Water Ecosystems (water + ecosystem)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Apoptotic effect of cyanobacterial extract on rat hepatocytes and human lymphocytes

Joanna Mankiewicz
Abstract Toxic cyanobacterial blooms are an increasing problem in Poland. The production of cyanobacterial toxins and their presence in drinking and recreational waters represent a growing danger to human and animal health. This is connected with the increase of cyanobacterial biomass caused by excessive eutrophication of the water ecosystem. There is evidence that cyanobacterial hepatotoxins can act as a potent promoter of primary liver cancer. The apoptotic effect of microcystins in Polish cyanobacterial bloom samples on rat hepatocytes and human lymphocytes was observed using light and fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry, and electrophoretic analysis. The incubation time needed to observe the first morphological apoptotic changes in hepatocytes was approximately 30 min; however, the characteristic biochemical changes in DNA were not observed even after 120 min. In lymphocyte cultures the morphological changes characteristic for apoptosis were observed after 24 h of incubation and a 48-h incubation was found to be optimal for analysis of internucleosomal DNA fragmentation, which is one of the main biochemical hallmarks of programmed cell death. These cells are an easily isolated and inexpensive material for medical diagnostics. Therefore the apoptotic changes, together with the clastogenic effect seen in lymphocyte cultures, are proposed as a future analytical method for these toxins. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Environ Toxicol 16: 225,233, 2001 [source]

Effect of observation method on the perception of community structure and water quality in a brackish water ecosystem

Tiia Möller
Abstract The EU Water Framework Directive is a Community legislative instrument in the field of environmental protection that establishes a common framework for keeping water quality at a favourable level. To implement the directive, classification systems need to be established that allow detection of human impacts at early stages and, thus, more effective management of coastal communities. Due to the spatial variability of communities, however, the results of any assessment are highly dependent on the selection of data. In this study we identified local spatial scales in which variability of macrophyte communities was maximised, quantified links between observed patterns of sediment types and communities and estimated how selection criteria impacted the outcome of the assessment of indicator class value in four different communities of the Northern Baltic Sea. The main findings of the study were that: (i) there were no clear local spatial scales in which the variability of benthic communities was maximised; (ii) hard-bottom communities were better predicted by the spatial arrangement of sediment characteristics than soft-bottom communities; (iii) the selection of method had no effect on the estimates of macrophyte cover and indicator class; but (iv) method impacted independently of habitat type on error estimates of macrophyte cover and indicator class. To conclude, in such homogeneous and low diversity macrophyte communities it is preferable to use methods that result in lower error estimates of algal coverage and, thus, result in lower uncertainties of estimates in the water quality class. [source]

Benthic macroinvertebrates in Swedish streams: community structure, taxon richness, and environmental relations

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 3 2003
Leonard Sandin
Spatial scale, e.g. from the stream channel, riparian zone, and catchment to the regional and global scale is currently an important topic in running water management and bioassessment. An increased knowledge of how the biota is affected by human alterations and management measures taken at different spatial scales is critical for improving the ecological quality of running waters. However, more knowledge is needed to better understand the relationship between environmental factors at different spatial scales, assemblage structure and taxon richness of running water organisms. In this study, benthic macroinvertebrate data from 628 randomly selected streams were analysed for geographical and environmental relationships. The dataset also included 100 environmental variables, from local measures such as in-stream substratum and vegetation type, catchment vegetation and land-use, and regional variables such as latitude and longitude. Cluster analysis of the macroinvertebrate data showed a continuous gradient in taxonomic composition among the cluster groups from north to south. Both locally measured variables (e.g. water chemistry, substratum composition) and regional factors (e.g. latitude, longitude, and an ecoregional delineation) were important for explaining the variation in assemblage structure and taxon richness for stream benthic macroinvertebrates. This result is of importance when planning conservation and management measurements, implementing large-scale biomonitoring programs, and predicting how human alterations (e.g. global warming) will affect running water ecosystems. [source]

Decomposition of litter from submersed macrophytes: the indirect effects of high [CO2]

1.,We grew the submersed freshwater macrophyte Vallisneria americana under controlled conditions at low and high [CO2] to produce litter with high and low tissue nitrogen concentration ([N]), respectively. We then followed mass and nitrogen dynamics in situ in this litter to test the indirect effect of [CO2] on its subsequent decomposition and colonisation by macroinvertebrates. 2.,Litter from plants grown in high CO2 initially lost mass and N at a significantly lower rate but, by day 30, both litter types had lost about 90% of mass and N. Litter [N] did not appear to govern decay rate. 3.,There was no effect of CO2 on the pattern of macroinvertebrate colonisation. 4.,The potential exists for high [CO2] to increase rates of C and N cycling and, thereby, to increase internal N loading in macrophyte-dominated shallow water ecosystems. [source]


Charles P. Newcombe
ABSTRACT: A new type of empirical model described here enables real time assessment of impacts caused by excessive water cloudiness as a function of (a) reduced visual clarity (excessive cloudiness) and (b) duration of exposure to cloudy conditions, in fisheries or fish life stages adapted to life in clear water ecosystems. This model takes the familiar form used in earlier suspended sediment dose effect models where z is severity of ill effect (SEV), x is duration of exposure (h), y is black disk sighting range (y BD, m),a measure of water clarity, a is the intercept, and b and c are slope coefficients. As calibrated in this study the model is Severity of ill effect is ranked on a 15-step scale that ranges from 0 to 14, where zero represents nil effect and 14 represents 100 percent mortality. This model, based on peer consultation and limited meta analysis of peer reviewed reports, accomplishes the following: (a) identifies the threshold of the onset of ill effects among clear water fishes; (b) postulates the rate at which serious ill effects are likely to escalate as a function of reduced visual clarity and persistence; (c) provides a context (the "visual clarity" matrix, with its cell coordinates) to share and compare information about impacts as a function of visual clarity "climate" (d) demonstrates changes in predator prey interactions at exposures greater than and less than the threshold of direct ill effects; (e) calibrates trout reactive distance (cm) as function of water clarity in the form where y represents reactive distance (cm) and x represents visual clarity (black disk sighting range, cm), and where a and b are intercept and slope respectively, such that (f) identifies black disk sighting range, in meters, and its reciprocal, beam attenuation, as preferred monitoring variables; and (g) provides two additional optical quality variables (Secchi disk extinction distance and turbidity) which, suitably calibrated as they have been in this study, expand the range of monitoring options in situations in which the preferred technology,beam attenuation equipment or black disk sighting equipment,is unavailable or impractical to use. This new model demonstrates the efficacy of peer collaboration and defines new research horizons for its refinement. [source]

Biodiversity conservation in Mediterranean and Black Sea lagoons: a trait-oriented approach to benthic invertebrate guilds

A. Basset
Abstract 1. The extent to which conservation of biodiversity enforces the protection of ecosystem functioning, goods and services is a key issue in conservation ecology. 2. In order to address this conservation issue, this work focused on community organization, linking community structure, as described both in taxonomic and functional terms, to community functioning and ecosystem processes. 3. Body size is an individual functional trait that is deterministically related to components of ecosystem functioning such as population dynamics and energy flow, and which determines components of community structure. Since body size is an individual trait that reflects numerous factors, it is also exposed to trait selection and the niche filtering underlying the community. 4. An analysis of the relevance of body size to community organization in transitional water ecosystems in the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea regions is presented, based on field research conducted on a sample of 15 transitional water ecosystems. 5. 250 taxa were identified, clumped in five orders of magnitude of body size. All body size patterns showed triangular distributions with an optimal size range of 0.13 mg to 1.0 mg individual body mass. 6. Deterministic components of size structure were emphasized and a hierarchical organization with dominance of large sizes was demonstrated by the slopes of the body size-abundance distributions, consistently larger than the EER threshold (b=,0.75), and by the direct relationship of energy use to body size for most of the body size range. 7. Consistent variations of body size-related descriptors were observed on three main gradients of environmental stress: eutrophication, confinement and metal pollution. 8. The results support the relevance of constraints imposed by individual body size on community organization in transitional water ecosystems and the adequacy of size patterns as an indicator for ecological conservation of these fragile ecosystems. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Environmental factors affecting Phragmites australis litter decomposition in Mediterranean and Black Sea transitional waters

F. Sangiorgio
Abstract 1. Leaf litter decomposition rates in aquatic ecosystems are known to be related to many abiotic and biotic factors. 2. Field experiments were carried out during spring 2005 in 16 ecosystems, each with four sampling sites, using the litter bag technique to investigate the influence of abiotic factors on patterns of reed litter breakdown in different physiographic, hydrological and physico-chemical gradients occurring in transitional water ecosystems in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea. 3. Significant differences in leaf litter decomposition were observed among the studied ecosystems along univariate gradients of tidal range, water temperature, salinity and sinuosity index. 4. Overall, 71% of variance in the litter breakdown rate was explained by the hydrological, physico-chemical and physiographic components. Specifically, tidal range, salinity and sinuosity index are among the key factors in the most commonly used typological schemes for classifying transitional water ecosystems (i.e. Confinement Concept and Venice System), due to their influence on abundance and distribution of benthic macroinvertebrates and other guilds. 5. The patterns observed at the regional scale of the study suggest that certain key abiotic factors are likely to play a major role as drivers of plant detritus decomposition processes, through their influence on the overall metabolism of microorganisms and benthic macroinvertebrates. 6. These observations have implications for the identification of reference conditions for transitional water ecosystems in the studied area, on which all processes of classification and conservation of their ecological status are based. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]