Almahasheer, Hanan; Serrano, Oscar; Duarte, Carlos M.; Arias-Ortiz, Ariane; Masque, Pere; Irigoien, Xabier(Scientific Reports, Springer Nature, 2017-08-22)[Article]
Mangroves forests of Avicennia marina occupy about 135 km2 in the Red Sea and represent one of the most important vegetated communities in this otherwise arid and oligotrophic region. We assessed the soil organic carbon (C-org) stocks, soil accretion rates (SAR; mm y(-1)) and soil C-org sequestration rates (g C-org m(-2) yr(-1)) in 10 mangrove sites within four locations along the Saudi coast of the Central Red Sea. Soil C-org density and stock in Red Sea mangroves were among the lowest reported globally, with an average of 4 +/- 0.3 mg Corg cm(-3) and 43 +/- 5 Mg C-org ha(-1) (in 1 m-thick soils), respectively. Sequestration rates of C-org, estimated at 3 +/- 1 and 15 +/- 1 g C-org m(-2) yr(-1) for the long (millennia) and short (last century) temporal scales, respectively, were also relatively low compared to mangrove habitats from more humid bioregions. In contrast, the accretion rates of Central Red Sea mangroves soils were within the range reported for global mangrove forests. The relatively low C-org sink capacity of Red Sea mangroves could be due to the extreme environmental conditions such as low rainfall, nutrient limitation and high temperature, reducing the growth rates of the mangroves and increasing soil respiration rates.
Chaidez, Veronica; Dreano, Denis; Agusti, Susana; Duarte, Carlos M.; Hoteit, Ibrahim(Scientific Reports, Springer Nature, 2017-08-09)[Article]
Ocean warming is a major consequence of climate change, with the surface of the ocean having warmed by 0.11 °C decade-1 over the last 50 years and is estimated to continue to warm by an additional 0.6 - 2.0 °C before the end of the century1. However, there is considerable variability in the rates experienced by different ocean regions, so understanding regional trends is important to inform on possible stresses for marine organisms, particularly in warm seas where organisms may be already operating in the high end of their thermal tolerance. Although the Red Sea is one of the warmest ecosystems on earth, its historical warming trends and thermal evolution remain largely understudied. We characterized the Red Sea's thermal regimes at the basin scale, with a focus on the spatial distribution and changes over time of sea surface temperature maxima, using remotely sensed sea surface temperature data from 1982 - 2015. The overall rate of warming for the Red Sea is 0.17 ± 0.07 °C decade-1, while the northern Red Sea is warming between 0.40 and 0.45 °C decade-1, all exceeding the global rate. Our findings show that the Red Sea is fast warming, which may in the future challenge its organisms and communities.
Chefaoui, Rosa M.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Serrão, Ester A.(Scientific Reports, Springer Nature, 2017-06-02)[Article]
Past environmental conditions in the Mediterranean Sea have been proposed as main drivers of the current patterns of distribution of genetic structure of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica, the foundation species of one of the most important ecosystems in the Mediterranean Sea. Yet, the location of cold climate refugia (persistence regions) for this species during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is not clear, precluding the understanding of its biogeographical history. We used Ecological Niche Modelling together with existing phylogeographic data to locate Pleistocene refugia in the Mediterranean Sea and to develop a hypothetical past biogeographical distribution able to explain the genetic diversity presently found in P. oceanica meadows. To do that, we used an ensemble approach of six predictive algorithms and two Ocean General Circulation Models. The minimum SST in winter and the maximum SST in summer allowed us to hindcast the species range during the LGM. We found separate glacial refugia in each Mediterranean basin and in the Central region. Altogether, the results suggest that the Central region of the Mediterranean Sea was the most relevant cold climate refugium, supporting the hypothesis that long-term persistence there allowed the region to develop and retain its presently high proportion of the global genetic diversity of P. oceanica.
Plankton respiration rate is a major component of global CO2 production and is forecasted to increase rapidly in the Arctic with warming. Yet, existing assessments in the Arctic evaluated plankton respiration in the dark. Evidence that plankton respiration may be stimulated in the light is particularly relevant for the high Arctic where plankton communities experience continuous daylight in spring and summer. Here we demonstrate that plankton community respiration evaluated under the continuous daylight conditions present in situ, tends to be higher than that evaluated in the dark. The ratio between community respiration measured in the light (Rlight) and in the dark (Rdark) increased as the 2/3 power of Rlight so that the Rlight:Rdark ratio increased from an average value of 1.37 at the median Rlight measured here (3.62 µmol O2 L-1 d-1) to an average value of 17.56 at the highest Rlight measured here (15.8 µmol O2 L-1 d-1). The role of respiratory processes as a source of CO2 in the Arctic has, therefore, been underestimated and is far more important than previously believed, particularly in the late spring, with 24 h photoperiods, when community respiration rates are highest.
China is facing intense coastal eutrophication. Large-scale seaweed aquaculture in China is popular, now accounting for over 2/3's of global production. Here, we estimate the nutrient removal capability of large-scale Chinese seaweed farms to determine its significance in mitigating eutrophication. We combined estimates of yield and nutrient concentration of Chinese seaweed aquaculture to quantify that one hectare of seaweed aquaculture removes the equivalent nutrient inputs entering 17.8 ha for nitrogen and 126.7 ha for phosphorus of Chinese coastal waters, respectively. Chinese seaweed aquaculture annually removes approximately 75,000 t nitrogen and 9,500 t phosphorus. Whereas removal of the total N inputs to Chinese coastal waters requires a seaweed farming area 17 times larger than the extant area, one and a half times more of the seaweed area would be able to remove close to 100% of the P inputs. With the current growth rate of seaweed aquaculture, we project this industry will remove 100% of the current phosphorus inputs to Chinese coastal waters by 2026. Hence, seaweed aquaculture already plays a hitherto unrealized role in mitigating coastal eutrophication, a role that may be greatly expanded with future growth of seaweed aquaculture.
Macreadie, Peter I.; Ollivier, Q. R.; Kelleway, J. J.; Serrano, O.; Carnell, P. E.; Lewis, C. J. Ewers; Atwood, T. B.; Sanderman, J.; Baldock, J.; Connolly, R. M.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Lavery, P. S.; Steven, A.; Lovelock, C. E.(Scientific Reports, Springer Nature, 2017-03-10)[Article]
Australia's tidal marshes have suffered significant losses but their recently recognised importance in CO2 sequestration is creating opportunities for their protection and restoration. We compiled all available data on soil organic carbon (OC) storage in Australia's tidal marshes (323 cores). OC stocks in the surface 1 m averaged 165.41 (SE 6.96) Mg OC ha-1 (range 14-963 Mg OC ha-1). The mean OC accumulation rate was 0.55 ± 0.02 Mg OC ha-1 yr-1. Geomorphology was the most important predictor of OC stocks, with fluvial sites having twice the stock of OC as seaward sites. Australia's 1.4 million hectares of tidal marshes contain an estimated 212 million tonnes of OC in the surface 1 m, with a potential CO2-equivalent value of $USD7.19 billion. Annual sequestration is 0.75 Tg OC yr-1, with a CO2-equivalent value of $USD28.02 million per annum. This study provides the most comprehensive estimates of tidal marsh blue carbon in Australia, and illustrates their importance in climate change mitigation and adaptation, acting as CO2 sinks and buffering the impacts of rising sea level. We outline potential further development of carbon offset schemes to restore the sequestration capacity and other ecosystem services provided by Australia tidal marshes.
Rodríguez, J. P.; Fernández-Gracia, Juan; Thums, Michele; Hindell, Mark A.; Sequeira, Ana M. M.; Meekan, Mark G.; Costa, Daniel P.; Guinet, Christophe; Harcourt, R.; McMahon, Clive R.; Muelbert, Monica; Duarte, Carlos M.; Eguíluz, V. M.(Scientific Reports, Springer Nature, 2017-03-08)[Article]
The growing number of large databases of animal tracking provides an opportunity for analyses of movement patterns at the scales of populations and even species. We used analytical approaches, developed to cope with
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