The full list of projects contains the entire database hosted on this portal, across the available directories. The projects and activities (across all directories/catalogs) are also available by country of origin, by geographical region, or by directory.
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Deep-burrowing crustaceans – density dependent effects on sediment chemistry Some thalassinidian crustaceans burrow exceptionally deep into the anoxic part of marine sediment where molecular diffusion normally dominates chemical transport. In this study we use tracers and microsensors to monitor the impact of such deep bioturbation. By introducing oxygen as well as advective transport to the buried material a large volume of the sediment is affected by one single burrow, and as animal density increases overlapping effects on sediment chemistry are inevitable. The relationship between burrow density and chemical impact are thus studied and modeled. Combined effect of sediment-associated compounds on marine benthic macrofauna This project investigates sub-lethal effects of complex chemical mixtures in both pristine and contaminated marine sediments. Bioturbated sediment comprises a spatially and temporally dynamic mosaic of redox reactions. By using voltammetric microelectrodes that concurrently measure, in situ, a suite of compounds involved in early diagenesis it is possible to obtain the resolution needed to study such complex and dynamic systems. The combined effects of sediment-associated compounds are primarily studied on two marine mud-shrimps, Calocaris macandreae and Upogebia deltaura. The animals’ behavioral and toxicological responses to dynamic solute matrices and associated (scavenged) anthropogenic heavy metals are studied in boxcore (microcosm) experiments. Particular attention is given to quantifying concentration-response relationships and thresholds, and in identifying physiological mechanisms, with respect to ecologically relevant chemical mixtures. Effects of chemical mixtures on the embryonic development in lobster eggs Here we look at the combined effect of diagenetically generated solutes on the embryos of two decapod lobster species, Homarus gammarus and Nephrops norvegicus. Chemical dynamics in and around egg clutches are studied in detail, using microsensor-technology. Physiological and morphological parameters are monitored to estimate effects on development in embryos exposed to chemical mixtures both in vivo and in vitro. Adult female behavioral response, genetic and ecological differences are also investigated.
Shallow coastal areas on the Swedish west coast are generally considered highly productive and important nursery grounds for both invertebrates and fish. Several commercial important coastal fish species utilize the abundant food resources in the shallow bays during their juvenile life history stages. In my research, trophic relationships are characterized among a guild of epibenthic fish and crustaceans in some shallow embayments along the Swedish west coast. I focus principally on the influence of physical factors (temperature, salinity, exposure, sediment type, oxygen level and habitat structure) on predator-prey dynamics which are quantified in a multi-level approach involving laboratory experiments and field sampling. My intention is to study biotic regulation of populations within the limits set by naturally occurring abiotic factors in coastal areas. The general hypothesis is that habitat structure (sediment and vegetation) in a coastal area has a decisive importance for community structure and function. The structure of the habitat influence the carrying capacity of the area and set the limits within which population size may fluctuate. Population dynamic, production and consumption of epibenthic fauna and fish has been estimated quantitatively in some shallow soft bottom bays, and energy flow models have been constructed for both a sandy habitat and an eelgrass bed. Interactions between habitat structure (sediment and vegetation) and the structure of epibenthic fauna has been evaluated in several types on coastal environments in the Skagerrak and the Kattegat. For example, changes in macrovegetation in shallow coastal areas and its effects on recruitment and population structure of associated crustaceans and fish has been investigated. Distribution of filamentous algae has been assessed by aerial photo documentation, and interactions between vegetation and fauna has been studied in laboratory experiments and field investigations. Structure of fish assemblages has been related to vegetation type in both rocky and soft bottom communities. In shallow sandy bays recruitment mechanisms in flatfish has been studied. Further, the structuring role of hypoxia on demersal fish communities has been investigated in SE Kattegat and York River, Chesapeake Bay, including studies of species structure, biomass, growth, migrations and food selection.
Stock assessment of marine Crustecea suffers from uncertainties in estimation of size and yield due to difficulties in identifying population entities. This project will use molecular methods to investigate weather Antarctic Krill (Euphausia superba) in the Southern Ocean and northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis/ P. eous) in the north Atlantic and north Pacific should be viewed as large panmictic populations or if they ought to be subdivided in sub-populations on genetic grounds. Yearly landings of northern shrimp reach ˜ 250 000 metric tonnes, and ˜ 100 000 metric tonnes of Antarctic Krill are landed per year. In January 2000 I collected krill samples from 12 stations in an area from east of S. Georgia via the S. Orkney Islands to SW of the S. Shetland Islands. Samples of P.borealis from west Greenland, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Gulf of Maine, Icelandic waters, the Barents Sea, the Norwegian coast and the North Sea and Skagerrak in the Atlantic have been obtained or are being obtained. For comparisons I will also get samples from the coast of Alaska and the Berings Sea. In addition to extracting amplifying and sequencing DNA from the 16 S gene and COI gene we (co-operation with Dr. P. Sundberg, Mrs S. Viker and Mrs. A Hjelmgren, Zoology Dept. Göteborg University) will attempt to design primers for more fast-evolving genes, which we assume will be better suited for our analyses. In order to design primers that covers these sections we will endeavour to sequence the entire mitochondrial genome for the model species. Results will be analysed in co-operation with Dr. Ziad Thaib, Applied Mathematics Chalmers School of Technology and Göteborg University.
Several aspects of the effects and interactions between oxygen concentration and organic enrichment, water flow velocity, and 'sublethal predation' are studied in laboratory experiments on the common infaunal brittle stars Amphiura filiformis and A. chiajei. At slightly higher oxygen saturations (about 10% oxygen saturation) than those resulting in mortality, a change was noted in the brittle star behaviour. They left their burrow systems and elevated their central disk some cm above the sediment surface standing on their arms. No such behavioural change, compared to control, was observed during exposure to moderate hypoxia (18 to 30% oxygen saturation). However, it was noted during exposure to moderate hypoxia that both arm regeneration rate and disk growth was reduced in A. filiformis. No such response in arm regeneration rate was observed for A. chiajei. Both species responded positively to increased organic enrichment. The fact that the arm regeneration rate of A. filiformis exposed to high organic enrichment and moderate hypoxia was similar to the control suggests that this response may depend on an increased ventilation demand due to increased sulphide concentration in the sediment. An increased arm regeneration rate was observed in moderate water flow velocity (0.5 cm s-1) compared to low flow velocity (0.1 cm s-1) in moderate hypoxia (18% oxygen saturation). However, no differences in arm regeneration rates were observed in normoxia between water flows, indicating that under conditions of low oxygen, growth is affected by water flow. The hypoxic response of two marine soft-bottom communities were studied in a manipulative microcosm experiment in three levels of oxygen concentration (6 to 7%, 12% and >80% oxygen saturation). In both communities significant reductions in both abundance and species richness were observed at 6-7% oxygen saturation. However, when exposed to 12% oxygen saturation the response differed between communities. In the community collected at a site with an oxidised top sediment the diversity decreased, but not the total abundance. However, the community taken at an organic loaded site, and characterised by a more reduced sediment, both abundance and diversity decreased at 12% oxygen saturation.
Growth measuring using Otoliths...
Brissopsis lyrifera is a burrowing heart urchin often dominating soft-bottom biomass at depths between 30 and 200 m along the Swedish West Coast. It is about 5 cm in diameter and burrows through the sediment at about 5 cm depth, while feeding on organic debris, foraminifers, and small organisms within the sediment. The mouth is situated on the underneath side and specialized tubefeets are used for feeding. Burrowing spatangoids constructs ciliary currents around the body for respiration. A more or less well-developed funnel connects the urchin with the sediment surface. Particles that is deposited into the funnel are carried by respiratory currents and transferred to the mouth and ingested. The feeding strategy of B. lyrifera is not fully understood, it seems to be able to feed both from the sedment surface and within the sediment. The response of Brissopsis lyrifera, to organic matter on the sediment surface was investigated in a laboratory experiment, using sediment box-cores. Organic matter was added on the sediment surface and after each addition, one randomly chosen box was video recorded with a time-laps camera. The activity of B. lyrifera on the sediment surface and its response to the added organic matter was studied by measuring emergence behavior, time spent on the surface, locomotion rate on the surface and total reworked surface area. Gonad index, gonad lipid content, gonad water content and intestine lipid content were also measured at the end of the experiment, to evaluate B. lyrifera's ability to utilize the added organic matter. B. lyrifera emerged significantly more frequent in those boxes where organic matter was added, and the total reworked surface area was larger. This indicates that B. lyrifera is able to respond to organic matter and move upward to eat from the sediment surface. Increased gonad index in the fed treatments shows that B. lyrifera is able to utilize the organic matter as food. Lipid content of the intestine remained constant, indicating that assimilated energy is allocated to gonads rather than stored in the gut. B. lyrifera is likely to have a significant impact on the sediment property, reworking of organic matter, and on other infauna down to at least 10 cm depth.
In most animals, males play the active role in courtship and compete for mates, whereas females are discriminatory in their mate choice. As a result of this, males in many animals have evolved costly ornamental traits such as gaudy coloration and long tails. In some species, females are also ornamented, but the reasons for this are poorly known. So far, the focus of most studies have been on sexual selection acting on males, although, under some circumstances males are expected to be choosy and females competitive. Despite the large interest the field of sexual selection has received over the last decades there are still challenging areas which are not fully understood, for example, the function and evolution of secondary sexual ornaments, the evolution of mate preferences and the existence of sex-roles. The aim of this project is to test questions related to these areas. The project will not only focus on selection acting on males, but will also investigate sexual selection acting on females, i.e. male mate choice and female-female competition. The project combines field studies with laboratory experiments. The animals under study are some gobiid fishes with paternal care and conventional sex roles: the sand goby, Pomatoschistus minutus, the common goby, P. microps and the two-spotted goby, Gobiusculus flavescens. The project will, for example, investigate costs and benefits of mate choice, the function of both male and female sexual ornaments, and the plasticity of reproductive behaviour and sex-roles.
Comparative physiology on brown, red and green macroalgae, especially regulation of photosynthesis...
1. Meganyctiphanes norvegica is the most abundant krill species in the fjord, although small numbers of Thysanoessa raschii and T. inermis also occur there. The work is now concentrated on the daytime tolerance levels of light from above and hypoxic water below, in the deep part of the fjord. Nighttime vertical migration and reaction to pycnoclines and possible advection out of or into the fjord is also under investigation. (See also Bo Bergström and Maria Thomasson) 2. Samples of deep-sea epicarid isopods indicate that this taxon is much better represented in the deep sea than previously anticipated. Taxonomy and zoogeography has been partly worked up, but the project is presently resting. My interest also covers deep sea asellot isopods. 3. Most often it is difficult to distinguish between fluctuations in biomass, abundance or changes in species composition in marine ecosystems caused by natural events and those caused by human activities. Indications are clear that the macrobenthos on the Swedish west coast is affected by both large-scale climatic factors and direct anthropogenic impact. This project will soon start in co-operation with Björn Tunberg, Andrea Belgrano, Odd Lindahl and Jacob Hagberg. My involvement in the IGBP/SCOR/IOC project on the Global Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) relates now in particular to the Southern Ocean where krill is a very important component in the trophic system. My present involvement is in the planning of international research activities through the GLOBEC Working Group on the Southern Ocean.
Dinophysis spp and the Koljö fjord. It has been known since some years that blue mussels in the fjord system north of Orust very seldom or never contains the diarrhetic shellfish toxin (DST) at the same time as toxic mussels can be found at the mouth areas of the fjord system. Our research has shown that the causative organism, the dinoflagellate Dinophysis spp, generally do not occur in the fjords while high abundance’s were found outside the mouth, although there is a tidal exchange and a net current flowing through the fjord system. Field and laboratory experiments have so far demonstrated that growth and survival of Dinophysis is less in the Koljö fjord compared to controls. We are for the moment looking at what factors may control these processes. This is part of the Ph.D. work by Fredrik Norén within the MISTRA project "Recycling of nutrients from sea to land using mussel culture".(http://www.mistra-research.se) Molecular identification of Dinophysis spp. Dr Ann-Sofi Rehnstam-Holm, after a postdoctoral position at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (USA) will start working at Göteborg University and at Kristineberg on a MISTRA-project concerning new detection methods for Dinophysis. These methods consists in species specific identification by molecular probes and by a sophisticated signal amplification system, they are ready to be tested in the field at Kristineberg in co-operation with the MISTRA(http://www.mistra-research.se) project "Recycling of nutrients from sea to land using mussel culture". Production of DST by Dinophysis spp. Our experience since several years is that the Dinophysis species do not always contain DST. Recently a database containing all observations on phytoplankton from 1989 and onwards from the Gullmar fjord area was completed. This database will now be run against other databases containing environmental data, since it is known that the toxin production of many dinoflagellates may depend on nutrient stress. Together with professor Edna Granéli (http://www.hik.se) we are also planning laboratory experiments which hopefully will increase the knowledge about toxin production of Dinophysis. Uptake and fate of pathogenic microbes in the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis Linneaeus. The aim of this research project, which also is part of the M.D. work of Bodil Hernroth (BSc.), will contribute to increase the knowledge of how mussels process pathogenic bacteria and viruses, to try to predict which microbes may reach humans when consuming mussels. Comparative and quantitative studies of endocytos, anti-microbial activity, exocytos and elimination of pathogenic microbes by the mussels will be carried out. This project is a part of the MISTRA (http://www.mistra-research.se) project "Recycling of nutrients from sea to land using mussel culture" in close co-operation with Prof. Lars Edebo (M.D. supervisor) at the Institute of Laboratory Medicine at Gothenburg University (http://www.medfak.gu.se). Time-series analysis of pelagic data in the Gullmar fjord. Dr Andrea Belgrano (ecosystems ecologist), has a two-year individual postdoctoral fellowship position at Kristineberg funded by the European Commission (EC) within the Marine Science and Technology Programme (MAST III), is now working with advanced time-serie analysis on the project : " Plankton Community Dynamics in Relation to Water Exchange: The Gullmar Fjord Time Series Data Set- EC-MAST III - individual postdoctoral fellowship Research Project (MAS3-CT96-5028). (http://www.ecology.su.se/databases/biomad/lajos/pm32.htm). For the analysis of the time series data set co-operation have been established with Prof. Björn Malmgren, Göteborg University ( http://www.gmf.gu.se/Departments/MarineGeology.html), Dr. Andrew R. Solow , Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (http://www.whoi.edu/mpcweb/), Dr. Mercedes Pascual, University of Maryland (http://www.umbi.umd.edu/~comb/index.html) and Dr. Peter Turchin, University of Connecticut (http://www.eeb.uconn.edu/) The exchange of deep-water of the Gullmar fjord. The hydrography and oxygen situation of the deep water of the Gullmar fjord has been monitored monthly for 20 years within different research and monitoring programmes. The ongoing analysis of this time-series will focus on the detection of trends and periodicity in the observed oxygen fluctuations, as well as on the changes in the timing and extent of the annual exchanges of the deep-water. The data analysis will benefit from the established co-operation with physical oceanographer at the Oceanographic Institution at Gothenburg University. Modelling of onshore and offshore marine populations. We are partner in a collaborative Virtual University Education Programme(http://www.umbi.umd.edu/virtue/index.html) established between Gothenburg University, and the University of Maryland (USA) in relation to the project " The temporal dynamics of vibrios in aquatic environments ". The objective of this project will focus on a better understanding of the dynamics of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae in aquatic ecosystems in relation to climatic and environmental forcing, as well as the role played by plankton as a potential reservoir for Vibrio cholerae outbreaks. This project will run for three years (1998-2000) and will involve a co-operation on new methods for the analysis of time series data and plankton dynamics between Dr. Mercedes Pascual and Dr.Anwar Huq at the Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland, Baltimore,U.S.A (http://www.umbi.umd.edu/~comb/index.html), Dr. Andrea Belgrano and Dr. Odd Lindahl at Kristineberg Marine Research Station (KMF) and Prof. Björn Malmgren at the Department of Earth Sciences - Marine Geology, Earth Sciences Center, Göteborg University (http://www.gmf.gu.se/Departments/MarineGeology.html)
The research encompass many various aspects of benthic infaunal processes: effects of faunal bioturbation and irrigation activity in differnet faunal successional stages on sediment chemistry; trapping and transformation of organic matter by different functional groups population interspecific competition effects of oxygen deficiency on benthic habitat succession and infaunal behaviour analysed by in situ sediment profile imaging and in laboratory experimets the importance of infaunal activity and food quality on the fate of organic contaminants chemical communication in amphiurid (brittle-star) populations.
1. Behaviour of individual copepods in the laboratory when exposed to patchiness of food and varying predation risk Copepods experience a variable food environment with favourable patches interspersed with large volumes of water with too low food concentration to sustain growth and development. Critical traits in copepod behaviour are therefore the ability to detect and remain in patches of food, and at the same time avoid predation. The objectives of the project are to quantify patch responses of selected small copepods and to observe how predator presence may affect foraging behaviour. Methods include video observations in small aquaria and bottle incubations with defined patches of food. Laboratory experiments showed that copepods have the ability to find and remain in food patches and that this was beneficial for them in terms of reproduction. Predation enhanced the advantage to stay in patches since increased predation risk was associated with food search. 2. Distributions of copepods and microzooplankton in the field The vertical distribution of copepods and their prey potentially has a strong impact on predator-prey interactions in the pelagic environment. The project aims at quantifying the small-scale (metre) distributions of these organisms. Since plankton nets are unsatisfactory at this resolution, an in situ video camera designed to observe copepods has been developed. The observations with the camera are amazing, a hitherto unknown world can be revealed. Results from filming with the camera shows that copepods sometimes aggregated around the pycnocline, but rarely respond to in situ fluorescence, a crude measure of food abundance. The distribution will be a balance between the swimming capabilities of the copepods and the turbulence field. At present, models have been developed that predict the distributions, and the project is in a field testing phase. 3. Distribution of marine snow in the field and association to grazing dinoflagellates The particle dynamics during blooms of phytoplankton has received considerable attention recently. It has been shown that physics will have a profound impact on the fate of phytoplankton blooms and this project aims at clarifying the combined role of physics and biology on the decline of phytoplankton blooms. In two field studies, simple coagulation theory has been successful in predicting bloom dynamics. In the Gullmarfjord, Sweden, a spring bloom ended rapidly following a storm event and mass sedimentation of marine snow was observed by in situ video recordings. Grazing by heterotrophic dinoflagellates prevented further recovery of the diatoms. In a second field study in the Benguela upwelling region, South Africa, continuous aggregation of large diatoms was observed. No sedimentation occurred, however, and the reason was found to be colonisation and grazing on the aggregates by the dinoflagellate Noctiluca scintillans. 4. Hunger responses in copepods exposed to variable food supply Food patchiness and the necessity to avoid predators means that copepods will have highly variable access to food. The aim of this project is to study dynamics of ingestion under non-steady state food conditions. Small copepods that do not store lipids have a limited capacity to survive periods of low food and should be adapted to fast and efficient utilisation of ephemeral food patches. The experimental protocol includes traditional bottle incubations with copepods and diatoms, high abundances and small bottles are used to detect fast changes (min-hours). The results show that brief periods of starvation (1-3 h) stimulated ingestion, but only temporarily on time scales of gut filling times. In contrast, longer starvation times (6-14 h) lead to elevated ingestion rates lasting longer than gut filling time. This could indicate changes in the assimilation efficiency and experiments are planned on the topic for January 1999.
This project aims to reveal more understanding in the species diversity and distribution of cryptic shrimps in coral reefs. Since these shrimps associate with other invertebrates to find food and shelter, they are often species specific in their choice of host organism. This is an important limiting factor in their distribution that is studied. Also the some 'species complex' found among shrimps inhabiting sea anemones are studied if they are separate species or not, using both taxonomical and ecological data! The impact of habitat diversity on the speciation of these associated shrimps is also studied. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Areas studied: The taxonomy and ecology of the shrimp fauna in three geographically different areas of the Indian Ocean - Inhaca Island, Moçambique, Phuket Island, Thailand and the coast of Western Australia.
Effects on marine organisms of sediments contaminated with tributyltin with special reference to sub-arctic and arctic conditions The use of antifouling paints based on tributyl tin (TBT) is now restricted in most European countries. However, the prohibition involves only vessels less than 25 m length. As a result many coastal areas and harbours show raised levels of TBT in water and sediment, high enough to cause effects on sensitive organisms. Dredging operations in such areas may increase exposure of organisms to TBT. As the degradation processes are temperature dependent contamination by TBT in arctic or sub-arctic waters may be more serious. The specific objectives of this study, which is performed in co-operation with the University of Iceland (Prof. J. Svavarsson), are to evaluate a/ the effect of temperature on the uptake of TBT by the gastropod Buccinum undatum during exposure to TBT-contaminated sediment and b/ the effects of contaminated sediment on the development of imposex (penis and vas deferens development of females) at different temperatures.The project involves both laboratory experiments and field studies. The project started in late autumn 1995 and results are not yet available. Effects of TBT- and triazine/copper based antifouling paints on the early development of cod Elevated amounts of components from antifouling paints has been found in sediment and in organisms in Icelandic coastal waters. Also imposex in dogwhelks and whelks has been observed. In order to evaluate any impact on the economically important fishery and especially focused on cod, experiments are performed in the laboratory following the early development of the fish from fertilization up to hatching when exposed to antifouling components. No results are yet available. Effects of antifouling agents in the marine environment. Early development in lumpsucker (Cyclopterus lumpus) preliminary studies. The objectives of the study are to reveal the effects of chemicals from antifouling paints on the development of the lumpsucker (Cyclopterus lumpus) - in situ and under laboratory conditions. The study focuses on TBT (tributyltin) and a chemical, Sea-nine, replacing TBT as the major toxic agent. We will evaluate the effects of TBT in the laboratory and under field conditions, but Sea-Nine under laboratory conditions only. Laboratory studies are based on the use of flowthrough conditions with different concentrations, while in the field studies we use cages with eggs and larvae. The eggs of the lumpsucker are allowed to glue to glass slides following fertilization. These are then easily transferred to either laboratory set up or into small cages, which will be set out at different distances from harbours. Also semipermeable membrane devices (SPMD:s) will be used in order to determine the actual water concentrations. The effects of TBT from the harbours is evaluated by measuring imposex in gastropods (Nucella lapillus) at the coastline. The mortality of the eggs and the larvae is determined and different physiological measurements are made in order to detect sublethal effects of the contaminants in question. The project has just started and no results are yet available.
The project aims to examine the effects of latitudinal temperature change on muscle function in amphipod crustaceans. As temperature has a profound effect on the ability of muscles to contract and produce force/power for movement, we are interested to see if there is any compensation for the effects of temperature between amphipod populations living at different latitudes. To this end we are studying Gammarid amphipod species due to their wide geographical distribution along the coast of North West Europe from temperate conditions in the Northern Atlantic (at approx 15°C in the summer) to polar conditions in the Arctic (at -1°C in the summer). In particular we are interested in the effects of temperature gradients on heavy chain myosin genes, as these genes regulate critical aspects of muscle contraction and can be influenced by changes in environmental temperature by switching from one gene variant to another. During our visit to Ny-Ålesund we hope to collect at least 3 different species of gammarid amphipod, including Gammarus locusta, G. zaddachi, and G. oceanicus to represent populations from the northerly limit of their latitudinal range. The muscle tissue will then be examined for sequence variations in specific active regions of the myosin genes that are known to influence the production of force. Sequence variation will be compared to the data collected from populations in the UK and in Tromso, Norway (70N). Ultimately the results will be correlated to the genetic diversity of the amphipod populations to assess the evolution of myosin genes in animals with a wide distribution pattern and inherent adaptability to temperature change.