Atlantic Ocean (atlantic + ocean)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Earth and Environmental Science

Kinds of Atlantic Ocean

  • north atlantic ocean
  • south atlantic ocean
  • tropical atlantic ocean
  • western atlantic ocean

  • Selected Abstracts


    PALAEONTOLOGY, Issue 4 2009
    Abstract:, Late Quaternary sediments from Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Hole 1055B, Carolina Slope, western North Atlantic (32°47.041, N, 76°17.179, W; 1798 m water depth) were examined for deep-sea ostracod taxonomy. A total of 13 933 specimens were picked from 207 samples and c. 120 species were identified. Among them, 87 species were included and illustrated in this paper. Twenty-eight new species are described. The new species are: Ambocythere sturgio, Argilloecia abba, Argilloecia caju, Argilloecia keigwini, Argilloecia robinwhatleyi, Aversovalva carolinensis, Bythoceratina willemvandenboldi, Bythocythere eugeneschornikovi, Chejudocythere tenuis, Cytheropteron aielloi, Cytheropteron demenocali, Cytheropteron didieae, Cytheropteron richarddinglei, Cytheropteron fugu, Cytheropteron guerneti, Cytheropteron richardbensoni, Eucytherura hazeli, Eucytherura mayressi, Eucytherura namericana, Eucytherura spinicorona, Posacythere hunti, Paracytherois bondi, Pedicythere atroposopetasi, Pedicythere kennettopetasi, Pedicythere klothopetasi, Pedicythere lachesisopetasi, Ruggieriella mcmanusi and Xestoleberis oppoae. Taxonomic revisions of several common species were made to reduce taxonomic uncertainty in the literature. This study provides a robust taxonomic baseline for application to palaeoceanographical reconstruction and biodiversity analyses in the deep and intermediate-depth environments of the North Atlantic Ocean. [source]

    A Review of Feral Cat Eradication on Islands

    efecto de depredación; erradicación; Felis catus; gato asilvestrado; islas Abstract:,Feral cats are directly responsible for a large percentage of global extinctions, particularly on islands. We reviewed feral cat eradication programs with the intent of providing information for future island conservation actions. Most insular cat introductions date from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, whereas successful eradication programs have been carried out in the last 30 years, most in the last decade. Globally, feral cats have been removed from at least 48 islands: 16 in Baja California (Mexico), 10 in New Zealand, 5 in Australia, 4 in the Pacific Ocean, 4 in Seychelles, 3 in the sub-Antarctic, 3 in Macaronesia (Atlantic Ocean), 2 in Mauritius, and 1 in the Caribbean. The majority of these islands (75%; n= 36) are small (,5 km2). The largest successful eradication campaign took place on Marion Island (290 km2), but cats have been successfully removed from only 10 islands (21%) of ,10 km2. On Cousine Island (Seychelles) cat density reached 243 cats/km2, but on most islands densities did not exceed 79.2 cats/km2 (n= 22; 81%). The most common methods in successful eradication programs were trapping and hunting (often with dogs; 91% from a total of 43 islands). Frequently, these methods were used together. Other methods included poisoning (1080; monofluoracetate in fish baits; n= 13; 31%), secondary poisoning from poisoned rats (n= 4; 10%), and introduction of viral disease (feline panleucopaenia; n= 2; 5%). Impacts from cat predation and, more recently, the benefits of cat eradications have been increasingly documented. These impacts and benefits, combined with the continued success of eradication campaigns on larger islands, show the value and role of feral cat eradications in biodiversity conservation. However, new and more efficient techniques used in combination with current techniques will likely be needed for success on larger islands. Resumen:,Los gatos asilvestrados han sido responsables directos de un gran número de extinciones, particularmente en islas. En este estudio, se revisan los programas de erradicación de este felino con el fin de ofrecer información de utilidad en futuras acciones de conservación en islas. La mayor parte de las introducciones datan de los siglos diecinueve y veinte, mientras que las erradicaciones han sido realizadas básicamente durante los últimos 30 años, y sobre todo en la última década. Los gatos asilvestrados han sido erradicados de al menos 48 islas: 16 de ellas en Baja California (México), 10 en Nueva Zelanda, 5 en Australia, 4 en el Océano Pacífico, 4 en Seychelles, 3 en la Región Subantártica, 3 en Macaronesia (Océano Atlántico), 2 en Mauricio, y una en el Caribe. La mayoría de éstas (75%; n= 36) son de reducidas dimensiones (,5 km2), mientras que la más extensa es Marion Island (290 km2). En tan sólo 10 islas (21%) , 10 km2 se ha podido erradicar este depredador. En Cousine Island (Seychelles) la densidad de gatos alcanzó 243 individuos/km2; sin embargo, en la mayoría de las islas, las densidades no excedieron los 79,2 individuos/km2 (n= 22; 81%). Los métodos más comúnmente empleados fueron el trampeo y la caza, a menudo con perros (91% de un total de 43 islas). Con frecuencia dichas prácticas fueron empleadas conjuntamente. Otros métodos incluyeron venenos (1080, monofluoracetato de sodio en cebos de pescado: n= 13; 31%), envenenamiento secundario con ratas envenenadas (n= 4; 10%) y el virus de la leucemia felina (n= 2; 5%). La información sobre el efecto negativo de los gatos en islas y, más recientemente, el beneficio de su erradicación, se ha ido dando a conocer paulatinamente, poniendo de manifiesto su importancia en la conservación de la biodiversidad insular. No obstante, la combinación de técnicas nuevas y más eficientes junto con las habituales, será necesaria para el éxito de la erradicación de los gatos en islas de grandes dimensiones. [source]

    Species richness of marine Bryozoa in the continental shelf and slope off Argentina (south-west Atlantic)

    Juan López Gappa
    Abstract., A total of 246 marine bryozoan species was recorded within an area of the south-west Atlantic between 35° and 56°S, and between the coast of Argentina and 50°W. The distribution pattern of benthic stations surveyed during the most important cruises in the area shows that the sampling effort has been biased towards southern shelf areas off Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego, as well as around the Malvinas (Falkland) islands. The littoral zone, Patagonian gulfs and the continental shelf off Chubut, Río Negro and Buenos Aires state received less attention, and should be surveyed more intensively in the future. Only 2% of the species can be regarded as non-indigenous, all of them inhabiting biofouling communities in harbour environments. With the exception of some thoroughly surveyed localities, the number of species recorded for different areas of the coast, shelf and slope is estimated to be just a small fraction of the actual number of species present. A distinct diversity gradient was found, with species-rich stations located only in the southern shelf. Highest diversity occurred in shelf areas dominated by coarse sediments, and along a high-productivity shelf-break front. A remarkable decrease in species richness was found in inner and middle shelf areas off Chubut, Río Negro and Buenos Aires state. This pattern may be related to the Pacific origin of the Magellanic fauna, since the diversity of bryozoans is higher in the Pacific than in the Atlantic Ocean. The trend of species richness is, however, overemphasized by the fact that the least diverse faunistic assemblage occurs in areas where surveys have been relatively less frequent. An up-to-date checklist of species recorded for the study area is included. [source]

    Early juvenile development of deep-sea asteroids of the NE Atlantic Ocean, with notes on juvenile bathymetric distributions

    ACTA ZOOLOGICA, Issue 1 2001
    Paulo Y. G. Sumida
    Abstract The postmetamorphic ontogenesis of 11 deep-sea asteroid species is described. Juvenile bathymetric distributions are compared to adults. The deep-sea juvenile asteroids of the NE Atlantic could be distinguished to species level from a very early stage of development. In all species, except Porcellanaster ceruleus and Plinthaster dentatus, the arms grow faster than the body. In Porcellanaster ceruleus and Plinthaster dentatus, early growth is nearly isometric. In the appearance of the epiproctal cone, the change in form of the furrow and apical spines, the early development of the cribriform organ adjacent to the madreporite and the appearance of sediment in the stomach indicate that Porcellanaster ceruleus is likely to undergo a shift in habitat and diet during the juvenile phase. Porcellanaster ceruleus is probably a predator on meiofauna and small macrofauna during the early stages of life, changing to a burrowing lifestyle ingesting sediment particles. Juvenile sea stars showed wider bathymetric distributions than their adult counterparts, suggesting that events occurring during the early stages of life are important for the maintenance of the local population structure and diversity in the deep NE Atlantic. [source]

    Abundance and diversity of heterotrophic bacterial cells assimilating phosphate in the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean

    Krista Longnecker
    Summary Microorganisms play key roles in the cycles of carbon and nutrients in the ocean, and identifying the extent to which specific taxa contribute to these cycles will establish their ecological function. We examined the use of 33P-phosphate to identify heterotrophic bacteria actively involved in the cycling of phosphate, an essential inorganic nutrient. Seawater from the sub-tropical North Atlantic Ocean was incubated with 33P-phosphate and analysed by microautoradiography to determine the proportion and diversity of the bacterial community-assimilating phosphate. Complementary incubations using 3H-leucine and 3H-thymidine were also conducted. We found that a higher proportion of total heterotrophic bacterial cells in surface water samples assimilated phosphate compared with leucine or thymidine. Bacteria from all of the phylogenetic groups we identified by CARD-FISH were able to assimilate phosphate, although the abundances of cells within each group did not scale directly with the number found to assimilate phosphate. Furthermore, a significantly higher proportion of Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria and Cytophaga -like cells assimilated phosphate compared with leucine or thymidine. Our results suggest that a greater proportion of bacterial cells in surface waters are actively participating in the biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus, and possibly other elements, than is currently estimated through the use of 3H-leucine or 3H-thymidine. [source]

    Gene diversity of CYP153A and AlkB alkane hydroxylases in oil-degrading bacteria isolated from the Atlantic Ocean

    Liping Wang
    Summary Alkane hydroxylases, including the integral-membrane non-haem iron monooxygenase (AlkB) and cytochrome P450 CYP153 family, are key enzymes in bacterial alkane oxidation. Although both genes have been detected in a number of bacteria and environments, knowledge about the diversity of these genes in marine alkane-degrading bacteria is still limited, especially in pelagic areas. In this report, 177 bacterial isolates, comprising 43 genera, were obtained from 18 oil-degrading consortia enriched from surface seawater samples collected from the Atlantic Ocean. Many isolates were confirmed to be the first oil-degraders in their affiliated genera including Brachybacterium, Idiomarina, Leifsonia, Martelella, Kordiimonas, Parvibaculum and Tistrella. Using degenerate PCR primers, alkB and CYP153A P450 genes were surveyed in these bacteria. In total, 82 P450 and 52 alkB gene fragments were obtained from 80 of the isolates. These isolates mainly belonged to Alcanivorax, Bacillus, Erythrobacter, Martelella, Parvibaculum and Salinisphaera, some of which were reported, for the first time, to encode alkane hydroxylases. Phylogenetic analysis showed that both genes were quite diverse and formed several clusters, most of which were generated from various Alcanivorax bacteria. Noticeably, some sequences, such as those from the Salinisphaera genus, were grouped into a distantly related novel cluster. Inspection of the linkage between gene and host revealed that alkB and P450 tend to coexist in Alcanivorax and Salinisphaera, while in all isolates of Parvibaculum, only P450 genes were found, but of multiple homologues. Multiple homologues of alkB mostly cooccurred in Alcanivorax isolates. Conversely, distantly related isolates contained similar or even identical sequences. In summary, various oil-degrading bacteria, which harboured diverse P450 and alkB genes, were found in the surface water of Atlantic Ocean. Our results help to show the diversity of P450 and alkB genes in prokaryotes, and to portray the geographic distribution of oil-degrading bacteria in marine environments. [source]

    Life in Darwin's dust: intercontinental transport and survival of microbes in the nineteenth century

    Anna A. Gorbushina
    Summary Charles Darwin, like others before him, collected aeolian dust over the Atlantic Ocean and sent it to Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg in Berlin. Ehrenberg's collection is now housed in the Museum of Natural History and contains specimens that were gathered at the onset of the Industrial Revolution. Geochemical analyses of this resource indicated that dust collected over the Atlantic in 1838 originated from the Western Sahara, while molecular-microbiological methods demonstrated the presence of many viable microbes. Older samples sent to Ehrenberg from Barbados almost two centuries ago also contained numbers of cultivable bacteria and fungi. Many diverse ascomycetes, and eubacteria were found. Scanning electron microscopy and cultivation suggested that Bacillus megaterium, a common soil bacterium, was attached to historic sand grains, and it was inoculated onto dry sand along with a non-spore-forming control, the Gram-negative soil bacterium Rhizobium sp. NGR234. On sand B. megaterium quickly developed spores, which survived for extended periods and even though the numbers of NGR234 steadily declined, they were still considerable after months of incubation. Thus, microbes that adhere to Saharan dust can live for centuries and easily survive transport across the Atlantic. [source]

    Polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides in baltic and atlantic gray seal (Halichoerus grypus) pups

    Eugen G. Sørmo
    Abstract Organochlorine pollutants (OCs), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT, chlordanes (CHLs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) were determined in blubber biopsies from free-ranging Baltic and Atlantic gray seal (Halichoerus grypus) pups. Well-fed pups from the Baltic Sea had concentrations of DDT, PCBs, and HCHs that were 2 to 10 times higher than in corresponding pups from populations in the Atlantic Ocean. The OC pattern in the Baltic seals differed significantly from that of their Atlantic relatives, reflecting the predominance of regional point source inputs into the Baltic Sea and long-range atmospheric inputs into the Atlantic Ocean. The differences in the pattern of the compounds also indicated an enhanced metabolism of the more metabolizable compounds in the more contaminated Baltic seals. Surprisingly, the proportions of the high chlorinated and low-volatile PCB congeners (>6 Cl atoms) were comparable or lower in the Baltic pups as compared to the Atlantic pups. This difference might be due to Baltic seals occupying a lower trophic level than Atlantic seals and/or to the eutrophication situation in the Baltic Sea, which causes sedimentation of these PCB congeners. Significantly higherOCconcentrations were found in starved and/or abandoned Baltic pups as compared to well-fed pups. The most contaminated Baltic seal pups in the present study had PCB concentrations that are comparable or higher than those reported to impair the immune systems and vitamin A dynamics in phocids. [source]

    How well can animals navigate?

    ENVIRONMETRICS, Issue 4 2006
    Estimating the circle of confusion from tracking data
    Abstract State-space models have recently been shown to effectively model animal movement. In this paper we illustrate how such models can be used to improve our knowledge of animal navigation ability, something which is poorly understood. This work is of great interest when modeling the behavior of animals that are migrating, often over tremendously large distances. We use the term circle of confusion, first proposed by Kendall (1974), to describe the general inability of an animal to know its location precisely. Our modeling strategy enables us to statistically describe the circle of confusion associated with any animal movements where departure and destination points are known. For illustration, we use ARGOS satellite telemetry of leatherback turtles migrating over a distance of approximately 4000,km in the Atlantic Ocean. Robust features of the model enable one to deal with outlying observations, highly characteristic of these types of data. Although specifically designed for data obtained using satellite telemetry, our approach is generalizable to other common kinds of movement data such as archival tag data. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Transatlantic constitutionalism: Comparing the United States and the European Union

    The European Union has more to learn from the American experience of constitutionalism than from any of its own Member States. Like the United States, the European Union will have a frame of government constitution that will try to order a system of multiple and concurrent communities of interests, as happened in America, and designed by an indirectly elected assembly. The European Union and the United States will continue to manifest many differences in other crucial aspects of their institutional and cultural development. However, although constrained by their respective historical and institutional paths, their constitutional evolution is making the Atlantic Ocean less wide than it used to be. [source]

    Hypoxia-based habitat compression of tropical pelagic fishes

    Abstract Large areas of cold hypoxic water occur as distinct strata in the eastern tropical Pacific (ETP) and Atlantic oceans as a result of high productivity initiated by intense nutrient upwelling. We show that this stratum restricts the depth distribution of tropical pelagic marlins, sailfish, and tunas by compressing the acceptable physical habitat into a narrow surface layer. This layer extends downward to a variable boundary defined by a shallow thermocline, often at 25 m, above a barrier of cold hypoxic water. The depth distributions of marlin and sailfish monitored with electronic tags and average dissolved oxygen (DO) and temperature profiles show that this cold hypoxic environment constitutes a lower habitat boundary in the ETP, but not in the western North Atlantic (WNA), where DO is not limiting. Eastern Pacific and eastern Atlantic sailfish are larger than those in WNA, where the hypoxic zone is much deeper or absent. Larger sizes may reflect enhanced foraging opportunities afforded by the closer proximity of predator and prey in compressed habitat, as well as by the higher productivity. The shallow band of acceptable habitat restricts these fishes to a very narrow surface layer and makes them more vulnerable to over-exploitation by surface gears. Predictably, the long-term landings of tropical pelagic tunas from areas of habitat compression have been far greater than in surrounding areas. Many tropical pelagic species in the Atlantic Ocean are currently either fully exploited or overfished and their future status could be quite sensitive to increased fishing pressures, particularly in areas of habitat compression. [source]

    Copepod species diversity and climate variability in the tropical Atlantic Ocean

    Sergey A. Piontkovski
    Abstract A database synthesized from 19 oceanographic expeditions conducted by the former Soviet Union was used to analyse interannual patterns in copepod species diversity in the tropical Atlantic. Mesozooplankton was collected predominately in vertical hauls through the upper 100 m with Juday nets. The samples from 744 oceanographic stations were identified and enumerated to the species level. To assess species diversity, the Shannon diversity index was used. On the interdecadal scale, no statistically confirmed trend was found in species diversity change over the years sampled (1963,89). Multiple regression analysis indicated that interannual fluctuations of the South Atlantic High (pressure and latitude), the Azores High longitude and El Niño,Southern Oscillation (ENSO) index could explain 87% of species diversity fluctuations. Possible mechanisms that drive interannual fluctuations of species diversity are discussed. [source]

    Identification of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) stocks from putative nurseries using otolith chemistry

    Jay R. Rooker
    Abstract Chemical signatures in the otoliths of teleost fishes represent natural tags that may reflect differences in the chemical and physical characteristics of an individuals' environment. Otolith chemistry of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) was quantified to assess the feasibility of using these natural tags to discriminate juveniles (age 0 and age 1) from putative nurseries. A suite of six elements (Li, Mg, Ca, Mn, Sr and Ba) was measured in whole otoliths using solution-based inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Otolith chemistry of age-1 T. thynnus collected from the two primary nurseries in the Mediterranean Sea and western Atlantic Ocean differed significantly, with a cross-validated classification accuracy of 85%. Spatial and temporal variation in otolith chemistry was evaluated for age-0 T. thynnus collected from three nurseries within the Mediterranean Sea: Alboran Sea (Spain), Ligurian Sea (northern Italy), and Tyrrhenian Sea (southern Italy). Distinct differences in otolith chemistry were detected among Mediterranean nurseries and classification accuracies ranged from 62 to 80%. Interannual trends in otolith chemistry were observed between year classes of age-0 T. thynnus in the Alboran Sea; however, no differences were detected between year classes in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Age-0 and age-1 T. thynnus collected from the same region (Ligurian Sea) were also compared and distinct differences in otolith chemistry were observed, indicating ontogenetic shifts in habitat or elemental discrimination. Findings suggest that otolith chemistry of juvenile T. thynnus from different nurseries are distinct and chemical signatures show some degree of temporal persistence, indicating the technique has considerable potential for use in future assessments of population connectivity and stock structure of T. thynnus. [source]

    The relationship between the skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) fishery and seasonal temperature variability in the south-western Atlantic

    H. A. Andrade
    Abstract The spatio-temporal distribution of tuna fishing effort has been related to oceanographic circulation and features in several seas of the world. Understanding the relationship between environmental variables and fishery resource dynamics is important for management decisions and to improve fishery yields. The relationship between sea temperature variability and the pole-and-line skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) fishery in the south-western Atlantic Ocean was investigated in this work. Data from logbooks, satellite images (sea surface temperature), and oceanographic surveys were used in the analyses. Skipjack are caught in warm tropical waters of the Brazil Current (BC). The north,south displacement of fishing effort was strongly associated to seasonal variation of the surface temperature, which was coupled to the tropical BC flow. Oceanographic fronts from autumn to spring and a shallow thermocline in summer probably induces the aggregation of skipjack schools over the shelfbreak, favouring fishing operations. Hypotheses are proposed to explain the relationship between peaks of fishing events and the presence of topographic peculiarities of the shelfbreak. [source]

    Fish and ostracod remains from the Santos Basin (Cretaceous to Recent), Brazil

    GEOLOGICAL JOURNAL, Issue 4 2002
    C. Giles Miller
    Abstract For the first time, ichthyoliths are described from the Santos sedimentary basin, offshore southern Brazil. Isolated teeth, dermal scales and the first documented otoliths from Cretaceous (Albian) to Recent cuttings from five wells are described. The following groups are represented: Chondrichthyans: Triakidae, Carcharhinidae; Ginglymostomatidae: ?Ginglymostoma sp., Lamnidae indet., Scyliorhinidae; Osteichthyans: Teleostei; Myctophiidae: Diaphus aff. splendidus sp. complex, Diaphus spp., Diaphus cf. garmani, Ceratoscopelus aff. warmingii; Sternoptychidae: Valenciennellus tripunctulatus, teeth of indeterminate Teleostei. The majority of these ichthyofossils represent extant forms, known to occur in the Atlantic Ocean, and are of potential value for stratigraphical correlations between oil-yielding basins in the region. Ostracods are not well preserved but can be identified to generic level indicating marine environments. The ostracod faunas offer potential for intrabasinal correlation in the Eocene and Oligocene. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Detecting the impact of oceano-climatic changes on marine ecosystems using a multivariate index: The case of the Bay of Biscay (North Atlantic-European Ocean)

    Abstract Large-scale univariate climate indices (such as NAO) are thought to outperform local weather variables in the explanation of trends in animal numbers but are not always suitable to describe regional scale patterns. We advocate the use of a Multivariate Oceanic and Climatic index (MOCI), derived from ,synthetic' and independent variables from a linear combination of the total initial variables objectively obtained from Principal Component Analysis. We test the efficacy of the index using long-term data from marine animal populations. The study area is the southern half of the Bay of Biscay (43°,47°N; western Europe). Between 1974 and 2000 we monitored cetaceans and seabirds along 131000 standardized line transects from ships. Fish abundance was derived from commercial fishery landings. We used 44 initial variables describing the oceanic and atmospheric conditions and characterizing the four annual seasons in the Bay of Biscay. The first principal component of our MOCI is called the South Biscay Climate (SBC) index. The winter NAO index was correlated to this SBC index. Inter-annual fluctuations for most seabird, cetacean and fish populations were significant. Boreal species (e.g. gadiformes fish species, European storm petrel and Razorbill ,) with affinities to cold temperate waters declined significantly over time while two (Puffin and Killer Whale) totally disappeared from the area during the study period. Meridional species with affinities to hotter waters increased in population size. Those medium-term demographic trends may reveal a regime shift for this part of the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the specific observed trends were highly correlated to the SBC index and not to the NAO. Between 40% and 60% of temporal variations in species abundance were explained by the multivariate SBC index suggesting that the whole marine ecosystem is strongly affected by a limited number of physical parameters revealed by the multivariate SBC index. Aside the statistical error of the field measurements, the remaining variation unexplained by the physical characteristics of the environment correspond to the impact of anthropogenic activities such overfishing and oil-spills. [source]

    Impact of CO2 concentration changes on the biosphere-atmosphere system of West Africa

    GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY, Issue 12 2002
    Abstract Vegetation dynamics plays a critical role in causing the decadal variability of precipitation over the Sahel region of West Africa. However, the potential impact of changes in CO2 concentration on vegetation dynamics and precipitation variability of this region has not been addressed by previous studies. In this paper, we explore the role of CO2 concentration in the regional climate system of West Africa using a zonally symmetric, synchronously coupled biosphere-atmosphere model. We first document the response of precipitation and vegetation to incremental changes of CO2 concentration; the impact of CO2 concentration on the variability of the regional biosphere-atmosphere system is then addressed using the second half of the twentieth century as an example. An increase of CO2 concentration causes the regional biosphere-atmosphere system to become wetter and greener, with the radiative effect of CO2 and improved plant-water relation dominant in the Sahelian grassland region and the direct enhancement of leaf carbon assimilation dominant in the tree-covered region to the south. Driven by the observed sea surface temperature (SST) of the tropical Atlantic Ocean during the period 1950,97 and with CO2 concentration prescribed at a pre-industrial level 300ppmv, the model simulates a persistent Sahel drought during the period of 1960s,1990s. The simulated drought takes place in the form of a transition of the coupled biosphere-atmosphere system from a wet/green regime in the 1950s to a dry/barren regime after the 1960s. This climate transition is triggered by SST forcing and materialized through vegetation-climate interactions. The same SST forcing does not produce such a persistent drought when a constant modern CO2 concentration of 350ppmv is specified, indicating that the biosphere-atmosphere system at higher CO2 level is more resilient to drought-inducing external forcings. This finding suggests that the regional climate in Sahel, which tends to alternate between dry and wet spells, may experience longer (or more frequent) wet episodes and shorter (or less frequent) dry episodes in the future than in the past. Our study has significant implications regarding the impact of climate change on regional socio-economic development. [source]

    Ecological Consequences of Ground Water Discharge to Delaware Bay, United States

    GROUND WATER, Issue 7 2004
    Douglas C. Miller
    Submarine ground water discharge to the ocean has the potential to create estuarine conditions near the point of discharge, thereby dramatically altering local benthic habitats and ecology. Aerial thermal infrared imaging along the southwestern margin of Delaware Bay indicated abundant discharge at Cape Henlopen, Delaware, adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. On the sandflat there, we have documented low salinity in sedimentary pore waters within 20 m of the beachface that are associated with dense assemblages (in thousands per square meter) of a deep, burrow-dwelling polychaete worm, Marenzelleria viridis, otherwise regarded as a species characteristic of fresher, oligohaline conditions. Where present, M. viridis is a numerical and biomass dominant in a benthic community strikingly different from that in nearby nonseep locations. At Cape Henlopen, the ecological role of the ground water discharge appears to be a multifaceted one. Seeps are localized regions of significantly reduced salinity, stabilized temperature, increased nutrient flux, high microalgal abundance, and enhanced sediment stability. M. viridis feeds on sediment diatoms and may provide an important trophic linkage between microalgal growth fueled by nutrients associated with the discharging ground water and worm-feeding predators such as bottom fish or shorebirds common on the Cape Henlopen sandflat. Calculations based on our sampling suggest that nutrients supplied by the ground water substantially exceed what is needed to support benthic biomass and productivity estimated for this site. [source]

    Rainfall patterns and critical values associated with landslides in Povoação County (São Miguel Island, Azores): relationships with the North Atlantic Oscillation

    Rui Marques
    Abstract São Miguel Island (Azores) has been affected by hundreds of destructive landslide episodes in the last five centuries, triggered either by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or rainfall episodes, which were responsible for many deaths and very important economic losses. Among the instability causes, meteorological factors are of primary importance on Povoação County, namely the high recurrence rate of calamitous rainfall triggering landslides. The most recent catastrophic episode took place on the 31st October 1997 when almost 1000 soil slips and debris flows were triggered, and 29 people died in the Ribeira Quente village. The role of rainfall on regional landslide activity was analysed applying cumulative rainfall methods. The method comprises the reconstruction of both absolute and calibrated antecedent rainfalls associated with each major landslide event. The critical rainfall combination (amount-duration) responsible for each landslide event was assessed and a rainfall critical threshold for landslide occurrence was calculated. Rainfall-triggered landslides in the study area are ruled by the function I = 144·06 D,0·5551, and they are related both to short duration precipitation events (1,3 days) with high average intensity (between 78 and 144 mm/day) and long-lasting rainfall episodes (1,5 months) with a lower intensity (between 9 and 22 mm/day). The impact of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) on the regional precipitation regime was evaluated. It is shown that the monthly precipitation of São Miguel is largely modulated by the NAO mode presenting a significant negative correlation with the NAO index. This result arises from the NAO control on the travelling latitude of most storm tracks that cross the Northern Atlantic Ocean. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Variability in sea-surface temperature and winds in the tropical south-east Atlantic Ocean and regional rainfall relationships

    J. C. Hermes
    Abstract Variability in sea-surface temperature (SST) and winds in the Angola Benguela frontal zone (ABFZ) in the tropical south-east Atlantic Ocean has previously been shown to be important for regional fisheries and for seasonal rainfall anomalies over Angola/Namibia in austral summer and coastal West Africa in boreal summer. This study investigates intraseasonal variability in winds and SST over this region using QuikSCAT and tropical rainfall measuring mission (TRMM) satellite data for 1999,2004. Wavelet analyses reveal periods of relatively strong power in the 20,30 or 30,64 day frequency bands throughout the record but that there is substantial interannual variability in the occurrence of these intraseasonal oscillations. The implications of this variability for seasonal rainfall anomalies during the main rainy seasons in southern Africa (austral summer) and coastal West Africa (boreal summer) are discussed. Copyright © 2008 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

    Modulation of the intraseasonal rainfall over tropical Brazil by the Madden,Julian oscillation

    Everaldo B. De Souza
    Abstract Fifteen years (1987,2001) of rain gauge-based data are used to describe the intraseasonal rainfall variability over tropical Brazil and its associated dynamical structure. Wavelet analysis performed on rainfall time series showed significant peaks centered roughly in periods of 30,70 days, particularly in the eastern southeastern Amazon and northern northeast Brazil. A significant enhancement of precipitation with maximum anomalies in a northeastward oriented band over tropical Brazil is evidenced from empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis of 30,70-day filtered rainfall anomalies during rainy season (January to May). Lagged/lead composites revealed that, on a global scale, the Madden,Julian oscillation (MJO) is the main atmospheric-mechanism modulator of the pluviometric variations on intraseasonal timescale in the eastern Amazon and northeast Brazil. A coherent northward expansion of rainfall across tropical Brazil is evident during the passage of MJO over South America. Regionally, the establishment of a quasi-stationary deep convection band triggered by the simultaneous manifestation of south Atlantic convergence zone (SACZ) and intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) explains the intensified rainfall over these regions. Such regional mechanisms are dynamically embedded within the eastward-propagating MJO-related large-scale convective envelope along tropical South America/the Atlantic Ocean. These features occur in association with a significant intraseasonal evolution of the lower-level wind and sea-surface temperature (SST) patterns, particularly in the Atlantic Ocean, including a coherent dynamical connection with atmospheric circulation, deep convective activity over South America and rainfall over tropical Brazil. Copyright © 2006 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

    Mediated and direct effects of the North Atlantic Ocean on winter temperatures in northwest Europe

    Martina M. Junge
    Abstract This study has used a multiple regression model to quantify the importance of wintertime mean North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) for explaining (simultaneous) variations in wintertime mean temperatures in northwestern Europe. Although wintertime temperature variations are primarily determined by atmospheric flow patterns, it has been speculated that North Atlantic SSTs might also provide some additional information. To test this hypothesis, we have attempted to explain 1900,93 variations in wintertime mean central England temperature (CET) by using multiple regression with contemporaneous winter mean North Atlantic sea-level pressures (SLPs) and SSTs as explanatory variables. With no SST information, the leading SLP patterns (including the North Atlantic oscillation) explain 63% of the total variance in winter mean CET; however, SSTs alone are capable of explaining only 16% of the variance in winter mean CET. Much of the SST effect is ,indirect' in that it supplies no more significant information than already contained in the mean SLP; e.g. both SLP and SST together can only explain 68% of the variance. However, there is a small (5% variance) direct effect due to SST that is not mediated by mean SLP, which has a spatial pattern resembling the Newfoundland SST pattern identified by Ratcliffe and Murray (1970. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 96: 226,246). In predictive mode, however, using explanatory variables from preceding seasons, SSTs contain more information than SLP factors. On longer time scales, the variance explained by contemporaneous SST increases, but the SLP explanatory variables still provide a better model than the SST variables. Copyright © 2003 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

    Winter temperature covariances in the middle and the lower troposphere over Europe and the North Atlantic Ocean

    C.J. Lolis
    Abstract In this work, the variability and covariability of winter temperatures in the middle and the lower troposphere are studied over Europe and the North Atlantic Ocean. Temperature variations of the middle and the lower troposphere are examined in terms of (a) 500,700 hPa and 700,l000 hPa thickness and (b) air temperature on the isobaric surfaces of 500 hPa and 700 hPa. At first, factor analysis (FA) defined areas with characteristic temperature variability in each layer (and on each isobaric surface) and then, canonical correlation analysis (CCA) revealed areas in both layers (and on both isobaric surfaces) presenting common temperature variations. A temperature see-saw between N Europe and W Asia was revealed for both layers and isobaric surfaces implying that temperature changes in these areas are vertically spread. Another well-defined area, appearing in both analyses, is the area of the Labrador Sea and S Greenland. This region is also teleconnected to other regions, though not very clearly in every height. These temperature patterns are mainly attributed to the Eurasian (EU) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) circulation patterns, which are responsible for large air mass exchanges in the area, being vertically extended in the middle and the lower troposphere. Copyright © 2001 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

    Tectonic control of bioalteration in modern and ancient oceanic crust as evidenced by carbon isotopes

    ISLAND ARC, Issue 1 2006
    Harald Furnes
    Abstract We review the carbon-isotope data for finely disseminated carbonates from bioaltered, glassy pillow rims of basaltic lava flows from in situ slow- and intermediate-spreading oceanic crust of the central Atlantic Ocean (CAO) and the Costa Rica Rift (CRR). The ,13C values of the bioaltered glassy samples from the CAO show a large range, between ,17 and +3, (Vienna Peedee belemnite standard), whereas those from the CRR define a much narrower range, between ,17, and ,7,. This variation can be interpreted as the product of different microbial metabolisms during microbial alteration of the glass. In the present study, the generally low ,13C values (less than ,7,) are attributed to carbonate precipitated from microbially produced CO2 during oxidation of organic matter. Positive ,13C values >0, likely result from lithotrophic utilization of CO2 by methanogenic Archaea that produce CH4 from H2 and CO2. High production of H2 at the slow-spreading CAO crust may be a consequence of fault-bounded, high-level serpentinized peridotites near or on the sea floor, in contrast to the CRR crust, which exhibits a layer-cake pseudostratigraphy with much less faulting and supposedly less H2 production. A comparison of the ,13C data from glassy pillow margins in two ophiolites interpreted to have formed at different spreading rates supports this interpretation. The Jurassic Mirdita ophiolite complex in Albania shows a structural architecture similar to that of the slow-spreading CAO crust, with a similar range in ,13C values of biogenic carbonates. The Late Ordvician Solund,Stavfjord ophiolite complex in western Norway exhibits structural and geochemical evidence for evolution at an intermediate-spreading mid-ocean ridge and displays ,13C signatures in biogenic carbonates similar to those of the CRR. Based on the results of this comparative study, it is tentatively concluded that the spreading rate-dependent tectonic evolution of oceanic lithosphere has a significant control on the evolution of microbial life and hence on the ,13C biosignatures preserved in disseminated biogenic carbonates in glassy, bioaltered lavas. [source]

    Constraints on the glacial operation of the atlantic ocean's conveyor circulation

    Wallace S. BroeckerArticle first published online: 8 MAR 2010
    Circulation in the Atlantic Ocean is currently dominated by a northward flow of upper waters balanced by a return flow of deep water (i.e., the conveyor). Paleoproxies tell us that, unlike today, during the glacial age the deep Atlantic was stratified. Rather than being flooded with one nearly homogeneous water mass, there were two distinctly different ones. In this paper, the paleoproxy results are analyzed in an attempt to constrain the sources and ventilation rate of the deeper of these two glacial Atlantic water masses. Taken together, the cadmium and carbon isotope measurements on benthic foraminifera and the radiocarbon measurements on coexisting benthic and planktonic foraminifera appear to require a conveyor-like circulation no weaker than half of today's. This conclusion is at odds with geostrophic reconstructions. This seeming disagreement could be eliminated if, as suggested by Keigwin and Schlegel, the radiocarbon measurements by Broecker et al. significantly underestimate the difference between the 14C to C ratio for glacialage surface water and deep water in the equatorial Atlantic. [source]

    Population structure in the South American tern Sterna hirundinacea in the South Atlantic: two populations with distinct breeding phenologies

    Patrícia J. Faria
    The South American tern Sterna hirundinacea is a migratory species for which dispersal, site fidelity and migratory routes are largely unknown. Here, we used five microsatellite loci and 799,bp partial mitochondrial DNA sequences (Cytochrome b and ND2) to investigate the genetic structure of South American terns from the South Atlantic Ocean (Brazilian and Patagonian colonies). Brazilian and Patagonian colonies have two distinct breeding phenologies (austral winter and austral summer, respectively) and are under the influence of different oceanographic features (e.g. Brazil and Falklands/Malvinas ocean currents, respectively), that may promote genetic isolation between populations. Results show that the Atlantic populations are not completely panmictic, nevertheless, contrary to our expectations, low levels of genetic structure were detected between Brazilian and Patagonian colonies. Such low differentiation (despite temporal isolation of the colonies) could be explained by demographic history of these populations coupled with ongoing levels of gene flow. Interestingly, estimations of gene flow through Maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches has indicated asymmetrical long term and contemporary gene flow from Brazilian to Patagonian colonies, approaching a source,sink metapopulation dynamic. Genetic analysis of other South American tern populations (especially those from the Pacific coast and Falklands,Malvinas Islands) and other seabird species showing similar geographical distribution (e.g. royal tern Thalasseus maximus), are fundamental in gaining a better understanding of the main processes involved in the diversification of seabirds in the southern hemisphere. [source]

    Subantarctic flowering plants: pre-glacial survivors or post-glacial immigrants?

    Nathalie Van der Putten
    Abstract Aim, The aim here was to assess whether the present-day assemblage of subantarctic flowering plants is the result of a rapid post-Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) colonization or whether subantarctic flowering plants survived on the islands in glacial refugia throughout the LGM. Location, The circumpolar subantarctic region, comprising six remote islands and island groups between latitudes 46° and 55° S, including South Georgia in the South Atlantic Ocean, the Prince Edward Islands, Îles Crozet, Îles Kerguelen, the Heard Island group in the South Indian Ocean and Macquarie Island in the South Pacific Ocean. Methods, Floristic affinities between the subantarctic islands were assessed by cluster analysis applied to an up-to-date dataset of the phanerogamic flora in order to test for the existence of provincialism within the subantarctic. A review of the primary literature on the palaeobotany, geology and glacial history of the subantarctic islands was carried out and supplemented with additional palaeobotanical data and new field observations from South Georgia, Île de la Possession (Îles Crozet) and Îles Kerguelen. Results, First, a strong regionalism was observed, with different floras characterizing the islands in each of the ocean basins, and endemic species being present in the South Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean provinces. Second, the majority of the plant species were present at the onset of accumulation of post-glacial organic sediment and there is no evidence for the natural arrival of new immigrants during the subsequent period. Third, a review of geomorphological data suggested that the ice cover was incomplete during the LGM on the majority of the islands, and ice-free biological refugia were probably present even on the most glaciated islands. Main conclusions, Several independent lines of evidence favour the survival of a native subantarctic phanerogamic flora in local refugia during the LGM rather than a post-LGM colonization from more distant temperate landmasses in the Southern Hemisphere. [source]

    Biogeography of Iberian freshwater fishes revisited: the roles of historical versus contemporary constraints

    Ana F. Filipe
    Abstract Aim, The question of how much of the shared geographical distribution of biota is due to environmental vs. historical constraints remains unanswered. The aim of this paper is to disentangle the contribution of historical vs. contemporary factors to the distribution of freshwater fish species. In addition, it illustrates how quantifying the contribution of each type of factor improves the classification of biogeographical provinces. Location, Iberian Peninsula, south-western Europe (c. 581,000 km2). Methods, We used the most comprehensive data on native fish distributions for the Iberian Peninsula, compiled from Portuguese and Spanish sources on a 20-km grid-cell resolution. Overall, 58 species were analysed after being categorized into three groups according to their ability to disperse through saltwater: (1) species strictly intolerant of saltwater (primary species); (2) species partially tolerant of saltwater, making limited incursions into saltwaters (secondary species); and (3) saltwater-tolerant species that migrate back and forth from sea to freshwaters or have invaded freshwaters recently (peripheral species). Distance-based multivariate analyses were used to test the role of historical (basin formation) vs. contemporary environmental (climate) conditions in explaining current patterns of native fish assemblage composition. Cluster analyses were performed to explore species co-occurrence patterns and redefine biogeographical provinces based on the distributions of fishes. Results, River basin boundaries were better at segregating species composition for all species groups than contemporary climate variables. This historical signal was especially evident for primary and secondary freshwater fishes. Eleven biogeographical provinces were delineated. Basins flowing to the Atlantic Ocean north of the Tagus Basin and those flowing to the Mediterranean Sea north of the Mijares Basin were the most dissimilar group. Primary and secondary freshwater species had higher province fidelity than peripheral species. Main conclusions, The results support the hypothesis that historical factors exert greater constraints on native freshwater fish assemblages in the Iberian Peninsula than do current environmental factors. After examining patterns of assemblage variation across space, as evidenced by the biogeographical provinces, we discuss the likely dispersal and speciation events that underlie these patterns. [source]

    Atlantic reef fish biogeography and evolution

    S. R. Floeter
    Abstract Aim, To understand why and when areas of endemism (provinces) of the tropical Atlantic Ocean were formed, how they relate to each other, and what processes have contributed to faunal enrichment. Location, Atlantic Ocean. Methods, The distributions of 2605 species of reef fishes were compiled for 25 areas of the Atlantic and southern Africa. Maximum-parsimony and distance analyses were employed to investigate biogeographical relationships among those areas. A collection of 26 phylogenies of various Atlantic reef fish taxa was used to assess patterns of origin and diversification relative to evolutionary scenarios based on spatio-temporal sequences of species splitting produced by geological and palaeoceanographic events. We present data on faunal (species and genera) richness, endemism patterns, diversity buildup (i.e. speciation processes), and evaluate the operation of the main biogeographical barriers and/or filters. Results, Phylogenetic (proportion of sister species) and distributional (number of shared species) patterns are generally concordant with recognized biogeographical provinces in the Atlantic. The highly uneven distribution of species in certain genera appears to be related to their origin, with highest species richness in areas with the greatest phylogenetic depth. Diversity buildup in Atlantic reef fishes involved (1) diversification within each province, (2) isolation as a result of biogeographical barriers, and (3) stochastic accretion by means of dispersal between provinces. The timing of divergence events is not concordant among taxonomic groups. The three soft (non-terrestrial) inter-regional barriers (mid-Atlantic, Amazon, and Benguela) clearly act as ,filters' by restricting dispersal but at the same time allowing occasional crossings that apparently lead to the establishment of new populations and species. Fluctuations in the effectiveness of the filters, combined with ecological differences among provinces, apparently provide a mechanism for much of the recent diversification of reef fishes in the Atlantic. Main conclusions, Our data set indicates that both historical events (e.g. Tethys closure) and relatively recent dispersal (with or without further speciation) have had a strong influence on Atlantic tropical marine biodiversity and have contributed to the biogeographical patterns we observe today; however, examples of the latter process outnumber those of the former. [source]

    Floristic turnover in Iceland from 15 to 6 Ma , extracting biogeographical signals from fossil floral assemblages

    Friðgeir Grímsson
    Abstract Aim, This study aims to document the floristic changes that occurred in Iceland between 15 and 6 Ma and to establish the dispersal mechanisms for the plant taxa encountered. Using changing patterns of dispersal, two factors controlling floristic changes are tested. Possible factors are (1) climate change, and (2) the changing biogeography of Iceland over the time interval studied; that is, the presence or absence of a Miocene North Atlantic Land Bridge. Location, The North Atlantic. Methods, Species lists of fossil plants from Iceland in the time period 15 to 6 Ma were compiled using published data and new data. Closest living analogues were used to establish dispersal properties for the fossil taxa. Dispersal mechanisms of fossil plants were then used to reconstruct how Iceland was colonized during various periods. Results, Miocene floras of Iceland (15,6 Ma) show relatively high floristic turnover from the oldest floras towards the youngest; and few taxa from the oldest floras persist in the younger floras. The frequencies of the various dispersal mechanisms seen in the 15-Ma floras are quite different from those recorded in the 6-Ma floras, and there is a gradual change in the prevailing mode of dispersal from short-distance anemochory and dyschory to long-distance anemochory. Two mechanisms can be used to explain changing floral composition: (1) climate change, and (2) the interaction between the dispersal mechanisms of plants and the increasing isolation of proto-Iceland during the Miocene. Main conclusions, Dispersal mechanisms can be used to extract palaeogeographic signals from fossil floras. The composition of floras and dispersal mechanisms indicate that Iceland was connected both to Greenland and to Europe in the early Middle Miocene, allowing transcontinental migration. The change in prevalence of dispersal modes from 15 to 6 Ma appears to reflect the break-up of a land bridge and the increasing isolation of Iceland after 12 Ma. Concurrent gradual cooling and isolation caused changes in species composition. Specifically, the widening of the North Atlantic Ocean prevented taxa with limited dispersal capability from colonizing Iceland, while climate cooling led to the extinction of thermophilous taxa. [source]