The 10th Anniversary of JMSE - Recent Advances in Section Marine Ecology

A special issue of Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (ISSN 2077-1312). This special issue belongs to the section "Marine Ecology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 7157

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Guest Editor
Marine and Environmental Sciences Center, ESTM-School of Tourism and Maritime Technology, Polytechnic of Leiria, 2520-641 Peniche, Portugal
Interests: biodiversity and ecosystem functioning; environmental risk; aquaculture and fisheries; biotechnology and resources valorization
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the JMSE in 2023, the Section of Marine Ecology has recently launched a Special Issue.

The section of Marine Ecology was set up in early 2022 (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/jmse/sections/marine_ecology), featuring a wide range of Special Issues from phytoplankton ecology to coastal ecosystems, from naturogenic processes to anthropogenic impacts. On this special occasion, we would like to sincerely thank the contribution of all scholars and editors for their great support. Please join us in celebrating this milestone and we will keep working together to witness the continuous growth of the journal and the section!

We invite colleagues in relevant fields to contribute to this anniversary Special Issue with original research papers and review articles on all aspects of marine ecology. Let us be part of its future together!

Dr. Sílvia C. Gonçalves
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 3790 KiB  
Article
Reproductive Cycle of the Sea Urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816) on the Central West Coast of Portugal: New Perspective on the Gametogenic Cycle
by Andreia Raposo, Susana M. F. Ferreira, Rodolfo Ramos, Catarina Anjos, Sílvia C. Gonçalves, Pedro M. Santos, Teresa Baptista, José L. Costa and Ana Pombo
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(12), 2366; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11122366 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 892
Abstract
A population of sea urchins, Paracentrotus lividus, from the central west coast of Portugal was studied to characterise their reproductive biology and possible relationships with environmental factors. An annual gametogenic cycle was found, with a broad spawning season, from May to November, [...] Read more.
A population of sea urchins, Paracentrotus lividus, from the central west coast of Portugal was studied to characterise their reproductive biology and possible relationships with environmental factors. An annual gametogenic cycle was found, with a broad spawning season, from May to November, according to a relatively synchronous gamete maturation process. Depending on the environmental factors (temperature, photoperiod), two separate periods could be distinguished, with more individuals maturing and spawning at the same time. When this happened, the first event evolved when temperature rose to a critical point, and the second occurred afterwards, when temperature decreased significantly. Notwithstanding, it was found that individuals matured later than previously described for other populations (e.g., north of Portugal), mostly in late spring, with a higher gonadosomatic index in May. A new classification scale was proposed for identifying the stages of P. lividus gametogenic cycle, based on new findings. It contributed to its simplification and easier comprehension. This study provides useful information for a differentiated sustainable management of P. lividus, according to local conditions. Establishing a closed harvesting season might be considered, based on the differences observed between Portuguese populations and other European ones. Full article
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20 pages, 5747 KiB  
Article
Uncovering the Prokaryotic Diversity of the Bathyal Waters above the Kuril–Kamchatka Trench
by Susanna Gorrasi, Angelika Brandt, Francesca Pittino, Andrea Franzetti, Marcella Pasqualetti, Barbara Muñoz-Palazon, Giorgia Novello and Massimiliano Fenice
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(11), 2145; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11112145 - 10 Nov 2023
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Abstract
The Kuril–Kamchatka Trench (North-West Pacific Ocean) is included in the deepest trenches (>9000 m). This study is the first that aims at uncovering the bathyal prokaryotic diversity (1000–2000 m) of this fascinating extreme environment. The analysis of α-diversity revealed that bacterial communities showed [...] Read more.
The Kuril–Kamchatka Trench (North-West Pacific Ocean) is included in the deepest trenches (>9000 m). This study is the first that aims at uncovering the bathyal prokaryotic diversity (1000–2000 m) of this fascinating extreme environment. The analysis of α-diversity revealed that bacterial communities showed greater diversity than archaeal communities and that both communities were characterized by poor evenness (indicative of the presence of few dominant OTUs). The metabarcoding analysis showed that Proteobacteria (65.5–90.7%), Bacteroidetes (2.4–10.7%), and Actinobacteria (2.5–9.6%) were the highly represented phyla of bacteria, with Acinetobacter (21.5–62.5%) as the most abundant genus. Moreover, the recently described Pseudofrancisella genus, which has been isolated from estuarine environments, has been found among the major bacterial taxa. This work represents the first report stating the presence of this genus in bathyal waters. The archaeal communities were dominated by the phylum Thaumarchaeota (53.6–94.0%), with Nitrosopumilus (53.6–94%) as its representative genus. The functional diversity analysis revealed that overall, the bacterial communities had a higher involvement in the carbon and nitrogen biogeochemical cycles, with chemoheterotrophy (mostly aerobic), aromatic compound degradation, and nitrate reduction as the most represented functions. In the archaeal communities, the most represented ecological function was the aerobic oxidation of ammonia (first stage of nitrification), a functional feature characteristic of Nitrosopumilus. Full article
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12 pages, 3983 KiB  
Article
The Palaeobiology of the False Mako Shark, Parotodus benedenii (Le Hon, 1871): A View from the Pliocene Mediterranean Sea
by Alberto Collareta, Simone Casati and Andrea Di Cencio
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(10), 1990; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11101990 - 16 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1434
Abstract
The extinct “false mako” shark, Parotodus benedenii (Lamniformes: Otodontidae), is essentially known from large, robust teeth that are widespread but overall rare in Oligocene to Pliocene deposits worldwide. More than 150 years after its description, this species still represents a palaeontological conundrum, as [...] Read more.
The extinct “false mako” shark, Parotodus benedenii (Lamniformes: Otodontidae), is essentially known from large, robust teeth that are widespread but overall rare in Oligocene to Pliocene deposits worldwide. More than 150 years after its description, this species still represents a palaeontological conundrum, as very little is known about its body aspect and palaeoecology. Here, we describe new specimens of P. benedenii from the Pliocene of Tuscany, central Italy. These new finds comprise some of the geologically youngest finds of P. benedenii worldwide, witnessing to the survival of false makos until the Late Pliocene at least, which in turn suggests that P. benedenii may have been the latest surviving member of the family Otodontidae. Building upon a thorough literature review, we provide an updated synthesis of the palaeobiology of P. benedenii. In light of the morphological evidence, and considering previously published suggestions, P. benedenii may be reconstructed as a large-sized, carnivorous shark that dwelt in pelagic settings and fed primarily on large, soft prey and scavenging items. Thus, some ecological partitioning did likely exist between P. benedenii and other elasmobranch apex predators of the Neogene mid-latitude seas (including, in Pliocene times, the extant species Carcharodon carcharias, Carcharhinus leucas and Galeocerdo cuvier). Full article
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14 pages, 4019 KiB  
Article
Regional Algorithm of Quantitative Assessment of Cyanobacteria Blooms in the Eastern Part of the Gulf of Finland Using Satellite Ocean Color Data
by Svetlana Vazyulya, Oleg Kopelevich, Inna Sahling, Ekaterina Kochetkova, Evgenia Lange, Alexander Khrapko, Tatyana Eremina and Dmitry Glukhovets
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(9), 1746; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11091746 - 05 Sep 2023
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Abstract
Summer blooms of potentially harmful cyanobacteria are common in the Baltic Sea. Under clear sky conditions, the cyanobacterial blooms are easily detectable from space. We propose a new regional algorithm for cyanobacteria biomass estimation from satellite data in the eastern part of the [...] Read more.
Summer blooms of potentially harmful cyanobacteria are common in the Baltic Sea. Under clear sky conditions, the cyanobacterial blooms are easily detectable from space. We propose a new regional algorithm for cyanobacteria biomass estimation from satellite data in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland, developed on the basis of field measurements in July–August 2012–2014. The multi-regression equation defines the cyanobacteria biomass as a function of the particle backscattering coefficient and chlorophyll concentration. The use of this equation provides the best performance in comparison to the linear one, which is reflected in both R2 and RMSE values (0.61 and 272 mg m−3 respectively). Unlike other algorithms, which determine only the cyanobacteria bloom area in the Baltic Sea, our algorithm allows the determination of both a bloom area and its intensity. Considering the algorithm errors, the bloom detection threshold has been shifted from the 200 mg m−3 determined by biologists to 300 mg m−3. Based on data from the MODIS-Aqua satellite ocean color scanner, the spatial and temporal variability of cyanobacterial blooms in this region from 2003 to 2022 was analyzed. Significant interannual variability of cyanobacteria biomass was revealed in the central part of the studied region, with minimum values in 2014 and maximum in 2004. The record bloom during the studied period occurred in July 2004 (the average cyanobacteria biomass was 780 mg m−3). The weakest blooms were observed in 2009, 2010, and 2014, when both in July and August, the bloom areas did not exceed 30% of the study region. Full article
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19 pages, 6255 KiB  
Article
Airborne and Underwater Noise Produced by a Hovercraft in the North Caspian Region: Pressure and Particle Motion Measurements
by Alexandr I. Vedenev, Oleg Yu. Kochetov, Andrey A. Lunkov, Andrey S. Shurup and Saltanat S. Kassymbekova
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(5), 1079; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11051079 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1420
Abstract
The measurements of airborne and underwater noise radiated by a Griffon BHT130 hovercraft were conducted in the Ural-Caspian Channel and in the North Caspian Sea. This type of hovercraft is being used for all-season cargo and crew transportation to oil and gas platforms [...] Read more.
The measurements of airborne and underwater noise radiated by a Griffon BHT130 hovercraft were conducted in the Ural-Caspian Channel and in the North Caspian Sea. This type of hovercraft is being used for all-season cargo and crew transportation to oil and gas platforms within the environmentally sensitive area of the Ural River estuary known for its abundant bird and fish fauna. Several field campaigns were organized from 2017 to 2022 to measure and analyze acoustic noise levels simultaneously in the air and underwater at various sites and hovercraft speeds. Airborne noise levels were estimated according to ISO 2922:2020, 2021. Underwater noise study included not only acoustic pressure recordings but also particle velocity measurements with a self-designed pressure gradient sensor (PGS), which is important since the hearing of the majority of fish perceives the sound in terms of particle motion. This study is the first to report the particle velocity levels formed underwater during hovercraft passages. The minimum levels of underwater noise, 100 dB re 1 µPa (pressure), 45 dB re 1 nm/s (particle velocity), and airborne noise, 93 dBA re 20 µPa (pressure), normalized to a distance of 25 m were observed for the hovercraft passages at a cruising speed of 7–15 m/s. Thus, this speed interval can be recommended as an optimum to minimize an acoustic impact on ornitho- and fish fauna. The directivity of the hovercraft noise was estimated for the first time and utilized for noise mapping of the Ural-Caspian Channel. The possible hydrodynamic effect of a passing hovercraft is discussed. Full article
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Review

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29 pages, 418 KiB  
Review
Overview of Predation by Birds, Cephalopods, Fish and Marine Mammals on Marine Benthic Amphipods
by Jean-Claude Dauvin
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2024, 12(3), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse12030403 - 26 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1257
Abstract
With about 8000 marine benthic species, the amphipod crustaceans form one of the richest animal groups of the worldwide Ocean. They have colonized a wide range of soft- and hard-bottom natural and artificial habitats extending from the intertidal to hadal zones. Moreover, they [...] Read more.
With about 8000 marine benthic species, the amphipod crustaceans form one of the richest animal groups of the worldwide Ocean. They have colonized a wide range of soft- and hard-bottom natural and artificial habitats extending from the intertidal to hadal zones. Moreover, they show a broad size spectrum, with numerous giant species exceeding 20 cm in length and some species smaller than 2 mm. When biofouling artificial hard surfaces, some tube-building species can form very dense populations comprising up to 100,000 individuals per square meter. Amphipods are important prey for fish and mammals. Along with cephalopod juveniles, they are also included in the trophic diet of shorebirds that consume amphipods mostly during the low tide on tidal flats. They display diel migration, which reinforces the predation by demersal fish in the suprabenthic zone just above the sea bed, as well as by pelagic fish in the water column. Despite their importance in terms of biodiversity and trophic transfer, no general overview is available on the role of benthic amphipods in marine ecosystem food webs. Various methods, including laboratory and field experiments, as well as the analysis of stomach contents and DNA extraction, have been used to identify the prey/predator trophic links. Based on an extensive literature review, this study discusses the role of marine benthic amphipods as potential food for higher trophic levels in natural and artificial hard-bottom communities created via the construction of offshore wind farms. Full article
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