Occurrence of the odours geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol (MIB) in freshwater environments indicates that odour-producing organisms are commonly occurring. In the present study, we assumed actinomycetes to be a major source of the odours. Seasonal concentrations of odours and abundance of Actinobacteria, which includes actinomycetes and other G+ and high GC bacteria, were determined in one oligotrophic and two eutrophic freshwater streams, as well as in aquacultures connected to these streams, in Denmark. Concentrations of geosmin and MIB ranged from 2 to 9 ng l(-1) and were lowest in the winter. Passage of stream water in the aquacultures increased the amount of geosmin and MIB by up to 55% and 110%, respectively. Densities of actinobacteria were determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization with catalyzed reporter deposition (CARD-FISH) technique and were found to make up from 4 to 38 x 10(7) cells l(-1), corresponding to 3-9% of the total bacterial populations. The lowest densities of actinobacteria occurred in the winter. Filamentous bacteria targeted by the FISH probe made up about 2.7-38% (average was 22%) of the actinobacteria and were expected to be actinomycetes. Combined microautoradiography and CARD-FISH demonstrated that 10-38% (incorporation of 3H-thymidine) and 41-65% (incorporation of 3H-leucine) of the actinobacteria were metabolically active. The proportion of active actinobacteria increased up to 2-fold during passage of stream water in the aquacultures, and up to 98% of the cells became active. Sequencing of 16S rRNA genes in 8 bacterial isolates with typical actinomycete morphology from the streams and ponds demonstrated that most of them belonged to the genus Streptomyces. The isolated actinomycetes produced geosmin at rates from 0.1 to 35 aggeosmin bacterium(-1)h(-1). MIB was produced at similar rates in 5 isolates, whereas no MIB was produced by three of the isolates. Addition of the odours to stream water demonstrated that indigenous stream bacteria were capable of reducing the odours, and that enrichment with LB medium stimulated the degradation. Our study shows that bacterial communities in freshwater include geosmin- and MIB-producing actinobacteria. However, the mechanisms controlling production as well as degradation of the odours in natural waters appear complex and require further research.
A consistent methodology for assessing the accumulating effects of natural and manmade change on riverine systems has not been developed for a whole host of reasons including a lack of data, disagreement over core elements to consider, and complexity. Accumulated state assessments of aquatic systems is an integral component of watershed cumulative effects assessment. The Yukon River is the largest free flowing river in the world and is the fourth largest drainage basin in North America, draining 855,000 km(2) in Canada and the United States. Because of its remote location, it is considered pristine but little is known about its cumulative state. This review identified 7 "hot spot" areas in the Yukon River Basin including Lake Laberge, Yukon River at Dawson City, the Charley and Yukon River confluence, Porcupine and Yukon River confluence, Yukon River at the Dalton Highway Bridge, Tolovana River near Tolovana, and Tanana River at Fairbanks. Climate change, natural stressors, and anthropogenic stresses have resulted in accumulating changes including measurable levels of contaminants in surface waters and fish tissues, fish and human disease, changes in surface hydrology, as well as shifts in biogeochemical loads. This article is the first integrated accumulated state assessment for the Yukon River basin based on a literature review. It is the first part of a 2-part series. The second article (Dubé et al. 2013a, this issue) is a quantitative accumulated state assessment of the Yukon River Basin where hot spots and hot moments are assessed outside of a "normal" range of variability.
In the Antarctic, fishes of dominant suborder Notothenioidei have evolved in a unique thermal scenario. Phylogenetically related taxa of the suborder live in a wide range of latitudes, in Antarctic, sub-Antarctic and temperate oceans. Consequently, they offer a remarkable opportunity to study the physiological and biochemical characters gained and, conversely, lost during their evolutionary history. The evolutionary perspective has also been pursued by comparative studies of some features of the heme protein devoted to O(2) transport in fish living in the other polar region, the Arctic. The two polar regions differ by age and isolation. Fish living in each habitat have undergone regional constraints and fit into different evolutionary histories. The aim of this contribution is to survey the current knowledge of molecular structure, functional features, phylogeny and adaptations of the haemoglobins of fish thriving in the Antarctic, sub-Antarctic and Arctic regions (with some excursions in the temperate latitudes), in search of insights into the convergent processes evolved in response to cooling. Current climate change may disturb adaptation, calling for strategies aimed at neutralising threats to biodiversity.
Polar fishes are known to have serum proteins and glycoproteins that protect them from freezing, by a noncolligative process. Measurements of antifreeze concentrations in ice and scanning electron micrographs of freeze-dried antifreeze solutions indicate that the antifreezes are incorporated in ice during freezing. The antifreezes also have a pronounced effect on the crystal habit of ice grown in their presence. Each of four antifreezes investigated caused ice to grow in long needles whose axes were parallel to the ice c axis. Together these results indicate the antifreezes adsorb to ice surfaces and inhibit their growth. A model in which adsorbed antifreezes raise the curvature of growth steps on the ice surface is proposed to account for the observed depression of the temperature at which freezing occurs and agrees well with experimental observations. The model is similar to one previously proposed for other cases of crystal growth inhibition.
From 2000-2004 a monitoring study was conducted to evaluate the impacts of aluminum smelter-derived polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on the health of fish in the marine waters of Kitimat, British Columbia, Canada. These waters are part of the historical fishing grounds of the Haisla First Nation, and since the 1950s the Alcan Primary Metal Company has operated an aluminum smelter at the head of the Kitimat Arm embayment. As a result, adjacent marine and estuarine sediments have been severely contaminated with a mixture of smelter-associated PAHs in the range of 10,000-100,000 ng/g dry wt. These concentrations are above those shown to cause adverse effects in fish exposed to PAHs in urban estuaries, but it was uncertain whether comparable effects would be seen at the Kitimat site due to limited bioavailability of smelter-derived PAHs. Over the 5-year study we conducted biennial collections of adult English sole (Parophrys vetulus) and sediment samples at the corresponding capture sites. Various tissue samples (e.g. liver, kidney, gonad, stomach contents) and bile were taken from each animal to determine levels of exposure and biological effects, and compare the uptake and toxicity of smelter-derived PAHs with urban mixtures of PAHs. Results showed significant intersite differences in concentrations of PAHs. Sole collected at sites nearest the smelter showed increased PAH exposure, as well as significantly higher prevalences of PAH-associated liver disease, compared to sites within Kitimat Arm that were more distant from the smelter. However, measures of PAH exposure (e.g., bile metabolites) were surprisingly high in sole from the reference sites outside of Kitimat Arm, though sediment and dietary PAHs at these sites were low, and fish from the areas showed no biological injury. PAH uptake, exposure, and biological effects in Kitimat English sole were relatively lower when compared to English sole collected from urban sites contaminated with PAH mixtures from other sources. These findings indicate that while smelter-associated PAHs in Kitimat Arm appear to be causing some injury to marine resources, they likely have reduced bioavailability, and thus reduced biological toxicity, compared to other environmental PAH mixtures.
Different components of global environmental change are typically studied and managed independently, although there is a growing recognition that multiple drivers often interact in complex and nonadditive ways. We present a conceptual framework and empirical review of the interactive effects of climate change and invasive species in freshwater ecosystems. Climate change is expected to result in warmer water temperatures, shorter duration of ice cover, altered streamflow patterns, increased salinization, and increased demand for water storage and conveyance structures. These changes will alter the pathways by which non-native species enter aquatic systems by expanding fish-culture facilities and water gardens to new areas and by facilitating the spread of species during floods. Climate change will influence the likelihood of new species becoming established by eliminating cold temperatures or winter hypoxia that currently prevent survival and by increasing the construction of reservoirs that serve as hotspots for invasive species. Climate change will modify the ecological impacts of invasive species by enhancing their competitive and predatory effects on native species and by increasing the virulence of some diseases. As a result of climate change, new prevention and control strategies such as barrier construction or removal efforts may be needed to control invasive species that currently have only moderate effects or that are limited by seasonally unfavorable conditions. Although most researchers focus on how climate change will increase the number and severity of invasions, some invasive coldwater species may be unable to persist under the new climate conditions. Our findings highlight the complex interactions between climate change and invasive species that will influence how aquatic ecosystems and their biota will respond to novel environmental conditions.
Vessel slowdown may be an alternative mitigation option in regions where re-routing shipping corridors to avoid important marine mammal habitat is not possible. We investigated the potential relief in masking in marine mammals and fish from a 10 knot speed reduction of container and cruise ships. The mitigation effect from slower vessels was not equal between ambient sound conditions, species or vessel-type. Under quiet ambient conditions, a speed reduction from 25 to 15 knots resulted in smaller listening space reductions by 16-23%, 10-18%, 1-2%, 5-8% and 8% respectively for belugas, bowheads, bearded seals, ringed seals, and fish, depending on vessel-type. However, under noisy conditions, those savings were between 9 and 19% more, depending on the species. This was due to the differences in species' hearing sensitivities and the low ambient sound levels measured in the study region. Vessel slowdown could be an effective mitigation strategy for reducing masking.
Climatic factors influence the interactions among trophic levels in an ecosystem in multiple ways. However, whereas most studies focus on single factors in isolation, mainly due to interrelation and correlation among drivers complicating interpretation and analyses, there are still only few studies on how multiple ecosystems respond to climate related factors at the same time. Here, we use a hierarchical Bayesian model with a bioenergetic predator-prey framework to study how different climatic factors affect trophic interactions and production in small Arctic lakes. Natural variation in temperature and catchment land-cover was used as a natural experiment to exemplify how interactions between and production of primary producers (phytoplankton) and grazers (zooplankton) are driven by direct (temperature) and indirect (catchment vegetation) factors, as well as the presence or absence of apex predators (fish). The results show that increased vegetation cover increased phytoplankton growth rate by mediating lake nutrient concentration. At the same time, increased temperature also increased grazing rates by zooplankton. Presence of fish increased zooplankton mortality rates, thus reducing grazing. The Arctic is currently experiencing an increase in both temperature and shrub vegetation cover due to climate change, a trend, which is likely to continue. Our results point towards a possible future general weakening of zooplankton grazing on phytoplankton and greening of arctic lakes with increasing temperatures. At the same time, the impact of the presence of an apex predator indicate considerable local variation in the response. This makes direction and strength of global change impacts difficult to forecast.
Cites: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Feb 16;113(7):1841-626831099
The activity of the enzymes of the energy and carbohydrate metabolisms (cytochrome-c oxidase, L-lactate dehydrogenase, aldolase, and glycerol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase) have been studied in White Sea herring (the 1+, 2+, and 3+ age groups) sampled in Onega Bay, Dvina Bay, and Kandalaksha Bay of the White Sea. The bays differ in the hydrological regime, ecological and feeding conditions. The individual variability of the enzyme activity was the largest in the herring of the age 1+. The flexibility of the intensity and vector of the basic metabolic reactions probably supports the energy homeostasis, preconditions the switching to the most effective way of using the resources, and regulates the synthesis of the structural and storage molecules, as well as vectors the adaptation strategy of herring specimens of each age group to the hydrological regime, environment, and feeding conditions of the particular bay, corresponding to their age-related characteristics.