A coupled hydrodynamic-biogeochemical model was implemented in order to estimate the effects of Major Baltic Inflows on the near-bottom hydrophysical and biogeochemical conditions in the northern Baltic Proper and the western Gulf of Finland during the period 1991-2009. We compared results of a realistic reference run to the results of an experimental run where Major Baltic Inflows were suppressed. Further to the expected overall decrease in bottom salinity, this modelling experiment confirms that in the absence of strong saltwater inflows the deep areas of the Baltic Proper would become more anoxic, while in the shallower areas (western Gulf of Finland) near-bottom average conditions improve. Our experiment revealed that typical estuarine circulation results in the sporadic emergence of short-lasting events of near-bottom anoxia in the western Gulf of Finland due to transport of water masses from the Baltic Proper. Extrapolating our results beyond the modelled period, we speculate that the further deepening of the halocline in the Baltic Proper is likely to prevent inflows of anoxic water to the Gulf of Finland and in the longer term would lead to improvement in near-bottom conditions in the Baltic Proper. Our results reaffirm the importance of accurate representation of salinity dynamics in coupled Baltic Sea models serving as a basis for credible hindcast and future projection simulations of biogeochemical conditions.
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North Atlantic and Arctic representatives of the family Pyramidellidae had been intensively studied during the last decades. A valuable contribution was made by Warén (1989; 1991; 1993), who partially revised several genera from the Scandinavian waters. Norwegian representatives of the family were reviewed by Høisæter (2014). Distribution and diagnostic of many species had been specified by Schander (1995) and Nekhaev (2011; 2014; 2017). However, in the Eurasian Arctic Seas (except for the SW Barents Sea) only five species of Pyramidellidae had been recorded (Golikov et al. 2001; Kantor & Sysoev 2006; Nekhaev 2017): Liostomia eburnea (Stimpson, 1851), Chrysallida sublustris (Friele, 1886), Amaura candida (Møller, 1842), Amaura arctica (Dall et Bartsch, 1909) and Menestho truncatula Odhner, 1915.
Five species of the family Cancellariidae are currently known from Arctic seas: Admete contabulata Friele, 1879, A. clivicola Høisæter, 2011, A. solida (Aurivillius, 1885), A. viridula (Fabricius, 1780) and Iphinopsis inflata (Friele, 1879) (Golikov et al. 2001; Kantor Sysoev 2006; Høisæter 2011). Admete contabulata, A. clivicola and Iphinopsis inflata are only known from the Atlantic part of the Arctic, i.e. Norwegian and southwestern Barents seas (Høisæter 2011; Nekhaev 2014). Admete solida has been rarely reported since its first description from the Bering Strait (Sysoev Kantor 2002), however Nekhaev Krol (2017) recently reported a specimen from the eastern region of the Barents Sea that is similar in morphology to the holotype of this species. Admete viridula is the only representative of Admete reported from Siberian seas (Golikov et al. 2001; Lyubin 2003; Kantor Sysoev, 2006).
AOOS represents a network of critical ocean and coastal observations, data, and information products that aid our understanding of the status of Alaska's marine ecosystem and allow stakeholders to make better decisions about their use of the marine environment.
Photosynthetic picoeukaryotes (PPE) are recognized as major primary producers and contributors to phytoplankton biomass in oceanic and coastal environments. Molecular surveys indicate a large phylogenetic diversity in the picoeukaryotes, with members of the Prymnesiophyceae and Chrysophyseae tending to be more common in open ocean waters and Prasinophyceae dominating coastal and Arctic waters. In addition to their role as primary producers, PPE have been identified in several studies as mixotrophic and major predators of prokaryotes. Mixotrophy, the combination of photosynthesis and phagotrophy in a single organism, is well established for most photosynthetic lineages. However, green algae, including prasinophytes, were widely considered as a purely photosynthetic group. The prasinophyte Micromonas is perhaps the most common picoeukaryote in coastal and Arctic waters and is one of the relatively few cultured representatives of the picoeukaryotes available for physiological investigations. In this study, we demonstrate phagotrophy by a strain of Micromonas (CCMP2099) isolated from Arctic waters and show that environmental factors (light and nutrient concentration) affect ingestion rates in this mixotroph. In addition, we show size-selective feeding with a preference for smaller particles, and determine P vs I (photosynthesis vs irradiance) responses in different nutrient conditions. If other strains have mixotrophic abilities similar to Micromonas CCMP2099, the widespread distribution and frequently high abundances of Micromonas suggest that these green algae may have significant impact on prokaryote populations in several oceanic regimes.
Since the 1950s, nuclear weapon testing and releases from the nuclear industry have introduced anthropogenic radionuclides into the sea, and in many instances their ultimate fate are the bottom sediments. The Arctic Ocean is one of the most polluted in this respect, because, in addition to global fallout, it is impacted by regional fallout from nuclear weapon testing, and indirectly by releases from nuclear reprocessing facilities and nuclear accidents. Sea-ice formed in the shallow continental shelves incorporate sediments with variable concentrations of anthropogenic radionuclides that are transported through the Arctic Ocean and are finally released in the melting areas. In this work, we present the results of anthropogenic radionuclide analyses of sea-ice sediments (SIS) collected on five cruises from different Arctic regions and combine them with a database including prior measurements of these radionuclides in SIS. The distribution of (137)Cs and (239,240)Pu activities and the (240)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratio in SIS showed geographical differences, in agreement with the two main sea ice drift patterns derived from the mean field of sea-ice motion, the Transpolar Drift and Beaufort Gyre, with the Fram Strait as the main ablation area. A direct comparison of data measured in SIS samples against those reported for the potential source regions permits identification of the regions from which sea ice incorporates sediments. The (240)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratio in SIS may be used to discern the origin of sea ice from the Kara-Laptev Sea and the Alaskan shelf. However, if the (240)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratio is similar to global fallout, it does not provide a unique diagnostic indicator of the source area, and in such cases, the source of SIS can be constrained with a combination of the (137)Cs and (239,240)Pu activities. Therefore, these anthropogenic radionuclides can be used in many instances to determine the geographical source area of sea-ice.
The extent of increasing anthropogenic impacts on large marine vertebrates partly depends on the animals' movement patterns. Effective conservation requires identification of the key drivers of movement including intrinsic properties and extrinsic constraints associated with the dynamic nature of the environments the animals inhabit. However, the relative importance of intrinsic versus extrinsic factors remains elusive. We analyze a global dataset of ~2.8 million locations from >2,600 tracked individuals across 50 marine vertebrates evolutionarily separated by millions of years and using different locomotion modes (fly, swim, walk/paddle). Strikingly, movement patterns show a remarkable convergence, being strongly conserved across species and independent of body length and mass, despite these traits ranging over 10 orders of magnitude among the species studied. This represents a fundamental difference between marine and terrestrial vertebrates not previously identified, likely linked to the reduced costs of locomotion in water. Movement patterns were primarily explained by the interaction between species-specific traits and the habitat(s) they move through, resulting in complex movement patterns when moving close to coasts compared with more predictable patterns when moving in open oceans. This distinct difference may be associated with greater complexity within coastal microhabitats, highlighting a critical role of preferred habitat in shaping marine vertebrate global movements. Efforts to develop understanding of the characteristics of vertebrate movement should consider the habitat(s) through which they move to identify how movement patterns will alter with forecasted severe ocean changes, such as reduced Arctic sea ice cover, sea level rise, and declining oxygen content.
Cites: Biol Lett. 2014 Jun;10(6):null PMID 24942710
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Cites: Science. 2008 Feb 15;319(5865):948-52 PMID 18276889
Cites: Nature. 2001 May 10;411(6834):183-6 PMID 11346792
Environmental gradients and their influence on benthic community structure vary over different spatial scales; yet, few studies in the Arctic have attempted to study the influence of environmental gradients of differing spatial scales on megabenthic communities across continental-scales. The current project studied for the first time how megabenthic community structure is related to several environmental factors over 2000 km of the Canadian Arctic, from the Beaufort Sea to northern Baffin Bay. Faunal trawl samples were collected between 2007 and 2011 at 78 stations from 30 to 1000 m depth and patterns in biomass, density, richness, diversity, and taxonomic composition were examined in relation to indirect/spatial gradients (e.g., depth), direct gradients (e.g., bottom oceanographic variables), and resource gradients (e.g., food supply proxies). Six benthic community types were defined based on their biomass-based taxonomic composition. Their distribution was significantly, but moderately, associated with large-scale (100-1000 km) environmental gradients defined by depth, physical water properties (e.g., bottom salinity), and meso-scale (10-100 km) environmental gradients defined by substrate type (hard vs. soft) and sediment organic carbon content. We did not observe a strong decline of bulk biomass, density and richness with depth or a strong increase of those community characteristics with food supply proxies, contrary to our hypothesis. We discuss how local- to meso-scale environmental conditions, such as bottom current regimes and polynyas, sustain biomass-rich communities at specific locations in oligotrophic and in deep regions of the Canadian Arctic. This study demonstrates the value of considering the scales of variability of environmental gradients when interpreting their relevance in structuring of communities.