Kim, Linnea Cervin, Anna Roos and Aleksija Neimanis
Oceans 2024, 5(2), 166-180; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans5020010 - 29 Mar 2024
Viewed by 829
Abstract
Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) are the only cetacean residents found year-round in Swedish waters and they are exposed to numerous natural and anthropogenic threats. Since the in situ monitoring of cetaceans can be difficult, invasive and often expensive, investigation of stranding patterns [...] Read more.
Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) are the only cetacean residents found year-round in Swedish waters and they are exposed to numerous natural and anthropogenic threats. Since the in situ monitoring of cetaceans can be difficult, invasive and often expensive, investigation of stranding patterns and examination of stranded animals can be used as a cost-effective source of data to study these elusive animals. The aim of this study was to investigate the spatiotemporal patterns of harbour porpoise stranding reports and the possible underlying causes in Swedish waters over a ten-year period (2014–2023). Additionally, the Swedish stranding network plays a key role in the collection of stranded carcasses for health and disease surveillance, and geographic coverage of the network also was analysed. When making spatial comparisons, the ten-year period was divided into two five-year blocks. Data on 854 stranded harbour porpoises were analysed from the coasts of the Skagerrak, Kattegat, and Baltic Seas. Both significant spatial and temporal patterns could be identified. Strandings peaked in July through September and hotspots occurred along most of the Swedish west coast, with the most frequent hotspots located around Öresund and especially the area around the Kullen peninsula. The spatial patterns of strandings found in this study are consistent with data on porpoise abundance, prey abundance, and gillnet fisheries’ efforts. The latter is known to be one of the primary causes of porpoise mortality. Furthermore, the coverage of the Swedish stranding network increased between the two periods, likely reflecting an increased awareness of the carcass-based surveillance program, and gaps requiring network expansion efforts were identified. These results also provide baseline data to enable the continued monitoring of stranding trends, as changes may indicate changes in population distribution, size or mortality rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Mammals in a Changing World, 2nd Edition)
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16 pages, 3779 KiB  
Article
Effects of Food Concentration and Light Intensity on the Growth of a Model Coral
by Tung-Yung Fan, Yan-Leng Huang and Anderson Mayfield
Oceans 2024, 5(2), 150-165; https://doi.org/10.3390/oceans5020009 - 25 Mar 2024
Viewed by 726
Abstract
Since reef-building corals rely on both heterotrophy and endosymbiotic dinoflagellate autotrophy to meet their metabolic needs, it is necessary to consider both food supply and light levels, respectively, when optimizing their cultivation ex situ. Herein nubbins of the model reef coral Pocillopora [...] Read more.
Since reef-building corals rely on both heterotrophy and endosymbiotic dinoflagellate autotrophy to meet their metabolic needs, it is necessary to consider both food supply and light levels, respectively, when optimizing their cultivation ex situ. Herein nubbins of the model reef coral Pocillopora acuta cultured in recirculating aquaculture systems at photosynthetically active radiation levels of 370 or 670 μmol quanta m−2 s−1 were fed Artemia nauplii at concentrations of either 33 or 78 individuals mL−1 in a separate feeding tank for 6 hr in the dark thrice weekly. A subset of nubbins was experimentally wounded at the outset of the 84-day experiment to assess recovery, and 100% fully healed within 2–4 weeks. All cultured corals survived, and unwounded corals (1) grew at a specific growth rate approaching 0.5% day−1 and (2) demonstrated a mean total linear extension of 0.2% day−1 (~6–8 cm year−1); these are far higher than growth rates normally documented in situ. In the feeding tank, corals tolerated nitrate levels up to 25 mg L−1, but once concentrations reached 50 mg L−1 by day 84, tissue necrosis began to occur in nubbins of one tank. This highlights the importance of feeding in separate tanks during long-term culture of corals, and bio-filtration could reduce the possibility of organic matter accumulation in future coral culture studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coral Reef Ecology and Biology)
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