During the 20th century Idefjord was considered one of the most polluted marine areas in Scandinavia. For decades it received high discharges from paper/pulp industry, which made it anoxic and extremely polluted by heavy metals and organic contaminants. Today the fjord is close to fulfil a complete pollution-recovery cycle, which is recorded in its sediment archives. Here we report results from five sediment cores studied for TC, C/N, heavy metals and benthic foraminifera. All of the cores have laminations deposited during 1940-1980s and indicative of long-lasting anoxia; high TC and heavy metal content, poor foraminiferal faunas and lack of macrofauna. The upper part of the cores deposited since 1980s shows a gradual pollutant decrease and partial foraminiferal recovery. The majority of foraminiferal species in Idefjord are agglutinated opportunistic and stress-tolerant taxa, which to some extent tolerate hypoxia and are early colonisers of previously disturbed environments. The current study demonstrates a value of benthic foraminiferal stratigraphy as a useful tool in understanding processes driving environmental degradation and recovery of coastal ecosystems.
In a 2.5-year-long environmental engineering experiment in the By Fjord, surface water was pumped into the deepwater where the frequency of deepwater renewals increased by a factor of 10. During the experiment, the deepwater became long-term oxic, and nitrate became the dominating dissolved inorganic nitrogen component. The amount of phosphate in the water column decreased by a factor of 5 due to the increase in flushing and reduction in the leakage of phosphate from the sediments when the sediment surface became oxidized. Oxygenation of the sediments did not increase the leakage of toxic metals and organic pollutants. The bacterial community was the first to show changes after the oxygenation, with aerobic bacteria also thriving in the deepwater. The earlier azoic deepwater bottom sediments were colonized by animals. No structural difference between the phytoplankton communities in the By Fjord and the adjacent Havsten Fjord, with oxygenated deepwater, could be detected during the experiment.
Cites: Environ Sci Technol. 2009 May 15;43(10):3407-1119544832
Cites: Nature. 2012 Jun 28;486(7404):463-422739295
Cites: Ambio. 2014 Feb;43(1):26-3624414802
Cites: Science. 2010 Dec 3;330(6009):1375-821071631
Cites: Ambio. 2014 Sep;43(5):634-4324114069
Cites: Appl Environ Microbiol. 1998 Jan;64(1):119-259435068
Cites: Ambio. 2007 Apr;36(2-3):280-617520945
Cites: Nature. 2009 Jan 29;457(7229):581-419078958
Cites: Science. 2008 Aug 15;321(5891):926-918703733
The blue mussel (Mytilus sp.) has been used to assess the potential biological effects of the discharge effluent from the Omya Hustadmarmor mine, which releases its tailings into the Frænfjord near Molde, Norway. Chemical body burden and a suite of biological effects markers were measured in mussels positioned for 8?weeks at known distances from the discharge outlet. The biomarkers used included: condition index (CI); stress on stress (SoS); micronuclei formation (MN); acetylcholine esterase (AChE) inhibition, lipid peroxidation (LPO) and Neutral lipid (NL) accumulation. Methyl triethanol ammonium (MTA), a chemical marker for the esterquat based flotation chemical (FLOT2015), known to be used at the mine, was detected in mussels positioned 1500?m and 2000?m downstream from the discharge outlet. Overall the biological responses indicated an increased level of stress in mussels located closest to the discharge outlet. The same biomarkers (MN, SoS, NL) were responsible for the integrated biological response (IBR/n) of the two closest stations and indicates a response to a common point source. The integrated biological response index (IBR/n) reflected the expected level of exposure to the mine effluent, with the highest IBR/n calculated in mussels positioned closest to the discharge. Principal component analysis (PCA) also showed a clear separation between the mussel groups, with the most stressed mussels located closest to the mine tailing outlet. Although not one chemical factor could explain the increased stress on the mussels, highest metal (As, Co, Ni, Cd, Zn, Ag, Cu, Fe) and MTA concentrations were detected in the mussel group located closest to the mine discharge.
Hazardous substances entering the sea, and ultimately deposited in bottom sediments, pose a growing threat to marine ecosystems. The present study characterized two coastal areas exposed to significant anthropogenic impact - Gulf of Gdansk (Poland), and Oslofjord/Drammensfjord (Norway) - by conducting a multi-proxy investigation of recent sediments, and comparing the results in light of different available thresholds for selected contaminants. Sediment samples were analyzed for benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P) and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nonylphenols (NPs), organotin compounds (OTs), toxic metals (Cd, Hg, Pb), as well as mutagenic, genotoxic and endocrine-disrupting activities (in CALUX bioassays). In general, a declining trend in the deposition of contaminants was observed. Sediments from both basins were not highly contaminated with PAHs, NPs and metals, while OT levels may still give rise to concern in the Norwegian fjords. The results suggest that the contamination of sediments depends also on water/sediment conditions in a given region.
Increases in the terrestrial export of dissolved organic carbon (C) to rivers may be associated with additional loading of organic nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) to the coastal zone. However, little is known about how these resources interact in the regulation of heterotrophic bacterioplankton metabolism in boreal coastal ecosystems. Here, we measured changes in bacterioplankton production (BP) and respiration (BR) in response to full-factorial (C, N, and P) enrichment experiments at two sites within the Öre estuary, northern Sweden. The BR was stimulated by single C additions and further enhanced by combined additions of C and other nutrients. Single addition of N or P had no effect on BR rates. In contrast, BP was primarily limited by P at the site close to the river mouth and did not respond to C or N additions. However, at the site further away from the near the river mouth, BP was slightly stimulated by single additions of C. Possibly, the natural inflow of riverine bioavailable dissolved organic carbon induced local P limitation of BP near the river mouth, which was then exhausted and resulted in C-limited BP further away from the river mouth. We observed positive interactions between all elements on all responses except for BP at the site close to the river mouth, where P showed an independent effect. In light of predicted increases in terrestrial P and C deliveries, we expect future increases in BP and increases of BR of terrestrially delivered C substrates at the Öre estuary and similar areas.
Mystic Aquarium, A division of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., 55 Coogan Blvd., Mystic, CT 06355, USA; Department of Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut at Avery Point, 1084 Shennecossett Rd., Groton, CT 06340, USA. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Some Arctic estuaries serve as substrate rubbing sites for beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in the summer, representing a specialized resource for the species. Understanding how environmental variation affects the species' behavior is essential to management of these habitats in coming years as the climate changes. Spatiotemporal and environmental variables were recorded for behavioral observations, during which focal groups of whales in an estuary were video-recorded for enumeration and behavioral analysis. Multiple polynomial linear regression models were optimized to identify the effects of spatiotemporal and environmental conditions on group size, composition, and the frequency of behaviors being performed. Results suggest that belugas take advantage of environmental variation to express behaviors that 1) protect young, e.g., bringing calves close to shore during cloudier days, obscuring visualization from terrestrial predators; 2) avoid predation, e.g., rubbing against substrates at higher Beaufort sea states to obscure visualization, and resting during low tides while swimming on outgoing tides to avoid stranding; and 3) optimize bioenergetic resources, e.g., swimming during lower Beaufort sea states and clearer days. Predictive models like the ones presented in this study can inform conservation management strategies as environmental conditions change in future years.
We investigated benthic foraminiferal assemblages in contaminated sediments in a subarctic harbor of Northern Norway to assess their utility as indicators of anthropogenic impacts. Sediments in the harbor are repositories for POPs and heavy metals supplied through discharges from industry and shipping activities. Sediment contaminant concentrations are at moderate to poor ecological quality status (EcoQS) levels. The EcoQS based on benthic foraminiferal diversity reflects a similar trend to the EcoQS based on contaminant concentrations. Foraminiferal density and diversity is low throughout the harbor with distinct assemblages reflecting influence of physical disturbances or chemical stressors. Assemblages impacted by physical disturbance are dominated by L. lobatula and E. excavatum, while assemblages impacted by chemical stressors are dominated by opportunistic species S. fusiformis, S. biformis, B. spathulata and E. excavatum. The foraminiferal assemblage from an un-impacted nearby fjord consists mainly of agglutinated taxa. These assemblages provides a valuable baseline of the ecological impacts of industrialization in northern coastal communities.
The aim of this study was to determine the amount of organic and inorganic carbon in foraminifera specimens and to provide quantitative data on the contribution of foraminifera to the sedimentary carbon pool in Adventfjorden. The investigation was based on three calcareous species that occur commonly in Svalbard fjords: Cassidulina reniforme, Elphidium excavatum and Nonionellina labradorica. Our results show that the species investigated did not contribute substantially to the organic carbon pool in Adventfjorden, because they represented only 0.37% of the organic carbon in the sediment. However, foraminiferal biomass could have been underestimated as it did not include arenaceous or monothalamous taxa. Foraminiferal carbonate constituted up to 38% of the inorganic carbon in the sediment, which supports the assumption that in fjords where non-calcifying organisms dominate the benthic fauna foraminifera are among the major producers of calcium carbonate and that they play crucial roles in the carbon burial process. The results presented in this study contribute to estimations of changes in foraminiferal carbon levels in contemporary environments and could be an important reference for palaeoceanographic studies.
In presented study the impact of climatic factors and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) on macroalgal community was analysed. Also the factors influencing algal community were defined with help of Principal Component and Classification analysis. It was found that climatic impact may depend on habitat features and that on different sites biomass of macroalgae correlated with different weather factors. Wind and surf may affect biomass of macroalgae adversely on some sites and at the same time on other sites they may accumulate biomass, transferring it is from adjacent areas. High direct correlation with temperature was found on sites which were protected from surf and had no stagnant events. Seasonal biomass inversely significantly correlated with average seasonal wind speed and annual NAO-index.
The study of the most abundant components in freshwater plankton in the Gulf of Ob and Taz Estuary in the summer-autumn season has demonstrated that the abundance and biomass of bacteria are stable and typical for mesotrophic waters during active microalgae vegetation. The abundance of viral particles varies in the range which is reported for unproductive or medium-productive water bodies. The environmental factors affecting affect the development and patterns of bacterio- and virioplankton distribution are considered.