• Decadal environmental ‘memory’ in a reef coral?

      Brown, Barbara E.; Dunne, Richard P.; Edwards, Alasdair J.; Sweet, Michael J.; Phongsuwan, Niphon; University of Derby (Springer, 2014-12-12)
      West sides of the coral Coelastrea aspera, which had achieved thermo-tolerance after previous experience of high solar irradiance in the field, were rotated through 180o on a reef flat in Phuket, Thailand (7o50´N, 98o25.5´E), in 2000 in a manipulation experiment and secured in this position. In 2010, elevated sea temperatures caused extreme bleaching in these corals, with former west sides of colonies (now facing east) retaining four times higher symbiont densities than the east sides of control colonies, which had not been rotated and which had been subject to a lower irradiance environment than west sides throughout their lifetime. The reduced bleaching susceptibility of the former west sides in 2010, compared to handling controls, suggests that the rotated corals had retained a ‘memory’ of their previous high irradiance history despite living under lower irradiance for 10 years. Such long-term retention of an environmental ‘memory’ raises important questions about the acclimatisation potential of reef corals in a changing climate and the mechanisms by which it is achieved.
    • Deep and disturbed: conditions for formation and eruption of a mingled rhyolite at Ascension Island, south Atlantic

      Chamberlain, Katy J.; Barclay, Jenni; Preece, Katie; Brown, Richard J.; McIntosh, Iona; EIMF; University of Derby; University of East Anglia; Swansea University; Durham University; et al. (Presses universitaires de Strasbourg, 2020-05-05)
      The generation of felsic melts (through open or closed system processes) within ocean island volcanoes has been a key area of study since their identification. At Ascension Island in the south Atlantic, explosively erupted felsic melts have, to date, demonstrated a marked absence of signs of magma mixing and crustal assimilation. Here we present the first observations of a fall deposit from Ascension Island recording both macro- and micro-scale evidence for magma mingling. Geochemical analyses of mineral and glass phases, coupled with volatile concentrations of melt inclusions highlight the role of lower-crustal partial melting to produce rhyolitic magmas. Glass textures and the lack of zoning in major mineral phases indicate that mingling with a mafic melt occurred shortly prior to eruption. These inferences of a deep rhyolite production zone, coupled with rapid ascent rates highlight the challenges in forecasting a similar style of eruption at Ascension Island in the future.
    • Defining Landscape Resistance Values in Least-Cost Connectivity Models for the Invasive Grey Squirrel: A Comparison of Approaches Using Expert-Opinion and Habitat Suitability Modelling

      Stevenson, Claire D.; Watts, Kevin; Bellamy, Chloe; Nevin, Owen T.; Ramsey, Andrew; University of Derby (PLOS, 2014-11-07)
      Least-cost models are widely used to study the functional connectivity of habitat within a varied landscape matrix. A critical step in the process is identifying resistance values for each land cover based upon the facilitating or impeding impact on species movement. Ideally resistance values would be parameterised with empirical data, but due to a shortage of such information, expert-opinion is often used. However, the use of expert-opinion is seen as subjective, human-centric and unreliable. This study derived resistance values from grey squirrel habitat suitability models (HSM) in order to compare the utility and validity of this approach with more traditional, expert-led methods. Models were built and tested with MaxEnt, using squirrel presence records and a categorical land cover map for Cumbria, UK. Predictions on the likelihood of squirrel occurrence within each land cover type were inverted, providing resistance values which were used to parameterise a leastcost model. The resulting habitat networks were measured and compared to those derived from a least-cost model built with previously collated information from experts. The expert-derived and HSM-inferred least-cost networks differ in precision. The HSM-informed networks were smaller and more fragmented because of the higher resistance values attributed to most habitats. These results are discussed in relation to the applicability of both approaches for conservation and management objectives, providing guidance to researchers and practitioners attempting to apply and interpret a leastcost approach to mapping ecological networks.
    • Definitions of biodiversity from urban gardeners

      Norton, Briony, A.; Shang, Bowen; Sheffield, David; Ramsey, Andrew; University of Derby (Oxford University Press, 2021-06-14)
      Living in urban environments can leave people disconnected from nature and less likely to engage with biodiversity conservation. Within urban areas, residential gardens can occupy large proportions of greenspace and provide important habitat for biodiversity. Understanding the views and knowledge of garden owners who have collective responsibility for managing these areas is therefore important. We aimed to understand how urban garden owners understand biodiversity. We surveyed garden owners in Derby, UK, across 20 areas spanning a socioeconomic spectrum. Residents were asked to explain their understanding of ‘biodiversity’ in a short definition format. Responses were classified using thematic and word frequency analyses. Of 255 respondents, approximately one third were unable to provide a definition. From the definitions provided, themes that emerged in frequency order were: variety of species or environments; coexistence of organisms; conservation of nature; a synonym for habitat; and uncommon answers not clearly related to biodiversity. Members of wildlife or gardening charities were more likely than non-members to say they could define biodiversity and to use specific taxonomic terms. We detected no difference between keen and less keen gardeners. These short-form responses captured many themes longer and/or qualitative assessments have identified about people’s understanding of biodiversity and illustrate a diversity and, in some cases, a depth of understanding of the concepts of biodiversity, without necessarily adhering to the formal definition. Given the variety of understanding, at this critical period, technical terms, even common ones, should be used with caution and with an open mind about how people interpret them.
    • Demographic parameters and events in wild moustached tamarins (Saguinus mystax)

      Löttker, Petra; Huck, Maren; Heymann, Eckhard W.; German Primate Centre (2004-12)
      This paper examines demographic events in the context of population structure and genetic relationships in groups of wild moustached tamarins (Saguinus mystax). We used a combination of long-term behavioral observations and genetic data from a total of eight groups from a population in northeastern Peruvian Amazonia. The mean group size was 6.0 (range=4–9), including 2.5 adult males and 1.8 adult females. Within-group relatedness was generally high (r=0.3), and most nonbreeding individuals were either natal or closely related to the respective same-sex breeder. The mean annual persistence of adults in the groups was 70% and 68% for males and females, respectively, and the reproductive tenure of one breeding pair lasted for at least 6 years. Migrations predominantly occurred after stability-disrupting events such as the immigration of new individuals and/or the loss of breeding individuals, or when groups were rather large. Migrations of both breeding and nonbreeding males and females occurred. Our results show that the hypothesis of Ferrari and Lopes Ferrari [Folia Primatologica 52:132–147, 1989] that tamarins live in smaller and less stable groups with lower relatedness compared to marmosets does not generally hold true. In contrast, we found that tamarin groups can consist of predominantly related individuals, and are stable as well. It is also apparent that a single demographic event can produce a chain of subsequent complex demographic changes.
    • Dental microwear texture analysis as a tool for dietary discrimination in elasmobranchs

      McLennan, Laura J.; Purnell, Mark A.; University of Leicester; University of Derby (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-01-28)
      As abundant and widespread predators, elasmobranchs play influential roles in food-web dynamics of marine communities. Clearly, these trophic interactions have significant implications for fisheries management and marine conservation, yet elasmobranch diet is relatively understudied; for the majority of species little or no quantitative dietary data exist. This reflects the difficulties of direct observation of feeding and stomach contents analysis in wild elasmobranchs. Here, by quantifying the 3D surface textures that develop on tooth surfaces as a consequence of feeding, we show that tooth microwear varies with diet in elasmobranchs, providing a new tool for dietary analysis. The technique can be applied to small samples and individuals with no gut contents, and thus offers a way to reduce the impact on wild elasmobranch populations of analysing their dietary ecology, especially relevant in conservation of endangered species. Furthermore, because microwear accumulates over longer periods of time, analysis of texture overcomes the ‘snapshot bias’ of stomach contents analysis. Microwear texture analysis has the potential to be a powerful tool, complementing existing techniques such as stable isotope analysis, for dietary analysis in living and extinct elasmobranchs.
    • Designer reefs and coral probiotics: great concepts but are they good practice?

      Sweet, Michael J.; Ramsey, Andrew; Bulling, Mark T.; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2017-03-31)
    • Determination of Fe3+/ΣFe ratios in chrome spinels using a combined Mössbauer and single-crystal X-ray approach: application to chromitites from the mantle section of the Oman ophiolite

      Lenaz, Davide; Adetunji, Jacob; Rollinson, Hugh; University of Derby (Springer, 2014-01-03)
      We present the results of a comparative study in which we have measured Fe3+/ΣFe ratios in chromites from mantle chromitites in the Oman ophiolite using Mössbauer spectroscopy and single-crystal X-ray diffraction. We have compared these results with ratios calculated from mineral stoichiometry and find that mineral stoichiometry calculations do not accurately reflect the measured Fe3+/ΣFe ratios. We have identified three groups of samples. The majority preserve Fe3+/ΣFe ratios which are thought to be magmatic, whereas a few samples are highly oxidized and have high Fe3+/ΣFe ratios. There is also a group of partially oxidized samples. The oxidized chromites show anomalously low cell edge (a0) values and their oxygen positional parameters among the lowest ever found for chromites. Site occupancy calculations show that some chromites are non-stoichiometric and contain vacancies in their structure randomly distributed between both the T and M sites. The field relationships suggest that the oxidation of the magmatic chromitites took place in association with a ductile shear zone in mantle harzburgites. Primary magmatic Fe3+/ΣFe ratios measured for the Oman mantle chromitites are between 0.193–0.285 (X-ray data) and 0.164–0.270 (Mössbauer data) and preserve a range of Fe3+/ΣFe ratios which we propose is real and reflects differences in the composition of the magmas parental to the chromitites. The range of values extends from those MORB melts (0.16 ± 0.1) to those for arc basalts (0.22–0.28).
    • Development and application of eDNA-based tools for the conservation of white-clawed crayfish

      Troth, Christopher R.; Burian, Alfred; Mauvisseau, Quentin; Bulling, Mark; Nightingale, Jen; Mauvisseau, Christophe; Sweet, Michael J.; University of Derby; University of Bristol; Fédération de Pêche et de Protection du Milieu Aquatique du Loir-et-Cher, France (Elsevier, 2020-07-30)
      eDNA-based methods represent non-invasive and cost-effective approaches for species monitoring and their application as a conservation tool has rapidly increased within the last decade. Currently, they are primarily used to determine the presence/absence of invasive, endangered or commercially important species, but they also hold potential to contribute to an improved understanding of the ecological interactions that drive species distributions. However, this next step of eDNA-based applications requires a thorough method development. We developed an eDNA assay for the white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes), a flagship species of conservation in the UK and Western Europe. Multiple subsequent in-situ and ex-situ validation tests aimed at improving method performance allowed us to apply eDNA-based surveys to evaluate interactions between white-clawed crayfish, crayfish plague and invasive signal crayfish. The assay performed well in terms of specificity (no detection of non-target DNA) and sensitivity, which was higher compared to traditional methods (in this case torching). The eDNA-based quantification of species biomass was, however, less reliable. Comparison of eDNA sampling methods (precipitation vs. various filtration approaches) revealed that optimal sampling method differed across environments and might depend on inhibitor concentrations. Finally, we applied our methodology together with established assays for crayfish plague and the invasive signal crayfish, demonstrating their significant interactions in a UK river system. Our analysis highlights the importance of thorough methodological development of eDNA-based assays. Only a critical evaluation of methodological strengths and weaknesses will allow us to capitalise on the full potential of eDNA-based methods and use them as decision support tools in environmental monitoring and conservation practice.
    • Development management as reflective practice

      Abbott, Dina; Brown, Suzanne; Wilson, Gordon; University of Derby (John Wiley & Sons, 2012-05-29)
      This paper examines development management through the reflections of development managers themselves. They are seen to grapple with the global and local contexts that frame their actions; with operationalising their individual values and ethics about development; and with issues concerning inter-personal and inter-organisational relationships. The paper argues that such reflections potentially form the basis of transformations in learning and development practice. However, for this to happen development managers have to embed their reflections within their work, and conceptualise their relations with other stakeholders beyond operational management challenges towards joint learning opportunities. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    • The development of an eDNA based detection method for the invasive shrimp Dikerogammarus haemobaphes

      Mauvisseau, Quentin; Troth, Chris; Young, Emily; Burian, Alfred; Sweet, Michael; University of Derby; Surescreen Scientifics Ltd, Morley (Regional Euro-Asian Biological Invasions Centre Oy (REABIC), 2019-06-06)
      Dikerogammarus haemobaphes is a freshwater gammarid crustacean native to the Ponto-Caspian region. However, the species is rapidly spreading throughout Western Europe and is classed as a highly invasive species. Here we present a novel eDNA assay aimed at detecting D. haemobaphes and demonstrate its suitability with validation steps conducted in-silico (computer simulations), ex-situ (test of specificity using closely related species) and in-situ (within the field). A survey of freshwater systems in the West-Midlands, United Kingdom, highlighted that D. haemobaphes was present in 26 out of the 39 sites assessed. We conclude that eDNA detection for D. haemobaphes is a promising tool for assessing and mapping the presence/distribution of this invasive amphipod.
    • Development of bacterial biofilms on artificial corals in comparison to surface-associated microbes of hard corals

      Sweet, Michael J.; Croquer, Aldo; Bythell, John C.; Lopez-Garcia, Purification (2013-09-24)
      Numerous studies have demonstrated the differences in bacterial communities associated with corals versus those in their surrounding environment. However, these environmental samples often represent vastly different microbial microenvironments with few studies having looked at the settlement and growth of bacteria on surfaces similar to corals. As a result, it is difficult to determine which bacteria are associated specifically with coral tissue surfaces. In this study, early stages of passive settlement from the water column to artificial coral surfaces (formation of a biofilm) were assessed. Changes in bacterial diversity (16S rRNA gene), were studied on artificially created resin nubbins that were modelled from the skeleton of the reef building coral Acropora muricata. These models were dip-coated in sterile agar, mounted in situ on the reef and followed over time to monitor bacterial community succession. The bacterial community forming the biofilms remained significantly different (R = 0.864 p,0.05) from that of the water column and from the surface mucus layer (SML) of the coral at all times from 30 min to 96 h. The water column was dominated by members of the aproteobacteria, the developed community on the biofilms dominated by c-proteobacteria, whereas that within the SML was composed of a more diverse array of groups. Bacterial communities present within the SML do not appear to arise from passive settlement from the water column, but instead appear to have become established through a selection process. This selection process was shown to be dependent on some aspects of the physico-chemical structure of the settlement surface, since agar-coated slides showed distinct communities to coral-shaped surfaces. However, no significant differences were found between different surface coatings, including plain agar and agar enhanced with coral mucus exudates. Therefore future work should consider physico-chemical surface properties as factors governing change in microbial diversity.
    • Dirichlet neighbours: revisiting Dirichlet tessellation for neighbourhood analysis

      Halls, P. J.; Bulling, Mark T.; White, Piran C. L.; Garland, Lynette; Harris, S. (2013-05-24)
      The analysis of neighbourhood for point features is reviewed in terms of requirements and available techniques; the application of Dirichlet/Voronoi/Thiessen tessellation techniques are discussed. Robin Sibson’s Natural Neighbours (Sibson, 1980, Natural neighbourhood inter- polation. In V. D. Brunner, Graphical methods for multivariate data. New York: Brunner/ Mazel) technique for Dirichlet Tessellation is discussed and benefits demonstrated in the consequently available neighbourhood descriptors of distance, bearing and nearest neigh- bours. The application of Dirichlet Tessellation derived neighbourhood analysis is shown in terms of the study of badger territories and other potential applications in the sciences and social sciences are outlined
    • Disappearing in the night: An overview on trade and legislation of night monkeys in South and Central America

      Svensson, Magdalena S.; Shanee, Sam; Shanee, Noga; Bannister, Flavia B.; Cervera, Laura; Donati, Giuseppe; Huck, Maren; Jerusalinsky, Leandro; Juárez, Cecilia P.; Maldonado, Angela M.; et al. (Karger, 2017-01-18)
      The international trade in night monkeys ( Aotus spp.), found throughout Central and South America, has been regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) since 1975. We present a quantitative analysis of this trade from all 9 range countries, over 4 decades, and compare domestic legislation to CITES regulations. Night monkeys were exported from 8 of the 9 habitat countries, totalling 5,968 live individuals and 7,098 specimens, with trade of live individuals declining over time. In terms of species, the most commonly traded was Aotus nancymaae (present in Brazil, Colombia, Peru) followed by A. vociferans (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru) and A. zonalis (Colombia, Panama). There was no significant correlation between levels of trade and species’ geographic range size or the number of countries in which a species occurs. Five countries have legislation that meets CITES requirements for implementation, whereas the other 4 countries’ legislation showed deficiencies. Research conducted in Colombia, Peru, and Brazil suggests significant cross-border trade not captured in official international trade registers. Although international trade diminished, current trends suggest that populations of rarer species may be under unsustainable pressure. Further research is needed to quantify real trade numbers occurring between habitat countries.
    • Diseases in coral aquaculture: causes, implications and preventions

      Kramarsky-Winter, Esti; Sweet, Michael J.; Leal, Miguel Costa; Sheridan, Christopher; Kushmaro, Ariel; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2013-06)
      Aquacultured corals are typically reared in dense in situ (mariculture) or ex situ (in aquaria) culture facilities. This high density rearing method makes these corals particularly vulnerable to specific diseases since virulence and communicability of pathogens have been shown to increase with host density. As such, entire production lines may be threatened. Maricultured corals are particularly at risk as the diversity of both diseases and of affected coral species in the marine environment is on the rise. Coral diseases are now a major driver of coral mortality on all reef systems from the Indo-Pacific through to the Caribbean and not only affect species in situ, but can be inadvertently transported into the culture systems. The avoidance of disease outbreaks in culture systems is of upmost importance and the mitigation of diseases in these systems is vital in the maintenance of healthy cultures. Although the study of naturally occurring coral diseases has become a popular and relatively well-studied topic over the last few decades, the effects of these diseases on coral husbandry and aquaculture are still virtually unknown. Aquaculture of corals is a developing industry, both for stocking the ornamental industry and for restoration purposes. This overview outlines what is known about coral diseases in aquaculture; what implications these diseases have on this activity; what may be the causes of the disease outbreaks in these systems, as well as what methods are available for maintenance of healthy stocks and for mitigation once a disease has been observed
    • Diseases in marine invertebrates associated with mariculture and commercial fisheries

      Sweet, Michael J.; Bateman, Kelly S.; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2015-10)
      Diseases in marine invertebrates are increasing in both frequency and intensity around the globe. Diseases in individuals which offer some commercial value are often well documented and subsequently well studied in comparison to those wild groups offering little commercial gain. This is particularly the case with those associated with mariculture or the commercial fisheries. Specifically, these include many Holothuroidea, and numerous crustacea and mollusca species. Pathogens/parasites consisting of both prokaryotes and eukaryotes from all groups have been associated with diseases from such organisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. Viral pathogens in particular, appear to be an increasingly important group and research into this group will likely highlight a larger number of diseases and pathogens being described in the near future. Interestingly, although there are countless examples of the spread of disease usually associated with transportation of specific infected hosts for development of aquaculture practices, this process appears to be continuing with no real sign of effective management and mitigation strategies being implicated. Notably, even in well developed countries such as the UK and the US, even though live animal trade may be well managed, the transport of frozen food appears to be less well so and as evidence suggests, even these to have the potential to transmit pathogens when used as a food source for example.
    • Disrupting the 'whiteness' of fieldwork in geography

      Abbott, Dina; University of Derby (Blackwell, 2012-05-29)
    • Distinct bacterial communities associated with the coral model Aiptasia in aposymbiotic and symbiotic states with Symbiodinium.

      Röthig, Till; Costa, Rúben M.; Simona, Fabia; Baumgarten, Sebastian; Torres, Ana F.; Radhakrishnan, Anand; Aranda, Manuel; Voolstra, Christian R.; King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Frontiers, 2016-11-18)
      Coral reefs are in decline. The basic functional unit of coral reefs is the coral metaorganism or holobiont consisting of the cnidarian host animal, symbiotic algae of the genus Symbiodinium, and a specific consortium of bacteria (among others), but research is slow due to the difficulty of working with corals. Aiptasia has proven to be a tractable model system to elucidate the intricacies of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbioses, but characterization of the associated bacterial microbiome is required to provide a complete and integrated understanding of holobiont function. In this work, we characterize and analyze the microbiome of aposymbiotic and symbiotic Aiptasia and show that bacterial associates are distinct in both conditions. We further show that key microbial associates can be cultured without their cnidarian host. Our results suggest that bacteria play an important role in the symbiosis of Aiptasia with Symbiodinium, a finding that underlines the power of the Aiptasia model system where cnidarian hosts can be analyzed in aposymbiotic and symbiotic states. The characterization of the native microbiome and the ability to retrieve culturable isolates contributes to the resources available for the Aiptasia model system. This provides an opportunity to comparatively analyze cnidarian metaorganisms as collective functional holobionts and as separated member species. We hope that this will accelerate research into understanding the intricacies of coral biology, which is urgently needed to develop strategies to mitigate the effects of environmental change.
    • Distinct bacterial microbiomes associate with the deep-sea coral Eguchipsammia fistula from the Red Sea and from aquaria settings.

      Röthig, Till; Roik, Anna; Yum, Lauren K.; Voolstra, Christian R.; King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) (Frontiers Media, 2017-08-10)
      Microbial communities associated with deep-sea corals are beginning to be studied in earnest and the contribution of the microbiome to host organismal function remains to be investigated. In this regard, the ability of the microbiome to adjust to prevailing environmental conditions might provide clues to its functional importance. In this study, we characterized bacterial community composition associated with the deep-sea coral Eguchipsammia fistula under natural (in situ) and aquaria (ex situ) settings using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. We compared freshly collected Red Sea coral specimens with those reared for >1 year at conditions that partially differed from the natural environment, in particular regarding increased oxygen and food availability under ex situ conditions. We found substantial differences between the microbiomes associated with corals under both environmental settings. The core microbiome comprised only six bacterial taxa consistently present in all corals, whereas the majority of bacteria were exclusively associated either with freshly collected corals or corals under long-term reared aquaria settings. Putative functional profiling of microbial communities showed that corals in their natural habitat were enriched for processes indicative of a carbon- and nitrogen-limited environment, which might be reflective of differences in diet under in situ and ex situ conditions. The ability of E. fistula to harbor distinct microbiomes under different environmental settings might contribute to the flexibility and phenotypic plasticity of this cosmopolitan coral. Future efforts should further assess the role of these different bacteria in holobiont function, in particular since E. fistula is naturally present in markedly different environments.
    • The distribution and abundance of black band disease and white syndrome in Kepulauan Seribu, Indonesia

      Bengen, Dietriech Geoffrey; Sweet, Michael J.; Johan, Ofri; Zamani, Neviaty P. Zamani; Suharsono, Suharsono; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2015-10-11)
      Coral diseases that have emerged since the early 1970s have caused significant regional ecological impacts. However, there has been a paucity of research into coral disease in South-East Asia, including Indonesia. This study provides baseline coral disease data in the Kepulauan Seribu Marine National Park. Previously only one type of disease [White syndrome (WS)] has been detected at this site. In this study we show a positive correlation between overall coral cover and the dominant reef building coral Montipora spp. on research sites and found that two main diseases, black band disease (BBD) and WS, were highly prevalent throughout all reefs. Based on spatial location, the highest abundance of BBD (0.08 col./m2) was found at sites nearer (zone 1) to the mainland, whilst for WS (0.05 col./m2) highest abundance was found at middle sites (zone 2). According to the temporal data, the highest abundance of BBD (0.77 col./m2) was found during the transition period (between wet and dry seasons), whereas for WS higher abundance occurred within the dry season (0.07 col./m2). There was a significant difference in disease abundance among seasons which was correlated with increasing temperature and light intensity along with variations in total organic matters, nitrite and phosphate levels. Moreover, the middle sites experienced additional stress from the waste material originating from the mainland, transported via currents flowing in this direction (the currents flow in reverse during the rainy season).